Joie de Vivre

Joie de vivre translates from French into English as “joy of living”. This phrase popped into my head yesterday morning and when I looked it up, I found this list of synonyms:

  • Gaiety
  • Cheerfulness
  • Merriment
  • Light-heartedness
  • Happiness
  • Joyfulness
  • Delight
  • Pleasure
  • High spirits
  • Joviality
  • Ebullience
  • Liveliness
  • Vivacity
  • Enthusiasm
  • Enjoyment
  • Effervescence
  • Sparkle
  • Buoyancy
  • Sprightliness
  • Jauntiness
  • Zestfulness
  • Perkiness

Also included, of course is the word exuberant. When I was 23 years old, I found myself teaching French at a Catholic high school even though I hadn’t gone through any teacher training. The best thing that came out of that challenging year was the opportunity to lead a group of students on a nine day trip to Paris and the French Riviera. That’s where I met Claude, our tour guide who became a close friend of mine for many years to come.

What I loved about him was how excited he would get about all sorts of things. Having the beauty and history of all of France to show us, he delighted in sharing the endless array of pleasures that France has to offer: the food, the wine, the architecture, the art, the fashion, the museums, the cafés, the castles, etc. He would bend down and rub his hands over a rosemary plant, inhale the aroma and offer his fragrant palms so we could appreciate the sensory experience.

It was all about the fun. Early on, he and his friends would plan elaborate costume parties and scavenger hunts. Later we would enjoy dinner parties at his home or as guests of his many friends. He loved to cook and he loved having me there with him in the kitchen. When we went out, he introduced me to traditional French steak au poivre, Moroccan tagine and Vietnamese spring rolls.

Simply taking a walk with him was a grand adventure. He got such a kick out of showing me out-of-the-way hidden courtyards and lesser-known museums. We walked for hours in his favorite neighborhoods. Even doing simple errands took on airy feeling as we admired beautiful objects in shop windows or stopped for a drink at a sidewalk café that offered a particularly lovely view.

While Claude and I are not in touch at the moment, I am thinking of him as I ponder exuberance. Joie de vivre is an attitude that I want to encourage in my life. It is about focus and appreciation. We choose what we focus on and I choose the good stuff. I choose all the things that make me happy. I choose to make joy a priority and I choose to appreciate every joyful moment that I have.

I choose to appreciate the Universe for my life, for my opportunities, for my freedom, for choices, for my feelings, for my intellect and for my Inner Being. I appreciate Abraham for the teachings and Esther for her willingness to bring them forth. Appreciation is the highest vibration we can offer. It is on the same wavelength as love and joy. Being in this state allows more and more of our desires to manifest and gives us more to appreciate. This is a good place to be.



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