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Members of Joy

Members of Joy

Members of Joy 2560 1920 Nicole

When Greer was younger, whenever there was an occasion for unwrapping a present (birthday, Christmas), she would reverently pull apart the paper, open the gift and exclaim, “Just what I’ve always wanted!” Utter delight. Joy.

Joy is an orientation, a disposition of awe and wonder

But if there are things that bother us – whether an injustice done to you, or injustices you notice around you, or both – if we are bothered, hurt, confused… it is difficult to look at the world with this disposition, with a sense of awe and wonder.

“Peace,” Sabrina Orah Mark once wrote in a story about daughters, “is what pain looks like in public.”

We all carry around some measure of pain on a relatively regular basis. In our relationships, in our hips, in our dealing with health insurance…

But I would posit it’s more that joy is what pain looks like in public, because peace is more the effect, whereas joy is a choice, and a practice.

Greer was so good at – and still is – deciding just because it is a gift just for her, no matter what it was, she would exclaim, “it’s just what I always wanted!”

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About the author


Nicole Oliver Snyder’s expertise lies in the areas of leadership, gender issues, and mindfulness practice as it affects both. Leadership, particularly in an urban setting, requires community-relations skills, and an ability to clearly convey justice issues as they relate to felt, spiritual ones. Dr. Snyder is author of Leading Together: Mindfulness and the Gender Neutral Zone, and specializes in teaching mindfulness leadership development, formative spirituality, counseling, and Old Testament theology (emphasis on justice issues). She has a diverse background in international community-relations work combined with volunteer work in multi-ethnic communities, and with local institutions. She is an ordained Clergy; holds a BS in Human Development and Family Studies, w/Education Certificate, an MA-Counseling, MDiv Equiv., holds a Doctor of Ministry and Advanced Certification in Formative Spiritual Direction, and is a Licensed Professional Counselor (CO, MI).

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