Ask Fashion and Substance: Discovering pleasure in tough occasions | Opinion

Dear style & substance,

Joy is everywhere during the holiday season. Ornaments, signs, greeting cards, wrapping paper – all with just the word JOY. I am fascinated by the idea of ​​joy. How do we find and keep them alive, especially in difficult times?

Winter holidays are the festival of gathering and light, but also time for holy rest and reflection. This time of year and the winter solstice can guide us as we explore light and darkness, joy and sorrow. Somewhere in between is the awareness and the lingering of the shadow. When winter begins we step into the lengthening of daylight and the lessening of darkness. Just as the increasing light is subtle, joy can also be a little delicate and elusive.

“The eye is always caught by light, but shadows

have more to say. “

~ Gregory Maguire

How we “see” joy and how we “experience” joy can be very different. When you envision your own interpretation of joy, you can experience it as an ubiquitous part of your life rather than fitting into a particular cultural representation. Finding your own is the key to making joy a living element in your life. Society calls out that joy resides in lively conversation, large family gatherings, busyness, and the holiday hype. Joy can also be found in silence, in quiet love, in deep conversations, in leisure and calm.

“Find out where joy resides and give it a voice that goes far beyond singing. To miss that

Joy is missing out on everything. ‘

~ Robert Louis Stevenson

On the way from elusive joy to fleeting joy, to surges of joy, to lasting joy, we invite you to look at the shadows or the edges of joy, something in between that naturally adds to your piece of happiness, silence, or consolation Peace can be.

Too much light or emotion can be extremely intense, too strong where the senses are overloaded and it is not sustainable. Similarly, too much darkness brings with it despair and a strong sense of regret that disconnects and isolates. Finding a middle ground in the shadows is an exploration of balance and contentment. Shadows add a sense of depth and texture to our life experience. They recognize the presence of light, filter and create a seductive, almost secret look or an interpretation. Shadows give the viewer a beauty, an experience that is not as extreme as bright light or deep darkness.

‘When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never fades.’

~ Buddha

Calm down, stop, explore, and find a middle ground. Be curious and accommodating about who you hang out with and what you do in this balance of emotion and commitment. Your intensity is yours, it doesn’t have to match or match of others. Inner understanding gives your handwriting authenticity and simplicity, joie de vivre – the elevation of the spirit. You are a light and pure version, not a mirror of someone else.

A cute granddaughter was asked if she saw ANY stars while we were staring at the winter moon this week. She replied with awe and said, “I see ALL the stars!” Optimism and hope are our wish for you; a new year of hopeful light and discerning darkness. Look for ALL stars.

Sally Meisenheimer and Michele Armani are the owners of style & Substance, which offer life coaching and creative solutions. Meisenheimer and Armani are certified life coaches with many years of experience in health education, personnel development and teaching. They have been married together for over 60 years and raised seven children. Questions and comments emailed to

Wellness Information: Discovering pleasure and doing extra for your self | Leisure

I recently read an article from the Stall Street Journal at Western Wyoming Community College. What’s this? First, Stall Street Journal is a great advertisement. It’s when you post information in toilet cubicles. It’s a great way to reach out to people because honestly, for a few minutes you have “a captive audience” (ha ha.)

However, that particular article, or rather the flyer, was information published by the Western Wellbeing and Accessibility Office. It was about finding joy and how college is a great place to find things that can bring you joy, like finding your passion, laughing more, being more patient, and treating yourself well. As I read for a minute, I realized that I really liked what it said, not just for students but for life in general, so I took a picture of it. I wanted to finish reading it later. (Yes, I had my cell phone with me in the bathroom.)

After reading the entire flyer, I was reminded of several things. First, college is a time to gain independence and learn to do things for yourself. This can be scary if it’s your first time away from home for a long time, but it can also be a place to try new things. The same goes for all of us, whether we are in college or not. Sometimes we get into trouble and don’t really try new things. We may be afraid of failure or feel like we should stay home folding laundry, doing dishes, and other chores.

These are important, but it is also important to take time to do family things for as long as you can. Children grow up so incredibly fast and then they’re gone, to college or with their own lives, and the time to create those precious moments could be over. Interestingly, when you leave the house, a lot of the laundry, dishes, and other things that could get in the way of “finding joy” if you let them. (It’s okay to leave a full basket or dishes in the sink while you’re making memories.)

College students have time to find out what interests them. You can take time for new hobbies and meet new friends. These things are important, but aren’t they important for all of us to do all the time? My fun thing is to exercise. However, I can’t always do this, and not everyone in my family enjoys this. I need to find things to do and enjoy with each of them.

I recently played a game called Hunt A Killer which is basically a Whodunit that you play with your family on a monthly basis. I’m not particularly good at video games, but my son likes his, and the youngest two girls are just getting into some. They don’t care if I’m good or not. They just want me to share their fun thing with them! One of my older daughters likes puzzles. Me too. We have a good time doing puzzles together. We don’t have to spend a lot of money to pass time. We go for a walk, play board games or watch films. It’s important to try new things, but it’s also extremely important to do things with people for enjoyment.

The flyer said that it is important to say “no” sometimes to find joy. This is one that we all need to remember and recognize. Most people will jump in, lend a hand, and help as much as they can while they are busy. College students have a full load even if they are not full-time students. My athletes have school, drills, competitions, study, community service opportunities and yet they need to eat, sleep, be social, enjoy their hobbies, and just relax. Most of us have work, housework, families, sleep and meal times, hobbies and socializing in order to be healthy and find joy. We all need to remember that not only is it okay, but that sometimes we have to take a step back and put ourselves first. The flyer reminded me that we cannot and do not have to do everything. We can say “no” without being mean or rude.

Lately we’ve all had to adjust our lives a bit because of COVID-19. Adjusting is what we do, but it doesn’t mean we have to stop finding ways to be happy. It just means that we may have to do different things or find different ways to do the same things that we love to do. Even when I’ve put on a mask or kept social distance, I know that I can find joy if I focus on finding my passions, laughing more with my eyes, and indulging in something every now and then. I hope you find some joy too, and that this Stall Street information was a good memory for you as it was for me. Have a great day!

Lu Sweet is the sports director at Western Wyoming Community College. She has been a Rock Springs educator for two decades and a longtime employee of the Rocket Miner.