One of the practices I love to introduce to people I work with is the concept of creating a joy list. Now stay with me, I assure you it is more practical than pollyanna. The idea is that we keep an accessible and compiled list of what feels fulfilling, nourishing, and nurturing when it comes to our body, mind, and spirit.

Anything can go on your joy list and it is a judgement free zone –  drinking a cup of tea, taking a bath, calling a friend, walking in nature, getting a pedicure, baking/cooking, napping, binge watching The Great British Baking show – the possibilities are endless. The premise is that we can treat these things on our joy list as micro-steps to cultivate self-care and build resilience. So when we feel the effects of stress creeping in, we can tap into something on our joy list as a way to meet the stress in a more mindful way. This helps us to ultimately express versus suppress and feel more connected to ourselves, each other and source (however you wish to define that). 

One of the things on my joy list  is reading/listening to inspiring teachings/teachers. I call them my W.I.S.E guides because the are my go-tos whenever I’m craving a good dosage of wisdom, inspiration, sassiness, and ease.

Similar to how there is no one size fits all when it comes to practicing mindfulness and meditation, the same is true as we begin to explore deeper teachings and knowledge as we continue to evolve on our path of awakening. So let your intuition be your guide as you explore some of my current go-tos and be on the lookout for winks from the universe for your own W.I.S.E guides.  

Brene Brown – Honestly, I love everything Brene Brown. If you haven’t heard of her, she is a researcher at University of Houston and studies courage, vulnerability, empathy and shame. But it is her charm and delight as a storyteller that makes the material so accessible and meaningful. She just launched her new podcast Unlocking Us. You can also, check out her famous TED talk The Power of Vulnerability which is one of the most watched TED talks of all time with over 40 million views or her recent show on Netflix The Call To Courage.  And then of course there are her many, MANY books, all of which I highly recommend. 

Elizabeth Gilbert – Anything Liz Gilbert does, count me in. Whether it is one of her life changing books ranging from Eat, Pray, Love, Big Magic, City of Girls  to her Instagram updates, I always feel uplifted and validated for being a human being by being in her presence through her creative works. 

Glennon Doyle – I’ve been a closet Glennon fan for awhile, but with her new book Untamed, I’m officially part of her social family.  Here genuine expressions are simultaneously heart-wrenching and hilarious and remind us that none of us are ever alone. I’ve found great comfort in her daily “family quarantine meetings” on Instagram and am so inspired by the work she and her team are doing with Together Rising

Matt Kahn – I’ve shared many of Matt’s teachings before, but he continues to be such a meaningful modern day teacher and has helped me tremendously over this last year as I’ve been stretched in new ways. He takes older spiritual paradigms and presents them in such a heart-centered way. Check out his Youtube channel for engaging and heart awakening teachings. I recommend starting with his most recent videos as his teachings are constantly evolving to the changing political, energetic and spiritual climate.  I also highly recommend one of his live events if you get the chance. 

Nora McInerny – I feel like Nora is one of my closest friends who I’ve actually never met – is that weird?  Her books, podcast, and social media always provides the perfect blend of humor, realness, and  insight that puts everything in perspective. Check out her new TED talk, We don’t “move on” from grief, we move forward, that is providing an important paradigm shift in how we meet grief. I guarantee an authentic laugh and cry (often at the same times) in just about everything she does. 

Panache Desai – I discovered Panache via my sister probably almost 8 years ago. He was a new teacher at the time, recently featured on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday. He has become one of the most powerful teachers of embracing a new paradigm of spiritual teaching that is based on energy, transmutation and vibrational alignment. If you can participate in one of his guided sessions, I highly recommend. Check out all his offerings here

Tracee Stanley – I first discovered Tracee on Instagram and love her philosophy on all things yoga, meditation, and spirituality. And honestly, I could listen to her voice all day. Her Empowered Life Meditations are some of my favorite guided meditations of all time. I’m hopeful to meet her in person one of these days at one of the many events she attends and teaches. 

Tara Brach – I can’t even recall the first time I discovered Tara Brach, I’ve been following her for so long. With a teaching philosophy based on Western psychology and Eastern spiritual practices, she brings a deep understanding of mindful awareness and compassion into all of her teachings.  Check out her generous library of talks and meditations. Simply listening to her beautiful voice (even if you aren’t digesting the content) is a meditative experience.

How about you? I’d love to hear who some of your W.I.S.E guides are in the comments below. 

Photo by Arno Smit on Unsplash