As I write this blog post I sit listening to holiday music that I have heard since I was a small child. Memories wash over me with sweet joy and peace. Parents waiting patiently for me to return home for holiday celebrations, waking up early to see if Santa ate the cookies we left out the night before, singing holiday carols around the piano, and my Grandma directing my brother where to hang Christmas ornaments.

It’s astounding the power of certain music to awaken the cherished thoughts of long ago, while at the same time to align your mood and attitude toward one of peace and calm. There continues to be research into the ability of music to reach even the most unreachable person. When I was in Ireland I learned that people with significant dementia, while not even able to remember their name, can remember the words and music to many of their long-cherished songs. It is a joy to behold the smile on someone’s face and twinkle in their eye as they sing at the top of their voice.

This holiday season, whether you’re celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or the winter solstice, certain music offers you an opportunity to experience joy and peace. Joy in this sense represents a surface-level happiness you feel, and can offer to others. Even when you go out shopping in the bustling crowd, there is a care and concern being honored and offered outward. Perhaps the frost in the air, holiday carols or just that time of the year pervades each person. It, quite literally, creates a spring in your step and a smile on your face.

This holiday season, music offers you an opportunity to experience joy and peace. #ClearPathForward #Music #Joy Click To Tweet

Yet this type of joy being shared is fleeting and ephemeral. It lasts only as long as the song or holiday season. Come early January, or even sooner, it fades amongst the many demands of your life. It waits out there for some spark to bring it back into focus.

There is a second type of joy, associated not with happiness, but with the feeling of contentment. It pervades you at a much deeper and more spiritual level, and remains in both good and challenging times.

During the course of my life I have had glimpses of this joy in people around me, and wondered what it was that enabled them to glow. Perhaps you are one of them or maybe you’ve encountered them at work. People that are grounded in a deep sense of clarity of who they are, what they offer, and what they are doing. It’s that almost magical symmetry of purpose, passion and talents.

This type of deep contentment and joy in your everyday life is available for all. It doesn’t need to be just the other person that experiences this feeling, but you as well. As I share with my clients, “You are the designer and architect of your perfect life.”

And what’s even more amazing, you can have many different variations on what constitutes your perfect life through various life-stage transitions. Meaning what you felt called and compelled to do in your 20’s and 30’s may be completely antithetical to what you want in your 40’s and 50’s. There is an ongoing open invitation to design each stage of your life to pursue your purpose, and make the most of your passion and talents. This is a deep joy available to you all year-round.

ACTION: What opportunities beckon and invite you to live a more joy-filled and purpose-driven life? Are you listening to them and taking action to make them a reality?

In the meantime, as you ponder your next life transition, may you be filled with the temporary joy and peace of this most glorious holiday season.

Kathy Hart, EdD’s driving passion is human change and transformation. Her goal is to provide professional women in midlife with the support and resources needed to re-imagine and lead even more abundant, joy-filled and purpose-driven lives. If you are a woman wanting to reclaim your voice, realize a long-held dream, or just live your life to the fullest, take concrete action by contacting Kathy at The choice is yours!

Services that Kathy offers:

  • 1:1 coaching to support the journey into your midlife transition
  • Trusted advisor for leaders navigating work changes and requiring an expert guide
  • Speaking and workshops on human change and transformation
  • Small group work and team development to boost the group’s performance