3 min read
Two women from vastly different places became close friends and creative collaborators. Michelle lives in California, and Lilamani travels between New Zealand and London. A series of happy coincidences converged to create what some might call a chance encounter in Seattle, Washington. Michelle was delivering a keynote and training program for Microsoft's worldwide conference, and Lilamani was filming a documentary for the Discovery Channel. Ordinarily, it wouldn’t be easy to orchestrate a meeting between two women from different walks of life and different continents. Yet, despite the odds (right timing, right place), they crossed paths and discovered they were driven by a similar passion and purpose.
Despite being on opposite ends of the world, they have created numerous products over the past twenty years including their latest passion project, the Joy Cards!
Joy Cards are a positive result from a difficult time in their respective lives. They were created during the pandemic. The joy-filled inception was formed while Michelle was recovering from COVID-19, and Lilamani was caring for her elderly parents. At this critical time, when stress was high and energy low, they realized just how important it was to keep their energy tank full. They recognized this global pandemic wasn’t going away anytime soon. Added to that, countries all over the world were going into lockdown. Everyone was faced with a new normal, including increased isolation, fear of the unknown, loss of jobs, or being forced to suddenly work remotely. This was a very stressful time. They decided to focus on something positive and find a way to help others too. They leaned into what they learned over the years.
They learned the difference between merely surviving day-to-day and living fully. They purposefully looked for the silver lining because that made it easier to deal with loss and heartache. Neither would claim they have a Pollyanna perspective, rather they have built resilience with each hardship they’ve endured. They have supported one another through the darkest moments to remind each other that this too shall pass.
To walk the walk, they encouraged one another to spend 15 minutes each day doing something fun, playful, or kind because it balanced out their stressors, fears, and overwhelm. These little life pleasures are what they call “joy gems.” A hug from a loved one, a walk in nature, a warm shower, or flowers in bloom revealed there was much to be grateful for in everyday life. These AHAs helped them to find and maintain joy in unexpected ways in spite of life’s challenges. Many of the joy activities were tried and tested in Michelle’s training programs over the years and proved to be hugely successful. Their combined talents—Michelle’s twenty plus years of leadership coaching and empowering women from all walks of life and Lilamani’s scientific background and artistic ability gave them a unique perspective and expertise that culminated in the Joy Cards.
They understand that maintaining joy is an inside job that requires practice. So, they purposefully continue to look for joy gems and engage in activities that make them feel better each day. Michelle and Lilamani share a love of family, friends, travel, and the outdoors no matter what the weather. They hope the Joy Cards encourage and inspire others to find their joy gems daily and to spread the word to as many people as possible.
After all, joy is contagious!
With gratitude & joy,
Michelle & Lilamani
Releasing March 8, 2022, learn more about the Joy Cards here: https://beyondword.com/products/joy-cards
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