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Ode to Joy: Why Your Attitude Matters
Joy is in the Details

Joy. What is it? Where do we find it? What does it feel like? Suppose it's not what we imagined it to be? Sarah Ban Breathnach is a writer who has taken the time to contemplate these questions in several books whose simple wisdoms have landed the author a spot on the New York Times bestseller list for over two years and whose book, Simple Abundance, has sold two million copies in 13 countries.

Ban Breathnach's (pronounced Bon Brannock) tale of how she found her way to discovering the joy in the smallest details of her life began one day in 1985 when a ceiling tile crashed down on her head while she was having lunch in a fast-food restaurant with her two-year-old daughter. For the next 18 months she was left partially disabled, unable to continue her work as a freelance writer and radio broadcaster.

"I became grateful for every living thing: if I had been able to listen to a snatch of music and not get sick or dizzy. To be able to go downstairs and not be wobbly, and make a cup of tea. To go out into the back yard and see the falling leaves. Things that were so minute that I had never taken time to notice before."

Ban Breathnach's writerly impulse led her to record these seemingly inconsequential moments in what she came to call a gratitude journal. "I would write them because I would forget them from the frenzy of life. I mean, so many things can happen to you that are pleasant during two hours, but by the end of the day you don't remember.

"One of the wonderful things is to go back and look at your gratitude journal and see that it's not the big moments that are the things that really count, it's the small moments. It's the small things that are the sacred moments, and they form the narrative of our lives. That is when joy comes into your life, because joy is a spiritual gift that doesn't depend on external events."

Program Description
Sarah Ban Breathnach
Sister Alice Williams
Stella Resnick, Ph.D.
Help YourSelf
Tell Me More

Body & Soul is currently airing Monday-Friday at 7:00pm and 8:30pm on PBS YOU.

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