Peakjoy

I CAN; the Legacy

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Legacy. What does that word mean to you? If you look it up in the old Webster’s it reads: “something transmitted by or received from an ancestor or predecessor or from past”

Often times when we think of legacy, we think of things; material possessions.

PeakJoy FACT: Our time here on earth; it is impermanent.

The goal isn’t to live forever, the goal is to create something that WILL
— author unknown

I’m sure, very certain actually, there were more rules than this in the Gant house growing up. BUT, these are the three that are burned in my brain;

1. When your Mom tells you to jump, you ask her “How High?”.

2. The words “I Can’t” are NOT allowed. Anywhere for any reason. I Can’t’s will get you nowhere.

3. If you have nothing nice to say “don’t say it at all.”

And as a kid, every time those phrases were repeated to me, the sigh followed… ugh…. right, whatever. They knew nothing at the time.

So it is Father’s Day again. I was blessed to be able to spend 23 with a guy I consider to be the absolute BEST, hands down. And with time, the reflection and emotions that accompany have evolved from anger, sadness, and emptiness to emotions filled with curiosity, encouragement and fulfillment. Want to know why? Because that is WHO he was and that is what he would want.

He was the “suck it up buttercup” guy. On repeat “Guess what Joy, LIFE isn’t fair” (With love of course) Even at his funeral, he was whispering this in my ear as I sobbed throwing a pack of cigarettes at him. When he coached our sports teams, if you said “ I can’t” you ran laps. And then you repeated “I CAN” and kept trying. My friends laughed and I hung my head in embarrassment at times. “Really, Dad?”

And so, I have a choice as we all do.

CHOICE A: I can sit every Father’s Day and be angry at him for continuing to smoke like a chimney; filled with deep frustration that my birthday wish (the letters I wrote to him on my birthday every year asking for ONE THING “Stop smoking”) never reached his soul (in time). I can wallow in sadness and be jealous of all the others that DO get to spend another Father’s Day with their Dads. I can fill my head with the complete sadness and emptiness and blame God for taking him way too soon. “ It’s not fair, it sucks…”

OR

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CHOICE B: I can visit the cemetery, throw him a pack of cigarettes and I can reflect and reminisce on all of the memories he did provide. I can pass on stories and share a piece of who he was. I can dream up the words he would be speaking to me and my boys in both times of pure PeakJoy and those days in ValleyJoy (Thank you Switzers!) I can let the piece of him that occupies both space in the mind and the heart shine with who I am. I can let who he was inspire and take me to new altitudes with the time that I have been given.

See, until I really got started with PeakJoy in the past 6 months, I didn’t realize just how much of an impact he has had on my life. I knew how much I loved him and looked up to him. I knew I shared countless happy memories with him. I can still feel the squeeze of his heart-filled hugs and hear his laughter at the smallest of things; his slap on my butt telling me to “ go get em’.” I find and re-read the notes he wrote to me and he once again builds me up and inspires me. I can close my eyes and create this beautiful vision of him interacting with my boys and all of the Grandkids. It can become surreal at times. (And it may bring tears, tears of Joy and love)

What has happened in the creation of this new business journey is the realization that not only am I just living my life and building a business from ??? (who knows what), but I am leaving a piece of me with my boys (and hopefully others as well) just as he did with me.

Here is where I am on this Fathers Day as I look back at pictures and pull memories from the soul. Here is what I wonder?

When your time is up here - when your journey comes to an end… what will you have left behind? What piece have you left with not only your family but your friends, your community, the world? Who have you inspired? How have you made others feel? The money and the material stuff you leave, sure it will be appreciated and then spent and perhaps create a short-term happiness through a vacation or purchase of something fun and exciting. BUT…Possessions and wealth, my friends, they do not create a true legacy. My Dad is a pure, true example of this. He wasn’t high up on the chain in his company. He was not a millionaire who left us behind a great fortune. He didn’t invent some world known gadget (although Lord knows he created many of our very own Gant inventions) He didn’t write a book or break a world record. So, what DID he leave then you ask? I am calling it the I CAN legacy (but he left oh so much more)

My Dad said this to me, OFTEN “Joy, YOU DO YOU!”

I hadn’t heard that phrase spoken to me since his passing (15 years ago). UNTIL, until about a year and a half ago. And now, within the past year and a half those three words have been spoken to me 4 times, by 4 different individuals. I’m not really sure I have ever really believed in “signs” or “coincidences” but I do know that these three words have re-lit a spark, fueled partially from my Dad in some way, shape or form.

And so here I am, here is Joy with PeakJoy. With a mission and vision ultimately revolving around just that. Above all; kindness, compassion, intentionality and optimism. Helping and inspiring others (as individuals, as families, as teams, as companies) to elevate in some facet of their lives; to search for their passion and live their OWN unique legacy. And the driving force of PeakJoy, deep from the roots, is my Dad “ I CAN and I WILL.”

He left THAT behind for me and I know he left more behind in the hearts and souls of many others’ as well.

You don’t have to write books or create some cool, trendy invention. You don’t have to be the first or the best at something. It’s not about competition. It’s about YOUR purpose and YOUR passion. You CAN do it.

YOU DO YOU. Don’t let your love go to waste. Don’t let your Joy go to waste. Don’t hide the depths to your soul. Share it ALL.

Happy Fathers Day to ALL of you other amazing Dads out there (my two brothers, my Father-in-law and husband especially), making a greater impact than you will ever know; with each word, each smile, your laughter, your time, your actions. IT ALL MATTERS!

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I CAN

The legacy your success depends upon.

TRUE COLORS TRIBE

PHOTO CREDITS:  iron + lace photography

I spent 3 hours with this group of girls that I had never met. And I so often get these feelings, these things called emotions where I say “ There are NO words”. For those of you who know me, you are smiling (likely chuckling with skepticism) knowing darn well after I say this, generally an entire book or talk-show will likely follow. So as to not disappoint, here are my “no words” about walking into a room of “strangers” and then walking out feeling this…

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We are social creatures. Whether we are extroverts, introverts, Type A personality, ENFJ’s (Myers-Briggs), strong D’s (DISC assessment), or #9 Enneagram type; we crave relationships. We crave different relationships to fulfill different facets of our lives. But we ALL innately desire relationships which provide that safe place to land; the place where we can be nothing short of ourselves. We deeply need relationships where you can talk openly about dreams, and dig deep into your worries without misunderstanding, judgement and fear.

Have you ever noticed or been around that person or that tribe, left an event, ended a get-together or even coffee or a lunch date; and you leave with this sense of Euphoria? Not only was your experience with them just “easy”; being around this person or these people has given you more energy and happiness than you’ve had in days, weeks, months, or more. You hop in your car, go for a jog or stroll the aisles at the grocery store and you feel like you want to take on the world. (FYI – these are PeakJoy moments!)

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There is also the opposite, and negativity is difficult for me but… we’ve all been there. Have you ever left a situation with a person or people where you have never felt so insecure, disconnected, unmotivated and ready to go take a nap or even destroy something? They have simply drained you and more than once. Conversations consist of negativity and complaining and judgement and drama… and yet we keep going back…

I think sometimes we live a portion of our lives (sometimes our entire lives) surrounding ourselves with people that don’t serve us the opportunity to really live and be who we are meant to be. And so we get stuck on many occasions and we look to “solving our problems” by looking at what changes WE need to make personally. We begin to analyze our lack of fulfillment or happiness. How often are we looking at WHO we are spending our time with? Why do we feel the need to constantly make excuses for spending endless time with individuals who are burying our feet in wet concrete while dumping buckets of water on our heads? (Oh, but here is an umbrella and a sandwich, you’ll survive) Nope!

Here is what I have discovered, here is what I have come to know. I have been nudged, pushed, encouraged, challenged and inspired by a GROUP of individuals. Each individually has provided a different version, a different inner voice, a different phrase that said “Go get em’ Joy!” And I can honestly say that without each of them, I wouldn’t be flying today. And just when I don’t think it can get better, when I think I have everything and everyone that I need, I meet yet another person or GROUP OF GIRLS who feed me more, pour more fuel, or add to my wings.

PHOTO CREDITS:  iron + lace photography

To elevate ourselves and get to that PeakJoy, we must find like-minded people. The “peeps” that JUST GET US!

We NEED to know that someone is rooting for our happiness, passions and side-hustles and that someone cares about our successes. And we equally need people who hurt when we hurt and offer Band-Aids for the smallest paper cuts. We ALL require VALIDATION to just be.. just be the inner and outer versions of ourselves without any hidden agendas. I guess I have been fortunate enough to find these people in different chapters of my life story. (And trust me that there were chapters when there was no sight of any of them; that would require another book)

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Now, criteria for your like-minded squad will inevitably be different from mine ( I mean, unless you value kindness, enjoy running, yoga and exercise, would hike the mountains with me, snowmobile in sub zero temps, live to spread optimism, live for deep conversations and appreciate the daily glass or two of wine. AND… if you also happen to sing and dance always like no one is watching… even better!) Others find their tribes in churches, Moms groups, specific sports, political groups, a love for animals, thrill seeking hobbies and so much more.

Not everyone will check every one of your boxes, and that is the beauty of it really. My husband will never LIVE for DEEP CONVERSATIONS – but he IS learning to dance with me and he is also the one who introduced me to the thrill of speed on a sled!

Now my big brother… I know that after I read a text, get off the phone with him or leave from meeting him for an after-work beverage that not only is my heart full but I’m in that state of euphoria and I am ready to go tackle “something.” He’s my deep convo, give it to me straight, suck it up, “the stars are yours Joy” guy. But you’ll never catch him down-ward dogging on a yoga mat – Ha! (Never say never, right?)

And the list of my tribe truly goes on and on and on as I sit and write this. I’ve discovered them buried in the roots of elementary days, to being in a specific location at a specific time, to friends of friends, to signing up for a Friday morning girls meet up!

The common denominator of them all is simple; they fill me with joy and PeakJoy moments and memories. They push me to be a better version of myself. They remind me that impossible is only a word that exists in some fragment of my imagination. They inspire me and I inspire them and we share in each other’s’ happiness, success and all the “other stuff” that sometimes can get in the way.

And so I ask you… Are you spending time with people who are watching the concrete dry around your feet? WHO is in your tribe? Do you have YOUR people? WHO fills your life with joy? Who leaves you with PeakJoy memories? WHO is pushing you to be better than you were yesterday? WHO is challenging you to dream?

Because I can always find a song or lyrics to inspire… WHO is encouraging you to show all of those TRUE colors? And WHO will stick by your side regardless of what colors end up in your rainbow? THOSE are the people you want to surround yourself with! (Oh how I wish I had video of my Dad and I singing this song together MANY YEARS AGO.)

If any of you woman reading this are looking to add some amazing girls to your tribe… check this out! I met Emma at the QC girl meet up… and trust me, you want to meet her too!

GO CAMP CLIMB


Get Outta My Dreams, Get into my Car

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Dreams are clearly NOT reserved for our weightless heads on pillows while we rest our eyes aimlessly each night. They have become or should become a piece of our waking world.

For decades songs have been written and sung about them… Lennon, Gary Wright, Billy Joel, Mariah Carey, Beyonce, Coldplay, Carrie Underwood, Fleetwood Mac, Nelly, Van Halen, Metallica… and so many more.

(If you enjoy having some inspirational music playing while you read on, as I do, surely ONE of these songs on my “Just Dream” Spotify playlist will strike a harmonious chord.)

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In my eyes, there is nothing so attractive and uplifting as an ordinary, yet passionate dream. (And I’m not talking my own, I’m talking about the dreams of others in my life) If we think about it every accomplishment, invention, discovery; they ALL started not only as an idea, but a dream seed. Dream seeds that grew into full blown… I’m not even sure what to call them – Miraculous reality? I do know they are part of PeakJoy life. How about PeakJoy accomplishments. I don’t want to call them just miracles, because there are miracles that happen without effort. I feel like dreams are made, dreams are earned with hard work, dedication, intention, sweat and tears, perhaps falling a couple of times. What is that quote.,

The dream is FREE, the journey is not.
— John Maxwell

I was reminiscing over coffee with a childhood family friend just last week. Not only is he the mother dreamer but he’s got this superpower mindset that allows him to do that miraculous thing called ACTION.

His entire persona lit up when he spoke about an old building with windows boarded up; and how he had this VISION, this DREAM of what that building could be or look like without boards covering those windows. I listened to every word spoken about each detail he had thought through and truly had painted a picture of in his brain. There was history and there were dreams behind those boards. Someone, years ago, created THAT dream, THAT business, THAT building. How sad to think that their vision from years ago is boarded up, the dream now hidden. But on the flip side, how amazing and simply joyous that another individual could turn it back into yet another dream. THIS is the stuff that lights me up friends.

When you are around inspirational individuals like this, I think they drop this dreaming dust on you. (and without even knowing it) “Here, take this and go climb, better yet, go fly!”

You see, dreams are SO many things. Dreams are small business start-ups. Dreams are relationships; marrying that right person. (Just listen to the words of the “dream” songs, we apparently dream an awful lot about those) Dreams are finishing school, working toward college degrees. Dreams are destinations. Dreams are WHO we want to become. Dreams can be a specific career. Dreams are making our communities and our world a better place for the future. Dreams can even be “ridding” ourselves of the pessimism that occupies space. Dreams are the lyrics in all of the songs. (Honestly, loving music as I do, it makes me want to write a song!)

Did you ever have a dream journal growing up? Or write fictitious stories about what your life would look like when you “grew up”? I didn’t allow anything or anyone to interfere with what went in that journal. It was fun, humorous and uplifting to dream about whatever I wanted to. Or maybe you made those fortune tellers where your friend picked a number and they opened up your fortune; you’ll drive a red sportscar, have 3 children, and be a stewardess while living in the mountains.

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As I entered into Junior High and then High School, the dreams were a little less “fun” most of the time and the reality of “growing up” became more the dream. I dreamt of just having my license and driving whenever I wanted to. Getting an actual job (not babysitting) and making my own money to buy my own clothes was this glorious vision just months ahead of me. I dreamed of what I thought I was supposed to be dreaming about. When I met my “now husband” on-line, HE became the new dream; when we would get married, where we would live, getting our first dog…house…

And then we went to college and we got married and then… we dreamed less and less I suppose. Or those dreams were less vivid and more of just reality dreaming (is that even a thing?). I’m not sure when I myself really stopped dreaming for myself and not my family. When do we stop dreaming – like FUN dreaming – BIGGER dreaming? For just ourselves?

For YEARS, I wasn’t dreaming at all really. Or if I was, I was placing these endless limits. I guess I was dreaming with rules. The rules of society. Excuses were supported with details. And mostly I was doing, doing, doing for everyone else; for the boys, my husband our family, because that was my role so I told myself. I’ll tell you what I dreamt about, seriously. I dreamt about walking through Target BY MYSELF for an hour with a Starbucks and coming home AFTER the boys were in bed.

But here I am, here is PeakJoy, dreaming for real. Dreaming bigger and stronger and with more passion. Dreaming that I can help YOU, I can help others not only start to dream and dream bigger but help move in the direction of making those dreams turn into… what did I call it miraculous reality? Or Peak Joy accomplishments. (I really need to come up with a better name!) Here I am, just as my friend did last week, sprinkling some dream dust on you all – “Go climb, go fly!” And remember that...

When you dream, there are not rules. You can fly!
— PeakJoy

Dream BIGGER friends.

What is it VanHalen sings (because you all know I love my music and lyrics)

Reach for the golden ring

Reach for the sky

Baby, spread your wings

We’ll get higher and higher

Never losin’ sight

“Cause we belong in a world that must be strong

That’s what dreams are made of

OR MKTO:

Do Something with your life

Sometimes underdogs rise

OR Aerosmith:

Dream On, Dream On.

Dream until your dreams come true.