The Inception of the Chair of Joy™ Experience: It was as natural as it was necessary. By Sheryl Lynn - Living JOYELY Ever After!
JOYELY Ever after
Refinement of Mission and Vision While Living JOYELY!
April 8, 2024
Anthony!
May 9, 2024
Refinement of Mission and Vision While Living JOYELY!
April 8, 2024
Anthony!
May 9, 2024

The Inception of the Chair of Joy™ Experience: It was as natural as it was necessary. By Sheryl Lynn

The JOYELY and the Chair of Joy™ Experience are the culmination of a lifetime’s worth of experiences, encounters, and introspections—is profoundly enlightening. The Chair of Joy™ is more than just a recent initiative; it’s the embodiment of a lifelong quest for joy. This journey is not solely about the act of sitting; it’s about what happens in those moments of stillness—breathing, thinking, feeling. It’s in these acts that we find the essence of joy, a concept that, while deeply personal, taps into a universal truth.

This story of pursuit and realization underscores a shared desire for a world that prioritizes peace over conflict, unity over division, and love over discord. It is a narrative that speaks to the heart of everyone who seeks to align their lives with what truly brings enrichment and, ultimately, a state of JOYELY Ever After. This isn’t just my journey; it’s a path that many of us are on, a collective endeavor to live in harmony with the values that deeply enrich our existence and lead us to a more joyful, fulfilled life.

From a young age, amid a variety of life circumstances, whether shaped by the legacy of my parents, pivotal life decisions, or the unpredictable course of events, I learned one undeniable truth: I was the architect of my reality. My thoughts influenced my actions, and my actions, in turn, shaped my thoughts. This cycle often left me isolated and engulfed in fear. Yet, it was through navigating the depths of these emotions that I discovered the path to feeling better—to joy and eventually to Living JOYELY.

My journey through joy wasn’t linear; it was punctuated by moments of trauma and profound connection. A broken nose, instances of bullying, tender moments with my mother, and the turmoil of abusive relationships—all these experiences propelled me towards seeking the root of my pain and, more importantly, the path back to my heart. The laughter, the love, and the hope I found, especially as a young mother to my three children, became the reason for my existence. They were the essence of my life, the joy that propelled me forward, even on my darkest days. It was this love that made life worth living.

Childhood Innocence: Finding my Way Back to Joy.

In the early years of motherhood, against the serene backdrop of the Midwest, life unfolded with its quiet simplicity, punctuated by the nuances of marriage, divorce, and the ever-changing dynamics of family life. Amidst the hustle and bustle of raising three children, where happiness often mingled with sorrow, I came to a profound realization: life was a continuous rising and falling.

On any given day, the house echoed with the lively sounds of children’s footsteps and laughter, occasionally punctuated by moments of tension hanging in the air, ready to unravel like a tightly wound ball of yarn.

As my children found themselves caught up in yet another squabble, I struggled to soothe the mounting tension and the jumble of emotions swirling around us. One was having fun, another seemed worn out, and the third was distressed. With furrowed brows and tear-streaked faces, they seemed trapped in a cycle of frustration and anger, unable to find their way back to peace.

With a spontaneous stroke of intuition, I led them to a calm room, which I whimsically referred to as the ‘giggle room,’ a haven from the outside clamor. I invited them to settle into a cozy spot—a chair, the bed, or the desk—and suggested they come out when they felt a little less anxious, maybe even with a hug. We’re all for warm embraces. As I softly closed the door, the edge of their argument seemed to dissolve. I could tell as the quietness turned into a soft conversation.  I envisioned their faces relaxing, and soothed by having this time to regroup and reset.

And then, the mood shifted. They soon reappeared, the room having transformed into a hub of youthful laughter and joyful shrieks. They quickly forgot whatever it was that was bothering them and eagerly discussed their next adventure—playing outdoors, building with Legos, or continuing their make-believe fashion show.

It was in that moment, amidst the simplicity of shared laughter and quiet connection, that the inklings of the Chair of Joy started to reveal themselves to me. We created a sanctuary, a place where tears could turn to laughter and despair could transform into hope. And in that room, surrounded by the boundless love of my children, I began to remember myself, and what joy felt like, I realized that the true essence of joy lies not in the absence of pain but in the ability to find light in the darkness, laughter in the tears, and connection in the chaos.

HOLIDAY GATHERINGS: A Feast of Connection

During holiday feasts with our extended families, where the scent of roasted turkey and pumpkin pie filled the air, something unspoken started to stitch our hearts closer. One Thanksgiving, as a young mom watching my family, including my brothers, growing older, I sparked a simple tradition around our crowded table. It was a glimpse of what would become even more research and groundbreaking work for the  Chair of Joy, of course,  its name had not yet been whispered into existence, yet

I asked everyone at the table to answer a question—anything from “What are you grateful for?” to “What’s your favorite Thanksgiving memory?” With each round of storytelling, the essence of fun, laughter, and adoration would weave through the conversations, enfolding us in a shared resemblance of love and kindness.

This newfound tradition unearthed heartfelt stories and forged connections strong enough to make the meals tastier and the games we played easier. Over the years, the anticipation for these question-and-answer sessions grew. People felt secure enough to answer even more questions, such as recent triumphs, their cherished vacations, and the projects filling them with pride.

As the evening wound down, with the pie reduced to crumbs and our hands wrapped around warm coffee cups, it became clear that this togetherness was the true spirit of Thanksgiving. More than just a feast for our bodies, it was a banquet for our souls. In this embrace of family and friendship, we discovered a feast of connection, the kind that feeds not just the stomach, but the heart. This was how the concept that would one day be known as the Chair of Joy subtly took root, showing me that people longed for joy and meaningful interaction, often without realizing it came through in just talking about the beautiful parts of their lives.

Real Estate Sales: The Power of Connection

When I transitioned into selling real estate, I discovered a natural aptitude for it, largely because I approached it differently. My success stemmed from allowing potential homebuyers to fully immerse themselves in the feelings and possibilities of being a new homeowner. This wasn’t just about transactions for me; it was about making dreams come true.

To achieve this, I developed a unique strategy: whenever clients came into my office, I would engage them in what appeared to be a casual conversation. It was a carefully crafted set of 20 questions. These weren’t just any questions; they were designed to go deep into what truly mattered to them—what sparked their joy, what they were passionate about, and what lit up their lives. Answers varied widely, from gardening dreams and aspirations of owning a workshop, to cherished family heirlooms like sewing machines, or passions like hockey, fishing, and more.

Armed with this insight, I tailored the home-buying experience to each client’s dreams and desires. As we viewed homes, I highlighted features that resonated with their passions, saying things like, “Imagine this space for your garden,” or “This workshop is perfect for your projects,” connecting their dreams to tangible aspects of the homes we visited.

This approach transformed the process into something deeply personal and fulfilling for both my clients and me. It wasn’t just about selling real estate; it was about using the power of connection to help people find their perfect home—a place where their passions could come to life, and where they could build their futures. This experience underscored the significance of understanding and valuing people’s stories and dreams, a theme that has been a constant throughout my career.

The Bar and Grill: A Haven of Connection

At Our Place, the bar and grill I owned, the concept of Chair of Joy started to unfold further, and it continued to gain traction in my heart and mind,, to unfold before my eyes. It was here, in this bustling hub of community and cheer, where solitary visitors arrived alone usually, soon joined in conversation and companionship. My intuition told me there was more to this than just the clink of glasses and casual banter. I aspired to transform these encounters into connections that went beyond the surface, creating a space where laughter and shared stories filled the room, not just the echo of drinks being served.

I wanted Our Place to be known not as a spot to escape life’s sorrows but a place to celebrate its joys. Strangers walked in and, through genuine smiles and meaningful conversations, left as friends, their laughter echoing down the street long after they’d left. It wasn’t just about service with a smile; it was about creating a sense of belonging and community. As evenings unfolded, the energy my staff and I began to light up the place—our patrons felt it, a tangible warmth, and all felt welcome.

Our bar wasn’t merely a venue; it embodied the essence of camaraderie and celebration. It was more than just a wooden floor, adorned with boots and Mardi Gras necklaces; it was a haven where memories came to life. People didn’t just sit idly on bar stools; they eagerly stepped onto the dance floor, joining in a collective rhythm. No one was left to linger alone; it was ‘our’ place, a sanctuary for all. Within its walls, emotions flowed freely, unfiltered and genuine. It was a place where the entire city seemed to converge, drawn by the promise of a cold beer or a hearty burger, and the chance to forge lasting memories.

Reflecting on this experience from the sidelines, I gradually realized the profound impact of joy and connection. Through witnessing friendships form and bonds strengthen within those walls, I unwittingly moved the concept of the Chair of Joy experience forward.

Women Celebrations: The Hula Hoop

After passing on the leadership of Our Place, I ventured into a new endeavor, establishing Women’s Celebration in Florida. This transition to the East Coast carried hopes for a smoother path and brighter outcomes. Stepping away from the shadows of my past, I sought genuine connections and meaningful conversations. Women’s Celebration evolved beyond a simple gathering, blossoming into a dynamic movement, accompanied by a magazine celebrating individual stories. At the heart of Women’s Celebration, where dreams found nourishment, the seeds of the Chair of Joy concept continued to flourish, fueled by the unity and empowerment experienced among us.

I invited women to come forth and share their narratives of success and struggle with raw courage. Encircled by a supportive community, they spoke their truth. 

Laughter rang out, pure and heartfelt, and tears flowed, marking moments of healing and connection. As each woman revealed her dreams, the threads of sisterhood tightened, interlacing resilience and boldness into their professional and entrepreneurial pursuits. This was the first venture where I truly felt like my authentic self, able to celebrate that authenticity openly and try new things.

The hula hoop entered as a playful yet poignant symbol. It was personal, a nod to family joy, and a craft I enjoyed. It represented the circle of life, unity, and celebration—a fitting emblem for what I was building. In our meetings at Carrabas in St. Augustine, Florida, I observed the dynamic growth from one chapter to seven. As the numbers swelled, I recognized the need for structure, albeit reluctantly.

To balance personal sharing with the collective experience, I introduced some guidelines for the use of the hula hoop. Participants, men and women alike, would step inside the hoop at the front of the room to share something celebratory. This act, simple yet profound, broke many a comfort zone, especially for newcomers contemplating their turn inside the hoop with a microphone in hand. It was a leap into vulnerability, a dance of joy without the need for alcohol, that brought us closer.

That experience, facilitating people to step into a circle in the front of the room was able to voice their celebrations, truly their” joy” which I did not call it at the time, was shocking, eye-opening and so much fun. The friendships formed in that space, within the confines of that hoop, have endured for two decades. Looking back, it’s clear to me now how all these moments were stepping stones toward the Chair of Joy, teaching me the power of community and the beauty of shared joy and so much love.

The Quest for Joy

My journey began with a strong but unclear goal: to find the pure joy of my early childhood again. This joy was lost when a baseball thrown by my brother accidentally hit me, changing how I saw myself and making me feel outcast and disconnected. This feeling, I realized, was something many people experienced due to their traumas. My goal was to rediscover the carefree girl I knew was still inside me.

Through initiatives like Our Place and Women Celebrations, I continued my journey, even though I wasn’t sure who I was, what I was doing, or where I was going. I found my strength in helping others realize their potential by promoting authenticity and vulnerability. It seems that you often teach what you need to learn the most. I had built walls around myself, rarely letting anyone in and believing I could do everything on my own.

My search for understanding led me to spend a lot of time on David Hawkins’s work in his book “Power vs. Force.” His research showed that joy comes from unconditional love and that joy, unlike happiness, is a state of being we can always return to. Hawkins used muscle testing to measure spiritual states, assigning values from 1 to 1000 on a logarithmic scale. According to him, states above 200 are positive, while those below 200 are negative.

Love, which Hawkins places at 500, is nearly unconditional and comes from the heart chakra, characterized by forgiveness, nurturing, and support. Joy, at 540, is a higher level of consciousness where love becomes an inner joy present in every moment of life. This taught me that to experience joy, I needed to learn how to love, which involves:

  • Seeing vulnerability as a strength.
  • Forgiving oneself and others to let go of past hurts.
  • Focusing on a heart-centered approach to life, giving and receiving love freely.

This realization clarified my path. I wanted not only to find this joy for myself but also to help others find it. The idea of making this my full-time job was exciting and a bit idealistic reminded me of the saying “Do what you love, and the money will follow.”

Helping others became more than just personal growth; it was my purpose. I could see the need for it in the tired eyes of overworked parents, in teenagers seeking adventure, in the measured steps of seniors, and in the interactions of families at the park. My journey, defined by personal change and a commitment to helping others know joy, had become my work, challenging but incredibly rewarding.

Journey from East to West: Discovering Joy

As fate would have it, an opportunity on the West Coast presented itself, leading us to relocate our family once more. Amidst this new setting, driven by the desire to engage in work that was both fulfilling and aligned with my strengths, I pursued three distinct ventures.

First came Spirit Connections, a collaboration with my husband Mike that marked our entry into the food and beverage industry. Through pitching our products to Whole Foods and engaging with others at trade shows, I sought to go beyond the surface. I aimed to unearth the sparks of joy within people, propelled by a deep-seated curiosity about what motivates us collectively.

Next, I ventured into Beautiful Life Productions, exploring the emerging realm of video storytelling. This venture presented the unique challenge of encouraging individuals to reveal their true selves on camera. I did not realize it at the time, but I was confronting the fears and reservations of those I worked with, many of whom were hesitant to be seen and heard. This resistance fueled my resolve to overcome these obstacles and explore themes of fear, doubt, self-acceptance, and self-worth, beginning with myself and, hopefully, extending to others in the future.

Lastly, I founded Green Light Networking, an initiative aimed at fostering a sense of community reminiscent of my previous endeavors. Our networking events kicked off with participants forming a circle— an unintentional foreshadowing of the Chair of Joy—where attendees could introduce themselves, share a snippet of their story, and engage in simple acts of sharing, like naming their favorite beach. These circles, facilitated by the heart-beating experience of sharing a microphone, were designed to cultivate an environment of acceptance and celebration with a tinge of breaking out of the mundane.

As the network grew, the challenge lay in preserving the circle’s intimate nature. The goal transcended mere business exchanges; it was about creating meaningful connections. Each exchange, each shared moment of understanding, underscored the essence of equality.

Throughout these ventures, the concept of the Chair of Joy was gradually taking form within me, emerging as a symbol of the importance of truly seeing and listening to others, honoring their stories, and celebrating our collective pursuit of joy. This evolution underscored the transformative power of shared experiences, the value of storytelling, and the profound impact of embracing vulnerability and connection.

South Lake Tahoe: The Green Apron and the Tahoe Tribe

After the vibrant experiences on the West Coast, a northern call beckoned me toward a simpler life. My journey brought me, and my family, to the scenic tranquility of South Lake Tahoe. We were ready to ease off the gas pedal, recognizing it wasn’t our sole duty to mend the fabric of the world. With our children and businesses blossoming in their own directions, we sought a place to root ourselves, to be part of a community. That’s when The Green Apron emerged, quite by chance.

Leaving the bustle of Orange County behind, at the age of 50, I traversed America, winding up in Tahoe, a place that felt like it could be our final stop. Here, amongst the pine giants and roaming bears—oh, the bears!—life took on a different pace. Our home, nestled among nature’s giants with sugar pine cones the size of footballs, offered us sleds for the snow and a kitchen that begged to host gatherings. It was time to make connections, to expand our circle of close friends..

The Green Apron started with a desire to know and be known in this forever community. The premise was simple: find a willing chef to craft a dish that was new, enjoyable, and visually appealing. If all boxes were ticked, applause ensued, along with the gift of a special white embroidered Green Apron, echoing the prestige of the Masters’ Golf green jacket. To my delight, the concept was a hit—starting with reluctance, soon there was a waiting list of chefs eager to showcase their skills.

These culinary nights blossomed into evenings filled with music, stories, and laughter, with everyone playing their part, from bringing a dish to helping with cleanup. 

From the heart of these gatherings, The Tahoe Tribe was born—a group of women bound by shared adventures across Tahoe’s mountains and lakes, celebrating life’s moments with midnight kayaks, moon circles, and the warmth of fireside camaraderie.

Reflecting on my journey to Tahoe, I recognize that joy, as constant and grand as the pines around us, was an ever-present companion, a vital essence to be cultivated, not a hidden gem to be excavated. In this scenic enclave, what would become the Chair of Joy was taking shape, not visible but present in everything we did. It was the pulse beneath every decision I made and mirrored in our collective activities. As each chef took their turn at the stove, the concept evolved. I would coax them out, bolster their confidence, and share in the delight of crafting a dish. Soon enough, we had a lineup of chefs eager for their moment. The draw here wasn’t a hula hoop or a networking circle or camera lens but an invitation to step forward and share their craft, to be emboldened by the group’s energy.

I learned that the invitation was everything, people wanted to be invited to joy, almost to gain permission to feel so profoundly, to engage in a shared experience.

This was my revelation: with the right encouragement to join the fold, people would not only show up, they would shine. They’d tap into the room’s vibrant rhythm and, through a kind of social osmosis, discover that they had access to their own joy. The bonds formed—strumming through the chords of shared tunes and the heartbeats of a community coming together—wove a resilient web of connection. From Friendsgiving for the lonely to spontaneous snow day sledding, we built a patchwork of experiences that endured as people drifted in and out of our lives, each leaving an imprint on my heart.

Through these moments in Tahoe, I was piecing together the elements of joy, each gathering a page in the story I was composing—a narrative rich with the learning that would illuminate the path to joy not only for myself but for others as well.

As I prepare to return to Tahoe, now as the Founder and Visionary of the Chair of Joy Experience and JOYELY, where I once guided skiers down slopes as Heavenly Resort Instructor, I’m eager to reunite with my tribe, to reconnect with the energy that flows through this magical place. As I gear up to test the slopes again, I’m reminded of the power of these experiences, of the importance of community, and of the joy that so stubbornly clings to the core of my being, shaping my life in the most unexpected and beautiful ways.

JOYELY and The Chair of Joy™ Experience:

The Chair of Joy™ Experience and JOYELY have become the heart of a narrative steeped in gratitude and life-changing transformations—a narrative woven by the countless souls who’ve crossed my path, allowing me to hear their hearts and share in their joy. This thread of joy has run through my life like a relentless pulse, an inner knowing that joy is always at hand, ready to be embraced because it resides within us—it is never lost.

The concept of the Chair of Joy, a relentless companion in its own right, wouldn’t release its hold on me—and for that, I am thankful. It has turned the tools of our past into treasures for today, making the practice of finding one’s personal joy accessible anytime, anywhere. This steadfast companion guides us to live JOYELY ever after.

Now, when I inquire about someone’s well-being and hear, “I am Living JOYELY,” it’s a testament to our shared potential for infinite growth. The simple yet profound connections made, the laughter, and the bonds—the essence of joy—have cultivated a global community where the Chair of Joy is a cherished emblem of celebration and passionate life. In this realm, joy is understood as a sustainable state of being, a constant undercurrent in our lives, whereas happiness, though delightful, is often a fleeting visitor.

JOYELY stands as a testament to this transformative journey, urging us all to embrace joy and cultivate lives filled with well-being, purpose, and satisfaction. This movement intertwines vision, leadership, analytics, operations, outreach, and well-being into comprehensive programs and retreats, charting a path for individuals and organizations to LIVE JOYELY ever after. Joy is not fleeting but a state of being, allowing us to navigate all emotions—fear becomes a stepping stone to enter the hula hoop, and through it, we rise and process emotions like grief, anger, worry, and sadness. We embody the resilient spirit of “RISE.”

The white throne baroque chair, acquired in Las Vegas in early 2020, captured the moments that have sculpted this journey—it stands as an icon of peace, community, and the courage to be open and vulnerable. It signals the dawn of a deeper communion and unity.

Summary:

Now, in early 2024, JOYELY headquarters lights shine bright, offices in our home, propelled by over 50 Ambassadors, each filled with their missions of hope, we are united by hope and adventure.  All of us Ambassadors enthusiastically are living JOYELY and invite others to join our fun.

The Chair of Joy™ Experience extends its reach, permeating environments from educational settings to corporate spaces, medical centers to living rooms, enveloping whole communities with its warm embrace. 

JOYELY, a concept that traces it’s roots back to the days of the giggle room with my young children, has transcended the bounds of my own family, local businesses, friendly gatherings, and culinary circles. Today, it echoes across nations, touching many lives, and guiding us toward a world where joy is not just an occasional guest but a foundational element of our very being.

The four-step Chair of Joy™ Experience—Sit, Breathe, Think, and Feel—captures the accumulated wisdom of the decades, inviting us to pause, connect, and embrace the joy ever-present within our grasp. This simple yet profound practice shows us the magnificence of joy, becoming part of our daily life, urging us to celebrate each moment and anticipate the future as we have dreamt it to be. 

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