Joyful News is a set of stories I’ve gathered from around the world that spark joy. In this episode I share these joyful news stories:
- Thank you! This podcast has had almost 500 visits in its first 4 weeks!
- Things to Look Forward to: 52 Large and Small Joys For Today and Every Day by Sophie Blackall (book recommendation)
- The Joy Workout
- A Self-love meditation
- La Mia Mamma (London restaurant recommendation)
- CNN Travel’s Unlocking Italy newsletter
Hi, friends. It’s Christa and I’m back with another episode of joyful news, a collection of news stories from around the world that sparked joy.
I’m so happy you’re here. I’m so happy I’m here. I’m so glad we have this time together. The world’s been especially heavy these last few weeks. I’m keeping people close to my heart, donating to nonprofits, and writing to my government representatives. It’s my hope that these dark times can be transformed into progress toward a kinder, safer, and healthier world for all beings. I’m certainly focused on doing whatever I can to make that possible. And this podcast is one of my contributions to lift our spirits, so we can keep going and doing the work we all need to do.
Thank you – this podcast has had almost 500 visits in its first 4 weeks!
First up, I just have to give all of you a huge thank you. I am stunned and delighted that this podcast has over 500 visits for weeks after launch. I never imagined that that would happen. Thank you so much to all of you who’ve tuned in to get some more joy in your lives. And to all of our wonderful guests. I found a lot of joy creating this podcast and I’m so grateful that you’re here with me.
Things to Look Forward to: 52 Large and Small Joys For Today and Every Day by Sophie Blackall
I love to share books with people. And a few weeks ago, I received the book Things to Look Forward to: 52 Large and Small Joys For Today and Every Day by Sophie Blackall. Ashley Semrick, a dear friend of mine and the first guest on the JoyProject podcast who did The Joy of Old Things episode, sent it to me If you haven’t listened to that episode with Ashley, please check it out. Ashley gave me this book to celebrate the launch of this podcast. Thank you so much, Ashley! It’s a beautiful collection of reminders of how much beauty there is in the world to look forward to and to celebrate. It’s also filled with really sweet drawings and illustrations by Sophie Blackall. If you need a boost, this book’s for you. It’s also something I think that’s really great to read with your kids at night, so that they can see how much beauty there is in the world and find little things and big things that they look forward to.
The Joy Workout
I wanted to share a really exciting milestone with you. May 25th marked my one-year anniversary since the end of active cancer treatment, and I am feeling great. Thank you so much to everybody who sent me words of encouragement, who showed up to support me in a million different ways. I could never have gotten to this point without you. I’m so grateful for my health and I’m so grateful to be here.
And this year, I’ve made getting back in shape a priority. Cancer treatment really takes a toll on your body and on your mind and your emotions and your spirit. And I really wanted to get myself back in shape holistically.
So I was really excited to hear about something called The Joy Workout. You heard of this? It’s really fun and I wanted to share it with you. It’s made up of six research-backed moves to boost your mood in a fun eight and a half minute workout. A great way to start the day, to give yourself a little midday pick me up, and it’s also something great to do at night. The moves are easy, and they can be done on your own, with friends, or with your family members of all ages. I gave it a try. And I have to say I really did feel more joy when I was done.
It’s put together by Dr. Kelly McGonigal, a health psychologist and lecturer at Stanford University. She put it together for the New York Times. The link to it is on the website for this podcast. Go ahead and give it a try. Let me know what you think. Let me know if it did bring you more joy. And if you felt better after you finished the workout.
Another thing that I do every day to start my day and to end my day is to meditate. And it really puts me in a very healthy frame of mind. One meditation I’ve really been into lately is called a self-love meditation. I used to teach yoga and meditation a long time ago. And I wanted to offer this up to you if you’re feeling the need to add something to your self-care routine. It’s very similar to a body scan meditation. So if any of you have ever done something like that, this will be really familiar to you.
So go ahead and get comfortable. Maybe that means sitting in a chair, sitting on your couch, could be sitting cross-legged on your yoga mat, could be lying down on the floor, lying down on the bed or the couch. Whatever really puts your body and mind at ease. Go ahead and find that position for you. It’s different for each of us and it’s different every single day. Someday you may feel great sitting up, some days you may want to lie down. Whatever works for you. Go ahead and do it.
Once you’re in that comfortable space, take a big breath in through your nose and then exhale through your mouth.
One more time, big inhale through the nose, full exhale through the mouth. I’ll walk you all the way through it so you don’t have to think about anything. Just follow my lead.
I want you to say to yourself:
- I love my brain for my imagination, creativity, and how it helps me do everything I need to do to manage my days.
- I love my eyes and ears for how they help me experience the beauty and joy of the world around me.
- I love my lips and jaw because they help me speak my truth.
- I love my neck, shoulders, arms and hands because they help me make and create.
- I love my chest and heart for the love they hold.
- I love my stomach for the nourishment it helps me to receive.
- I love my hips, my butt, my legs, and my feet because they helped me explore the world around me.
- I love.
- I am loved.
- I am worthy of love.
- I am love.
Take this meditation with you.
Do it anywhere and everywhere you need it.
Go enjoy your life and love out loud.
La Mia Mamma
Over Memorial Day weekend, I spent time with friends just outside of Philly. And this group of friends gets together a few times a year with a big Italian family style dinner. So when I read about this next story, it really spoke to me and I wanted to share it with you.
It’s from CNN. I’m gonna go ahead and read you an excerpt from the story. I’ll put the link to the full story in the show notes on the website.
“Like many Italians living abroad, Pepe Corsaro missed his mother’s cooking. Born in Sicily, he moved to London when he was 16 and soon started yearning for his home flavors and traditions, especially the bustling Sunday lunch when mothers and grandmothers cooked timeless favorites for an open air marathon feast that could easily spill into the evening hours.
After he built up a career in the restaurant business, Corsaro was enjoying a night out with friends. One jokingly suggested he should bring over his mother to cook. He took the suggestion seriously.
“I said to myself, why not? So I called my mom and I asked her. She said, I’ll come tomorrow.”
That’s how La Mia Mamma began.
The eatery launched as a pop up in 2018 before growing to today’s pair of restaurants and a deli.
The premise is pretty simple: real Italian mothers and grandmothers are recruited from one of Italy’s 20 regions. Then they move to London for a three-month residency, showcasing their own traditional recipes based around their local cuisine before handing over the chef’s hat to a new brigade of Mammas from a different region.
It’s an interesting setup because food in Italy varies widely depending on geography. Their presence is not limited to the menu. The kitchens are visible from the street so passersby can catch a glimpse of the mammas at work, and they’re happy to mingle with patrons.
“You see them everywhere. They’re always around making people try whatever they’ve been cooking. They will even dance with the guests,” said Corsaro.
I’m really excited to check out La Mia Mamma when I’m in London in September to start my graduate school program. I can’t wait to see what they’ve created. And I can’t wait to hug those mamas.
CNN Travel’s Unlocking Italy newsletter
If you’re interested in Italy the way that I am, CNN Travel also has a free Unlocking Italy newsletter. It’s an eight-part series with a bonus finale to add a slice of Dolce Vita to your weekends. Get inside intel on Italy’s best destinations and follow their guidance to the lesser known regions to plan your ultimate Italy trip. Plus they’ll get you in the mood before you go with movie suggestions, reading lists, and recipes from the wonderful Stanley Tucci.
All the links to these stories and the resources from them are on the website ChristaAvampato.com/joyproject. Just go to the joyful news episode for May 31, 2022 and you’ll find it all there along with the transcript of this episode.
That’s joyful news for this week. I hope these stories brought a smile to your face. Take care of you take care of those you love. I’ll be thinking of you and beaming love and light your way. I’ll be back in two weeks on Tuesday, June 14, with another interview episode and another episode of joyful news.
Until then, let me know how you’re doing. Reach out to me on Twitter at @ChristaNYC, on Instagram at @ChristaRoseNYC, and on the website for this podcast ChristaAvampato.com/joyproject.
Have a joyful week and I’ll talk to you soon!