The Spirit of Joanna

Hau‘oli la hanau ”“ Happy Birthday to my friend and spirit spiller Joanna Young today, for as I post this it is already April 5th in her part of the world, beautiful Scotland, a place I am determined to visit one day so I may give Joanna all the hugs she deserves for the joy she has given to me — I may never let the poor woman go!

The Spirit of Joanna

on Flickr

When I looked through my not-yet-published photos for one I could gift Joanna, this perfect-for-April glory seemed to jump out at me, and I instantly knew she was the one to help us greet this special day. I did not look any further.

Her center is deep and resonantly rich, seemingly without a bottom, yet we know the flower’s center has found the right sweet spot from which to push through with heart and courage. So confident is this center that vibrant washes of color spill up to the edges and play. This is so very Joanna, with the way she connects to her sense of place and inner spirit so joyfully!

Glory’s outer petals are bright white with the clarity of detail and strength, yet they are soft and gentle too, and not so bright that we back a bit away. Those petals are like the coaching encouragements Joanna so naturally gives to us consistently and generously: We then will come to our own clarity as well, but with her invitations a like-white canvas for our own personalities to shine through.

Do take some time to visit Joanna today if you have not yet met (her site, her JJL index of community contributions, and Joanna on Twitter). Introduce yourself here with a birthday greeting. Joanna is my friend, yes, but she is also an exceptional leader in our Ho‘ohana Community, and we Ho‘ohana together: She will want to meet you too.

Hau‘oli la hanau Joanna, you are my spirit spiller and my ‘Ohana.
~ Rosa


Postscript: This was the day I met Joanna. She commented for me on a post which had been comfortably resting in my Talking Story archives for over a year. I think it was waiting for her :) When you look to your source, the spirit spilling happens so easily! My MWAC birthday post for Joanna last year merely hints to what Joanna has given to me and hence to our community.

About Birthday celebrations: Keith is right, and lucky me, you know it too


  1. says

    Wishing you the happiest of birthdays, Joanna! You have enriched the lives of so many people with your wonderful words of writing wisdom! I wish you a glorius day!

  2. says

    Happy Birthday to You, Happy Birthday to You, Happy Birthday dear Joanna, Happy Birthday to Youuuuu….
    Hmm… glad there is no voice on this blog or you’d all be cringing :)
    Huge hugs to a woman who has the heart of an angel and a soul full of generosity. I am proud to call you my friend.
    And a big thank you to Rosa for this gorgeous post… I am so blessed to have you and Joanna in my circle of friends.

  3. says

    Happy, happy birthday, Joanna! May your year be blessed at least as much as your presence blesses the lives of all you touch.

  4. says

    Rosa, yes it is bright and early on the 5th April in Scotland and I think I must have heard your voice, calling me across the oceans, and waking me to come and find you here.
    Looking to the source is my bedrock and inspiration, it fills me with joy that I know won’t run out… and helps me find friends and fellow travellers and explorers who I now count as one of my biggest blessings in life.
    Over the last week or so I have been talking excitedly to offline friends about you and so many others in my online community, and realise how much you have all come to mean to me, and how much you have enriched my life.
    You in particular Rosa, and come to Scotland any time you can, please!
    Thank you for inviting your friends to join me here too, that is so lovely!
    Nanette, thank you for those greetings, and I hope to connect up with you soon
    Ruth, thank you, with a start like this I’m pretty sure it’s going to be magical :-)
    Karen my friend, keep singing away! Thank you x
    Linda, thanks :-) See you on twitter soon
    Uma, thank you, so much fun to get to know new friends through Rosa like this.

  5. says

    Joanna – I wish you a very happy birthday!
    “Because time itself is like a spiral, something special happens on your birthday each year: The same energy that God invested in you at birth is present once again.”
    ~Menachem Mendel Schneerson
    Revel in your day.

  6. says

    You are truly an inspiration… A spirit who has touched so many people with your words. Even though we’ve never met in person, I feel your bright light shining in my corner of the world!
    Happy Birthday!

  7. says

    Joanna, thanks for the way you inspire us all — and hope robust inspiration hops back full circle to lead your charge for another year! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

  8. says

    Dwayne, what a fabulous quote, thank you. Time like a spiral… that’s so interesting. My grandmother was always trying to persuade us that time was a spiral rather than linear… it does make sense of a lot of otherways inexplicable things. I will indeed revel in my day. It’s been a wonderful start.
    Maria, what can I say… thank you. I hope we get to meet some day
    Ellen, I’m loving this concept of spiralling time and circling inspiration… and yes it is, all circling back and feeding me. Thank you :-)

  9. says

    Happy Birthday my wonderful friend!
    I’m struggling to express just how much your friendship means to me. Suffice it to say that your presence makes my world a brighter, happier place. You shine your light so readily, and I for one love to bask in the glow.
    Wishing you a truly incredible year ahead in which your wildest dreams are surpassed and your days are filled with joy, love and sparkles.
    Happy Birthday Joanna

  10. says

    Happy Birthday, Joanna!
    It is a bit late, I know, but it comes from the bottom of my heart. You are such a kind and welcoming woman, and without your support I would not stand where I stand now. I wish you all the best for the year ahead – for your publishing plans, for your blog – which I always give as an example when people are asking me about what blogs are for.
    Happy Birthday Joanna,

  11. says

    Hi Joanna, Happy birthday! You are a real friend, an inspiration, and you put a little bit of sunshine into our day – just about every day nowadays thanks to Twitter and such. I hope all your birthday wishes come true today and every day. Hugs, Brad

  12. says

    Rosa, your opening line captures it so beautifully and I am proud to know and love you two spirit spillers!
    Dearest Joanna, Happy Birthday! Your light truly does shine through the grey clouds of Scotland across the sea to friends and fans around the world. You radiate hope and draw us all in with the warm glow of friendship. Today, I truly celebrate you. I hope that your every desire comes true today and every day.
    Lots of love, Karen xo

  13. says

    Happy Birthday Johanna,
    All the on this page doesn’t begin show your impact on the world. Everyone of us has been changed, molded, and made better by knowing you. I feel your thoughts in the words you write when sneak over to read them and carry them with me for day like a light.
    Thank you, you are the gift your birthday represents.
    All the love I can gather for you gets bigger every minute.

  14. says

    Happy Birthday Joanna!
    You have made a difference in my life. Please note the blank space above. This represents the invisible wave length that we both share.

  15. says

    Happy Birthday, Joanna! You certainly touch many people, move many lives in a more positive direction.
    I’ll come by in a couple of months and deliver your many, many birthday hugs from US friends.

  16. says

    How could I not wish a stupendous Happy Birthday to my favorite red-headed Scottish lass? You’ve been the source of so many inspirations, for me, and for so many others I know (and for many I don’t know too, I’ll bet!)
    May your day be filled with good cheer and joy, Joanna! And of course, a big ol’ tip o’ the hat to ya!

  17. says

    Happy Birthday my friend! You give so much to the world. We all benefit from your writing, your passion, and your encouraging words. I am sending you very happy thoughts and wishes for you on this special day! Enjoy!

  18. says

    Rosa, what a beautiful tribute for a friend on her birthday!
    Joanna, Many Happy Returns on your Birthday the very Best of Wishes for the year ahead :)
    All my best to you both,

  19. says

    Oh my goodness, what a feast of friendship you’ve laid out for me at the end of the day!
    Thank you everyone :-)
    @Amy, me too, you know that. I’ve had a sparkly day, so why not make it a whole year’s worth? ;-)
    @Ulla, I don’t recognise the word late in relation to blog conversations, especially not words like this. Thank you so much. What you’ve shared here means a great deal to me.
    @Jamie, what a great compliment! I am very proud of my blog… and grateful every day for the community of funny, creative, interesting, big-hearted people it’s allowed me to meet. Your good self included :-)
    @Brad, thanks – isn’t it it wonderful to be able to communicate most every day? Made all the easier having had the time first to sit and have a beer with you in a pub in Geneva. That was one of the stellar highlights of the last year. We’ll do it again before too long.

  20. says

    @Karen, thanks petal. How is it possible that we haven’t met? We are soul sisters for sure. Thanks for your love and friendship today and everyday :-)
    @Liz, thank you. I know I don’t get over to you so much nowadays either… but I like the fact you know I’m still there, and notice the things that you write direct to me ;-) I’m watching where those conversations go to Liz, all the way…
    @dave, okay, so you win the prize for making me cry. Guess you’ll understand why ;-)
    @Becky, we are going to have so much fun having a mini-SobCon in Scotland! Can’t wait to see you
    @Robert, thank you, for the friendship you’ve shared with me throughout the last year…You make so many of us smile more broadly… thanks :-)
    @Terry, you bet:-) Sorry I’m not seeing you again in May… but maybe next year…
    @Angela, thank you! Knowing so many interesting and creative people makes me want to keep shining as brightly as I can… isn’t it wonderful how we feed off and refuel each other?
    @Anne, thank you for the greetings, and sunshine too!
    @Paul, thanks :-) I’m very glad that I’ve got to know you through Rosa, I think we have much to learn from and teach each other

  21. Jeanne Male says

    Happy, happy belated birthday, Joanna!
    I have come to know you through Karen Swim, and your posts, of course, and I’m quickly becoming a fan.
    I was just saying that I have a great affinity for those born in April and hah…our birthdays are only a day or two apart.
    While you’re the real writer, I’m an accidental author (of over 40 pharmaceutical and sales articles) and the proud mom of Redbook’s (US magazine) online editor, so maybe there’s something in the blood, eh?
    Wishing you many blessings for your next year of the great adventure!
    Smiles across the miles and the pond!
    Jeanne Male

  22. says

    Jeanne, hello, and thanks so much for saying hi and happy birthday! Happy birthday to you too :-)
    I never really think of myself as a writer… my fun is in finding the words to help others believe that they are. Even if they’re only accidental authors;-)
    Best wishes

  23. says

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