The Lighter Side of Transformation

with Lisa Wessan, LICSW

The difference between a flower and a weed is a judgment. ~ Unknown

During my morning hike I came across this beautiful field of dandelions…

Weeds or flowers?

I choose flowers💕

The Dandelion Story

A man bought a new house and decided that he was going to have a very beautiful lawn.  He worked on it every week, doing everything the gardening books told him to do. His biggest problem was that the lawn always seemed to have dandelions growing where he didn’t want them.  The first time he found dandelions, he pulled them out. But, alas, they grew back. He went to his local gardening store and bought weed killer. This worked for some time, but after summer rains, alas, he found dandelions again.  He worked and pulled and killed dandelions all summer. The next summer he thought he would have no dandelions at all, since none grew over winter. But, then, all of a sudden, he had dandelions all over again. This time he decided the problem was with the type of grass.  So, he spent a fortune and had all new sod put down. This worked for some time and he was very happy. Just as he started to relax, a dandelion came up. A friend told him it was due to the dandelions in the lawns of his neighbors. So he went on a campaign to get all his neighbors to kill all their dandelions.  By the third year, he was exasperated. He still had dandelions. So, after consulting every local expert and garden book, he decided to write the U.S. Department of Agriculture for advice. Surely the government could help. After waiting several months, he finally got a letter back. He was so excited. Help at last! He tore open the letter and read the following:  

“Dear Sir: We have considered your problem and have consulted all of our experts. After careful consideration, we think we can give you very good advice. Sir, our advice is that you learn to love those dandelions.”[De Mellow, A. (1984). The song of the bird. New York: Image Books.]

This is a story about Radical Acceptance, and learning to accept the things we cannot change. Radical Acceptance is a lifelong process that you experience each day, in many opportunities and forms. Notice all the dandelions in your life. Some might be close family and friends, others might be strangers. Most important, do not judge your judging – just observe and let it go🌟

1 Comment »

High foliage in Massachusetts

Love this video….<a href="http://“>scenes of New England with Cheryl Wheeler’s music.

Leave a comment »

Laughing with the joys and troubles of life leads to growth…

Reporter Julia Gavin did a very nice job on this article, with special features, one case study and more….thank you Julia!


Gavin,. J. (2010). Laughing with the Joys and Troubles of Life Leads to Growth 
The Chelmsford Patch.



1 Comment »

What is Mirth?

Mirth is God’s medicine. Everybody ought to bathe in it. ― Henry Ward Beecher

When I started to be known as the “Mirth Maven,” some people would hear the term and say, “What is mirth?” and “What is maven?” Let’s start with mirth…

Dictionary definitions for mirth include: hilarity, great merriment, gaiety accompanied with laughter; jollity; to express mirth = produce laughter.

I have come to understand that my JOB (JOY OF BEING) is to help people get in touch with their inner joy vibration, which inevitably leads to laughter. Conversely, laughter leads to entering the realm of the joy vibration.

No matter how sad, depressed, angry, frustrated and in despair you are, having a simulated laughter experience — which becomes stimulated and real in the process — can help raise your energy and vibrational attunement to a higher level. Give it a try — you have nothing to lose but your misery!

© 2010 by Lisa Wessan. All rights reserved.

Leave a comment »


Imagine my surprise when I was decluttering some ancient papers from B.C. (before Chelmsford) this morning… and what turns up in the paper casket? A quote from a 2001 interview with Julia Childs, co-author of Mastering the Art of French Cooking, “You should not be engaged in anything that doesn’t make you absolutely tremble with joy.” (Time Out New York, April 19, 2001, p. 176).

Bravo, Julia! To answer my question, “What is joy?” Julia is reminding me that if I follow my bliss, follow my most joyful attractions, and do what I love, I will never have to work another day in my life!

What about trembling? Thank you Julia for reminding me that trembling is good… First, it’s normal to want to be passionate about one’s work. Second, a little shaking and being wobbly, perhaps being out of my comfort zone, is often when the joy slips in after the challenge is completed. Living on the razor’s edge between fear and excitement can certainly lead to more joy in living.

I am reminded of my first tango lesson with my husband. We were both nervous… understandably so, being in a new environment with mostly slender, chic, graceful people around us. We were the only two chubbettes on the dance floor. But I felt proud that we were pursuing our joy regardless of our plus-sized bodies. Turns out, we love to tango, and we’re pretty good at it too. The initial trembling and excitement has blossomed into one of our sexy and fulfilling shared pastimes.

Whenever we take a new tango class, we may revisit our initial trembling – on the mild side – because we never know if the teacher will be good, non-judgmental, patient with beginners and so on. But therein lies the excitement of life, in not knowing… wouldn’t it be truly dull to know it all ahead of time?

What will happen in 2010? Where will we go? Who will we meet? How many creative new ways will we find to express our love? Will we learn to deeply forgive, accept and move on quicker in 2010? Will we finally clean out our basements, attics, closets and drawers?  Will we hit that high note in our career? Therein lies the excitement – in NOT KNOWING.

One of my favorite teachers once said, “True Mastery is learning to live in ambiguity with JOY!” When I first heard that in my early twenties, I was crushed – it seemed impossible for me at the time. Yet I have always held that up as a goal, to be able to live in the ambiguity, the paradox, the incongruity, with a more positive mindset, or at least be able to laugh at the absurdity of it all. What a concept! I continue to practice this one, perhaps for lifetimes… OY!… the fun never ends.

What do you think?

©2009 by Lisa Wessan. All rights reserved.

1 Comment »

Joy is a Groove

So I have been wondering this week — in the height of the holiday frenzy –“What is JOY? What is this all about, really?”  After receiving at least a dozen holiday cards with JOY boldly printed in on them, I was feeling quite provoked to know more.  For today, I am looking beyond  Psalm 126:5 and John 15:11, for as much as I love those scriptures, there  is  more to explore concerning joy.

I wrote a few words about this here on 12/21/09, and then two days later I just happened to come across this beautiful and astute description of joy — totally by “accident,” I was not in research mode at all. This is just more evidence of the not so hidden nature of the Universe, this thing we poetically call synchronicity…those  amazing coincidences that occur regularly.

The surprise came in from left field…my husband and I were at the Lyric Stage in Boston the other night to see a play. We had arrived early, so I picked up some of the free local cultural periodicals that were available. One of them was Boston Seniority (Nov. 2009, Vol. 33, Issue 8).   In an article entitled “The Pursuit of Joy,”  Cassandra Baptista, an Emerson student, described an unlikely meeting she had with Clarence Washington, 74. 

While they sit on a park bench at the Kelleher Rose Garden in the Back Bay, Washington shares his colorful adventures and  highlights some of his bizarre career choices, a truly exhilarating zig zag of living, and finishes with his spontaneous definition of joy:

“I don’t know what my life was about,”
Washington said, “but I know this much:
joy is the one thing we are all searching
for. Joy is a groove. Joy moves and expands
like heat. You have to replenish
it. Joy is it. Whatever you’re doing, ask
yourself, ‘Are you having a good time?’ If
you have joy, nothing will ever be against

I read this and smiled to myself…I loved Washington’s description of joy. “Joy is a groove…”   Yes, joy is a vibrational frequency…we are either in the joy vibration or  not.  It is my personal and professional goal to spend more time in the joy vibration and help others get there and stay there, too.

Plus,  the Universe is clearly listening to my thoughts…offering up great answers to my queries. How good is that? More fingerprints of God, the Oneness, or as I liked to think, JOY = Just One You!

What does joy mean to you?  I’d love to hear…’tis the season to share your joy…do tell! This is clearly the topic du jour…

©2009 by Lisa Wessan. All rights reserved.


What is Joy?

We’re in the season of JOY…

What is the difference between joy and happiness?

Happiness comes from the root, ‘to happen,’ and reflects the idea that when good things happen, we are happy — and when bad things happen, we are not happy. So this experience of happiness is driven by external events, which are, for the most part, out of our control (with all due respect to the Law of Attraction and the Power of Intention, which do remain operative here…we’ll formerly explore the paradox of free will vs. destiny another day).

Is the pursuit of happiness kind of silly? Are we foolishly trying again and again to get juiced from the ephemeral effects of our lives? New job – happy, scratch important CD – unhappy, new shoes – happy, tear pantyhose – unhappy, no traffic – happy, heavy traffic – unhappy, sunny weather – happy, heavy storms – unhappy, friend calls on time – happy, friend is late – unhappy, good dinner out – happy, unpleasant meal out – unhappy, father alcoholic – unhappy, father gets sober – happy, invited to party – happy, not invited to party – unhappy, good gift – happy, lousy gift – unhappy…Doesn’t this search for happiness merely become a chase after the total control of life? We want what we want when we want it…and then if we get it we are happy…otherwise…watch out! Here comes the complaining…

Joy comes from a state of mind that knows a few things, with an unconditional optimism and anticipation of well being built in. So what is JOY? How about: there is Just One You! The idea that we are all connected, we are part of this vast ONENESS, the Universe, the Source, the Field, God as you understand God…brings a certain relaxed excitement to living. When we are consciously in the Oneness, we are likely to feel the joy of it all…

Joy is contagious. We can pass it forward in so many ways…living with joy seems to shift people into a vibration that can uplift those nearby. When we feel joyful and do good deeds for others it doubles and triples our joy – and those who receive it will spread more joy into their lives.

Yesterday we had a snow storm on the eastern seaboard…I went to a morning event for a few hours, and when I returned to my car in the outdoor parking lot it was covered with over six inches of snow. After brushing the snow off of my car, I thought, “Wouldn’t it be nice to come back to my car and see that it had been swept clean?” Not in a hurry to get home, I brushed the snow off both cars on either side of mine. As I imagined the looks of surprise and delight from these strangers, I really got into scraping the ice off their windshields and making their cars ready to go…this increased my joy tremendously. I still get a warm thrill from the thought of it.

Joy is a more consistent state of mind, joy is long-term, rising and falling but always present, less of a roller coaster ride, more of a smooth cruising ride. Feeling joy, knowing joy, is more about living in peace with some passion thrown in. Peace by itself? Kinda quiet over there. Peace with a joyful twist – now we’re talking about living well.

©2009 Lisa Wessan. All rights reserved.


%d bloggers like this: