I’ve been using the Virtues project cards to pick a virtue for each day and week. Out of 100 virtues, the 11 in the lower drawing appealed to me as being open and expansive — others are self-discipline, perseverance, orderliness, which are more of a struggle for me. But even the “open” or right-brain virtues don’t equate to a free pass to goof off. I found it remarkably hard, even depressing, the first time I pulled the joyfulness card. I felt guilty that I’m not more appreciative of the truly great things I have in my life, and guilty that I’m not more on top of things so that I could afford to relax and be joyful.
This may all sound very New Age-ish, but really it isn’t. The author of A Pace of Grace, who started the Virtues Project with her husband and brother, takes care to relate her thinking to various faith traditions. I pick a virtue each day for that day, and it is remarkable how they relate to what is going on in my life. And they are all virtues, so practising any one of them couldn’t be harmful.