Find Out About Our Next Adventure!

The Joy Diet Journey is now complete. Feel free to browse through our posts and follow along in your own pace, in your own time. If you're interested in finding out about more book adventures with The Next Chapter, just sign up for my newsletter and you won't miss a thing!

Friday, November 27, 2009

The Joy Diet: Feasting

We have so much to celebrate! The spaciousness of Nothing, the power of Truth, awakening Desire, bringing Creativity to life, daring to Risk, indulging in Treats, remembering to Play, sharing Laughter, making Connections and celebrating by Feasting! What a journey! Thank you for making it so special.

For our Feast, you'll find some thoughts and wishes from Joy Diet Journeyers in this post! I will leave the Joy Line open for another week, just in case any of you were shy and are now inspired and emboldened! I'll add your messages as they arrive. All you have to do is call The Joy Line at (214)615-6505 ext 4830 and leave a message. Easy-peasy. We'd love to hear your voice.

And we cast forward to what's next for The Next Chapter, I'd love to get your feedback. If you wouldn't mind taking a few minutes to fill out this survey I would really appreciate it. It will help keep the inspiration flowing and going!

By the way, I've got something a little different lined up for The Next Chapter in the New Year! I hope you'll be a part of it. Sign-ups will start in December and because of the nature of this next adventure, for the first time, participation will be limited. Sign up for my newsletter to be sure you get the details.

I look forward to many more adventures with you!

A treat from Kathryn:

A treat from GraceGal:

A treat from Becky N:

A treat from Silky:

A treat from Karen D:

A treat from Lisa:

A treat from Gina G:

A treat from Ananda

Call The Joy Line: (214)615-6505 ext 4830
The Next Chapter Survey: Click Here

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Joy Diet: Connection

Well, it looks like with everyone feasting for Thanksgiving, timing isn't great for wrapping up this Joy Journey with a teleconference celebration! Inspired by so many of you saying that you'd like to hear each other's voices, I had an idea!

The Joy Line! (214) 615-6505 ext 4830

Remember how Martha left us an inspiring treat? Why don't we do that for one another? I've set up a Joy Line that will be active until 8:00 AM EST on Thursday November 26th. You are invited to call in and share some or all of the following:
  • What you would bring to the Feast for us all to share.
  • A favourite part of The Joy Diet journey.
  • A wish you would like to make for each of us.
Long distance charges will still apply but you can make the message as short and sweet as you like. Be sure to share your name and blog name, so we know whose voice we're hearing. I will compile all of the audios together for next Friday. Listening to everyone's beautiful messages can be part of our closing Feast! What do you say?

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Joy Diet: Laughter

I hope your week was full of laughter and joy. In the spirit of the laughter ingredient, I'm sharing this video - it's the last few moments that are really key. It's a joy to share some giggles with you!

Friday, November 6, 2009

The Joy Diet: Play

Can you believe that we're in the last month of this journey? In just 3 weeks, we'll be wrapping up with feasting! Now, it's become a bit of a Next Chapter tradition to wind up with a celebratory call, a time we can get together and share, voice-to-voice, what the experience has been like. This time, I'm imagining us each bringing our own uniquely flavoured dish to The Joy Buffet!

Celebrate Feasting at The Joy Buffet

Date: Friday, November 27th
Time: 2:00 EST
Where: Conference Call - I'll be sending out an invitation with the details over the coming weeks. The conference call will be an American number.

I will also record the call for those of you who can't make it. If you've never attended a conference call and are curious what it would be like, you can listen in to The Wrecking Ball Call from the last session of The Joy Diet here.

Enjoy filling your week with Laughter!

Friday, October 30, 2009

The Joy Diet: Treats

Treats put me in the mood for sharing, so here are some more treats for you today:
  • Martha shares the extraordinary line from the delicious Mary Oliver poem, Wild Geese: "You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves." The only thing even better is the whole poem and the heartfelt lead up to that line. Enjoy it here.
  • 28 seconds of outrageous cuteness here.
  • If you missed the treat of Martha's message for us, you can hear it here.
  • I hope this song sparks a smile for you as it always does for me. The video absolutely reminds me of all of us joy journeyers. Watch it here.
  • And for being such awesome journeyers and already making it this far, I'd like to offer you the treat of a $10-discount on the inspiration e-pack Your Creative Spark. This treat is good until next Thursday at midnight, when we move onto Play. All you have to do is add the item to your cart and then add the discount coupon "treat" and you will receive the discount.

Friday, October 23, 2009

A Treat for You!

What a wonderful way to start Treat week. Here's a message just for The Next Chapter from Martha Beck herself!

The Joy Diet: Risk

MP3 File

I'm afraid I've continued to have some technical difficulties, so this week I'm sharing with you an audio instead of a video.

Several people have been mentioning that they feel they'd like to take longer with each ingredient but they don't want to miss out on connecting with the group. One thing you might consider is forming a subgroup, exploring each ingredient for 2 weeks and keeping each other company along the way. That would take you to January 1st.

My eye will have to stay on the weekly participants and I will wrap up on November 27th as planned (in fact, I'll likely hold a Joy Call that day to celebrate the end of the journey and to enjoy Feasting together!), but if the bi-weekly pace feels right to you, please, identify yourselves to one another in the comments and form an EP (extended play) group. You can still post Treats on the Treat post. You'll just know to look out for each other at the 2 week mark. You could even add (EP) to your link so that you can identify one another other easily.

Whatever pace you choose for the journey, I hope this next little bit brings you a taste of joy.

PS Because last week's video was hard to hear, I've provided transcripts here.

Friday, October 16, 2009


I've been reading your posts and many reactions to this chapter are intense! Thank you for so honestly and vividly sharing the struggles, anger, breakthroughs and frustrations you're having. First and foremost, remember that this whole process is meant to be helpful. Martha doesn't have the one right road to joy. You have your own special designed-by-and-for-you road and if these exercises and explorations help you along the way - amazing. If not, tweak them, change them, create new ones or simply say no and know that you have gotten clear on what you are not willing to do, and that's great information. This is your journey.

How about we have a fresh take on creativity?

Brilliant, creative beauties, how can creativity serve you and your dreams?

If you're still struggling to connect to your desires, how can creativity help you uncover what they are? Is it time to make a vision board? Or maybe to do some writing? How about finishing the sentence "What I really want is..." 25 times - no censoring, just letting the pen fly. What about taking photos of moments that evoke your desire? Let creativity help you discover your desire. Getting to know your self and your heart is a beautiful process. Take your time.

And if you know what your desire or desires are, how can creativity bring you closer? What if you brainstormed 50 ideas for making that dream come true? What if you spent a day acting as if it were already true? What if you created a treasure map of the imagined route to your desires? What if you imagined yourself a journalist and asked everyone you talked to, "Hey, if you wanted to be a writer, what's the first thing you would do?"

I know we're working on Risk this week, but I absolutely invite you to try a new exercise, one you adore or that sounds intriguing, and post again for Creativity. We have room :) And if Risk offers the same struggles and reactions, feel free to simply answer the question:

What risk, big or small, will I take this week in support of my desires?

That's it. This is the joy of working through a book this way; we can step off the page and make it our own. I hope this is helpful. If anyone has any questions or wants to talk to me directly about their reactions, please drop me a line at jamie(at)openthedoor(dot)ca.

The Joy Diet: Creativity

Note: I am so sorry about the sound quality of this week's video. I'm not sure what the trouble is but I will be working to resolve it by next week. Thank you for your patience and for letting me know. You can read transcripts of the video here.

In this week's video I talk about Creativity and start to cast forward into our upcoming week of Risk. But here I also wanted to ask you a question about Desire. After spending the week reading your posts about this ingredient, I noticed that many of you knew your desire but didn't name it in your posts and I wondered why. Did it feel tender? Private? Scary to share? What would it be like to proclaim your desire, to say out loud, "I want...."? What's going on in there? I'd love to hear.

And as you step forward into the week of risk, know that all of the energy of this circle is supporting you, that around the world Joy Dieters are getting brave and making a move, creating momentum and opportunity for their desires to take shape on the road to joy!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Joy Diet: Creativity Transcripts

The Joy Diet: Creativity
Transcripts from our weekly video

Hey, everybody. Welcome to another week of The Next Chapter and our Joy Diet journey. I’m your host, Jamie Ridler. I’m really excited to be here with you today, and I’m wondering, how was your week with Creativity? What was it like for you to bring your creativity to your desire, to add that as an ingredient in this beautiful concoction of joy we’re creating? I know so many of you are wildly creative with your words, with your paint, with the way you are in the world. And I’m wondering what it was like to bring that creativity to your dreams and start imagining how… how… how could I…? How could I….? What was it like?

Martha gave some great suggestions about how to stretch your brain and how to start to think outside of your own limiting beliefs or the way that you tend to think about things. Because that’s what creativity is, right? It’s stretching beyond and creating something brand new.

And it’s funny because I was actually talking to a client this week about exactly that, that when we want something new, how we have to create new ways of doing things, create new behaviours, create new thoughts and new perspectives. Have you heard that saying – when you keep on doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep getting what you’ve always got.

And so we have this tendency to want something new but we want to take the approach that we’ve always taken to it because that’s where we feel comfortable, that’s what we’re used to. But that road didn’t lead where we wanted to go. We want to go over there, so now it’s a new road and a new perspective and a new approach and a new you and new possibilities. And that can hold a lot of stuff in it.

I know Martha talks about some of the struggle and the challenges and sometimes it doesn’t work out because you’re trying something new. For me, I try to hold that really lightly and playfully, like this is an experiment. And it’s also one of the reasons why I insist on trying to make each step itself fun, so that even if it didn’t work out, at least I had a good time exploring it, you know? At least it was fun to try that colour, even though, yeah, no, that didn’t work. And that is, again, that is a part of the adventure.

So, I’m wondering what it was like for you. And also, if you did get stuck, I know she gives you all these steps of things you can do to try to expand, and then she says, you know, if you still got stuck or you still want to go farther, one of the things you can do is draw on your friends and loved ones and colleagues.

And so, I invite you to do that with this group. If you want even more brainstorming ideas or more suggestions of “How could I do this?” include that in your post this week. “How can I start a successful Etsy shop? What do you think?” “How can I travel to France?” “How can I get my novel published?” Put it out there and let all of us share our creativity and see if we can come up with some wild and woolly and playful and helpful suggestions. What do you think?

And you know, this is all leading—I keep seeing how this is leading up to something, right? Next week, we’re going to be reading about Risk and so we’ll start to get into action on some of the things that have come up in our creative process.

For now, share what Creativity was like for you. Share what it was like to actually start to use those delicious creative skills on the realization of your desire. And if you’d like it, ask for some input on how, how can I do this, because we want you to get there. I want you to get there. I love the idea that we’re all working towards the fulfillment of our desires. That’s really exciting and beautiful, and I’m so glad we’re doing it together.

So, I hope Creativity was a great week. I hope you’re ready for Risk. I know that you’re courageous. And I know that Risk will be amazing.

Friday, October 9, 2009

The Joy Diet: Desire

As we come off a week of Desire and get ready for Creativity, we've likely also spent this past week reading each other's Truths. Visiting your blogs, I was blown away. What depth and courage and sensitivity you have shared. What heart and what wisdom, what vulnerability and bravery is here. A very special group has gathered for this joy journey. Here's to each of you and to you all. Here's to this precious, unique, glorious joy tribe! May we continue to share our hearts and spirits every step of the way and beyond.

Friday, October 2, 2009

The Joy Diet: Truth

Welcome to Week 3 of our journey! It always takes a little while to settle in, so please, don't sweat it if you're still finding your way or just joining in now. You are always welcome and you'll get your bearings more and more. This week we're sharing our posts on the topic of Truth and getting ready for a week of Desire. How delish is that!

If you were carrying around a little joy-meter, what would you be noticing about the joy in your life? What are you discovering about the relationship of Joy to Nothing and to Truth? Sharing our insights and discoveries brings us all closer to joy!

Friday, September 25, 2009

The Joy Diet: Nothing

I hope that Nothing was a joyful addition to your diet this week, though clearly it comes with its own set of challenges! It will be so interesting to read what everyone's experience has been with this first ingredient of The Joy Diet - and also to see your Vision Cards!

Let's see if I can answer the questions that have come up about posting. Over this past week we have read and started practicing Nothing. Today is when we share our thoughts on that topic. Absolutely you can post tomorrow or Sunday or even later in the week. One thing to note is that you tend to receive more visitors the closer you post to Friday.

Now you can start reading and exploring the exercises for Truth. (Of course, you can start reading earlier if you like, particularly if you want to be able to start the exercises right away.) Next Friday, we'll share our thoughts on that subject. We do have a schedule that will hopefully help here.

As for multiple posts, with so many people participating, it's probably best to share one post a week. That's not a hard and fast rule or anything. It's just being aware of people's time.

If there's anything else you want more clarity on, please ask your question in the comments, and I will answer it there this week.

I also wanted to share some great resources and suggestions that came up this week:
  • Kathryn - Collage Diva had the brilliant idea of creating/decorating a recipe box for our Vision Cards. At the end, you'll have a recipe box full of the ingredients for joy! Thank you, Kathryn.
  • Lauren pointed out that Martha Beck provides an awesome Joy Diet Journal that you can download here. I've also put this resource on the sidebar. Thank you, Lauren!
Everybody, enjoy your week of Truth & Nothing!


Friday, September 18, 2009

Welcome to the Journey

Here we are at the beginning of our journey into The Joy Diet. It's going to be delicious! Today let's introduce ourselves and welcome one another. Let's share our hopes for the next 10 weeks and get ready to dive in.

And then, starting today, let's dedicate the week to the first ingredient: Nothing. Martha invites us into a daily practice for Nothing. So take some time to read this short chapter and allow yourself to experience a week filled with spaces. Next week we can share what that experience was like.

In the video, I've also recommended a couple of practices that I hope you'll find fun and supportive over the time we share together. They are totally optional but there for you to play along with if you'd like. If you have trouble viewing the video, let me know and I'll email you the additional prompts.

Now for a wee bit of admin (it is the beginning after all, hehe):
  • Schedule: If you're finding the scheduling a bit confusing, here's an outline to help.
  • Direct Links: When adding your link to Mr. Linky (the form below) please remember to add a direct link to your week's Joy Diet post. Do not just link to your blog because then readers will have to search for your post instead of landing on it directly. For example, I would add something like not simply
As always, if you have any questions or concerns, if you're confused about anything, don't hesitate to email me. I love hearing from you.

Here's to the joy journey!


Friday, July 31, 2009

The Next Chapter: The Joy Diet

Our next book is The Joy Diet: 10 Daily Practices for a Happier Life by Martha Beck
Start date: Friday, September 18th.

Sign up in the form below.
You can also sign up for my monthly inspirational newsletter. That way you won't miss out on fun and creative events like Full Moon Dreamboards, Wishcasting & Circe's Circle.
(I will never share your email. Period.)

Welcome to fourth session of The Next Chapter book blogging group, a creative satellite of Jamie Ridler Studios. I hope you'll join us on the journey!

About The Next Chapter

The concept behind a book-blogging group is that a community of bloggers work their way through a book together, sharing their experiences by posting on their own blog and by reading what other participants are sharing. You can choose to share as much or as little as you like. You can join at any time. This blog will be our home base and will host the blog roll of participants. I will be sharing my own personal explorations through the book on my site, Jamie Ridler Studios.

If you have any questions at all, you can email me at jamie(at)openthedoor(dot)ca. You can also check out this FAQ for the book club.

About Our Fourth Book: The Joy Diet by Martha Beck

From the inside cover: "Welcome to The Joy Diet, a menu of ten behaviours you can add to your way of living and thinking to enhance every day's journey through the unpredictable terrain of your existence. You can add these behaviours gradually and watch your life become steadily more vivid and satisfying. Or you can go on a "crash Joy Diet" to help you navigate life's emergencies."

Over the course of our journey we will spend a week each with:
  • Nothing
  • Truth
  • Desire
  • Creativity
  • Risk
  • Treats
  • Play
  • Laughter
  • Connection
  • Feasting
How delicious is that!

To Join In:
  • Simply sign up in the form above.
  • You will need a copy of the book. You can purchase it here in Canada and here in the US.
  • You will need a blog. If you don't have one yet, you can set one up quickly and for free on Blogger.
  • Start: Friday September 18
  • Finish: Friday November 27

Sometimes at the beginning there's a bit of confusion about what to post when. Click here for a simple schedule.


If you would like to put up a badge on your blog, here it is:

If you need help with adding a badge to your blog, check out The Next Chapter FAQ here.

Here's to a diet like we've never experienced before!
Here's to a joy-filled year!

Our Schedule

Sept 18: Welcome & start your week of Nothing

Sept 25: Post about nothing & start your week of Truth

Oct 2: post about Truth & start your week of Desire

Oct 9: post about Desire & start your week of Creativity

Oct 16: post about Creativity & start your week of Risk

Oct 23: post about Risk & start your week of Treats

Oct 30: post about Treats & start your week of Play (how cool is it Treats is almost on Halloween!)

Nov 6: post about Play & start your week of Laughter

Nov 13: post about Laughter & start your week of Connection

Nov 20: post about Connection & Start your week of Feasting

Nov 27: post about feasting & celebrate!

The Next Chapter: FAQ

Can I still join?

You are always welcome. You can join at any time.

How much of a commitment is participating?

It's entirely up to you. There is no pressure to participate. You can post once or every week. You can visit a few other blogs, all the other blogs or none. You can write a paragraph or an extended post. Whatever you are called to do is just right.

What's a direct link and how do I post it?

When adding your link to each week's secret, you want to use a direct link. A direct link is the address that takes you directly to the relevant post instead of to your blog generally. For example:
To get that url, click on the title of your post and see the new url that appears when you're looking directly at that post.


There’s no hard and fast rule about when to post. Each Friday I will put up a post and create a space for you to leave a direct link to your post. In my experience, the closer you post to the Friday, the more likely people will come and visit. But remember, everyone has their own rhythm. This is supposed to be fun and inspiring. So find what works for you.

All the links are gone. What's up?

On occasion, Mr. Linky hiccups and for a time the links appear to disappear. It usually only lasts a short while and they are all back, intact and ready for more additions. If this happens, come back a bit later to check the status. If after a few hours it hasn't resolved, feel free to let me know, and I'll contact my hero, Mr. Linky.

How do I put up a badge?

If you're using Blogger, the easiest thing to do is:
  • Add a Gadget in your Layout.
  • Choose Picture.
  • Add the address for the badge you want:
  • Add the address:
For direct HTML, please email me for the HTML code. I haven't yet figured out how to post it without it simply giving you the badge itself.

Do I have to go to everyone's blog? I'd love to but there's just so many people participating!

Not at all. This is meant to be a joyful adventure, not a chore. Let's drop the pressure on ourselves and each other. Drop in and visit when you have the time and don't be hard on yourself when you don't. When you do have a chance, consider a mix of old friends and new faces so that our community can continue to grow with support and connection.

Why aren't people coming to my blog?

Sometimes it can be a simple, technical thing such as not posting a direct link to your post with Mr Linky. If people come to your site and can't find your Next Chapter post, they'll likely just leave. If that's not it, it can help to visit other people's blogs, find ones you really relate to, and connect through leaving comments. Try not to take it personally. Sometimes, it's just a busy week.

If your question hasn't been answered, feel free to email me at jamie (at) openthedoor (dot) ca.