Comfort and Joy - Colette Lafia
“For me, it was not about constantly seeking new experiences for comfort, but in allowing the ordinary things in my daily life to fully resonate with the depth of comfort they had to offer. I have come to recognize that these daily experiences deepen over time, offering me the gift of comfort again and again.” – From the book

Insomnia, death of her sister to breast cancer, infertility—spiritual director and author Colette Lafia weathered life’s storms through the warmth of everyday comforts.

In her book Comfort and Joy, Lafia’s warm prose knits a cozy tapestry of vignettes, observations, affirmations and gentle questions covering the simple ways we can care for others and ourselves.

I spent this past leisurely spring Sunday with Comfort and Joy while sitting in a lounge chair in my back yard. (In fact, at the author’s suggestion to take comfort in a nap, I decided that was a glorious idea—and fell asleep!) I felt a sense of camaraderie as Lafia shared some simple comforts that I, too, enjoy—namely, my pillow, circles, warm baths and comfy clothes.

From empty bowls to laughter, buttery toast to worn shoes, the author tenderly takes readers by the hand, pointing out the beautiful sights, sounds and feelings that are hiding in plain sight amidst even the roughest terrain. Lafia is one of those rare authors who feel like a friend—someone you’d love to meet for lunch or swing in the backyard with while talking about everything and nothing.

Here are some soothing passages from this 131-page softcover book:

On Walking:

“It is comforting to return to this trail again and again, to step on a soil that holds many moments of my life. Landscape is as interior as it is exterior, and in that dual relationship there is a deep, primal comfort.”

On Napping:

“I find comfort in listening to my body and not pushing myself all the time. When I nap, I always remove my shoes and my watch. Even if I don’t fall asleep, as soon as I shut my eyes, there is an instant relief in letting go and feeling my body stop in repose.”

On Creating:

“The morning light begins to appear, gracefully and deliberately like a dancer. And in that mood of awakening, I am drawing without hesitation. Pure instinct. Trusting every mark—a smudge, a smear, thick dark lines, thin gray lines. The drawing is already in me as I open my hands to receive it.”

On Applying Comfort in Your Daily Life:

“Receiving the presences of another person’s tears is a great gift of comfort to give someone. Allow the person to cry, without judgment or interruptions. Let the tears become part of nature. Sometimes there’s nothing to figure out, it just needs to rain tears.”

Comfort and Joy would make a delightful gift for Mother’s Day (or any holiday!), especially since this book encourages us to seek out the simple comforts of life to ease stress and replenish our spirits, as well as enter a space to receive the comforts others offer. Highly recommended!

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