© Cynthia Starborn 2015



Today’s blog on JOY is written in honor of Linda Joy’s launch of

Inspiration for a Woman’s Soul: Cultivating Joy,

available now at www.CultivatingJoyBook.com.


A while back, while observing a special education classroom, I met a very memorable and merry young man on the autistic spectrum. As soon as he walked in the door, Raymundo starting jumping around and shouting for joy.
“Sit down,” his teachers said to him sternly.
Raymundo eventually sat down, but every so often, he would leap out of his seat and start shouting joyfully again.
“Sit down,” his teachers reprimanded him again.
Raymundo sat down for a little while, only to bounce back up with a gleeful shout every few minutes. He reminded me of a jack-in-the-box, popping up with a mirthful squeal no matter how many times the other teachers tried to get him to stay still. And he seemed to be “wound up” by nothing other than the sheer joy of living.
Who’s teaching whom? I started wondering to myself, as I watched with fascination this repeated classroom scene.
Over and over, the adults in the room certainly tried to teach Raymundo to stay still and be quiet, to squash down his happiness in order to fit in society’s conventional box.
Yet Raymundo never tired of trying to teach those around him the beauty of breaking out of that mold and expressing the arms-outstretched, feet-bouncing, richly-voiced merriment of life.
Privately, I shared with another adult that perhaps Raymundo, rather than have a disability, actually had a very special ability to experience joy. She indicated that he needed to learn how to sit still and be quiet like everyone else.
I looked with renewed appreciation at Raymundo. Identified as having special education needs, in a classroom that did not seem to see his special gifts, here he was, like a true master, preaching and living the gospel of joy…totally unfazed about whether anyone else around him“got it” yet or not.
Inspired, I wondered how I might take heed of Raymundo’s message. How many times had I just sat down and stayed quiet “like a good girl,” and put a lid on my happiness? What would happen if I allowed myself to leap to my feet and bubble over with delight?
On the way out the door, I started, ever so slightly, to skip.
Looking back, I saw Raymundo’s eyes twinkle at me, as once again, he jumped for joy.


To read more inspirational stories of joy, go to www.CultivatingJoyBook.com.

Joy is...Finding Your Bliss #CultivatingJoy


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3 Responses to “JUMPING FOR JOY”

  1. Jill Says:

    I love Raymundo! I hope he continues to jump for joy, despite what the others try to get him to do.

    I have a son on the spectrum, and he is always struggling to conform to the box. I try to encourage him to spread his wings anyway.

    Thank you for your support of Cultivating Joy! xoxo

  2. Cynthia Starborn Says:

    Thanks, Jill, for your support of Raymundo…and for your support of your son! These children invite us to think outside the box in many ways. May you and your son experience great joy on your journey!

  3. The Best of Lead With Giants – January 2016 Says:

    […] Jumping for Joy by @Cynthia Starborn  A student with special needs demonstrates the importance of living from joy, no matter what. […]

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