Joy lives and works in Appleton, WI

Joy lives and works in Appleton, WI

Joy’s baccalaureate address, “Your One Wild and Precious Life”

About Joy Jordan

In 2013, I resigned my tenured position as a statistics professor. During graduation weekend, I gave the baccalaureate address, in which I spoke openly about fear, vulnerability, and living a life true to myself. Though I'm done teaching statistics, I'm still a teacher. I enjoy organizing material so people understand even difficult concepts. I care about my students and create space where everyone is valued and heard—a safe, brave space where we practice together.

Now I teach meditation and mindfulness. In 2003, I began a meditation practice that changed my life. With new awareness, I was able to see choices, stay with difficult emotions, and both simplify and savor life. Mindfulness guided me through my career change. The mind-body exercises I teach in my classes are the same exercises I practice every day. Each year, I attend 2-3 silent meditation retreats, where I deepen my practice and learn from experienced teachers.

As sole proprietor of Born Joy, I'm encouraged to market myself; to sell my elevator pitch. But I'm old school: I happily own a flip phone; I'm not on Instagram, Twitter, or Pinterest; I'd rather make a genuine connection than a sale. Looking through my notebook of business plans, I find this scribbled tagline that still rings true for me:  I don't want to be a big deal, I want to be a little deal who has a big impactI want to help people.

My work takes me into prison, corporate offices, non-profit organizations, schools, and community classes. I try to live life with a curious mind and an open heart, which means my most important work is on the meditation cushion.