Are You Living Your Best Life?

We all want peace and happiness, but often that’s not what we get. Life was meant to be a wonderful experience. You don’t have to settle for less. In this warm, comforting book, inspirational writer Celia Sankar takes readers through a proven and effective programme of discovering and loving oneself and living happily with others.

Journey to Joy can help you to:

  • Break free of a painful past

  • Find peace within yourself

  • Make all your relationships loving

  • Grow in confidence

  • Discover the power within you to overcome all obstacles

  • Find your purpose

  • Define and achieve a successful life

Paperback edition — CAD$19.95


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What people are saying about Journey to Joy

“This book is life-altering.”
 Ato Boldon, Sprinter, four-time Olympic medalist

“…its spiritual ending is both joyful and life-giving.”
—Lynn Johnston, Cartoonist, For Better or for Worse 

“The book helps people to better understand and care for themselves….”
The Sault Star

“This gem of a book contains insights that can lift us out of bad days and make the good days even better. The very act of reading this book is a reward in itself, for it provides a passageway to our true selves.”
—Azim Jamal, International Speaker and Author of The Corporate Sufi and the best-seller 7 Steps to Lasting Happiness

“Whether we are soaring on the wings of success or struggling to keep our head above the water, this precious book helps us focus on what matters most. This is an invaluable resource that can help us appreciate each day, in the best of times, the worst of times and the moments in between.”
—Sheila Copps, Former Deputy Prime Minister of Canada 

“Celia Sankar sifts the spiritual from the mundane as she befriends us on a journey, that may not on the surface seem very glamorous, but that gives us exactly what we need: a way to achieve a sustainable source of joy daily through our relationships with ourselves, God, and with others.”
—Dr. Nancy Rebellato, Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine

“…a sensitive and heartfelt expression of the essentials of life…affirming the ability of the human spirit to overcome and to pursue one’s unlimited potential.”
—Dr. Ken Marek, Clinical Psychologist

“A most refreshing collection of thoughts and approaches to dealing with life’s many challenges…brimming with positivity and valuable ‘snippets’ to help you face the world with a smile.”
—Cindy Woods, Editor, The Standard

“If you’ve ever wondered why good things happen to happy people but why people who already have the blues keep getting more of them, Journey to Joy is for you.”
—Peter Carter, former senior editor, Chatelaine

“Sankar shows the process that unlocks the truths which can take us out of the darkness into the light of joy.”
—Barbara Lewis-Marco, Author of Stumbling Toward Enlightenment, An Illustrated Crisis Companion

“Candid, thoughtful, spiritually uplifting. For anyone who has lost, felt pain, grieved, been afraid, lonely, here is an opportunity to take a breath and to feel refreshed.”
—Ken Bondy, Lawyer and former priest

Journey to Joy provides readers with meditations, motivational messages, affirmations and directions for exercises that can help them understand, love and care for themselves.”
Northern Life

“Celia’s beautiful book is a reminder of the power of simplicity and the simplicity of power — both personal and universal.”
—Mark Bryan, Author of The Artist’s Way at Work: Riding the Dragon and Codes of Love: How to Rethink Your Family and Remake Your Life

“Although written as a balm for her despair — and others in grieving or mourning moments of their lives — the remarkable tight assessments of everyday life have a hint of spice for every reader. Not a traditional self-help book, it is written in the first person and lists positive affirmations in as little as a paragraph, to a page, as a sort of refresher course for the soul.”
The Barrie Examiner

“Sankar offers us enlightenment, a worthwhile challenge and a realm of new possibilities. The book opened up for me an opportunity to look deeper within, to seek congruity in all parts of my life and to continue to strive to be honest with myself.”
—Daniel Robitaille, High School Teacher

“…an intelligent, frank, and loving ladder out of the pit of despair. Grab hold and pull yourself up.”
—Jennifer Louden, Author of The Woman’s Comfort Book

“…a tool-kit for a journey in self-discovery: a return to a self-confident image, anticipating the future and its opportunities for a joyful life.”
—Barbara Fazekas, Librarian

“Definitely worth the read.”
Jonni O’Connor, Ph.D

“Despairing and down on your luck? Try Sankar’s pluck for a pick-me-up. Sankar invites, encourages and directly inspires readers to use her journal as a pathway home to the heart and soul of themselves.”
—Suzanne Grenager, Life Coach and columnist

“This is a book you can pick up anytime and no matter if you read one small section or a few pages, it is full of richness and encouragement on our daily journey to know ourselves and our loving God.”
—Sister Diane Guertin, Hospital Pastoral Care Director

“L’ouvrage propose un cheminement clair et concis qui conduit à la découverte et à l’estime de soi ainse qu’à l’acceptation heureuse de l’autre.”
Le Voyageur

“I bought your book at Costco, while you were there. I am thankful to have mine signed. I took your book home that day and started reading right away, on the bus on the way home. It brought me to tears and even though I was surrounded by complete strangers it didn’t seem to matter that tears were rolling slowly down my face. I really didn’t care who saw. It brought me there because I was amazed at how closely you identified with every feeling I have felt in one life time. I felt like FINALLY somebody has words to explain and describe everything we feel ‘in the meantime.’ It was a gigantic relief.”

“I was seeking Christmas gifts for those I love and I knew I was meant to buy your book. The three people who received this wonderful gift were overjoyed by the encouragement it brought to them and will reap the benefits for a long time to come. Thank you for letting God use your life to help others.”
—Janine Zeck, Artist and Homemaker


After Journey to Joy was first released, I went on book signing, lecturing and media tours which brought me into contact with thousands of people from all walks of life. I’ve been astounded by the number of people who have come forward to thank me for what they’ve got out of the book or the lectures based on the book. These people have what I can only describe as a glow, an unmistakable radiance about them. They smile and shake my hand vigorously and move with a kind of energy I can never fail to admire.

They are people whose circumstances vary widely. There was the woman who squeezed my arm warmly and said the book, a gift from her sister, came to her just when she needed it most — she had recently lost her job and her common-law partner of seven years.

There was the single mother who had been separated from her son by a cruel string of circumstances. “It was as if God was handing me a rope and said, ‘You have to hear what I need for you to hear right now through Celia to get through this week,’” she wrote.

After one lecture, a well-dressed, youthful-looking woman hugged me and thanked me for the courage the book gave her. “Next month, I’m to start cancer treatment,” she said. “I’ve been worried and afraid, but your book reminded me to rely more on prayer. Now I know it’s going to be alright.”

At one store, a woman read the title and then, as if a spark of recognition came to her, said emphatically, “Journey to Joy! My neighbor told me I have to read this book.” Her twice-married neighbor had bought a copy for each of her four adult children, two of whom had stopped speaking to her after she divorced their father. After reading the book, the children and their mother were reconciled, the woman said.

There was the woman in her sixties who upon reading the book became resolute about no longer enduring her husband’s extra-marital affairs and verbal abuse. She was happy to report that after months of separation, her husband begged for a reconciliation, and, for the first time, was willing to start counseling to save their marriage of forty years.

And there was the journalist in her late thirties who expressed what many have told me as well. With two girls she loved, in a career that satisfied her and in a good marriage, she smiled calmly and said, “You know, there’s no major challenge in my life now, but I read this book and I find so much I can relate to. I’m getting so much out of it.”

Perhaps the most astonishing thing for me has been the reaction of men to this book. During the first month of Journey to Joy’s release, I went to a political barbecue and the host, a well-established man of the community in his sixties, took me aside and thanked me for the book. I was amazed when he said he could see himself in it. I’ve had this feedback from so many male readers, I’m no longer surprised that someone of a different gender and different age could identify so closely with what I’ve written.

There was the young, smartly dressed Asian man who picked up a copy which he read as he walked about the store where I was doing a signing and then returned to say, “I love this sort of book and this one is great. Will you autograph my copy?”

There was a man in his seventies who thanked me for the book, after which his gray-haired wife of some 50 years, who clutched his arm, beamed and thanked me in turn. “He reads it to me,” she said.

In one town, a retired miner approached me and enthused about the book. “The last thing I do before I turn off the light is I open your book on any page and read it,” he said. “That way, I go to sleep with a good thought.”

With such an overwhelming response, it is tempting for me to become filled with pride about the book. But, as I’ve said in several media interviews, I can’t take credit for it.

As a journalist, I know when I write. I know when I’ve built a structure for a story and honed each sentence so the final product is the result of my thought process. This was not the case with Journey to Joy. It came by inspiration and not by craft. As the introduction explains more fully, this book came to me at a difficult time in my life when I needed divine guidance and opened myself up to it. As such, I receive congratulations on the book humbly, knowing that whatever glory there is belongs to God, whom I thank for being in my life and for using this book to bless the lives of others.

About the Author

Celia Sankar is a gifted and compassionate  motivational speaker and writer. She has been a life-long seeker of truth and student of wholesome living.

Through her Canadian inspirational bestseller Journey to Joy, inspirational newspaper column, motivational lectures, and an inspirational radio talk-show which she co-hosted, Sankar has touched the lives of thousands in many parts of the world.

She has been a writer for decades, both as a journalist and as a self-development author. Over that time, she has interviewed hundreds of people, including researchers, authors, psychologists, therapists, religious leaders, and ordinary folk, and has conducted extensive research on personal growth and recovery from life’s traumas. Her own journey to selfhood has led her to dedicate her life to writing about personal growth, and to conducting seminars and workshops. She sees her purpose today as sharing a message of hope with the world.

Sankar is an internationally acclaimed journalist whose work has appeared in magazines, newspapers and journals in Europe, North America, South America and the Caribbean. She  covered British Royalty and shook hands with the likes of Fidel Castro and Shimon Peres. Sankar earned her Master’s in journalism in London, England, where she did an internship with The Times and The Sunday Times and did some work with BBC Radio. She freelanced with the Associated Press and her byline has appeared in diverse print and online publications around the globe including The Washington Post, USA Today, the International Herald Tribune, and She has won several international journalism awards, including the Commonwealth Press Union Fellowship.

Born in Trinidad, for over a decade, Sankar worked for the Trinidad Express, one of the Caribbean’s leading daily newspapers, where she rose to the position of associate editor. She migrated to Canada in 1998 and served as a writer in the Vancouver bureau of the Canadian national daily The Globe and Mail, and as the municipal affairs reporter for one of Western Canada’s largest newspapers, The Vancouver Sun. She has also written a weekly inspirational column for northern Ontario’s largest daily The Sudbury Star. Sankar has taught writing at the tertiary level institute White Mountain Academy of the Arts in Ontario, Canada.

She is a resident of a small town in northern Ontario and has travelled extensively to lecture and share the inspiring message contained in Journey to Joy.

Sankar is the founder and executive director of a non-profit organization which has provided resources to hundreds of thousands across Canada to promote diversity and inclusion and to create a more harmonious world.


Q & A with Celia Sankar

Q: What do you do with your free time?

A: Our natural environment is the outdoors and I’m happiest there. I love to get my hands dirty in the garden. Frequent walks through the woods provide me with spiritual refreshment. I also enjoy being out on a frozen lake and hearing nothing but the wind in the distant trees and the swish of my cross-country skis under me.

When I’m indoors, I love to play the piano. I’ve never been formally trained in music, and, to my utter surprise, I’ve discovered that I can compose piano pieces. The next step was to perform publicly, and after psyching myself up and calming myself down, I’ve played my compositions before audiences of about 150 to 300. We — that is a soloist, the choir and I (as the pianist) — performed one of my compositions for midnight mass at the French church in my town and it was quite a moving experience for me. My compositions are poor, simple pieces, but my own — and my way of expressing thanks to the Creator for this life with which I’ve been blessed.

Q: Who are your idols?

A: I don’t idolize anyone, simply because I realize we are all imperfect beings, no matter how much we accomplish in any field. But I do admire a great number of people for their mastery of various aspects of their lives: Abe Lincoln for his resilience; Ben Franklin for the breath of his endeavors; Dr. Norman Vincent Peale for using and sharing his faith; Oprah for letting her light shine…oh, I could go on and on.

I believe each of us has something out of our experience of this life that we can share with the world and I try to learn from a great many people, both famous and uncelebrated people.

Q: What is your philosophy?

A: It’s more important to “be” than to have. I was born in the Caribbean, into a family with very little. My parents did their best to provide for us with the meager resources they had. From my childhood, I know it’s possible to live well, to be happy without material possessions.

It’s perhaps cliché, but it’s true that we can’t take our possessions with us to the grave. We’re going to leave them behind anyway, so why spend our lives in misery and stress chasing after material possessions? I believe all we possess are ourselves and time (and even that isn’t quite accurate for in truth we don’t really possess those as they belong to God). I’ve seen from observing the lives of others and from my own life that when you focus on making the best use of your talents, when your focus is on doing something creative with your life, your existence is more fulfilling and and it’s richer, and as a bonus, the material comforts we require appear in our lives as well.

Q: How would you like to be remembered?

A: When I was younger, one of my ambitions was to not be forgotten by Time, in the way that Shakespeare and Austen and Dickens still seemed alive and present in the world so many years after their passing. I’ve grown up enough that that’s no longer an ambition, nor do I preoccupy myself with thoughts about my legacy. In my opinion, the most important consideration is what we do with the time in which we have to live and accomplish; our legacies will take care of themselves.

Consequently, I see myself as having two missions in life. The first is to create resources (books, lectures, audio recordings, courses, etc.) to inspire myself and others to make the best use possible of this fleeting opportunity to live with which we are blessed.

My second mission is to create the mechanism to allow the transfer of funds and resources from those of us who are fortunate enough to have the luxury to work on our personal growth and enlightenment to those born into unfortunate circumstances in which they have to struggle to take care of their basic needs. To that end, I see myself building a successful business, a motivational resources company, and I see myself using a great part of my life to establish and direct a not-for-profit organization that redistributes much of the wealth I’ve caused to be generated. Most crucially, I would like to help provide access to clean water, basic health services, education, housing and entrepreneurial skills in developing countries like the one I grew up in.

Product details

Journey to Joy is a compendium of over 125 motivational messages, affirmations and inspirational thoughts compiled as the author traveled her own path to selfhood. This is an invaluable resource for anyone at a crossroads in life; it takes readers through the major stages in recovery from life’s traumatic experiences.

Paperback: 160 pages

Publisher: Damascus Press (July 2002)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0968910912

ISBN-13: 978-0968910917

Package Dimensions: 8 x 5.2 x 0.4 inches

Shipping Weight: 4 ounces

Refund Policy

All copies of Journey to Joy sold at this site are signed by the author and therefore fall into the category of customized goods. In line with standard retail policy with respect to customized goods, these items are non-refundable and non-returnable.

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