Is that an emotion you have felt often over the past week, month, or year?
Have you experienced this wonderful emotion over the past week, month, or year, but have felt guilty about it because of the struggles or challenges others have been experiencing?
A couple weeks ago, my mental health wavered and even though I turned to all my tools, which I believed helped, I still couldn’t seem to bring myself fully out of the sadness I was feeling. But I didn’t force my way through it, or try not to feel it, I just allowed it in and explored it. I know this isn’t always easy to do, but up and out feels way better than it taking up permanent residence in my mental, emotional and physical body.
Turns out, I wasn’t alone. There seemed to be an emotional current running through so many of us. I said to my girlfriend, I believe that it is important for us to feel this way so we can wake up and come back to remembering what is really important…
JOY being one of them.
I was laying in bed and I said to myself, “I’m going to commit to doing things all week that light me up.”
Am I still in a lockdown? YES.
Do I still have challenges that I am working on? YES.
Could my mental health waver again? YES.
Is it okay to not always be okay? YES.
Is it okay to take a timeout? YES.
Is it selfish to do things that light you up, bring you joy and take care of yourself? NO.
My intention was that I would spend the entire week ahead focusing on what lights me up. I planned on meditating, cooking, doing yoga, gardening, creating content for the Contagiously Positive community, podcasting, drinking green juices, taking baths, talking to my friends, playing with my dog. Anything that would give me a little nudge saying, “that sounds good, let’s do that” and then actually doing it.
How often do we talk ourselves out of it? Too often!
The weather turned nice, the sun was shining and the temperatures were warm. I knew what would bring me joy was to plant my garden. I would need to take a couple of days off of work, but I didn’t care, I could do a little work in between, but only what needed to be done. I wasn’t talking myself out of it!
For three days I dug, moved dirt, rode the tractor, raked, shovelled, and moved 36 plants that I had been growing in my office into the garden. I staked, caged, trimmed, labelled, and finally watered the completed magic.
I felt so much joy as I looked out into my garden. I don’t know much about gardening, yet, but watching these tiny little plants sway in the wind, plants that I grew myself, from seed, filled me with so much abundance. I stood there admiring my work, filthy from head to toe, and said out loud, “grow little roots, grow.” Giggling to myself as I walked away.
Every week, for the past 13+ months, I’ve been sharing tools and practices to help you explore your emotions and navigate through stressors, which of course is still so very important, but I invite you today to turn your focus towards JOY. What can you do that will bring you joy? Don’t talk yourself out of it, just do it. You are so worthy and deserving of feeling all the good feels.
You might be thinking, “is she crazy?! All the shit going on in the world and she’s talking about joy?”
Yes, that’s exactly what I’m doing and I’m totally unapologetic about it.
We’ve been in all the feels. We’ve been processing all the feels. We’ve had stressors and challenges thrown at us over the past 13+ months that have felt like we’ve been on a rollercoaster (and not the fun kind). And we will continue to do so. But it is also so important to feel the feels of love, joy and gratitude. It is okay to also feel good.
If you accept this invitation of bringing joy into your life, it won’t just impact you, it will impact all of those around you.
One last thing. If you are in a space right now where you can’t feel this, I understand. Simply begin by giving yourself a break. Remind yourself that you are doing the best you can. Take some time to rest, even if all you have is 20 minutes. Take some time to write in your journal, or reach out to someone who can support you. I’m always here. ALWAYS! You are not doing anything wrong if this doesn’t resonate with you today. It is okay if you are not okay, but please remember you are not alone.
Journal Prompts For More Clarity
When I was thinking about what brings me joy, it surprised me how many things are so simplistic.
In your journal, take a little inventory of what lights you up. What brings you joy? Choose one thing on your list and take inspired action to bring it into your life.