To Ebb or Flow
Why joy + beauty are vital in times like these.
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HOW’S YOUR JOY?
I’ve talked with you lately about practicing positivity - flipping the coin as I like to say. But, how’s it going? Are you struggling to be joyful? Are you tapped out? Spent?
I listened to it TWICE this morning on my run. It was THAT good!
While I took away several game-changing nuggets of wisdom from this conversation, there are two things I want to dig into today to bring a little LIFT your way.
Here’s the truth.
Joy matters. If you need to stop + find it, DO! If you feel guilty about it, STOP.
Joy needs to be at the top of our priority list right now. If you’ve let it slide (or hide), it is time to bring it back.
Joy is vital to our well-being.
Joy is what makes life worth living. It keeps us going in hard times. It connects us + creates bonds. It creates positive, healthy changes in our bodies. It makes us more resourceful + resilient. And, the best part - the benefits of JOY impact not only you, but those around you, too!
We tend to think JOY comes from outside of us, but it’s really something that comes from inside. It’s that feeling of connection - to ourselves, our world, the present moment. It’s something we bring forth.
“Okay Karen, that’s all fine + dandy, but I can’t find my joy. I can’t tap into it. I don’t know where it went + even if I could find it, I would feel bad being joyful right now when so many in the world are suffering.”
I hear you. I get it. And, I’d really like to help you reframe that thinking.
Here are a couple of things I took away from the podcast that might help you work through those feelings so you can tap into your joy this week + spread it around.
TAKEAWAY #1 - WHEN TO EBB
We often think of being able to tap into joy or self-care as something we do when we are spent. And, I honestly think if we wait until we are spent - it might be a little too late. Karen Walrond
We do that, right? We think of self-care as something we do when we are spent. That’s when we slow down + take the time to prioritize our self-care + compassion. That’s when we ‘deserve’ it.
When actually, it’s the opposite. We have to practice self-care, compassion, gratitude, joy + beauty FIRST. We have to FRONTLOAD these things. That is where we get the energy + the purpose for the things we fight for.
This is why daily practices in gratitude, connection, health + purpose are so important. They keep our tanks full + ready to tackle the climbs ahead. And yet, when we experience pain or crisis, they seem to be the first thing we let go.
If you find yourself drained + your joy depleted, it’s time to step back. Regenerate. Stop trying to plow ahead. Don’t let the ‘grind’ culture we live in keep you from the joy of living. Take some time to practice self-compassion. To re-engage in the things that light you up + spark joy.
And, don’t expect it to happen in one day of self-care. It’s a practice. It requires consistency. Small actions. Repeated daily. Served with a dose of grace + intention.
TAKEAWAY #2 - WHEN TO FLOW
I will never apologize for embracing joy + beauty - even when the world is falling apart - because joy + beauty are my fuel for activism. Karen Walrond
Isn’t that a powerful statement? Have you ever felt guilty about feeling good? You don’t want to celebrate while others are suffering. You don’t want to let your light shine too bright because you don’t want to make someone else feel bad. At some level, you feel a need to prove how much you have suffered to have what you have.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be happy? To dance + sing. To celebrate the goodness.
When the truth is - Who am I NOT to?
Joy is a MUST. We have to find our joy. We have to share joy. We have to BE joy! It is the fuel behind everything we do. It is WHY our struggle matters. The joy that lies ahead. The hope. The purpose. The connection.
If you feel guilt connected to joy, let it go. Bring your joy forward. Don’t hide it under the bushel. Let it shine! Dance. Sing. Inspire.
And, don’t stop with your daily practices in gratitude, connection, health + purpose. When things are going smoothly, we can get sloppy about our commitment to our self-care practices. We don’t ‘need’ them so they seem self-indulgent. When in reality, they are vital.
We HAVE to keep them going. Otherwise, we will find ourselves depleted with no fuel to move forward in the tough times.
WHERE ARE YOU? THE EBB or THE FLOW
There is a constant ebb + flow to life. Knowing where you are + allowing it - THIS is the key to experiencing more joy. Neither stage is good or bad. It just IS. Until it isn’t. The ebb + flow constantly changes, but the practices that fuel it never change. They are forever constant. And forever at your fingertips.
This week, I challenge you to check your joy reserves. Are they full? Depleted? How about your self-care practices? Are you doing something daily for your health, connection + purpose? Or have you let some of that slide? How will you make joy + beauty a part of your daily routine?
LISTEN: Karen Walrond on Accessing Joy + Finding Connection in the Midst of Struggle | Unlocking Us with Brene Brown |
READ: The Six Types of Joy | The Good Men Project
There are a lot of forces constantly pulling us down. We have this fear that if we ‘let go’ of the constant struggle, we will sink. But, as it turns out, it is in letting go that we rise.
It’s worth taking a moment to remember that. To feel that buoyancy in your soul. To look for the one good thing + let it be your lifejacket when you are just too tired to swim.
And, don’t forget, your buoyancy is also fuel for those around you. Don’t be afraid to bounce + play. In doing so, you bring the magic of joy to others.
See you next week?
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