Could you be blocking your joy?
Joy... 'a feeling of great pleasure and happiness'
The past month has shone a lot of light across some of the areas in my life that I am blocking. A lot of people I have spoken to said that July was a tough month in terms of tiredness and emotions - the energy certainly felt heavy from where I was sitting!
But as always, amongst the difficulties and challenges, there is always lessons to be learned and the big one for me was the realisation that joy was distinctly lacking in many parts of my world. Yes of course there were joyful moments, but they were becoming more and more scarce.
Joy looks different for everyone, and for me it became very evident that in order for me to feel pure joy, I need to feel free and fulfilled, plus, I need to be having fun in the process. Somewhere along the way those feelings became a bit muddied with the need to be super professional, make a sh*t tonne of money, be grown up and sensible and appear on the outset to 'have all my sh*t together'.
When you begin working on your own personal growth, it can spiral very quickly into feeling very, very serious.
There are so many big questions that you find yourself seeking answers to and I do believe that it is important to explore them, however sometimes that curiosity turns into a full on obsessive hunt for THE answer... and that pushing and forcing mentality is an almost certain 'joy thief'!
There are a few things that I notice within myself when my joy starts to wane - the first is that my anxiety starts to creep in - triggering shallow breath, dizziness and poor sleep. The second is that my digestion begins to try and get my attention - usually resulting in constipation (yup i went there!) which to me symbolises a lack of being able to 'let go' emotionally and physically. The third is that I spend sooooo much time in my head that I begin to disconnect from the messages my body is giving me and I turn to constant questioning and 'trying' to figure my life purpose out in an instant. And the final thing is that I become stuck and freeze to the spot in an inability to move forward because of the lack of clarity and focus. The result is even more overwhelm, anxiety, frustration and even less joy.
Get out your own way
The problem is, when you are in this mindset, it is hard to see past things - you do have to ride out some of the discomfort, and then you have to get out of the way.
You know deep down that you are capable of experiencing joy and that there are things out there that bring you joy. You have just blocked them out and made excuses. I created stories around all the things that brought me joy and believed those stories... they became my truth because they were more convenient and took less effort to commit to.
But then I called bullsh*t on myself and my lack of intuitive action.
I turned to my journal and wrote a list of all the things that used to bring me joy, that still bring me joy and that I want to welcome in to evolve my joy.
Not only was the exercise very interesting and empowering, but it was also fun! The exercise itself brought me a lot of joy and reading back through my list made me smile. I was hesitant to begin the list because I thought I didn't know what brought me joy and I was scared I had lost all joy for good, but I ended up listing at least 50 things that brought me joy and have already managed to introduce some of them back into my life.
My joy list...
... Eating. Walking. Talking. Exploring. Creating. Writing from my heart. Designing and making things. Spending hours with people I love. Being at the stables for hours and forgetting the time. The sound of rain. Watching trashy TV (Gossip Girl for the win). Rom Coms (yes I can recite the whole of Clueless). Getting lost in a book (preferably chick lit). Looking at the stars. Reading oracle cards and shopping for sparkly things (crystals/jewellery/makeup... yes I am a magpie). Guiding and helping people. Seeing people grow and evolve. Teaching people something of value . Learning and educating myself. Laughing until I can't breathe and my tummy hurts. Going to a yoga class. Sweating and moving my body. Putting make up on. Getting my hair cut and coloured. Shopping. Being in the mountains. Fresh air. Glitter. Red lipstick. Girls nights in and girls nights out. Pizza. Chips (sweet potato ones especially). Cooking something new. Receiving letters (not bills!). Reading a magazine from cover to cover. Traveling to somewhere new. Being cosy and warm. Listening to music. Brunch (all day everyday). Late night toast fests (preferably covered with peanut butter and nutella mixed together). Pole dancing. Dancing in general. Being 'silly' and 'immature' with my friends. Making people laugh. Stationary. Kissing. Flirting. Being in love....
The more I write, the more I reconnect to my joy and the more I understand just how important these things all are to me. Just writing them down makes me feel some of the feelings associated with them and remind me that the joy is always in me - it is just whether I choose to allow it in.
What brings you joy?
Now it is your turn. I have created a short Joy Discovery Exercise sheet which you can download by clicking the button below and I hope that it will help you reconnect back to some of the things that bring you joy.
I would love to hear from you on this topic in the comments below or via email, or if you feel that these words have helped you perhaps you can share them with anyone you feel might also benefit? #sharethejoy
Find your joy and fulfilment will flow.
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