Apologies, recent blogpost neglect has been about actually getting my JOY ducks lined up.
It’s not that I don’t enjoy writing them, or that their purpose evades me, it’s that I’d grown to expect them of myself. And expectation is the serial killer of joy if ever there was one. Blogging had become a chore, higher on the to-do list than cleaning the cat boxes for sure, but not by all that much.
I’m seeing that how we humans approach doing our perceived duties is where things get seriously messed up. We forget that joy factors into absolutely everything in our lives, however mundane, massive, or messy, because it’s a choice. Joy isn’t only doled out to those with mouths seemingly pre-fit for silver spoons, nor is it only that fleeting feeling that we get from life’s occasionally lucky breaks, that flit off again when the going gets tough.
Joy is an inside job, and nothing and nobody is doing the doling out, except us. In its choosing we find a cornerstone of consciousness and it’s one heck of a holy grail, if not The Holy Grail, in my books. We forget this because most of us never learned it in the first place. What we do appear to have learned, from every possible source since breathing our first breath, is that achievement: goals, status, money, education, appearances, and the like, including ‘likes’ rule. But if joy isn’t the tool used in the making of any of it, isn’t it all for naught? It’s like the secret, mystery ingredient in a great recipe that takes a dish into a delicious new stratosphere, yet we keep forgetting to add it to the batter. Why are we so resistant to doing what we know will make it a whole lot better?
We either choose joy, or we don’t.
My former blog-ged determination revealed among other things – that lone cockroach scurrying about announcing the presence of more pests doing what they do best behind the walls. Doing, mindless of the good sense involved in threading joy into whatever is being done. What a revelation to stop for awhile and look into one’s own window.
I already do what I love generally-speaking, so understandably I’d become confused about this occasionally missing ticker tape parade of joy that I assumed naturally went with it. I simply didn’t know enough to insist that joy be in the batter so that I might savour that distinct flavour I’d been longing for.
A love/joy combo as it happens, is a force to be reckoned with.
I’m certainly not talking about becoming a Joybot here. Stuffing down how one actually feels so as to be upbeat and positive is a recipe for disaster, or disappointment at best. When feelings come up that don’t fall into the joy category, there’s value in walking through them in their entirety – operative words, walking through them. Over-identify with them, own them because familiarity feels safer when renting is the better option, and they become our perception of ourselves. And perception is reality. That’s unhelpful to a joyful end game, any day of the week.
Anything that isn’t fear is love, sure enough. Yet joy is the bi-product of that sweet ride and comes with a lot of options and preferences that customize our experience. Joy can be bred in a petrie dish of compassion, kindness, gratitude, creativity, beauty, stillness, silliness, laughter, humour, decency, serenity – the list goes on. What is birthed from anything on that list has the potential to be a bouncing baby Joy if the intention for that to be the case is gently held on the wheel at the 10 and 2 position.
So my hiatus from blogging and some other little things, has been an extermination of sorts, a bug-out of my own eyes as to how I’ve operated too much of the time in a few too many areas.
It’s not what I do that’s getting a joy makeover, it’s how I do it. And by it, I mean everything.
Radical maybe, but if I can’t put a joy spin on things, I don’t do ‘em. And funnily enough, my life isn’t going to hell in a hand basket as a result.
I’m not letting anybody down apparently, consensus says. Not today anyway. And I certainly feel, since shoulding on myself is a no-no for obvious reasons, that by showing myself how this joy thing’s done, I’m inadvertently sharing a really good recipe with others who haven’t yet given themselves real permission to cook at the top of their game.
Love, Joy and I have actually been busy, I’m elated to mention. Joy pushed the first domino, sending the rest of the tiles flying into place. A new musical collaboration with both old and new musician friends has produced a new album; this my fourth. We are and it is, RADIO DNA and our label and presence will soon be a joy for us to share with the world. My 13 years as the singer and lyricist with the band, Besharah was also a Joy/Love combo – that is until unaware, the joy part took a backseat, while I slept. So I know of what I speak.
I also became a practitioner of the energy healing modality that I’ve been a student of for 20 years, and that in no small way has been key to the integration of my seemingly disparate careers – the cohesion, and the point of them all. Which is, spoiler alert: Joy. I also teach culinary classes – a metaphor for expansion – playing with possibility, not to mention the quality of what we’re willing to take in, literally. Kitchen Joy happens because its power pal, Love, calls it.
I still do a little interior design when asked but what the interior I’m most interested in now lacks in style, it makes up for in substance. But I can still read a room like there’s no tomorrow, and what those four walls say most often is, bring on the Joy. Sometimes they punctuate with, for God’s sake.
With family, friends, colleagues, clients, students – I’d already made a concerted effort to choose love and that decision has proven a good one, even when others wouldn’t play along and I had to accept their choice while embracing my own. But when I pop Joy into the mix of the relationships open to it and in all circumstances, insisting on seeing its possibility in the so-called reality before me – that’s a game changer. Do I get it right all the time? Not even close. But it’s a percentages thing, and more and more of the time I’m getting it right, so the math seems to work in my favour.
What we’ve been searching for all along is ours already. We’ve all heard words to that effect, and who knew that the treasure we’ve been hunting is Joy? It’s ours already, we just have to pull the rusty machine of it out of the attic and get it running more. Like my chiropractor says, “motion is lotion”.