Every day, good things happen, bad things happen.
Too often, the setbacks are monumental. A bad moment in the morning can flood an entire day with spiraling thoughts, despair, and everything gets exponentially worse. All the bad things, in a tidal wave.
Caught in the maelstrom, we’re afraid to let go of them. Afraid that we won’t get done what needs doing. We can’t stop thinking about it! And then, in the desperation, we still struggle to do any of it.
On any given day, I can look at everything as a loss. There is only sorrow and pain. I can believe that the world is out to get me. I put on blinders, get stuck in the darkness, and forget to look up and see the snow on the mountains. Hell, I might not even go outside.
Until I remember I want something different. I remember that I believe life is an ecstatic experience. I try to step outside of my self-absorption and remember that this struggle is more illusion than real. What’s Real? The air on my face, the clouds in the sky, the birds chirping and the strange scents on the wind.
When I say step outside, I mean that literally. Like this:
- Inform your mind that this is a symbolic act. You are literally stepping out of your spiraling cognitive mess into something different.
- Open the door.
- Step outside. With two feet.
- Close the door behind you.
- Let the magic happen.
If you get the order jumbled, don’t worry about it. 🙂 Imagine it happened exactly right.
This is you, constructing reality! Fucking amazing, isn’t it? YOU can do this! YOU can make worlds!!!!
Don’t notice magic quite yet? I get it. I’ve been there. Maybe, take a few steps into the world. Turn it into a walk. Or stand barefoot under the tree. Follow your intuition around until you start to shift, then follow it until you shift.
You may think and do things like this:
“Hmmm, I think I want to stop here.”
“Oh! I want to sit in the grass!”
“Oooo, I’m going to write this down!”
“Look, a squirrel!”
I’ve walked for a couple hours following my intuitive impulses, sitting on benches, taking pictures, shedding the energetic debris, finding myself again. I’ve also only gone a few steps and felt 1000X better. Just…follow… and let the miracle happen.
Gratitude can also be key element for me. It can dislodge some pretty monumental stuckness. (Change that stuckness into muchness! This parenthetical sponsored by the Mad Hatter.)
Gratitude can also be pretty difficult. When life really sucks, it can feel impossible to find anything to be grateful for. (“Fuck gratitude. I hate everything and there’s nothing that can cheer me up for all of eternity.” This parenthetical sponsored by all that hates you. And Loki. (Did you know that parentheticals could even be sponsored? I didn’t, until one paragraph ago.))
In cases this dire, you might be like this with gratitude:
“I took a breath. I guess I’m grateful for that. A duck. On the water. That’s cool. I guess. The wind is cold. I’m not grateful for that, but there’s air. At least there’s that. Oh! I breathed again. Nice.” And so on…
Joy can be a serious uphill battle. We’re wired to survive, and for some strange reason, your reptilian brain doesn’t think that includes joy. It’s worried about danger and and keeping you and your wild ideas contained. Focusing on the dangers and the fear is natural – it ain’t your fault! – and to live an ecstatically joyous life, your inner reptile can’t run the show.
You can choose what you focus on. This isn’t about ignoring the shit. It’s about transforming your relationship with it. And realizing that on most days, there are more great things to experience than horrible ones. A little Spring in your step will help you see them…
(Ha! Get it? Yeah, it’s Spring this month.* In like a Lion, out like a Lamb. New growth. Mudluscious. Put a whole season in your step. This parenthetical sponsored by ee cummings.)
*In the northern hemisphere. For the other half of the planet, think of it as transitional season (Autumn is amaaazing, you’re so lucky) and bookmark this for next spring.
Also, you can have spring in your step no matter what season it is.
This is a monthly theme for You’ve Got Joy!
Let the Bounce in your Step become your natural way of walking!
Sign up for You’ve Got Joy.
Daily prompts to help you remember.
“I didn’t have expectations about what it would mean to
focus on joy, but it has been amazing!” – Ann