Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Update on this JOY thing

Ok, so now I have had a week or so to be in this place of choosing joy, living joy, being joy. What have I learned so far?

Here is an obvious one. When I choose joy and choose joy and then choose some more joy, eventually my head and my life explodes. And not really in a good way. I always think it will be so fun, just all joy, all the time. But there is so much joy to be had, so many great things to do. How do we pick? I guess that is the point of the Balance course we teach at the Coaches Training Institute. Eventually, when life gets so full and so rich and so big, there will come a day when you even need to say no to delightful things, desirable things, A-list things. I have spent so much time yearning to have my life filled with fun stuff that now that it is here and I am forced to pick between excellent things, I am at a loss. As I keep saying when I lead the Balance course: to reach your dream you need to say no to something else.

And what happens if we don’t pick? There is this running ragged thing. And eventually, even the joy stops being joyful because it is overwhelming. Is there really such a thing as too much joy? Well, here I am, doing tons. Stuff I like. But something happens. It is like I step onto this treadmill of Doing. I go onto autopilot and when I am here it is hard to hear what I really need or want to do. It is like I am in overdrive, with a burning, feverish need to DO things, when what I really need is to gear down. Is it our society that has us be such doers, or it is in my DNA, coming from busy people stock, or is it in my personality? I am learning that picking is a better answer for me that this doing thing. And slowing down between activities enough that I get to listen to my heart is crucial.

Here is another big thing I got feedback on. My dear friends, who have dear children, oh boy. When you have kids it is all about them. So guess what, it is about choosing their joy. And at the end of the day, there isn’t time left for your joy, or rather you are too exhausted and the only real joy is sleep. Your joy takes second place or else you are dealing with their non-joy and with little kids that seems to look like tears or temper tantrums. Lions and tigers and bears. Oh my. So I don’t know what to say. I am in the very luxurious position of having all the time in the world, to focus on me (not that I have always appreciated being in this position, as many of you know). I guess it then becomes my responsibility to make use of that time. But here is my one thought on what I have done when I am in a position where I don’t get to choose what is or is not a part of my day, and I don’t get to pick what my heart’s first choice is. I try to do whatever I have to do with joy. Pat and simple sounding I know, but not easy. Sort of like gratitude, it needs to be cultivated and created, for it doesn’t seem to grow on it’s own, unattended. Another important lesson around joy then. How do we find what is joyful in all that we do, instead of living in the place of longing for the thing we can’t or don’t have.


At 1:25 PM PST, Anonymous Keira said...

Having a kid is such a weird thing. My assumption about what I needed "for me" time have all been upended. I get astonishingly little of the kind of time I thought was absolutely critical (including time to do basic self-care) but I feel more joy than before. Perhaps this has to do with being of service to something or someone you love? Does this also work when it's service to a cause, a spiritual belief etc?

At 7:39 PM PST, Blogger Signy said...

Great question. And I think it does (not that I have been involved in any large cause). When I am in any kind of service that ties to my heart or belief, or life force, I am 10 times bigger, more generous, etc.

Thanks for the thought provoking!!


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