After having coffee with a dear friend last week, I spent an hour or so perusing Chapters and had a bit of a brainwave.
I first need to say, though, that I almost didn’t peruse Chapters – because it wasn’t a ‘productive’ activity.
I have spent my entire life being caught up with the idea of spending my time doing ‘important’ and ‘productive’ tasks. I could spend all sorts of time analyzing where this rigid mindset comes from ~ Generally, though, we are a culture obsessed with results and ‘success’.
Perhaps I partly inherited this strong-hold of an ethic from my accomplished head-nurse grandmother, whom I was very close to. Grandma was passionate, loving and had a great sense of fun, but was also extremely efficient, productive, and task-oriented. She was constantly at battle with herself over the hours that weren’t productive, the tasks that weren’t completed.
It makes sense,
I don’t blame her and in actuality completely adored her. Our society was built upon the tasks of hard-working immigrants such as Grandma who had no choice but to be productive and build new lives against all odds.
And they did.
However, it’s now a very different world; the rules and needs have changed.
It feels right for me to announce that this focus enslaves me more than it serves me. It makes me distracted, cranky with the ones I love the most, and often quite negative. Yet, sadly and truthfully, it’s most often how I measure the worth of my days.
I am going to try serving another master: Joy
and see where that takes me.
So that’s it. That’s my New Year’s plan and my new practice. Joy.
I am going to investigate, explore and give full reign to things that bring me
If this sounds hoaky, simplistic, or idealistic, I really don’t care. I am blessed enough to be surrounded by lots of intelligent, successful, and highly artistic people and for too long I believed that everything I wrote or did needed to be academic or clever and original. I am done with that line of thinking because not only is it paralyzing, but I am a true believer in the deep and abiding worth of simple concepts.
Also, a very wise friend once said to me,
‘Everything’s been done before. Don’t kid yourself. But it hasn’t been done by you.’
Also, because I know that every practice is fortified by writing about it and tracking developments (my friend and I actually discussed this over said coffee),
I am going to write about Joy this year and the places where I find it.
When I wake up in the morning I am going to consider what will fill me up rather than what needs be to accomplished.
Last post I talked about being open to receiving beautiful moments.
Let’s just see if setting forth an intent widens the scope and potential of my receptivity.
So, there will be far less ado about what I have done and far more about surrendering to a new way of looking at things. I have been given so many precious gifts in this life, it seems nothing less than a betrayal to not find ways to celebrate their sweet presence. We all know too well that life is short.
Plus there’s nothing like publicly announcing something to make it happen.
I said I was going to re-think my blog a bit this year. Plus as soon as I use the word project or theme I get all tingly and excited and inspired and dare I say…Joyful.
So there it is. I gave myself permission to be unproductive and peruse Chapters for an hour with no agenda and an agenda found me.
At any rate, I am pretty sure that it’s a non-debatable fact that the world could use more Joy.
And, I suspect that Joy is a direct highway to Peace.
Here, I got you all interested in my Purse Project and I didn’t even tell you about it. No worries, I will in a few days. It’s idea #1 and I just need to flesh it out a bit.
In the meantime, I hope you all feel a little inspired to figure out what it is your lives need more of.
Joy, however, is anything but saccharine or false. It is delight; a fully embodied form of contentment. It’s the smile that finds its own stretch and doesn’t need to be tugged into place. It’s what the morning glory does when it feels the first rays of sunlight on its petals. It’s the splash that sends a feeding fish slaphappy out of the water, and it’s the flick of its tail on its return. Joy is the impulse in the morning that sends you into the kitchen for tea and toast before the alarm has had a chance to ring. Tzivia Gover, ‘Joy in Every Moment’
The beautiful image heading this piece is from from Robin Mead! Check out her other inspiring and joyful designs at https://www.facebook.com/RobinMeadDesigns