Hello there, How are you this Happy Sunday?
In this conversation I’d like us to consider how we can live, as I firmly believe we are here to live life, which is fully, completely, whole-heartedly and in Joy and NOT as drudges or in a perpetual state of tiredness making do, putting up with, accepting and OR running, running and running, to feel as if we’re going no-where; wondering ‘is this all there is?’
The dictionary defines ‘Comfort.’ as:
- 1. A state of physical ease and freedom from pain or constraint.
- 2. consolation for grief or anxiety.
- 3. Verb to feel less unhappy
Whereas ‘Joy’ is defined as:
- 1. A feeling of great pleasure and happiness.
- 2. Success or satisfaction
- Synonyms cited are words such as; bliss delight, ecstasy, euphoria, rapture
Which do you choose?
Looking at both of these definitions, I know which one I would prefer to experience. How often though do we opt for the former state repressing and containing our joy ‘just in case,’ so we’re not too disappointed should our success/love/ambition be snatched away or worse still we fail?
On an episode of Oprah Winfrey’s ‘Super Soul Sunday,’ Dr Brené Brown discusses her *4 guideline for wholehearted living, which she says is:
- ‘The cultivation of Gratitude and Joy.’
- – Letting go of scarcity and fear of the dark
‘When we lose our tolerance for vulnerability, Joy becomes foreboding.’
Brené continues this means: ‘
I’m not going to feel you, I’m not going to soften into this moment of joy, because I’m scared. I’m afraid it’s going to be taken away from me.’
I recognise this scenario only too well myself.
The fearful ‘What if?’
The younger version of me was a very contained person. I rarely cried. I had learnt early on to repress emotions, especially the ones which contained feelings of joy. In doing so I would never be disappointed. If I didn’t expect much than I wouldn’t suffer agony of not achieving/having my heart’s desire.
I was well practised at minimising the ‘joy’ and opted instead for the familiarity and less threatening ‘comfortable.’ Feeling joy is inherently dangerous.
These feelings are, more often than not followed by the thought that something ‘bad’ or unsavoury is just around the corner because it all feels just a little ‘TOO’ good and I know you know what I’m talking about!
Every so often we’ll do a little mental inventory of where we’re at.
Once we work our way down the tick-list and slowly realise that things are going good… not only that, things are good in all areas; work, home, parents, friends, financial etc…we begin to assume that it can’t ALL be this good and something bad is lurking just around the corner.
I’ve heard it from friends, family members and colleagues many times… ‘It won’t last…’ ‘Yeah I’m good… something’s bound to go wrong!’ and although we may say it ‘tongue in cheek’…somewhere deep down we believe it.
Without Vulnerability there can be no Joy
At this point in my life I can honestly confess to you that I am living in JOY.
It’s where everyone should living
Not a day goes by without someone telling me how wonderful I look and that is because of the joy which simply oozes out from within me. It is a better state to be in than the ‘comfortable’ state of being in which I refused to feel, to express, to be too big, to dare too greatly incase it was all snatched away and I would be left bereft.
Opening up to JOY makes you VULNERABLE
Roller-Coaster OR Merry-GO-Round?
The former choice is to choose the ‘Merry-go-Round’ of life. There’s some movement, but after a few times round you kind of get to know what’s coming up next. You’ve been here before, you can handle this, you’re armed and ready. No surprises!
The alternative is the Roller Coaster…It scares the S**t out of you, you don’t know if you’ll survive it…the intensity of it…it’s not safe, what if you fall off? So many uncertainties to counter.
But…let me tell you how wonderful it is to bite the bullet and ride that damned roller-coaster!
Yes! All the aforementioned fears are credible, but if you’ve every ridden a roller-coaster you know the thrill, the feeling of being alive that you experience. Every fibre of your being, every nerve ending, every sense is sharp and alert.
Expanded…more alert…more alive!
You feel expanded and fearful, yet strangely fearless at the same time. You’re out of control and vulnerable, stripped back and laid bare, much like the feelings you experience when making love…didn’t our dictionary offer up the synonyms ‘rapture,’ and ‘ecstasy?’
In that moment you can do nothing but surrender to the experience because whether in that moment you live or die is no longer in your control!
When we surrender…When we submit to vulnerability we expand
On reflection you realise you’ve expanded your being somehow. You’re somehow bigger, brighter!
You’re no longer shrunken and you can’t go back.
In fact the immediate want once you’ve jumped off a roller-caster is often to jump straight back on and experience it all over again because your realise the next time you will fully commit to FEELING the joy in what you’re doing. You realise that the first time there was still some fear and a part of you was holding back.
Red pill or blue…which will you choose?
So this week…I’m challenging you (and myself) to be vulnerable. To allow yourself to climb onto the roller-coaster and go for the ride of your life!
Expose yourself…reveal… who you are…dare to submit and if you can do this alongside cultivating feelings of gratitude I guarantee you will not regret it.
Is there something you want to do or achieve that scares you? Great! make a change and take a step towards it. You’re scared for all the reasons I stated above, but be assured stepping into it will catapult you into such a feeling of joy and gratitude and expansion you will never want to ride the merry-go-round again.
This week I realised a great fear I have had all my life…so here and now I will expose myself to you my readers, supporters and friends. If I am to support others on their journey I need to fully immerse myself in the principles I say I hold dear and so I’m allowing myself to be vulnerable and share with you my vision.
It’s one which scares me.
It feels arrogant and reminds me of all those times when asked as a child, ‘Who do you think you are?’ or as an adult accused (more than once) of thinking I am ‘better than everyone else!’
I forced myself to create a mission statement for my Personal Development and Coaching business this week and as I looked at the words I’d written in pink ink, I felt a tremendous fear rise and that familiar voice inside said ‘WHO THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?’
So here in pink…I am declaring the me I am choose to be in this world: I declare that I aim to be:
“The Spark that ignites the power and potentiality in others.
To stand bathed in, fully immersed in my magnificence, power and abundance
and to always support others to do the same.”
Sure there are no guarantees…accessing your joy doesn’t mean life’s trials suddenly melt away, but boy are you more ready and capable of dealing with them and you’ll find you’ll come through stronger and more expanded…
A bigger, better version of you…
A version you accept and love…
The version of you, you were always meant to be.
Blessings & much love