TWIL (This Week I Learned)
This week I chose joy. I chose joy ahead of time to stay in line with the season of advent and because on Thursday I get to share a conversation with musician Anna Katarina (piano/vocals) about her band with Aline Daigle (violin/vocals) Rumor Mill.
Joyful because, in talking with Anna, I became so clear about what a weird mystery joy is. Asking someone to speak with you about joy?
I may be mistaken, but I believe that is the very first time I have ever asked someone to speak with me about joy. I don’t know if this makes sense for everyone, but my experience of life so far is that I have to be ready for joy, keep an eye out for it — because, well, life is not joyful on its surface.
There’s a subtle art which I have not perfected of knowing when to say “Enough!” to the stressors of life and head into the woods, turn on some powerful music (or sing!), dance, run, or play again.
2. Quote (This is my why!)
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“Part of the problem with the word 'disabilities' is that it immediately suggests an inability to see or hear or walk or do other things that many of us take for granted. But what of people who can't feel? Or talk about their feelings? Or manage their feelings in constructive ways? What of people who aren't able to form close and strong relationships? And people who cannot find fulfillment in their lives, or those who have lost hope, who live in disappointment and bitterness and find in life no joy, no love? These, it seems to me, are the real disabilities.”
― Fred Rogers, The World According to Mister Rogers: Important Things to Remember
We obviously can’t feel anything deeply when we are overly stressed: when we are reacting to things with our lizard-brains (fight, flight, freeze or fawn)
I’ve certainly been struggling with this lately — Before attempting to journal, spend time taking off your lizard suit :) — If you’re not aware of all the lovely ways you can do this, go ahead and access my self-care course to remind yourself of all the things you can do to calm your nervous system.
The thing is, in the moment, you may not feel like deep breathing — but our bodies are wonderful and mysterious and we can choose to sing if that feels right in the moment, or walk, or gargle —
So, absolutely, before trying to tackle joy, settle your nervous system. Ready yourself. Go for a run, do some yoga, take a cold shower. <= these are all proven ways to reset your nerves; choose one.
And then, this week, notice what brings you joy. It’s often unexpected things. I’m convinced we have to cultivate it.
The video I chose is that iconic TED talk about joy. I finally watched it myself — it’s like a 13 minute primer to remind yourself what joy is.
As she says, “seeing (these things) gave me this indescribably hopeful feeling” — I think remembering the importance of joy can’t be understated.
So, please, notice joy this week. Cultivate it. Cultivate it so that you can bring it to your senses when you need it.
5. Level-UP / Go Deeper
She ends with “The drive toward joy is the drive toward life.” I think she’s right. I maybe had not watched her TED talk until now because I — for all I think I want to embrace joy — was not ready.
But imagine a life with more joy. Especially now. Mid December can be dark, cold, wet, dead feeling.
We have the ability to cultivate joy. Even if we need to save it for later, having a running list of things that bring us joy is, essentially, an injection of life.
9. Hero: Toshiko Horiuchi MacAdam — Playground Knitter
Why? She knits playgrounds.
10. Take Care of Yourself This Week and Share if you know someone who might like this. And, actually, talk about cultivating joy. I am *this* close to meeting my subscriber goal for the year. Please share with someone you think may enjoy this weekly.
Wild and Precious Podcast, the audio partner to 10 Things, is available everywhere you download podcasts.