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Listen to Your Joy

Yo, that sentence hit me and made sense why I wasn’t really making a lot of traction on my own writing and building and all that jazz. I feel like an imposter most of the time because I read other people and I’m like, man that’s brilliant.

And then this sentence hit me.

“I am not teaching you, you are merely listening to yourself.” –Eckhart Tolle

It’s good, it’s shiny (Firefly, anyone?).

That is the point of self-care. That is why some things work for some people and other things work for others. It’s not about me teaching you anything. I have known for a while that I wanted this to be a giant resource of anything and everything related to self-care to see what worked and what didn’t and why I didn’t think it worked for me.

Mainly because as an INFJ on the MBTI that’s literally what we do.

We like to tinker and figure out the mess and help others get out of their messes. It triggers all the happy chemicals. 

INFJ’s also like to know about themselves, they like to take all the personality tests and make their friends take the test, because that gives us better data to be better friends and well, who doesn’t want to be a better friend.

I like patterns. I like noticing other people’s patterns and other people giving me their patterns. 

Don’t try to talk to so-an-so on Mondays because that is the day he has meetings from 7AM-6PM. Tuesday, though that would be your best day. It’s a good day to ask for something that you want. Be succinct. Dude has enough on his plate.

Do you think I’m going to use this information to my advantage? Absolutely.

Why shouldn’t I? I have done everything I can to earn all the brownie points with this person so they will give me my big ask. The only doubt I have at this point is the computer may muck everything up and we’ll have to start from scratch. Whoops, well then I’ll just do the magic over again.

But the point is that I made a goal and I figured out the research about what I had to do to get what I needed.

I was raised with the idea that when the going gets tough, the tough get going. Does that mean we run away from the problem?

Yeah, no.

We dig in and get to a solution. We don’t sit there and wait for someone else to give us what we need. We find the steps to take us to where we want to be. It’s not an easy process the first time. It’s not a complicated process, either. 

So that’s what we’re going to do about our joy.

At this point you’ve, hopefully, read the first two posts in this topic and done your homework.

We’ve figured out what brings us joy and we’ve made five minutes a day for it for a week.

How do you feel?

Like it wasn’t enough, right?

The thing that makes joy different than the other things we feel on a daily basis is that it lasts. It lingers a lot longer than usual.

I’m older now, so I understand what happened better. But I’ll tell you a story.

When I was eighteen, I went to my first concert. I had begged for years to go, but my parents firmly believed that I wasn’t ready until I was an adult. So I waited.

My parents were concerned because previously in my life, when they let me do nice things and I came home, I was always a bear the next day. They didn’t like that and they really didn’t want to let me go to an all-day concert festival on a Saturday and then have to deal with me on Sunday.

Being a musical person—this event was an eye opener for me. I was for the first time in my life actually offered weed (that tell you how much of a good kid I was) and I didn’t take it. But you know, it was nice to be a part of a group that didn’t think I was a weird churchy kid.

I didn’t drink nearly enough water that day, or eat enough. But at the end of the night when my mother came and got my friend (who also saved me from a mosh pit) and I we smelled like the appropriate amount of beer and weed even if neither of us had any. We dropped him off, and I did my night stuff, and went to bed.

My mother remembers the next morning as something other than normal. Sure, I was a little tough to rouse to get ready for church and all that, but she mentioned something really important. I wasn’t the grumpy tired, just the exhausted moving slow tired.

She also mentions that I was less angry with the world and all that teenage drama for like a week. It’s been a while so I’m not totally sure that’s true, but hey, I’ll take the brownie points. 

It came up years later when I wanted to go to a concert on a Monday night and I was back home at the community college and had classes the next morning.

She didn’t even hesitate to say yes.

As I’ve gotten older and understood myself more, and gone to more concerts, I’ve understood something that being in a crowd at a music concert does to me.

I get out of myself. I get out of my own head and stay in the present for an extended period of time. It’s not just a minute or two like you get with really seeing the scenery. It lasts hours and sometimes days, depending on how quickly I was able to shed myself, and stay out of myself.

I’m finally reading ‘The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle and man, do I understand a few things that I’ve known but never put together as a thing.

My biggest joy is being in the music.

It’s why I could never concentrate without music on, much to my dad’s dismay when he’d turn off the radio and I’d get all sidetracked, and I’d turn it back on because I couldn’t explain but I knew it. 

It’s also probably why I’ve had more spiritual experiences in my car with the radio on than in a church. 

Church sermons, for me, have become the ‘reinforce’ the message I’ve been hearing all week. It’s a little creepy sometimes when my pastor literally says the exact same phrase that’s been popping up over and over.  

It means that it’s important because my mind is seeing that particular pattern. Like I know that is the lesson I need to learn but haven’t quite gotten there.

Listening to your joy isn’t always easy

We live in a world of distractions. One after another takes our minds away from what matters to us and brings us further from our goals and deeper into our own heads.

Tolle gets a little woo-woo for me because he’s avoiding naming a particular religion for people to follow and as such, words can’t have a proper definition and well, we know that I read the dictionary as a child if that tells you anything.

This week, I want you to find if there are any patterns in what brings you joy? Is something surrounding food, the eating, the community, the presentation? Or is it like me, where music permeates every part of my life, so much so that a move to Music City isn’t surprising to anyone that knows me?

Listening to your joy will allow you to calibrate your life. I don’t think we need to lose everything in our lives to have a joyful life, but we need to make sure that we are aiming for the direction we want instead of just reacting to everything that comes our way.

As always, five minutes is all it takes to change your life, one action at a time,

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