In Marie Kondo's book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, she talks about the joy method: evaluating every piece of stuff in your space based on if it brings you joy or not. Lately, joy has been on my mind. I never used to get behind the word joy. I guess maybe I had this connotation that is was related to Christmas and belonged in church songs, but either way the word just bugged me. Until about two years ago when I was at meditation retreat. We were having our closing circle and the word joy just kept coming up over and over again. Maybe it was because my heart was cracked open after being in silence for a few days or maybe it was the quiet or being in such a beautiful space. Whatever it was, in that moment, I felt joy. Real, true, bold joy.
For me, joy is similar to liquid as a state of matter: it takes the shape of it's container/space. Like water, joy can come in small bits or big hunks. It can weasel it's way into tough situations or amplify the good stuff.
The past couple weeks have been pretty busy at work with some late nights teaching and coaching clients and for most of my day, I have to be in extroverted mode. For a natural introvert, this can be draining and exhausting, but I have implemented so many practices and self-care checks in my own routine where it doesn't do it as much anymore. One of my most favorite things in the whole wide world is getting in my car after a long day and sitting in the quiet. I then turn on my car, turn the radio to the public Jazz station, KPLU to be exact, and drive on north to home. When I work late, driving home is super fast and lovely. I love being on the freeway and seeing the lights of the downtown core and the sky. It brings me so much joy.
I have ditched coffee for over a month now and feel totally great. I never have been a coffee drinker by nature, always herbal tea, until about two years ago when I started drinking it more regularly. I would go a few days on and a few days off, but a couple months ago, I was starting to get that nagging feeling in my soul that I should take a break. Give it up for a bit. Take a break. So now, my herbal tea collection is getting it's use and my new joy is my hot cup of tea when I read my work e-mail in the morning at my office. It has become a practice and this thing I look forward to in the morning. It brings me so much joy.
These are just two very small examples of my joy and I know that I could list hundreds. Joy opens our hearts up and it forms to the container it's in. Can you find it? It's there. I promise.