For many years people around me had been talking about the joy they had in their life, the joy they experienced when they were participating in activity, the joy they felt when they were with friends or family. I honestly had never experienced what they described as joy for as long as I can remember.
This made me feel on the inside like there was something wrong with me, my thoughts supported this feeling totally and I started to wonder what joy would feel like. Interestingly enough I could not even imagine it. What was so different about me that I could not even feel a glimpse of joy in my life? Was I broken on some level? What was so wrong with my life that I could not find this illusive feeling that seemed to flow so effortlessly to some people?
This led me on a ‘why’ journey. I wanted to discover what was stopping me experiencing this feeling and then see if I could generate some joy in my life. My conclusions on the lack of joy are as follows.
What I first discovered was that I had so much stored emotional baggage in my neurology. This came from years of disappointing experiences, negative encounters, low self esteem, limiting beliefs and challenges in my personal life. So I began a journey of clearing out the system.
This started with me, on the advice of a great friend, studying NLP (neuro linguistic programming). What a frickin eye opener that was, it was the biggest awareness raising event in my life so far. I realised that all the negativity in my life was being generated by me (on the inside, it’s all an inside job), this new found knowledge hit me like a ton of bricks, I had not even been aware that I was thinking myself into depression on a daily basis, I had no idea that my mind was running on autopilot like a happy little helper, supporting what I was asking for by doing so on a pre-recorded loop for me.
WOW, if I could create that amount of shit in my life, then what could happen if I decided to use my brain for change?
Change happened really quickly and not quite in the way I expected. My 12 year relationship ended, I quit working for a company and went self employed… now I wasn’t expecting that at all. I became aware that I had spent the majority of my life pleasing others, worrying about their opinions, saying yes too much, not looking after myself first, not dreaming about my future and so on. Even though being alone scared the bejeezus out of me, off I went.
Joy still eluded me though. Which led to the next awakening, people only show you the surface. Social media can be a killer for many people. Watching these perfect lives unfold before you and feeling like you are missing out on something or malfunctioning as a human being. When you realise that 80% of it is all fake, you begin to normalise your emotions and can settle back down into your body and focus on you. This is exactly what I did, I began to become consciously aware of my thoughts and change them when they did not support me or they were negative, I stopped comparing my life to the perfect social media demonstrations on show, this led to the body feeling much better and I found myself smiling more.
I started saying no to people and what I found was that people are totally ok with you saying no, we just make up these ridiculous stories in our heads that people will stop liking us if we do not agree to do everything for them, this is bs to the max. I took up purposeful meditation and made sure I had ‘me’ time every morning and evening. I had a full internal system clean up of all the stored emotional crap I had picked up over the years, this was like being reborn as a new person, all the anger went, the judgement, the negative self talk.
I took time for me. I paid attention to the world when walking my dog, I began to listen. I now, pretty much follow my internal guidance. I do have the odd hick-up where I totally ignore it and my body makes me ill, but I am recognising the signs now and doing my best to support me.
As for Joy, the illusive feeling that I craved due to other peoples experiences…. have I found it?
Every now and then I find myself sitting quietly and become aware of this strange interesting feeling that seeps into my body at a cellular level.. maybe this is the Joy I have been seeking slowly working it’s way into my system. Who knows, all I am sure of is the more I look after me on the inside, the better my life gets and the more I can send this to others on the outside.
Make your mind matter and use your brain for change!