This is the Chinese Year of the Rabbit. The Chinese believe that this means there will be a specific theme for your year based on your original Character. I’m a Tiger, and this year, I laughed when I found out that there are two main things for me to do this year. The first is focus (instead of being that flibbertigibbet!) and the second is to let my creativity out – and that’s what I had decided to do anyway. I’m still working on the mindfulness and balance, and the last day or so may have given me an indication that I’ve some work to do there.. Ahem.
But along with balance and creativity, my other theme was to know outrageous joy. And the good news is that I’m feeling decidely more-than-happy at the moment, because I’m IN my flow; so much so that I’m nearly bouncing in my seat. I’ve realised part of getting to this point was letting go of resistant thoughts. In the process, I realised that some of the things I may have thought were really important to me weren’t. Things like doing really well in my job, being perfect (or seen to be perfect), being in control all the time, being financially well off – were not things that brought me joy. They perhaps brought me satisfaction sometimes (if I felt I’d done a job well, or something I did was recognised) – but they didn’t bring me joy and meaning.
What did I need to let go to know outrageous joy?
Recognising some things stand in your way is critical, I’ve realised. I’ve observed that things like fear, worry, perfection, control, being right, being mother-all-the-time, living on pedestals, always-doing, always-learning, masks and the past are all things that have held me back from experiencing this joy. There is no longer a need to let this be the case. I’m darkness and light, and I can embrace all that I am and all that I was instead of exhausting myself trying to be who I think I ought to be. I’m me, and that’s just dandy.
Accepting this was also the first step to giving me the space to get to know what I DO want. All of the above (which could be negative) are learning experiences for me but knowing this is not enough to move me to change. I may wish to move away from them, but while an away from motivation may be very powerful, it doesn’t bring joy and it doesn’t really bring focus. You need to turn whatever your away from motivator might be to find an alternative that moves you towards something that you’d prefer. So while Duncan Bannatyne states that his poor background is what motivated him to become a Dragon and uber rich – it’s the motivation to be rich that got him where he is. That’s a much more powerful motivation, and I know I want outrageous joy.
Knowing what gives me joy and meaning
If my focus is Outrageous Joy, knowing what brings me joy and meaning has to be the first part of that, so yesterday I made a list of what did. And it includes:
Love, Lee, Iain, Emma, Andrew and Jenni, my family, my dear friends, my dogs and cats, writing, creating, dancing, nature, water (especially the sea), singing, beautiful music, rock music, concerts, connecting, empowering people, sharing wisdom, comforting others, justice, helping the underdog, making a difference, being a link in the chain, courage, flowers, swimming, amazing stories, inspiration wherever I find it, supporting people to live happier lives, nurturing people….. and a few dozen other things.
Finding outrageous joy
You might find outrageous joy in the birth of your children, in finding a soulmate, in finding your perfect job, in laughing heartily at your brand of comedy, at sky-diving, mountain climbing, deep sea diving, writing, hugging your friends. It’s going to be different for everyone. But what I’m beginning to see is the things that bring me joy and meaning are crucial for that – and when several of them come together, that has me bubbling inside and sitting with a big smile on my face. What I’m about to launch may go nowhere, it may do nothing – or it may cause a ripple in the pool. I’m happy to start a ripple; in fact the thought of starting a ripple is filling me with outrageous joy as I know I’m in MY flow. And I might just make a difference; the size of the difference doesn’t matter. If all I do is get people talking, that’s already a difference.