What Steals your Joy and how to get it Back?

January 18, 2019

I recently listened to a talk titled “what steals your joy?”


 

Not hiding gives me joy.


 

The idea of being open & honest about hard things in life and telling our stories feels really joyful to me. 


 

So let’s talk about truth, death & marketing.


 

My mom’s 14th year death anniversary is today (Jan 15). 


 

I have a tender story being published about her in an anthology. 


 

We recently had a marketing class to promote the book.


 

Everyone was so excited to share with their family and friends the pre-order link. 


 

But for me, it started to hit me, how vulnerable this felt. 


 

I woke up in the middle of the night with the beginnings of headache, my way of checking out from feeling the hard stuff.


 

What’s yours?


 

After writing my first draft a year and a half-ago for this anthology, I had 7 weeks of pneumonia.

 

 

My yoga teacher had read a poem in class the week before and the line that stayed with me was “the only safety is in allowing.

 

 

As we go into promotion for the book, I could feel my ego wanting to protect through it’s familiar coping mechanism - hide, hide, hide.....headache.

 

 

I can see now that my soul was preparing me for further release, asking to allow whatever I was feeling in. 

 

 

I chose to breathe into my 3rd eye, where I felt the constriction and suddenly began to cry the words “most of my life I’ve denied my truth, my pain to protect and appease others."

 

 

The third eye, between our brow point is where we receive our intuition and it also holds our self-image.

 

When we take steps to break away from the identity we created to stay safe our ego will try it's hardest to keep us small. 

 

 

Feeling and breathing is a powerful tool to help let it go. 

 

 

I have created a whole identity around hiding my truth & over the years I was breaking away from that and with this book, my identity as a hider is coming to it's death. 

 

 

In the book "Secret Life of Bee’s" there is a scene with Lily visiting her boyfriend, Zach.


 

He was unjustly sent to jail because he stayed silent to protect his friends.

 

 

“I'll write this all down for you," I said. "I'll put it in a story." 

 

I don't know if that's what he wanted to ask me but it's something everybody wants--for someone to see the hurt done to them and set it down like it matters.”

 

 

My mom has been set free 14 years now, I on the other hand have been living decades imprisoned in silence.

 

 

This is the quote that sits on my altar. 

 

 

I’m no stranger to sharing “dirty laundry.”
 

My first blog was titled “how I cheated on an exam to pass pharmacy school.” I wrote this piece at the end of my 10 year career as a professor of pharmacy.

 

After a lifetime of hiding, truth liberated me and writing and sharing my expression healed me.

 

But my blog didn’t have 46 other enthusiastic writers tweeting about it.

 

However, my words for the year given to me through a Goddess Wink (aka signs) is Exist Loudly....

 

 

The day after my 3rd eye release, I picked a deva card & it read Delight.


 

Another message from my soul


 

My friend and I are obsessed with this poem by Jack Gilbert about sorrow:

A Brief for the Defense.


 

It talks about the suffering of the world & my favorite line is:


 

We must Risk Delight.


 

So in the wake of my mom’s death anniversary, as I choose to betray the family contract of silence, I finally decide, I had enough.


 

But notice, pain first.


 

You can’t bypass this part.


 

The key is to know when enough is enough.


 

I decided to get a cup of coffee from a favorite cafe & spend time with my family instead of allowing my self-judgement to steal my joy. 


 

But first there was laundry....there’s always laundry.


 

While waiting for my hubby to pass me the wet clothes to dry...an amazing music mix came on the radio.


 

I couldn’t control myself and I jacked up the volume and started to dance in our parking lot. 


 

My son joined, neighbors and folks passed by, some smiled, some looked with curiosity and others didn’t notice.


 

 

The best part....my fave hip-hop song of all time came on: Biggie Give me One More Chance...what a metaphor for my day.


 

{Here’s a blurry photo courtesy of my 7 y/o old.}

 

 

 

 

I ended the night going to a reading with a dear soul sista literary mama.


 

I read my essay “Reclaiming Beauty as my BirthRight” and came home to the snuggling arms of my man, feeling even more like I exist. 


 

 

I am reminded that even with all the suffering of the world and our past, we must feel the Pain & Risk Delight anyways.


 

We heal one broken expression at a time.

 

 

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