Let’s get right down to it. JOY.
Don’t we all want our days filled with this dreamy quality? Does it seem out of reach?
This used to be me:
– Getting everything done for everyone else and leaving myself last
– Disallowing ‘shortcuts’ around any task, whether menial or skilled
– Running 5 days a week because I thought I “had to”
– Studying / working so hard that I sacrificed rest and sleep…a LOT of it
Sound like anyone you know??
I’ve changed a lot over the years. Over various trainings and practices of personal development. I’ve reflected on these ways of being quite a bit… what was it about the inflexibility and all-out-ness? I believe I thought that more always meant better. That harder must (maybe? at some point?) lead to ease.
Here’s the real truth that has taken me decades to learn. The less, and the softer come in only when we practice them with intention. Traditional Chinese Medicine’s concepts of Yin and Yang apply perfectly here. I’m sure you are familiar with the black and white circular image. Here are the Coles notes of this ancient wisdom:
Yang is the energy of the sun – hot, fast, active, upward, positive, overt, masculine
Yin is the energy of the moon – cool, slow, passive, downward, negative, covert, feminine
These forces are not opposing. Instead, they are complementary and interconnected. Neither is ‘good’ nor ‘bad’. Both are necessary. Both aspects are found in equal measure in Nature, and by extension, in ourselves. We need these in equal balance. When neither outcompetes the other, when there is harmony between them, we are well.
If you want to feel truly joyful in your life, stop waiting for it to show up on your doorstep. The keys have already been found. It seems that, by and large, we are on overdrive these days. Yang dominant, Yin deficient. If that’s bringing joylessness, then the antidote for a lot of us is bringing Yin back in.
But there is no absolute prescription. The answer lies in getting back to balance in whatever ways have been blocked or disallowed in your life. You may be too Yang in some aspects and too Yin in others. Take stock, and adjust the dials. On purpose.
This is how we find joy. We let it in.