Joy! Where are you? Oh, right here.

During a conversation with a friend this weekend, I realised that I was taking all this self-development and personal growth far too serious. I often say 'I have so much work still to do!'. it is true, in fact I will always have loads of 'work' to do on my self for the rest of my life. So it felt that I was facing this personal growth, as it had an end goal - 'by March 2018 I will be all sorted and then I can live my life and possibly even have fun!' I'm not saying that I had this precise thought, but whatever is happening at my subconscious level, it felt that this should be the expectation.

What followed was a crisis in identity for me. I was mildly stressed with this new knowledge, I felt that I needed to just start living more joyfully and be happy, now! Haha I'm not afraid to go deep and face whatever needs to be faced, but sometimes it feels that I just go a bit far and maybe too fast, when all I need is to sit back and see what else comes up. Two days of fast thinking, questioning myself and others: 'How do you have fun?'; 'Do you plan fun?'; 'Is fun only had in the spur of the moment?'; 'Do you have ways of injecting fun into your life?'... and so on. It felt like I was in full panic mode, trying to quickly understand this and not really getting it, even though deep down I knew I already had the answers.

In the last month, I have come to realise that I have an issue with the word 'work'. That word seems to equate in my head, for some reason, to lack of freedom. That working in an office represents that lack of freedoom even more. Apart from having this realisation I did not do much about this. I was hoping that someone in my life would turn up with the answer and I just did nothing about it. Yet, I was also receiving all sorts of messages from some of the people who surround me that maybe I should get a part-time job to keep me going and at the same time follow my dream and my calling. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, that I have no problem with actually working, when I enjoy it, and it can be many different things, I throw myself deeply into giving my best. Yet, this also seemed to be something that brings about other fears, like not being able to strike a balance between working for someone else and for myself. What if I get lost into working for someone else and then just forget about my dream and calling? It felt like I had a straight jacket around my body.

I finally took some action and called a good friend for help with a healing modality that has been of great help to me many times: ThetaHealing. Jade Aurousseau is a practitioner and we have been doing swaps for some time. We started connecting around the time I decided to quit my job. I asked for her help and yesterday we did a session through skype. This modality will often go through layers of beliefs through my life time, but also through my parents and even ancestor lines, meaning that some beliefs come from someone else and these are sometimes hard to get rid of because they are not something I can realise for myself. I was feeling quite frustrated with both the 'work' situation as well as now the 'lack of joy' one. 
One of the many things we discovered in the session, was that there was a belief in me that 'fun and play are a waste of time' and other beliefs along those lines. They came from my family from my mother's side up to five generations ago. Realising this and then having Jade help me clear it, brought a lot of relief. 

Yet, this morning was when I really got clarity on the whole situation with joy. It was the realisation that I have joy in the simplest things in my life. When I start listing these in my head, I then realised that I already have joy in my life, every single day. More, that what joy means to me is a 'warming of the heart'. 

When I panicked about not having joy in my life, I immediately put an image in my head of insanely happy faces, with massive smiles, people jumping in the air and looking so so happy. It was comparing myself to these images that got me in this rut. A rut all self made, but still a rut. In society and a big city such as London, I am bombarded every day by publicity, smiling faces telling me that to be this happy I must buy this perfume, toy, or whatever they are trying to sell. I am aware of this but I also feel it works subliminally. Everyday, I see it on the street and on my social media, I think it does not affect me, but it does. Because the moment I disconnect from myself and start believing that what I seek must be found externally, all these images jump at me straight away. This poses other questions about how to overcome these 'mini societal aggressions', but it is not the subject of what I am writing today. 

Let's go back to joy. Let's go back to the 'warmth of the heart'. What are the things I do everyday that provide these for me:

- looking out of the window right now, I see a big tree with empty branches. Every now and again tiny little colourful birds come and sit on the tree. They are different and I could spend hours watching them come and go. 

- going for a walk and noticing things. Shapes, patterns, pretty things, not so pretty things, the sky, the pattern in the sky, flowers, trees, people.

- painting quietly. Each stroke of the brush, curiosity to what colour I'll feel attracted to use next and what the art work will look like in the end. 

- reading a quote or a book that makes me feel, makes me thing, makes me smile

- receiving a phone call from a dear friend and connecting with them

- sitting to eat a tasty meal

- exploring new places

- etc...

What about you? How do you experience joy? Do you feel it every day? Do you notice it there? I want to commit to noticing it every day. It may be simple things every day or something big once in a while. I want to notice them all and feel my heart's warmth.