How do you make sure you are tending to the joyful things when things feel hard and sticky and weird and tough? Sometimes we feel like we can’t access joy at all. Sometimes we feel guilt for having a joyful moment. Sometimes we feel numb to things or like we are in survival mode so joy just can’t get a look in.
I always wanted September’s theme to be around cultivating joy but then the month came it’s been a tough one. I wondered if it was appropriate to or if I would even be able to share about joy. Then I was reminded that in these tricky times, maybe tending to our little seeds of joy is even more important. Maybe keeping a flicker of hope it all we can manage, maybe we can open up to a little more.
Joy has such a big feel and heft to it but actually, most of my joy comes from the simplest and smallest of moments. Small things that are actually big things, you know?
The sun on my toes
A bee working away in the fireweed
The gentle swing of the hammock
A big bear hug (and butt grab)
The words of one of my favourites
The noises of the school kids at lunch
The wind in the eucalyptus leaves
The silliness of our giant puppy
A friend's message
A perfectly ripe avocado
That much needed later start
The medicine of my tarot pulls
The repeated cards, the creeps
The hellos on the school run
The underwater swim challenge
The planning of new walking routes
The furriest caterpillar
A standing stone
The letting in of help
A big plate of fresh foods
The sharing of ideas
The reminder of closing chapters
A heavy, full moon
The positive feedback around my work
The quiet in the morning
That showy sunrise
The first hints of Autumn
Maybe all that is needed to let in a little joy is some time, space and a wee bit of presence. Maybe we need to commit, just a little, to filling our own cups up.
I find my cup filling things, my joyful things, are in the intentional parts of my day and also in the observed moments that come up on their own. My cup is filled with everyday magic, nourishing relationships, gratitude and habit work. I make space for joy and then I sit back and let it sneak in when it’s ready.
The past while has felt heavy and hard. It really helped to note the small things that brought joy and filled my cup. Writing things out can give them a bit more weight and can remind us of what's good when things feel hard. It can change our perspectives a bit, remind us to keep on the lookout and our hearts open to what brings us joy and gives us something to read back on and remember when we are really struggling.
Being human is hard. It’s also joyous. We are allowed to have both. If we are only letting ourselves have the hard without the ease/fun/happy/joyful bit, then we aren’t giving ourselves a full human experience. We can have both. Life is both.
If you need it, and maybe you need it, then this is permission for you to go joy seeking.
Let that good shit seep in. It’s kind of desperately waiting to cause here’s the thing, joy is happening all around you already, you just need to invite it in.
Joyful tarot: the tarot had medicine for every part of our lives so you can be damned sure that there are cards for joy. Pull these beauties out and get to it.
The Empress (for flexing your receiving muscle)
The Lovers (for reminding yourself that you are worthy),
Four of Wands (for letting yourself play)
Nine of Cups (for letting yourself dream)
Ten of Cups (for seeing the joy that’s all around)
Joy can be culitvated through habit work. It absolutely can. It's a practice just like other things right? We can develop the habit of looking for, being open to and cultivate joyful moments in our lives. A lot the habit work I do with the lovelies I work with is exactly that. Finding ways to bring more of it into their lives. Find ways to see what's already here.