By Martha Piersma, RYT500, YogaMotion RYS200 Liaison and Co-Teacher
It’s the season of holidays and dark, long nights. I am writing this piece just before the winter solstice when the sun will set at 4:49 pm and not reappear until 8:17 am. Even at 9:30 in the morning I have a candle burning next to me, shedding a bit of warmth and light as I contemplate my angel card of the day, “JOY”. It’s a silly little daily habit I have – the picking of the angel card.
As I read the card my sarcastic side came alive! I actually spoke out loud to no one in particular “Oh sure – the environment is a mess, our health care system is broken and it’s raining and 36 degrees… and I pick JOY?”
When faced with these types of dilemmas my go-to is to google the word in question. What is the definition of JOY?
JOY: A feeling of great pleasure and happiness
Okay. I get it. Do things that are pleasurable and happy. My curious nature takes over at this point. Like all of you I have daily habits. Some of them are supportive of my well being (joyful) and some of them aren’t (agonizing, sad and disappointing). Activities like meditating and daily stretches, being in nature, and my morning cup of coffee invite in joy. Getting lost in face book land and checking my emails 1,000 times a day evoke disappointment. I have found that the supportive activities lead to feelings of joyfulness, peace and calm. The obsessive checking of emails bring about feelings of “I am not enough-ness”, sluggishness and worry.
I realize the feelings of not enough-ness or anxiety or obsessive and spinning thoughts are the remnants of trauma. I also realize that taking good care of myself and doing something I love everyday are signs of health and wellness. They are signs of feeling worthy, of experiencing JOY. And joy is attainable for everyone. Actually, it is your birthright.
Can I ask you to do a relatively simple exercise? I’m saying “relatively simple” because I think so many of us have forgotten what it feels like to connect with what feels good.
Write down three things that you LOVE to do.
That’s it. Just write them down and notice how you feel looking at the words. Maybe even visualize the activity in your mind. Take a few deep breaths and soak it up into every nook and cranny of your being. Breathe into your heart.
It is your birthright to feel JOY.
If you are at a point in your life where things aren’t going so great I understand. I’ve been there. It’s the holidays after all and life can feel overwhelming and sad. Joy seems like it is a million miles away. My holiday wish for you is to feel joy. Even if it is for 10 seconds. That is where it all begins.
Allow yourself to open your heart and feel JOY.
Martha lives in Stevensville, MT with her husband and is mom to a scruffy little terrier and grandma to 3 pitbulls.