Be.Hold. JOY (& my 2014 manifesto)
I find ecstasy in living — the mere sense of living is joy enough.
– Emily Dickinson
I took some time on New Year’s Eve day to be thoughtful about my 2013. What was I celebrating? What was I just as happy to be leaving in the year’s wake? And in what ways was I preparing myself to be open for what 2014 has in store for me? I paused at that one.
Can you relate to this? I can become so consumed by all that I’m about that I forget to clear myself out for the unexpected. And so often, the unexpected is waaaaaay better than anything I could have planned. In my experience, the unexpected comes in the form of Joy. It’s often a bit startling, nearly always spontaneous, and fully embodied. Realizing this, last Tuesday morning, I began to smile, and then I began to laugh…and then I began to really, REALLY laugh. Loud. For about 5 minutes. It felt so good and hearing my own voice only prompted me to laugh more.
And when the laughter slowed and subsided, the words on my lips were, “Be Joy.” In this New Year, whenever possible, I want to Be Joy.
I will forget this desire. I will forget it for moments – or days – at a time. I will, once again, become consumed, or I will be overtaken by fears and anxieties that compete for my attention. And so, considering this on New Year’s eve, I thought about all the people in my life who, through their own practice of Being Joy, remind me that I, too, can make that choice. AND, that even when my own Joy feels far, far away, I can Hold the Joy of another.
You’ve noticed this, right? The delight that comes from tasting the joy in the story of a friend, a child’s face walking down the street, or recalling something funny that happened the night before? (If not, please watch this and let me know what happens – and I mean it: I want to hear from you!). SO, if we can’t Be Joy, we can Hold Joy. And then, Behold! Joy abounds. Why am I on a New Year’s jag about Joy?
Because things are dire, that’s why. Because the world needs us and it needs us to show up in our Joy.
In the final days of a year, as is my tradition, I created my Vision Board for the year-to-be. This manifesto created itself, with zero prompting. It was revealed in Joy and it offers a string of instruction that, to me, feels timely and perfect to share in the dawn of 2014.
Be.Hold. JOY! And from this place, let’s make some good change roll!