Welcome to the 6 Day Joy Challenge! Are you ready to refresh your sense of self? To remind yourself that joyful living is totally within your reach?
In celebration of launching the new and improved Joy Equation Course, I’m challenging *YOU* to start prioritizing joy in your life. For the next 6 days, I’ll be rolling out a new step of The Joy Equation with 2 challenges: one writing prompt for your journal and one photography prompt to post online! And if you want me to cheer you on — just use the hashtag #thejoyequation on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. I’ll be looking for your posts this week and next!
We’re going to dig in with one of my favorite writing prompts — lists!
Break out your journal and make two different lists: Things I Adore and Things I Despise.
There are no rules here. You list both serious things and humorous ones. The entire point is to start connecting with yourself by making declarations about objects, places, people, or ideas that spark a strong reaction in you.
The more specific you can get, the most insightful these lists will be!
There are many things that will be helpful as you explore your truest self, but one important piece is carving out moments of silence. These moments can be anything where you proactively create quiet time for yourself to think, to daydream, to journal.
So, let’s practice! Even if it’s only 5 minutes — be silent, in silence. Sit on the deck with a glass of wine, take a bubble bath, watch the sunset, meditate, journal on a park bench, or hide out in your car if you have to.
I want you to take a photo of your moment of silence, post it online, and tell us, “Sitting in silence makes me realize…”
If you want to share your moment of silence with the Stratejoy Tribe (and with me!) use the hashtag #thejoyequation on Instagram or Twitter or Facebook.
Sitting in silence makes me realize how hard it is to enjoy these quiet moments instead of feeling like I should be something else — like being with my littles, or answering email, or cleaning up the kitchen, or just something “productive.”
It’s sooooo wonderful to just breathe and journal and meditate on my vision board for the year, but it’s hard to relax into the moment.
This both frustrates me and makes me laugh because I’ve had years of preaching/teaching the importance of silent reflective time to my Stratejoy ladies, yet it’s still difficult for me to fully be present to silence in the midst of my normal life.
Retreats? I’m totally in solitude zone. In savasana in the studio? Completely melted into my breath and body. Even swimming laps at the pool, I’m pretty zenned out. And luckily for me — the work I am privileged to do all day keeps me connected to myself and constantly thinking creatively about integrity and joy and alignment.
But when I’m at home, fully in my “real life?” Still hard for me to sit in silence.
Hmmm. Noted. I guess we all have opportunities for growth, eh? #thejoyequation
I loved seeing all your gorgeous self-portraits yesterday and can’t wait to witness your moment of silence today.
p.s. If you want to expand our 6 day challenge into the full 6 week Pay-What-You-Can Course — we’re running the newly updated Joy Equation Course *LIVE* starting on Friday, June 12th.
It’s the very last time The Joy Equation will be offered at the Pay-What-You-Can price!
HERE’S WHAT I KNOW:
CONNECTING WITH YOURSELF
Do you have any clue?
Answering this question can be incredibly hard. I get it, love.
You wear so many masks during your day and try so hard to please other people, that your own desires, preferences and unique strengths get overlooked. And pretty soon, you forget what those desires, preferences and unique strengths even are!
Over the last 6 years of working with incredible women who feel disconnected from themselves, there are two main problems I usually see standing in the way of authentic connection.
- Expectations of others about who you should be
- Social personas you adopt to deal with discomfort
Even I’m not immune to power of these roadblocks!
Here are the expectations I carry around on a day-to-day basis…
Am I the smart, bossy, kind ten-year-old that my childhood teacher thinks? Am I the overachieving, independent good girl with a hankering for dramatic relationships that my high school friends remember? Am I the selfish, big dreaming, money-obsessed, fun-loving woman my parents believe me to be? Am I the emotional, warm-hearted, sexy, ambitious wife and mama my husband sees when he looks at me?
That’s a lot of expectation and assumption, both positive and negative, to be aware of as I try to live joyfully, truthfully and aligned with my highest self.
And social personas?
It gets even more difficult to know who you really are.
Your personas are shields or masks you’ve formed to deal with difficult people, with situations you find uncomfortable (like an ill-fitting job or a partner who communicates differently) or with society’s version of who you should be.
You probably find it easy to move between your different personas to get through the day — whatever they may be. Maybe you’re balancing your saleswoman self, your stressed-out wine-guzzling self, your maternal self-sacrificing self and your dedicated dieting self.
Here’s the trouble.
Social personas formed out of discomfort tend to disguise your true desires and keep you stuck inside stereotypical boxes. And eventually you outgrown one or realize one is holding you back, but you have no idea how to operate in that particular world without that particular mask.
Connection to your truest self is vital, honey.
In the midst of outside markers (like your bank account, your job, your relationship status,) others’ expectations and your social personas, you can easily end up with a perpetual feeling of disconnection because you don’t know who *you* actually are underneath it all.
And knowing WHO *YOU* ACTUALLY ARE is essential in living a joyful life.
I’m giving you permission right now
- to start doing the work to discover your authentic self
- to know you are enough, just as you are
- to worry less about fitting in and pleasing others
- to stop behaving appropriately or as expected
Do whatever it takes to recognize who *you* are and how *you* show up in the world by connecting with yourself.