ONE thing from 2022 and I am thankful

joy /joi/
a feeling of great pleasure and happiness.

2022 was a year of growth, exploration, and LEARNING for me. For years I spent time investing only in work and my family leaving little to no room for myself.

It was hard. I felt trapped in me. Like it was no one person’s fault why I was on this position. I was suffocating and no one could save me. In my head, this is how I imagine people feel when they wear turtlenecks. Not a fan of those

I needed to get to the root cause of my why’s. Using a work technique, 5 whys and with the help of therapy I discovered where my gaps were.

Five whys is an technique used to explore the cause-and-effect underlying a particular problem.

1. Why do I feel stuck? Because I don’t make personal investments in myself, my being.
2. Why? I don’t know how to.
3. Why? I havent witnessed it.
4. Why? My lineage is of doers and sacrificers.
5. Why? Generational and gender based.

Unpacking this gave word to what I was experiencing and missing. So, I did what you do when you don’t have the answers: Googled and asked friends.

I found I wasn’t alone. When I tell you THAT in itself brought me some joy. Sometimes you really think YOU are the only one to experience certain feelings in all these billions of people in this world…like how ludicrous is that!?? There is no way we are the one and only to experience these feelings!

Now to work. I decided to start with an exploration of what joy meant for me. I asked many of my IG friends their thoughts on joy because I was conflicted with the feeling of joy vs things, people, and experiences.

I still struggled understanding joy. I was seeking something deeper for me that did necessarily involve things, because to me that joy is temporary and expensive. Asking IG Friends again, I got closer to the answer I needed.

I asked….

How does joy FEEL…
“Good rest”
“Heaven on earth”
“Comfy, luxe, warm”
“It would make me relax and tingle”
“When a little kid grabs your face between their hands”

How does joy TASTE?…
Chocolate, cherries, salty and sweet, the juiciest freshest piece of your favorite fruit, a strawberry freshly picked from your garden…

My fav…what does joy SOUND like…
(my brain automatically hears waves…what did you hear?)
Gospel music, a baby’s laugh, music!, it sparkles lifting my body higher…it’s contagious to hear joy, my child’s laughter free, untainted, hopeful, and not bound by expectations

What could joy, SMELL like?
Food, flowers in bloom, vanilla and gardenias, spring flowers with the earth damp after a rain while someone peels a citrus

I was surprised how many PG responses I received btw πŸ€­πŸ˜Άβ€πŸŒ«οΈπŸ˜† because shoot that’s joy too! 😏

As I continued to unpack joy…

I found for me JOY means: clarity of mind, time with family, accomplishing tasks big or small at home, traveling, the smell and experience of fresh air. I’m am also more filled with joy when I unpack and communicate my feelings. (Any other introverts in here!?? πŸ‘€) I learned my words are worthy of sound and to be heard.

This is the best thing that’s occurred to me this year, I’ll carry it into the years ahead.

Please take the time to find your own joy.

Be well ✌🏾

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