December and January were really hard for me. I found myself sinking into a deep hole of existential meltdowns and feeling completely lost from my purpose as a human being. If that sounds dramatic, it's because it was! And if you've ever suffered anxiety like that, you understand the darkness of that place--the hazy cloud that surrounds you as if there's absolutely no way toward clarity or vision.
It was the end of January when I received the most serendipitous gift of a month-long vacation in Israel. Throughout that month I slowly began piecing my sense of understanding back together and sorting through the rubble of my being for the parts that still looked shiny and true. It felt sort of like a Sunday morning in springtime with sun shining through my window and birds singing outside as I was slowly waking up from a bad dream. I was tossing and turning between nightmare and daylight, until finally there was nothing left to do but wake up and go outside--to join the beautiful melodies of spring...the joy that was all around me.
This project is born from that place of waking up and stepping into the puddle of sunshine on the floor that's right in front of us. It's a game, really, to help expand our repertoires of joyful endeavors. A practice in forming the habit of doing the things we love and creating from a playful place. And since to me it always feels harder, as if there's more to lose, to do the things we love the most; the weapon we'll use to combat that paralysis is speed.
How many joyful endeavors can you do in 10 weeks? How many walks around the lake, homemade smoothies, or conversations with strangers can you squeeze in? If we focus on quantity over quality, fast and dirty over needing the perfect conditions, maybe we can let go of the excuses that often stop us from going out and doing whatever it is that simply make us SMILE. If we don't have time to wait for the stars to align, maybe we can get back to the youthful will of chasing fun until the sun goes down.
The Sort-of-Lengthy Video
Watch below for more information, and let me know if you want to play along. Your friends are invited to play, too!
*Jen Lee and Jen Lemen created The Portfolio Project in 2009. I'm *so* thankful for their trail blazing, and will be linking to Jen Lee's blog for refrences/guidance/inspiration occasionally throughout the Free Joy Project.
**I'll also pull some exercises from The Artist's Way by Julia Camron. Because why reinvent the wheel?!
Uncovering YOUR joy...