I was once at a workshop where we were paired up with someone else to share the essence of the work you do. I wasn’t feeling great that day so although I shared with my partner about my vision for spreading joy and how I did that, I wasn’t particularly animated.
I felt I had to justify myself because as the ‘joy lady’ I think people expect me to be always bubbly. I said to my partner, ‘I’m sorry, I’m having a low day so I might not seem really joyful right now.’
Joy is an inside job. I know that it’s a feeling that you cultivate within yourself. I also know therefore that how you look on the outside and how you behave in public is no indication of how truly happy and joyful you are. Yet, I still had this perception that I should act in a certain way?
What she said back to me almost made me cry.
SHE SAID, “LYNN, I DON’T NEED TO SEE YOU BEHAVE IN ANY WAY BECAUSE I CAN FEEL YOUR ESSENCE. EVEN IF YOU’RE HAVING A LOW DAY I CAN STILL SENSE THE JOY COMING FROM INSIDE YOU. IT’S JUST A GENTLE JOY NOT A MENTAL JOY.”
This was a loving reminder that you just need to be who you are and people will gravitate to you – or not. And that’s OK.
When we try to create a certain impression, we are actually getting in our own way because we’re trying to control how others see us rather than just BEING. Being who we are will allow us to enjoy that experience of openness and authenticity. We crave authenticity and realness. Especially since there is so much in our world that is NOT like that.
Joy isn’t a certain behaviour or activity that can be measured by things on the outside. It’s how you feel inside. And the only person who can judge that is you.
The other thing this beautiful woman reminded me of with her heartfelt response was that you can’t hide your energy and that, in truth, most of us do actually go around FEELING people. That’s how we make many of our decisions about who to spend our time with, by how they feel to us.
If this is something you find yourself struggling with, here are three things to remember.
1.Worrying about how other people perceive us can block joy and be a total waste of our energy
Try as we might, we CANNOT control what other people think about us. What we can do is work on our own energy and work on how we feel about ourselves and the world around us.
2.Authenticity brings reward
Every time I take the risk to be real and vulnerable, I feel more myself and other people respond to that realness. In a society full of social media highlight reels, we crave real, and when we FEEL it, it softens us, allowing us to respond with compassion, kindness, care and love.
3.Joy is a deeply personal feeling experience.
It can be quiet or exuberant, calm or high energy. It’s up to you how you choose to relate to it and experience it for yourself. Don’t judge yourself for how you experience it.
Wherever you are in your joy journey, give yourself permission to experience the world YOUR way. This means having the courage to share your truth, work toward loving yourself more every day, and keeping your eyes focused on the only person who’s opinion of you matters – YOU.