How do you make space for joy in your life Reader?
Just as we’re coming out of the long uncertainty of the last two years, we’re plunged back into more dark times and I know many of us are feeling scared, angry, frustrated and desperately sad right now as we follow the in-credible news reports.
So can we really be looking for joy at this time? Is it right to?
I think we can, and I think we need to.
Resilience has become a buzz-word and for good reason - if we want to be there for others, offer support, be patient & resourceful, we simply have to put our own wellbeing first, otherwise there’s no way we can do everything we’re called to AND feel all the big negative emotions too.
This week I can feel spring in the air. Subtle, but present nonetheless. She’s been waiting, quietly determined, sending ahead her hang-in-there signs of life: snowdrops, crocuses and daffodils taking turns to give us hope of lighter days & building energy.
Spring makes me feel joyful, I can’t help but smile at the bursts of new colour, and the curlews coming home with their unmistakable calls across the valley.
And I’m reminding myself that this joy is ok. It’s more than ok, it’s essential. Even if it's just tiny bursts of joy found in the smallest things... these build resilience, they gives you back an ounce of patience when you most need it or a jolt of energy when you’re feeling like you’re on your knees.
Perhaps you've heard that work has to be hard, that you should put up with what life deals us, and you should ‘make do’. Joy is an added extra that you might get at the end of the day, if there’s time and only if you've eaten all our greens first. But does it have to be like that?
I was hugely inspired a few years ago by Marie Kondo and her assurance that the world around us could “spark joy“ if we allowed it to, this felt refreshing and challenging in equal measure and I immediately set to work on designing out things that brought me down, and designing in what brought me joy.
And honestly, the physical declutter (removing unnecessary items) was probably the quickest and easiest part of what turned into a much longer journey!
Because, for me... what followed was a broader declutter... The idea that everything in your life could spark joy spread into my address book and my calendar as I let go of the shoulds and the draining connections, replacing them with breathing space and people who make me smile.
And it spread into my work…. If you work for yourself, did you start with the myth that it will be wonderful because you don’t have a boss and you can make all the decisions? And then end up taking on work that does not bring you joy, that does drain you, that does not make you feel valued? Me too, and again I really benefited here from noticing what felt good and removing what didn't. Simple, but so powerful.
If you’d like a boost into your decluttering / joy-finding journey, I made Creating Space for you, a five week course guiding you through a physical declutter in my unique and gentle way, so that you can take control of your space, discover the joy beneath the stuff AND build your resilience.
Questions you might ponder this week:
🌟 If I say no to this, what can I say yes to?
🌟 How do I feel about this, where do I feel it in my body, and do I like the feeling?
🌟 If I allow myself joy at the start of my day, how will that impact the rest of my day?
Do reply if you'd like to share your thoughts with me, I love hearing from you.
Thank you for reading my letter this week! I love writing it for you, and if you'd like to share, please do forward to a friend and let them know they can sign up here.
Have a wonderful week and I’ll be back in your inbox soon :)
PS. to explain the title of this email, I often start out writing one email and it turns into another, or grows into two or three emails (or blogs!) and sure enough that happened this week and then I just couldn't figure out what to call this one, but I didn't want that to stop me sending it out: hello self-doubt, I see you!
I'll share the other part of this next week (in case you're wondering already, it's my somewhat-ranty thoughts on free-stuff, and discernment) 🌟
How to work with me
🌟 If you'd like to boost your self-belief and your business in 2022 I'm open for discovery calls to talk about accountability or coaching starting in March 🌟 Or book a powerful Explore Hour (£150) to help you... get unstuck... explore new ideas... create a vision... or make a clear next-steps plan!
One of the ways that clients are using their Explore Hour as we head into spring is to discover what it feels like to really bring to life their dream business AND figuring how to get there… it's real tingle-inducing stuff! Read more here or you can reply to this email if you'd like to find out more.