I bought the cutest potted plant the other day. I was drawn to it because the plant itself is completely adorable, but even better than that, the pot says: “Today I Choose Joy!” I put it on the bathroom counter right by the sink so that I can be inspired daily. I figured that at some point the message of choosing joy would have to sink in. It has greeted me every morning for a couple of months just waiting to be noticed. If any plant could possibly be smiling - this one is!
Every day, I look at the shiny happy plant and I scowl at it. With tears in my eyes I think to myself - today is not the day, or this moment is not the moment or I'm just not in the mood to choose joy. In truth, I'm too comfortable in my pain. When I'm upset, it is a far easier to wallow in the sadness of it all than to take a conscious leap and choose joy. Sure there are great moments of joy - lots of giggles and deep belly laughter, fun with the kids and days where I completely lose track of time. But more often than not, my first reaction is to reside in pain. I know that I create pain for myself. I've spent too many years living in a world of misery, self-pity and guilt and now that I'm free to be truly happy and joyful, my first reaction is still to cause myself pain and then reside in that realm.
Choosing joy is letting go of all that. It's living in the present. It's consciously choosing to let things pass through me by not trapping thoughts and feelings inside where they cause further hurt. It's experiencing each day and each experience for what it is and not having expectations for how I think it should be. It’s showing up, shining and letting go - thanks Danielle Leporte for teaching me that one.
I wish I could say that I've mastered letting go but I still have a far way to go. The last few months have been a roller coaster of emotions. What I’ve come to realize is that in order to find yourself and your truth so that you can emerge strong and determined to fight for joy, you have to truly believe that the universe is working with and conspiring for you to succeed. Our only task is to see that champion in ourselves. Someone special taught me that when we spend our energy working on ourselves, all the other pieces fall into place. I practice this lesson every day. 2017 is a year of love for me. I am committed to a year of self-love and unconditional love for those around me. It’s also a year to let love in and truly feel the power love can have.
It's 3 weeks into 2017 and I've already moved from promise and hope, to disappointment and despair. Store sales in December didn’t pan out the way that I envisioned and unfortunately, January 2017 has been the worst month I have experienced in retail ever. Last week there was a day where I sold only 2 cards all day; and they were to a friend! Increasingly, I find myself fearful of what the future holds. I’m concerned that in February when I need to pay PST and my credit card that I just won’t have the money I need. I know that worrying kills joy and won't get me where I need to be. Instead, I am choosing to focus on letting go of expectations and repeating Danielle Laporte's prayer for Recovering Expectation Addicts. I find this part of the prayer especially meaningful:
"I accept my calling: to show up and shine. Unfurled and honest. Determined to be only that which I am.
I’m here to give…my all.
I trust that pure intention counts for plentiful support.
I trust we’ll get where I’m going, together — once I learn to be where I am.
I’ll go make my art now.
I have faith that you’ve got the rest covered."
I will have no expectations and continue to give it my all with the purest of intentions and trust that the universe has everything covered. I will continue to create art and encourage others to to do so as well. I will make a difference for my business and for the businesses of all the artists and vendors we work with.
It's the 3rd week of January and time to shift my mindset. I am committing to spend the year doing the hard thing by fighting for joy and letting go. I am dedicated to choosing joy today and every day in 2017! I know that sometimes it may take me awhile but every time I choose joy, I succeed! And the more often I choose joy, the more it becomes a part of me and the easier it will be to choose joy again the next time, and the time after that. This year, I want joy to be my first instinct. I hope you will join me and choose joy too! Please update me and let me know how it goes.
Thanks for being part the journey and thanks for Giving Gifts,