Where is the Joy in 2020?
Posted: July 14th, 2020
Garden Society, I have to be honest. I have had to work at finding my joy lately. And this is my first joy blog. Yikes!
Still, I will tell you about joy this year and share joyful stories and tips to help you find more of your joy. I promise. I will tell you when I have felt my most joyful. I will share my yoga practice and study, ideas surrounding bliss, poses and breath, and how cannabis can be a part of your joy journey. I am excited to talk about how joy is inside of us, what that means, and how you might enjoy your experience more by spending time inside yourself. But in order to do that, I have to reveal contrast, too. It would be great if we always felt joy, but that is not real. This thought that we should always be happy gets us nowhere nearer to the joy we are all seeking. So, we will explore how you know you have found joy by looking at what it feels like to be without it, too.
Joy is communal.
One of my yoga teachers recently shared how joy is the desire to see others happy and celebrate their success, and to see it for ourselves, as well. Joy is communal. I like this. Celebrating with others, for others, and with yourself is joy. I won’t ask you what you have to celebrate today, this year, 2020. But I will say: if you are reading this, you are alive. You can read. You know about the Garden Society! We’ve all seen people celebrate life through birthdays, graduations, promotions—this year, and all in new ways. I mean, even I am here now, this year, being able to share ideas with you.
So 2020 and joy. I have discovered that it is a great thing that we have found so many ways to stay inside. We’ve got DoorDash and Zoom, live streams. Really, it is going to be like the Jetsons soon when the food comes out of the wall. Wait. We have that. Oh, joy!
Joy can be found inside, literally and figuratively.
However, the contrast is that some of us do not want to stay inside, and our COVID quarantine has made it clear that we are to do so anyway. Our lives depend on it. We’ve all learned a lot about joy and its contrast during quarantine. Staying inside means to see things we had not felt we had time to see, and we all have been asked to acknowledge and change some things, every one of us, as a result. I’ve been keeping myself busy, inside, where I know the joy is. I have been finding it, with some attention to detail.
Writing has always been a means of joy for me. I have to confess: sometimes, I will write a post on one of my social media pages and like it so much that I reread it several times again afterwards. There are some things that just light us up. Everything about the act of doing that activity brings us joy. What is that for you? The attention to the detail of the words and the way they come together brings me satisfaction that I would consider great joy. Creating through words is a means of communing and celebrating with myself. Have you been able to do that thing that brings up joy for you lately?
Joy feels better together.
And then there are bigger joys, the in-your-face commune-with-other-people joys, like watching your children do great things and celebrating with them. Or weddings and graduations with guests, maybe socially distanced, or online, but all there to celebrate with the couple in joy. It’s the attention to specific details in each of these experiences that brings up joy if we are able to listen beyond the fluctuations of the mind. The mind would say, it is not like it was. Boo. But attention to detail says another three letter word: Ahh, or Yes, this is still beautiful and celebratory in all the ways that it matters—joy planted in love.
Joy comes from within.
I am excited to tell you that you do not need an activity or object to find joy. Thank goodness. Then we’d all be wanting that thing… like toilet paper. Sometimes, it really does feel like objects are necessary. My yoga practice is different with blocks and a yoga mat, no doubt. But really, I could do yoga without them, and the joy I would feel doing yoga without these items would not be diminished by very much. Joy is inside. We don’t feel it all the time, but it is not lost. Quite often as human beings with all our human-beingness, we forget how to find this internal profundity. Our circumstances can shroud our thinking and provide us with that much needed but unwanted contrast.
Lately, it is not hard to be distracted. COVID quarantine and masks alone would have been enough, but no. Right now, though many states are still socially distancing, there are people in the streets rallying for black lives that matter and policies that will provide more autonomy to BIPOC individuals and groups. There are petitions being signed for new voting measures and police reform. We have plenty to be distracted by.
I wish you joy.
This is the great thing about joy though, we can still find it. I have had to search for it in these months of 2020. More often now, it is a purposeful focusing because I can not rely on everything to look how I want it to. I have had to roll out my mat (literally and figuratively) and be deliberate about my focus and intention when so much has been changed and continues to do so. I have had to choose to celebrate with myself and others, even when it looked different than it did in the past. Which is why I can say to you, without doubt, no matter what is going on outside of us, joy remains an inside job. I am so excited to talk to you about all and some of this in greater detail again soon.
It is so nice to make your joyful acquaintance,
About Courtney Rohan
A 200-hour certified teacher in the Yoga of Energy Flow, Courtney has been teaching yoga for 14 years. After completing her undergraduate work at Rutgers in English and Psychology, Courtney obtained a graduate degree in Education at Arcadia University and began teaching English in the public school system in Philadelphia while studying to become a certified Yoga and Thai Massage instructor. In addition to teaching Yoga, Courtney is a writer and freelance editor and has worked on a diverse range of material from manuscripts to children’s books and essays. As an Intuitive Coach and lifelong educator, Courtney works to commandeer possible approaches to support creation, manifestation, and healing while leading her students toward enlightenment.