7 Layers Of Truth: How To Be Joyful In 2020

activism

Photo by Ehimetalor Akhere Unuabona on unsplash.com


 

In recent months, our world seems to be in a permanent state of crisis. There’s a global pandemic, people have lost their jobs and incomes, there’s civil unrest in several countries. In the US and elsewhere, Black people and their allies stand up to demand they finally be treated equally and fairly. Don’t even get me started on the climate crisis and the acute emergency it creates in certain nations that are quite literally sinking into the ocean as we speak.
 

There were a few common themes in the conversations I’ve had in recent weeks. My paying clients, but also friends and Wild Spirits I simply chatted to all said that they feel preoccupied and overwhelmed. Many find it hard to concentrate on their work or even their passion and their joy. Others are simply exhausted from the struggles and the emotional burden of what they’ve been going through. Almost everyone feels like it’s not the time and place to prioritise their passion and focus on joy.
 

Let’s try and unpack this subject, because there are many different layers to it. I call them the 7 truths, and like Salome’s veils I’d like to peel them off one by one.
 
 

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1. Being joyful doesn’t mean you don’t care

 

Let’s get the big one out of the way first. Depending on where you live in the world, you may witness different injustices and raw suffering. It’s hard for a compassionate human to look the other way, and thankfully, that’s not what’s required.
 

It doesn’t help those who are suffering one bit if you suffer along with them. You can be an activist if you want to, or sign petitions, educate yourself and others, and still have joy in your life. It’s not all or nothing. In fact, your being joyful contributes to improving things, so it’s the opposite of being selfish (more about that later).
 
 

2. Examine your underlying beliefs about passions

 

There’s a subtle judgment in our thinking that times like these don’t leave space for passions. That’s the belief we all have soaked up from our society all our lives and which has taken root deep in our subconsious. It’s the belief that passions and joy are trivial things, luxuries, which you’re only allowed to pay attention to once the “important tasks” are done.
 

You may not consciously believe this, but trust me, you have internalised it on some level. Rather than denying it, it’s far more constructive to become conscious of this fact, and openly oppose the belief by deliberately doing what lights you up – even if you have to nudge yourself.
 
 

3. Certain things will take over your time temporarily

 

This is something the multi-passionates/scanners amongst us are experts at already. The rest of ye can learn from us: There are always times when certain things take over. If you have a new baby, you’ll spend most of your time and effort on that little human for at least a year or two. When there’s a global pandemic, it’s bound to soak up a lot of attention and emotional energy.
 

Muti-passionates usually have one or two dominant passions at a time, and we all need to learn not to feel guilty about the others during those times. It’s what it truly means to “go with the flow”. The trick is to allow the dominance of one theme, whilst still gently reminding yourself to do other important things as well. If you will, it’s learning to successfully multitask without driving yourself nuts.
 
 

4. You need to preserve your energy

 

If current events or a cause you believe in take up a lot of attention, it’s easy to lose yourself in it and completely overdo it, especially if you are a caring person and/or personally affected by what’s going on.
 

Wild Spirits tend to care deeply, so I’ve had a lot of conversations recently with folks who are exhausted, physically and emotionally. To avoid having this happen to you, or to start bouncing back if you’re already there, the first step is to remember your basic physical needs. Make sure you eat regularly (and reasonably well) and sleep regular and sufficient hours. It’s amazing at the difference these things can make after only a few days.
 
 

5. You need Self-Care and downtime

 

After the emergency rescue of No. 4, you need to go a step further and remember that you’re not a machine. You need time to recharge. After all, you’re no good to anyone if you’re burning out or having a breakdown, physically and/or emotionally.
 

Remember to take time away from everything, even those you love. You need times when nothing is required of you. This could be rest, a walk in nature, a bubble bath, an evening with a book. Also make sure to stay away from media – including social – during those times. It’s of vital importance to switch off regularly, in the literal as well as the figurative sense.
 
 

6. Connection is more important than ever

 

We’ve been told to isolate, but that doesn’t mean we need to be lonely. In some countries we’re allowed to meet friends again. Use these opportunities to connect, have a heart-to-heart, deep conversations in person, hugs. If you’re still in lockdown, reach out to people via phone or Skype/Zoom and if you live with family or a partner, make the most of that, too. Rather than just living next to each other, be sure to have meaningful conversations as well as fun times doing things you love together.
 

joyful in 2020

Joy in 2020. Photo by Noah Silliman on unsplash.com


 

7. Your Joy in 2020 can help heal the world

 

Lastly, understand that you contribute to the healing of the world, not only by actively participating and getting heard, but also by your energy. This is why it’s important – not just to you, but to everyone – that you consciously take time to focus on your passion.
 

When your soul is lit up, it’ll radiate the highest possible vibration, joy and love. Look around you: isn’t that what the world needs most right now? This does not mean to spiritually bypass and ignore the very real issues at hand. Like I said before, it’s not all or nothing. You can be responsible and active and do your part, and still find time to connect to the joy of your passion or passions.
 

In fact, it’s not just possible, it’s necessary. This is our task right now, and it’s not easy, but learning it is possibly the most important survival skill for 2020. Not only will it help us survive, but it’ll make us thrive, and that energy helps to heal the world.

Prioritise Your Passion When You’re No Good At It?


 

Abstract:
 

Have you seen the article about the 107-year-old woman whose art has carried her through the 2nd pandemic of her lifetime? When I saw this, I thought: ‘To everyone who still thinks my work is fluffy and feel-good, read this.’
 

You may say: “But her work is in the Smithsonian and I’m an amateur”. At which I’ll point out that the Smithsonian didn’t save her life, her passion did.
 

Your mission is to learn why it matters how good you are at your passion – and why it doesn’t.
 
 

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Task 1: Learn why it doesn’t matter

 

You should prioritise your passion because everything is valid, right? The answer is: Well, yeah, but there’s a lot more to this. Here’s why it doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner, or just no good at your passion:
 

  • We’re taught to value only things that bring money. This is destroying our world and our souls.
  • Valuing joy says that you matter enough to make an effort for.
  • It’s scary but incredibly freeing to allow yourself to just, well, suck at something.

prioritise passion

Photo by Anna Kolusyuk on unsplash.com


 

Task 2: Why it does matter

 

There are ways in which it’s important how good you are at it when you prioritise your passion. It’s just not what you think.
 

When you’re passionate about something, it follows naturally that you care. You want to do it justice, whether it’s a field of study, an art or craft, or a sport. Expecting to be a pro is disheartening, but working on improving yourself can be the most enriching experience.
 

It’s human nature – actually, nature’s nature, too – to constantly learn and grow. Compete not with others, but with your own past performance.
 

It doesn’t matter if you’re new at your passion or have done it for decades and are just not particularly talented. As long as you keep improving, you’re doing it right. Doing this keeps the passion alive and aligns you with your life purpose.

Do It For The Love Of It


 

Abstract:
 

Earlier this year, I started learning Croatian and people couldn’t understand. Was I going out with someone from Croatia? Doing business there?
 

None of these applied. I just did it for the sheer, wild joy of learning and my love of languages. People didn’t get it because these aren’t proper “reasons” in their minds.
 

The funny thing is that I’m now moving to Croatia, but that’s not what I was planning all those months ago when I decided to sign up for the language course.
 

Your mission today is to recognise our programming, and find something to do for the sake of joy.
 
 

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Task 1: Spot the phony beliefs

 

Remember: Beliefs are things we think are true, when actually they’re just a belief. They’re hard to spot, especially when it’s a belief that’s shared by most of society.
 

This one is practically universal, and it basically says that a “good” reason must be practical and tangible in some way. Joy isn’t taken seriously.
 

Why is this relevant? Because we all have this belief ingrained in us subconsciously, and it’s sabotaging our ability to prioritise what lights us up.
 

For The Love Of It

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Task 2: Do it for the love of it

 

When I say to prioritise passions, it’s easy to get people to agree with the concept. What they don’t get is what priority actually means.
 

Lots of people are good at doing what lights them up. Making more time for your passion is great, kudos to you. But the reason they need my support is that to actually dare prioritise the thing that gives you joy, is an act of rebellion. It exposes you to all sorts of judgment.
 

Professional artists, musicians etc are often not taken seriously. But if your passion is “only” your hobby – well, don’t you dare prioritise it. Work and income are the gods we worship!
 

Your task is to find something to do just for the love of it. If you do make money with your passion, find something else to also give priority to, to reinforce the new belief that joy is indeed worth the effort.

Does Money Kill Your Joy?


 

Abstract:
 

In my yearly survey, Wild Spirits regularly tell me that money is their biggest obstacle to success. Yet my money-related features are always the least viewed of all. One member of the Wild Spirits community told me: “You’re all about joy and passion, Sibylle, and to me, finances are the opposite of these things.”
 

I relate. In fact, I used to think the exact same thing, before I found a better way. Your mission today is to make finances a passion, or at least, to bring joy to your money management.
 
 

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Task 1: How does money kill your joy?

 

No, I won’t let you get away with “money just sucks”. Money buys life-saving medical equipment, trips to exciting new places, and tickets to your favourite musician’s concert.
 

Money is brilliant.
 

D’you know when money sucks? When there isn’t enough of it. It’s time you get to the reason for it – not your low-paying job or the cost of childcare, the real reason.
 

  • How was money talked about when you were a child?
  • What do you think about rich people?
  • What difference would an extra 100,000 make to the passion(s) in your life?

 

Does Money Kill Your Joy?

Photo by Pine Watt on unsplash.com


 

Task 2: Rewrite and reframe

 

It’s time to rewrite your money story. Look at your beliefs and start poking holes into them.
 

Then, it’s time to associate finances with joy. There are many ways of doing this; here are a few suggestions:
 

  • Get online banking and check your savings regularly, watching them grow with the interest.
  • Make a celebration of your monthly budgeting session with tea, candles, a treat, some quality time with your partner, dreams of the future etc.
  • Get a beautiful new wallet in gorgeous colours to give your cash a pretty home.
  • Try the envelope system of budgeting (google it) and get pretty colourful envelopes for it.
  • Have a monthly “Play” budget to blow on something fun.

It’s Not What You Do, It’s How You Do It


 

Abstract:
 

I was watching a TED talk by climber Alex Honnold when a realisation hit me. Basically, what he describes is the reason why I’m doing my work, my Coaching.
 

He described how he successfully completed a hugely challenging climb. Despite his success, he was left unsatisfied, because he had been struggling, afraid, and at one point he nearly fell to his death. So he worked on his next challenge for years, to make sure he’d complete it with ease and joy.
 

“It’s not what you do, it’s how you do it”.
 

Your mission today is to find out how you want to get to your dream life.
 
 

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Task 1: Find your goals and passion(s)

 

This is where you pull out your written goals and review them. Don’t have written goals? Get to writing them down, and then put reminders into your calendar to review them regularly. The 2% of people who do this are the most successful and happy folks on the planet.
 

Where do you want to be a year from now? Three, five years from now? What do you want to do, be, and have?
 

What lights you up? Make a list of things. This isn’t about hobbies – hobbies are great, enjoying a walk in nature is great, but if it isn’t something that makes you blissful and lets you forget time, it’s not a passion.
 

Photo by Mi Pham on unsplash.com


 

Task 2: Find out how you do it (or want to)

 

Someone wise said the goal isn’t as important as the person you become whilst you’re working to achieve it. So, what person do you want to become?
 

How do you want to get there? With struggle and pain, or with ease and joy? This is where passions come in, and is the reason why I emphasise them so much. If you’re lit up, every type of work and progress becomes easier, more joyful and more meaningful.