What we really want to do is what we're really meant to do.
The Trouble With Lurking
Is lurking as easy for you as it is for me? You know, anonymous cyber-people watching? Sometimes it just feels too easy to check in on someone else's life, someone else's revelations, someone else's latest vacation or breakdown. But what I've learned from living in this strange digital age of facebook-stalking and blog-drooling, is that lurking doesn't get me what I want. I want connections, reciprocity, to hear and be heard, to see and be seen--I want authentic togetherness. And to get that--an honest connection with another person--I know I have to start introducing the real me.
Part of what I've experienced as a result of lurking is an idolization of those who put themselves out there. Without conversation or contextualization, I've sat, watched, and read other people's journeys. Then thought to myself, maybe THAT'S what I should be doing. [Replace the "THAT" with any number of exciting endeavors that so-and-so is pursuing]. Have you had this experience?!
If so, this project is a challenge to the inner-lurker in me and you. It's a challenge to step away from our idolizations and to step into our very own dreams, questions, and joys. We can be in this together. We can meet each other during this fast approaching spring, bearing our unique expressions of self, unraveling & rebuilding together. Doesn't that sound fun?!
Exercises for Uncovering Authentic Joy
Below are some exercises from The Artist's Way that have been helping me uncover my authentic relation to joy. I'd suggest jotting these questions down on a sheet of paper or in your journal, then stepping away from your computer, throwing on something comfortable, and finding your favorite cozy spot to dig in to the questions. GO AT THESE QUESTIONS WITH SPEED. Don't think too much or worry about how your answers sound. Just let whatever wants to come out flow. Let your imaginative capacity for joy and your honest awareness run wild. What you write down might surprise you, it might scare you, it might make you feel a little bit crazy. That's okay! These crazy notions are actually voices from our true self. They're the keys to our puzzle. They're part of our experiment.
1. What are ten things that constitute papering for me?
2. What are five classes that sound fun?
3. List ten things that make you smile.
4. List five things that you used to enjoy doing.
5. List five silly things you would like to try once.
6. List five imaginary lives or occupations you would like to have for one week.
7. What five things would I try if I weren't too crazy?
8. What ten ways do I love to play?
9. List ten things you love and would love to do but are not allowed to do.
10. If I had either faith or money, I would try...
Some of my answers to these questions have included:
~join a folk band
~wear the same clothes every day for a week
~i used to like playing soccer
~jazzercise classes sound fun
~become a construction worker
~frothy cappuccino with animal crackers
~talk to strangers every day
~homemade, slowly eaten brunch
~spontaneous dance parties on the metro
~throwing autumn leaves
~playing silly games like go fish
~host soul-mate retreats
~fresh flowers once a week
(the list goes on & on & on...)
Okay--Congratulations! Do a little celebratory dance just for answering these questions. They're hard! Remember--there are no right answers, only honest answers. Honesty is gold in this micro-economy of Free Joy. The most important part of this exercise is to expand your perception about where joy can come from and what joy can look like. To get back to the child in you...or the wise, wise person yet to come...that knows how to say YES to PLAY.
Next Up: Making a Game Plan
If you're reading this wondering, where the hell is this going? The next post is designed specifically to lay out the strategy, the dates, the ways of participating--the Driver's Manual to the Free Joy Project. Stay posted.
And in the spirit of stepping out from the Lurker's Corner and stepping into this joyful community--Let us know in the comments below if you plan on playing along!
**Important disclaimer: I'm making this up as I go. If you have input, suggestions, things you're struggling with, breakthroughs, ideas, challenges--please let me know! You can leave a comment below or e-mail me directly at rachmddx at gmail dot com. Thanks!! :)