If we feel deeply, as we encourage ourselves and others to feel deeply, we will, within that feeling, once we recognize we can feel deeply, we can love deeply, we can feel joy, then we will demand that all parts of our lives produce that kind of joy.
— Audre Lorde
What is joy? Leaning into my literal side, joy is a noun defined by Merriam-Webster as:
- The emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires aka delight.
- The expression or exhibition of such emotion aka gaiety.
- A state of happiness or felicity aka bliss.
- A source or cause of delight.
Joy is also a verb meaning to experience great pleasure or delight aka rejoice. Right now the joy that I feel moving into the month of May aligns with bliss. As I listen to the sound of the ocean for the first time in almost a year and a half, I start this with an acknowledgment and gratitude for my privilege. Scorpios are often mistaken as a fire sign when we are actually a water sign. Scorpios can be extremely intuitive and as we get our strength from the psychic, emotional realm. So to find my joy, I went back to the water. It has been a rough season for many, forcing folks to pivot, adapt and change in ways that left many of us with stretch marks. It also in many ways forced many of us to get deeply honest about who we were and who we want to be. I had built a pretty dope life before the pandemic but I still had work to do and wasn't fully living in my completely authentic self. You couldn't have told me that at the time, but when your world hits a drop down, flip it and reverse it, you get to look at the dark dusty corners and cobwebs you've been ignoring. Sometimes they aren't really pretty but they still require some light.
Over the past few months we've loved on ourselves, cleansed and renewed and now is a great time to choose joy. As we start to see the end of this season approaching, joy is an important, essential and for many revolutionary choice that we need to lean into more. Choosing joy doesn't mean choosing toxic positivity and ignoring the problems of the world or your life. It doesn't mean pretending the world and everything is perfect. It's a practice of saying that joy always and forever lives in me and I can always bring it out if I so choose. Much like any practice, it requires balance. Be kind with your joy and don't weaponize it or be unkind to others who might still be finding the joy or living a life where joy seems like an impossible choice.
Joy like all of wellness should be available to us all. It shouldn't have a cost or any barriers to entry but in this construct, for many people joy comes with a price. This month we will write about, explore and examine the theme of joy and how it belongs to us all. Join us in delight, gaiety, bliss and choosing joy!