Joy Meets Girl


 When is the last time you were able to do something so totally joyful that you lost yourself in that moment?

As adults we sometimes squash our own joy. We over think, feel vulnerable and hold back from doing what we might otherwise do for fear of being rejected or ridiculed by others.  Thoughts of do I look silly, will actually make us feel silly. We become inhibited by the thought that someone watching may form an unfavorable opinion of us.

At what age do we go from the joy of doing something -just for the fun of it - to worrying about what we might look like to someone else and denying ourselves that joy?

Have you ever watched a kid dance? Freely, openly, moving whatever body part feels right to the music? Have you judged them or simply appreciated (even celebrated) their obvious joy in that honest expression?

I once had the opportunity to dance my heart out in the middle of Calder plaza at lunchtime with a friend. At first we questioned if we should GROOVE with just the two of us because we felt on “display”.  My inner voice had started its chatter, the one about what if someone is watching, especially when my friend verbalized the same question. But immediately I heard a louder, stronger voice that said “You’ve been looking forward to this. It is a beautiful day, everything is set up. Just dance your heart out. Who cares what anyone else thinks — they’ll just be envious they aren’t out there dancing with you.”

And so we did. We danced, laughed, moved around in joyful expression and spread our arms to the sky in delight. It was heavenly, especially on a lunch hour.

The reality is that many people were indeed watching us — it is after all a natural focal point to hundreds of windows from office buildings that look down on Calder Plaza — yet it didn’t matter one bit. We didn’t pay any attention. We didn’t let our thoughts run away with the moment. We let our inner joy take the stage. Afterward a tourist taking pictures of the Calder asked if we would dance again so he could take our picture, and of course, we did. I wish we had that picture he took!

On that particular day I opened up to joy, and I am so thankful I did, as a life altering seed of change took root in me.

Joy is contagious. Make sure you not only cultivate it, you remember to help spread it.