The Summary: In today’s divisive world, fostering critical thinking requires questioning ingrained beliefs. The challenge, of course, lies in separating oneself from the mind, a skill seldom taught. The burden of societal expectations hinders our pursuit of true joy. Reconnecting with inner wisdom and questioning the mind leads to slow but transformative progress, offering a path to health and happiness amid external distractions. Embracing joy becomes a rebellious act, unlocking individual power and connection to one’s heart.
How badly do you want those knots of anxiety and worry to untangle? To not wake up feeling overwhelmed with the weight of the world (and your household needs) on your shoulders? What would it be worth to you to rise most days feeling loved, appreciated and with a sense of deep peace? It is all possible but there is a catch. To experience true joy in our lives requires us to live against the grain in just about every facet of life. Finding our way to such thriving requires that we question the accepted paradigms of the culture as it is today – that happiness ultimately will come one day when we earn more, spend more, have more, do more and be more. Too often this extends to the idea that in order to have it all, others must also have less.
The short version: Turn off the news, shut off your phones and live your life. The more deep you go down the rabbit hole, the more you drag your spirit down, the less joy you embody. Th equation is that simple.
This doesn’t mean we are to ignore the absolute horrors and tragedies of our world. Not at all. But we also can’t let it all overwhelm us and determine the energy we conduct our lives with.
To be joyful becomes rebellious.
We are trying to survive but have forgotten what it means to thrive. Our natural state of being is to be joyful, well, healthy, vital, brave, optimistic and experience a true sense of belonging, connection and unity. This is a human in the full expression of humanity. We are born here and as we exit childhood, forget too quickly.
We can remember what it is we have always known but it requires that we take radical responsibility for where we are today, have the bravery to accept what isn’t working and the discipline to do the work to change what needs changing in both our minds and the moment-by-moment choices we make in our lives. Like shooting for the stars, adjusting the trajectory even slightly can land us somewhere entirely different.
This of course is no simple task. It’s not as simple as deciding it to be so.
To thrive and live joyfully means we are not eating the same food, working with the same goals, watching the same movies, reading the same news, shopping at the same stores, or valuing what we’re supposed to value in the ways in which we’re expected.
This is why living joyfully might be our greatest act of rebellion.
To be joyful is in direct contrast to the norms. We meet up with friends and instead of gossiping, expelling on the chaos of our lives, or how we aren’t enough, we spiral up, we share, engage, hope and dream. We look for solutions for our challenges and how we can be part of the unity solution for the world. We live today as we planned for yesterday and continue planning to level up tomorrow. We think critically and question everything. Is this (still) working?
To live joyfully is shifting the metrics used to measure success
Doing this in our world today, amidst the divisive influences that surround us, requires us to deeply know our own minds and hearts, to learn to question just about everything, and of course, to brave real answers, even if the result could be a shattering of the foundational values we have lived from.
We have not been trained in our culture to separate the self from the mind, let alone be able to know one’s own mind and question whether what it tells us to be true. We may have heard wisps of the words that we are not our minds, but who actually practices this? To question what our minds tell us, that voice inside your head, is at the root of critical thinking.
Is this actually true?
What if the opposite is true?
Do I truly believe this, or is this just what I’ve been told my whole life?
To make the teaching of critical thinking standard practice would undermine a system that requires, for its own survival, that we follow blindly and accept the division as normal.
We get carried with the tide. We lose our joy. We wire into the fear and become lost to ourselves.
We pack our bags, and carry them on our shoulders, full to the brim with intergenerational trauma, the stories we are told by our parents and grandparents, the blatant lies and false beliefs we’re bombarded with from educators, headlines, government, and society in general.
We carry these packs around with us as the anxiety, fear and longing for peace bubbles up within without knowing how to touch it. We keep adding to the burden we carry and the joy slips further away.
We were never given the keys to access this place within us, to get back what we lost.
In general, we have forgotten the skills we need, the work we need to do, and that it is available to us always. What we need to do is simple: amplify the whispers of our own hearts and follow the path of being well and joyful. We tap into our intuition, the heart wisdom that only knows the signs and signals of the present moment we are in. Can it really be that simple?
Simple? Yes. Easy? Not at all.
The challenge, why most are scared away, is because that inner knowing does not lie and cannot be denied. Once you listen to those whispers, they get louder, more powerful, and you see the accuracy of it all. We start to see that we can’t achieve the goal of joy, peace, love, health and happiness with aggressive action, followed by instant gratification. It’s a slow creep of progress where one day we feel more joy in a single minute of the day then we did the day before. One drop at a time.
But when we can do this– ask the questions of our mind, and live with the exquisite intention of living joyfully, the work is being done. The baggage we carry falls away, slowly to be sure, but it’s happening, and we soon become buoyed by the tidal wave of both insight and compassion. We remember that all of life is connected.
Looking around. Is this working?
We are tired, overwhelmed, burnt out. Health in mind, body and spirit is achieved by the few who have the mind to break free, while too many remain plugged into the screens that continuously highlight the lack in their lives, and that filling that void comes from everything other than the true solution of looking within and summoning the discipline to do the work.
In time, we may find ourselves on the brink of it. The distractions have gone quiet for a moment. The momentum and motivation is building but then– BOOM.
We’re pointed in a new direction. Pointed at a new distraction. THAT is the cause. They are to blame. We remain plugged in to the frequency of fear and make that our reality. Find the evidence to prove it to be true. Me versus them. Blame and shame so responsibility is never taken.
We must keep asking: What is mine? What have I collected that is not? What is true and real? What beliefs are beneficial to me and others, and which are harmful?
The one truth we can trust is that which is truly good and beneficial to the full expression of the human, is also good and beneficial to our collective.
To live joyfully in a world pushing us to be sick, divided, forever wanting, othering, heads down working, and relinquishing any sense of personal responsibility is truly the greatest act of rebellion.
We each individually have more power within us than we’ve been led to believe. Now is the time to tap into it. Your health is your wealth. Your connection to your heart is your super power. This could change everything. Joyful living, tuning into your heart’s wisdom is what will make us wildly powerful, empowering and magnetic.