Although Demanding Joy is a place of love and happiness, it was born from a place of pain. Like so many women, I found myself completely depleted, depressed, unhealthy, and pissed off that I had worked so hard to achieve a life I didn’t want. I went to grad school. I got married and had babies. I worked long hours for long years to build a good life. The payoff for all my hard work sucked. For years and years, I wished for things to be different. I kept thinking,
“I take care of everything and everyone. When is someone going to take care of me?! I did what I was supposed to do. Why is life so hard?!”
So doing what I "should" do didn’t make me happy. Wishing and complaining didn’t make me happy. And strangely, self-pity didn’t make me happy. Then one day I looked around and thought, “Fuck this. I’m not doing this any more.” I finally (finally!) reached a level of discomfort that I was spurred to take responsibility and demand some good stuff for myself. I resolved to stop resenting everyone else’s happiness, put on my big girl panties, and make some shit happen for me.
So in a terrifying act of desperation, I took the first of many leaps of faith and began to change my life. I took control of my health and my medical care (which was NOT easy) and eventually, I achieved enough energy and clear-headedness to take another step towards joy. I had many mentors and teachers, for whom I am eternally grateful. I took lots of classes and workshops and participated in many beautiful circles. I learned to really take care of myself - mind, body, and spirit. (Why isn’t this information taught to everyone?!?) I learned to have fun - something I had forgotten long ago. After much more work on myself, I made a conscious, yet difficult, decision to stop making decisions based on fear. I learned to stand defiantly in the face of the mean, critical girl who had lived in my head for 40 years. I put in the work and changed my mindset. It was hard, but I am capable of doing hard things (and so are you.) The stronger and clearer I got, the more changes I made, and sure enough, my life got better and better. I’m still a work in progress and I’m still learning, but my life is unrecognizable from what it was just a few years ago. I demand joy for a living!!
On my crazy meandering life journey so far, here’s what I’ve learned:
- When you demand your own joy, it’s almost always from yourself. The majority of what we do at Demanding Joy is helping people to get out of their own way and make different choices that honor themselves. You have to be your own hero. You can absolutely do it.
- Almost everyone operates from a place of fear. “I’m not good enough” is nearly universal. It doesn’t have to be this way.
- Taking nourishment for yourself is not selfish. Self-care is not selfish! In order to be a great friend/businesswoman/partner/mom/person, you need to be healthy and whole. You can’t be depleted and keep giving.
Doing good things for yourself is NOT selfish.
- You deserve good things. You don’t have to be perfect. You don’t have to earn love, respect, and joy.
If you are a person, you deserve to be healthy and happy. Right now. Just as you are.
- You don’t have to go it alone. There is no shame in asking for help. When you can delegate, hire an expert, ask for advice, learn from others - do it! Not sure why I was so hard-headed with this one, but relinquishing control and letting others share the load was a revelation for me.
Demanding your joy happens when you stomp your foot (literally or figuratively) and say, “Enough! It’s my turn! I deserve to be happy and I’m going to make it happen!” When you’re ready to be your own hero, your life will change for the better.
The hero you’re looking for is you.
Make no mistake, personal growth is hard. Change is scary. Undoing your limiting beliefs and building new brain habits is hard. But you are capable of doing hard things.
So, are you living the life that is joyful? Is there anything that is depleting you that you’re fed up with? Are you ready for better things? You’re an extremely capable person. Are you ready to make something great happen?
Want some help with that?