Joyful Children

Finding Your Joy – Part 1

a five-part series to figure out HOW!

We’re heading into the season where JOY is a big buzz word. And it does bring joy, or at least we try to be joyful. But the season is temporary, and January will come back around to remind us that it’s a new year with new responsibilities.

Recently, I’ve had a lot of women tell me they simply don’t know what they like anymore, or who they are and what they want to do. When someone asks about your passion, do you even know what that is? If the answer is NO, you’re not alone.

I’ve gotcha covered!

What if I told you that you could figure out that joy thing on a permanent basis? You can do that with a few simple exercises I’d like to share with you.

Finding what brings you joy can seem like a daunting task. We sit and try to think-think-think about what brings us joy, and we end up on a goose chase of the coulda woulda shoulda type!

The key lies in knowing who you are at the core, how you define joy, and then articulating what might bring that around.

Sound like a really big key to a really big lock??

Not really.

I’d like to share with you some fun, ten-minute exercises that make all the difference in getting started.

Up first – a Ten-minute Post-it Party.

This isn’t a new concept. Several of my mentors suggest it for a variety of idea generating tasks. It’s a simple yet powerful process for uncovering concepts and then finding the underlying commonalities in them.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • a timer
  • a stack of Post-it notes
  • a Sharpie
  • a door or mirror to stick them on.

OK – you can use index cards and a table, and any sort of pen or pencil, but the important thing is to do the exercise in 10-minutes!

1. Set your timer for 10 minutes and on each Post-it, write one thing you LOVED growing up. Don’t over think it. Use stream of consciousness. Then stick the Post-it on the door and keep moving.

No judgement, and don’t worry about spelling! These aren’t necessarily things you were good at, just things that you enjoyed. If it helps, think in time-frame segments, like age 0 to 12, then 12 to 18. Or, grade school age, middle school age, then high school. Just get the things you loved on paper. Quickly and without overthinking.

Ok, times up!

2. Now set your timer for another 10 minutes and look for commonalities. Sort your Post-it notes (or index cards) into columns or groups that have similar underlying themes. Some themes may revolve around a particular skill or ability like teaching (your stuffed animals) or organizing (tea parties). Maybe there’s a group around a particular topic or medium like fabric for doll clothes or paper (airplanes). You may find a group of “topics of interest” that you’d forgotten about.

Times up!

Now look at your “categories” and name them the best you can.

Congratulations! Now you have a sneak peek into your “natural” gifts and talents! These internal, natural gifts often show up in childhood. As we grow up, we modify outwardly to fit-in and find our place in society. We often forget what truly lights us UP and go for the more sensible path.

In the next post, I’ll show you how to look beneath these Post-its to figure out what it all means! Don’t lose them!

In the meantime, do this exercise for later periods of life, from age 18 onward. Write skills required for extracurricular activities, volunteer opportunities, college organizations. Don’t forget about your roles at home or at work. But remember – write only those ideas that come to mind that YOU LOVED!

Here are mine:

Post-it Party

What common themes do you see showing up? Comment below or reply to this email and let me know. I love hearing from you!

Remember,

Be-U, on purpose, 4-Life

If you enjoyed this article, please share it with your friends and family. Click your favorite social platform below. And join my email list for weekly creative inspiration. Join my free Facebook group, Virginia’s Studio Cats at https://www.facebook.com/groups/virginiasstudiocats for more conversation and encouragement!

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