There’s no panicking in enlightenment, angst is optional, and joy is the answer. To everything. ~gd
Hello, and welcome to the online home of gina drellack. I am a teacher and writer who has transformed from struggling to easing my way to incredible dreams. I’m absolutely astonished at the amazing difference. Why haven’t I always done it this way? Why doesn’t everyone do this?!? It’s So. Much. Better!
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Ease. Joy. Transformation.
I love this time of year. From Thanksgiving through the New Year, it’s a constant sense of anticipation, hopefulness, and connection.
And it can also bring self-imposed expectation, striving, and sneaky idealistic perfection.
You might recognize some of the symptoms, yourself:
- As long as I’m hosting dinner, I should include everyone–making it 60 instead of 20.
- There are 126 on my Christmas card list–I should send cards to everyone because, after all, it’s Christmas.
- I should go to (insert family member’s name here)’s house for Christmas Eve, because I grew up doing that.
- We have so many great holiday treats–I should make all of them because, well, it’s tradition.
- I think I’ll get another gift for each of the kids, because I should give them something more substantial.
Wait a minute. These examples aren’t inherently right or wrong–they are just fabulous opportunities to pause and take a personal reading.
- Am I thrilled with who I am additionally inviting, or am I just trying to avoid family drama?
- Do I love sending a card to each person on my list, or do I feel guilty at the thought of no longer sending to some?
- Am I uplifted to take my family to my Great-Aunt-Twice-Removed Bessie’s every Christmas Eve, or do I want something else?
- Do I still enjoy my standby holiday treats, or is it time to try new recipes–or fewer?
- Do I know that I am enough and am giving out of love, or am I seeking to be enough through my gift-giving?
There is no wrong answer, there is simply awareness. For me, that makes all the difference in following my joy.
Besides, you never know if Great-Aunt-Twice-Removed Bessie is wishing for a quiet Christmas Eve, for once. She’s got her own joy to follow, too.
If the impulse comes from a joyous thought that feels good, follow it. If the impulse comes from an uncomfortable thought that felt bad, don’t follow it.
Do it because it’s what you desire. Do it because it brings you pleasure. Do it because it makes you come alive. Do it because it lights you up. Do it because your intuition told you to. Do it because it ignites a spark in your heart. Do it because it lights a fire between your legs. Do it because it’s what you came here to do.
Reach for the better-feeling thought. Follow what lights you up. Recognize and let go of your “shoulds.”
I’m thinking my Christmas card list will be smaller. Or maybe I don’t send any this year. I’ll sit with that thought for a while, and see how it feels.
Now to you — what holiday “hit” are you getting at this time that could be looked at anew? In what way can you best care for yourself in this particular situation? Please share in the comments below.
And have a truly happy holiday season!🙂
“You inspire people to be happy, you don’t lecture people to be happy.” –Doreen Virtue
I have a loved one who is working through an issue with a friend. I was pretty proud of myself for keeping out of it, but apparently I went past my internal time limit of restraint because I finally asked about it the other day.
I just wanted to check in and make sure that he was okay as he went through this experience.
I wasn’t far into my loving, open conversation when I was gently but firmly told, “You need to let me handle this my way.”
It turns out that although I truly believed I was just making myself available for help, I was actually trying to guide. (And by Guide, I accidentally mean Direct. Oops.)
You see, I thought that enlightenment was for everyone.
News flash: it is — it’s just that there is more than one path to get there.
(Can you hear that? It’s my mind blowing.)
The best thing I can do for another, the best example I can be, is to simply live my own joy.
No expectations that others need to join me. No agenda of what their joy should look like. After all, joy is different for everyone. In fact, sometimes it’s downright oppositional:
- When you live for the TV being turned off and your spouse loves constant news channels. In your studio apartment.
- When you are lit up by exploring ideas and your good friend is energized by discussing people. Every day.
- When you could read self-empowerment books for hours and your sister could play video games for days. In the same room.
I’ve learned approaches and outlooks that have changed how I see the world and myself! My mistake is to try to bring everyone with me. Everyone has their own path to joy.
For those of us who are wired to empower others, don’t worry. There is a way to share your happiness, to teach people, to offer a way for others to join you on your journey.
Simply follow your own joy.
Your lit up self allows others to become theirs. Your way, even if you know it is The Way, may not be for them. But your example shows them how to find their own.
As I learned when I got schooled with my loved one, just say no to being an enlightenment snob. Do you want to live a lecture or live your joy?
Follow your joy. And because of you, others will be able to discover theirs.
Ode to Joy I guess it really is about Mi…
Where in your life do you unknowingly push your joy agenda onto others? How can you step back and regroup from that approach? Share your stories and ideas below.
It was the middle of the week, the middle of the afternoon, in the middle of nowhere. I was driving home happy from teaching a workshop in which the participants had been receptive and were rejuvenated. My much-anticipated local community education class was at the end of my two and a half hour drive. Between what I had just experienced and what I was headed to, I was so excited I could barely stay in my own skin. I was flying high.
And, apparently, I was flying down the road.
It turns out that in the middle of nowhere you meet State Troopers. Who pull amazing Dukes of Hazzard-like spin-around moves. And have pretty, flashing red and blue lights.
I had been speeding. Heavily. And in some remote corner of my mind, just before we met on the road, I was vaguely aware of that fact–yet wasn’t doing anything about it. A flood of endorphins is still a flood. Natural, yes, but it can still be a disaster if you’re unaware. And boy, was I ever, at that moment.
Whether you’re overwhelmed by your To-Do list or you’ve gloriously immersed yourself in your art, periodically do a self-check: is it focus, or is it tunnel vision? When riding the wave, keep your eye on the shore. That’s so you know when and how to safely return.
The State Trooper was incredibly warm and kind. He had piercing blue eyes and a relaxing nature–a stark contrast to my jittery, stammering self. By getting pulled over, I was forced to return into my body. Which, by the way, is a great place to be when operating a motor vehicle. I honestly believe that he was sent to save me. I can see now that I was far gone from the physical moment, and a danger–to myself, to anyone else that might possibly be on this lonely road, to the deer roaming in and out of the woods–and I was unable to bring myself back on my own.
So I send huge thanks for getting pulled over for speeding. Thank you for proactively saving my life. Thank you for immediately jarring me back into physical awareness and safety. Thank you immensely for the warning citation instead of the speeding violation. And, thank you for looking so much like Bradley Cooper.
Have you had similar experiences of being outside of yourself? (Hint: we usually describe it as being out of our minds, not out of our bodies.) What happened? Did you realize it at the time, or later? Please share in the safe space of the comments.
I recently ran across a quote that I kept during a very difficult time.
Over ten years ago I was a single mom raising two young boys, working full time while going back to school. It was hard. But it was right. It was my Truth, so I knew that I could get through it. The situation itself was temporary, but at the same time a path to permanent improvement for all of us.
Although I don’t recall who this story is attributed to, I suspect it was Mae West or Marilyn Monroe? (If anyone can help me out with that, and get further with Google than I was able to, please comment below! I would be grateful!)
When (this woman) was asked by a reporter, “How did you enjoy yourself?” she replied, “Magnificently. But not at the time.”
I’m sure you have similar seasons you can look back upon, too. When your direct line to God was a constant, surrendered plea.
I prayed a lot for courage. (Thank you, Dad! <3) It became my new favorite word. I collected images, stories, and quotes, Here’s one in particular that was helpful:
And it worked.
I gained the courage to face my challenges, and with grace. In fact, I became so confident in being able to rise to the occasion that I began to say “Bring it on!” I repeatedly spoke aloud that Life could throw me all the curve balls it wanted to, and I would simply knock them out of the park again and again and again. Bring it on! I got this. Bring it on! Bring it on. Bring it on.
And it worked.
More and increasingly challenging situations — more curve balls– came into my life. Court subpoenas, leaking roof, health issues. I finally was stunned into awareness: my request was, “Bring it on.” And that’s exactly what I was receiving.
So I immediately changed my language and declared out loud, “I want to learn about joy.”
(And then I quickly amended it to, “I want to learn more about joy.” I didn’t want the Universe to think I was ungrateful, hadn’t been paying attention, or knew nothing about it at all!)
And holy cow, that worked, too.
Right away, I began to receive situations in which my only appropriate response was joy! Again and again and again. Manipulations no longer had power over me. A crew of new friends created a roof-repair weekend. I let go of health fears. We all began laughing more at home. The gift of finding my true partner.
I am still learning more about joy. Again, and again, and again. To this day, a decade later.
Does this sound good to you? Have courage, and bring on joy. Ask directly for it, daily.
And revel in what happens.
Every day is a new day. We begin again.
In that spirit of peace, here is a gift we can all share together. Turn up your speakers, give yourself even a little time, and absorb the stunning images and sounds of unity and balance.
Take a moment and find your new center.
We are all in this together. Thank you for being in it alongside me.