*Someone may call you to old behaviors. You may call (or want to) so you can return to old ways. Or you'll feel both internally.
On your path to joy be prepared for pushback. You are making time for reading, exploring, taking classes, attending seminars and concerts, writing and communicating with new people. You have disrupted the pattern of what was your ordinary day.
Others in your life may want to interrupt your set times for reading or walking or writing or visiting places in the community. You will need to defend your boundaries.
You may be the one who wants to postpone or cut short your explorations and new activities to revert to your old patterns. Moving on your new choices is sometimes fun and sometimes frightening. Your feelings of isolation, dullness, bewilderment and fatigue can rise at any time. When they do old choices rise up strong. Familiarity can feel safe and appealing. You will be tempted to fall back into old patterns and distracting activities. You can eat, drink, sleep, binge watch, drug yourself, shop, get into old risky behaviors alone or with people who live dangerously or in a way that is dangerous to you.
Your challenge is to set and honor new boundaries that allow your path to joy to unfold. If you don’t take your boundaries seriously no one else will. Your efforts will dissolve. Going back to old choices can leave you where you began except sadder and more disheartened.
You may not be able to honor your new boundaries successfully all the time. I doubt that anyone can. But you can do one thing when you are tempted to give up on yourself. Don’t leave. No matter what, don’t leave. Stay present for yourself and your new goals.
If you want to stop reading or writing or drawing or asking questions, and you can’t resist that desire then stop. But don’t leave. Take a break if you wish and walk the dog or watch a show or write a letter or do some gardening or organize a drawer in your kitchen. Then return to your assignment on your path to joy itinerary. Taking a break does not mean quitting.
You probably have several items on your activity list. You can alternate when you feel stuck. Move from reading the book to listening to the podcast. Pause and write in your journal. Go to the meeting place of the event you want to check out. Stay for as long as it is interesting to you. You can speak up. You can leave early. But give yourself the experience of showing up.
If you remain on your path to joy, your path will remain firm under your feet and unfold before you. You will grow more solid and sure in the new directions you follow.
(Psychological tip) When you remain present for your goals your psyche absorbs your intention. You erode your fear. You come to realize that being near your goal path and on it inspires you to head into your life of joy with more energy than before.
Yes, this process takes work and courage. But what of value does not? Your gift is that you can begin any time and anywhere. You can choose Here and Now. I hope you do.
I wish you unexpected happy awakenings on your path to joy. You are not alone on this path. You will meet fellow travellers and share new lives lived iin joy.
Complete Listing of Path to Joy
Part One: Welcome and Introduction
Part Two: New Begins with End of Old
Part Three: Rally Yourself to Move Forward
Part Four: Be a Trailblazer
Part Five: Your Action Steps
Part Six: Stumbling Block Alert
Psychotherapy with Joanna
Please share your experience in the comments or write to me privately about your journey.
* Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay