Skimming Deep

Searching, traveling, talking, reflecting, and exploring. Read along with me as I continue on my journey through life.

Tag: joy

#2: Joy

I pulled my ancestor card this morning. It was a nice way to open my day with something to think about throughout the day. Today’s word: JOY.

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This past two years living in the Bay Area has involved some interesting self-reflection about JOY. What is joy? Do I have joy in my life? Is it the same as being happy or being content? What does it mean to seek joy? What does it mean to be joyful? Am I joyful? When am I joyful?

I was talking to someone about this once in the last year or so – I said I couldn’t really feel joy. And she said, “How do you know? What does joy feel like?” And as she pushed me to think about it more, I realized I feel joy in moments and in finite bursts. I feel joy when I am reunited with beloved friends that I haven’t seen in a long time. I felt joy when we made it to the top of Half Dome after a grueling hike. I felt joy when my nieces and nephew were born and I got to hold them for the first time.

I don’t necessarily feel joyful constantly, nor do I think I would want to. I’m more apt to look for contentment, a more subdued and gentle form of joy or happiness. Feeling joy all the time holds a bit too much energy for me, which I don’t know if I’d be ready for. Or am I in denial about feeling too much joy?

Interestingly, I think I feel joy the most keenly when I’ve been in a time of challenge – hiking Half Dome, missing my friends, worrying about my sisters-in-law in labor. As with many emotions and states of being, it’s not possible to feel one without having the presence of its opposite. How do you know light if you do not know dark? How do you know happiness if not for sadness? How can we know joy if not for sorrow?

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Can I Get Some of THAT?

I’ve been obsessing over Jimmy Fallon, not him in particular, but his late night show.  I go through these spurts of obsessing over things and going all over the internet to find anything related to that thing.

I went through (although this is kind of ongoing) a Jane Austen phase where I was looking for any books and movies that had any references to Jane Austen and her books.  I might write a separate blog post on this– I didn’t realize how much is out there paying homage to good ol’ Jane!

I often go through a recurring phase of looking for bloopers reels on youtube.  I love watching old TV show bloopers reels, like Seinfeld and the Cosby Show.  It’s wonderful seeing these great actors being human and silly.  I get a kick out of that.

So lately my obsession has been Jimmy Fallon and his late night show.  It started when my cousin showed me this:

I was dying!  And I watched it a few more times with him and then I’ve shown it to multiple friends and family since.  There are so many things I love about this clip: the amazingness of the Roots playing this whole mashup live (no records or DJs!), the fun JT and Jimmy are having, the skills they have, and just the electric vibe of joy in that space.

Then I found that they had done this several times, though I think history of rap #2 is the best.

Just recently, I got back interested in JF when this video went viral:

Once again, more awesomeness by all these guys and the Roots (how cool to have them as your back up band, just playing the soundtrack to your life??).  Again, joy, fun, love of what they do.

Then I stumbled on this precious clip:

Love it.  You can do more searches of JF with other celebrity singers singing and the Roots backing them up on classroom instruments.  Robin Thicke, Carly Rae Jepsen, Mariah Carey…

And then it’s easy to just get sucked into all the other clips on JF’s channel.  His other currently viral video about hashtags back with JT.  His thank-you notes.  His game show activities with his guests.

So what I love about this is that Jimmy Fallon has found what seems to be HIS dream job.  It’s so obvious he loves what he does.  And it’s obvious he’s grateful and even a bit starstruck by himself.  Like he can’t quite believe he is where is.  I could be totally reading into this, but he seems to still be a grounded, normal person who has skyrocketed to fame, but more importantly, landed a situation where he is joyful going to work.

I heard him on Terry Gross’s Fresh Air a few weeks ago, and there seemed to be some of that disbelief that he, a normal guy, is where he is today.

I want me some of THAT.  To find a job, situation, place in life where I get to bring together all my loves: food, social justice, education, that outdoors, people, love, hope… change.  I’d be curious to sit down with JF and ask if he had any vision of what his life would be like.  Right now, I don’t feel clear on my vision; but I am clear on my loves.  And maybe that’s what he’d say, just be clear on your loves and keep them front and center and keep moving toward them and with them.  You’ll get there.  Or maybe you already are there.

I have landed me a job!  I’m not sure if it will bring me the kind of joy that the late night show brings to Jimmy Fallon, but I’m moving along, keeping my eyes open.

I is for “Intention”

I think “intention” is something you don’t really understand until you get older.  When we’re younger, we do things because we’re told to do it, because of impulse, because of reaction, because of whim.  When we’re older, we realize that intention has a power to create direction, shape results, get us to places where we want.

Practicing yoga and reading books about Zen Buddhism and on achieving life happiness have opened my eyes to the power of intention.

For Huffington Post blogger, Marcia Wieder, intention is one of “five principles that will change your life.”  She says, “It is the setting of an intention that will call in wonderful resources, opportunities and people.”  I have seen examples of the truth of that statement in my own life.

After I started really focusing on these intentions and aspirations (wanting to find a team of people, wanting to travel, wanting to quit my job, see more here), it was as if a Pandora’s box of amazing and wonderful things was opened. People I knew talked to me of their own and others’ travels.  I started finding more and more resources to read that were just at my fingertips.  I became connected to new people who had interesting and helpful things to share.  These past six or so months of preparing have been truly inspiring.  And as I talk to more people and read more, my intentions become clearer and are confirmed.

I intend to live my life with joy and laughter.

  • I intend to appreciate all that comes my way: challenges, successes, and new opportunities.
  • I intend to surround myself with people who are positive, loving, and living life to the fullest.
  • I intend to live life not only for myself but for and with others.
  • I intend to breathe deeply of the air everyday.
  • I intend to look at the sky, the road, the trees, my surroundings and be thankful that I am alive.

It amazes me to think where I was a year, two years, five years, ten years ago.  I had no idea I would be where I am today, preparing for a trip to the other side of the world to farm and travel without an itinerary.  A year and a half ago, I made the intention that I wanted to be happy and not stuck in the life I was in.  And with the support of loved ones, I am light years ahead of where I was then.  And I have not lost anything in the process.  If anything, I have gained even more than I thought was possible.

Life lived with intention allows for anything to be possible that leads to more and more happiness.  Who thought so much happiness was possible?

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