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Day 100: Carry on picking!

January 22, 2024

As a kid, I was a scab picker. 

As a teenager, I was a spot picker.

As an adult, I’m an emotions picker.

I remember the first time I heard a podcast about anxiety and every single thing in it resonated with me. That week, when I chatted with friends, I said, “I think I might have anxiety,” and they both laughed simultaneously as one of them said, “Duh! Ya think?!” 

It was so obvious to them but I had missed it entirely. 

I’ve learned a lot about anxiety since then. The most profound thing I learned is this:

The opposite of anxiety is NOT calm. It’s expression.

Anxiety masks the things we were / are unsafe or unable to express. 

What does this have to do with Joy?

It’s the final day of my blog about living joyfully and I realise one of the greatest gifts this 100 days has given me is the gift of expression. 

Having the opportunity to express myself was both cathartic and scary – and on 71 of the 100 days, I couldn’t bring myself to draw attention to what I’d written because I was either ashamed or embarrassed, but the writing on its own was enough for me to learn incredibly valuable lessons about the things I would benefit from changing if I want to be someone who brings joy rather than seeks perpetual happiness. 

Over this 100 days, I’ve learned how to free myself from quite a few mental prisons. I’ve also found a few prisons for which I haven’t yet located the keys – but I’m sure I have them on me somewhere.

I’ve learned…

  • that negative feelings are ok and I’ve learned to tolerate them more gracefully in myself and others – a little bit more often (work in progress)
  • few things are of very much importance at all, and everything is temporary
  • to be genuinely grateful for the privilege and comfort I have, and to pay attention every day to all I am grateful for
  • that letting go is ALWAYS more joyful than clinging on
  • now is all I get – how I use it determines what life feels like AND how it unfolds
  • if I want something different, I have to do something differently
  • it’s ok to pick at emotions until I can make sense of them, it doesn’t make me over sensitive, ridiculous or dramatic, it makes me a human trying her best
  • I can’t think my way out of a mental straight jacket, until I’ve loosened the straps by calming my body

When these lessons stay at the front of my mind, I don’t struggle with anxiety, and what greater joy is there than that?!

What comes next?

Now that I’ve developed a daily habit of writing, I’ve decided to cultivate that habit further and complete my first book. After 15 incomplete attempts, this time I’ve learned enough about how to do difficult things in a way that connects me with the joy of the process. I’ve never felt more ready.

Thank you for reading my musings. It gave me joy to scratch and pick beneath the surface of the emotions I’ve grappled with and continue to grapple with, and it gave me great joy knowing you were there.

I hope some of my musings helped you scratch beneath the surface of the things you’re experiencing too, and I hope that my book will enter the world and help many more people – and probably help me learn more of the lessons I have yet to learn! 

Much love to you, and thank you for reading. 

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