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A Journey to Re-discovering Joy




Hey guys,


Something I want to do is share my reflections at the end of the month. I realized I was not taking the time to really show appreciation for my season in life and I wanted to share little things that made my month better from themes of the month and playlists to the more serious life lessons. This month, I delved into the concept of "Joy", and I can't wait to share my findings. Buckle up and enjoy this journey of discovery with me!


What is "Joy"?


Have you ever pondered the difference between Happiness and Joy? Until recently, I hadn't either. I've often used the terms interchangeably, as I suspect many people do. This month, I took the time to really understand the nuances.


Happiness, it turns out, is an emotional state largely dependent on external factors and events. It's a state of well-being and contentment usually associated with a specific event, person, or possession. Known to fluctuate based on circumstances, happiness is often described as a reaction to something good happening. However, this pleasure is usually temporary and can be easily influenced by external factors such as changes in circumstances or mood.


On the other hand, Joy exists within us, independent of life's rollercoaster of experiences. It could stem from a deep-rooted sense of purpose, a connection to something larger than ourselves, or a faith or belief system that provides comfort and guidance. Unlike happiness, Joy feeds on our internal resources such as resilience, gratitude, and inner peace, and can withstand hardships and difficulties.


"Joy and happiness are often used interchangeably. However, happiness technically refers to the pleasurable feelings (emotions) that result from a situation, experience, or object, whereas joy is a state of mind that can be found even in times of grief or uncertainty." (Havard Blog).



I chose the word Joy  for the theme of June. I was drawn to the word because of my complicated relationship with happiness. I remember in my poetry class a girl wrote about happiness being a choice. At that point, I had already taken "Emotions in Society" and had the stance that people don't choose their emotional state. There was always something that felt wrong when people claimed happiness is a choice because it indirectly promotes the idea our emotional state is what we choose. Feelings happen, and we don't control what comes up, but reactions are what we might be able to control. However, this is assuming we have a process of dealing with emotions/conflict and the other party or parties are giving you the space to process your thoughts. Emotions are not actions, but they can influence them. What is fascinating about joy is that it's described as a state of mind. You know how they say the opposite of love is indifference ... what if misery is the opposite of joy? If we consider misery a state of mind and the idiom goes "misery loves company", does that mean joy thrives in solitude? It's a theory and there's no better time for it.


Inside Out 2 came out this month and I want to see it because I loved the first movie. As I built out my hypothesis about joy, I started to think about how joy is essentially the leader in the main character's (Riley) mind. I wonder if joy is our default mode as children, but if we don't nurture it throughout our lives if the absence of it leads to the takeover of misery, like a tyrant that suppresses core emotions.


Through June I was so focused on rediscovering joy and this is what I found that contributed to my Joy:



Focusing more on the action itself


  • I talked about how I would often give up on things or quit when the results weren't ideal. This month there hasn't been progress on my YouTube channel and in the past I would start to doubt my ability and think I was not good enough but since I had time to learn how to focus on actions more, the results are not influencing me to quit. I enjoy creating and when I do create it gives me back something that I never had: The freedom to express my thoughts and have a voice. From the age of 10 until maybe 17, I was so okay with not having one. That allowed people to constantly make up stories about me and let their false perceptions of who I am influence who I was and how I saw myself. Creating for me allows me to explore my mind and curiosity on subjects and put them out in the world. Maybe people won't always understand where I am coming from with my thoughts and perspectives. At the same time, I am not made for everyone to understand and my act of creating is more about bravery and having the courage to be in a position for people to judge or criticize me and still do it anyway than the result. My younger self would be proud of me for having a voice and my current self enjoys the process of research, brainstorming, and reviewing different perspectives before having a stance. My creative states are my joy.


Looking for ways to decenter myself and small ways to work on my circumstances


  • I mentioned in a lot of my videos that I wanted to work on ways to get out of my comfort zone. One effect of going to school during the pandemic was being conditioned to the online/individual structure, The last time I worked a job in person was a seasonal one before college, so in terms of work experience involving people is lacking. I didn't have a lot of verbal communication skills in high school, so I thought college would be the time to break out of my introverted nature and manage in-person interactions, but 50% of my experience was online, and when we went back to in-person learning, being a commuter socialization plus the new restrictions that were in place meant that skill still hasn't fully grown. Since I can't find work, besides creating in the process while I am searching, I have been looking for ways to start volunteering. The program I am Volunteering for won't start until July, but I feel excited I took the steps and will do something that shifts me away from catastrophizing about my problems and focus on being a part of something larger than myself.


I created a list of ideas to bring more joy into life based on research to inspire me to keep building up a joyful state of mind. I will refer to this list as a reminder.


  • Cultivate gratitude: Make a habit of noticing and appreciating the good things in your life.

  • Practice mindfulness: Stay present in the moment instead of dwelling on the past or worrying about the future.

  • Nurture relationships: Invest time and energy in building strong, positive relationships with friends and family.

  • Pursue a passion: Do something you love, whether it's a hobby, a project, or a job.

  • Take care of physical health: Regular exercise, a balanced diet, and adequate sleep can contribute to a positive state of mind.

  • Engage in acts of kindness: Doing good for others can boost your own sense of joy and satisfaction.

  • Foster resilience: Learn to bounce back from setbacks with a positive attitude.

  • Find purpose: Having a purpose or goal in life can give a sense of direction and fulfillment.

  • Practice self-care: Set aside time for relaxation and activities that you enjoy.


Affirmations


Since the new moon of June was in Gemini, I centered my affirmations around " I think". Gemini is a sign that centers around thinking, ideas, and communication as it is one of the signs ruled by Mercury. I typically do 3 affirmations per month centered around the new moon.


Mine are below:


  1. The higher spirit sends me guidance and precognitive dreams to help me think of the actions I need to take

  2. I welcome new ways of thinking that creates positive outcomes in my life

  3. I think of excellent solutions to whatever is not up to my ideal way of living


Romanticizing


Motivation Board of the month





While I have a vision board for the entire 2024, for each month I have a motivation board. that I like to use as my phone wallpaper. My yearly vision board remains on my laptop throughout the year but resetting my phone wallpaper sparks a new feeling and allows me to refocus and get in tune with the different themes I am turning my focus to to contribute to the bigger picture. Typically I either create on my Pinterest app since they have a collage feature but if I want something with more accurate measurements and want to play around with fonts and words, Canva is another place I love to create this on.



Playlist of the month


 POV:🔥Hot , Blessed & Abundant 💋 😇


Description: I think about ways to add blessings • I think about solutions to everything troubling me • I think of ideas that make the world a better place



I have a playlist with all the songs I come across throughout the year, but one thing I've been loving to do is make playlists of a certain vibe to fully express my energy for the month. It is more mood-based and typically I create them at the end of the previous month. I used to shy away from sharing my music taste because I had this fear of being judged for it or getting called "mainstream". I also know people notice things about music that I don't. Typically if I like a song it's either because of the lyrics or it triggers a memory for me, not necessarily about the artist themselves.



June's Vibe


The songs I chose for June were a mix of songs relating to being blessed and thankful. I also chose songs that were Caribbean-beat or afro-beat coded and K-Pop songs that felt energetic to use during my morning work.


My Favorites on the list are:

  • UP!

  • Tinnitus (Wanna be a rock)

  • I Wanna Thank me

  • Attention

  • Back for more



Overview




Books completed:


  1. The Midnight Library (June 3)

  2. Killer Instinct (June 12)

  3. Hook, Line & Sinker (June 15)

  4. Year of less (June 16) 🎧

  5. Excuse me while I ugly cry (June 19)



Books started in May but not finished:


  1. Influencer

  2. The Twenty-Something Treatment

  3. The Artist Way (Starting it as I am writing this as an audiobook on June 24th)

  4. Power Moves*🎧 (The one I am listening to is by Lauren McGoodwin. This one I may or may not finish. There are aspects of the book that I am just not enjoying and I feel like a lot of the topics are coming from a place of if you already found a place to work and you are just looking to climb the ladder. I feel like if the book came from more of a place guiding people with different personalities and backgrounds maybe the information would resonate a lot better, however, I did like the supplementary content in the pdf. )


Total books read in 2024 (so far):  34 books (Physical- 24; Audio-10)



Shows watched:


I started watching Bridgerton in April after Heartbreak High Season 2 and got obsessed. I watched seasons 1 and 2 in April.


  • Bridgerton Season 3 Part 2

  • Heartstoppers (Partially) [Rewatch]


Conclusion




Looking back, I would assign a score of 6 out of 10 to the month of June. It wasn't a bad month by any means, but it was a time of intense mental activity and numerous scattered thoughts. My mind seemed to be on overdrive, ceaselessly processing a multitude of concerns, ideas, and plans.


A significant part of my thoughts was occupied by my volunteering commitments. I was constantly pondering about how to go about it, what preparations I needed to make before July, and how I could make the most out of this experience. Furthermore, my mom's upcoming surgery added a layer of worry and responsibility, as I tried to figure out how I could be of help to her during this time.


Career considerations also held a significant place in my thought space. I was constantly brainstorming on who I should connect with to gain more insights into my career path and how I should navigate my professional life moving forward. Amidst all these, I found myself being visited by strange dreams about people I had not seen in years. As an interesting astrological note, I've noticed that I tend to have the strangest dreams during the Aquarius, Pisces, and Gemini seasons, leading to an unsettling sense of mental unrest.


In addition to all these, I was also toying with the idea of planning a content reset for July. This meant that my brain was constantly jumping from one topic to the next, leaving little room for rest. Despite all this mental chaos, I managed to prioritize gathering show notes and designing bonus content. However, I couldn't shake off the feeling that I needed a more structured approach for my other creative outlets. To add to the mix, I also found myself intrigued by the prospect of journal selling.


Despite the whirlwind of thoughts and activities, I believe June was a good month overall. It was a time of personal growth and progress. I made great strides in my volunteering commitments, which was a significant step forward. I also had the chance to spend quality time with people I care about, which brought warmth and joy amidst the chaos. The month ended on a positive note, leaving me with a feeling of increased confidence and a sense of accomplishment.


What type of content would be interesting to watch on YouTube?

  • Book-related content (reviews, read with me )

  • Behind the scenes of a content creation journey

  • Self-care-related content / Healing content

  • Hobby related content



If you like my content it would mean the world to me if you would also subscribe to my YouTube channel, my Pinterest, and my TikTok account. On YouTube, I have the most inspirational content from Lifestyle Design posts to Digital "open when..." letters to boost your moods. I also keep a copy of my podcast episodes (which is also available on Spotify). I decided that I am honoring what feels right to me and continuously working on building the life of my dreams and helping others do the same. Don’t forget to share this if you feel inspired and I will have more content for you soon.


Until next time butterflies 🦋


Xoxo,

Lay 💋


 

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