Living Life with Joy

A little about me…
Going to middle and high school was shit for me. I hated it. However, when I got to college, it was such an experience of awe for me. My brain was on fire in a good way. I was exploring philosophy, figuring out how complicated math equations worked, and experimenting with anthropology by sitting in hospital lobbies just watching people. My brain was not at peace. It was, again, on fire! In every manner, I was challenging myself to become more aware, to understand people better, and to figure out myself. It was the best time of my life.

That intensity and focus kept me out of having ‘peace of mind’ but instead projected me into a world of growth. When we are not investing anything of our lives into something, we are spending too much time in our own heads, and our thoughts take control. And does anyone know what happens when you spend all your time in your own thoughts? Madness. We lose that fire; the flame snuffs out.

We need to find something that we can dedicate ourselves to so intensely, to become so focused on it, that we can escape our minds. But it needs to be the productuctive focus. No zombie focus. We could absolutely become hyper-focused on binging a favorite tv series or couch-surfing on our favorite video game until all hours of the morning. These are not healthy fires. They aren’t bad fires. Hell, I LOVE animal crossings. And I adore my color-by-number, and OMG…Game of Thrones. YES!!! These are all limited focuses and when we shut them off, what will our brains be on fire for then?

Living life with JOY is finding something to ignore our brains on fire for. Things demand us to think about a great deal of time, but one which we enjoy thinking on. I’m so blessed to truly love what I do at my job. Providing crisis counseling, teaching skill-building activities, and how to overcome hardships…I love it. Does it set my brain on fire? Absolutely. I have to discern what each client needs, think outside of the box for new ways they might learn to cope with things and figure out what resources they need to succeed.

Unfortunately, not all people feel this way at their jobs. And so you must look at pro-social activities that can cause a desire to learn, to think critically, and to grow your mind. Maybe you like to cook/bake. Okay, grow that flame. Research the lives of others who enjoy that. Come up with new recipes. Write a cookbook. Or maybe you like caring for animals. Dive into researching why a particular animal behaves a certain way. Why are pit bulls regarded with such low regard? Do they have reason to?

Find a cause worth igniting yourself over. What is your biggest pet peeve? Why? Can you make a positive change, if not in the world, maybe in just your community? Or in your child’s school? Or even in your book club. Hell, make it a point to prove why books should not be banned? Or for that matter, why they should be! Ignite your brain.

You’ll find joy when you aren’t at peace of mind in the world. Now, for those who look to God for peace of mind, that’s a whole different type of peace of mind…one that we should always seek. The Peace that Passes All Understanding. But for the flesh….ignore that desire for inner quietness. Let it get loud! Let it get on fire for something.

What are your thoughts?

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