Tuesday 12 February
One of the best habits I developed as a child was keeping a diary.
I remember being asked by my Dad what I wanted for Christmas one year and I asked for a Disney diary with a lock on it.
The good ol' lock and key diaries. My words would be safely tucked away between the pages, with the key hidden away in secret hiding spots.
I would begin each entry with 'Dear Diary.' Each page representing a journey inside the psyche of an eight year old. What I would do, to read those now and get an insight into my own creative journey.
Today I reflect on that little girl, the little curious soul, who was eager to discover the world and bury herself in imagination, creation, fantasy and the supernatural, and in this moment, I realise, I have created just that for myself.
A beautiful quote, that I spent some time reflecting on last year:
'Do you remember who you were before the world told you who you should be?'
As I write this now, I have designed a life that I am able to create and write, and hope to inspire others to get back in touch with that little girl inside them, the one that found profound joy in the smallest of her vivid imaginations.
Today I am beyond grateful. I used to wish on the first star of the night for happiness. Now, 34 years of age, I have elevated those words, and wish for profound joy.
When I think of joy, I think of memories of being on stage. Creation through the language of the body, is what I think of my years of dancing.
I danced from four years of age until I was 19. Ballet, jazz, tap, contemporary, hip hop, lyrical, flamenco, belly dancing, I did it all. It was pure joy. The butterflies I would get before going on stage; seeing all those faces in the audience. The nerves before an exam and competitions, and the soreness after from overdoing it to impress the examiners and get that good score.
Joy was the discovery of crystals for the first time at five years old. The beautiful marvels of this world. I wanted to collect them all - I still do.
They say you should teach your kids about crystals, they will never have money for drugs. Hahahaha, so true!
Joy was using my imagination to create wonderful fantasy lands filled with spaceships, pirates, witches, warlocks, unicorns, mermaids and all kinds of magical creatures.
I did love to retreat to my own little world. I do it now. Often. The perpetual daydreamer and creator.
Joy was learning how to skate for the first time, seeing snow for the first time, getting my first pair of gumboots and jumping in puddles, singing (in tune albeit badly), finally getting to Disneyland, discovering a new book series that I couldn't put down and would pre-order the next instalment, catching up with a friend I hadn't seen for a while and it felt like catching up with a long lost sister, belly laughs with Mum, pearls of wisdom from Dad, annual girls road trips, discovering I could lucid dream (want to learn more?), falling in love, creating with childlike abandon, the list goes on.
One moment of joy that stands out above all else, was discovering stillness through meditation.
A racing Gemini mind, and some challenges growing up, something I will open wide on here in time, can lend itself to anxiety.
I experienced generalised anxiety more than 12 years ago and it was a game of trial and error to find my way out of my own mind and find peace.
At 25 my need for control and anxiety was so bad I was checking everything in the house both obsessively and compulsively. I knew I needed help.
I read books, sought counselling, saw the psychiatrist, sought alternative therapies and finally the one thing that made a significant difference was meditation.
The stillness, the inner knowing, clarity and sense of purpose cultivated through my practice brought back what it meant not only to be happy in life, but to elevate that to a profoundly joyful existence.
I urge you to reflect back on that little child. The one that found joy in the smallest of her vivid imaginations and create that childlike sense of joyful abandon in your everyday lives.
Lets live beyond happy. I propose an elevation to profound joy.
P.S. Nique is the nickname used by my nearest and dearest :-)