On the brink of the biggest consumption season of the year & the eve of Thanksgiving, the one holiday in the USA devoted entirely to eating. I have a suggestion. Go on a diet, a Joy Diet!
The practices that make up the Joy Diet create a direct connection between your conscious thinking mind and the deepest parts of you that know what your heart and soul longs for. The Joy Diet is designed to reveal what we have been hiding from the world and even from ourselves.
What are you keeping under wraps that your life, your work perhaps even the world needs?
In my family we were carefully taught to keep our “brilliance” carefully hidden, least we antagonize or otherwise make uncomfortable someone who could hurt us. My brothers and I were only a few generations out from the Irish & German immigrants who arrived here as indentured servants at the beginning of the 20th century. For them, there were good reasons to not rock any boats. Pursuing one’s uniqueness was not going to contribute to overall survival.
A 100 years & another pandemic later, we are all living with the wind-down of a world-wide pandemic. The covid crisis may have created devastating effects for you and your loved ones. It may have also revealed the simple desire for a more meaningful existence. Once again, I say, go on a Joy Diet. It can light the path out of exhaustion, confusion, crisis & heartbreak. It can lead you to knowing what is true for you.
The Joy Diet – Daily Menu Items
- NOTHING: to begin the Joy Diet, you must do nothing for at least 15 minutes per day.
- TRUTH: Create & absorb at least one moment of truth each day.
- DESIRE: Identify, articulate & explore at least one of your heart’s desires.
- CREATIVITY: Conceptualize & write down at least 1 new concrete idea that will help you obtain something your heart desires.
- RISK: Do at least 1 frightening thing that contributes to the fulfillment of your desires.
- TREATS: Give yourself 3 really good treats, 1 for every risk you take & 2 just because you are you.
- PLAY: Take a moment to remember your real life’s work & differentiate it from the games you play to achieve it. Then play wholeheartedly.
- LAUGHTER: Make sure that you laugh at least 30 times per day.
- CONNECTION: Use menu items #1-#5 in at least 1 interaction with a person who is important in your life.
- FEASTING: Have at least 3 square feasts per day. This may involve food. Then again it may not.
If all 10 menu items of the Joy Diet seem like too big of a bite (pun intended), let’s begin by committing to #1- NOTHING for 15 minutes each day. Here’s why this first step is so important.
Martha Beck, in her book of the same name, describes the first menu item of the Joy Diet this way: “Nothing, nothing at all is the first ingredient you must add to your life when you go on the Joy Diet.” She goes on to say “Every ancient tradition holds that from this still core of the self, this infinitely fertile emptiness, springs all that is authentic about you: your identity, your ability to recognize truth, the real operating instructions for your life. “
Yes, we are talking about meditation. I know some of you may be thinking “I tried that once and it did not work.” I hear you; it can be very difficult especially at first. Not to worry, if stillness is too much to handle, you can substitute the following question for actual stillness: “Why am I avoiding stillness?”
That’s it for now – 15 minutes of NOTHING each day. Stay tuned for part 2 of the Joy Diet. Next time we will explore the other menu items & how they can bring more authentic joy into your life & work.
In the meantime I’d love to hear how it’s going for you. Please email or text me. Better yet, sign on for a free half-hour consultation at https://barbaragallen.com/contact/