Start With Joy (But please still take your meds)
I was planning on writing more specifically about the business of Art today.
I have two blog posts in rough draft form that just need a quick once over.
But today, I want to talk about something else.
I will argue that Joy is the most important commodity in our lives.
Finding your own joy will help you be a better partner, employee, uncle, and human.
Miserable people make miserable art...You know what? Even if they didn't; even if being miserable produced great art, being miserable sucks.
And it creeps up on us.
Deadlines loom. Emergencies happen. Life happens.
So we skip our morning workout, we get the drive through, and we just crash in front of the TV because today has been HARD.
And there is nothing wrong with this. We live in a society that is constantly trying to capture our attention. It's hard to tell what IS urgent from what feels urgent.
The thing to do though; is catch yourself when you get caught up in the hamster wheel, and do what makes yo feel good in your soul.
A brief caveat here:
Take your meds. For the love of god, take your meds. If a doctor has prescribed medication for depression, or high blood pressure, or fucking dandruff; please do not stop taking them just because you are eating better and meditating more.
Do not blame yourself for getting caught up in a machine that is designed to catch you up.
This is not a new idea; but try to find little ways to be happy, and try to take care of yourself physically.
I use the word "try" intentionally.
Because, if you are like me; these are actually Band-Aids. What we need is a complete change in how we approach the world.
If you need 3 meditation sessions, dozens of supplements, buttered coffee, journaling, ayurvedic breathing, etc. just to get through a regular day, the problem is your environment.
If all you do is work and cope with the stress of work, when do you get to live your life?
Finding joy for yourself must be a priority.
Despite what everyone around you tells you, joy is important.
For me, the most important thing is to look for as much joy as possible and to take enough care of myself so that I am receptive to it.
I find that if I eat less sugar, and get outside more; I'm generally in a better mood.
Then I'm more likely to notice a cool squirrel or a weird plant and I find myself .005% happier
Does that solve the threat of climate change?
But if I'm in a better mood, I can function better. Maybe I'll earn more and donate some of that money to the fight. Maybe I'll look for companies to invest in. Maybe, I'll be nicer and the person I'm nicer to will do something positive.
I do know that I'm less likely to feel overwhelmed, and more likely to make the world better.
Maybe I'm deluding myself, or maybe this is the ultimate coping mechanism; but I truly believe that every problem is solvable.
Maybe not by me. Maybe not in my lifetime. But solvable none the less.
Not guaranteed to happen, but possible.
So I guess the summary of this is simple:
Before you deal with the stress of life, and as often as possible; look for every possible way to find joy. Have your coffee, do your sudoku puzzle, go for a walk. We have to realize that this is the most important thing we can do. We will do our jobs better, we will be better partners, we will be better people; if we light our own candle before heading out into the dark.
Thanks for reading.
PS next post I will go back to the more technical aspects of business in art; but I felt that I needed to say this today.
Thanks for making your art.