Durga Walker : Work Lightly: Be Joyous
Work lightly: Be Joyous
From The Day Job Survival Kit by Durga Walker | Updated 3/24/15
It's a challenge to create joy where you think it doesn't exist. It's like having to be creative when you don't feel inspired. But there are ways to manufacture inspiration, and there are ways to manufacture joy.
Inspiration and joy are like fairy dust. Stick your hand into a pile and the stuff flies everywhere. If you're feeling a lack of inspiration, you've been letting the dust settle for too long. Wiggle your hand a bit and stir it around. Let it fly!
Energy is everything and everything is energy. As artists, our media may appear to be to be paint or words or movement or music, but as creative souls our medium is energy. You cannot use energy effectively if you stop it from flowing. You won't have any material to work with.
Inspiration and joy are no different. If you want ripples in a pond, toss a stone. If you want inspiration, stick your hand in it. And if you want joy, do something joyous. When your muscle needs stretching, do you wait for the stretch to come to you? No, you stretch your muscle. And how good it feels! Never wait for inspiration and joy to come to you. Toss a stone and watch the ripples reach the other shore.
Joy on the job can transform your entire life. After all, what more could you possibly want while you're working than to feel good? If you've got joy on your day job, you can throw this book away. And joy is infectious. Become a joy-manufacturing plant and you'll transform the working lives of everyone around you.
Start by smiling. Surely you can manage this. If you can't toss a stone, toss a pebble. If it's too much to smile at other people, practice smiling when you're alone. Imagine that every time you smile at work, you're increasing your ability to manufacture creative inspiration.
This is true, by the way. Contrary to popular belief, inspiration does not come from the depths of depression and nihilism. Inspiration is the drawing in of breath, the gift of life. Creative inspiration comes from clarity, a sudden parting of the clouds to let the light explode. If your clouds are thick and heavy from not enough joy, no light will get through no matter how much inspiration's raging on the other side. So start by smiling. Thin the clouds out a bit.
Joy and inspiration are good partners. They both come like fairy dust and they both need stirring up on occasion. Feeling stuck in the mud? Play with a kitten. I guarantee you the energy will fly.
Bring joy to the workplace. It's one of the ultimate challenges. If you can create joy on your day job, you can create it anywhere. And if creating joy teaches you to create inspiration any time, anywhere your creative life is blessed.
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