Sunday, November 25

spc - what i wear {week 4}

me & my joy necklace, canon digital rebel xti

I truly believe in the intention that an artist pours into creating something beautiful with a message meant to dance into our world. My lovely friend Andrea does just that with her gorgeous Superhero jewels. Anyone who wears them indeed feels like a Superhero but also, each particular gem has its own message that permeates hearts and souls. The one I've worn most lately is Joy. Not only because its cheery colors are stunning and match most all my outfits but more importantly because I've needed to feel Joy.

Joy is something that most of my life came quite easy to me. I was that girl that always had a smile on her face, a cheery disposition, found the positive in any situation or laughed in the midst of tears. I think all these years of being such a happy, upbeat person created an expectation in others of me to always be this way and in turn, I put this expectation on myself. I think this may be why I was uncomfortable with feelings of anger or long periods of sadness. Not only was I afraid that others wouldn't accept me if I felt this way but I was afraid to accept it myself. I pushed it down deep and didn't know how to process those feelings. I talked about this a few blog posts ago.

I remember sitting in therapy a few months back and opening up about one of my fertility specialists. My husband and I tried so hard to do all he asked of us and we were so proud of our test results but our doctor just had this negative..."it's still not enough" attitude towards us. My therapist asked me if I was angry at him. I responded..."Yes, I guess I am angry at him." With a gentle grin she said..."Denise, you said that with a huge smile on your face. Do you know how to be angry?" I laughed and laughed... and we laughed together and then I cried. Her suggestion was to write my doctor a letter about how angry I feel and what that means to me. So reluctantly, I did. It is now written in the pages of my journal. I am still processing it all but in all honesty, it was very empowering for me.

You see...my fertility journey has left me with these very foreign feelings of depression. I didn't think I was capable of being depressed. With these feelings are a lot of sadness and disappointment but also some anger. If people were to meet me for the first time or to spend any amount of time with me they would not suspect I am depressed. I still am that girl that sees life with a glass half full and those of you that have been reading my blog the past few years know that I have been extremely positive and hopeful on this journey. What I've noticed though, is that joy doesn't come as easy to me as it used to. Some days I have to wake up and find it, where as before it was floating around me at will. What I've been aware of though, is that when joy comes, I FEEL it so much deeper than I used to. I think this is because when you are coming from a place of sorrow, joy feels so much sweeter. I cry about five times a day from joyful thoughts (well...and sad ones too).

A sweet friend of mine has said for a long time now that "Joy is an option". I never quite understood what that truly meant until recently when I found myself in a place where I had to actually choose joy. What that means to me is putting my Joy necklace on, or visualizing all the blessings in my life, or losing myself in my husbands chest or finding humor with a friend on a really sad day. It means taking a walk on the beach and feeling grateful for the ocean or making time for that yoga class, or spilling out paints or taking my camera on a field trip, dancing in my studio, praying, meditating... and so, so many things.

It's a choice we can make in those moments when we feel strong enough to choose. Sometimes we don't feel strong enough. Sometimes we need time to feel our sadness and anger and lose ourselves in wine or television or cry for a week or vent to those that resonate with our story but eventually, yes eventually...we pick ourselves up and search for that joy. Even if in small ways. I am learning to embrace all these parts of myself and to be honest about them with me and my loved ones.

Last week I needed to sit with my sadness and anger. This week...I would like to choose joy.

What does choosing joy mean to you?

find other spc peeps here.


Blogger Toni M Photography said...

Sweet Beautiful you. How I wish I could give you the biggest of sweet hugs right now. Joy is all I've ever feel coming from you. Your joyful sweet words from within these posts, your joyful smiles in your self portraits.

I know how it feels to want to be sad and angry and show these emoitions, but find it hard to allow others to see, because I am afraid they, too wouldn't accept me.

Thank you for sharing this post, it, choosing joy means that I can be happier (sad) within myself about things and the choices I make. I guess it just takes a lot of love and wisdom, from lovies like you, to show me I can,

Big hugs to you,
Love Toni

November 26, 2007 at 3:10:00 AM PST  
Blogger Deirdre said...

It's almost 3:30 a.m. and I can't sleep - too many things running through my head, thoughts that want to drag me to a sad and resentful place. What a gift to wander into my office, turn on the computer, and read this, to be reminded I can choose joy.

It took me years of therapy to actually feel anger. The other emotions were a piece of cake, but anger was another challenge. I still would rather brush it aside, but have learned to let it flow through instead of ignoring it. It is sometimes the tool I need to help myself move forward.

Congratulations on meeting your anger.

November 26, 2007 at 3:29:00 AM PST  
Blogger Martha-Anne said...

For me, choosing joy means letting go of the little things that I sometimes let get to me.

Joy is most definitely an option. I believe that sometimes we don't want to choose joy, and sometimes we shouldn't, but it is so important that we all choose it at some point.

I love your words. I hope you find your joy this week.

November 26, 2007 at 5:29:00 AM PST  
Blogger Brandi Reynolds said...

I wrote in my blog last week that words like gratitude have come to have some negative connotations for me. So I figured out that instead of looking around and saying 'I feel grateful for this' or writing in a gratitude journal (for some reason, the word gratitude seems to have the word 'should' subconsciously tied to it for me), I decided to say 'I feel joy in this' and my gratitude journal is now a joy journal. That feels happier to me.

November 26, 2007 at 5:59:00 AM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

my mom died just before christmas several years ago (long battle with breast cancer she was 45).

it's been hard for me to find my joy during the holidays for many years. it's as if things can be moving along just fine and then around a certain date my body just knows it's time to be sad.

then i am sad and begin to feel ashamed for not being more grateful or joyful during a time when many people are experiencing beautiful moments with family and friends.

more recently i feel by not choosing joy i am dishonoring the memory of my mother.

this year when those feelings of sorrow surface. i have decided to make a conscious effort to choose joy.

i am a positive spirit as well and while i know that feelings of sorrow and anger are healthy and essential to living a well balanced life. it doesn't make it easy to sit with these feelings.

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us. -­ Ralph Waldo Emerson

November 26, 2007 at 8:09:00 AM PST  
Blogger bee said...

oh, boho...

these words meant so much to me...i hear them and will honour them today. peace to you.

November 26, 2007 at 8:50:00 AM PST  
Blogger Gina (Lady Goats) said...

This post made me sad. I mean, I am happy for you for finding Joy... But you put to words what I've been trying to explain to myself about how I am. I used to be "That Girl" too. I used to wake up with a grin and find the sun on the cloudiest days (even if it meant to make the sun myself!). And I can pinpoint a small area in my life where that changed. I had begun to experience depression. And it just got worse, and I let it take over a portion of my life. I've "recovered" (if that's a word you can really use when it comes to depression), but never fully. I sometimes feel bitter. Or sullen.
Luckily I have the blessing of the pitter patter of little feet. And THAT is my Joy. On my down days, she helps me smile (quite literally, she stretches my mouth into a smile just so she can mimick it). And when that blessing comes to you, I know that'll be YOUR joy.

November 26, 2007 at 9:05:00 AM PST  
Blogger Vanessa/NessieNoodle said...

yes, never postpone joy.

November 26, 2007 at 9:43:00 AM PST  
Blogger Marianne said...

We are two peas in a pod in many ways. Choosing joy for me means chosing to put on the joyful song and shake my bootie all around my wee front room until I can't stop smiling... It means getting up out of bed 40 minutes earlier and doing some lovely flowing yoga instead of sleeping in and starting my day rushed and grumpy. It means finding some time in my day to walk down by the river and really see all the beauty there. It means grabbing my camera as I head out to a village visit and making time to stop and photograph the beautiful children on the bridge as we drive past. It means finding the little ways to see beauty in my day. And there are days and weeks and even months when I just don't have much of the strength I need to find those little ways. On the really exhausted days I can always put on my Superhero Joy necklace, and choosing to pick it up and put it on is always a victory for joy in me.
xx love you

November 26, 2007 at 9:51:00 AM PST  
Blogger Lianne said...

Joy is your birthright.

Joy to me is knowing that God is in the heavens and that I am loving and loved.

It is laughter with friends.

It is knowing that I have people with whom I am safe.

Joy is being in gratitude for all things in my life.

Joy is reading your words, sweet BoHo.

November 26, 2007 at 10:55:00 AM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Last week I was angry for you... this week I feel joy with you. You have an amazing way with words and I'm grateful to have found your blog.

I can get angry for someone else easier than I can for myself. I've learned the hard way that if I don't let the anger come out, in healthy ways, it takes a toll on my body.

Thank you for being so generous with your thoughts! I'm choosing Joy.... as much as possible.

November 26, 2007 at 11:00:00 AM PST  
Blogger pERiWinKle said...

when we moved to the UK from sunny South Africa, the people used to ask me what am I going to do about the darkness? My answer was always...with a BIG smile...."the sunshine comes from your heart!"

i think the ultimate option of joy is when you can accept all of yourself...the good and the not so good...but also the little things...like a JOY jewel...you do feel special when you wear them...(i think it is knowing how lovable Andrea is that make you feel so special!)

What does joy mean to me? a smile...a hug....a act of kindness...beautiful photos of all the bloggers...i agree...joy is an option...

big hug,

November 26, 2007 at 11:29:00 AM PST  
Blogger thea said...

Some things that are a Joy for me-looking at this picture of you beautiful girl

Thinking of my lovely friends and how lucky I am to have all of you

taking my camera out to look for beautiful bits

Having an amazing and supportive in law family

I have been practicing taking time to feel joy lately.

I think a joy necklace would also make me joyful:)

Still trying to decide which sh necklace to buy.

Love you
h2h c2c b2b t2t (just writing that brings me joy:)

November 26, 2007 at 12:00:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this is just exactly what i needed to "hear" right now. thank you, thank you for that.

November 26, 2007 at 12:06:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just wanted to say that your photography site with the Cinematic Orchestra song brought tears of joy to my eyes. Pure beauty. Thank you for giving me that moment.

November 26, 2007 at 2:37:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

to me, choosing joy means to let things go that would normally upset me, not taking things so personal, getting excited about the journey whatever it may be, and truly being present in all situations.

November 26, 2007 at 4:21:00 PM PST  
Blogger Stacy said...

there is a lot of joy to be had in our superhero necklaces for sure, but in this moment that sexy, come hither, kate winslet smile of yours is lighting up my life!

you are such a beauty.


November 26, 2007 at 4:35:00 PM PST  
Blogger michael morrow said...

I've sat here, Denise, for about twenty minutes, coming to terms with my contribution. There are a very few things I know after sixty years of a charmed life:
1) Service is the highest form of love.
2) Until we are serving ourselves in healthy, kind ways, we are unable to recognize the service we are to render to others in a timely, efficacious way for their highest good. This does not mean we should wait around waiting for perfection of anything before we act. Trail and error is only superficial......when I follow my heart good things happen, up to me to recognize and perceive accurately.
3)Following my own personal, unprejudiced, heart/head found truth is a prerequisite for dealing with challenges, unforeseen and otherwise, along our personal path.
4) Climbing onto a new plateau is just like starting over again, because it is starting over again.
5) Adversity is my friend. As I embrace adversity, I come to gain an accurate and often adjusted, perspective of the perceived adversarial challenge. My observation of the fact that there is a challenge in front of me is seldom inaccurate. My real problem comes when I allow my head to over power my heart. My head loves to grow the challenge as big as possible so as to afford my ego all sorts of counterfeit glory, glory that never comes because it is a mirage.
6) I cant say I have ever had to deal with depression. I have met with plenty of people who do. I know after much observation that it is real. I find the worse thing to say to a depressed person is, "oh just get over it," or "oh come on, go with me, you'll snap out of it."
7) Tools I use for resolution of issues and challenges in my life are very similar to ones you have mentioned: meditation, yoga, creative movement in the middle of the night, in my backyard if possible; reading good stuff; surrounding myself with people I love and trust; any sort of creative activity.
8) Honesty in acknowledging your experience in the moment is beneficial to yourself and all others within your sphere of influence. Again, follow your heart. I find that I know all the answers I deserve and need to conduct my life to my highest good. And sometimes, I just have to flat out pretend. In other words, 99% of the time I have to tell myself "sorry Michael, no snickers today.Yoga class, yes, snickers, no. Get into the car and drive, it will take you where I want you to go." Good luck and rest assured you are doing just fine from my limited little perspective of you. Your art is shining through loud and clear, every time.........

November 26, 2007 at 4:53:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know I say this too much to you, but I see so much of myself in that post.
Lately it's been difficult to choose joy. I don't know that I'm angry, or sad. I feel almost apathetic. Lately I don't know if I even care that I can't stay pregnant or that I've moved far away from my family or that I moved to a little rental house away from my big house. I think I WANT to be angry or sad, but my mind just wont let me, so I choose "meh".
Your words inspire me, though, dear Boho. When I finally get home this week, I will dance for joy, and I will do it because of you.

November 26, 2007 at 4:56:00 PM PST  
Blogger Gina (Lady Goats) said...

What I think it is, Megan, is that Beautiful Boho has allowed herself to 'verbalize' feelings a lot of us have, but can never put words to. And how elegantly she does it makes us WANT to feel that way (good OR bad), just to know how she made such art of it. I know that's strange to say, but I do find it to be true.

November 27, 2007 at 6:33:00 AM PST  
Blogger Michelle (a.k.a. la vie en rose) said...

oh look at your smile! it just fills my heart! i love it...i'm in love with your smile!

November 27, 2007 at 8:50:00 PM PST  
Blogger Intrepidflame said...

Hey you,

I haven't commented in awhile,but I have been reading and looking at your great pics. The new masthead looks great. I am not sure how new it is, because I read your posts on Google reader, but it is beautiful nonetheless. I just wanted to say hi and remind you that the IntrepidFlame still burnth and I miss your presence over yonder.

Check out the post about Jenny Lewis, I think you would dig them.Much love


November 27, 2007 at 11:35:00 PM PST  
Blogger Colorsonmymind said...

Just had to come back to look at your gorgeous face love.

Miss you

November 28, 2007 at 3:32:00 AM PST  
Blogger Mia Peltola said...

You are sharing happy feelings. This made me smile too.

November 28, 2007 at 2:00:00 PM PST  
Blogger daisies said...

for me, choosing joy is turning my head slightly and allowing myself to look at my grief or sorrow or troubles from a different angle, it means recognizing what i am feeling and knowing that is okay and then allowing myself to see the magic light at the end of the day that casts beauty over everything including the garbage that piles up ... choosing joy means letting myself see that magic light all day long.

beautiful you, your smile is magic ... xox

November 29, 2007 at 2:49:00 PM PST  

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