Nothing brings me greater joy than catalyzing others to dance, move, be in their bodies.–Dr. Deborah Cohan
The story that inspired today’s post may be one that you have already seen, because it has gotten huge media coverage. Dr. Deborah Cohan asked her medical team to do a flash mob with her in the operating room before her double mastectomy. If you have missed the story or the video, here’s the link:
I don’t know about you, but watching this video made me smile, and made me tear up. Part of this is that I have dear friends and loved ones that have faced mastectomy, so I know what a big deal it is to do it with a smile, let alone with a joyful dance.
A bigger thing that grabbed me as I watched this video and read about the story was this: Deborah Cohan knows what brings her joy. And in the face of something big and scary, she is grabbing on to that joy with both hands. And she is giving her friends and family (and the rest of us) a chance to feed her joy, because she invited anyone who hears about her story to create a video and share it.
When we are ill, or sad, or scared–it can be easy to lose track of our joy. It can feel like joy gets drowned out in the day-to-day grind of our various jobs.
That’s why it is so important to know what brings you joy, and to be an active agent into creating that joy in your own life. Joy won’t mean that you aren’t scared. It won’t take away grief or stress. Instead, joy can be the balancing element that helps us endure the hard stuff.
If you are reading this and saying, “But I don’t know what brings me joy–I’ve been sad too long,” then I’d like you to think about the last time you remember smiling, or laughing–even for a few seconds. What were you doing? What was happening around you? Where were you? Do you get your joy from others or from a few solitary moments with nature?
What Deborah Cohan reminds us is this–if you know yourself, you can grab joy even in the midst of big and scary things. You can take an out-of-control time in your life and shape it to reflect your own values. We can’t choose the hard things that we will be forced to face, but we can choose not to let go of our joy.
What’s your joy? When have you grabbed it tight?