Tuesday, June 11, 2013

What's the Upper Setting on Your Joy Thermostat?

I am writing this in the middle of a freak out, as anxiety is spilling in gooey streams from my pores, as my mind is trying to find something -- anything -- to focus on for this particular freak out. Money...it usually finds money worries pretty quickly and easily.

Now I know WHY I am having this freak out, though. This has not helped the freak out. Not yet. But I know it will eventually. I know this won't last and that I will move on. I will MOVE ON at lightning speed even if compared to how I would have moved on just last week. That is how fast recent changes have affected me.

So what happened a week ago?  And what's going on right now?

We'll start with right now.

At 4 AM on Sunday morning, I woke up and felt like I had been ZAPPED with knowing and clarity. Like my eyes were fully opened for the very first time in terms of the work I do and love. It felt like a complete download of an entirely new operating system.

I can't overemphasize how BIG and AMAZING this was. I managed to go back to sleep and then Sunday was basically one AH-HA after another and talking it all through with Marcy.

You can see what's about to happen...

After big moments like that, well, we tend to crash a bit, don't we?

But for some reason, it always feels like a surprise.

I got up Monday morning and went to work with my choreography group, assuming that I would come home and just GET TO WORK on this finally deeply understood life's work.


I came home and spun down through multiple levels of Anxiety Hell, but now I know why...I know that I hit the upper limit on my joy thermostat and so I had to find a way to bring myself down to where I am comfortable.

Joy Thermostat? What the what?!

Now we shall back up a week.

I read this amazing book and you can find it right here. (I am in no way getting any kind of payoff from telling you about this book, by the way).

He claims that we all have this upper limit problem. It's a problem because we have an upper limit at all.

We are meant to experience more and more joy and fulfillment and love in our lives. There should be no such thing as an upper limit. In a few rare healthy humans, there isn't, and you can tell when you meet them. (Take Marcy, for example. Whenever anyone new meets her, they know instantly that she is grounded and happy. Period. No blocks. Just love and joy. And I get to live with that!)

For most of us, though, we have upper limits established in our early childhoods.

Our upper limits get triggered by false beliefs like "I'm not good enough to have this much ((insert love or money or whatever here))..." or "I am inherently a bad person and I hope no one finds out..." or "If I shine too brightly, I might make other people feel badly about themselves."

You get the idea.

We get these moments of high happy joy joy or moments of utter clarity like the one I just had, and we PULL BACK.

You are wondering HOW DO WE STOP THIS!?!

The solution resides in the noticing. It's that simple (and simultaneously that difficult).

Worried? Check and see if the worry is real or just part of your usual way of approaching the world. Look back over the past few days and ask yourself if you are trying to "upper limit yourself."

Just notice.

It can be that you, for example, are feeling extra loved by those around you and that scares you on some level, so you pick a fight with a loved one. See?

The second I learned this stuff, the noticing began and it hasn't stopped.

Every time you notice, every time you drop the worry or the fear or the anxiety or the doubt in favor of the joy, you increase the upper limit of your Joy Thermostat. If that's not motivation, I don't know what would be.