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seek joy

Happy Monday! After a brief hiatus to celebrate turning 28, I’m back with a new blog post! Last week I wrote a post called “a sharp knife cuts clean” that focused on decluttering and stripping away unnecessary distractions that do not add value to your life.

It is necessary, however, to check in with yourself every so often to make sure you’re making healthy choices that are your own and also making a point to stay balanced. That was why I gave myself a brief break from the blog last week. It’s important to give yourself time to recharge so that you can feel rested and ready to take on new goals and challenges. I wrote last week that your thoughts fuel your emotions, which is why it’s important to feed your brain healthy, positive thoughts. Don’t be your own worst enemy. You can’t control anything or anyone but yourself in life, so make sure you don’t limit yourself due to other people’s or society's expectations. I’ve written before about defining perfection for yourself, which ties into this idea of expectations.

Set healthy expectations for yourself. I’m a naturally goal-oriented person, so I love setting short-term and long-term goals. It’s important to enjoy the process of life while also realizing that flexibility is important. When you hold on tightly to a specific, wanted outcome, you might end up missing an even better outcome you didn’t consider.

Do you remember reading those choose-your-own-adventure books as a kid? I loved them. I’m pretty sure I checked out and read every single one that my school library had available. I loved that a story could have many different outcomes based on the choice I made while reading.

Improv is often like a choose-your-own-adventure book. You can’t control your scene partner’s reactions; you can only control your point of view in a scene. By being value-driven in your scenework, you’re able to find comedy in differing perspectives. Once you find that humor, you double-down on it with your choices. At UCB, we call it game, which I love. Because it's improv and you're playing make-believe, and playing make-believe is fun.

In the process of decluttering, you’re supposed to get rid of an item if it does not bring you joy. Although they are often used interchangeably, joy and happiness are not actually the same thing. Joy is a feeling cultivated internally, whereas happiness is usually triggered by external things. Joy comes from knowing who you are and being able to love yourself and forgive yourself for your past mistakes. Joy is peaceful. Joy is calm. I don't believe you can have true happiness until you have joy because joy consists of knowing and loving yourself. And you can't give or receive love from anyone else unless you can give and receive love with yourself. Self-care and self-love are incredibly important, especially in such a competitive world!

When you experience joy and find that inner peace, you can declutter, removing the things that don’t add to your well-being, and you can make your own choices and decisions, choosing your own adventure without the need for permission from others.

Sometimes you're going to have a bad show, a tough day, or an awful week. Remember to be kind to yourself, to be grateful for the learning experiences, and to then let it go. After I have a set where I don't feel like I performed my best, I remind myself "any day I get to do improv or musical improv is a good day." And it's true. Seek joy, and choose your own adventure. In doing that, you'll find your true happiness.

Thank you so much for reading, and, as always, if you have any pressing questions or if you want to discuss something further with me, feel free to subscribe below or reach out to me on the “contact” page. I’m so grateful you're here and that I’ve been getting a lot of really challenging questions and even better feedback from a community all over the world. I couldn’t do this without you! So THANK YOU! I’m here for you, and I love hearing from you, too! You’re the best, and you have everything you need inside of you! Please believe it! Starve your ego, feed your soul - and follow your heart!

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