Invoking Joy: Jumping Back In
Story Time: Once upon a time, way back in 2012 I took courses to become a health coach and fell head over heels for the subject matter. I couldn't get enough. At the same time, I was floundering to find a target market each time marketing courses came up as a part of the curriculum for the week. I was told time and time again that I need to be an expert and pick a group of people I would sell my services to. Here's the thing I quickly figured out: you can't start a business when you don't know why you are going into business or who you want to work with. Being really interested in a topic just doesn't cut it. I mean, every biz blogger can tell you that, and 99% of the time they will recommend you read Start With Why (time-saving tip for the uninitiated: just watch the TED talk). I did, however, get this crazy idea along the way for a site called Invoking Joy. All I knew was that it made me feel hopeful and I knew in my heart it was a big meaningful something. This post is about that something.
You see I have depression. And it has sunk its claws deep into my skin. Depression is a jerk and it convinces you that you are small and unimportant and that no one cares what you say or do. "Everyone has already done what you're trying to do," it whispers into your ear, "and they've done it 1000x better to boot." And I keep listening to these sneaky little whispers, I let them rattle around in my head and grow roots, spreading like wildfire till I decide to just give up. But I'm tired of giving up, I'm tired of listening to depression's insidious voice. I want to grow and stretch out of the darkness to feel the metaphorical sunlight on my skin.
Invoking Joy has always been the thing that brings a little more light into my life. Whenever I sit down to write a piece or read a book or listen to a podcast related to nutrition I feel a little lighter, my brain actually feels like it's lighting up and I feel hopeful. You better bet your butt I cling to this hope because sometimes it feels like the only thread to a future worth looking forward to that I have.
So it was with the thought process that others know better than me that I've always tried to prioritize making Invoking Joy into a business. My head swirling with musts and shoulds, devouring business blog after business blog. And, if you also have devoured an embarrassing amount of business blog content, you know that at some point someone is going to tell you to come up with an Ideal Customer Avatar aka an ICA, (hi every B-School grad ever) or create some really WOW copy that hits on this ICA's fears....but I couldn't, and can't, bring myself to do it. This has always felt like the MOST important thing for me to do, after all, everyone is talking about it. If I couldn't figure this part out, then I certainly couldn't start out at all, I thought. My attempts always fall flat and I'm left feeling super defeated. But what I am realizing is that thought that I can't start out at all isn't actually my thought. It's a whisper from depression. It's another attempt to steal away happiness from me and replace it with a spiral of misery. But I'm putting my food down.
From today forward Invoking Joy is just a blog. It's a place for me to write and learn as I work my way through school and towards becoming a dietician. I want to just BEGIN and I want to have fun while doing it. I want to figure out how we can eat in a way that leaves us feeling great, without the stress and restrictions that come with dieting. And I've realized over the years that while it truly is so much about "the food", it is also about so much more than that. It's about self-care, being enough, self-devotion, developing an intuition and creating the space and energy to follow your dreams.
It takes work to be a dream chaser, and carefully counting calories and devoting two hours to intensive exercise focused on getting ripped abs can suck all your energy away from what really matters to you: your dreams. Around here, we are about feeling good so we can bring those dreams to fruition and not live off of chia seed pudding or avocados molded into whatever food you wish you were actually eating.
Women with big dreams are comfortable listening to their gut and following their heart to see their dream into the world. I believe we can take those same listening skills and apply them to day to day living. Each meal you choose, the form of exercise you do and what time you decide to be in bed. It all matters. Creating an efficient self-care routine allows you space and energy to go out and do your best work.
And my big dream, my best work? I hope you'll follow along as my vision gets clearer and clearer and I keep learning and absorbing new information to make this the best possible place and resource for you, my dear reader.