This week marks the end of JOY IS NOW Season 3. There is a lot to say about this JOY adventure and I make a few surprising announcements on the podcast today, so I wanted to share them here too. In words because sometimes words just hit different.
Here we go!
I think it's safe to say that the last 3 years have been, well, interesting. I guess that’s a pretty optimistic perspective. How about shit storm, cluster fuck, dumpster fire? That seems more fair. Time has become a really strange concept. I’m not sure if you feel that too. There were many days that moved so slowly. I was so, so scared. More recently though, it feels like the days are moving faster and faster. It’s already October.
When I think about JOY concluding a third season, this hardly seems possible. I started this project in late spring of 2020. Mostly because, why the fuck not? Life was grim. And that darkness made me endlessly curious about lighter things. Brighter things. And how we find these brighter moments during collective grief and trauma. Loyal listeners will know that the name JOY is NOW is not so much a nod to optimism, but an acceptance of joy being all of the things. Light and dark. BIG JOY.
As poet Ross Gay muses, joy is a joning of our sorrows. And I feel this deep in my bones. Sorrow is what connects us and it is through this connection that we find joy. And this podcast has been an experiment in proving such a hypothesis. Over 100 conversations. Lots of connections. Much sorrow. Much joy. And it has all been oh so much fun.
The last few months have been ripe with experimentation for me. It’s always been kind of what I do, and my work in the realm of Human Design over the last year has created a lot of potential to lean into my curiosity and experimental nature. Experimenting involves a good amount of trust I suppose. And I’ve been working on that too. It’s all part of the process. Through this process, I’ve noticed many things. Some of which, ooof, I need to reconcile. Is that what I really do? Which can initially feel like shit, but ultimately these moments are necessary. We need to acknowledge first before we can change. So yuck and also hooray! As I like to remind you, we are never the first and never the only. It’s been crowded in every single hole I’ve found myself in.
And Thank goodness.
We need each other.
Perhaps the most illuminating tendency I’ve noticed is that I hold on to things until they meet my full expectation. And then I change this expectation. Which is entirely unfair and goes against every single thing I love about my artistic process. I am a listener. I collaborate with my materials. I surrender my expectations. That’s why I love being in that space. The surrender is where I find flow. But outside of my art studio life I strangle other endeavors. Ouch. Ugh. I have a set of expectations, I continue to raise those expectations, and if the endeavor doesn’t meet them, I just keep pushing it uphill with the hopes that eventually it does. And then raise them again. Turns out this is a really effective way to wear yourself out. And also kind of ignorant. It suffocates the endeavor, assuming that it doesn’t have its own trajectory. It steals the surprise and magic. And sucks all the inertia right out. In the hopes of moving faster, I actually slow things down to a complete stop. And I hate this. It never feels good.
My intention with JOY three years ago was to create a space where I could wonder about my role in the profession of psychology. What does one do when they still love a profession but no longer want to really be in it? I had no idea. Was there still a space for me in psychology? Was there still a way for me to guide people if I am not a therapist? If I no longer wanted to be a therapist, then, what do I have to offer? That was really the question I was trying to answer. I set out to have conversations and play around in the mental health, mentorship, coaching, consultation space. What did I really like about psychology? What did I like about being a therapist? More importantly, what did I want to leave behind?
And I am happy to say those questions have been answered. I discovered that what I love more than anything is working with people one on one. That shit is my jam. I love it, I love it, I LOVE it. People light me up and I imagine that this is what initially attracted me to being a psychotherapist in the first place. And deeper than this, I remembered that I really love consulting. I’ve been consulting for about 20 years, even alongside my time at Zelma Rose. I think it has always filled that one on one excitement for me. Re-imagining consultation as business mentorship was a huge discovery. And transitioning into the role of mentor feels so right in my body. My business mentorship clients light me up. I truly love this work. And to now add to it the perspective of Human Design feels like true alchemy. Sometimes I cannot believe I get to guide people in this way. I actually get to do this, I ask myself. It’s everything I hoped I would find.
And so maybe that’s enough.
I think so.
If I am really leaning into the art of experimentation then yeah. JOY IS NOW ends. Here. I want to see what it feels like to surrender, let go, and end something before I completely wrestle it to the ground. Before my mind overrides what my body already knows. Before I change the expectation. Before I force a thing to be something that it is not.
And there’s a reason I resist this letting go. New expectations mean I do not need to end. And no ending means no loss. And no loss means no grief. Whoa.
Ironically I have spent the last 20 years putting grief at the center of my work. It’s all about grief. Everything. Love is grief. Grief is love. I really do believe that grief leads us to all the lessons we are here to learn as humans. It’s why we live. And yet, I didn’t know just how fucking scared I am of it. And that’s kind of hilarious, don’t you think? Especially considering that I know so deeply that it is the connection of our sorrows that leads to joy. That is what JOY IS NOW was built upon.
So instead of pushing up that hill, wrestling something to the ground to avoid an ending, I’m going to play here in this space and try something different.
How will that feel?
I don't know? Right now it feels really new. I am walking away from something that still has a really strong pulse. But I did that once already this year with my business Zelma Rose. That was 12 incredible years. I loved every minute, but I could have moved on sooner. So I guess my experiment this time around is what if I leave earlier? What if I honor the JOY IS NOW project as having a life of its own. A trajectory. As a co-creation. What if I listen instead of wrestle?
And what if my expectation just stops at my initial intention? Finding my way, I mean that’s huge. So huge. And that’s what I set out to do in the first place. So mission accomplished. For real. It’s time to end. And allow for the potential to open up to something really cool that I don’t even know about yet.
And ultimately that’s what all endings do. That is what grief allows. Loss while paralyzing, creates space. Potential for connection. It’s scary, but really I think we’ve learned, everything can be scary. And I’m here in this humorous experiment called life to be scared and do it anyway.
Thank you so much for listening. It has been an honor to have you as part of JOY. While JOY is coming to a close, I’m not done with podcasting. Moving forward, all JOY episodes will be available for my newsletter subscribers, that's you! And I’ll be creating a new podcast for subscribers only, ALCHEMY - think of it as a place where data driven science and the wildly creative make out. I’ll be talking more about Human Design, business mentorship and answering all the questions you can send my way. I hope you will join me there. I promise a good time.
For now, let’s think of endings like we do Joy. Big and full of potential.
As always thank you for sending me your questions! I LOVE responding!
This week I’m addressing a misconception within Human Design, manifestation. Manifestation gets a lot of play these days. And yeah, of course. It’s a rad concept. And also an incredibly privileged one. The idea is that through manifestation we can create the future we want. Sure. But this idea of manifestation is not the same as what manifestation means in Human Design.
When it comes to being a Manifesting Generator or a Manifestor in Human Design, this doesn’t mean that only you experience the idea of being able to manifest and all the other design types do not. Manifestation in Human Design speaks to the way opportunities come about and how you engage with these opportunities. We are open to recognizing the right possibilities for us when we live as much as we can in alignment. And this can be in very small ways. It is not so much a mindset or practice, or a making of lists or vision boards. This recognition is based not only on energy type, strategy, and authority, but connects to other parts of your chart like defined centers, gates and channels. It goes deep.
For me, this perspective differs from the misguided pop culture assumption that if you aren't manifesting the life you want, you are not trying hard enough. Not deconditioning enough. Not improving enough.
Supportive tools should be supportive, not an achievement.
This struggle perspective of manifestation is a pretty privileged one. And so is living in alignment actually. It's pretty hard to live in alignment and make decisions through trust and boundaries when you are struggling to just survive in a system that doesn't support the majority of the people it claims to serve. Poverty is manmade and wow are we overachievers in that respect.
For both Manifestors and Manifesting Generators the strategy is to respond. This means that yes, opportunities are always arriving to both types. But actually, it’s all a lot more nuanced than that. Also and more importantly this means that ALL energy types are able to manifest, or recognize opportunities. In terms of Human Design the most significant factor to manifestation is to live in alignment with your design, even just a little bit. Whatever your energy type, you can manifest, it will just come about differently for each of us depending upon your type and what your chart reveals.
Questions about manifestation and living in alignment? Send them my way and I’ll answer them next week. LISAANDERSONSHAFFER@GMAIL.COM