I had to laugh when this headline came to me….
I had visions of that song “Who Let The Dogs Out”, and even went with the woof woof woof at the end. I’ve learnt that when inspiration hits you, you go with it! Elizabeth Gilbert wrote in “Big Magic” that often ideas will present themselves to you, wait for a bit, wait a bit longer, and then go off to find someone who will listen to them if you simply aren’t. So, when something strikes you, learn to lean in a little, and listen up – because there just may be a big of magic waiting for you to bring life to it.
It occurred to me that we treat joy and happiness a bit like letting the dogs out, or freeing butterflies from a jar. That we are allowing it to get out. That somehow, something we own, or that is a part of us, can so easily and freely be released into the outer world.
And you can look at this in two ways:-
a) that happiness can ‘escape’ from us, and we run the risk of losing it, or never getting it back again.
b) that it is something that we should let out often, and share it with the world, and not keep it contained within us
Let’s tackle the first one. The more conversations I have with people, and the more I read and research, it feels like this is definitely the case. That they used to be happy, and in all the busy-ness of life, families, careers, responsibilities, all of a sudden realised they don’t feel as happy as they used to and don’t know why. I spoke with one woman who stated that she doesn’t have time to do something about working on being happier, she is far too busy. Yikes….my stomach sank when I heard that.
I totally understand what she is saying though, and this opens up the question of why happiness and being joyful needs to be something that you have to work at. When we are born, we are naturally created happy. Don’t you ever wonder why babies are so easily pleased with a box or a bit of paper, or a silly face to make them laugh? Because we are hardwired to be joyful – and it’s through looking for external gratification (aka things, stuff, other people) to create that feeling in ourselves, that we start to widen the crack of the open door, and start letting the dogs out.
We let the first dog out, and he faithfully comes back.
But after a few escapes, he takes his sweet time coming home, and prefers to find somewhere else to play where he is welcome and loved. Then he takes his other mates with him, til all the dogs are fancy free and loose, and you start shutting the door because you know they’re not coming back.
Knowing this to be true for a lot of people, where they’ve lost hope that they can’t be happy, and have forgotten how to bring it back home, makes my heart ache, and even more determined and passionate to show them the way back.
Because it’s possible, and guaranteed, when you take the time to open the door again, and let the joy back in where it belongs.
And in regards to the second option, where you open the doors wide, and share your bubbling happiness and sunshine with all the world around you? Oh my, a far more delicious and soulful place to be.
Because your happiness is contagious and magnetic.
It radiates from within you, touching anyone who comes into contact with you. It attracts people who want to know what you’re on, what’s happening to you that is creating such an obvious reaction (because it IS obvious when it’s lacking somewhere else), and will draw to you wonderful opportunities to be more awesome and more joyful.
And isn’t that all we really want for ourselves?
To have that merriment, elation and eternal wonder living inside us daily, and sharing it with the world – and in return getting everything we’ve ever dreamed of?
Go open your doors wide…..let the Joy out, and watch what happens xx