Ranjana TN

Review: The 7-day ‘Follow the joy’ exploration

It was…an interesting week. 7 days of going with the flow. It was…fun? Yes and no. It was a difficult exploration for me to do. I genuinely thought that the 10-day Vipassana course was easier (my friend Dimi and I had a good laugh about this. He said that this needs to go into my blog so here it is :D). I had thought that a week of no plans would lead to joy pouring in and me just following that flow. Not really. As soon as I cleared the space, it wasn’t just joy that flowed in. There was a torrent of negativity too. So many voices that lay dormant came streaming in and it wasn’t pretty. It took me a few days to get my bearings. Here’s my post on day #3 if you want to know what state I was in.

But it was interesting and an experiment in self-awareness. Something I definitely needed! It broke my pattern of overwhelm and feeling like I was running a race I couldn’t win. That made it a big win!

I had some really good insights. These were the most meaningful ones for me personally:

  1. Both extremes – too much structure or too little structure – don’t work for me. I’m glad that I had a taste of both the extremes because it gives me a better sense of what might work. I have come with a particular structure to test out this upcoming week – I’ll share that later in the post.
  2. I have my identity too wrapped up in being the ‘hard worker’. If I’m doing nothing or doing something relaxing, I feel like I’m being lazy and since I’ve always thought that I’m the hard worker, I feel like I’m not being myself. It seems like I’ve used the ‘hard work’ tool so much that I think I am the tool. This was an interesting observation.
  3. This was perhaps my most important realization: I want to decouple fiction writing and making money. I was tripping myself up in this regard subconsciously. Now, I’m looking at fiction writing as something I do just for the joy of it. For the joy of learning. I wrote a blog post if you are interested in reading the details. I was in a deep place of inspiration and solemnity when I wrote this.
  4. What followed the above realisation is that I want to figure out a way to make passive income. This will go back to writing again – but in a very different way. I know that passive income creation takes time; I’m going to get started on the path come July. More on that in the quarterly planning threads.
  5. I have a really hard time a) allowing myself to be free and doing the things that bring me joy if I feel that I’m not being productive (this goes back to point #2) and b) I have a hard time saying ‘no’ when I feel that I’m responsible for something – even when that something doesn’t resonate with me in that moment. So the lesson was to always honour what my inner voice is telling me.
  6. When I allowed myself to have lots of space to daydream, I was able to enter my creative zone and come up with some really inspiring ideas. On occasion, I had a very clear mental film playing about what I want my future (5-10 years from now) to look like. I enjoyed that a lot. This showed me that having space and not filling my days to the brim with to-do’s has a lot of value.

Here’s where I thank Dimi for being the awesome person he is and giving me the inspiration to do this experiment. <3