Express Yourself – Find Joy

express yourself - day 5 of 31 days of joy in motherhoodConfession: When I first jotted down the topic “express yourself” as part of the 31 Days of Joy in Motherhood series, I started singing the Madonna song.

(and as I type this, I’m still singing it.  if you feel a need to put on a super pointy bra and dance around with your underwear outside of your yoga pants, i totally am to blame.  sorry.)

(and if that made no sense, go watch the music video on you tube. but be warned… it IS madonna.)

So how does “express yourself” relate to Joy?


Remember on Tuesday when we looked at how to define Joy?

Joy defined

Joy –> Felicity

Felicity makes me giggle.

It’s really an old fashioned way of talking about bliss.

Bliss is pretty much Joy on steroids.

If Happiness is a normal cup of coffee,

Joy would be an espresso.

And bliss would be a double shot.

But Felicity had this really cool definition.

felicity defined

Screen shot from my iPhone

If you can’t read the screen shot from my iPhone, I’ll repeat it.

“The ability to find appropriate expression for one’s thoughts.”

You know how sometimes as a mom you get so busy that you can’t string two thoughts together?

You know how it gets so noisy that you can’t hear yourself think?

You know how you get so tired you can’t finish your own thought without falling asleep?

I have to ask…

What do you think that does to your Joy?

When we (and I’m guilty) get so busy and tired and frantic and stressed and … and… and… that we lose ourselves, we lose out on the Joy of Motherhood.

Flip that around…

To find Joy in Motherhood, we need to create a space that is free from stress, a space that isn’t busy, a space where we can string our thoughts together, a space where we are free to express ourselves authentically.

So what does that “space” look like?

Honestly, I suspect it looks a little different for each of us.  But in general, it has several aspects.

Look at the definition again:

The ability to find appropriate expression for one’s thoughts.

You need the ability to find stuff.

You need an appropriate expression / outlet

You need to think your own thoughts.

Express yourself?

Notice it says “appropriate expression!”   This is NOT an excuse to go telling people off or walking down the street naked.  Both may qualify as self-expression, but they can hardly be considered appropriate.

Your “joy assignment” today is to think about what kind of creative outlet you need.  It may be writing or scrapbooking or singing.  It can be fancy cooking, crochet, or even dancing.  Just identify what it is that meets your need for creative self expression AND that fits your budget and lifestyle.

Me?  Obviously one form of expression that meets my needs is writing.  I’ve always tended to journal when I’m unhappy.  Right now, I also am using crochet to keep my sanity.

Every Friday, I express myself by participating in Five Minute Friday.   Watch for a post today and then join me.  (They are categorized under FMF on my menu.)

What’s your favorite way to express yourself?

[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’][/author_image] [author_info]Houston Mom Blogger Susan Baker has a passion for encouraging weary worn out mothers to find joy in everyday motherhood. She has two elementary school boys, one engineering husband, and one cat. She has a strange fascination for eggs, socks, and books. She spends far too much time on Social Media and at Target. [/author_info] [/author]

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Susan Baker
I have a passion for encouraging weary worn out mothers to find joy in everyday motherhood and peace in unlikely places. I have two elementary school boys, one nerdy husband, and two cats. I have a strange fascination for bad puns, the color pink, socks, and books. I worry about running out of toilet paper, wine, and chocolate.. I serve an amazing God. I live an ordinary life filled with wonder.
Susan Baker
Susan Baker

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  1. I think “the appropriate expression” is not really talking about “being proper” or “improper” I think it’s talking about the very “appropriate way to express yourself” more like when you want to say something and you can’t find “the right word” to say it and people try to help you and you do find other words that mean maybe “the same thing” but you still feel dissatisfied because it’s not the exact word you were looking for, the very “appropriate” one that would’ve clearly express your idea or thought… of course I am not saying “go naked” LOL I am saying that when we DO find the appropriate expression for our thoughts… the very precise and clear expression of our inner thoughts into an external form… yes… there’s joy in it! Great post!
    Paloma recently posted..Coffee Friday – Link UP!My Profile

    • Paloma,
      What an excellent comment!

      I agree – the use of the word “appropriate” is really about finding that perfect outlet and self expression… the one that makes us go “Yes!” and do a happy dance.

      But the mom in me just couldn’t leave the comment out. I don’t want someone to take this wrong and think that finding joy mean they can let go of any sense of decency and just let loose completely. KWIM? I had visions of someone painting the outside of their house hot pink and then telling everyone “the blog told me to do it – i thought it would bring me joy!”
      susan recently posted..Express Yourself – Find JoyMy Profile

      • I think it’s an important reminder, but I’m a mom, too. I don’t care if you run down the street in your all-in-all, but I do care if you mercilessly say whatever you think, knowing it is hurtful, in the name of self expression. (Not that you would do either, Susan.)

        That is not appropriate, imo.

        I blog and I knit and I read. I know reading doesn’t seem at first glance to be a means of self expression, but, for me, it might be the most important. It’s a way of pursuing my own interests, learning about things that pique my curiosity, and giving my brain new ideas and facts to consider.
        Ginger Kay recently posted..Is Judgmental Really So Bad?My Profile

        • I love reading! I totally get that it is a form of self expression. And you know I can’t knit but wish I could. 🙂

          Agreed. Expressing ourselves has to be done within limitations. We can’t hurt others, we can’t neglect our families, and we can’t blow our budgets. There’s still plenty of opportunity to be expressive within those limits.

  2. Yes! Most definitely! It’s an important thing to make it clear that we are not in favor of chaos and public nudity! LOL! If havoc was to wreak I am sure you don’t want to be the very cause! 😉 Thanks for replying to my comment and for joining our Coffee Friday Party!
    Paloma recently posted..Thanksgiving Made Simple – Tips to make it enjoyable for the hostess too!! – Part IMy Profile

  3. I’m with Dawn. I was totally going to run all nedked down the street shouting “Look How Joyful I am!” Guess now I can’t. Sheesh.

    Interesting aside…
    I remember hearing that in Texas there is (or maybe once was) a legal distinction between naked and neked. Naked being the absence of clothing (nude) and Neked, the absence of clothing and being up to no-good (wink-wink).
    Did you know, in Texas, there is no statewide law against the exposure of a woman’s breast? There are municipal codes in some cities, but none for areas outside those cities. In fact, if you are not in a “anti-boobie” city, it does not seem to be a crime for you to march to nearest Kroger topless.

    Back to your point…
    As a “creative” (aka graphic designer) I can’t tell you how important it is to find an outlet for our creativity that really is a freeing experience (my design work does not count, lol). Creativity feeds on creativity. Soooo, the more I sing, write, dance (I do this mostly in my kitchen) or doodle (yup that counts too!) the more creative I can be in my work-life and my personal life.

    I highly encourage everyone to step out of their comfort zones and find a creative outlet (reading doesn’t really count as being creative – but it does employ imagination)an express it. If you love to read, try writing. No one has to see it. Like art? Try drawing or painting. Again, you don’t have to share this with anyone. Creativity is a private expression of ones self. No on-lookers required.

    This type of creativity makes you a better mom. It lets you get on the floor and feel “okay” to make “vroom, vroom” sounds with your son or put your daughters dolly in the swing at the park and clap your hands like she was real (cuz to your daughter she probably is). It let’s you really pause and think before you speak – because suddenly you realize that what you do (everything you do) has meaning. I could go on an on (seems I have).

    Just be creative. Anyway you can. Each and everyday. (and no running neked down the street people, unless you’ve covered yourself in body paint, that is) 🙂
    Leah recently posted..Halloween Books Your Kids Will Actually Want To ReadMy Profile

    • Leah, your comments rock. Thank you. And I didn’t know that about being nekkid – I’ve just always loved that particular word because it makes me giggle. But I will NOT be whipping out my boob and wandering around Kroger. Now that I’m done breastfeeding, I’m very happy to keep the girls holstered and out of the way.

      Yes! That’s the whole “express yourself” dynamic in one go.

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