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MeanderMe #3 - Ode to Joy


[Image taken from www.nme.com]

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Howdy!


Building on the consistency and discipline theme from last time [which you can read here if you missed it], this newsletter will focus on joy as one of the fruits of their application. I've had plenty of reason to be joyful this month, reuniting with my family after two years apart, seeing old and deeply-loved friends, and attending Greenman festival, which I can only describe as having reaffirmed and increased my faith in humanity. Not bad Greenman. Not bad.


But how often have we looked forward to landmark events such as these, only to find ourselves underwhelmed or disconnected when they come? We rarely communicate these emotions, which are then exacerbated as we allow ourselves to feel isolated in them. Those around us always seem to be having such a good time, to be in the moment, and we do not want to weigh them down. Perhaps more so though, we do not want to admit our struggles to ourselves. If I am really not enjoying this, we think, then what does that say about the rest of my life and the bland, humdrum experiences awaiting me?


It is possible to shift from this mentality into a more life-affirming place. Read my thoughts on what has helped me here or find them in the World Inside section below.



🌍 The World Around Us: Understanding and addressing social and environmental issues


ActionAble Update: If you would like to sign up for ActionAble's brand new newsletter showcasing inspiring ideas and meaningful actions you can take to make the world a better place, click here and sign up on the form at the bottom of the page.


To find out more about/get on the early access list of our upcoming programme helping people discover their passions and apply them to solving real-world problems, send us an email at actionable.org@gmail.com



Bio-Leadership Fellowship: This Fellowship is all about reconnecting with nature as a means to understand it, so that we can not only protect it but ultimately flourish as part of it. Over the next months, we will be going on solos in nature, inspired by the indigenous concept of vision quests. By spending extended periods of time in nature, we not only become calmer and more connected to ourselves, but we learn about how the world actually works, and we thereby learn how we ourselves should go about our lives.


If you would like to do your own solo or are interested in finding out more, drop me a line: ronanloughney@gmail.com


🧠The World Inside: Insights and strategies in Psychology, Spirituality and personal growth


On Joy: What is joy? How is it different to other forms of happiness? Why do we need it? And how do we find it? Read my experiences on identifying and cultivating more joy here


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Poem: Expecting Nothing (and joy will come)


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Coaching: I am currently actively looking for coaching clients. If you feel from exploring any of this content that you or someone you know could benefit from my help, please get in touch at ronanloughney@gmail.com or through following the link below. Whether you're looking for more direction, more clarity on your goals or you just feel stuck on something, I'd love to help.


I offer sessions on a pay-what-you-can basis so that whoever feels they might benefit can.



🤪Playtime: Just for fun


Life's a Story: In the end, the stories that we tell ourselves are just abstractions


September Rain: A shorter, more manageable playlist this month, to celebrate the just-departed Summer



🔥Monthly challenge: Every month features a challenge I am taking, designed to increase wellbeing. I'd like to create a community of challenge-takers, supporting and holding one another accountable, so please reach out!


Last month's challenge - The 'Good' Challenge: Whenever a negative event, emotion or thought arises - rather than getting lost in a rabbit hole of mental problem-solving - say to yourself 'Good', and write down three reasons why it is so.


This challenge didn't go as I expected. I overloaded myself a little this month, struggling to bring my full attention to this challenge. However, as a result of the Stoic course I recently completed, I found myself naturally applying this principle. Notably, when I lost a contract as a writer I had been relying on, I caught my initial despair before it ran away with itself and said instead: 'I have been so lucky to have had this job for the time I had' and 'Perhaps this will open up new, unforeseen opportunities.' Rather than feeling deflated, I went into feelings of gratitude, not only for having had the role but even for losing it, which presented me with a chance to learn to appreciate whatever life throws at me.


This month's challenge - Give Something Up: Because of how many of these challenges I have taken on recently, I want instead to give something up this month, to take something off rather than add to my plate. I've noticed myself using my phone a lot more than usual this month, and so I am restricting myself to three slots per day where I can catch up with messages and indulge in some internet rabbit holes. What could you give up which can give you time and energy back?


I had my first challenge-taker last month, performing the Good Challenge with me, and can happily say that they found it made a noticeable difference to their ability to sit with hardship. If you want to join in with either of these challenges and to have some accountability and support while you do, reach out! ronanloughney@gmail.com



❤️Spreading the love: Other sites and newsletters you can try if you enjoyed this newsletter


The Stoic Handbook: The recent Stoic Quest I embarked upon was run by someone who is a huge inspiration to me and who I am honoured to call a friend, High Existence Creative Director and Stoicism expert, Jon Brooks. He releases a weekly newsletter with tips on how to apply Stoic insights to your life, to make you a happier, more compassionate and more helpful human being. If you're looking for more joy in your life, this is a great place to start.


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