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Doing Life with Heike: Embracing Joy

by | Print Articles, Spiritual Living, Summer 2023, Thought Leaders

The time of new beginnings, renewal, hope, awakening, blooming, lightness, warmth, happiness, joy… JOY… J.O.Y! ???

Hold it, that’s where it all comes to a screeching halt. JOY???

We certainly love the idea, we yearn for that experience but it has become this Utopia in our minds which we often do not dare to go towards, for it is absolutely petrifying.

For if we ever feel and create this state of being, what if it is taken away? What if it is not maintainable? What if people judge and abandon me for not sitting in constant misery with them? But the biggest fear is – vulnerability.

In a world in which survival is the order of the day, vulnerability is our Achilles heel, which we will avoid at all cost. We are in constant protection mode and have developed all kind of highly refined survival instincts/trauma responses which required us to disconnect from self and stay hypervigilant to the outside world. Vulnerability in any way or form is not an option in the survival game.

But this joy we are seeking can only manifest when we connect with our inner self. Joy, happiness, love, etc. require connection – survival requires protection. Protection is fear-based and joy is anchored in love. We cannot simultaneously be in both spaces. But we can surely have the awareness of it and guide ourselves back to love.

So why is this joy so scary?

It requires a certain level of vulnerability and…

I need to learn to TRUST that it can ONLY be created and maintained exclusively by me, irrespective of my circumstances.

There we go again ….. First JOY + Vulnerability and now TRUST!

How many Achilles heels do we have?

Looking at it from a survival-based existing (for it surely isn’t living in that state) that sounds and feels like playing fear factor on steroids, EVERYTHING we are trying to avoid in one formula!

Yet, because of that, it is the safest formula in the world. For it is entirely created, fed, maintained and run by YOU only.  Joy is a state of being, irrespective of the outer circumstances. It is about strength, trust and investing in yourself.  It is about ALLOWING the good stuff to take up space and infiltrate our being with all it is, without watering it down or denying it, even for just a split second.

We are living in a world in which fear, anger, anxiety, rage, worry, stress, sadness, suppression, judgment, depression, pain, shame, guilt, unhappiness are our ‘normal’ and we made this our comfort zone due to the familiarity of it.  We know how it works – it has become predictable. Not happy in any way or form, but it is what we know.  And then the good stuff: Love, excitement, joy, laughter, feel alien to the system and we volunteer via disaster planning and tragedy rehearsal (what if..?) to not allow ourselves all that. It’s as if we believe that, by truly allowing ourselves to feel happiness etc., we’re setting ourselves up for a sucker punch. The problem is, worrying about things that haven’t happened doesn’t protect us from pain, quite the contrary.

THAT is where the oxymoron is, that so-called ‘safety’, which comes with the familiarity of unhappiness, is treacherous – for it is now outside-based and will always keep you on alert and reacting TO the outside and will forever keep you AWAY from connecting with yourself.  You are stuck in FEAR.

There is even a name for it: ‘foreboding joy’. Foreboding joy says: If I don’t feel extremely happy, I won’t feel extremely disappointed. Which is really just another way to protect yourself subconsciously from vulnerability. We are already doing that in so many ways:

For example, you just got a promotion, you are excited and instantly ‘get yourself into check’ with the foreboding thought of: What if I can’t live up to the expectations now? I will probably lose my job. And now the excitement is significantly dampened with worry and anxiety. 

So let’s get back to basics.

What is this JOY? And how do we get there? 

Joy is an inner feeling a choice, purposefully and consciously made, irrespective of circumstances. It is an intense experiencing of deep connection, pleasure and appreciation with self and the universe.

It shows up via happiness, bliss, relief, delight, contentment.

Joy is not a constant. It comes to us in moments – often ordinary moments. Sometimes we miss out on the bursts of joy because we’re too busy chasing down the extraordinary moments. Other times we’re so afraid of the dark we don’t dare let ourselves enjoy the light. A joyful life is not a floodlight of joy. That would eventually become unbearable. I believe a joyful life is made up of joyful moments gracefully strung together by trust, gratitude and inspiration.”

Brené Brown

How can we start embracing Joy?

  • Gratitude

“The cultivation of gratitude brings joy. It is not joy that makes us grateful, it’s gratitude that makes us joyful.” (Brené Brown) Not just the ‘attitude of gratitude’ but practising it as an integral part of our everyday being. For when we practise it, we do not just recognise it, we actually switch our filters to go and look for it.

  • Be present and mindful

Pay attention to the things right in front of you, be more present in the here and now. When you eat – do taste the flavours, do experience the texture, the temperature of the food.

  • Collect Glimmers

Take note of the little encounters, moments, situations, songs, thoughts that bring a little smile, chuckle, warm feeling…  Have more of those.

  • Stop the train

The next time your brain goes off with ‘what ifs’, just stop it right there and exchange it for ‘I am just feeling vulnerable, that’s ok’ and then consciously reroute the tracks.

  • Create a daily practice

Oh I can hear: ‘But I don’t have time.’ Well, dramatising and worrying take triple the time; start allocating differently. Start with five minutes in the morning; (set the energy for the day: Today I consciously invite love and joy and add two or three points of what you are grateful for) and five minutes in the evening (take stock of the ways it showed up and practise some self-care, reading, meditating etc.). 


Play the music really loud, have ice cream for breakfast, wear mismatching socks, eat spaghetti with chop sticks, sing at the top of your lungs, get the colours out, hop instead of walking… break the routine.

  • Stay away from party poopers

Don’t surround yourself with unnecessary doomsday when you are on the journey of joy, no matter if it is people, places, functions…

  • Start a new hobby

Get out of your comfort zone. Do something that would have been highly unlikely for you to try in the first place, the idea is the experience and not how good you are at it. 

  • Check your posture

Adapt a power pose – stand straight, shoulders back, look up… TAKE UP SPACE! Even if you do not feel like it initially, the brain doesn’t know the difference and will eventually start matching it.

  • Get Moving

Have some kind of exercise/movement in your routine, it doesn’t matter what. Start slowly – but make it regular, preferably outside so you can connect with nature at the same time.

Should this all get confusing or overwhelming, the quickest and surefire way to get hands-on, live demonstrations of joy in motion is: GRAB A TODDLER!

No one is more in the moment and connected than a toddler (if you want to nudge it up – both of you eat sweets first). Hang out with one and JOIN them, for they are the undisputed champions of JOY, delight, excitement, fearlessness, love, adventure, limitlessness…  roll with them, shriek with them, giggle with them, play superhero with them, dig in the dirt, stick your tongue out and may you remember when all of that was YOU… for that is how we are born.

THAT is our natural state of being – LOVE and JOY!

Do not forget to return the toddler, though 😉

Heike Sym

Heike Sym

Psychic Medium, Numerologist & Metaphysical Profiler

Psychic Medium, Tarot Reader, Healer, Numerologist, and Radio Relationship Expert & Psychic Life guide and telepathic mental medium, Heike’s calling lies in working with souls who have crossed over to the other side and, for the most part, are at peace. If you have questions about a relationship, a loved one who has crossed over or simply questions about navigating this journey of life.

Email: [email protected]

For private sessions please email Heike directly: mailto:[email protected]

Heike Sym

Psychic Medium, Tarot Reader, Healer, Numerologist, and Radio Relationship Expert & Psychic Life guide and telepathic mental medium, Heike’s calling lies in working with souls who have crossed over to the other side and, for the most part, are at peace. If you have questions about a relationship, a loved one who has crossed over or simply questions about navigating this journey of life.

For private sessions please email Heike directly: [email protected]