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What I Learned From Solange About Everyday Joy

There were so many directions I wanted to take this piece. But when I scrolled to the bottom of my notes, I stopped.

Last year, I jotted down a passage from reflections that Solange shared about 2020, stillness and joy for Harper’s BAZAAR. Yes, “Don’t Touch My Hair” Solange, Proud Family theme song Solange, and the creative genius Solange who is working to preserve and amplify the work of Black artists. I tuck away gems all up and through the notes section in my phone, and I had to share this one from her. It's a fresh word for all seasons of life.

Here’s what she wrote:

“This was a different kind of joy. I didn’t need to skip in the sun to feel it. Joy was the sleep I got after releasing secrets from my bones. Joy was telling the truth. Joy was making a song that I didn’t care ever saw the light of day. Joy was taking a trip alone, and just sitting and staring at the water and seeing my reflection and thinking to myself, Damn I'm fine. Joy was having nothing on my calendar, and choosing what to do with my time. Joy was having a friend who didn’t care how ugly I cried, always inviting and encouraging me to just be, however that looked that day. Joy was discovery. Joy was having someone show me beautiful worlds of their own and trusting in the journey. Joy was letting go of control. Joy was just sitting. Joy was seeing how far I had come and waving at my shadows. Joy was accepting that the work is never done, but that every day is a choice.”

Let’s collectively exhale after reading that. What I found so beautiful about this joy she describes is that it comes from within.

My pastor has said this many times, and I wholeheartedly agree: Joy comes from what you know. What I read from Solange was about soul care, connecting with herself and others, and honoring her mind, body and spirit.

What does joy look like for you? What does joy feel like for you? When you experience it, how will you know?

Sit with those questions for a moment. Give yourself space to at least think about joy in your life, to see it with your eyes closed until you eventually see it with your eyes open.

Sending lots of love your way — always. Cheers to true joy.

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