“Just Open Yourself” has been my mantra the last few years. And yes, it spells my name!
I have journaled for nineteen years to process insecurities, fears, and negative thinking and to promote a more resilient positive mindset. My journaling brings a deeper awareness and I often discover catchy mantras and affirmations to help me maintain my intentional and positive life.
Just Open Yourself came to me one day a few years ago, when I was in a deep negative, self-defeating black hole. I was in the middle of a horrible break up, dealing with intense work stress, and parenting my two young daughters. I felt overwhelmed, tired, and judged. Everything in me wanted to curl up, hide, and numb the pain I was going through. Yet, as I journaled about the situation, something occurred to me. The energy I was using to “resist” what was happening in my life was making me more tired, and it was simply not productive. Instead, I decided to just open myself to my current circumstances and feel whatever I needed to feel. In that moment, the fear and judgement evaporated.
There was something freeing & empowering about letting go
of my grip on my broken relationship, my business, and my perception of myself. Instead of being afraid and insecure, I chose to be open and compassionate – towards everything and everyone. That day, even though I was dealing with stressful and negative circumstances, I felt pure unshakable joy.
Just Open Yourself is a way of approaching life without fear and judgment. Instead, I approach each day with compassion and acceptance. In today’s world, there are millions of ways to close ourselves off and distract ourselves from the issues we want to avoid. However, these are always temporary solutions and some have negative and self-destructive consequences. Resistance, judgement, and fear cause suffering and despair. Also, the energy it takes to be resistant and closed is draining and unproductive. Being open is the first step to taking control of our thoughts, reactions, and our lives in a productive way!
If you recently lost a loved one, if you are in a stressful job or a stressful relationship, or if it feels like everything is going wrong, Just Open Yourself. Open yourself to the present moment, and to your inner strength, wisdom, and resilience. If you are open, you will be amazed by what you will find. Embrace what is happening in your life right now.
Take it all in, and let the circumstances and reality impact you. I promise you, you can handle it. And I also promise you, you will find wisdom and strength you never knew you had.
FAIRBANKS is where Joy is currently based,
running her own business, Uqaqti Counsulting
and raising her two daughters.
Joy Huntington is a poet, writer, speaker, communications consultant and business owner based in Fairbanks, Alaska. She has effectively led communications efforts and facilitated public meetings across Alaska in over forty communities statewide. Joy is Koyukon Athabascan from several villages along the Yukon River in Interior Alaska.
Joy went through a difficult time as a teenager and was expelled from multiple schools in middle school and high school. At age fifteen, she decided she wanted a better life for herself and she never looked back. Joy has journaled for twenty years reflecting on her process to overcome insecurities, fears, and low self-esteem.
Joy graduated with high honors from Dartmouth College in 2006 with a degree in Native American Studies and a minor in Environmental Studies. She also served on the Fairbanks North Star Borough Planning Commission for four years including serving as chairperson for one year. She was also elected to the Fairbanks City Council in October 2015. She loves spending time with her daughters in her hometown of Manley Hot Springs, Alaska and visiting her family in Kansas City, Missouri.
Joy received the Alaska Federation of Natives’ President’s Award for Future Leadership in 2006.
She received the Doyon, Limited Future Leadership Award in 2003. She has been featured in the Native Business Magazine, the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development National Newsletter, the Dartmouth College newspaper, the Fairbanks Daily Newsminer, the Reservation Economic Summit in Las Vegas, and the Anchorage Daily News.
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