Photo courtesy: Brandi Reynolds
“The world needs dreamers and the world needs doers. But above all, the world needs dreamers who do.” ~ Sarah Ban Breathnach
Are you a joy rebel?
What? What is that?
The sublime art of being authentically you.
There’s a movement going on – one I’m excited to be a part of! The ‘joy rebel’ movement. Do you want to be a part of it? I’d explain it, although I don’t think I can do it justice. So today, I have Brandi Reynolds, creator extraordinaire of this brilliant idea here, to explain it a little further. Read on to learn more about this idea and what it’s all about. And get a glimpse into Brandi’s joy rebel within her, shining through!
1. What really led you to create this “joy rebel” movement? And how long has it been going on?
Honestly, this path started for me in 1999, though I had no name for it then. I found myself divorced at 23 (from my first husband – I’ve since re-married to a fabulous guy), in the middle of a college semester with another year to go, $80 to my name and sleeping on a friends couch. And for the first time EVER, I realized that I didn’t have to react to, run from or deny life. I had a choice. I could go to a bar and find something to numb the pain a little bit or I could step up and take responsibility for my life. I chose to step up and set out on a spiritual and creative exploration. I think I am more proud of the moment I made that choice, scared to death and broke as hell, than I am any other moment in my life. It wasn’t a joy rebellion then, in fact there was no discernible direction at first but that is the true start of this journey I am on.
In early 2009, I found myself again at a cross roads. I’d certainly explored the last ten years. I’ve learned so much and now realized it was time to put some focus to this path that I was on. What did I want to do with my life? How did I want to show up in the world? I truly thought I knew some of those answers yet suddenly found myself questioning everything I was doing.
What came out of that time of questioning was a creative focus and a willingness to put forth action to make that focus grow. I needed a touchstone, a mantra and slowly, the idea of ‘joy rebel’ came to me. To me, being a joy rebel is about being authentically myself. At 33, I feel like I am just now finding my real voice. It’s about embracing the lightness of true joy and also listening to rage against the machine and being okay with that apparent dichotomy. It’s about deciding that it’s not irresponsible to refuse to let the US media, lobbyists and approximately a billion retailers dictate my emotions. And most importantly, it’s about having FUN. I was so tired of the self help tirade and found that I didn’t feel joyful reading one more book on how to fix me. Not that there aren’t a lot of helpful books out there – I certainly benefited from them. It was just time to start putting the tips and practices to work and BE joyful.
So, I posted something about it on my blog in February, inviting others to claim their authenticity and embrace joy and it’s just grown from there.
Lance’s Commentary: Thanks for sharing your story, Brandi, and how you’ve gotten to where you are today. And this movement – it really is all about having fun. Check out her site, it’s FUN all around! I believe I discovered Brandi’s site in late 2008, and was instantly drawn to what she writes. Stop by. See what’s going on over there. Read about these ‘joy rebel’ missions, and more. It’s all good, and it’s all real.
2. Do you stay up late at night coming up with missions to use each week?
Why YES! Yes I do. I wail and gnash my teeth also. (What the hell is ‘gnashing’ anyway?) Ha! Seriously though, the missions are a way to have fun and connect with your authentic self. I come up with ideas from my own experiences – stuff that has worked for me. And I’m totally open to ideas! Anyone can recommend a weekly mission – they just have to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Lance’s Commentary: Sounds scary, the wailing and gnashing of teeth (why do I think it’s not, though!)! Sorry Brandi, you just don’t seem too scary…
3. Let’s say a certain mission doesn’t resonate with me. What do I do then?
No worries, just don’t do it. A joy rebel mission should never feel like something you need to check off your ‘to do’ list. The whole point is to have fun. You can always check back to see what’s up the next week or email me with a recommendation on something you’d like to try.
Lance’s Commentary: I love this, it’s all so “what works for me”. Brandi, I think this is one of the real draws – this idea that this is all up to me. Or, if I’m so inclined, I can dig into the archives and do something from previous weeks (like create your own superhero – how did I miss that one?). Or I can do nothing at all. It’s all good, and it all works…
4. How do I find out about the missions each week? And how do I go about completing them (i.e. do you keep score?)?
I post them every Monday. If you want to share about the experience on your blog or post a comment on mine, that’s great but never a requirement. We run a pretty lax ship over here at the joy rebellion. No people’s elbows given, I swear.
Lance’s Commentary: This is a ship I’m excited to be on (I’m all for lax!). Seriously, though, this really is an awesome idea, and what’s so great – there is no commitment, no sign up form, no monthly fee. It really is all about finding the ‘joy rebel’ within each of us, and letting that rebel out to play! And no other rules…
THIS JUST OUT (May 4th, 2009): Here’s this week’s mission – all about laughter. Check it out – even just to see what it’s all about.
Brandi, it’s been great having you here today to explain more about this ‘joy rebel’ movement you have created!
For all our visitors, if you can’t tell – I really think this is one brilliant and creative idea! And that it’s so non-committal on our part, that we can choose to participate or not – that’s rebellion right there! This is so easy, and so voluntary. Being a rebel doesn’t get any easier than this!
When Brandi’s not dreaming up new missions – she has camera in hand letting her creative genius shine through the lens of what she sees in her world. Check out her photography site, Brandi Reynolds – Joy Rebel Photography. Oh, and you can also find her hanging out on Twitter. And living the life of what it means to be a true joy rebel…along with her husband and two dogs…
Joy rebel: the sublime art of being authentically you. (well said Brandi!)