Jodi is a mother, a daughter, and a friend and is also known as “the Joyful Doc”. She has an infectious laugh and a wonderful easy way of connecting with others. Her glimpse is the cumulative result of conscious changes she ushered into her life in order to connect to and live a joy-filled life.
What does the word “spirit” mean to you Jodi?
I think of the Holy Spirit- the divine with all of us as well as a connection to something bigger than myself. When I was young, my prayers were often in the form of requests and bargaining. As I have gotten older, my prayers have shifted. I would say my prayers are more meditative and receptive now. I listen more. I am more grateful now. I find more things to be in awe of; I have found my sense of wonder again.
How did that shift happen for you Jodi?
A number of years ago when life was just too hectic and the concept of work-life balance was the only thing I laughed at, I went thru my own little dark night of the soul. I have always been a good laugher but during that time, I had lost my sense of joy.
In a moment of clarity during that time, I had a realization. If I truly believed that I am a co-creator of my reality then I did not have to be a victim of my circumstances. Around that same time I heard the phrase that “happiness is due to external circumstances but joy is an internal choice.”
In that moment, I decided to become the joyful doc. I even went out and claimed it by changing my email! I wanted to feel more joy in my life at that time and so I began to pursue more joy to live up to that name. To my wonder and surprise, it began working!
I was looking to bring more healing and joy into my medical practice and so I pursued life coach training which led to laughter yoga training. I began to practice concepts like gratitude and acceptance in my every day life. This focus eventually helped me become board certified in integrative medicine. Looking back, the shift to feeling more joy in my life happened when I made the conscious decision to have more joy in my life! Joy has offered me true laughter, sacred connections and a light, bubbly glimpse of spirit.
How has this connection to joy shifted your medical practice?
Finding joy in everyday interactions has helped me to slow down and listen more. I have noticed that when I do this, I receive extra help from my intuition. When I am on the right track in offering advice or a course of action for someone, I often feel tingles on my right arm and neck- like goose bumps only they last longer. This feedback is a good indicator to continue with the information or specific advice.
This does not occur all the time but when I am centered in my heart and not my head, I notice it more.
I cannot even pinpoint when this began occurring with some regularity for me. However, it has reinforced that one of my “jobs” in this lifetime is to act as a connector for people to resources and even to themselves. When I am in the moment and can sense this awareness, it seems as if I can offer people exactly what they need to hear at the right time. This information can often lead people to healing in whatever form they most need it. In that way, my pursuit of joy has made me a more skilled and caring physician.
That is wonderful Jodi. As the “Joyful Doc” can you share some tips and tools you use in your daily life to connect to joy?
I hang out with hi-vibe friends who support and love me. The journey is more joyful when surrounded by friends. If you are feeling a little lonely these days step out of your comfort zone, take a risk and make some joyful connections.
Take a break from fear and stress by unplugging from harsh news and television programs. It was only when I removed myself in this way that I really noticed how negatively this kind of media affected me. Challenge yourself to actively remove sources of media that work against joy. Try it for a few weeks and notice if you feel more naturally joyful. Of course, comedies and inspirational you-tube videos are still encouraged.
Music is a great joy booster for me. If you feel tired or down, put on some tunes to shift your mood.
Take care of yourself. For a long time, this was difficult for me. These days, I proactively plan self-care and don’t feel guilty about filling up my cup! For example, it makes me joyful to know I have a massage scheduled for next week.
Commit to getting adequate sleep.
When these joyful steps begin to fall apart; when I feel over committed or generally frazzled (which let’s face it, happens on a regular basis), I pause, take a few deep breaths and actively plan some self-care for the near future.