DAY 16 – Cosplay with my daughters and owning my joy

31 Days of Radical Self-Expression
It’s so interesting how Radical Self-Expression shows up in both undeniably obvious and gently subtle ways. That picture (above) represents one of the more subtle moments.

Marley, our oldest daughter, took this picture of Sage and me. She took it with her iPad, and as she walked toward me, proud of her capture, and smiled at me as she waved the iPad in my face.

Sage is wearing a Cosplay (the act of dressing up as a character from a film, book, or video game, especially one from the Japanese genres of manga or anime) costume that my Mom got custom-made for her. Marley (not shown) is wearing her costume too. They had told me the night before that they were doing a photo shoot the following day, and would need me to be their photographer. They had already thought of some locations in our complex, and reminded me that the sun went down around 6:30, so we would have to go at least an hour prior to that time.

I gladly obliged, and enjoyed my time with them as they created situations to fit whatever poses they embodied in each moment. They immersed themselves in a world that was being created from their imagination, and I felt privileged to be invited into their worlds.

I want more of that. Not just for myself, but also for you. I believe that it is a radical act to create and participate in scenarios that fuel your joy. In any moment, my daughters–like many children–can transform their literal reality into one more befitting of whatever emotions they want to experience. Imagine if you and I got better at that? Imagine if you felt disconnected from a particular way you wanted to feel, and imagine that you could get dressed, walk outside, and just be how you wanted to feel, instead of steeping in any sense of disconnect for too long.

Nice, right? And also very possible for us. Some days, in the middle of the feeling of disconnect, let yourself get dressed in whatever feels good, and just go do whatever it is that you want to do. Give yourself permission to create your joy. Go back into your happier memories, and re-create it. Your joy is your own to create; never forget that.