Savannah Hanson: The joy experiment |

Savannah Hanson: The joy experiment

Imagine placing your attention on joy in these times. So much of our attention can be pulled to chaos, disaster, fear, anxiety, illness, restrictions and oppression. Yet where attention goes, energy flows. If we keep our attention on these areas of our internal or external world, the result is often depression, agitation, anxiety. All of these conditions weaken the immune response so where we place our attention becomes a vital matter.

As one spiritual teacher after another emphasized how intense the next month, months, even years will be, I found my energy and attention focused on the energy of overwhelm to the point of it significantly impacting my ability to function. Now being a consciousness facilitator, this definitely got my attention. I realized as an empath I felt like a victim of these times. The victim virus is one that plagues humanity. According to Gene Key 55, from Richard Rudd’s book “The Gene Keys” this is what we are here to transmute now.

My direct experience is any time I identify with an aspect of myself or my life as a problem or see myself as a victim, this does not go well, to say the least. So when I saw how deeply I experienced myself as too sensitive to live in such intense times, I was able to see I clearly felt trapped as a victim of the current zeitgeist. The red alert went off warning me of inner danger yet I could see no way out.

A number of things helped me find the door out of the tunnel. One was the book “The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself” by Michael Singer. I discovered that I experienced my very being as a way to identify myself as a victim of my nervous system. The book says the only way out is to stop trying to hide or protect ourselves and fully allow the energy of the pain or restriction to pass through. My professional work focuses on just that yet I saw in this one area, I had continued to try to protect myself in numerous ways that kept my life small.

Tension and stress alert me I am off track and I return my attention to what brings comfort or calm.

Like Plato’s allegory of the cave, I was trapped in the shadows with seemingly no way out. Yet the pressure became so intense that it popped me in to what I am calling the joy experiment. I began on election day. Anybody else feel a little tension that day? I decided to stop doing anything that caused me stress and only focus on what brings me joy, peace, relaxation or at least did not create more pressure. I stopped watching spiritual videos with their predictions of years of dramatic change and intensity, I went cold turkey from what was almost an addiction.

I also allowed myself to feel the powerful energies running through the body without having a story or sense of identification. This is NOT easy for me. Yet I saw should I wish to enjoy my time on earth, it was required. So I allowed huge bursts of energy to rush through the body. Each day, I focused on what brought peace or joy. I slowed way down and simplified my life even more. It took five days of continuing allowance of heavy and strong energies to pass through. But each day brought more joy and lightness, more presence.

Slowly the simplest things became increasingly enjoyable — from making a pot of soup to sitting in the sun. Taking a walk and hearing the birds sing, a drop of dew glistening on a leaf, streaks of pink painting the horizon at sunset, all of these things began to touch me more deeply, truly filling my heart. Encounters with friends and loved ones filled me more than ever. Some days passed with contentment, peace, delight and even bursts of euphoria despite having heard repeatedly that October and November would be so intense.

Yes, certainly I can see the external world is experiencing great chaos while my internal and personal worlds are expanding and becoming richer. Yes, I still have blasts of fear and overwhelm yet slowly they are diminishing. My sense of connection and intimacy keep increasing. The biggest benefit is a self acceptance I have never known. It keeps expanding.

Tension and stress alert me I am off track and I return my attention to what brings comfort or calm. It does require great vigilance and a willingness to stop when something external is creating conflict or disharmony and find a way to return to peace. In these times, to discover this light at the end of the tunnel feels like a miracle. I offer the joy experiment to anyone who wishes to celebrate life rather than live in conflict. Please feel free to join in, the only thing to lose is fear.

For information on private sessions or classes or to schedule a free 20-minute consultation, contact Savannah Hanson, M.A., MFT #40422 at 530-575-5052 or

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