How do you tame the inner killjoy? The inner killjoy is a part of us – like it or not. Even when we are highly focused on an activity, it sits there waiting to pounce.
The inner killjoy is certain that something bad is going to happen. It is closely related to the inner critic, they may even be fraternal twins. The inner killjoy is determined to protect us from all the ill in the world. It puts a wall around us so that nothing bad can get us. Our natural joyful self is a real pain to the inner killjoy, and it is usually on high alert to prevent it from getting too enthused about life.
The inner killjoy, like the inner critic, has a problem – a major one. It doesn’t really believe in the good. If you put two equal events on a scale, one positive and the other negative, the inner critic and inner killjoy would attach greater weight to the negative event because the negative event mirrors their view of reality. The positive event is a fluke, a bit of luck, something really intended for someone else and not relevant. Only negative events are relevant to these two characters.
I have a great yoga teacher, Kathy Donnelly, at Columbia Yoga Center in Columbia, MD. She made a wonderful point during one of my yoga classes that has stuck with me. She said that when we open, which is one of the goals of yoga, we open to the natural goodness in ourselves. I thought that was a wonderful perception. The good in ourselves and others is often starved for recognition. The negative in the world often is so overweighted that we totally lose sight of the beauty, kindness, and graciousness that surrounds us.
So this is my suggestion for your inner critic and inner killjoy. Since we are all creative beings, I suggest that you create an inner yoga class and send your inner critic and inner killjoy to yoga as frequently as needed. When they act up, tell them it’s time for Downward Facing Dog or Plank Pose – a hard one for me. Eventually, they will probably come around, but until they do you will have some time to yourself while they are learning the Sun Salutation.