touchdown dance

Touchdown Dance

Funny thing I’ve noticed lately: Joy, pent up, turns into anxiety.

Now I’m not going to declare this as a universal rule (though I suspect it might be).

What I do know is that careful observation of the teeming jungle that is my interior has turned up clear evidence that this is the case for me. 

I might even say that Unfelt Joy is one of the more frequent root causes of distress in my daily life. 

The example that comes to mind isn’t mine, though; it’s a client’s.

Last weekend, he led an all-day group workshop.

It was a new format he hadn’t tried before. 

He sold out all the spots. 

The workshop itself went brilliantly. Beautifully. 

When it was over, he took himself out to dinner, and used his momentum to go online and promote some future workshops he’s teaching.

Then he tried to go to bed. 

That’s when the trouble hit. 

Before he knew it, it was 4 am, and he was wrenching himself out of a media binge. 

He’d fallen into a vortex of addictive misery.

Obviously there’s a lot in play here to cause such a thing, but here’s my primary diagnosis: Unfelt Joy.

(This fits nicely with Gay Hendrick’s Upper Limits theory, which posits: When life gets too good too fast, we tend to do something to sabotage it.)

Yes, he celebrated. 

Kind of.

But not with his whole body.

I’d bet money that my client’s self-destructive backlash (after his notable success) could have been mitigated with a few minutes of ecstatic wiggling. 

There are places in our world where this kind of celebration is welcome. Normalized.

Those places are not places I know well.

Honestly, It’s gotta be ancestral, the degree to which it’s hard for me to celebrate a victory.

Not sure if it’s the Methodist missionaries, the Lebanese coptics, or the ever-put upon Jews in my lineage who taught me to stay still and tight in the face of moments of success or triumph.

But the result is: I find myself dealing with anxious, addictive self-sabotage in the face of joy, more often than I’d care to admit. (Often it looks like chocolate.)

Luckily, I believe I have a solution.

What my client and I need, ladies and gentlemen—and maybe you need it too?—is a proactive, sincere commitment to an art already perfected elsewhere in our culture.

I’m talking about The Touchdown Dance.

I mean, look at these brilliant, full-bodied expressions of pride and joy in a moment of achievement!

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Can you imagine getting up from your desk with such committed fervor upon getting a praiseful email or signing a new contract? 

If you can’t, maybe it’s time to start. 

What do you say, team? Shall we try it? 

Ecstatically yours,


PS – Here’s something I’m celebrating this week! I’m in the testing phase of a new offer: Clarity Breakthrough Sessions (even the name is in testing). We spend an hour together and I promise to get you unstuck on the next steps of your writing or marketing project. I ran two of them this week, and got this feedback from one coach I helped:

“I expected clarity and direction on a few tasks that were keeping me stuck from moving forward. That’s what I thought I needed. Rachel uncovered what I actually needed — a reconnection to my knowing and intuition around what was “next” in my business. Her method created a feeling of alignment, peace, and clarity of my next steps. If you are someone who wants to trust what is already in you and you need someone to help you uncover it, don’t hesitate for a second.”

Woot! Sound like something you need? Hit reply and let’s get you on the calendar.

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