By Nataly Kogan

It's time for your Joy Rebellion

8 years ago I had my first Joy Rebellion.

I made breakfast for my daughter, made her lunch (with a special note and a special sticker, as I did every school day), and dropped her off at school.

My husband was on a business trip, so the house was empty when I came back to grab my work stuff and head to a meeting.

I’d left my notebook in our little screened in porch room we had, so I went in there to get it and that’s when I did something unbelievable:

I sat down on the couch.

Took an art book from the coffee table.

Put up my feet.


And sat there and flipped through the pages for the next 15 minutes.

This was my first-ever Joy Rebellion.

I think at the time, it wasn’t even a conscious choice -- it was my soul, my being screaming out for help and forcing me to do the unthinkable: Something just for me that didn’t involve taking care of my family or working.

I was in a really dark place of burnout and life-out… and struggling a lot.

I’d spent my entire life until that point believing that struggle is a good thing, a sign of a life well-lived, of my being responsible, dutiful… a good mom, wife, provider.

This was an inner story that came with my lineage and was reinforced by the women in my family, including my amazing mama. I don’t actually think I’ve ever seen her sitting down and flipping through an art book and (omg here comes the word!)...relaxing.

And it had caught up with me. All the over-doing, over-working, over-achieving, and over-efforting paired with awful non-stop self-criticism and feeling like I was failing everything and everyone by not doing enough emptied me out of all life fuel.

I was functioning and surviving, but just that, not more.

Which is why taking 15 minutes to sit on the couch in my favorite room in the house and flip through an art book was such a giant act of Joy Rebellion.

Because I did something just for myself, something that felt good.

No, it didn’t miraculously fix everything.

But it was a tiny thread of hope that I slowly -- with the help of an amazing teacher and mentor -- began to pull on. And as I did, I realized something completely unexpected:

Doing things that made me feel good didn’t take away from my ability to give to my family or do great work.

Just the opposite: It’s like I unlocked this whole reservoir of energy and capacity and abilities that I never knew I had. I didn’t just have more to give, I had so much better, brighter, more meaningful to give!

So I want to ask you this:

Isn’t it time for your Joy Rebellion?

Isn’t it time for you to rebel against the story that struggle is a good thing and a sign of you being a responsible parent, leader, provider, caretaker?

Are you willing to break through the inner blocks that hold you in struggle, in survival mode of just functioning, so you can unleash your abundant reservoir of energy, unique gifts, and aliveness?

The path out of survival mode and into flourishing begins with a tiny giant act of your willingness to want to make a change.

It begins with your own Joy Rebellion.

Here are 3 simple ideas for how you can practice your Joy Rebellion:


  • Linger in a bookstore

  • Make yourself a meal you love and just the way you like it

  • Go for a beautiful walk with no other purpose than to savor it

Rushing is draining. Slowing down engages your parasympathetic nervous system and helps you relax.


  • Go see some art

  • Make some art (watercolor, doodle, draw, take photos, crochet)

  • Cook a new recipe

Creativity is a core human instinct. Giving it expression fuels your energy and enriches your life.

It also makes you happier, as tons of studies show.


Here are a few prompts to choose from:

  • What did I love about this week and what do I want to let go?

  • 10 things I’m grateful for this week

  • If I were speaking with my future self, the future self I hope to become, what would they say to me?

Journaling allows us to witness and connect with ourselves in meaningful ways.

(And yes, journaling on paper is much more beneficial than typing.)

What will be your act of Joy Rebellion?

Next up: 5 things to do right now that will make your day happier

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