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What I Did Last Week - Version 5

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5 Reasons I Invest in Weekly Joy

I am a big believer that joy has the power to change your life.

I have been intentionally scheduling joy into my every week for this past year, and since that time I have had the most successfully financial year in business, travelled every quarter in 2023, aligned with my top value (Adventure) and got in the best shape of my life at 51. Being intentional about joy has also helped me find community, make new friends, and improve myself in ways I otherwise never would have.

This week, I signed up for a Senegalese dance class at Alvin Ailey.

And I have 5 specific reasons why I invested in this type of joy:

  • Reason #1: Dance is deeply ingrained in African traditions, but its also a way to celebrate milestones. I am almost done filling my Mastermind for 2024. I signed up for this dance class to celebrate even the smallest of wins.

  • Reason #2 Sabar dance is characterized by footwork, hip movements. You can’t help but move (and giggle) to the infectious drum beat. I spend so much time in my head. Overthinking. Ruminating. Worrying. The dance got me out of my head. And into my body. Win!

  • Reason #3: For many African cultures, dance is a way to pay homage to one’s spiritual beliefs. As I build my spiritual muscle this year, this dance added a layer of depth and meaning to the joy.

  • Reason #4: African dance is rarely a solitary activity. It’s a communal experience. Dancing together creates a sense of belonging, breaks down barriers, and allows you to express yourself freely. I called up an old friend I had not seen in a while. Shes younger and we are in different phases of life. But the dance class gave us an equal plane for reconnecting.

  • Reason #5: African dance is a powerful tool for storytelling. The instructor Bakary led us through some intricate movements, conveying the story of Sabar, associated with the Wolof and Serer people of Senegal and the Gambia.

As I posted a video of us dancing on social media, women wrote me expressing how she too, had been contemplating dance this year.

This story was the kick they needed.

If you start doing intentionally injecting joy into your week, let me know—I’d love to connect with you (and answer any questions you have getting started!)

Being intentional, and doing this reflective personal development work builds the foundation for monumental success.

It’s why my Mastermind clients

  • 💪🏼 have gotten two promotions in two years

  • 💪🏼 have built a $50MM fund and are on their way to building a $200MM fund.

  • 💪🏼 have discovered their self-worth and started realizing their dreams

  • 💪🏼 have learned to get clients from their posts

I’m currently filling for the 2024 Class of my Samita Lab Mastermind. Write “JOY” in the comments below, and I’ll send details or apply here.

Now on to this week’s newsletter

What I Did Last Week

  • Saturday. I have a model-esque friend who has befriended the entire staff at Bemelmans, one of the last standing piano bars in New York City, and sails past the line with me on sidesaddle. But on my own, Matt and I find an 1.5 hour wait every time we go. 4pm. 6pm. 3pm.
  • To “hack” in, we reserved 4 seats at the restaurant in the Carlyle Hotel, thinking surely, we could saunter over to the bar once dinner is done.
  • Dowling’s is an old New York institution where the waiter still lights your Steak Diane on fire in front of you.
  • I later joked, we are going to old people places we once dreamed of. Mainly because we eat at 5:30pm, are guaranteed a seat, a good wine list and a higher bill.
  • We still didn’t get into Bemelman’s that night.
  • Sunday. New Years Eve at the Metropolitan Opera is a spectacular evening for people watching. Men in tuxedos and blood red silk scarves. Women in floor length gowns. One woman was wearing a button down shirt in a quilted silver material, but the shirt went all the way to the floor in an A-line and featured tied bow waist. I’m still thinking about her dress. It was such a New York moment.
  • The opera was “Carmen.” The production was composer George Bizet’s final opera. It was delayed in its release because of fears that its themes of betrayal and murder would offend audiences. It premiered in 1875 and Bizet was convinced that the work was a failure. He died of a heart attack three months later, unaware that it would prove a spectacular and enduring success. Bizet might be turning in his grave to see this Met cast performing his songs in denim cutoffs on the set of what looks like “Rent.”
  • Nonetheless, it was full house, with a gala later in the evening at $1,000 bucks a seat.
  • We said to each other “one day,” before we headed off to dinner at Leopard des Artistes, an old Upper West Side institution.
  • Monday. New Years Day was a quiet day at home. I slipped away for weight lifting at Liftonic with my favorite instructor and then began planning for the kick off my Mastermind January 20th.
  • Wednesday. I booked myself Senegalese dance class at Alvin Ailey.
  • Thursday. I finished my article on menopause and how disruptive it is for women’s leadership.
  • Friday. We head to dinner with friends to Jazba, the East Village cousin to its far tonier cross town relative that has won Michelin stars, 8 years running. Jazba, promises food from Delhi’s roadside restaurants on Second Avenue in New York City. butter chicken, mutton chop, goat meat, all spiced to ensure the consumer knows exactly how many red chile’s went into its making.
  • “You’re still going to sweat,” the founder said in a recent Eater article. Where does it hit your mouth?

What I’m looking forward to

  • Saturday. Myself and friend Ana are hightailing it up to the Upper East Side to beat the snow hitting the northeast in the afternoon and to catch the Women Dressing Women exhibit at the Anna Wintour Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art before it closes. I’m a member so we get to attend amazing exhibits like this 9am-10am, when the Museum is still closed to the public.

  • Speaking of dressing. Geesh. It’s already Martin Luther King weekend next week. We are headed upstate to a member of the Women’s Leadership Lab’s mountain home. I’ve made my packing list of clothing to bring.

    Packing on a whiteboard

    A weekend of sitting by the fire, 3 hours dinners replete with wine, hot tubs, snowshoeing, yoga, and massages awaits us.

  • Kick off to the 2024 Class of my Samita Lab Mastermind. Jan 20th

.Joya Dass speaking

Whenever you’re ready, there are 2 ways I can help you:

1. Join my year long Mastermind where we do three things: Mindset work, Content work for your personal brand, and ready for a TEDx talk on stage.

Apply here

2. Do 1:1 VIP Day with me. Those who can’t give me 12 months, book 1 day intensives withme.

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