Mary Katherine Backstrom is best known for her viral videos, candid writing and laughter. What most people often forget is that underneath all of that, MK struggles with multiple diagnoses of mental health, including anxiety and depression.
"I am somewhat known for my hysterical laughter and silly, lighthearted antics, and so I have often gotten the question and the comments on my Facebook page and social media asking, how are you so happy all the time? And this book that I've written, Crazy Joy, is an answer to that question because it was bothering me."
She says if you want to find joy, you have to settle in deep and accept that there is no destination where happiness exists. Backstrom says you must claim it every day when the rest of the world is chasing a rabbit.
"I wanted to examine this question that I was so frequently asked. And what I discovered is that there is a big difference between being a happy person and having joy. I fell in love with that difference because I realized joy is way more equitable. It's accessible to everybody, regardless of your struggle, regardless of your mental health. And so the whole book is my little ode to joy, this crazy little resilient thing that keeps people living."
Mary Katherine says life isn’t about getting to a fixed landing point. She says we spend so much time looking ahead that we forget about the messy middle that got us to where we are and dismiss it as anything less than meaningful. According to Mary Katherine, this messy middle is where we live our life.
"There is nothing wrong with happiness. I grab it anywhere and everywhere I can," Backstrom explained. " Happiness is so circumstantial. I think breaking the addiction of the chase is just realizing that it's fruitless. I mean, it's like chasing a butterfly. You might get one. You might not like it. Are you really gonna wear yourself out? There are other things to get.
"Joy is learning to live in peace and let the butterflies come."
In her new book, Crazy Joy: Finding Wild Happiness in a World That's Upside Down, Mary Katherine helps readers:
1. Identify and reject ridiculous expectations that society has placed on their lives.
2. Liberate their hearts from the comparison prison and feel content in their current circumstances.
3. View themselves, inside and out, as the masterpiece creations they are.
4. Find joy (and dare we say, laughter!) in the middle of life's biggest messes.
"I think, honestly, if I were to tell you I had one takeaway for this book, it would be, I want people to know that there's a reason to keep going because joy is available for all of us."
Today on Connections, MK shares the difference between happiness and joy, the importance of discussing mental health and how you can find true joy in a world that is upside down.