By Katie Marshall
Much like Batman, C. JoyBell C. is not the hero we deserve, but the hero we need right now. Her words are a transcribed B12 shot straight to the heart. Reading her work actually feels good for you.
C. is an Independent Author of works delving into esoterism, philosophy of mind, poetry, fiction and parenting. She is sought out as a personal counselor in her areas of influence, which are rooted in Soul Crafting and modern-day Theurgy. Referred to as one of the leading female thinkers of our day and age, she has followings from the likes of Mosongo Moukwa, Psychology Today, Guy Kawasaki, Karen Bonnell, Dr. Randie Gottlieb, Dr. Gary R. Bertoline, Ray Boyne, and many, many more. She is currently member of the Editorial Board of a Polish Scientific Journal, founder of an Astronomical Society, and Community Developer at an Inventions and Innovations Company. She also likes to observe the secret life of cats, speak in silly accents, and laugh for no apparent reason. Usually, laughing for no apparent reason is due to high sugar intake thanks to fluffy pastries.
1. What is the most liberating thought you’ve ever had?
Wooow. I didn’t expect such a deep question, I’m guessing this whole interview isn’t going to be easy… is it? But then I guess an easy interview wouldn’t be any fun, so, here we go. The most liberating thought that I’ve ever had, was when I heard a voice in my heart, it said to me, “It’s not about your childhood, it’s about who you are. It’s never about anyone’s childhood, it’s about who they are!” And that made me stop in my tracks. I stood there, I was stunned, I was free!
2. What did it liberate you from?
I used to always place such a huge emphasis on my childhood, on other people’s childhoods, as if your childhood is your real self, is what defines you, is what makes you who you are. I thought that my childhood was everything, I thought it was my real story. It wasn’t easy… I was born into two families where I was the only multiracial person out of everyone, so basically, I didn’t know whom I belonged to. Then, my parents moved me across the world at a young age and I was suddenly surrounded by people who had hardly ever seen a multiracial person before, or even heard of one! My hair was either too dark or too soft; my skin was either too sunburnt or too white; my nose was either too short or too boney. I was viewed by people through their own perspectives of what a human being should look like, and I had to learn how to grow with and despite that. But honestly, now I see that envy had a lot to do with it. I always felt like I had to perform better and try harder, in order to be loved and to be accepted. On top of that, my parents were really into Christian Mission work, so I grew up in cars and on airplanes, attending church services all over the United States, and later in mountainous regions in SouthEast Asia… my parents didn’t place such a big emphasis on my own childhood, because they were so busy thinking about other people all of the time. I felt like I had to fight for the right to exist… you know? That’s hard. It was hard for me. I grew into an adult and I never really outgrew that child who thought she needed to work harder and do better, in order to be loved. I thought that was everything, I thought that was me. But it wasn’t, and it never was everything! I am who I am, we are all who we are. You are who you are, it’s not about your childhood, it’s about who you are right now and who you are going to become.
3. What does it mean to live a good life?
A good life is when there are some people who know you, really know you; and you really, really know them. You belong to them and they belong to you. Then it won’t even matter if the whole world never even knows your name or never even sees you or thinks that you even exist! All that will matter is that you have loved and that you have been loved — truly. To see your very self in another, and to be loved by that person or those people — that is a good life.
4. What illusion have you suffered from the most?
Oh wow, this just gets harder and harder, doesn’t it? Wow, let me see… I believe that it really goes back to the first and the second questions. I’ve suffered so much from the illusion that I needed to earn the right to exist and to be loved. When people sense that about you, when they feel that about you, it really does bring out their worst. When people sense that their love or attention is worth some kind of payment from you, that brings out the worst in them. Or the best. You get to really see people that way, but unfortunately, I saw so much of the worst. When you stand there and you hand out gifts to people because you think that will make you good enough, people are just going to be like, “Give me more.” But a really good person will do the opposite of that, a really good person is going to see your gifts as a part of your overall beauty, and that person will celebrate you for being beautiful, for having that beauty. I’ve suffered so much from that illusion from childhood.
5. If you could go back and whisper in the ear of your 16-year-old self, what is the one thing you would tell them?
I really need to close my eyes and clear my mind right here to answer this… I would say, “You are magic, no matter what, you are magic.”
6. What does love feel like? (Real love, not hormonal love or I-like-the-idea-of-you-so-I’m-on-a-high love).
Love… oh wow… real love… it feels like your lungs stop moving at the thought that you might lose the person. The mere thought causes pain. You have to stay with the person, you have to keep the person; then they have to stay with you and they have to keep you, because if not, your lungs will stop moving. Because that is the person who knows you, so without that person, you are unknown. Of course, you must know yourself. But you never really know yourself, do you, until you have been truly loved.
7. What does your daily routine look like?
Okay, a lot easier now… my daily routine consists of being a mother and doing the things that all mothers do. Moreover, I write every day and I also work remotely for a company that establishes independent inventors, so I look forward to encouraging people and building people up, in that company, every day (I’m the Community Developer over there). I really like working with independent inventors, because they are really brilliant people but they’re also very shy and they don’t believe in their worth, so I have to build them up and remind them that they’re brilliant and that they’re changing the world, one invention at a time! I’m very clairsentient, so really, my ordinary days are painted with so much color, so much connection, so much thought… I feel like every day I’m swimming in water and flying in the sky. I call it the magic in ordinary days. I receive a lot of fan mail and many interactions from fans through my networking websites and apps, so I’m always in tune with the people who read what I write (sometimes I’m too much in tune and I really need to consciously tune out from that for my own good). I look forward to feeding the cats every day; I know, it’s a very mundane thing to look forward to, but I really do like observing them. The cats have taught me so much about people and about life, I feel like when I observe them I learn so many things! I learn many things, all the time, from the smallest and most insignificant of places and things. So many treasures are hidden in such small places, you just have to own the eyes to look! I dream every day, I dream of the things that I want and the person that I want to become. Right now, I’m taking three different specialization courses at Coursera, so I dedicate time and energy to studying these subjects; I also read every day, what I read is the most ancient of manuscripts that I can find! The more ancient, the better! And I try to listen to music every day. I usually wake up in the morning with songs playing in my mind, so I walk around the house humming different songs and dancing around to them… but the music is all in my mind! I’m dancing around to music that only I can hear! But as much as possible, I try to soothe my soul by listening to my favorites. Right now, I’m listening to Sleeping At Last (Atlas: Year One). It’s the music I’m listening to at this very second.
8. What is your favorite thing to look at?
Flowers and fruits! Definitely flowers and fruits! I follow all of these Instagram accounts managed by flower stylists and food stylists. Food is good, too, but when I see them styling fruits on the table and all of the deep colors they come in (all of that deep red and deep blue and so on and so forth) it really takes me to another world! And flowers, I just can’t get enough of beautiful flowers! Roses are my favorite.
9. Describe your perfect weekend.
My perfect weekend is yet to happen. Somewhere far away from here.
10. What do you worry about the most?
I have a fear of being forgotten. I actually think I have the phobia. I usually get worried about being forgotten by someone I love, more than any other thing that I worry about.
Because love is the most important thing, and to be loved, one must not be forgotten.
12. What makes you cry?
I cry very easily when I watch Disney movies. I probably cry an average of three times while watching any Disney movie. But then it’s so hard for me to cry for myself. When I need to cry to feel better for myself, it usually doesn’t happen. So, if I need to cry for myself, I’ll just watch a Disney movie and that does the trick!
13. What do you doodle on the sides of your papers?
You’re going to love this one! I doodle the name of my future daughter! When I have a daughter one day, her name is going to come from one of those doodles! I have notebooks filled with names I want to name a daughter one day, you’ll need to invite me on another interview and ask me what those names are!
14. What is the most serendipitous thing that has ever happened to you?
This is really difficult to answer, because I think that life is made up of serendipitous moments that we don’t even know about, because we don’t always recognize that it was serendipity! We just go along, in all of our mundaneness, but the hands of serendipity catch us over and over again… but we just think it’s life! Life isn’t just life, it’s something more.
15. How did your biggest struggles become the pathways to your greatest success?
I do believe now that if I had not experienced the struggles that I experienced, I would most certainly not be able to connect with so many different people through my writings, through my thoughts, through my work. My biggest struggle was always the fact that there was always more expected from me. I had to be the bravest, the kindest, the most selfless, the most giving one… so many good things were expected of me, but the same things were not given to me by the people who expected them of me. I grew up on a one-way street where the output came from my end. Always understanding my parents and what they wanted, always understanding my relatives and what they wanted, my classmates and what they wanted. The circumstances that I was forced into, by life, required this of me. Today as an adult, I empathize with rich people, I empathize with poor people, I empathize with broken people and with whole people… but without all of the prior experience in my life, I wouldn’t be able to write the things that I write, today. Nevertheless, I don’t believe in glorifying hardship, and I will say, that it’s always better to have a happy life. Happiness can teach you valuable things, too, and if you could choose between two teachers— happiness and struggle— please choose happiness! Let joy be your teacher, let peace be your guide. Never be too selfless, think about being happy, and go into that direction.
16. What’s the first thing you do in the morning?
Turn my alarm off!
17. What do you wish you had more of in your life?
I really wish I had more shoes! But that’s just the shallow part. The deep part of my ocean is very vast and we don’t have enough time to discuss all of it! There’s nothing wrong with shallow parts, by the way. I enjoy the shoreline just as much as I enjoy the middle of the ocean, where it’s all midnight blue and indigo. On the shorelines, we find seashells. I love seashells! In the depths, we find treasure chests and sunken ships… those are good too. But those can also be heavy sometimes.
18. What do you find to be the most genuinely beautiful thing in the world?
When people who love one another gather around a table to eat together. I remember the first time I became aware of this… I was just a child, I was sitting on our windowsill, and I could see the neighbors gathered around their dining room table, I could hear them laughing, I could see them kissing and hugging… it was the most beautiful thing, it filled my heart with so much warmth! When I travel, I try to sit by the windowsills of my hotel rooms and listen for the people in the residential buildings around, I try to hear them laughing, I try to see if anyone is hugging and kissing… I adore these moments!
19. If you could be free of one thought or fear, what would it be?
Not being good enough.
20. If you had the chance to tell every single person in the world just one thing, what would it be?
That they are who they are TODAY. Not yesterday, not tomorrow, but today! That they are not defined by yesterday or tomorrow. They are defined by today. So be that person that you want to be, that person you know in your heart your really are — be that person, today! And that will make up for yesterday and for tomorrow.