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Hey, <<First Name>>!

How good are you at saying "No?"

I've recently been hanging out with people who are amazing at setting boundaries and communicating their needs. Being around them has helped me realize something important: that I try to avoid saying "no" at all costs.

To give myself some credit, I've gotten pretty good at tuning into my internal compass with my work. Since I've always been self-employed, I have lots of practice saying no to writing and job offers that don't match my needs.

Yet in personal relationships, my people-pleasing nature comes out to play. It's easier to avoid difficult conversations... so I often do.

For example, last week I was at a dance party with my roommate. Someone who worked at the venue asked if we wanted to go dance onstage. I was appreciative of the offer... yet also hungry and heading to get some food. But, instead of simply communicating that, I looked at my roommate, Dennis, and asked, "Do you want to?"

Dennis knows me well enough to tell from my voice that I wasn't super pumped about the idea. "What do you want to do?" he asked. In that moment, I realized that I was a "No" and communicated that. Yet it hit me how I redirected the question to avoid turning someone down. It's something I'm working on.

Is it hard for you to say no, <<First Name>>? Why? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Anywho, onto the GIF and the fun things! Take it away, how I feel when I've totally underprepared for winter weather:
Okay, okay. Three more things. Real quick!

1) Looking for a present? A wonderful boyfriend just gifted his partner one of my custom community calendars for Christmas, and she was so happy that she featured it on her Instagram stories. (I won't include the link because, you know, privacy. But hooray for connection!)

Interested? I'll have you fill out two questions about your ideal community, then we'll chat via Zoom for 30 minutes about the types of relationships that you want in your life. Afterwards, I'll send you customized suggestions of events to check out and communities to join in NYC, as well as spaces and people that will help you reach your personal goals. Lastly, we'll have a ten minute follow-up to see how things are progressing. Check out a sample here.

To get your own custom calendar–– or gift one–– book here. At $150, it's a pretty great price for oodles of connection and love. 

2) The Joy List Social on December 12 is 80% sold out! Make sure to buy your ticket. (And RSVP on Facebook so you can find your new friends afterwards!) If you're interested in volunteering, email Yuko at And if you want your company to partner with the event, reach out to 

3) My friend Mihir is on the board of The Barrow Group Theatre Company, and is a huge advocate for the Obie Award-winning play, The Tricky Part, which begins on Thursday. The Tricky Part is a solo-show written and performed by Broadway's Martin Moran that leaves audiences asking themselves: can what we think of as damaging be the very thing that gives rise to transformation, even grace? If you're looking for a night at the theater, (said thee-ay-terr,) check this out and use code JOYLIST15 for 15% off 2 tickets!

Monday, December 3

Introduction to Non-Violent Communication

A Joy List-er attended this event the last time I featured it, and said that it blew his mind in the best possible way. Since we're talking about learning to communicate more effectively, might as well practice with some new friends!

Free. 7 to 9:15 PM. Pearl Studios, 519 8th Ave. Info here.

Community Meditation Mondays

In a world where "mindful" events can be $30 and up, I love supporting communities that have free offerings. That's why I'm including the New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care, which has a meditation and dharma talk–– AKA spiritual teaching–– every Monday night.

Free. 6 to 7:15 PM. NY Zen Center, 119 West 23rd St. Info here.

Tuesday, December 4

Psychedelic Submergence

How about some "breath tripping," tarot readings, and energy healing for your Tuesday night? I've met John the facilitator before, and he's a gem. Go get trippy without anything illegal!

$36-$45. 6 to 9:30 PM. Altered Stages, 150 W 28th St. Info here.

Transformation Transportation

If you're like me, you're always looking for a way to get out of your comfort zone. How about being part of a meditation on a subway car? The MTA will thank you.

Free. 10 to 11:30 PM. Meet at 96th St. Q Station. Info here.

Wednesday, December 5

Medi Club

Medi Club is a community that I've been a part of for two years. Come meditate, drink some tea, and have real talk conversations. If you go, come say hi to me! I look like this. (Pro tip: If you're single, this is a great spot to meet beateous, mindful folks. Just sayin'.)

$30. 6:30 to 9 PM. Dobbin St, 64 Dobbin St. Info here.

Social Impact Holiday Connector

Want to meet other folks who are obsessed with creating social change, or change careers and move into the social impact space? This connection event, facilitated by the wonderful folks at Be Social Change, is for you! Their events are always a great way to meet quality humans.

$25. 6:30 to 9 PM. Prime Produce, 424 W 54th St. Info here.

Works in Progress: Intentional Communities Panel & Social

Being friends with people who live in intentional communities has been a game changer for me in NYC. Come meet members from a variety of houses in New York, and hear their thoughts on the best ways to run a community-centered space. If you're on the hunt for a great living situation–– and who's not–– this is the gathering for you!

$25 suggested donation. 7:30 to 11 PM. Hacienda Villa, address given at RSVP. Info here.

Thursday, December 6 

Women and Trans/GNC Mixer

LGBTQ+ women and trans/GNC folks, come out to nom on some snacks and meet some wonderful people!

Free. 5:30 to 7 PM. Brooklyn Community Pride Center, 1360 Fulton St. Info here.

Birds & the Bees with Fat Tits & C*cktease

Since we're slowly transforming into disconnected robots, these hosts think it's important to congregate and TALK about some awkward realities. This evening is complete with music, scary statistics, more female/male condoms & lube than you could ever imagine up for grabs, and chocolate vaginas on a stick!

$10. 8 to 9 PM. The Artist Co-op, 500 W 52nd St. Info here.

Friday, December 7

Hacienda Social Pool Party

Wish you could escape NYC and jump into a pool party filled with gorgeous people who are down to play sexy connection games? Welp, now you can!

$35-$40. 8 PM to 1 AM. Room Mate Grace Hotel, 125 W 54th. Info here.

Dance Lab 77: Afro-Ecstacy ~ Ecstatic Dance

Spend your Friday night dancing, connecting, and sound bath-ing. Uh... yes. Warning: the space gets full. If you're claustrophobic, I advise that you steer clear of this one.

$20. 7:30 to 11 PM. X Marks the Loft, 405 Johnson Ave. Info here.

Sober Healing Party

Weekends are actually the hardest time for me to find events for The Joy List. There's plenty of concerts and shows but, as you know, that's not the type of stuff I feature. So when I found out about this–– a space for people to deeply connect and relax on a Friday night–– I was thrilled. Come check it out!

Donation. 8:30 to 11:30 PM. Earth Arts Center, 936 Madison St. Info here.

Saturday, December 8

Hypatia and the Heathens: A Musical Bacchanalia

My friend Harry is a Buddhist teacher who also happens to love a good party. This musical combines his love for mindfulness, debauchery, and getting people out of their comfort zone. It's gonna get weird. 

$15. 9 to 11 PM. Caveat, 21 A Clinton St. Info here.

Women's Holistic Immersion + Skill-Share

This day is dedicated to sisterhood and connecting with our feminine energy. You can choose to attend for one workshop or the entire day. Sessions include hormonal balance, tracking your menstrual cycle, befriending the inner critic, self defense, and communicating boundaries. Yeah. It's  a day of awesomeness. 

$15-$108. 10 AM to 11:30 PM. Earth Arts Center, 936 Madison St. Info here.

Sunday, December 9

5Rhythms: Sweat Your Prayers

5Rhythms has become part of my spiritual practice. It's legitimately one of the safest, most welcoming environments I've been lucky enough to experience in NYC. People dance with their kids, and people dance with their walkers. Check it out!

$20 cash. 11 AM to 1 PM. Joffrey Ballet School, 434 6th Ave. Info here. 

Grassroots Gathering for Democracy

Meet with your fellow New Yorkers to make a grassroots plan to win strong democracy reforms in NYC, including early voting, automatic voter registration, codifying voting eligibility for parolees, and other Voting Reform priorities.

Free. 11 AM to 5 PM. The National Black Theater, 2031 5th Ave. Info here.

Reparations : Black Wellness Clinic

This black folx only walk-in wellness clinic offers a variety of healing modalities for free every month. If you're a black healer who is interested in offering your services, reach out to the organizers on the Facebook event.

Free. 3 to 8:30 PM. Earth Arts Center, 936 Madison St. Info here.


Looking for a space to host your next meeting? Code JOYLIST gets you 50% off at Meetinplace in the Financial District! I recently met their team, and they are SO kind it is ridiculous. If you're looking for a gorgeous room that you can book by the hour, support these folks! (Plus, with the code you can get your own private room for $30. That's the best deal you're gonna find in NYC!)

Knowledge is Power

Here are some books that have been blowing my mind recently:

Follow Us On The Interwebs

That's it for for this week, <<First Name>>!  Tell a friend who's new to NYC to subscribe, like the Facebook page for even more events, and follow us on Instagram.

Have a story from an event you went to recently? Hit 'reply' and tell me about it!

Hug and a high five,

Jillian and The Joy List team
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*From time to time, I will be sharing products, courses, and books that I love that have made a real impact on my life or others in our community. In some cases, I may be an affiliate and may earn a referral fee if you choose to purchase these products. I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for people to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites

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