What brings you joy? What is joy? Joy is sparked by external sources. It is a wonderful feeling to experience, and shouldn’t be ignored. Although this feeling is short-term. I can help increase our happiness levels. There are plenty of outside sources that can help put a smile on our faces, and I think that is a wonderful thing. I just finished reading Joyful by Ingrid Fetell Lee. She talked about 10 sources of joy. I would like to discuss these sources, and share my thoughts on them.
Light, ripples in water, waves of the ocean, the sound of music/soothing sounds, rain, waterfalls, or feeling the breeze. All these things gives us joy. Colors makes us feel more joyful and safe. Just imagine a colorful house, or bright house, and how much joy you get from it. Being around bright colors can also make us feel safer. Having a bright window can improve mood, productivity and energy.
We have this need to want more, to enjoy things in bunches. This made me think of my plant collection, or tarot/oracle collection. I prefer to have bunches of them, rather than just one, or two. I think about how I like to go in nature when there is more life, leaves, and color, rather than in the barren winter months. Looking at lots of colors is better than looking at one. This can also do with liking variety, and have different types of the same collection of things. You can take shoe collections, or book collections. We like lots of varieties of the things we enjoy. It helps heightens our senses. The differences brings excitement. The abundance of the same thing can be exciting as well, like glitter, polka dots, balloons, stripes, or confetti.
She makes comparisons to nature, and our sense of freedom amongst nature. In the woods, jungles, beaches, or parks. She also equates it to leaving work. There is a sense of freedom leaving work on a Friday. Your weekend is free to mostly do the things you want, which creates a sense of freedom. We are free from the restrictions of work. Freedom can come from a change of scenery. Nature gives us a sense of freedom, because there can be so much to explore. It seems endless at times. It brings us back to our roots. It makes us feel at home.
It doesn’t surprise me that harmony can spark joy. Balance is essential in life, so a preference and enjoyment of harmony makes sense. She compares harmony to the joy of seeing The Rockettes synchronizing kicks. This reminds me of a vegetable arrangement of color coordinated vegetables. It was pretty fun to see. It really caught my attention. The different color of veggies lined up together was pretty cool. We like connections, coordination of similar things. I think of the Kpop groups I like, seeing them dance in harmony is so exciting and joyful. Nothing like an arrangement of things organized together that adds a bit of joy and excitement to our day.
We all like letting our inner child out from time to time. We find joy in going to amusement parks, playing games, playing sports, coloring, painting, going to the beach, or park. From childhood to adulthood. Play is an important aspect of our lives. It sparks joy. I think back to a time I went to a game place. I had a blast playing the games there, especially badminton. There is just something enjoyable about playing around, letting your inner child loose. When you think of a fun place to play. You can think of Disney. No matter what age. That place sparks joy. The rides, the characters, the entertainment. It is a great place to play.
She discusses how the moment of surprise can spark joy. Surprise is a wonderful thing, because it can center us back in to the moment. Think of surprise parties, surprise engagements, or a gift. I remember the joy I felt when someone gave me a gift I didn’t expect. The same events tend to happen daily, so when something new pops up, it creates joy, only when it is a welcomed surprise though. Surprise can be doing something different or unconventional. I think of being surprised by deer’s, or other creatures on my walks, and how joyful that can be for me. We all like to spice things up a bit, surprise is a good tool to do so. We get stuck on familiarity, but maybe adding a little surprise to our day can help spark a bit of joy in our lives.
Seeing balloons in the air, or a hot air balloon, or going on a hot air balloon ride, or watching the sunrise. There is something about seeing things go up, or one being in the air. I enjoy spending my mornings at the beach watching the sunrise. I take at least one day to do so. We find joy in seeing birds in the air, wondering what it would be like to do so ourselves. There is something about going above. It helps one gain perspective, and see the world from a different view. Although, I am no fan of planes. It is quite an experience to see the city from above. Joy and happiness tend to associated with upwards movement. Feeling up, uplifted, high spirits, high energy, or being on cloud 9. While sadness and misery are associated downwards. Feeling low or down, low energy, or hitting rock bottom. The sky is the limit. There is so much potential from above that sparks joy in our hearts. Being above, going higher can allow us to see the big picture, and appreciate things from below more.
Magic shows incite excitement and joy for people. Magic creates more possibilities. It creates more meaning. It is also something different out of the mundane ordinary life that passes by us daily. Santa clause, the tooth fairy, Easter bunny excites children. Movies like Harry Potter excite people of all ages. Even as we grow older the thrill of magic excites us. I think of tarot cards bringing excitement and joy to my life. There is a sense of magic when reading cards. As we get older, we get a bit more realistic, but mystery and possibilities of things still stick with us. She talks about the Aurora lights, although there is a scientific reasoning to it, it still seems magical to experience. You can say the same for a rainbow. The excitement seeing a rainbow brings. Magic incites curiosity, creativity, insight and discovery. Things out of the ordinary showcases there is a possibility for more, and that excites us.
Coming together with others, communicating, dancing, laughing, and eating together. We as humans enjoy coming together with our loved ones. Birthdays, holidays, wedding, anniversaries, baby showers etc,. They all spark joy, although the preparation can be stressful. The actual event is quite fun. The cake, food, drinks, decorations, music, people. All of these things together spark joy. Nothing like being around the people you care about, and celebrating great moments together. We also enjoy celebrating are own moments. Promotions, awards, a new job, or home. We find ways to celebrate for those things as well. Celebrations have been part of society, since the early historic days, and it stays with us to this day.
I find the beginnings of a new season to be the most joyful, and most exciting. She mentions the excitement of the first snowfall, or a flower blooming. I find excitement seeing the leaves turn colors in Autumn. I also enjoy seeing the leaves on trees become full in Spring, and seeing more green around me. I remember being really excited to start my new job, although there was some anxiety, it was mostly excitement. It feels great to start anew. A new home, a new job, the birth of a first child, a marriage beginning. The possibilities excite us. Transitions and beginnings can spark joy and excitement.
These are the 10 aesthetics of joy. I quite agree with this list, and think all spark joy in my life. Which one resonated with you most? I really enjoyed reading this one, and discussing it. I think it is important to always find joys throughout your days, even if it is minimal. Applying any of things, or being mindful of these things can help bring a little more joy and spark to your daily life. I also recommend picking up this book as she discusses much more in the book, and shares more examples.