Aesthetics of Joy

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.

Energy

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.

Abundance

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.

Freedom

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.

Harmony

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.

Play

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.

Surprise

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.

Transcendence

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

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.

Celebration

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.

Renewal

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.

Being Awake

I really liked this passage in my Mindful Journal. I distanced myself from mindful practices for a bit, but I am starting to tune myself back to the moment more.

I never thought of being mindless or distracted as ‘being asleep.’ But I can see it. Being present is truly being awake. You awaken your senses, your mind, your creativity, your inner peace and more.

I would like you all to read this passage, and answer the questions for yourself. This can make you more aware of your own mindful practices, and what can keep you in tuned with it. Let’s bring us back to being awakened and alive.

Getting Out Of Comfort Zone(Experience Life)

I recently went to D.C on my own. Although it can be scary going to places on your own. It is better to face whatever fears you have. I ended up having a really great experience. I was able to explore more of the city, and see a museum. I now plan on going again later this year to explore more places there. I spent most of my winter days at home, so I felt I needed a change of pace.

I also recently went to a Birthday celebration for my friend. I was nervous/anxious to go, because there would be others there I am not familiar with. I decided to go regardless of my fears, one for my friend, and the other reason was just to do something I don’t normally do, and just live. I ended up having a blast, and enjoying the company of all the people there. It is important to experience life, have fun, and do new things. You will most likely not regret it, and end up having more fun, than you thought. You will also make some great experiences. Try not to let your fears stop you from living life, and gaining new experiences.

Slow Down

This is a practice I need to remind myself, during work. Rushing reduces quality, and it also burns us out quicker. The work always gets done. Just pace yourself. You are only one person, just do what you can. It is important to have these reminders to calm ourselves down, and practice the art of slowing down.

We live in a rush society that can quickly burn us out. As I have heard, we all can be replaced, so try not to overwork yourself when you can, not easy, but can be done. Remind yourself that your health comes first, so slow down, take breaks when you can. Lets hope I practice this today, and you all as well.

Mindful Thought

Some times it just takes a couple of minutes to step back and breathe. Slow down, calm down, and live more mindfully. Self compassion and compassion for others can bring much more peace to your life.

It can allow us to see a different perspective on things. We can be busy, distracted, anxious, angry etc, but there is always mindfulness practice to center us back to peace and calm internally. We may abandon it from time to time, but it is a useful tool when you are willing to put in the time and be patient.

The Situation Just Is

As I have to go into work this weekend. I am just thinking how much it sucks to do so. I don’t want to work 10 days straight. Now the situation won’t change, so there is no point in being negative, and complain about it. That does nothing for me, but I also don’t see the positives either. Yes, more money, but that is of no importance to me at the moment. Yes, easy money, but rest is more important. If I work, I want to work.

I don’t think there needs to be a positive to everything either. It just is. It sucks. I don’t like it, but I will keep going, and live with it. My day off will come. This will end. Sometimes things in life suck, take it as it is, no negatives or positives. I mean if you want to focus on the positives, if there is one for you, than go for it, but I won’t force it, if I don’t see it. I rather just be neutral. My day off will come. As of now, I deal with it, and try to enjoy the little time I have at home, while I am there.

What I am saying, is you don’t have to look at things in a positive or negative light. Take the situation for it is, and keep moving forward. Remind yourselves, better days will come. Life isn’t always fun, or go the way you want, and that is okay. Awareness of this can set you free, and keep your mind at peace.

Spark Your Creativity

I haven’t been all that creative at the moment, due to being distracted with learning Tarot. But this is a reminder we all have a creative power in us. It usually takes some time alone, or with others. Just taking a moment of silence to sit, and let creativity spark. It has been awhile, since I sat still, and allowed my thoughts to flow, which can create a lack of creativity. If you feel a lack of creativity, think have you been distracted?, have you not spent time alone with your thoughts? As of now, I am enjoying my tarot process, so I am fine with my lack of creativity to write, but I am improving on working on my intuitive powers, so all is not lost.

Coping With Stress

Stress is relatable. We all have to deal with it from time to time. Life has its stressors. Stress is part of life, no one welcomes it, but it is reality. Its our bodies way of telling us we are dealing with too much. So the question is, how do we navigate through it? We shouldn’t ask why does this happen?, but rather, how can we handle it? There are a couple of ways to deal with it, and some ways to prevent stress from ruling your life. Not all are easy, but awareness is a start.

Breathe-Well we have to breathe, so what is the big deal? The point is to take slow, deep breaths when you are feeling overwhelmed. I do this at work when I am feeling stressed. It can be helpful.

Recognize it won’t last- We should try to remember that the situation won’t last, eventually things will come down. Reminding yourself of this can be helpful. Life continues to flow. There will be light at the end of the tunnel.

Be around nature-Having a view of nature, having a plant, going outside can help boost your mood, and calm your nerves. There is a sense of peace that comes with nature.

Eat healthy-Having balanced meals can help the body combat the struggles of stress, and keep your body working at its optimal level.

Let your thoughts out-By journaling, or talking with others. This can be a nice relief to let it out. Rather than having it bottled up inside.

Connect with friends-Having fun, laughing, talking with friends can be a great way to relieve stress.

Exercise, Practice Yoga, Meditate-These methods have been known to reduce stress, cultivate calmness, and boost ones mood.

Try not to react-It is easy to react in these moments, but it can also make you feel worse doing so. It is best to let the emotion happen, and react when it is settled. We are not at our best at our emotional peak.

Accept-Acceptance is the key to freedom. Accept the situation for what it is. Pushing against it can create more misery. Accept the situation for what it is can help you move forward, and release the tension.

I just wanted to post these reminders when dealing with stress, because stress is very prevalent, and it is important to have some good strategies to combat it, since it is a big part of our lives.

Balance is Key

It is important to remember that life is about balance. The yin and the yang, the dark and light, night and day, the good and bad, positive and negatives. All are a part of life. The all or nothing, black and white thinking isn’t good for our mental health.

Life is filled with good and bad moments. The good makes you feel happiness, comfort and peace. The bad ones cultivate creativity, strength, resilience and lessons. You will have high and low emotions. The high emotions bring us comfort, and they are enjoyable. The lows can tell us about ourselves, others, and can teach us valuable lessons.

Being productive helps you reach your goals and achieve your dreams, but there will be times when you need to relax and do nothing. We are humans, not machines. Give yourself permission to be human. We can’t always be on the go.

Too much of anything, or too little isn’t good for us. We need balance. Eating whole foods is great, but indulging in processed/sugary foods isn’t the end of the world, if there is balance. Minimalism is a great concept, but you can also miss out on some of the wonderful things and creations humans created to make life for us more convenient. Indulging in too many things can also not be the best thing to do. It disconnects you from what is truly important, and valuable to you. Once again, balance is important to remember.

Life is about ups and downs, twist and turns, as I have mentioned, a rollercoaster. Life will not always be smooth, and it will not always be bad. We got to learn to embrace all the things life has to offer. We may not want it, but reality doesn’t care what you want, so accepting balance is what can set you free. Balance is important for our survival. We may not like the low moments in life, but those are the times that mostly spark inspiration, creation and motivation. At the moment it sucks, but beauty can come out of it eventually.

Refresh(A New Year)

A new year has arrived! Time to refresh ourselves. It is time to get back to business. Back to our goals. The holidays are a busy time. We can easily get distracted, during these times, not saying it is a bad thing though. December is the time to spend time with love ones, have fun, and relax.

The new year brings a fresh start. I don’t necessarily believe a new year brings a new you, but it can be a fresh start to get back on track. If it is to get healthier, work or goals/projects, or make changes.

With the holidays, and mostly being sick all month. I lacked motivation to do anything productive, but that is okay. The new year is about making fresh starts, or restarting the things you were working on.

We can appreciate what we done last year. We got through the ups and downs. We learned important lesson throughout the year. The new year is about hope, mystery, discovery, and new challenges.

Use this time to focus on what is important to you, and allocate your time to those things. I decided to make a list of things that are important to me, so I can make sure I make time to work on those things, or make time to do those things in the new year.

I seen a lot of people say “I hope only good things happen in the new year,” or “this year will be your best.” I am not a big fan of these statements. Challenges will happen, it is reality. You set yourself up for misery with these unrealistic statements. You never know how the year will go. Just take it day by day. You can hope for the best, but that is all you can do. Just remember everything may not go your way, but you can always put in the effort to try to make it a good year. Focus on what you can control. Your efforts make things happen.