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.

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.

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.

Reflection 2021

As we get to the new year. It is now time to reflect on the year we had. Man time flies. This is why it is important to savor the moments while we can. Reflecting on the year helps us understand the year we had. It also helps us grow and learn for the new year. I like to make this post short and sweet, so here are some questions to think about.

Did you reach your goals this year? How did it go?

What was the highlight of your year?

What was the low?

What challenges did you face? How did you cope?

What achievements are you proud of this year?

What did you learn this year?

Did you take care of yourself this year? Can there be improvements?

What are your overall thoughts of 2021?

Just some questions to think about. Every year is a learning experience. 365 days to experience. I hope you all have a lovely new year. Stay safe out there. Much love<333

Carving your own path(self-care journey)

As we look to others for guidance on self-care, motivational tips, or self help tips. It is important to know looking within ourselves and experiencing things for ourselves will be the major factor in helping oneself achieve their goals, find peace of mind and evolve as an individual. We can consume as much self-help content as we like, but our own journey is what really teach us the lessons we need to learn in life.

I consume many self-help vlogs, podcasts and books for inspiration and creativity. I do find I learn the best from my own experiences through trial and error by finding ways that work best for me. Taking action is how I learn and evolve. Consuming can only get you so far.

We are all different individuals, so there isn’t one size fits all self-care tips. What works for one individual, may not work for another. This is a continues journey, so people’s opinions on things change as they continue through their journey. I know mine has. It is a natural process on our journey through life.

It is important not to follow guidance step by step, word for word, tip for tip. They are a guide, a footprint, a baseline. Take in what works for you. In the end, it is up to you to figure out ways that helps improve your well being. Also, majority of these things are recycled again and again, just worded differently through the perspective of the person giving out the advice.

Take others advice, including mine with a grain of salt. What works for them, may not work for you. Different environments, different personalities, different lifestyles affect what works for an individual. Take in what you can, and create elements that can work for you. All in all, the journey to improving your life starts with you, and your willingness to take actions. Others may help, but your work is what truly matters.

Toxic Productivity

I made a post about productivity a couple of posts ago. Although, being productive is great for us, it can also get to the point of toxicity if we do too much. Like I mentioned before, balance is key, too much of anything can be toxic.

I slightly fell into this trap last Sunday. I have been on a productivity kick last month, but there comes a time you are just not feeling it, or are too burned out mentally to be productive.

I spent most of my Sunday working on my course, and doing my personality analysis. After 6, my brain couldn’t do anymore. I wanted to do the last two analysis, but knew I couldn’t do more, so called it a day. I decided to watch some entertaining Youtube videos to relax.

About an hour of watching. I did start to feel some guilt. I thought I should be more mindful and productive. After a conversation with myself( I do this to work through my emotions/thoughts). I realized after my hard work. I deserved a break to entertain myself. I get into the headspace of having to be productive and mindful all the time. Equating distractions to being a bad thing. We need to entertain ourselves to relax. Being passive to recharge. I can’t always be on, especially after doing so much mental work.

The problem is consuming too much, but on the other side, a problem is being to productive, which can create burnout, and the ability to lose your creative juice. We shouldn’t have too much of anything, even if that thing is good for us. Balance is key. I think it is important to write this, because no one can be mindful/productive at all times, even if people make it seem that way. People may sell that story, but it isn’t reality.

Make habits simple and easy

What has made my new habits more sustainable is by making them simple and easy. I have gotten back into the habit of doing yoga. What had made me stop is because I made it too difficult for myself to maintain the habit by making the habit to restrict time wise. I wanted to do 30 minute sessions each time, but that was too much for me, so I have now cut it down to 10 minutes, or I just do what I can. By doing this it has made the habit more sustainable. I was only motivated to do the 30 minute sessions once a week, but by cutting it down I have been motivated to do it more times in a week, allowing my total minutes a week go up, so a win there. Small steps creates bigger outcomes.

I also stopped trying to read books by chapter, and just read what I can. I realized I would face resistance if I felt the need to read a chapter a day, but by just reading what I can creates a space and freedom to read more often. By just making the habit simple and less restrictive, instead of doing more than you can handle, allows me to continue to do the habit. Putting a time limit on a habit creates resistance, instead just do what you can. 1-3 pages a day is better than not reading at all. One page is still getting the reading you want done. This also goes with coloring for me. I simply do what I can. It allows me to enjoy the hobby more, and repeat the practice. I color for as long as I want, rather than try to finish a whole page.

You may not feel like doing something for a certain period of time one day, so try not to put a time constraint on the habit. Just make the intention to do what you can. Make it simple, easy, and less restrictive. The habit to do it more often than not will become easier.

My habit of meditating hasn’t been consistent, because once again, time constraint was put into it. Now I just sit and see where it goes. If I do it for one minute, that is meditating, if 10 minutes, I meditated. Going with the flow has helped the habit to stick, rather than forcing myself to do 10 minute sessions.

After awhile these habits do get harder to maintain daily. I have been practicing Spanish and Korean. At first, I enjoyed practicing everyday, but that eventually died down. I recognized 3 things that stop us from continuing a new practice/habit. The 1st is excitement dies down. When you first start a habit, the excitement of something novel keeps us motivated to do the habit, but as the habit gets repeated the novelty and excitement dies down, so you lose that motivation to continue. The 2nd is things are not progressing as fast as you like. We tend to want quick results, so if we don’t see it. We give up. I started losing motivation, because I wasn’t learning fast enough. The 3rd is the habit isn’t as easy to do. Now that the excitement is gone. I realize learning a new language isn’t quite easy.

These three things create resistance, which pushes us to stop. Although, I did give up for a bit. I realized these three things, and asked myself if this is really what I wanted to do, did I want to keep learning, the answer was yes, so that pushed me to keep at it. This goes for any habits of mine that I want to continue. The important thing is if this is something you really want to do. I just need to remind myself that things won’t be as easy and go as quickly as I want, but the more I practice the easier it gets, and the more fluent I will get. As I continue I am understanding the language more and more. It is also important to give yourself the opportunity to take days off.

I don’t feel like learning everyday, so I don’t learn. Things are not lost if you have a day off, or two. Because I know the importance of learning. I always find my way back. I think we get stuck with having to do it everyday, but that isn’t reality. I am not always in the mood to do a certain habit that I want everyday, and that is okay. I know I will get back to doing it, because I know it is something I want to do. I haven’t done yoga in a week, but this week I am feeling it, so will get back to doing it again. It comes and goes. You get back on it. Completely giving up on something you want to do to better yourself won’t help you in the long run, and will create guilt and misery. This is why making habits simple, easy, and less restrictive is so important.

Create Moments/engage with the world

I am making more of an intention to engage with the world, rather than passively scroll online, or watch Youtube/Netflix. I want to create experiences, and be creative by actively living in the moment. I like to do things that help me learn and grow.

I have recently been trying to learn more Spanish and Korean. I have been listening to more Podcast. I have made the intention to color more. I have been doing lots of writing for my blogs, and for my course. I have also started making videos. I just want to make more time being active.

I like to live more intentionally and mindfully. Life is about creating moments. Finding little joys along the way. The more I practice living intentionally. The easier the habits become. Engaging means being creative, productive, working on your craft, and connecting with yourself, others and the world around you. I try to build my day around things that spark joy, creativity, growth and value.

I will say recently I haven’t been as mindful as the past couple of weeks, and I have been watching more Youtube and Netflix, but that is totally okay. We need balance. We will not 100% be productive, creative, or mindful all the time. Allow yourself to be passive without guilt. But there should always be an intention to create moments in anyway that suits you. You will be at ease, happier, and find more peace, and rewarding moments if you do so.