Last week, on our long drive home from visiting my family for Thanksgiving, we listened to some wonderful podcast episodes, several from The TED Radio Hour, which pulls from TED Talks around one subject and splices them with interviews with those giving the talks. One that had an impact on all four of us was called "Where Joy Hides."
In college, Ingrid Fetell Lee (author of Joyful and founder of the blog The Aesthetics of Joy) sort of stumbled on the idea of a "universal joy" and how it can be used from a design stand point when one of her professors told her that her designs evoked a feeling of joy. She was hooked.
From her TED Talk on the aesthetics of joy:
(Joy) is different than happiness which measures how good we feel over time. Joy is about feeling good in the moment. Right now. And this is interesting to me because as a culture we are obsessed with the pursuit of happiness and yet in the process we kind of overlook joy.
In her quest she found that there are indeed some things that nearly universally elicit a feeling of joy. From a design perspective, there seems to be an aesthetic of joy: round things, bright colors, abundance; things like bubbles, cherry blossoms, swimming pools, tree houses, balloons, google-y eyes, ice cream cones, and fireworks.
Aesthetics - from a Greek word meaning, I feel. I sense. I perceive.
Her TED talk and this podcast interview made us think about a coping mechanism we recently learned called grounding, specifically one technique for dealing with sudden anxiety or a panic attack by shifting your focus outward to things that can be experienced with the senses.
This whole season is a feast for the senses, but we often get so lost in the hustle and bustle, the pressure to be merry and bright, to shop and wrap and decorate and host and dress up and create the magic, that we forget to simply notice the things around us that already fill us with moments of pure joy.
Let's look for JOY, you guys. Let's feel it, sense it, perceive it and share it!
Join my family this December in finding and sharing joy each day by posting images & videos to Instagram using the hashtag:
*Don't forget to tag me @ChristieStockstill and @girltakesphoto so I can share your joyful moments, too!
I'll get us started. I know it's not December yet, but I had to start today, so you guys could start tomorrow! So here's a moment of joy from the access road! I always love the contrast between the sky and the grasses along the highway, but today I was stopped right beside this tree and nobody was stopped beside me. Clean shot, gorgeous colors. JOY!