I had an inspired conversation with my gorgeous teacher Keith today surrounding a speaker he enjoyed at Vivid Fest. The warm hearted aesthetic was discussing the link between form and function. The notion that things that are useful can and should also be beautiful. I love that people from Alessi to IKEA have changed our expectations of a kettle from something that heats water to an object of whimsy and grace that enjoys a spot on our bench top. The link between function and beauty feels like a positive step forward in our lives. And why should we limit this experience to our kitchenware and pillows? There is so much room to add beauty to our functional daily habits and routine. Cooking is a rich area to consider. We need to add fuel to our bodies several times a day. The ritual of shopping for fresh ingredients, preparing food with kindness and attention, and assembling a plate that allows our eyes to feast first, is a simple way to add a layer of beauty to this functional need. And what about brushing your teeth, pouring a glass a water or climbing into bed for sleep? Creatively, we can constantly add beauty to our routine. And more beauty equals more JOY in the world. So get inspired and create some beauty today.
When my gorgeous partner, Richard, purchased the JOYSTORM url for me I was over the moon with gratitude for the perfect gift. He also included the url JOYSTORM TODAY which feels like such a relevant and important battle cry for living our lives with true levity and happiness. Too often we humans can dwell in the past, reliving entire conversations and decisions which ultimately tends to lead to a state of regret or even sadness. Or, we jump forward into the mystical future and find ourselves imagining full feature length films of how our romantic lives will unfold, or the complete adult lives of our tiny children. Caught in the cycle of focusing on an imagined future tends to lead to agitation or anxiety. So, where can we find the JOY? Well, it takes place right here, in this exact moment. When we give our attention to today and exactly what is happening now . . . that’s the magic spot where JOY lives.
I think Winnie the Pooh knows this fully:
“What day is it?” “Its today” squeaked Piglet. “My favourite day”, said Pooh
We can’t change the past and we certainly can’t control the future. So go ahead, make this day your favourite one and create some JOY TODAY!
My yoga teacher was sharing the notion of ‘self interest’ and how we all seem to be striving for something, working to accomplish goals, perhaps even purchasing something that has importance to us. It struck me that while these traits are all very human and necessary, they reflect a tunnelled focus towards ones self. Conversely, the world seem to be calling out for more and more compassion directed its way. Wherever we look, if we slow down long enough to truly see, we can find people in need. Some have lost everything in a natural disaster and others might just be struggling to find a bit of joy in their day.
So what can we do to lift our gaze and shift our focus from self to others? I believe yoga can play a role. When we are in the mode of striving, accomplishments and pushing to get ahead we seem to be holding onto things rather tightly. Both in our minds and our bodies. As we practice yoga and move through the asanas on the mat we are stretching muscles and spine, literally creating more space in the body. And perhaps this newly found space can move towards the heart, making just a little bit more room. And who knows . . . maybe that heart space can be filled with compassion towards others.
There will always be time to fulfil our own small self interests, but sometimes the urgency lies in extending ourselves and offering something we have – even a smile – to others.
If you believe in a JOYful world maybe create a little space for compassion today.