I tend to make notes of things that resonate as I read, and below are a few more nuggets from IFL’s book. My musings may be just academic, but for some of us thought play is a ritual…
IFL’s book‘s about being open to joy*; those glimpses of experience that really vibrate, move, grow, sparkle… sometimes extraordinary, but more-often-than-not, quite ordinary seemingly mundane moments.
On my commute to work, pre-dawn almost every morning, in the same spot, at the top of a hill by the lamppost, I exchange a friendly “morning” with an elderly man drinking a can of larger – it’s strangely life affirming – for me at least.
As IFL reflects, ‘Mary Oliver writes, “Attention is the beginning of devotion” the moment that something captures our attention, we cease to become detached from it.’
‘to intensify the moment, we need to amplify the contrast’… ‘when wonder overlaps with awe… our mind-set becomes more fluid and more accepting of difference…’
How can we recognise and celebrate joy more? Perhaps joy is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans. Celebrating joy might ‘wash away from the soul the dust of everyday living’.
Joy tends to happen in the ‘gap between our cognitive understanding and the sensory reality before us’.
IFL reminds us, ‘Eden Phillpotts once wrote, “The universe is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.” Wonders never cease, as long as we are willing to look for them.’
When we glimpse joy it can surprise us, it ‘intensifies emotion, and acts like a magnifying glass, imbuing small moments with heightened significance.’
Look up at the sky ‘the universal province of dreams’, ‘being in nature liberates our senses’ it ‘evokes a response that is simultaneously joyful and calming’
IFL says joy ‘has a way of showing up when we least expect it’… ‘harmony lies not just in the perfect, but also in the perfectly imperfect’… ‘from the seeds of our own joy, a whole world can be reborn.’
“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world,” Anne Frank
For all the joy that we might find in nature, colour, music, art, and science, the moments that really make life sing are when people interact… I feel that confluence needs to have a foundation of joy if it’s to be truly shareable. An honest quality of purpose is vital to human well-being and growth’
A nobel ambition.
*Where IFL says ‘joy’ I think true ‘life’, not that shallow cultural polished plastic giggle, but that real breath filled energy the reminds us we are alive. Or if you’re more cynical, then as Oscar Wilde said “the secret of life is to appreciate the pleasure of being terribly, terribly deceived.”