Joy 101

15th September 2023

For those of you who join us regularly for All Stitched Up!, Ingrid Fetell Lee may be a name that’s familiar to you. Her work focuses on joy, and whilst we’ve shared aspects of her work with you before, she recently brought a workbook to our attention that reminded us not only of the importance of finding joy in our everyday, but also how simple it can be.

One of the ways that Ingrid defines joy is that it’s made up of those things that make us thrive - our time with needle and thread perhaps?!

The workbook showed us five ways to spot joy, savour the moments of joy we find, and make more of them each day.

Firstly, Ingrid reminded us that ‘The little things are the big things.’ Whilst we often spend our time chasing the ‘big’ dream, once-in-a-lifetime holiday or that best-day-ever moment, the truth is that most of our biggest moments are actually experienced through the smallest of fleeting details. And so, it’s important we tune in to what’s going on around us to ensure we don’t miss the moments of joy as they slip by.

The second of Ingrid’s lessons was that in order ‘to find more joy, you have to feel it.’ Whilst many of us would be able to describe what anxiety feels like, Ingrid questions whether we’d be able to pinpoint what moments of joy feel like. She suggests that if we’re able to tune in to moments of joy, the feelings associated with them will become more familiar and therefore more recognisable.

Ingrid’s third lesson was that ‘Joy is something you can create for yourself.’ Whilst we often think that joy is a little like luck – good to have but difficult to predict, research has shown that there are some things that universally bring joy. Sunsets, the smile of a baby or a sprinkles-covered ice cream being amongst them. As Ingrid went on to remind us that we don’t need to leave joy to chance, we quickly came to realise that for those of us who find joy in our time with needle and thread, it is but a stitch away.

Her fourth lesson was that ‘There’s more than enough joy to go around.’ Ingrid believes that when we understand that joy is abundant, we’re more likely to find opportunities to make it so and will come to realise that it will find us no matter what.

Ingrid’s last lesson of the five was that ‘Joy makes more joy.’ Like many of our emotions that build on each other, joy is no different. So, once we start to both create and notice the moments of joy around us, they’ll take on a momentum of their own.

Ingrid’s workbook was – dare we say it – a joy to read! It made us think about what it is that brings us joy and reignited our commitment to seek it out each and every day. We hope the lessons shared here will inspire you to do the same, whether that joy will be found through needle and thread or otherwise.

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