Seeking out abundance.

Seeking out abundance.

Ingred Fetell Lee is the author of the wonderful book “Joyful: the surprising power of ordinary things to create extraordinary happiness.” She also created the blog turned following turned visual empire- Aesthetics of Joy. For the obvious reasons we have been following her guidance when designing the eventual user experience for the JoyPops app.

One of the concepts she highlights as a catalyst for joy is abundance. As an ardent wardrobe minimalist, if I am being honest, I initially found the concept of abundance as a source of joy a bit cringy. Our culture seems to have three of everything and still struggle to find joy. But Fetell Lee clarifies she is referring to abundance in terms of sensory information, not doohickeys. As a lover of Matisse, Memphis design, and all things 90’s basketball uniform related I can get behind the joy that comes from abundant patterns, colors, and shapes much more than that which comes from having the right size cake pan for every occasion. She grounds the intrinsic joy we get from visual abundance to our evolutionary roots; for our ancestors scarcity was a regular and unpredictable threat to their daily existence. Thus, we evolved to be drawn toward lush, colorful, abundant environments.

Fetell Lee started an online community called Joy Spotters. The group essentially is given prompts that they use as a map of sorts to search ouy joy. At JoyPops we are exploring making the app a catalyst for user’s to see out joy in their own surroundings through prompts, missions, and encouragement. This morning when we went out for coffee and doughnuts to celebrate my one-year-old’s birthday I went on a casual joy hunt for abundance.

Crushed ice to doughnut sprinkles. Floral patterned walls to floral patterned clothes. Towering hydrangeas to toddler High tops. Repetitive and deeply joyful patterns were all around. And while these items spark joy beneath the surface on an evolutionary level, bringing them to the level of mindful awareness was like shaking the dust off of my now brightened Sunday morning.

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