I randomly came across a sample chapter from an author and designer called Ingrid Fettell Lee – from a book called, Joyful: The Surprising Power of Ordinary Things to Create Extraordinary Happiness. How could I not be drawn to this? Alongside the myriad of colours that sprinkled the front cover, it could not fail to entice.

Unsure of what to expect, I googled Ingrid first. More smiles, she is the founder of Aesthetics for Joy established to ‘help you find more joy in life and work through design’. Then there were free resources – all in brilliantly life-enhancing complementing colours, and as you would expect from a designer, all with beautiful layout. My mind felt calm, my body at ease. ‘50 Ways to Find Joy Every Day’ was the first download, and before I knew it I was mind-deep in Joy 101 becoming one of her ‘cheerleaders of small wins’.

A big life is made of small joys. In this workbook you’ll learn how to spot them, savor them, and make more of them every single day.

A rabbit-hole hour later, still not having looked at her book, I was feeling happy. Ingrid had brought me into her world. Her ‘School of Joy’. And it was time to consume my sample chapter. Initially, with a design background, I did wonder how she would balance her approach to inner and outer joy. There was a shining ‘blurb’ on the front cover from Arianna Huffington, possibly boding well. Let’s begin. Ingrid talks of the ancient philosophical traditions that look within for joy and equanimity, suggesting she’d always been made to feel that looking for joy ‘outside’ was superficial. However, she goes on to say, people find immense joy in the world around.

They smiled, too, at the peachy light of the sunset and at the shaggy dog with the yellow galoshes. And not only did people seem to find joy in the world around them, but many also put a lot of effort into making their immediate environment more delightful. They tended rose gardens, put candles on birthday cakes, and hung lights for the holidays. Why would people do these things if they had no real effect on their happiness?

Ingrid talks of the research that shows that our environment is correlated to our mental wellbeing. From light rooms, to décor, cut flowers to art. She went on to dig deeper – what brought joy? Hot-air balloons to ice-crem sundaes, rainbows to roses, the list goes on. From there she created her ‘ten aesthetics of joy’. I was hooked.

Suffice to say I signed up to Ingrid’s newsletter. The first that arrived presented a split-screen image of her painted office. Half was pale pink, the other half pale pink. But… the pinks were very (very) subtly different. She explained how she had re-painted her office to get the colour ‘just right’, to bring joy. I looked at the image. One half made my body tense, the other relax completely. Re-paint your rooms was the mantra (of course unless you felt fully at ease with them).

I could go on. Suffice to say Ingrid is bringing me joy in all kinds of unexpected ways. Of course I have bought the book, re-decorated the wall, and changed the colour of my pencil case. Frivolous you may say. Perhaps. Joy-making yes. And to assure you there’s a good deal of inner work content amongst the pages too if you fancy a read.

Have a joyful day Hubbers!