THE ATMOSQUEER’S JOY MANIFESTO
Why does joy matter?
- Joy literally feels so good!!!! Joy is visceral; it creates loosenings and stretchings in your body that allow you to feel full of possibility (Helena and Ele feel it in their chests, like their bodies are cracking open with the heat of it).
- Joy is deep. It has a volume and depth rivaling that of any other emotion. Instead of thinking about joy as superficial, we need to start exploring the full spectrum of feeling that it encompasses.
- Joy is regenerative and healing. When you feel joy, it extends past you and your interactions and radiates outwards with unlimited and evergrowing POWER. People want to feel radiance and light both within themselves and in connection with other humans. The more joyful humans who enact joy together, the more joy there is for everyone to feast on, play with, and revel in.
- Joy is loving! When you feel joy, you want everyone around you to feel their own joy too, and without having to think about it, you act in ways that spread love. In our day to day lives, joy allows us to be kind to each other in a way that doesn’t feel like work.
- Joy is brave. Feeling joy extends you past the boundaries of what is considered “acceptable,” “cool,” or “normal,” and creates openings for different types of interaction. It pushes you to recognize the ways in which people are meaningful to you and gives you ways to show them that those relationships matter.
- Joy is worthy of your critical attention. The emotion of sadness is theorized to the ends of the planet, but almost no thought is being directed at joy and what explodes around it. The common perception of joy is that it’s a feeling you can only fall into or stumble upon occasionally, and not something you can orient to, focus attention on, and develop tools for experiencing.
What are some strategies for starting to practice joy?
Give joy your attention: be conscious of how different people/places/experiences make you feel joy in different ways.
-When you are feeling joy, write it down the same way that you would write about sadness or anxiety. You might see that the way you experience joy won’t be the same every time.
-Brainstorm a couple situations in which you’ve felt joy – times or scenes in which you’ve felt excited and full of potential. What was happening? Who was there? What did it smell like? What would you need to do to make something like that happen again?
Create a list of words/phrases (a joy vocabulary!) that you can regularly use to cultivate interactions that feel good.
-flourish, “yes!” bloom, “i saw ___ and it made me think of you!” glittery, “yum,” “this feels good,” “thank you so much!”, giddy, “yay!” excited, bold, powerful, “this is so fun!”
Put in extra effort to show people that they matter to you.
-Checking in with your friends to ask how they’re doing/ how an event went/ what things they might be struggling with or are particularly excited about. It feels good to know that your friends think about you and care about how you’re doing!
-Walking down the sidewalk and seeing someone you don’t know very well — but still smiling and saying hi.
-Invite people to events/ gatherings that you think they would be interested in and introduce them to someone you think they would click with.
Laugh!!! Laughter transmits joy between bodies.
^^ see above
This obviously isn’t a complete list and we’re always looking for more ways to practice joy. If there are any joy strategies that you use in your life or want to see in the world – let us know, we’d love to hear them!!