Last week my friend Irma posted a You Tube link on Facebook that brought me great joy. On a dark and dreary winter day somewhere in Moscow, a wedding celebration flash mob occurred. The dance was choreographed to “Puttin on the Ritz,” a snappy song written in 1929 by Irving Berlin. What a memorable way to mark a special day in the lives of a young couple and spread joy to the Muscovites and the rest of the world as the video went viral. I had to give those crazy kids beaucoup credit. Living in Southern California, the land of perpetual sunshine, I could not imagine Mother Nature daring to rain or snow on a bride and groom. Yet, across the globe the bridal party in white finery, ignores the bleakness and light snow flurries. They dance joyfully as if the wedding reception were held on the patio at the Ritz Carlton in Miami Beach. Well done young people!
The creation of a flash mob which according to Wikipedia is “a group of people who assemble suddenly in a place and perform,” remains one of the greatest internet trends. The first time I opened a link to a flash mob I had no idea what to expect. Pressing play my eyes became riveted to the screen as the Opera Company of Philadelphia performed “Hallelujah!” in Macy’s as a random act of culture. I was so excited about the concept I immediately wrote “participate in a flash mob” on my bucket list.
A joyful event has a magic about it that serves to chase away even the darkest cloudy mood. On days when I need a pick-me-up you can find me surfing around the You Tube channel to watch a few of my favorites. Observing the faces of passers- by as they watch with huge grins and begin bouncing to the music fills me with delight. Viewing a flash mob scene is therapy better than a 50 minute hour in a therapist’s office.
Learn to excel at creating joy. In her book, “The Joy of Appreciative Living“, author Jacqueline Kelm offers the reader a 28-day blueprint to make a life change by focusing on appreciation. One of her key suggestions is to query yourself each morning and decide on one thing you can do during the day to increase your joy. Think about that for a moment. It can be a simple act such as taking the time to play catch with your dog or making a lunch date with a good friend.
By answering the question daily your focus shifts to continually creating joy. Furthermore, whatever you focus on grows.
Why not begin such a habit today. Start focusing on creating joy. Have a nasty morning commute? Switch on the comedy channel on Sirius radio in your car or listen to an insanely funny morning DJ. Try waking up your vocal chords by singing your way to the office. According to the internet news media company BuzzFeed.com, the rock band Journey’s song, “Don’t Stop Believing,” is a classic happy tune to belt out in your automobile. Getting the rest of your carpool buddies to join in will heighten the fun.
Got the Monday morning blues? Decorate your office or cubicle with photos that conjure up happy memories; or start thinking Friday by planning a weekend getaway. After that boring salad you consume for lunch, pop in a piece of decadent dark chocolate to give you a serotonin boost.
Get visual. Create a vision board or sign on to Pinterest.com and fashion a bulletin board of images that delight your imagination. Spread the joy by sharing your pins with your friends.
Tired on Netflix binging? Spend your leisure time on a new hobby. Learn to play the guitar or form a book club. I’m thinking of investing in a set of drums. My philosophy is not only learning something new, but beating on a set of skins can release any pent-up stress I may be carrying around.
Speaking of stress, finding one thing to do each day to decrease stress can also bring you joy. If all else fails, watch a flash mob, or better yet create your own and invite me to be in it. I promise it will bring you joy.