We spend so much time thinking about the big moments in life, the loud ones, the extraordinary ones. When we think about success or dreams, our minds leap into the those places. So inevitably when we don’t have them, it doesn’t feel good. Especially when we consider our relationship with the present moment too. There’s something tantalising about the future that grasps our attention. The future is an exciting place to be, full of potentials and delicious ‘what if’s’. Extraordinary things should be something we all have and hope for. But, as I once wrote, “let us shoot for the stars while we remember the splendour of walking on Earth”.
How can we find ways to fully seduce life in the present moment? Enter Quiet Joys. When I was in my early twenties I spent much of my time wishing I was somewhere else. In another city, another job, another reality. I lost sight of not only who I was, but where I was and what was around me. There was always something else that needed my attention. So many precious moments were stolen in favour of desperately seeking whatever was coming next. I had huge dreams that I longed for but the small pleasures of life escaped me.
As is often the case, when it’s one of our lessons to learn in this lifetime, some nonsense always comes to teach it to us. Realising through moving to a city that I always hoped was the answer to my prayers (and vision board), a break-up, and one Saturn return later, I got it. Life was about the bold, audacious, bigger than we can believe things but it’s also and so beautifully, about the Quiet Joys. I’ve been committed to living my life seeing the importance of them ever since.
This is how I define it:
Quiet Joy Def. The overlooked, every day and habitual things that we label as mundane instead of magical. It’s the freshly opened packet of salt and vinegar crisps, 10-minute voice notes from your best friend, the crescent moon seen in the morning, everyone laughing at the same time in the cinema and pigeons following you down the street.
Life is complicated enough; we don’t need our wellbeing to be too. For me, Quiet Joys are something we can all access, we just need to be witnesses of life to experience and enjoy them. Noticing them and being present with them is such a gorgeous way to reconnect to ourselves, others, nature and just…life.
I really want to hear your 100-word quiet joy stories, so please share them with me and contribute to my newsletter Witness.
Here’s one of my recent quiet joys:
In a retail park in Marin County, California I found myself in a position of greatness. One hour to myself in an American supermarket which I affectionately call Disneyworld. Aisle by aisle, basket in hand I moved through shelves brimming with yogurts and more breads than any human can consume. A sensorial museum where I didn’t even need to buy much, but just wanted to explore. Fascinated by the rainbow of colours on packaging, the food descriptions that a marketer spent months on and flavour combinations that don’t exist back home. A perspective shift makes even the mundane feel supercharged.