A New Exploration for 2013: Jars of Joy!

January can be a ‘blue’ month…the coloured lights have been boxed away for another year, the skies are filled with perpetual grey clouds, our bank accounts seem as though they have been empty for an eternity…but somewhere in amongst there is always a flicker of light, a moment of laughter, a glimmer of beauty or a gust of hope which lifts our spirits just high enough to be able to see over the horizon into the future. And this doesn’t just apply to January. We all know life has its ups and downs but if we choose to see the kindness, the happiness and the joy, if we choose to seek it out, to actively want to find it…will we feel better about ourselves, each other and the world?

This is my question. And this is how I decided to challenge myself to find out:

By Making a Jar of Joy!

Each time I experience joy (and I realise the possibilities and permutations of this are endless!) I will acknowledge it, register it, savour it and record it by scribbling it down on any piece of paper which is to hand and keeping it tucked up safely in my jar. Jam jar, coffee jar…any jar. But now it is not simply a jar, it is MY Jar of Joy!

And then…in 12 months time (or there abouts) when once again the January blues are tapping their icy fingers on my door I will open my Jar and be reminded of just how much joy there is in the world if you simply allow yourself to search for it, capture it and bring it into your soul.

I flippantly mentioned this idea to a few friends and family who I thought may appreciate the concept and the response was well…joyous! So many people wanting to join in, discussions erupting over tea about the possible impacts this would have on individuals and communities, and the variety of different types of joy which different people may find dependent upon their age, circumstances, life experience…the list goes on.

So, this is a request for anyone out there to join the Jar of Joy project.

My aim, after 12 months, is to gather in all the Jars of Joy (anonymously and confidentially) from all those who wish to add their joy to this project and somehow send the joy back out into the world in another format…performance, art work, book, film…all dependent upon where this journey takes me, and you!

Anyone who does not wish the contents of their Jar to be used in this way, but would like to share their experience of taking part in the project, please do get in touch, I would love to hear from you and I have a sneaking suspicion that the journeys made on the road to a Jar full of Joy will be as fascinating as the contents themselves!

I am developing a series of creative workshops to explore the meaning of joy and/or as a starting point for schools (from KS1) and community groups to begin their Jar of Joy project. If you would be interested in this for yourself, your school or a group you are involved with please do get in touch.

This isn’t a science experiment. This isn’t a test. It is simply something which inspires me, intrigues me, excites me and fills me with joy! If you would like to join me on my journey in some way you would be very, very welcome!




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