• John-Michael Scurio

Aesthetics of joy | Chapter 2

In the age of Instagram, how to influence joy is of utmost importance. www.iloveureka.com is my place to influence more joy and bring more awareness to the joy that is around us.

Our home, Eureka Springs, AR, is brimming with what one might call "aesthetics of joy." All around this wonderful town the beauty of the natural environment joyfully surrounds you and when you sprinkle-in the many things created by the residents and visitors - aesthetics of joy are everywhere here in Eureka.

In this blog series, we will explore these aesthetics of joy, understand them and learn more about why we are drawn to them. Most importantly, we will learn what they do for us.

Aesthetics of joy is a simple, powerful idea: our greatest source of joy is the world around us.

At one time or another, the words above have all been used to describe Eureka Springs, AR. As we explore these colorful descriptors and understand more about them, I encourage you, as you journey about in and around Eureka Springs, to take a joyspotting adventure to seek out these wonders that make our homes, our connections and our lives very joyful.

In Chapter Two, we will explore the next two aesthetics of joy - Freedom and Harmony.

An emerging body of research shows that there is a clear link between our surroundings and our mental health. Yet nearly all the advice on how to find happiness ignores this fact.

Designer Ingrid Fetell Lee sheds light on the relationship between our environment and our emotions, and share inspiration for living a more joyful life through design.

Let's delve into the art of finding and creating more joy in the world around us.

“In short, all good things are wild and free,” wrote Henry David Thoreau in a succinct expression of the joy we find in simple, unobstructed movement. Freedom delights us because it is what enables us to pursue everything else that matters in life. We find an aesthetic experience of freedom in open spaces and the sensations of wild nature. Incorporating this aesthetic, through negative space and greenery, as well as natural textures, materials, scents, and sounds, can help soften and ease the constraints of the man-made world.

Eureka Springs is nestled deep in the Ozark Mountains in The Natural State - Arkansas. This is a perfect place to experience a true sense of freedom.

Travel, as we all know, is an inherently joyful experience, especially when we’re doing it for fun. Though it is often full of little hassles, from removing our shoes at the security checkpoint to flight delays to waiting on lines, we’re more than willing to put up with them because of the joy that lies on the other side. Our travels can refresh and restore us, bring us new discoveries and connections, and open us up to new ideas. They’re full of the little moments that make us feel a bit more alive. A week, or even a few days in Eureka Springs can infuse a sense of freedom quickly into one's life as one escapes from life's little hassles.

Rent a tree house!!

What an exceptional experience to stay in a tree house while visiting Eureka Springs.

This experience is hands down awe-inspiring. The luxuries of a modern environment in the privacy of a secluded home nestled high in the trees.

Everyone has a favorite season when coming to Eureka Springs, and regardless of whatever season you prefer, a tree house experience will bring ever-lasting memories and a lingering sense of freedom to your life.

Please Note:Autumn is nature's celebration: the Ozarks are blanketed by a kaleidoscope of brilliant colors, changing subtly in texture from valley to mountaintop.

Underneath the joy we find in a well-organized closet or a perfectly symmetrical seashell lie powerful principles of balance and rhythm, which together create a feeling of joyful harmony. Order in nature frequently suggests the presence of life, and is often associated with well-being and safety. The symmetrical shapes and geometric patterns of the harmony aesthetic combat a sense of disorder or chaos in the outer world, and enables the smooth flow of daily life, both physically and mentally.

Naturally so ...

You knew this was coming. Not only does life in The Natural State evoke an indigenous sense of freedom, nature has been shown to reduce anxiety and bring harmony, even in doses as small as a single potted plant. If your home doesn’t have nearby green space, or even if it does, adding houseplants can provide a surprising sense of harmony.

Soften the mood ...

A quick drive around Eureka Springs to view the many homes, one will quickly learn that homes here are quaint and humbly appointed with aesthetics of joy all around. It's not uncommon to see a fluffy shag rug, a colorful pillow or a new throw blanket.

Soft textures do a lot to decrease anxiety in a home. They soften a space visually and smooth out hard edges. They also absorb sound, making the acoustics of a space warm and gentle, as opposed to jangly and agitating.

Some research also shows that when we’re in a negative mood, our brains naturally prioritize tactile stimuli over visual ones. (The hypothesis is that this tendency evolved to prompt mammals to seek out maternal touch. Security blankets tap into this same emotion.)

Eurekans are optimistic. They go with the flow and the embrace life by living in the moment, being kind and hospitable and doing the right thing.

Optimism is important - it drives us all toward more harmonious life experiences and connections.

Today’s problems are rarely created by people that view things as "too sunny." This is because the troubles of the world are so continually brought to our attention that we need lots of "stuff" that can preserve our sunny dispositions.

In Eureka Springs, we certainly have lots of "stuff" - and we have much to be grateful for to preserve our sunny dispositions and the sense of harmony that is Eureka.

Music, Art, Culture, Shopping, Creativity, Innovation, Color, Nature . . . the list goes on.

There's no other place in Arkansas, and in the USA for that matter where kids/families, leather bikers, gays, lesbians, athletes, campers, transgender people, hippies, entrepreneurs, as well as spiritual, artistic, and musical people, visitors, pet people, locals, people that love to volunteer, homeless people, designers, teachers, healers and much, much more come together to make this eclectic town something truly special to behold.

Harmony and rhythm ...

Drumming in the park is an event that takes place every Fourth Saturday at 6:00pm in Basin Park in Downtown Eureka Springs. (Bring your own drum.)

What could be more harmonious than this? All kinds of people, from all of those aforementioned walks-of-life (and much more) coming together in harmony in the heart of our downtown park to simply socialize and make music together.

Check out the next event here.

“Cheerfulness is an achievement, and hope is something to celebrate.” - Alain de Botton, Author, Art is Therapy

Aesthetics of joy is a simple, powerful idea: our greatest source of joy is the world around us. Eureka Springs, AR offers an abundance of freedom and harmony. Please get out there and explore beautiful Eureka Springs and enjoy.

Aesthetics of joy is a blog-series of five chapters where we seek to discover joy all around us. Joyspotting is real, it's a thing and there is much joy to spot and experience here in Eureka Springs. In this series. we will take you on a joyful journey around Eureka Springs, Arkansas. Take a moment to check out the different chapters in this blog-series on www.iloveureka.com


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