• John-Michael Scurio

Aesthetics of joy | Chapter 5

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 Five, we will explore the next two aesthetics of joy - Celebration and Renewal.

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

Celebration is inherent in the concept of joy. When we come together to share good news, the result is a kind of communal joy that is larger than the sum of its parts. Joy spreads infectiously through laughter, music, dance, and the upswept, open-armed gestures of merrymaking. We can harness this festive joy with aesthetic elements that amplify the effervescent, dynamic qualities of our natural expressions of joy: bursting shapes like those of fireworks and starbursts, sparkling lights and glittering materials that scatter light, and strong rhythms that unite a group in synchronized song or movement. After all, the word joy comes from the same root as the word rejoice.

Each year, Eureka Springs has a double celebration on July 4th because in 1776 America declared independence and severed political connections to Great Britain and in 1879, Eureka Springs, Arkansas was founded. This is quite a cause for celebration and we certainly know how to do that in Eureka Springs.

The Annual Fourth of July Parade kicked off in downtown Eureka Springs at 10am on July 4 and it was a truly splendid celebration.

Locals and visitors mixed and mingle in red, white and blue celebrating these two famous birthdays.

Joy isn’t a constant state, but one that ebbs and flows in a cyclical nature over time.

We may find ourselves in delight as we watch cherry blossoms flower in spring, or walking over a fresh blanket of white snow, or the brief harvest of sweet corn or pumpkins.

In Eureka Springs, we restore a dynamic quality to ourselves and our environment as we seek out moments of joy. In fact, visitors far and wide are known specifically to seek out Eureka Springs as a place to experience renewal. Renewal is abundant in Eureka and making Eureka the place to experience renewal is a very common practice.

Whether it is enjoying a hot tub room with a view over Beaver Lake, the relaxation of a 90-minute massage, taking in a Yoga class, spend the morning on the deck in plush bathrobes, or floating the lake with SUP Outfitters.

Eureka Springs is well known for incorporating the aesthetic of renewal into your experience to foster your journey of continued expansion, potential, and growth.

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.

In this 5-part blog-series we highlighted ten aesthetics of joy and how they impact life here in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. Our Eureka Springs is filled with these ten aesthetics of joy offering energy, abundance, freedom, harmony, play, surprise, transcendence, magic, celebration and renewal.

Mundane spaces and objects that we interact with every day have surprising and powerful effects on our mood. Cutting-edge neuroscience and psychology explains why one place makes us feel stressful or competitive, while another fosters delight and care.

We are often taught that our external environment has little or no impact on our inner joy and increasingly, experts urge us to find balance and calm by looking inward — through mindfulness or meditation — and muting the outside world. But ask yourself - why not find joy from the inside and the outside?

Nestled perfectly in the Ozark Mountains here in Arkansas, The Natural State, Eureka Springs offers a natural vibrancy of surroundings, connections, and experiences.

Eureka Springs has much to offer and give. It is my hope that as you explore this wonderful place, you take with you this sentiment - we, the people of Eureka Springs, offer our best selves each day, we participate, we contribute, we create and we harness the power of our surroundings to live fuller, healthier, and truly joyful lives.

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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