Joy oh joy!
Imagine this: life’s tough and just when you think it can’t get any tougher, your fairy godmother appears and grants you three wishes. Or you find washed up on a beach a jewel encrusted, coloured bottle with a genie inside. If only, right? But what if there really is magic in the world, that all we need to do to feel gratitude or joy – which is all any of us truly want – is to don a pair of cardboard glasses, spread love heart cut-outs (zoots), or wave a toy wand?
Cue Amanda Gore, a presenter at Happiness & Its Causes 2012. Amanda was one of the event’s most popular speakers and watching her here it’s easy to see why. In a talk that oozes joie de vivre and effervescence, Amanda introduces us to The Joy Project, her mission to “eradicate fear and to help people realise they’re truly astonishing beings of life”, a reference to a poem by popular Persian poet Hafiz.
In My Brilliant Image, Hafiz (as translated by Daniel Ladinski in I Heard God Laughing), conveys in just four lines the truth that so many of us still don’t perceive, much to our diminishment:
I wish I could show you,
When you are lonely or in darkness,
The Astonishing Light
Of your own Being!
Amanda’s hope is that through The Joy Project, and spin offs such as her book, The Gospel of Joy, she can help lead people out of the “endless pitch black corridors” of their mind and into “the most extraordinary light. You can light up the whole world with it, and that light inside will eradicate your fear forever,” she says.
To ignite your own inner light and appreciate the inner light in others, Amanda outlines 12 Stepping Stones of Joy including gratitude, generosity, laughter, love, and forgiveness. And just in case you were wondering where cardboard glasses, zoots and fairy wands fit in, having loads of fun as you skip from stone to stone is the common denominator in all of them.