What is a JOYFEST you ask? And how does it differ from the other joyfestivals? A JOYFEST is really a BIG party to induce joy. One year we filled the bathtub, made handmade paper boats and floated them down the river we mad with buckets and bins. There was a chocolate tasting frenzy in one room, a laughter tent in a bedroom, (complete with laugh track on repeat broadcasting from a computer) in the tent filled with pillows. A corporation made signs at their JOYFST exhorting people that they had to tell a joke or write down and leave a joke for the next people heading on into their pop up laughter area. A group of older adults did the whole peanuts in a shell peanut-on-spoon races, three legged races down a wide hallway and generally had a great time laughing and having fun. There has been a lot of really good and fun food, (like deviled eggs and laffy taffys and more.) One simple thing is to have loads of individual bubbles and bubble wands of different shapes and sizes. I’m a big proponent of “the space was meant to be lived in,” so at one point we did this in a 3 bedroom apartment with 35 people, a musician and a what are your joyful goals vision boarding presenter. Recently, a client made up kids and mailed off large padded envelopes of supplies to their participants and sent them all some cues and prompts to bring or think abou for the date of their online JOYFEST and they recorded it for the replay of their joy.
Joy is infectious. There is a Hasidic concept that joy breaks all boundaries – between people and between the different parts of yourself. At Joyfestival Industries, we believe joy can break through many boundaries and we have a lot of fun trying to figure out ways to shine that joy more out into a world that needs heaps more better news, joy and positive connections.
It could be long or short, full of music, poetry, comedy, an interesting speech, or whatever you find you can create to induce healthy joyful feelings in your crowd. If you have friends or others you know who would lend their entertaining talents for the day, either for a nominal fee or free, include them for others to enjoy.
Once you find your rhythm and JOYFEST groove, this wonderful event will flow and come alive. Now several years later, I plan 2-3 of my own personal JOYFEST-themed parties a year; all of which are excitedly anticipated by friends and family, and I consult with others on getting their JOYFEST gatherings up and happening in their lives! The JOYFEST project was created as a day of jumping for joy and other upping one’s Joy-Quotient (JQ) with camaraderie and fun activities throughout the day or time of the event and this can be in a physical or virtual space. My ultimate goal for that day was to increase my guest’s “JQ” by being joyful, being full of joy, or just being open to it.
Joy is also an inner calm and peace for some of us; it doesn’t mean just all fun and games. Joy can be as simple as a hot cup of coffee in the morning, or as complex as the humble knowing that your sense of the divine is always there for you. In busy lives, we often don’t get time or make time to gather for just being together for fun. Sometimes we need to get together just to give each other strength and spark our joy.