Microjoys: Finding Hope (Especially) When Life Is Not Okay (Hardcover)
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Bighearted and hopeful. Unflinchingly honest and healing. A profound compendium of intimate, inspiring essays and thoughtful prompts that will keep you afloat in difficult times and sustain you in the everyday.
Microjoys are a practice of uncovering joy and finding hope at any moment. They are accessible to everyone, despite all else. When we hone the ability to look for them, they are always available. Microjoys are the hidden wisdom, long-ago memories, subtle treasures, and ordinary delights that surround us: A polka-dot glass on a thrift store shelf. A dear friend’s kindness at just the right time. The neighborhood spice shop. A beloved family tradition. The simple quietude of being in love. A cherished chai recipe.
Cyndie Spiegel first began taking note of microjoys during the most difficult year of her life—when she experienced back-to-back unprecedented and devastating losses—and she found that these fleeting moments of hope helped her move through each day with a semblance of comfort and a lot more joy.
Through beautifully written narrative essays and prompts, Cyndie shares the microjoys that have kept her going through tough times and shows us how we can learn to see the microjoys in our own lives. Microjoys don’t change the truth of loss or make grief any more convenient, but they allow us to temporarily touch joy, keeping us buoyed and moving forward, one moment at a time.
About the Author
Cyndie Spiegel is a born storyteller–turned–writer; she’s an aspirational voice and an igniter of powerful conversation around self-acceptance, integrity, and joy. She is a former fashion executive, adjunct professor at Parsons School of Design and Fashion Institute of Technology, and holds a masters of professional studies. She is also a TEDx speaker and a certified yoga and meditation teacher. Her honest storytelling, vulnerable self-inquiry, and penchant for swear words have made her a sought-after speaker for conferences, brands, and organizations, and she has been featured in publications such as Forbes, Glamour, Teen Vogue, and HuffPost. She currently lives in New Jersey with her (very handsome) photographer husband, two cats, way too many patterns, and an excessive number of houseplants. She is the founder of Dear Grown Ass Women, an inclusive and highly relatable social community for women 35+, and she is also the author of A Year of Positive Thinking.
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“The book is a microjoy in and of itself, broken down into short chapters in which Spiegel recalls microjoys she’s experienced and the magical, miraculous ways she’s come to find them. At the end of each chapter, Spiegel provides a prompt to consider, guiding you to discover microjoys in your own life too. Her writing is visual, poetic, and whimsical. It’s refreshing to be instructed to find purpose and calm in something other than elaborate self-care routines and self-help manuals—because actually, as Spiegel demonstrates, the simplest things in life can bring about the biggest change in perspective.”
“After the most difficult year of Cyndie Spiegel’s life, when she suffered devastating and unexpected losses, the author decided to zoom in on the small things and bask in the pleasure they bring. In her new book, Microjoys, Spiegel gives actionable guidance on how to take in these moments of joy and find relief. For Spiegel, those include her mother’s cake recipe, her local spice shop, and a sun-soaked room in her new apartment. Each chapter ends with a prompt to invite readers to shift their thinking this way, too.”
“The real genius of microjoys is that it removes the need for things to be okay and allows things to be just as they are: a mix of joy and sorrow, okay and not okay. Learning how to experience microjoys allows you to learn how to experience microsorrows as well. And experiencing both is what it is to live fully and well.”
—Spirituality & Health
“The book’s basic premise is that we all deserve joy, even when life is terrible. This doesn’t mean constant rewards through treat culture—buy yourself a new jumpsuit!—or faux empowerment through slogans—live, laugh, love!—but seeing the joys that are right in front of us at any moment. The robin in the bush. Even when, or especially when, the odds seem stacked against you. When life really seems to be putting you through it. And to know that these things, these microjoys, will not fix what is wrong but may help the load seem lighter. . . . [Microjoys] reminded me how much of life is right in front of us and how those things we take for granted as just another spin around the sun, just another day, are actually the pieces of a blissful puzzle.”
—The i Paper
“Microjoys give us the agency to choose to embrace our emotions while trying to feel better by showing gratitude for the little things in our lives, allowing us to rest and rejoice in our current state.”
“Spiegel challenges readers to find joy in any situation, especially during the tough times. And she knows first-hand how difficult that can be. . . . In the book, Spiegel shares essays on the microjoys that have kept her going and shows the rest of us how we can learn to see the microjoys in our own lives.”
“Cyndie Spiegel is here to show us how to find any tiny joy at any moment in her lovely and hopeful book, full of essays about the things that buoyed her in a time of anguish. Microjoys will teach you how to look for the little things, like hidden wisdom and ordinary delights, that are all around, as long as you know what you look for.”
“Spiegel offers intimate essays and thoughtful prompts to help you see the micro-joys in life that will keep you buoyed and moving forward in difficult times and sustain you every day.”
—The Redding Sentinel
“Full of heart and truth. This book is an essential companion to remind you that you are not alone.”
—Jenny Lawson, New York Times bestselling author of Furiously Happy
“I’m just going to say it. Microjoys is the book we need right now. No, forget that; it’s the book we always need. And more than the book even, it’s the mind blowingly simple yet profoundly life changing, and for many, weirdly hard, concept of what microjoys are. I’ve lived my life in the between space of grief and joy, deafness and listening, depression and being able to get out of bed, and finally I have found myself represented in a book I can carry in my purse (trust me, I carry what I love as talismans) so when I forget that life doesn’t just have to be one way, that things don’t only have to hard, that binary isn’t the only answer—I can open Cyndie Spiegel’s beautiful and hilarious little bible of truth and I can find the exhale I’ve been searching for. Friends, it’s here. This book is like oxygen but funnier.”
—Jennifer Pastiloff, bestselling author of On Being Human
“Microjoys is an inspiring and empowering book and Cyndie Spiegel is an openhearted, gifted writer. Using her own experiences navigating devastating heartbreaks as a template, Spiegel offers us delightful and profound pathways back to hope and joy. Never bypassing the reality of life’s challenges, the insightful stories and powerful prompts both honor pain and invite possibility. Filled with wisdom, wit, and lots of love, this book is perfect medicine for difficult times and Spiegel is an expert guide.”
—Sebene Selassie, author of You Belong
“Microjoys! I have a name for them now, thanks to Cyndie Spiegel, and a renewed commitment to seek them out—those delights, mercies, and inexplicably magic moments, big or small, that are always right there, if we only open up and pay attention. Spiegel writes that freudenfreude, the opposite of schadenfreude, is the joy we feel for others’ joy. I’m feeling freudenfreude in advance, thinking about the readers who will discover this book, knowing the joy they’ll find in these pages. I’m so happy for them. For us.”
—Maggie Smith, author of Keep Moving and You Could Make This Place Beautiful
“Reading Microjoys is such a big joy. Moving, inspiring, and encouraging, this is the book you read when you are grieving or celebrating or reflecting or curious or wanting more or coming back to yourself. Read it with a full or a heavy heart, a busy schedule or a lazy day, a clear or uncertain future. There is never a bad time to read these words. You'll get exactly what you need. What a gift.”
—Courtney Carver, author of Soulful Simplicity and founder of Be More With Less
“Microjoys is a deep inhalation—a nudge to slowly open your eyes and take in all the gifts your life shows you daily, if only you’d look. What a wonderful, soulful reaffirmation that there is still beauty in this world, despite it all!”
—Karen Walrond, author of The Lightmaker’s Manifesto and The Beauty of Different
“Soulful, generous, and wise. Microjoys reminds us that even in times of struggle—when the notion of anything worth savoring, let alone celebrating, feels beyond reach—bite-sized glimmers of lightness abound. In the margins, the moments, the passing glances, and serendipitous flickers of awakening, Microjoys points the way.”
—Jonathan Fields, bestselling author of Sparked and host of Good Life Project podcast
“Brave. In Microjoys, Cyndie Spiegel encourages us to shift our perspectives. Instead of constantly seeking joy, she teaches us to notice the abundance of joy that already lives within and around us. The pages of this book enable us to find joy in the unlikeliest of places—in moments of raw grief, through stunning disappointments, or when we simply don’t know what to do next. This collection of thoughtful, deeply personal essays will change how you see yourself and your life—through stronger, courageous, and more hopeful eyes.”
—Meera Lee Patel, bestselling author of Start Where You Are and How it Feels to Find Yourself
“In a culture obsessed with silver linings and self-optimization, Microjoys is a much-needed exhale. This down-to-earth, deeply human book is a gentle invitation to notice the beauty and experience real moments of joy in what’s already here, and in who we already are—even, and especially, when life feels heavy and hard.”
—Emily McDowell, writer, illustrator, and founder of Em & Friends
“Microjoys is a true gift to the reader. This book is for anyone looking to infuse their life with joy, meaning, and pleasure, and these pages are steeped with the reminder that even the simplest moments are rich with magic. Cyndie Spiegel provides a beautiful example of the fierce beauty that can come from moving through loss.”
—Claire Bidwell Smith, author of Anxiety
“An authentic, moving, and honest take on what joy can look like during times of grief. In Microjoys, Cyndie Spiegel reminds us that being human is both beautiful and hard and we don’t have to commit to the gospel of toxic positivity to be happy. Instead we can experience both authentic joy and grief if we commit to being open to it.”
—Marisa Renee Lee, bestselling author of Grief is Love
“Spiegel, an author and inspirational speaker, writes from experience on how to balance moments of grief and hardship with sparks of joy. . . . A thoughtful reminder to appreciate the seemingly slight elements of life that can bring unexpected glee.”
“This lovely book can be repeatedly sampled and savored.”