Joy Hopwood on the meaning of Abundance

Joy Hopwood


Joy Hopwood is an actor, writer, director and curator, and a great pal of mine. She rose to prominence as the first ever Asian-Australian to be a Play School presenter back in the 90s. I asked Joy what abundance meant to her, and here's what she had to say:

When you look up the dictionary meaning of “abundance” it says: “A very large quantity of” (noun) or “plenty, affluence, wealth.” (synonyms).

And when I ask random people what “abundance” means to them, many of them reply: “It means having a lot of money!”

But to me “abundance” has less to do with external things like money and fame, and more to do with inner abundance. Like having an abundance of creativity or inner joy.

Every day I like to try to write in my grateful journal the things I’m happy about. The more things I can write about, the happier I am. I feel abundance in my life. Examples of some things I’ve written lately are:

  • 19/7/2013 "My friend Jennifer did a great comedy performance, handling hecklers well. She received flowers from a wonderful, kind fan. "
  • 27/ 7/2013 “My friend Maria produced a fantastic film Change of Our Lives which she acted and wrote. I’m so proud of her achievements.”
  • 28/7/ 2013 “Today I baked a cake and I controlled myself and only ate half of it.”

Personal achievements, along with those of my friends,  give me great joy and happiness. This equals abundance to me.

I’m extremely happy and feel abundance in creativity when I’m on a writing roll or creating an art piece.

When I’m really down, which happens sometimes when I miss my mother, who passed away from bowel cancer, or when friends let me down, I go to my JOY “abundance” box.




Joy's Abundance box



It is a small box filled with handwritten “pick me up” activities. I put my hand in the box and pick out one JOY activity. Examples include:

  • Play 15 mins of a DVD of my mum
  • Put a green mask on my face
  • Bake something
  • Go to an art gallery for an hour

These are just a few examples.

To me, abundance is always being able to create JOY in my life and also being able to spread that JOY to others. And I feel I have a lot to give. This year I’ve started the Joy House Film Festival, which features short films dealing with the theme of JOY. My purpose is to recognize emerging filmmakers, especially young, multicultural and indigenous film makers; giving them a voice. I hope this will be a free yearly event to share JOY and abundance with everyone. Also I try to find something positive to say to someone I don’t know. A few weeks ago I told an elderly lady that I loved her colourful rainbow beanie and she said that she hadn’t had a compliment for over 40 years, since when her husband was alive.

Therefore abundance is something I can give because I have plenty of JOY to share and it’s something that has great inner meaning to me; great abundance in creativity and happiness. 

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Thanks Joy!
If you'd like to read more about ideas of Abundance, and see a terrific book list on the subject, check out my own post over at the Universal Heart Book Club.

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