My camera lens focuses on the distant reaches of my backyard. Trying to capture an image of a particular bird, I’ve been sitting motionless on a rock for about 10 minutes. I sense movement to my right and turn my head to see a squirrel perched on a nearby rock. The squirrel sits and stares at me as if to say, “What about me? Aren’t you going to take my picture?” I chuckle and say out loud, “Well, if you give me a smile, I’ll take your picture too.” Lo and behold, the squirrel smiles.
#1 – Connections Between Man and Nature
Indonesian artist Elicia Edijanto creates simple, yet emotional juxtapositions of humans and nature. More specifically, her delicate black and white watercolor paintings portray connections between children and animals. There is a certain vulnerability displayed in her work – not just that of the children, but also that of the majestic animals. Check out Striking Black-and-White Watercolors Depict Children and Wild Animals to see examples of her work.
#2 – Developing Gratitude
Living a life of gratitude keeps me in the present. One of the things that I am grateful for right now is having the time and the wherewithal to pursue my hobbies – like sitting and photographing wildlife in my backyard. I appreciate that to do so is a luxury not afforded to everyone. What are you grateful for? Developing an attitude of gratitude does not come easy to everyone. If you need a little help, read 5 Ways to Cultivate an Attitude of Gratitude to get you thinking and start the process.
#3 – 36 Questions
The title of an article in Psychology Today Want to Get Closer to Your Partner? Try These 36 Questions is slightly misleading. Sure, if you were to ask your partner any of the questions from the three sets of 12 questions, you would learn more about him/her and possibly become closer. But, I think the 36 questions are good thought-provoking questions that would shed light on anyone you want to know better – a friend, a co-worker, your children, etc. Try answering some of the questions yourself. Maybe in the process, you’ll learn something about yourself that you didn’t realize before. To provide you with a brief preview, here are the first questions from each set:
Set 1, Question 1: Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?
Set 2, Question 13: If a crystal ball could tell you the truth about yourself, your life, the future, or anything else, what would you want to know?
Set 3, Question 25: Make 3 true “we” statements each. For instance ‘We are both in this room feeling … “
#4 – Valentine’s Day Food and Crafts
Valentine’s Day brings smiles to the faces of so many people. In a little over two weeks that special day will be here. For inspiration, take a look at these 41-Heart-Shaped DIYS to Get You Excited For Valentine’s Day and let the fun begin!
#5 – A Smile Is . . .
“A smile is happiness you’ll find right under your nose.”
“Smile, it is the key that fits the lock of everybody’s heart.”
Anthony J. D’Angelo
“A smile is a curve that sets everything straight.”
“Today, give a stranger one of your smiles. It might be the only sunshine he sees all day.”
Quoted in P.S. I Love You, compiled by H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
Now go and spread joy!