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Posts Tagged ‘spreading joy’

Trays of Persimmons An outing to a local farm provided me with photographic inspiration. Trays of plump and shapely persimmons, waiting for distribution to food banks, caught my attention. Too bad I didn’t think to bring my camera! Knowing that I was seconds away from jumping in the car and driving back home, my husband suggested, “Why don’t you try using the camera on your cell phone?” While photographing the smooth-skinned beauties, I yelled over to him, “You’re SO smart. Guess I’ll have to keep you around for awhile!”

#1 – Feed Your Brain
165 Photography feeds my brain, but so does watching foreign films. Doing so, I’m forced to read subtitles quickly and I learn about different cultures. Lately, I’ve been watching movies from one particular country and, as a result of that, I’m learning a new language. When I read, 17 Simple Skills Which Can Be Astonishingly Good For You . . . , I discovered a few more ways to feed my brain. How many of these activities do you do?

#2 – The Ever Versatile Muffin Tin
31 Fun Treat You Can Make in a Muffin Tin Can brain food be made in muffin tins? Give that concept some thought and, in the meantime, check out 31 Fun Treats to Make in a Muffin Tin. Clever and tasty-looking!

#3 – Ways to Happiness
Little Ways to Find Happiness Surprisingly, to some, but maybe not to others, the first thing listed on Little Ways to Find Happiness is to “own at least two bubble machines.” Reading the other nine suggestions might make you feel pretty happy, too.

#4 – 500 Years
See female images throughout the ages morph together during 500 Years of Female Portraits. It’s amazing!

#5 – The Only Thing
“I do not care what car you drive. Where you live. If you know someone who knows someone who knows someone. If your clothes are this year’s cutting edge. If you are A-list or B-list or never heard of you list. If your trust fund is unlimited. I only care about the words that flutter from your mind. They are the only thing you own. The only thing I will remember you by. I will not fall in love with your bones or skin. I will not fall in love with the places you have been. I will not fall in love with anything but the words that flutter from your extraordinary mind.”
― Andre Jordan

Now go and spread joy!

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Spread joy. It doesn’t take much, really it doesn’t. There are no guidelines, no right or wrong ways to do it, no right time . . . . Occasionally, a little bit of planning is involved, but mostly it’s spontaneous. Do it and let your actions be joyfully contagious!

There is not a finite number of ways to spread joy, but here are a few suggestions:

Be Kind
When you perform acts of kindness, random or specific, you not only do something good for others, but you make yourself feel good, too! Whether your acts are acknowledged or not, you have the satisfaction of knowing that you sent positive energy out into the universe and that you may have made a difference in people’s lives. And if you are ever lucky enough to be on the receiving end of someone’s kindness, pay it forward. Don’t let the positive energy die – keep it going!

Listen
In our increasingly busy lives, we often don’t have the time or take the time to really listen to what those around us are saying. With a million distractions at our disposal, do we listen carefully enough to read between the lines or to catch innuendos? By listening to others intently, we are conveying to them that they are important to us and that what they have to say matters. Do not try to multitask, solve problems, interrupt, or even converse – just listen.

Encourage
I always say that words have power. In high school, a P.E. teacher gave me the grade of  “C” after performing the Cha-Cha in the ballroom dancing section of our P.E. curriculum. When I asked her about the grade, she said, “You have no rhythm.” For decades I shied away from dancing because I assumed I had no rhythm. Now, because I’m old and I don’t care what others think, I dance. In a world of “what ifs” I muse about the difference it might have made if the teacher had only tried to encourage me by saying, “Not too bad! With a little bit more practice, you could be good!” A word of encouragement here and there can create foundations of joy.

Share
Spread joy by sharing yourself with others. Share your time, your energy, your smile, your talents, your heart, your possessions, your money . . . . You are a multifaceted person, so there is much to share!

Reach Out
Reach out to a friend or relative that you haven’t seen in a while or with whom you’ve lost contact. Call, write, email, text – do whatever it takes to let them know you are thinking of them. Far too many excuses and assumptions prevent us from reaching out to others, but all it takes is a simple “Hello” or “I haven’t seen you in ages, but was thinking about you . . .” to reconnect.

Help Others
Helping others in any way, shape, or form is a guaranteed way of spreading joy. Yesterday in a grocery store, a disabled man in a wheelchair dropped his shopping basket and was unable to retrieve it. Those nearest to him ignored him. I went over and offered my help. The smile I received in return warmed my heart. Helping in large scale ways, such as donating and volunteering, are admirable, but the everyday small ways of helping others mean just as much.

Show Gratitude
Keeping a gratitude journal is a nice habit, but don’t keep all those good thoughts to yourself. Being grateful and showing gratitude are two different things. It doesn’t take much – a simple thank you, a little note, a small reminder to a loved one, a touch on the arm, doing something special – there are so many ways to show gratitude.

Compliment
A sincere compliment goes a long way to spread joy. Compliment someone in their workplace for good service received. Pay a compliment if you notice something different about someone. Leave positive comments for bloggers, newspaper and magazine columnists or any one else whose work you’ve appreciated. Thank your doctor for doing his best to provide you with good care. Why is it so much easier to criticize than compliment?

Celebrate
Celebrate life’s gifts everyday. Celebrate nature – spreading joy is not restricted to mankind. I receive much joy from feeding birds in my backyard. Watching them feed and bathe and listening to their songs always brings me back to the present and to a point of appreciation and celebration of life. Celebrate every occasion possible! Especially celebrate special occasions – don’t let them go by unnoticed. Don’t assume that others know you are thinking about them on their birthdays, graduations, weddings, anniversaries, etc. How can they know you are thinking of them, if you never tell them?  Don’t wait to celebrate!

After reading this post, I hope you feel inspired to go out and SPREAD SOME JOY!

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