Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘spreading joy’

Lizards fighting Posturing and positioning themselves, two blue belly lizards eye each other contemptuously. Using my deck as their battlefield, they crawl around in a strategic circle formation. In a flash the battle begins: one lizard lunges at the other and chases it away. Retreating, but not far away, the second lizard charges back towards the other. Charge and retreat; charge and retreat; charge and retreat; the battle continues. Studying these two rivals, I recognize that they are not only fierce competitors, but also survivors. Each sports a regenerated tail. Given a particular threatening situation, some lizard species have caudal autotomy, the ability to self-amputate their tails. Equally amazing is the fact that they can also regenerate new tails. This ability to shed or let go of an integral part of themselves in order to survive fascinates me. I ponder how this concept might apply to humans. Not in the physical sense, of course, but in the spiritual and emotional sense. What do we need to let go of in our heads or in our hearts in order to survive and regenerate?

#1 – Japanese Philosophy and Art
Kintsukuroi Comparing the kintsukuroi pottery process to trials in life, metaphysical teacher, author, and spiritual guide Carrieanne Fonger says, Take a moment to remember all of your own broken places. Instead of filling the memories with shame, guilt, sorrow or regret, fill those broken spaces in your life with gold. Think about how each circumstance changed you for the better, helping to shape your character and make you who you are – “more beautiful for having been broken.”

#2 – Backyard Fun
Outdoor Summer Fun Spending time in the outdoors can regenerate the spirit. There’s no need to travel far, either. Just step into your backyard. To that end, here are 31 DIY Ways to Make Your Backyard Awesome This Summer. What fun!

#3 – Easter Peeps Flower Vase
What if you stuck a slightly chipped or ugly vase inside a clear larger vase and used the in-between-space to place decorative elements? You would be giving new life to the smaller vase and creating something beautiful at the same time. Easter Peeps and Flower Centerpiece

#4 – Out of the Mouth of Babes
“There’s plenty of reasons to dance; you just have to look for them,” says this wise young soul. Watch this video and feel renewed and invigorated.

#5 – Let Go, Evolve, and Change
Kintsukuroi

“We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us. The old skin has to be shed before the new one can come.”
Joseph Campbell

“Life is a gift, and should be cherished, lived and experienced. Though experience often reveals itself as pain in this world, it is still purposeful, it still has its place in the evolution of our spirit.”
Michael Poeltl, Revelation

“Change always comes bearing gifts.” Price Pritchett

Now go and spread joy!

Read Full Post »

Hummingbirds A dumpling-shaped hummingbird perched on a feeder and uncharacteristically took his time sipping nectar. After every sip, he looked around leisurely. When another hummingbird frenetically approached the feeder, the first hummingbird remained calm and shared the feeder with the newcomer. The plump little bird said to the busy bird, “Hey dude, what’s the hurry?” The other bird did not pause and continued to feed. The plump bird made another attempt at communication and said, “Whoa! Slow down dude. There’s plenty of food for both of us. Life is short. You gotta take some time to savor the moment.” The busy bird stopped and, without a word, he flew to a perch and sat down. He looked across at the plump bird and replied, “Thanks. Thanks for the reminder.”

#1 – Bird’s-Eye View
Bird's-Eye Views of the World Have you ever wished you could be a bird soaring through the sky? Imagine having a bird’s-eye view of the world and, if you did, how spectacular Niagara Falls would appear from above. Check out the photo series How Our World Would Look If You Were a Bird and see some pretty incredible landscapes.

#2 – Crocheting for Tortoises
Now, I’ve seen it all. I don’t know whether tortoises really need sweaters or not, but since I have been flexing my new crochet skills to make things for my upcoming grandbaby, I appreciated these clever and funny attempts at trying to keep tortoises warm.
Crochet for Turtles

#3 – Gift of GIFS
Nature Gifs A “graphics interchange format” or GIF (pronounced jiff) is a compressed image file format, which allows images to be transported quickly over the Internet. This technology allows us to see limited movement or animation on websites. Lucky for us, because we can view funny bloopers or cute puppies on Facebook or watch impressive nature scenes from 14 Reasons Why Nature Gifs Are Your New Favorite Thing.

#4 – Organic Foods
Organic Foods Fact or Fiction If you’ve ever questioned whether it’s worth spending extra money to purchase organic foods, you may find answers to some of your questions in Organic Food: Fact or Fiction from YOU Beauty.

#5 – Pooh, Piglet, and A.A. Milne
A.A. Milne Quotes

“It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn’t use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like ‘What about lunch?’”

“Sometimes,” said Pooh, “the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.”

“The things that make me different are the things that make me.”

“Don’t underestimate the value of Doing Nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can’t hear, and not bothering.”

“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”

“What day is it?” asked Winnie the Pooh. “It’s today,” squeaked Piglet. “My favorite day,” said Pooh.

Enjoy your favorite day! Now go and spread joy!

Read Full Post »

Poppies and Oaks Take a walk through this photo with me. What do you see? Trees? Yes, what kind of trees? Flowers? How many different colored flowers are there? Looking at the shadows, from what direction is the sun shining? How observant are you when you are out and about? When you go for a walk, do you take in the sights, the sounds, and the smells that bombard your senses or do you push the sensory inputs away? Although it’s nice to chat with friends or listen to a book or music while walking, every now and then try being fully present during a walk and be grateful for the wondrous world around you.

#1 – The Gift of the Present
20 Calming or Invigorating Mini Meditations You Can Practice Every Day Do you feel as if you operate on autopilot most of the time? The hustle and bustle of our days can carry us million of miles away from the present moment and distract us from reveling in the only moment we have for sure. Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S. wrote an article called, 20 Calming or Invigorating Mini Meditations You Can Practice Every Day. Whether you practice meditation or not, read through her list and select one of the entries to try today. You might find that, as a result, you are a kinder, more patient, and more focused person. I appreciated the entire list, but these five entries resonated with me:

Think of your mind as a swinging door. “Thoughts and feelings come in and out, like people. Be the door, not the doorman.”

When you turn on the faucet, focus on the bigger picture. “See the water flowing down from the glaciers and mountains, running deep into the earth, sustaining you and all life.”

Visualize a mountain lake with a smooth, glassy surface. A breeze sends ripples across the water. As the breeze quiets down, so do the ripples, and the water returns to being smooth. When something ruffles you, return to this visualization. “Feel the ripples and then let them settle.”

When you get home from work, every day, stand in front of your door and appreciate the moment. Rejoice in it. “Breathe in and out three times.”

As you’re trying to fall asleep, “imagine that with each breath you are melting into an ocean of light and space.”

#2 – The Bottom of the Jar
Whole Foods Condiments Do you throw away bottles or jars of ketchup, mustard, or mayonnaise when just a little bit remains in the container? The next time you’re in that situation, don’t throw it away. Try creating something new by using one of these recipes from Whole Foods. For example, did you know that you could make Caesar Dressing or Honey Mustard Marinade with just the tablespoon or two that’s normally left at the bottom?

# 3 – Discard Art
Hey, how many times do I have to tell you not to throw stuff away? Instead, use your imagination and let your inner artist come out. You could create:

Giant Fish Sculptures from Discarded Plastic Bottles
Fish Sculpture From Discarded Bottles

Dresses From Recycled Materials Money Dress: Dress ,made from recycled materials


Stacked Book Sculptures
Used Book Sculptures


Watch Part Sculptures
Watch Part Sculptures

Junk Part Portraits Junk Parts Portraits

#4 – A Letter From Dad
A Letter From a Father to His Daughter Dr. Kelly Flanigan, a therapist, wrote a inspirational and thought-provoking letter to his young daughter about relationships. Every person, not just women, should read it. Relationships are two-way streets and both parties must know their worth and must recognize the value in themselves.

#5 – Just A Moment
“Dance. Smile. Giggle. Marvel. TRUST. HOPE. LOVE. WISH. BELIEVE. Most of all, enjoy every moment of the journey, and appreciate where you are at this moment instead of always focusing on how far you have to go.”
― Mandy Hale, The Single Woman: Life, Love, and a Dash of Sass

Be in the present. Now go and spread joy!

Read Full Post »

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!

Read Full Post »

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!

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts

%d bloggers like this: