Saturday, September 22, 2018

Life Is Your Choices: Make Good Ones:

This is your life, only you can truly control your choices, and choosing happiness is the best way to achieve being a good to yourself as well as the world. 
Image result for photos of happy people helping each other
Here are some suggestions for how you can ensure simple joy in your life:

·  Be the best you can be by your own standards
·  Surround yourself with people who inspire you and make you feel good
·  Focus on what you have, not what you lack
·  Optimism trumps pessimism every time!
·  Smile often and genuinely
·  Be honest, to yourself and to others
·  Help others


·  Embrace your past, live in the present, and look forward for what is yet to come

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Give Away Your Old Stuff: Keep Only What You Love


Said it before and I’ll say it again, we have too much stuff which might be  useful to others
Photo of El Cerrito Recycling Center - El Cerrito, CA, United States. A sort of Free Library.

Do a favor for those in need and give away some of the things you no longer need or use or wear.  Others would be happy to have it and it will help you simplify your life and enjoy your time more.  Find a few locations that you can drop off your stuff or call an organization that collects your goods to redistribute to those in need. There are Goodwill’s or Salvation Amy centers in every town, large or small so you can donate there to help others and quickly.
ation Amy centers in every town, large or small so you can donate there to help others and quickly.

You should only have possessions you really love; don’t let your things possess you. I have a neat-looking “outbox” on my front porch I fill during the week with items I can take to the Reuse Center at my neighborhood recycling center. As the days go by, magazines, extra pots and pans, odd cups and dishes, old electronics and anything that no longer has a place in my home goes there.  My partner and I go there at least twice a month and it simply feels wonderful.  The center has a lot of regulars and we are now recognized as purveyors of 100% discount bounty such as scented candles, barely-worn scarves, office supplies, crockery and superb magazines as we are a household of voracious readers. I have seen amazing trades at the Reuse Center and witnessed a musician sit down and play a free sitar  with virtuosity while a family with young children got a sorely needed washing machine and dryer. Moments like this remind me of the visionary pagan teacher and writer, Starhawk’s novel, The Fifth Sacred Thing,  depicting a future where people return to a barter system and live harmoniously in community.
Take only what you need and share anything extra with your own neighbors

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Share Your Skills: Be a Mentor


Teach someone a craft or skill you are good at. Sharing a talent with someone may allow them to discover their own potential. Truth be told, you'll receive tenfold what you give!Image result for photos of people teaching others
Whether it’s cooking, archery, or photography, spend some time doing what you love with someone. Teaching people how to do something will help maintain your interest and establish a connection with the person you are with. No doubt, you will learn just as much.
 Be a mentor to someone. Everyone needs help to achieve their dreams and goals in life and mentor ship is an excellent way of providing that needed help, encouragement and guidance required.  Look for opportunities to mentor people and provide that benefit to someone else as a way to serve. http://virtuefirst.org/virtues/service/

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Love and Lattes: Easy Acts of Kindness


Leave a tip and a little thank you note in the tip jar at your favorite coffee or ice cream shop.Image result for photograph of latte with heat on top
Many of us remember the days when we had to work retail or hospitality while in high school or college. The staff is working hard so show your appreciation for your latte and their positive attitude with a dollar or two. I have put in little “good job” notes in the tip jar at my local Peets Coffee and Tea as I think good work should be acknowledged and people should know they are appreciated and their boss should know, too! I have make lifelong friends at the two Peets I have frequented and it nice to see a friend across the counter every morning. Those relationships all began with four little words, “How are you today?”

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Hi there! (& other simple acts of kindness)

Try something new and check out the Just Say Hello Campaign on Oprah’s website.
Image result for people saying hello photographs
The campaign (find it at www.oprah.com) encourages kindness and strives to combat loneliness by reading our and connecting. A howdy-do to a stranger might make your day and a new pal in the process. I read about this excellent friendliness project in Oprah’s O Magazine a few Sundays ago and immediately felt inspired to try it that day. My boyfriend and I went to do our weekend chores, which include fresh flowers from our neighborhood stand. An older gentleman was standing there smelling the roses, always a good idea in my mind. I remembered to say “Hi” as instructed by Oprah and he responded with a big smile and wanted my input on flowers he wanted to buy for a lady friend.  As you might imagine, quite a conversation ensued and my boyfriend joined in, who is even friendlier than I am. Soon the florist was involved and our new gentleman friend turned out to be a fascinating conversationalist. He had been a fighter pilot in the Korean War, very highly decorated and has travelled all over the world before returning back home to El Cerrito. Widowed some years back, he was only beginning to get back out there and date. After landing upon a carefully selected bouquet of red roses and pink lilies, he headed off to the dance at the senior center. I noticed he has a good bit of pep in his step and I remember having a good feeling about his first date. We kept our eyes peeled for Colonel Jarvis when in the vicinity of the flower shop and sure enough we saw him and he had pictures of his lady friend from the dance featuring a corsage he had gotten for her. Things were looking pretty swell all around and he looked pleased as punch.
So, thanks Oprah for another great idea!


Sunday, September 9, 2018

Feed an Elephant for a Day

200 Squares a Day 
 Image result for photos of a child feeding an elephant
Do you know how much an elephant needs to eat per day? At least 200 pounds of chow! Spring for $30 bucks and you can feed a “retired” elephant all day long. Many of the denizens of Tennessee elephant sanctuary are former showgirls who left the three rings circus behind. Check out www.elephants.com

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Be a Pen Pal With a US Soldier


If you are on the other side of the world, think how wonderful it would be get a handwritten letter!
Image result for photo of a soldier reading a letter
Upon learning about the Veteran’s History Project, I was reminded that our service men and women are doing just that, SERVICE. And they should be thanked for it. Many of these noble souls are very far away and receive little mail to their camp or barrack. Take a few moments to acknowledge their contribution and offer a friendly hello from back home in the USA. You can learn all about Operation Write Home at operationwritehome.gov.  I have heard of great pen pal relationships come out of this gesture of gratitude, too.