Beauty & Blessings: This Week’s Goody Bag!

A couple of years ago, I started a new project called EVERYDAY NEW as a way to slow down, savour, and enjoy the beauty & blessings that occur each and everyday. The invite was really simple: take ONE photo each day of something that inspires or wows me. Equipped with my handy dandy iPhone, I embarked on this adventure and over 450 photos later, EVERYDAY NEW continues but it has evolved from merely taking photos to challenging myself in new ways to embrace the beauty & blessings each day. HOW exactly? Here are some nifty suggestions…

 

1. I Love You Board (an idea I came across on pinterest)
I love you because...

 

2.Create a Gratitude Account
Many people have a checking account and a savings account…why not create a gratitude account?
Here’s what you’ll need:
-a beautiful jar/container (mine is a glass vase that sits on my desk)
-small pieces of paper
-a marker/pen/crayon
Each day, take a moment to write down something you are grateful for and deposit it into your account (the jar). As you do so, watch as your account grows. On those days when you’re in need of a little extra boost, withdraw from your gratitude account by reading as many deposit slips as you need (or that are available). The great thing about it is, once you are done, you can deposit those notes of gratitude back into the account!

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.”
― Melody Beattie

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3. Take a Daily Photo!
Though I no longer religiously post my photos everyday, I still make it a point to take out my camera and capture moments that wow me. What I’ve learned is that when we truly open our hearts, our eyes are present to the beautiful treasures that surround us each and everyday! To check out my collection, please visit Everyday New!
Everyday New

 

4. Leave a Love Letter
Inspired by Hannah Brencher and her amazing team at MORE LOVE LETTERS, this simple act is about leaving a little treasure for someone else to find. AND you don’t have to be a millionaire to do this. All you need is a piece of paper (a post it note, the back of a card, pretty paper, whatever you fancy), a pen/marker, and a willing heart. Take a moment to write a note of encouragement, a funny joke, Happy Everyday!, etc. and place it somewhere for someone else to find (i.e., in a shopping cart, inside of a library book, drop it in the mailbox, the possibilities are endless!). Often times, a kind note can do more for someone than we realize. As they say at More Love Letters, Let’s “MAKE LOVE FAMOUS”!
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5. Share a Laugh…or two
There is nothing like laughing so hard that your belly hurts. And if you’re lucky like me, you know a person or two whose laugh is CONTAGIOUS! You don’t even have to know what they are laughing at to start laughing yourself. Then there are those special ones whose God-given ability is to make people laugh. Thank you Ellen DeGeneres and Jimmy Fallon!

 

6. Be a little…BRAVE

“Brave” by Sara Bareilles

You can be amazing
You can turn a phrase into a weapon or a drug
You can be the outcast
Or be the backlash of somebody’s lack of love
Or you can start speaking up

Nothing’s gonna hurt you the way that words do
When they settle ‘neath your skin
Kept on the inside and no sunlight
Sometimes a shadow wins
But I wonder what would happen if you

Say what you wanna say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave
With what you want to say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave

I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I wanna see you be brave

I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I wanna see you be brave

Everybody’s been there,
Everybody’s been stared down by the enemy
Fallen for the fear
And done some disappearing,
Bow down to the mighty
Don’t run, just stop holding your tongue

Maybe there’s a way out of the cage where you live
Maybe one of these days you can let the light in
Show me how big your brave is

Say what you wanna say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave
With what you want to say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave

And since your history of silence
Won’t do you any good,
Did you think it would?
Let your words be anything but empty
Why don’t you tell them the truth?

Say what you wanna say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave
With what you want to say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave

I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I wanna see you be brave

I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
See you be brave

I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you

I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you

7. Take a MULTI-VITAMIN for your SOUL. Thank you Ann Voskamp!
One of my favourite is by the amazingly wonderful ANN VOSKAMP. You can subscribe to her beautiful weekly posts and get a dose of multivitamins for your soul every weekend. Your soul will be in awe and your heart will be inspired. As Martha Stewart famously says, “It’s a good thing.”

Multivitamin for your soul!
Multivitamin for your soul!
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