Monthly Archives: July 2016

Week #98 – Stop and smell the…(whatever makes you happy!)

Good Times (photo credit: Grace Church)

Good Times (photo credit: Grace Church)

Week #98 – Stop and smell the…(whatever makes you happy!)

Greetings Happyness Tribe — and Happy Friday!

August is just a few days away…and it’s that time of year when everything seems to slow down.  In the Northern Hemisphere, August brings nature to a big fat standstill.  The air is heavy, the trees are full, gardens are bursting with vegetables, and it’s just too damn hot to do anything but sit and take it all in!

And nothing triggers our memories more than the sense of smell.  A sniff, a whiff, a waft, or a big deep draw through the nose can transport us instantly: to our mother’s kitchen, to our first workplace, to our best friend’s first car.

But scents can trigger emotions, as well.  Our favorite Aunt’s perfume that brought with it calm and security, the smell of spaghetti sauce on the stove that meant the togetherness of family, the scent of fall leaves or the clean air after a snowstorm that leaves us feeling playful and lighthearted.

What scents stop you in your tracks?

Your Happyness Challenge for the Week Ahead: Stop and smell the ___________________!  Pay attention this week to scents that catch your attention.  Take time to let them transport you.  Give yourself a few moments to observe the details.  Etch them in your mind.  Feel them in your heart.  Speak outloud and say hi to the ones you see there…the ones smiling back at you.  That ones you could almost touch if you had just another moment.  Take note of the scent that got you there and remember it.  It is your gateway to Happyness (even if it breaks your heart once in a while).

Spread Happyness — share your thoughts, and your favorite scents, in the comments!

7/29/16 by Grace Church
© Grace Church

Week #97 – Start spreading the news! (The news you want to see!)


Week #97 – Start spreading the news!  (The news you want to see!)

Greetings Happyness Tribe — and Happy Friday!

Another busy week in the news — and more and more I’m hearing people say they are “logging off” social media for awhile due to the onslaught of negativity, hostility, intolerance, etc. they are seeing in their newsfeeds.

But many feel frustrated that this seems to be their only choice.  Social media has become an essential tool in keeping in touch with the people who matter most in their lives: friends, family, classmates, coworkers, neighbors, even their favorite fan sites.

If this is you, you are not alone.

But before you throw the baby out with the bathwater…think for a second about what you want social media to do for you:

  • Entertain?
  • Keep in touch?
  • Uplift?
  • Inspire?
  • Inform?

Now…take a look at your own timeline.  Be objective.  Are you posting the things you most want to see?

Your Happyness Challenge for the Week Ahead: Start spreading the news…the news you want to see!  If you find yourself frustrated at the onslaught of negativity on social media these days, you are not alone!  There are others who feel just like you do!  Spend a few minutes on your own timeline this week — and then ask yourself if you are contributing the things you most want to see.  If not, don’t despair.  You are just one post away from sharing a smile, a laugh, a happy story, an uplifting moment, a heartfelt thank you, or some much needed good news to someone else’s newsfeed!

Make the choice to spread light, spread love, and Spread Happyness this week!

Spread Happyness — and start spreading the news you want to see!

7/22/16 by Grace Church
© Grace Church

Week #96 – Sit down and rock a while!


Week #96 – Sit down and rock a while!

Greetings Happyness Tribe — and Happy Friday!

This week’s post comes on the heels of yet another worldwide tragedy.  I’ve got to be honest, at times like this it can seem really silly to talk about Happyness.

But then, I wonder, if this is exactly the time to double down.  As I wrote last week — these events can leave us wondering what in the world one person can do to make a difference.  But it’s important to remember that what we do might very well make a difference to one person’s world.

I traveled home last weekend for the first time since my move to California in March.  It was a fast and busy trip centered around a yearly concert in Ocean Grove’s Great Auditorium.  Between singing in the concert and visiting with my folks — people knew where they could find me: in the choir loft or on the porch of the B&B where we stayed.

All weekend long we were greeted with passers-by: some with a quick hello as they moved with purpose down the block, some with a friendly wave as they walked their pups or schlepped their beach bags up to the boardwalk, and some with a light beep as they drove along the narrow street.

But others stopped to chat, took a seat, had some coffee, or shared in our potato chips or pizza or whatever it was we were eating at that time!

There is something magical about sitting on a porch.  Something that automatically slows you down and shifts your gaze a little further beyond where you’ve been looking.  Something that opens you up and encourages you to share, to be honest, to be vulnerable.

Something that helps us connect — and maybe make a difference — to the person sitting next to us.

Your Happyness Challenge for the Week Ahead: Sit down and rock a while!  Whether you have a porch, deck, patio, balcony, or tailgate — pull up a chair, take a load off, sit a spell, have a chat, visit a bit, or rock a while!  Watch the traffic, cars park, people pass by, critters hard at work, nature doing her thing, or just observe the world moving about while you sit still.  Invite someone to join you.  Share a glass of something cold, have a conversation, meet a neighbor, visit with friends, or get to know just a little bit more about your own family.

The world is moving fast…make porch time a priority this week!

Spread Happyness — tell me, what’s your favorite place to sit down and rock a while?

7/15/16 by Grace Church
© Grace Church

Week #95 – Hard at work? Stay Cool!

Stay Cool! (photo credit: Grace Church)

Hard at work! (photo credit: Grace Church)

Week #95 – Hard at Work?  Stay Cool! 

Greetings Happyness Tribe — and Happy Friday!

A classmate of Rob’s who works for the post office put this suggestion on Facebook: “If you feel like doing something nice today, leave a bottle of cold water for your mailman/lady🌞”.

(Thanks, Ralph!)

I thought that was a pretty cool idea — and a super easy way to Spread Happyness!

And then I got to thinking — what are some other “cool” gestures that could Spread a little Happyness to the casual connections in our lives?

The winter holidays are a natural time to leave a little something for your mail carrier, doorman, landscaper, bank teller, stylist, or garbageman/woman.

But what about the rest of the year?  Especially during the height of summer when it’s hot, stinky, overcrowded — or maybe even a little slow?

Your Happyness Challenge for the Week Ahead: Help someone else stay cool!  Leave some cold water for your mail carrier.  Provide an umbrella or pop-up tent for someone working in your yard.  Bring some good old fashioned ice cream sandwiches or novelties to your bank, stylist, mechanic, or coworkers.  Offer to make that 4 o’clock frappucino run!

And if you need more ideas — I polled a few friends a got some additional suggestions:

  • Carry $5 Starbucks cards to give to someone who goes above and beyond. (Thanks, Scott!)
  • Give free cupcake/yogurt/ice cream cards to someone who needs a pick-me-up. (Thanks, Heather!)
  • Scroll through Stephanie Jones’ daily #givingchallenges on Instagram or Facebook! (Thanks, Stephanie!)

What other ways can we help someone else stay cool this week!

Spread Happyness — share your ideas in the comments!

7/8/16 by Grace Church
© Grace Church

Week #94 – Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of…Happyness!

"Free to..." (photo credit: Grace Church)

(Photo credit: Grace Church)

Week #94 – Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of…Happyness!  

Greetings Happyness Tribe — and Happy Fourth of July Weekend!

Nothing screams summer like Independence Day!  And I know many of you, if you’re reading this at all, are already off and running barefoot into a four-day summer holiday weekend!

It’s freedom times two as we celebrate “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” at what is — for many people — the free-est time of the year!

Are you feeling free?!
Free to be yourself?
Free to rest?
Free to be silly?
Free to choose?
Free to ____________?

Your Happyness Challenge for the Week Ahead: PURSUE HAPPYNESS!!!  Are you alive?  Are you free?  If so…I want you to make it your patriot duty to “pursue happiness” this weekend!  Get lost in a book, lounge in a hammock, go surfing, play wiffleball, get silly, run barefoot, ride a bike, take a plunge, watch some fireworks, build something, or join a parade!  Take time each day to reflect on the things that bring you the most happiness.  Jot them down.  Retain and repeat as necessary!

Remember, our constitution doesn’t guarantee us happiness…but it guarantees us the right to pursue it!

Anything less is just unpatriotic!  🙂

Spread Happyness — tell me, what Happyness will you pursue this weekend?!

7/1/16 by Grace Church
© Grace Church