Monthly Archives: September 2016

Week #107 – “How can I help?”


Week #107 – “How can I help?”

Greetings Happyness Tribe — and Happy Friday!

This past month, I’ve witnessed several occasions where people jumped in to help those in need.  A hot meal to someone just home from the hospital, a ride-along on a difficult errand, or financial assistance to a family that needs a little extra peace of mind.

One of the hardest things for most people to do is ask for help.  And it’s not because they don’t need it!  In a crisis, it can be overwhelming just to identify a need…let alone express it, to the right person, then manage logistics, or follow up on expectations.

On the other hand, it’s hard for the rest of us to know exactly what to do when we don’t know what to do!  So most of us say, “I’m here if you need anything” — but the truth is, that puts the burden of asking on the very person we are trying to help. 

But there is a way to head this off — and it doesn’t involve reading minds.


The word “How” opens up possibilities — and it doesn’t leave room for the easiest answer of all: “nothing.”

Your Happyness Challenge for the Week Ahead: “HOW CAN I HELP?”  This week, when you encounter someone you truly want to help, instead of saying “I’m here if you need anything” — look them in the eye and say, “How can I help?”  Sometimes, just knowing that someone is truly willing to help is enough.  Other times, it lets someone know who they can circle back to when they’ve figured it out.  Or maybe, they’ll be able to let you know exactly what they need — and then you’ll know exactly what you can do to help!  😉

A place of need can be a lonely, sometimes shameful, place.  Don’t assume you know — or that they’ll ask.  Try it this week: “HOW CAN I HELP?”

Spread Happyness — share your thoughts in the comments!

9/30/16 by Grace Church
© Grace Church

Week #106 – Welcome Fall!!! (Celebrate the first days of Autumn!)

"Welcome Fall!" (photo credit: Grace Church)

“Welcome Fall!” (photo credit: Grace Church)

Week #106 – Welcome Fall!!! (Celebrate the first days of Autumn!)

Greetings Happyness Tribe!

[Repost Alert!  As we kick off a new season — I’m reminded that Happyness starts with ourselves!  This weekend — I repeat the challenge to take stock and regain our balance for the 13 weeks ahead!]

10:21 a.m. ET yesterday (Thursday) marked the Autumnal Equinox — the exact moment when the sun shines equally on both sides of the Equator.  The word itself means “equal night” — as these days are marked by equal parts sunlight and darkness.

And — for the moment — perfect balance.


I don’t know about you…but Summer has often left me feeling a little unhinged.  Long days, lots of sun, an abundance of visitors (although not so much this year), activities, and things to do.  Couple that with the added pressure in the Northeast to “get out and enjoy it”…and summer can feel like a mad rush to some finish line that ends three weeks early on Labor Day weekend.

Thankfully, we’re all smart enough to know that Summer doesn’t really “end” until September 21st or 22nd — and many of us are still able to get out and enjoy beautiful weather into September and October!

But as the air turns a little cooler, the wind picks up, and maybe those boots and sweaters are starting to look pretty good — the Autumnal Equinox gives us the perfect opportunity to step back, take stock, and re-balance.

If Autumn is creeping up on you, don’t fight it — WELCOME IT!

Your Happyness Challenge for the Week Ahead: CELEBRATE THE FIRST DAYS OF AUTUMN!  Welcome this season of harvest, storage, and preparation by turning inward: take stock in yourself, make room for only what’s necessary, and set a goal or direction for the next three months of your life.  The Winter Solstice is exactly 13 weeks away!  Don’t wait until December to start thinking about New Year’s resolutions and goals…START NOW!  Use the Fall Season as a runway into 2017.  The next 13 weeks is going to pass one way or another…how do you want to spend this season?!

Some ideas:

  1. DECORATE — this is the easiest way to mark the change of seasons.  Don’t wait for the leaves to turn or for Halloween decorations to appear…get out your scarecrows and pumpkins now and give yourself a visual cue that a new season has arrived.  WELCOME IT!
  2. CLEAN — there is a lot of talk of “Spring” cleaning at the Vernal Equinox — but Fall has it’s own cleaning and decluttering rituals too.  As we turn our focus inward to our homes — it makes sense that we would declutter and clean in preparation for the indoor months ahead.  Use this time to get rid of things you no longer need — and make room for the things that will sustain and nurture you through the dark and cold of winter.  WELCOME IT!
  3. SET NEW GOALS — Just like cleaning and decluttering makes room in our homes, cleaning and decluttering of the mind makes room in our psyche.  Every thirteen weeks we are given the opportunity to start a “new season.”  Start this Fall with a little quiet time to consider what you’d like to accomplish by the END of the year, what obligations or habits you need to shed to make that possible, and what new resources you may need to help you get there!  WELCOME IT!

At the very least — set aside time this weekend to think about what you need to feel happy in the 13 weeks ahead.

Remember — it takes a happy person to Spread Happyness!

Spread Happyness — share your favorite Autumn rituals and activities in the comments!

9/23/16 by Grace Church
© Grace Church

Week #105 – Another Wave!

"A New Wave" (photo credit: Grace Church)

(A gift from Pat & Tom — photo credit: Grace Church)

Week #105 – Another Wave!

Greetings Happyness Tribe — and Welcome to Week #105 and Another Wave of Happyness!

Thanks to everyone who took time out last week to check in and cheer me on as I closed out the second year of!  Your continued encouragement and support is truly appreciated — and your feedback has been invaluable!!!

If you didn’t get a chance, I’d still love your thoughts and ideas for moving forward: What do you like most/least?  What has been most helpful to you or someone else?  What other content would you like to see?  How can I make SH better/more relevant?  How can SH spread even MORE happyness into the year ahead?  (You can respond via the comments here, through Facebook, or at the email address below.)

As I turn the corner into “Year Three” — I’m reminded of a lasting refrain I heard from my brother as he faced his dire prognosis.  Other than wanting his life/health back — Rob frequently said to me, “Grace…if I get through this, I want to help other people.”  He expressed genuine gratitude and surprise that people cared enough to help him — and he wanted to return the favor.

So…as I paddle out to catch another wave of Happyness this year, I’m going to let his words be my guide: “…to help other people.”

Your Happyness Challenge for the Week Ahead: HOW CAN I HELP?  Is there a topic you’d like covered, a Happyness Spreader you want celebrated, or some Happyness in Action you want featured?!  If so, I would love to hear from you!  You can contact me through the comments, via Facebook, or at the email below.

Let’s catch another wave and SPREAD HAPPYNESS into the year ahead!

Spread Happyness — and tell me, how can I help?!

To Life!  To Love!  To Happyness!

9/16/16 by Grace Church
© Grace Church

Week #104 – 104 Ways to Spread Happyness!

(Photo credit: Courtesy of Gina Buongiorno)

WAVE BIG!  (Photo credit: Courtesy of Gina Buongiorno)

Week #104 – 104 Ways to Spread Happyness!

Greetings Happyness Tribe — and welcome to WEEK #104!!!

Two years ago our world changed forever.  And — as I’ve told you before — as friends, neighbors, colleagues, co-workers, service-providers, professionals, and other acquaintances lined up in their own distress and sadness to pay their respects, I recognized immediately that we were not alone.

You had lost someone, too.

Rob was important to us all…each in our own special way.

And so, I pledged to deliver a little dose of him every Friday morning via this blog — along with a little challenge to keep things going.  SpreadHappyness was born because I believed Rob’s legacy was his natural ability to spread happiness to anyone who crossed his path — and I didn’t think that had to die with him.  I wanted to carry the torch forward — because cancer wasn’t the only thing that could spread.  I knew happiness could, too!

To celebrate the two-year anniversary of this blog — here is a rundown of the 104 ways we have Spread Happyness from the beginning!  Have a favorite?!  I’d love to hear about it!

104 Ways to Spread Happyness!
#1 – Wave Big!
#2 – Say Hello Like You Mean It!
#3 – Nicknames…and other ways to win friends and influence people!
#4 – Build Your Character Muscles
#5 – How to Be Beautiful (in Three Easy Steps)
#6 – Pure Energy: Are you an outlet or a plug?
#7 – Don’t Pretend…Make Plans (Go get your wings!)
#8 – Are you a Smiling Guy (or Gal)?
#9 – Who’s ready for some “Strange Magic?”
#10 – What’s on your wish list?
#11 – There’s no “I” in “Generous.”
#12 – There’s no “I” in “Thoughtful” either!
#13 – Hey, how ya’ doing?
#14 – Do you have a “Happy Heart?”
#15 – Looking Ahead: Remember the Why behind your What!
#16 – Can you say, “I love my life!”?
#17 – Ten Practical Ways to “Spread the Warmth” this Cold Snap
#18 – Roll Me Away: What’s your escape song?
#19 – You are worthy!
#20 – How about a “Breath of Fresh Air?”
#21 – Have a “Rob Church Kinda Day!”
#22 – Come on, get happy! (And give some, too!)
#23 – “Fitness never takes a snow day!”
#24 – “Keep it shiny side up!” (Dedicated to Gregory Pellinger)
#25 – “Ride the Wave!” (Reflections at the Six-Month Mark)
#26 – There’s always…Bowling!
#27 – “Let the balloon go…” (What are you holding on to?)
#28 – “Take the long way home…”
#29 – “Where to now?” (Happy Spring!)
#30 – What is your “Always…”?
#31 – “Honoring & Remembering”
#32 – “Where do all the socks go?”
#33 – “Heavy on my mind…” (Who are you thinking of?)
#34 – Start with your Heart (Nine ways to be “Truly Compassionate”)
#35 – “My sunshine on this earth!” (What weather best describes you?)
#36 – “Remembered Always…” (Putting the Memorial back in Memorial Day)
#37 – “The Power of Love” (What’s on your summer playlist?)
#38 – “Keep Going!”
#39 – “Summa-time is Funna-time!” (Are YOU having FUN yet?)
#40 – Summer Fun Challenge: “Come play with me!”
#41 – Summer Fun Challenge: “Ride the Rides!”
#42 – Summer Fun Challenge: “Family Time!”
#43 – Summer Fun Challenge: “Walk the Boards and Ride the Waves!” (Dedicated to Rob Kalp)
#44 – Summer Fun Challenge: “One Tank Trips!”
#45 – Summer Fun Challenge: Pool Volleyball (and other ways to GET WET!)
#46 – Summer Fun Challenge: “Quiet Time!”
#47 – Summer Fun Challenge: “Lessons Available!” (Learn to ___________!)
#48 – Summer Fun Challenge: “Just Watch!”
#49 – Summer Fun Challenge: “Feeding Time!”
#50 – Summer Fun Challenge: “Keep ’em Flying!”
#51 – Summer Fun Challenge: “CELEBRATE!”
#52 – Endings and Beginnings (A big wave hello or goodbye?)
#53 – The Next Wave
#54 – Welcome Fall! (Celebrate the first days of Autumn!)
#55 – Which way to Happyness?
#56 – Looking for Signs (Which do you see first?)
#57 – Are you “Loving Life” in 2015? (Ten weeks left to make it happen!)
#58 – Ten Weeks to Happyness: “Get your priorities straight!”
#59 – Nine Weeks to Happyness: “Don’t dream it…BE IT!”
#60 – Eight Weeks to Happyness: CONNECT! (Dedicated to Jodi Lupo and her beautiful Val.)
#61 – Seven Weeks to Happyness: TAKE ACTION! (What coffee cups and Christmas Trees taught me this week!)
#62 – Six Weeks to Happyness: EXPRESS YOURSELF! (Happyness in Action – with Scott Cuzzo)
#63 – Five Weeks to Happyness: TOYS for…TRUCKS?! (Happyness in Action – with Amy Wood-Oblen)
#64 – Four Weeks to Happyness: RANDOM ACTS of KINDNESS (Happyness in Action – with Kindness for Christopher)
#65 – Three Weeks to Happyness: SPREAD THE WARMTH! (Happyness in Action – with Aubrey McCarrick)
#66 – Two Weeks to Happyness: SPREAD THE LOVE! (Happyness in Action – with Sarah Harmeyer)
#67 – One Week to Happyness: SPREAD HAPPYNESS!
#68 – One Surefire Way to “Love Your Life” in 2016!
#69 – Back to Basics: SMILE!
#70 – Back to Basics: WAVE BIG!
#71 – Back to Basics: Say Hello Like You Mean It!
#72 – Back to Basics: Hey, how ya’ doing?”
#73 – Happy February!  “Have a Rob Church Kinda Day!”
#74 – “I believe in you!” (Encourage someone today!)
#75 – Rough Road? (Take a closer look!)
#76 – Lose someone? Tell me…”What was he/she like?”
#77 – One Year, Six Months: “Ride the Wave!”
#78 – “Forever Young!”
#79 – Hidden Treasures
#80 – To Life! (Happy Spring!)
#81 – Row or Float?
#82 – What color are your memories?
#83 – “All I need is a pair of wheels…”
#84 – What is Your Art? (Dedicated to Phil Hirlemann)
#85 – Mother’s Day is May 8th (Read this before making reservations!)
#86 – “Take care of yourself!” (Especially on Mother’s Day)
#87 – “Keep playing that guitar!” (Don’t let your dreams gather dust!)
#88 – Go Fish! (What’s on your mind?)
#89 – Remember: Keep the “Memorial” in Memorial Day!
#90 – Summer Fun List! (37 random ways to have fun this summer)
#91 – Father’s Day is June 19th! (Read this before you buy another necktie or coffee mug!)
#92 – Watch for Rainbows!
#93 – Live Your Legacy (in memory of Sean Rollnick)
#94 – Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of…Happyness!
#95 – Hard at Work?  Stay Cool!
#96 – Sit down and rock a while!
#97 – Start spreading the news!  (The news you want to see!)
#98 – Stop and smell the… (whatever makes you happy!)
#99 – Go Ahead…Reminisce (and Remember Together)
#100 – Just…Breathe.
#101 – Good Company
#102 – The Gift of Time
#103 – No Regrets (What’s in your bucket?)
#104 – 104 Ways to Spread Happyness!

Your Happyness Challenge for the Week Ahead: I WANT YOUR FEEDBACK!  It’s that time when I have to think about the year ahead — and the future of  Whether you’re a first-time visitor — or you’ve been with me since the beginning — I’d welcome any input.  What do you like most/least?  What has been most helpful to you/others?  What other content would you like to see?  How can I make SH better/more relevant?  How can SH help spread MORE happyness in the year ahead?  I invite you to respond to me in the way that works best for you: through the comments, on Facebook, or at the email below.  Your perspective is invaluable — and I’d love to know what you think!

Whether I hear from you or not — let me take this moment once again to say THANK YOU to each and every one of you who have logged on, followed along, shared your thoughts, supported the effort, and above all — who SPREAD HAPPYNESS this past year!!!  Year Two had its own challenges — and once again in the “doing” of this blog, there was direction, and in the direction there was hope: one week at a time!

To life!  To love!  To Happyness!

Grace (aka “Rob’s sister!”)

Spread Happyness — please share your thoughts in the comments!

9/9/16 by Grace Church
© Grace Church

Week #103 – No Regrets (What’s in Your Bucket?)

"No Regrets" (photo credit: Grace Church)

“No Regrets” (photo credit: Grace Church)

Week #103 – No Regrets (What’s in Your Bucket?)

Greetings Happyness Tribe — and Happy Friday!

Monday, September 5th will mark two years since Rob’s death.

Grief has taught me many things — not the least of which is the indifference, and relentlessness, of time.  What we measured first in hours, then days, then weeks, then months…has now turned into years!

There are many that say the first year is the worst — because of all “the firsts.”  You feel like you’re in a race to some “finish” line — like your grief will somehow magically come to an end there.  I’m grateful that I read an article early on about “second-year syndrome” — the setting in of the permanence of such a loss, and the great void that accompanies it.

The cruelest thing is the cutting reality that time keeps moving.  YOUR life keeps going.  Begging the question (eventually): what are you going to do with it?

Labor Day Weekend marks the “unofficial” end of summer.  I hear many people saying “Where did the summer go?!” and “It seems like just yesterday it was Memorial Day!”  But there are others who are still pressing forward to scratch things off their summer bucket lists and squeeze every last drop out of the Summer of 2016!

What’s in your bucket?

Your Happyness Challenge for the Week Ahead: What’s in your bucket?!  Last year we celebrated.  Together we had walked through that uncharted first year — spreading happyness in all the ways Rob taught us how!  This year, I challenge you to squeeze every last drop out of the Summer of 2016.  A long weekend awaits (and a possibly rainy one on the East Coast).  Is there something you planned to do this summer that you haven’t gotten to yet?  Is there a project or day trip or promise that you made that’s nagging at you?  Make it a point to complete something this week.  It’ll energize you going into the fall — and, most important, it’ll free up space for a new adventure down the line!

And if you can’t get to it — don’t despair.  Put it on your list for next year — or add it to a new list for Fall.  Because the beauty of time is there’s always more…until there isn’t!

Spread Happyness — tell me, what’s in your bucket?!  Share your thoughts in the comments!

9/2/16 by Grace Church
© Grace Church