Monthly Archives: September 2017

Week #159 – Not sure what to do? (Reach out and help someone!)

Week #159 – Not sure what to do? (Reach out and help someone!)

Greetings, All — and Happy Friday!

If you’ve felt overwhelmed, insufficient, and distracted lately — I want you to know you are not alone!

The issues that our world is facing right now are intense and varied and coming at us at a rapid pace.  It has been enough to throw the most balanced people I know off balance, the most focused people off course, and caused the most compassionate people I know to throw up their hands.

Frustration is a slippery slope…it leads to bitterness, resentment, and disempowerment.  (In other words, all kinds of un-happyness.)

When the world’s, or the country’s, or even your town’s problems seem beyond your grasp — reach out and grab hold of the hand (or hands) that are within your reach!

  • Our families — while we are busy keeping up with world news on our screens, there may be a person (spouse/kid/parent/sibling/etc.) right in front of us that needs our attention.  LOOK UP!!!
  • Our neighbors — while we debate over how best to help those in affected communities around the globe, there is a neighbor on our street that needs help with the garbage, the lawn, or a ride to an appointment.  LOOK AROUND!
  • Our friends — someone you know and love is probably struggling with a life change, a career challenge, sickness, or crisis.  LOOK THEM UP — and check in on them!
  • Our coworkers — while we’re busy gabbing about the latest news and events in the break room, one of our coworkers may be secretly struggling with something.  LOOK THEM IN THE EYE — and listen to their stories!
  • Our communities — each one of our communities has needs that only we can uniquely address because we live there.  Whether it’s a local school, place of worship, building/association, union/guild, or organization — LOOK AHEAD for the people within our reach who can benefit from our assistance, support, and participation.

Your Happyness Challenge for the Week Ahead: REACH OUT!  The second you are feeling overwhelmed and under-equipped to take on a big problem this week — shift your gaze to the people within arm’s reach!  Leverage your time, talent, and compassion on the people right in front of you.  It will make a tremendous and very real difference to them — and with practice, build confidence in ourselves to take on the bigger problems in the world!

Be the source — Spread Happyness!!!

Spread Happyness — reach out and help someone this week!

9/29/17 by Grace Church
© Grace Church

Week #158 – Welcome Fall!

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

Week #158 – Welcome Fall!

(This topic is a perennial favorite — and worth repeating!)

Greetings All — and Happy Friday!

The Autumnal Equinox will occur at 1:02p PT today — 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 a moment — perfect balance.

I know for many of you, the “end” of Summer is a sad time: light fades, the air cools, summer flowers surrender.

For others, the “beginning” of Fall is a celebration: work/school routines are back in place, trees start to show their colors, football, sweaters, boots, and pumpkin-everything is back!  🙂

Whether you’re on Team Summer or Team Fall — I hope you squeezed all you could out of the Summer of 2017.  But if not, don’t despair.  Another 13 week season starts today!  A new beginning, a new quarter, and for many a new year ahead!

The Autumnal Equinox gives us the perfect opportunity to step back, take stock, re-balance — and to finish the year strong!

Your Happyness Challenge for the Week Ahead: WELCOME FALL!  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 2018.  The next 13 weeks are 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!
  4. PLAN FALL FUN — NOW is the time to look at your fall calendar (October/November/December) and plot some time for the activities you like best.  Harvest festivals, ghost tours, apple picking, that one last Indian Summer day at the shore…think about the things that bring you joy this time of year and plan them out ahead of time!

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!

9/22/17 by Grace Church
© Grace Church

Week #157 – Another Wave! (Reflections at the Three Year Mark)

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

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

Week #157 – Another Wave! (Reflections at the Three Year Mark)

Greetings Tribe — and Happy Friday!

Last week was a mash-up of anniversaries: Rob, the blog, 9/11.  The dates came at me faster than I could process.  Add to that the current activities in my day-to-day life — not to mention the events in Texas and Florida — and there was very little time to reflect.

I couldn’t catch my breath.

So I did what surfers are taught to do: go under.  I put my head down and let the white water roll over me.

It reminds me of a game that Rob and I used to play when we went to the shore as kids.  We called it “Over and Under.”  We would stand at the break line and call out a challenge as each wave rolled our way, “Over!” or “Under!”

“Over” meant we had to try to go over the wave.  If it was small or it hadn’t broken yet, this was easy.

But when the wave was big or it had already broken and the white water was on the move…the easiest and safest place to go was “under” the wave.

There is a permanence to Year Three.  Rob is gone.  Really gone.  And I will not see him again in this lifetime.

And yet, I will paddle out to catch another wave of Happyness this year.  And if I listen closely, I can hear him yelling to me once again: “Over!”

Your Happyness Challenge for the Week Ahead: OVER or UNDER?  Are waves coming at you faster than you can handle?  Or are they crashing so violently that you’re getting tumbled?  Don’t be afraid to go under it all.  It’s great pre-game talk to glorify running head-on into challenges and getting banged up in the process…but sometimes the safest (and most peaceful) place to be is UNDER the wave!

Spread Happyness — and find peace UNDER the waves this week!

To Life!  To Love!  To Happyness!

9/15/17 by Grace Church
© Grace Church

Week #156 – Three Years! (and 156 Ways to Spread Happyness)

(Photo credit: Courtesy of Gina Buongiorno)

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

Week #156 – Three Years! (and 156 Ways to Spread Happyness)

Greetings Happyness Tribe — and welcome to WEEK #156!!!

Three years ago on September 5th our world changed forever — and on September 8th, SpreadHappyness was born!

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.  

Cancer wasn’t the only thing that could spread…I knew happiness could, too!

So, here are all 156 ways we have Spread Happyness from the very beginning!  Have a favorite?!  I’d love to hear about it!

(Have an idea for a future post?  I’d love to hear that, too!)

156 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!
#105 – Another Wave!
#106 – Welcome Fall!  (Celebrate the first days of Autumn!)
#107 – “How can I help?”
#108 – When in doubt, reach out!
#109 – Send a smile…send mail!
#110 – Countdown to Happyness! (Spread the Word!)
#111 – Ten Weeks to Happyness! (“Go get your wings!)
#112 – Nine Weeks to Happyness: Vote “YES” to Happyness!
#113 – Eight Weeks to Happyness: Thank a Veteran!
#114 – Seven Weeks to Happyness: Spread Kindness!
#115 – Six Weeks to Happyness: Count Your Blessings!
#116 – Five Weeks to Happyness: Monster Trucks for Toys!
#117 – Four Weeks to Happyness: Send Happy Mail!
#118 – Three Weeks to Happyness: Spread the Love!
#119 – Have a “Happy Heart-mas!”
#120 – Did you “Love Your Life” in 2016?
#121 – New Year, New View! (What are you looking toward in 2017?)
#122 – Plan Ahead (Your year…at a glance!)
#123 – Lower the Ladder!
#124 – Back to Basics: Smile, Wave, Say Hello, and ask “How are you doing?”
#125 – Valentine’s Day is February 14th!
#126 – “Have a Rob Church Kinda Day!”
#127 – Prepare to FLY!
#128 – Happyness in Action (Take the Giving Challenge)
#129 – WANTED: Happyness Spreaders!
#130 – Two years, six months: “Ride the wave!”
#131 – Out with the old!  (What are you holding on to?)
#132 – “We’re all on our own stage…” (In memory of Cindy Tedesco)
#133 – Feedback & Follow Up!
#134 – Forgive!
#135 – TO LIFE!  (What are you looking forward to this spring?)
#136 – Repost: “All I need is a pair of wheels…”
#137 – “Grab a coffee!”
#138 – Mother’s Day is May 14th!
#139 – “Take care of yourself!” (Especially on Mother’s Day)
#140 – Clear the deck!  (Summer’s coming!)
#141 – REMINDER: Keep the “Memorial” in Memorial Day
#142 – It’s Graduation Season! (What’s the best/worst advice for grads?)
#143 – Father’s Day is June 18th!
#144 – BE STILL! (Celebrate the Solstice!)
#145 – Summer Fun Lists: What’s in YOUR top ten?
#146 – Summer Fun: Take a hike!
#147 – Summer Fun: Take a seat!
#148 – Summer Fun: Take a drive!
#149 – Summer Fun: Make memories! (And share them, too!)
#150 – Summer Fun: Invite someone along!
#151 – Summer Fun: Mentor someone!
#152 – Summer Fun: “Take your baby to the carnival…”
#153 – Summer Fun: Spread Good Words!
#154 – Summer Fun: Play Tourist…in your Hometown!
#155 – Summer Fun: Spread Happyness (and start with yourself first!)
#156 – Three Years! (and 156 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 else/more would you like to see?  How can I make SH better/more relevant?  How can SH help spread EVEN 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 Three has made things real and permanent — but once again in the “doing” of this blog, there was direction, and in the direction there was hope, and in the hope there was Happyness: 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!

9/8/17 by Grace Church
© Grace Church

Week #155 – Summer Fun List: SPREAD HAPPYNESS (and start with yourself first!)

"No Regrets" (photo credit: Grace Church)

“No Regrets” (photo credit: Grace Church)

Week #155 – Summer Fun List: SPREAD HAPPYNESS (and start with yourself first!)

Greetings, All — and Happy Friday!!!

We’ve been counting down the Fridays to Labor Day Weekend with some short “Summer Fun” suggestions.  Because —  as I’ve said each week — while most adults are sure to plan their kids’ summer fun, they often overlook their own!

And here we are!  It’s Labor Day Weekend!

Do you know where your fun went?  😉

Now, before you tell me all the things that happened that STOPPED you from having fun this summer…I want you to know I understand.  We’ve had deadlines, drama, distractions, diagnosis, car troubles, work, travel, overwhelming heat, places to work, and bills to pay.

But we cannot expect Happyness to come to us.

It is an inside job first.

Labor Day Weekend marks the “unofficial” end of summer.  I hear many people say “Where did the summer go?!” and “It seems like just yesterday it was Memorial Day!”

But there are some who’ve racked up memories and stored away their summer fun for years to come…

…and others who are still pressing forward to scratch things off their summer bucket lists and squeeze every last drop out of the Summer of 2017!

Which one are you?  Which do you want to be?

There’s still time!

Your Happyness Challenge for the Week Ahead: Spread Happyness (and start with yourself first)!!!  A long weekend awaits (and a possibly rainy one on the East Coast).  Is there something you wanted 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 put yourself first and complete something FOR YOU this week.  We’re seeing reminders all the time of what’s truly important in this life…don’t put yourself off one more day!

And in case you need a few ideas, here’s a recap of this year’s Summer Fun List:

Spread Happyness — share your thoughts in the comments!

9/1/17 by Grace Church
© Grace Church