I just wanted to write a little note about a neat little activity I have signed up for in case any of my readers may be interested in joining along. It involves strangers and love…hear me out!
I was introduced to this idea from a Facebook post that a friend of mine tagged me in. She and I are pen pals as well as being pals in real life. We both jumped at the chance to participate. That’s because it involves writing letters and I just love a good old letter writing binge.
I have posted before about the #Lovenotesfairy project that ended up sending me dozens and dozens of handwritten letters from all over Canada and the United States. This is one of the many truly wonderful ideas by Jennifer Belthoff who truly is one of our very own angels here on earth!
Well, this new activity is very much like that but it’s all about strangers. The idea is to write letters from August 1st to the 31st and leave them around in public places where strangers will find your little notes of love and encouragement.
We THINK a ridiculous number of thoughts per second with our sophisticated computer brains. This means that throughout the day, thoughts of just about anything can scan across the old noggin at lightning speed.
This, in and of itself, is a miraculous and wondrous thing that we are scarcely aware of as it is happening in real time. We quickly make an inventory of such grippers as: favorite striped socks are in the laundry so I have to pick another pair, we need bread, my student has to hand in his assignment today, and I have a dental appointment in two days at 4 PM.
In fact, coming up with thoughts is hardly ever a problem.
Most often, I write about taking time to let go of thoughts such as my post on the Insight Timer or when I write about letting things go in Two Monks.
Thoughts flow on their own
Thoughts, however, flow as quickly as water cascading over the falls and most of them just fall into oblivion. They get categorized in a sophisticated filing system in our brains where hopefully we can retrieve them when necessary. When the boss asks for the details from the lesson plans we’re presenting, we feel grateful that our internal logistics pull out the proper file and we can rhyme off in ‘education speak’ and answer with what we actually do remember from the situation.
The system is working as it should. We are said to have around 50,000 thoughts per day which makes it about 40 or so thoughts per minute according to this article from Huffpost.
What happens when I don’t think before I speak?
A few years ago, I was introduced to a fabulous little acronym that addresses a different kind of information retrieval. You may or may not be familiar with a different brain function known as: ‘I wish I hadn’t said that’; ‘Did I say that out loud?; or ‘What was I thinking?’
That function where our crazy little brains work on overdrive, we blurt out what needed to be filtered, and we immediately react with something akin to ‘Whoa! I wish I hadn’t said that!’
In comes the acronym: T.H.I.N.K
It’s super easy, (it does take practice) and it can really change your life if you use it.
It goes like this:
Friend: I’m thinking about starting a pole dancing scrabble club at the Legion.
Old Me: What?!!!
New Me: (Thinking to myself hmm….THINK…is it Thoughtful, Honest, Intelligent, Necessary, or Kind?)
When I can’t answer all of these questions in the affirmative…
New Me: “I’m sure you’ll succeed if you put your mind to it”.
There it is. A super simple filtering process that can save us all a LOT of trouble. We tend to offer far more advice than is solicited. When we sit back and allow others to do what they feel is right for them (and we just keep our mouths shut) we all win.
Who really is the expert?
There are literally hundreds of things that have caught on like wildflower, that the world would have originally scoffed at: ever heard of the lightbulb, the telephone, the microwave, online shopping? These are all things that were predicted to go nowhere. You can find out more about these kinds of items here or here.
Who are we to judge?
Last time I checked, I was not an expert on Pole Dancing (I know, hard to believe!), and quite frankly, anything that involves Scrabble could be a great idea! Next time you go off thinking you’re about to be an ‘expert’ maybe….
Do you think you could add more wonder and magic to each day? Are you finding it hard to break out of yourself and do new things?
As you know, my motto these days is to start each day knowing that something wonderful is about to happen. I love this outlook on life because it truly makes me feel that even in the hard times, it is easy to remember that good times are not far off. Searching for the good times is not hard for me. I have simply to think about the little wonders that creep into my day and it brings a smile to my face as I prepare to sleep each night.
I decided to put together a handy list of 31 Wonderful Things you can do to brighten up your month. By no means do I want you to feel that you have to follow along each day but I can assure you, I will be doing some of the following activities to spruce up my next 31 days.
Here they are:
I would be delighted if you wanted to follow along with me and share the ideas you’ve been adding to your day.
Let’s make it a great month together. And as always, thank you so much for tuning into my SOMETHING WONDERFUL blog!
Love Ingrid x
P.S. You don’t have to start your 31 Days of Wonder at the beginning of the month…why not start today!?
In keeping with my latest blog posts about re-framing my thinking with the use language and how I set myself up for success and growth, I was reminded of another really great word switch that I do to empower myself further.
I had recently noticed myself telling people, ‘I have to go to the doctor on such and such a date’. “I have to talk to the anesthesiologist”. “I have to go for a consult with this doctor”….you see what I am doing there?!
I am making it a burden to go. I am setting myself up for an ‘us vs. them’ scenario.
I decided, before my appointment, that I was going to turn the tables on my own frame of mind and you may not believe just how simple it is.
Here’s what I did:
About a week before my appointment, when anyone asked what was up next for me, I said: “I get to meet the anesthesiologist on (date)”. “I get to talk to the anesthesiologist about a blood patch”. “Date is the day I get to discuss my options with the anesthesiologist”.
I gave myself the driver’s seat again and put myself back in a position of choice, open-heartedness, open-mindedness, and empowerment. I have yet to have this appointment, at the time of writing, but I assure you my state of mind has drastically changed. I am not dreading the appointment nearly as much as I was. I am researching to give myself a good foundation below me, rather than to give myself enough ‘ammunition’ to state my case.
One word is an obligation or burden…the other is opportunity and desire! (My grade 4 English teacher was right….words ARE important!)
I cannot guarantee that the results will be any different at my appointment…but that is the whole point…I will be different and that will make all the difference in the world!
I encourage you to try this for a week or a month, or even just before a big meeting or appointment for which you are otherwise feeling fearful. It really does help!
Let me know in the comments if this has worked for you. I love hearing your successes too!