Calling all Easter Bunnies

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I’m a big fan of Easter and all of its egg related traditions. There’s egg decorating, egg rolling and, as a child, being wrapped in yellow crepe paper, given a beak and forced to do some egg laying.  Even the five year old me recognized the indignity of squatting on stage with the rest of the class whilst singing ‘chick chick chick chick chicken’ and producing chocolate eggs for the perverse pleasure of the parents. I’ve shared a sense of solidarity with battery hens ever since.

The best Easter tradition, however, has to be egg hunts: a foil-wrapped egg gleams even brighter when you’ve had to scavenge for it first. Fun for everyone. Apart from the year when Mum forgot where she’d hidden them so we all went without. Moving house a few years later, we found two lone Cadbury’s Cream Eggs in a china bird on top of the pine dresser. Inedible, alas.

So, for today’s Random Act of Joy I’m channeling the Easter Bunny and I’m taking my basket to the streets. A few dozen eggs to be hidden for the delight for whoever finds them. Hoorah!

The problem is that this bunny is stuck in London and doesn’t want the rest of the world to miss out. So, she’s calling on her fellow Joyful Revolutionists to get involved too. Wherever you are in the world this weekend, take a chocolate egg and hide it for someone else to find. Easy peasy Easter Joy for all.

Be sure to take a photo of your clandestine chocolate and post it on the Facebook Page. Let’s see where in the world our eggs end up.

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And congratulations to Heather who has won this month’s MMJ Care Package. The last two have ended up in Washington State and South Africa, but this month’s will be staying closer to home in London. If you want to be included in the draw for April, sign up below:

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Are all fresh starts created equal?

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The little chicks from the last post have been getting a lot of love, so they’re back this week as we head towards Easter.

Easter, like the start of Spring, is a time for chocolate renewal. I love chocolate a fresh start, and I’ll often take myself and a new notebook to a café so I can plan how I want my life to progress or change. So far, so empowering. But sometimes my fresh starts can be a little more self-destructive. You know, the more knee-jerk, everything must change, baby out with the bathwater, type of start. Lacking the measured self-analysis that comes with a clear head, a journal and a flat-white served by a chap with a moustache, they’re definitely more all or nothing.

Saturday night was one of those times. I had a moment of fresh start clarity that only an innocuous comment + a couple of glasses of red wine can bring. I overheard my boyfriend expressing the view that he found girls from the southern US “incredibly attractive” (he might just have said “attractive”, but I definitely heard “incredibly”). He also mentioned how much he loved their outspoken ways. Well y’all, I love me a Southern Belle too (Steel Magnolias is a fabulous film) but being neither from Savannah nor particularly forthright (other than in my head) I was suddenly seething.

“Fine, then.” I thought. “Fine. If he wants to go out with someone different then let him. I don’t care.  This is a perfect opportunity for me to change my life anyway. I might move to New York. Ha. I’ll show him. I’ll have a brownstone in Brooklyn and I’ll  marry someone from the South just to spite him. Maybe Matthew McConaughey. That would work. And I’ll probably be amazingly successful and have won some sort of global award by then too. And there’s no way I’d mention him in the acceptance speech. Then he’ll be sorry. HA!”

I continued visualising my fabulous new life as I did the washing up. The internal monologue ending only with the realisation that neither Scarlett O’Hara nor any of her kinswomen, bless their hearts, would ever do anything as lowly as the washing up. Bloody hell.

Stroppy irrationality aside, does anyone else share this reactionary behaviour?

Less fresh start and more scorched earth, it’s a way of fantasizing our way out of admitting how we feel. For many of us, being vulnerable, even if irrationally, is so frightening that we would rather raze our lives to the ground than accept the painful feeling. Whether it’s in relationships, friendships, careers or our own projects, the allure of the fresh start can be more powerful than the strength it takes to commit to where we are, risk of being hurt and all.

Yes, the Joyful Revolution celebrates big dreams and changing lives, but we need to ensure that we’re moving towards exciting changes rather than running from outdated fears. So, let’s use this time of renewal to work out which fresh starts we really want, at the same time as truly appreciating the things that we’d rather go without Easter eggs than change.

I’ll be looking for your help with Thursday’s Easter Random Act of Joy and it will also be time to draw the winner of the March Make Me Joyful Care Package. Be sure to join the mailing list to be included in the tombola:

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Why did the chicken get stapled to the envelope?

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Lambs leaping, chicks chirruping and bulbs burgeoning. Who doesn’t enjoy the transition from Winter to Spring?

I love the promise of bluebell wood walks and sunny afternoon drinks with friends. The hope of country bike rides in floral tea-dresses; hair loose in the breeze and wicker baskets filled with blooms. Ok, the reality is ditching my Winter coat too soon and spending chilly days with grey, goose-bumped skin, but Spring is so optimistic that its allure is hard to resist.

Of course, with the change of the seasons comes the fear that the year is marching ever onward. Just the other day I nodded with panic as my friend noted that she’d seen an advert for the X-Factor auditions “so, really, it’s pretty much Christmas”. I also found myself listening to Joni Mitchell’s Circle Game and glumly mumering the lyrics:

And the seasons they go round and round
And the painted ponies go up and down
We’re captive on the carousel of time.

Thanks Joni.

The thing is, time will always pass. Winter will always turn into Spring and on it goes. We can either experience it or we can miss out. Too often we fritter away our days with busy-work and panic that the year is moving forward whilst we worry that we’re not. Isn’t it ridiculous that I know (thanks Facebook) that a friend of a friend’s cat caught a toad last night*, but I’ve been “far too busy” to write any of my novel for, hmmmm, the last three months? I like a good toad tale as much as the next girl, but wouldn’t working on my own stories be better?

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So today’s Random Act of Joy is a reminder to welcome Spring with the promise that we will not only stop to admire the delights of the season as they appear, but also that we will be inspired by this period of renewal to renew how we use our time. Whether it’s more time for fun and silliness or more time to achieve a life ambition, let’s ride the carousel of time rather than being captive on it.

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My chick friends and I have written 12 joyful notes and dotted them around London with this reminder. Here’s hoping that they will be found by the people who need the message the most. And here’s hoping that my little chicks survive the indignity of being stapled to the envelopes. Ouch. But they do look so cute…

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* You’ll be pleased to know that the toad survived.

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