The London marathon is nearly six weeks away. Which means that in six weeks I’ll be crawling sprinting confidently in the manner of an athletic goddess for 26.2 miles around London. On my most recent long run I was cheered by the swathes of daffodils that have suddenly started to appear and it inspired me to do another daffodil Random Act of Joy (you can see the first here). A few bunches, some cheerful notes and each office in my building had a yellow surprise to greet them this morning. Here’s one waiting to go:
2. A happiness experiment
Ok, so the chap in the lab coat is a little creepy, but I love this experiment which shows the impact of thanking people for the positive impact they have in our lives. Watch it and then give someone you love a call. Watch here.
Thank you to lovely reader Blanca for sharing it with me.
3. A Bicycle made for two
As a Valentine’s treat, I surprised Alec by hiring a tandem. Which is pretty much the most joyful thing I’ve done so far this year. Amazing. Even on the rainiest, windiest seaside day we were met with smiles, cheers and only a little laughter from some local teens. Alas, I wasn’t able to sit on the back and not pedal, but I did have time to take some pictures en route.
I heartily recommend it.
Leave a comment below and let me know what’s making you joyful this week.
I’m not always joyful. There are days when I’m grumpy, miserable and a little bit mean. Days when I don’t want to do Random Acts of Joy for strangers. Instead, I want to scowl at them and maybe give them an elbow in the ribs when they leave me wedged in the train doors because they couldn’t wait for everyone to get off before they forced their way on. And sometimes I do.
The problem with making living a joyfully a priority is that when we don’t feel all sunshine and sparkles, we worry that we’re failing.
Living joyfully is the aim. It’s the direction to point ourselves towards, but like last Saturday night when I spent an hour driving to get to the destination that was five minutes away (and, yes, I should have walked) we don’t always get exactly where we want to be at exactly the time we want to be there.
So what do we do?
We allow yourself to feel what you’re feeling, but then you reach for the better feeling thought.
My friend Susan wrote about the ‘climbing the positivity ladder’ here and she’s so right. We’re not always able to jump from deepest despair to dancing with delight, but we can move from despair to doubt or from ‘meh’ to marvellous. It’s about nudging ourselves forwards. And with each step up the ladder we gather more and more momentum until we’re back to wanting to surprise and delight strangers rather than surprise them with a shove in front of the train!*
What do you think? Does it work for you? Let me know in the comments below.
For today’s special Random Act of Joy I asked you to nominate people who might like a joyful surprise in the form of some Valentine’s love. You didn’t disappoint. Over 50 cards should be landing on mats around the world in the morning.
It was such a pleasure to hear the stories if best friends, boyfriends, parents, husbands and even exes. All of whom you wanted to make sure woke up to a little message of love.
You’re a fabulous bunch. Thank you.
My card making skills may have become a little ropey by the end of the process, but each little message was made and sent with love. I hope that they bring a little joy tomorrow and I hope that all of you, whatever your relationship status, have a day full of passion, pleasure and cheap chocolate wrapped in red foil.Sending you love.