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I love to see a curious mind at work. This young photographer (and family friend) really enjoyed capturing photos and seeing the results of her snapping. For her there is as much magic in viewing photo after photo in the camera as there is in clicking the shutter.

Synapsis fire, eyes shine, dimples appear, joy spreads.

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I spy joy in frosting shots

Frosting shots at Cupcake Jones

Frosting shots at Cupcake Jones

Never, until today, have I heard of frosting shots.  All I can say is, “WOW.”

Today is Treat Tuesday and our trio of treat seekers went to Cupcake Jones.  Had I any idea how delectable the frosting is on their cupcakes I would have had a shot of frosting. Alas, life is a journey and we learn as we live.  Which is to say I ordered a cupcake.  Mocha Almond Fudge.

The cupcake was pretty tasty, but the frosting was the real treat and I found myself eating it first, leaving a quarter of the cake behind entirely.

There’s a life lesson here.

Some treats are better than others. Some days are better than others. Some parts of the treat are better than others.  Some moments in the day are better than others. It’s perfectly ok to eat the frosting and leave the cake. Savor the best moments of the day and let go of the rest.

Holding on to moments, events, conversations (or cake) of the day that displease you puts unnecessary junk (calories) in your brain (on your hips) that does not serve you.

So what I’m really saying here is that everything I need to know about life I learned from a cupcake. You know, that kind of works for me.

daily good logoI sign up to get emails delivered to me by various inspirational websites.  One I am really enjoying is Daily Good.

“DailyGood is an inspiring quote, a related good-news story, and a simple action — delivered to your inbox for free by volunteers every day. Just a ripple a day, simply to spread the good.”

I love it.  Saturday’s good-news story starts out like this:

Bren Bataclan’s cheerful cartoon creatures have been exhibited in some high places: at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, in Logan International Airport and even on a Girl Scout patch.

But lately he’s been leaving his artwork outside unemployment offices and closed-down retail stores across the country bearing the note: “Everything is Going to Be Alright – This Painting is Yours to Take.”

Joy lives.  And it spreads.

Joy QuoteSavor more; fix less. Laugh more; cry less. Anticipate positively more; anticapte negatively less. Nothing is more important than that you feel good. Just practice that and watch what happens.

Esther Hicks

There was a time when I would have thought this to be a very selfish way to live. Now I know that this is actually a very generous way to live.

How much more do we give when we’re happy, rather than sad?  When we are happy and feeling good we listen more, help more, love more, laugh more and smile more–all of which benefits others as well as ourselves.  We do the world a great service by being joyful in it.

Spicy, dark drinking chocolate

Spicy, dark drinking chocolate

Sitting on a park bench reading the underlined passages in my copy of Ask And It Is Given, I was reminded of the power of feeling good. “There is no greater gift you can give than your own happiness.”

Esther and Jerry go on to say that when we are happy, everyone around us benefits (which is now scientifically proven by Fowler and Christakis).

I don’t know about you, but when I think happiness, chocolate is almost sure to follow. This is an opportune time to practice seizing the moment.

In the interest of happiness and the greater good for all, I quickly texted my two chocolate-loving co-workers and it wasn’t long before we found ourselves sitting at Cacao.

Cacao is a heavenly place.  It’s nirvana smack-dab in the middle of Portland, Oregon. And we three, sipping, savoring our drinkable chocolate were elevated to levels of joy untold.  The spicy dark chocolate with a touch of cayenne is my favorite.  I pledge my undying love to it.

We were all so thrilled with ourselves and the liquid loveliness before us that we decided we should do something fabulous every single week. Tuesdays are a good day for fabulousness, we decided. “Treat Tuesdays,” affirmed Kristin. And so it is.

From now until forever we are celebrating Treat Tuesdays with something marvelous. I highly recommend you join us.

Tall red grass
Tall red grass

Coming in to work this morning I noticed, maybe for the first time, a planter full of tall red grass encircled by bright yellow marigolds.

The sky is now blue and the air warm, but this morning was grey and crisp and a cool wind tossed the air back and forth like a kitten with a ball. It was a brief and refreshing reminder that fall is on its way.

In the breezy early hours the tall, red, wheat-like grass danced around so elegantly it called for an audience. It’s Monday, however, and most urbanites are hurrying off to begin their work week, too busy too stop and watch the long lean leaves sway to a silent song.

 I was unusually early this morning, and in no hurry at all. So the red grass had an adoring audience of one. As I stood admiring the beauty and grace before me I felt so fortunate. I quietly thanked the plants for their loveliness, the city planner for the container, the landscaper for the combination of colors and heights, and coordinated set of circumstances that brought me to that moment in time.

 Life truly is grand.

Joy QuoteDon’t ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.

– Dr. Howard Thurman

Reminds me of that song: “what the world…needs now…is love…sweet love”.  Classic.

Coming alive.  Love.  Same, same.