Days 12 – 16 of Happiness Challenge

This undated image released by Copyright Bob Ross Inc./The Joy of Painting, shows the late Bob Ross, host of the PBS series "The Joy of Painting." PBS said Thursday it's posted a video remix with clips from "The Joy of Painting" instructional series, featuring the late Bob Ross. The "Happy Painter" remix is from John Boswell, who created the "Garden of Your Mind" video tribute to Fred Rogers. That mashup of clips from "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" has been viewed nearly 6 million times on YouTube. "The Joy of Painting," still seen in repeats, aired on PBS from 1983 to 1994 with its bushy-haired, mellow-voiced host. Ross died in 1995. (AP Photo/Copyright Bob Ross Inc. ® The Joy of Painting)
(AP Photo/Copyright Bob Ross Inc. ® The Joy of Painting)

Day 12 – Creation day

Create something. It can be artsy fartsy or cooking something, baking, making a baby (tehe!), whatever you are in the mood to create – go to it! Create something fun – something that inspires you.

thank you

Day 13 – Thank you day

Send/give a thank you gift or thank you card to someone today. This can be anyone. Thank anyone for anything, even if it’s someone new at the office you don’t normally talk to – thank them for their presence, their smile, their good energy – even if they don’t seem happy or nice – this will make them feel good and they probably need it. It’s easy to be nice to another kind person. It’s harder to be kind to someone who is or seems mean or stand-offish. But those are the people who especially need our kindness.

baking

Day 14 – Bake or make a happy

Bake cookies or brownies (or fruit/veggie tray if you’re being healthy) or something you think the office or neighbors would like, bring it with you to the office to share, or take a plate to your neighbor’s house (or a Ziploc bag if you think you won’t get your plate back). Or fruit or veggies that you are growing from your own yard or fresh picked flowers from your yard.

Family-Playing-Game-Together

Day 15 – Do something fun day

– something that fills your heart with joy – preferably with family and/or friends, cook out, go to a play, go to a movie, eat out and chat, rent a movie – get take out – and spend the day hanging out with your besties at home, water park, zoo, lunch and the park, roller skating, some sort of social function/party/meet-up – whatever you do, you have to smile, laugh, talk, be silly and have fun!

community

Day 16 – Community day

This can be in person or if you are part of an online community where you can share your authentic self and feel like you are part of a community of like-minded people, a place where you feel accepted or a place where you can help someone in any way, shape or form.

_____

Y’all could do as many of these together on one day as you like or split them all up. Hope you enjoy each one and they make you feel all lit up inside!

Love you!  xoxo

#happilyeverafter

Days 7-11 of the Happily Ever After Challenge

I apologize for being a bit slow on keeping this updated. Since the next 4 days will be catching up, I will try to keep them short and sweet.

fitness

Day 7 – Fitness

To some, this should be a four letter word, me included. Now, if it was spent hiking a trail (but not in this Mississippi summer heat), snow skiing, water skiing or mountain climbing, I’d look forward to it, but the thought of going to the gym, or getting on the treadmill in my living room or simply taking a walk, blegh. However, once I actually get on the treadmill, about halfway through the experience, I’m liking it. I’m thinking, “Well, this is going to whip my bootie into shape while at the same time, giving me energy to fuel my day, increasing and bettering my mood, making my heart healthy and once I’m done, I’ll step off into a high, which I love!” Do you ever get that? You step off the treadmill and you feel like you’re floating across the floor? I love it! However you get your fitness, it’s good for you and it will boost your level of happiness.

pamper

Day 8 – Pamper yourself day

Treat yourself to a luxurious hot bubble bath or fragrant bath salts. Light some candles. Turn on some mood music (Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, Etta James, or whatever strikes your fancy) and pamper yourself.  This is a great day for sipping your coffee outside just before the sunrise, in the coolness of the day, listening to nature, watching the colors of the sky change and the vibrancy of the green in the trees before and after the sunshine rests upon them. Dance through your day. Sway to mellow music that feels healing to you, or jazz it up and pump it up, get yo booty on the floor and do that happy dance, depending on your mood. Want relaxation or to shake yo booty? A nice cup of hot tea in the evening with a piece of shortbread or a scone is a nice treat at the end of the day.

grass

Day 9 – Get out in nature

If it’s 107 degrees with the heat index where you are, like it is here, try to get outdoors just when the sun is rising or just before when the sky is starting to light up, or get outside at sunset, dusk or just after it gets dark, dance with the fireflies, walk barefoot in the grass, listen to the sounds of nature, the crickets chirping, the birds singing, the frogs burping. Either take a 10-20 minute walk, (just walk around on your lawn barefoot), or sit outside in your porch swing (or what have you) and awaken your senses to the great outdoors – sounds of nature, feeling the breeze (hopefully) on your skin and in your hair, take in the beauty surrounding you, notice the fragrance in the air where you are.

smile

Day 10 – Smile day

Wherever you are, whether alone or in a crowd, smile! Work those grinning muscles! Even if it’s fake, fake it till ya make it. Just the simple act of smiling can make you wanna turn that frown upside down. Sometimes going through the motions can lift your spirits and get you out of the funk you’re in. Look in the mirror and smile. Grin a silly grin. Just pretend if you have to, and before long, you won’t be pretending.

laugh

Day 11 – Laugh day

Make yourself laugh! Make others laugh. Tell jokes. Listen to jokes. Watch funny movies. Listen to your favorite comedian. Visit with family members or friends that are funny and silly and let them make you laugh, or vice versa. Do whatever you have to do to laugh as much as you can today. Turn on a fun dance song, pretend you are making your own silly music video. Sing to it and dance around, put on a sexy gaze that can only produce belly laughter! Sometimes, ya gotta be crazy, shake things up, and get yo laugh on! Do this alone or with others. I do this quite frequently when I’m alone and with my family. Crazy, right? Yup, that’s me.

Have a stellar day, y’all!  Love ya!

*smooch*

#HappilyEverAfter

Day 5 & Day 6 of Happily Ever After 30 day Challenge

meditation

I’m a day late and dollar short but I’m here, showing up…

And with that, let us begin with our Day 5 that I’m a day behind on…

Day 5 = Meditation

No, I didn’t say medication, although meditation is sort of medication for the soul, for the mind, as well as relaxation of stress and worry for the body, so sure, meditation can be considered medication, but no drugs are involved with this.

Not to sound too woo-woo, as meditation, to some, can be considered new-agey or something abnormal. That’s what I used to think about meditation, anyway. And I know many who think it’s weird, new-agey or not in line with their religion. Fact is, meditation dates back over 5,000 years.

This is simply training the mind to relax, focus on simply the music playing and/or the words spoken when using a guided meditation, which is what I prefer.

I dare you to try it. It’s the stuff! It’s made a profound impact on me and my focus and being able to still myself and be in the moment and more aware. Although, when I go a few days or weeks without it, I can also see myself begin to spiral downward back into my depths of despair of whatever negative things are going on in my life at the moment. Meditation, for me, helps me to be more aware of myself in the moment, helps me to relax more, worry and doubt less, believe more, while also teaching me to be gentle with myself and cut me a break – something I’m not used to doing. I’ve always been harder on myself than anyone else so this has been quite the lesson for me.

If you need a free resource or lead to some great guided meditations – you can Google guided meditation on YouTube and look for the most viewed or most liked, or one of the ones I prefer to use is an app I downloaded on my Android phone: Mindfulness Meditations – once you download, then click Library, then Mindfulness for Releasing Anxiety FREE (23 minutes).

I dare you to meditate at least 20 minutes a day for a week and tell me how it’s changed your life.

healthy eating

Today, you get 2 for the price of 1 = Day 6 = Healthy Eating

It’s all about eating less junk food and filling your plate (not to the brim, but sensible servings) with dark green, leafy stuff. Baby spinach is great! Eat more salad, chop up strawberries and add a couple, add some blue cheese, or your preferred flavor, and then ever so light on the vinaigrette. Drink more water. You are supposed to get 64 oz of fluids per day. Hot summer days and more physical activity means you need even more than that. Eat more veggies. Get your protein through chicken and/or turkey, as these are probably the healthiest proteins for your body. Less red meat. Cut the sugar. Sugar is probably the leading cause of acne, wrinkles, age spots and other skin conditions, among other internal disease.

Try to get away from processed foods and go for the more organic and raw foods. Berries are great for you! The more colorful the fruit and veggie, the better it is for you. Red bell pepper, eggplant, pomegranate, blueberries, strawberries, etc. Sweet potatoes and bananas are good for you, also, but if you are trying to lose weight, opt to find your potassium elsewhere rather than bananas, because those will not help you lose weight. Kick away the hamburgers, the chips, the soda, candy, cookies, cake, etc. Eating healthy will not only lead to a healthier body, healthier skin, but also a healthier disposition, because not only will you BE healthier, you’ll FEEL healthier and be filled with more energy, thus leading to happiness, or #HappilyEverAfter – woo-hooo!

Hope you are finding yourself a bit happier.  Let me know if I can help!

Love ya!  xoxo

Carol

Day 4 – Say “I love you” to You

love you

Welcome to Day 4 of the Happily Ever After 30 day Challenge! How’s it working for you, so far, on your happiness production?

Today is about loving yourself. For some of us, this is a hard one but once you learn to love yourself, even like yourself, WOW! How much happier you will feel and it’s kind of like losing 50 pounds! Off your back and shoulders.

Try this:

Look at yourself in the mirror and say “I love you.” Keep saying it until you mean it. If it helps, pretend you are two people – your higher self and your inner child. Have your higher self tell your inner child “I love you” and say it until you mean it.

Part of the problem of society is being on the receiving end of anger, rejection, being cast out, not being accepted (from parents, siblings, classmates, teachers, co-workers, employers, lovers, spouses, children, even church members – for crying out loud, etc.), so we’ve learned to not accept ourselves, not appreciate ourselves, not love ourselves, so we turn to vices that may not be good for us. It’s time to own these things/feelings for ourselves. This is my path in life and your path and where we end up is dependent on the things we do now and feelings we have for ourselves now, in this moment. Do not accept how others treated you as your truth. You define who you are – no one else. It’s your journey and the changes begin now. It’s time to honor yourself, appreciate yourself and your accomplishments, know that you are worthy of great things and you are beautiful inside and out just as you are in this moment and you will only get better.

Extra points if you wrap your arms around your inner child (you) at bedtime just before sleep and tell her/him “I love you.” And mean it. Doing this has helped me sooo much, as I am a mother and THAT is my greatest role. I treasure motherhood. I treasure that precious girl. So when I do this, I imagine it’s how I feel about my child, and that (my) inner child needs to be loved and celebrated! And so does yours!!!

You are worthy of love. You are forgiven. You are beautiful. You are special and you deserve a happy, fulfilling life! Great things are headed your way, love! You can say these things to yourself, as well! Because they are true!

“Pure love has no conditions or boundaries. Love does not restrain itself or hold back. Love gives and it doesn’t ask for anything in return. Love is a continuous flow without any limits. And all of this is inside you.”
– Rhonda Byrne
Love others without limits. Love yourself without conditions.

Love you! Smooches!  xoxo

#happilyeverafter

Dance & Sing to a Shake Yo Bootie Song

dance-of-joy-o

Welcome to Day 3 of the Happily Ever After 30 day challenge. How’s it been going so far? Have you tried the assignments for days 1 and 2? Did you feel happier as a result? Let us know in the comments.

Whether you consider yourself to have rhythm or not, it’s a great day to turn on your favorite upbeat sing-along songs and get up and shake yo bootie in any way you can. It doesn’t have to be pretty, it just needs to be done, and the sillier it is, the more fun and the more happiness it brings! Dare to laugh at yourself. That’s what this is about – having fun, being silly, cultivating happy.

Need some tunage inspiration?

Now, tune in to any fun make-ya-wanna-get-up-and-shake-yo-bootie song (preferably, as many as you can), look up the lyrics if you need to, and dance and sing it out. Dance the silliest way you can, to where if it was being filmed, you’d laugh your butt off, and while you’re at it, sing loudly, even if it makes the dogs howl.

Let me know if ya need more tunes.

Got some fun songs you’d like to share? List as many as you like in the comments.

(Changed publishing time from midnight to 6am Central)

Love you guys! xoxo

-Carol

#happilyeverafter

Day 2 – Happily Ever After – Engage in Conversation with a Stranger

happy day 2

So, how’d ya do on Day 1?  Today, it’s the same idea as yesterday but the other one that you didn’t do. So if you paid it forward on Saturday, engage a stranger in a conversation, even if just to say hello or pay someone a compliment. Easy peasy, right? If you did both Saturday, then extra points for you!  You can do either one or both again today? Totally up to you.

Have a day filled with happy blessings!  xoxo

#happilyeverafter

Day 1 – Happily Ever After – Pay it Forward, or…

happy day1

Greetings and salutations, sunshiny people! Or potential sunshiny people? I realize maybe some of us, or all of us, are less than social lately and less than optimistic and probably not as happy as we’d like to be. We don’t have to discuss why. We all know why. We all have our own individual reasons and, certainly, collective ones! Our circumstances and status of the world should not be allowed to zap all of our happiness. Easier said than done, I get it. If you’re anything like me, you focus more on the negative surrounding you rather than all the completely fantastical things and people you have in your life to be grateful for. Why the heck do we do this?! It’s crazy, right?!

I mean, I have this and this and that and that and all this to be thankful for – it adds up to like 20 things just off the top of my head I can think of in two seconds of thought. Yet, one negative thing happens and BLAM! I’m crying in my coffee, asking, “Why?” And then it’s all I can focus on for days…and days…and weeks… And I go into a state of what I like to call mentalpause where I cannot focus on anything good, or anything happy – I’m just completely blocked off from everything. Do you get this way? It’s pathetic, right?!

It’s time to stop it. I’m talking to me, too. I know one thing for a fact about happiness – it is a conscious choice we make every minute of our lives and it should not be swayed by incoming change and catastrophe. We have a choice – if we don’t like it and we have the power to change it, then we take action to change it. If we can’t change it, then it is what it is and we have to accept it (or try to learn how – while not having a major motha of a meltdown), and (dare I say) be thankful for it. Thankful because the change and growth that occurs inside our souls is transforming us into higher beings, but only if we let it. Our souls are strengthening, learning and growing to higher states of being from all the good, the bad and the ugly.

(And if you’re happy constantly? Well, good for you.)

I’m going to keep each day’s post somewhat short and sweet. This, day 1, will probably be the longest one. And without further ado – let us cultivate and share happiness, shall we?

Day 1 is about Paying It Forward, but there’s a twist – you can choose that or you can choose to Engage in Conversation with a Stranger.

main2

I’ll choose Social Engagement for $100, Alex.

I’m not talking about on social media, not blogging – it’s not about technical devices today. That’s why I’m starting it on a Saturday – a day when people are usually out and about, getting their grocery shopping done, running errands, spending time with family and/or friends, and perhaps going out for a meal somewhere.

So the assignment for all of us today (and yes, that includes me) is to engage with at least one person – a stranger – for either a conversation, even if it’s just to say “How’s your day going?” or compliment them on their outfit, how they have a great smile, nice shoes… but then, you have a great imagination and I know you can come up with something on your own – Or to pay it forward by buying the person behind you a $5 coffee or $10 lunch, buy someone’s groceries, however much you want to spend – it’s totally up to you. I’ve been on the giving and receiving end of this one and it’s the most incredible feeling!!!

Either of these actions will fill your heart up with gladness!!  I cannot express how much happiness it brings to engage with others that you don’t even know, open up a little, smile, talk to them, pay it forward, whatever feels like the thing to do.

Extra points if you do both today.

And if you’re too po to pay it forward, you will probably continue to be po, because if it’s one thing I’ve learned over the span of 40+ years, it’s that when you give, you get back, usually x 10, so you do the math. And it’s not about the amount of money you spend. It’s about sharing what’s been given to you with others. It’s called spreadin’ the loooove. Send out the love = get love in return. Don’t share (with joy) what you have = you’ll get more of nut’n.

Let me know what you did. It’s not about bragging. It’s about loving. It’s about sharing your soul with people and spreading happiness. It’s about honoring yourself as well as those around you.

And one additional thing that may help you on your happiness journey – a gladness journal. Try to spend just 10 or 15 minutes at the end of each day writing out those things and occurrences and people that you are so very grateful and happy and thankful for. It will help place your mind in a state of joy and peace, while also focusing on the positive, which we are trying to do here – focusing more on what’s good. Doing this will not only aid to your happiness but will better your overall health – emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually.

If you want to cultivate even more happiness around the globe just from where you are, share this post with your friends, so they can give and receive happiness, as well. I’ll be posting each of the 30 days at midnight (Central).

Love ya! C-ya tomorra!  xoxo

Carol

#happilyeverafter

 

Happily Ever After 30 Day Challenge Begins at Midnight!

happy dog linkedin

Are y’all ready for the challenge?  That happiness will start creeping in at midnight (Central). Almost time to get yo happy on!  Don’t forget to share with your friends – we all need to cultivate some happiness.  Remember, it’s only located on the blog or on the Facebook page.

#happilyeverafter

2 Days till Happily Ever After 30 Day Challenge Begins!

happy 2 days linkedin

2 days and counting till the challenge begins! Are you ready for happy? Share with your friends and help them cultivate happiness, too.

#happilyeverafter

3 days till Happily Ever After

happy 3days till

Hey guys! 3 days till the Happily Ever After 30 day challenge begins! Join us here at the blog or through the Facebook page.  Gear up and get ready to cultivate more happiness in your life!

#happilyeverafter