Introducing The Spreadable Joy Series
February. The month of chocolates and roses. The month of love. Some love it, some not so much. For lots it is an opportunity to ‘show’ their loved ones how much they care. For others it is just another month the shops take advantage of the shoppers in an act of commercialisation.
But what about self-care and the self-care of those you don’t know?
What about using February as a month of Random Acts of Kindness, or rather gathering with us in our Spreadable Joy mission and ‘spreading’ some joy anonymously. We aren’t talking about standing on the sidewalk with a megaphone shouting ‘Love yourself’ and handing out hugs, we are talking about quiet, discreet pockets of surprise for people that spread warmth to everyone, but especially for those who are needing it that day. We are talking about this month’s Spreadable Joy, Post-It Note Affirmations.
What is an affirmation? What are we talking about in this context? We are referring to positive affirmations that a person can tell themselves to move away from toxic negative thoughts of inferiority that we may repeat to ourselves. All humans have negative thoughts about themselves in one way or another, however if we leave those thoughts unchecked it can slowly start to chip away at the love we should have for ourselves.
‘There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement and acceptance. We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create. Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life.’
So how can we help others to take a positive affirmation away with them today? Easy! By printing out our Post-It Note Affirmation printable that you can put up in a public toilet or on an advertising board, at school in the common room, in your classroom, at home, in your office, on a public bench or fence, in a cafe, anywhere!
If you don’t have a printer though… Don’t panic, an even more simple way of doing it is by using actual post-it notes with one affirmation on each and placing them in spots wherever you go. It is so super simple, with little effort required. Why not get your children involved, explain why you are doing it, ask them if you think it would make someone who is sad smile, even for a moment?
As you go exploring while dispensing these notes, introduce the concept of self love to your children. Certainly those who are four years and above, who have started school will have some hold on it. School is when comparison begins to emerge between peers. To teach self love at this age is to begin to build confidence in their worth and the knowledge that they are like no one else in the world. That they matter and have worth just the way they are. That if they are to love, really love other people and make great relationships in the future they need to first love and care for themselves.
Some ideas of affirmations to use on post it notes:
- I choose to follow my dreams today
- It is enough to do my best
- I matter
- I am capable
- I choose to rise above
- I am not the mistakes I have made
- I choose happiness today
- I am beautiful inside and out
- I am enough
- I will love myself unconditionally
- I choose courage over fear
- I am brave and bold
- I am strong enough to get through this
- I know my worth, I am priceless
- Today I will be patient with myself
- My strength is more than my struggles
- I CAN do this
- There is only one ME in this world
So, during this month of love, we ask you to do more then just loving yourself and those closest to you. Tend to your private garden and the gardens of your loved ones, but don’t forget to tend to the woodlands beyond you. Love and spread love to everyone, especially the ones who might need it today, tomorrow and the day after that. All it takes is one seed to grow a tree and that one tree has the potential to make more. Imagine if everyone in the world planted one seed of kindness. Apart from having more oxygen, we’d have a forest as far as the eye could see. A forest of kindness. What a sight to behold that would be.
Grace Selous Bull is an arts education author and freelance blogger. Her book, ‘Potty About Pots: arts and crafts for home and school’ is aimed at children from 5-12 years old and takes them through a journey of ceramics through time. Her blog, The Rainbow Tree, explores all aspects of arts and crafts, and is aimed at children of all ages. She is a full time Mummy of two girls, both of whom love being creative, and is married to her husband, Andrew, who does not. Follow her on instagram and twitter.
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