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Natural Awakenings Boston

Simple Reminders for a Month of Joy

Jul 31, 2013 03:26PM ● By Maisie Raftery

A good friend recently introduced me to HolidayInsights.com, a fun site that includes a list of bizarre and unique “holidays” each month. I thought it would be fun to share some special events in August along with a few ideas on how to celebrate each week. Of course, it is always best to stay mindful of our many reasons for joy, but such occasions spark reminders in case we catch ourselves auto-piloting through our days.

Week 1: National Simplify Your Life Week

  • Unplug! For at least a few hours each day, resolve to remain disconnected from all electronic devices.
  • Let go of negative influences in interactions with others. Steer clear of gossip and instead focus on the good things happening in the lives of friends and family members.
  • Don’t over commit. It seems we’re all so busy cramming long-anticipated activities into warm weather months that we tend to overextend ourselves and perhaps our resources, losing the natural joys of a slow summer in the process. Choose to participate only in activities that nurture your soul.

Week 2: National Smile Week

  • Practice smiling at and making eye contact with strangers. Open doors, graciously let other drivers pass or cut in, buy a bottle of water for the next person in line at the drive through. There are countless ways to make a stranger smile when you think about it. What makes you smile?
  • Share silly pictures and videos on social networking sites and via personal email networks.
  • Surprise a loved one with flowers or their favorite treat.

Week 3: Friendship Week

  • Reach out to an old friend you haven’t seen for a while and catch up on life.
  • Create a picture collage of memories for a special friend and leave it in a place they’re sure to find it unexpectedly.
  • Summer is a great time to initiate a casual gathering of both old and new friends. Remember the principle of Week 1 and keep it simple. Gather for a game of Frisbee, bocce, volleyball or badminton at a local park, lakeside or at the beach. Meet for appetizers and dessert at a colorful local watering hole. It’s all about making memories.
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Week 4: Be Kind to Humankind Week

  • For this, I recommend a visit to BK2HK.org. Their motto: Decide to be Kind.

We can always choose to be happy and so raise our level of happiness each moment of every day. It’s nice to have these “holidays” as a reminder for a little keener focus. We can start by putting a smile on our face right now and feel the difference within.

Enjoy every last bit of this stunning New England Summer!

Maisie Raftery, Publisher