All posts filed under: giving

Happy International Day of Friendship!

Today is the UN’s International Day of Friendship. It’s annually held on 30 July to celebrate friendships worldwide. To mark the day, the UN encourages governments, organisations, and community groups to hold events, activities and initiatives that promote solidarity, mutual respect and reconciliation. But you too can get involved and spread the message of friendship without any prior planning! Remember friendship enriches our lives by increasing our sense of belonging and purpose, boosts our happiness and self-esteem, and is a proven antidote to depression. What other reason do you need to show your gratitude for friendship today? Here are our top 10 ideas: Write a “just because” card or letter and post it to a friend Plan a future date night Make a friend a playlist of your favourite songs and shared memories, then send them the link Pick up the phone and call an old friend – we all too heavily rely on whatsapp and texts nowadays, but there’s something so much more satisfying (and human) about actually hearing their voice Even better, go knock on their door unannounced and …

Be happy. Be productive. Build PERMA.

We all want to be happy. When we’re happy we look on the bright side of life, take ourselves less seriously, become more motivated, loving and generally better people. Scientist know our genes and upbringing influence around 50% of the variation in our personal levels of happiness and our circumstances, (like income and external environment) about 10%. Which leaves as much as 40% accounted for by our daily activities – the relationships we keep, the things we do and the choices we make. So our actions strongly impact our happiness levels, which is great news because it means we can easily improve them! Respected positive psychologist Professor Martin Seligman developed a well-being theory called the PERMA Model. It combines five building blocks, which need to be in place for a happy and flourishing life. The five elements are – POSITIVE EMOTION (P) Experiencing feelings of joy, hope, love, inspiration, satisfaction, gratitude or any positive emotion allows us to experience wellbeing. ENGAGEMENT (E) When we’re fully engaged in a challenging task and time seems to stand still, we experience a state of flow (see blog post ‘How do you find your flow?’). We lose our …

International Day of Peace

Next Monday, 21 September is the UN’s International Day of Peace. A day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, within and among all nations of the World. The theme this year is “Partnerships for Peace, Dignity for All”, highlighting the importance of all people in all societies to work together to strive for peace. It’s up to each and every one of us to unite against war and conflict, and help bring these ongoing issues to the attention of others. There are lots of ways you can get involved, here’s a few to get you started – Help Make #PeaceDay Trend on 21 September Create Peace Doves and Display Them Join an Event Near You Make Peace With Someone Join The Movement Share this TedTalk Buy the Peace Day Anthem Try Meditation with Colleagues at Work What will you do?

Who’s been to the School of Love?

From a young age we’re inundated with ideas about love. From the perfection of Hollywood movies to the romance of classic novels, like sponges we absorb ideals of what the perfect relationship should look like. It is rich with red-hot desire and passion, holds the patience of a saint and the utmost respect. But best of all no matter who or what we are, we all deserve it. In fact, isn’t it our basic human right to experience the ultimate romantic love? True love doesn’t require effort or patience, or a compromise of ourselves. True love just happens, regardless of our own imperfections and selfishness. If it takes work, surely it’s not real? Then at some point along the path to adulthood, a sharp prick bursts our bubble and reality is revealed. Love isn’t easy. It does require effort. A great deal of effort at times. In fact it’s an ongoing balancing act that requires active participation and very clear and concise levels of communication. Like a garden requires nurturing, a loving relationship needs feeding, pruning and …

An Inspiring Expression of Man’s Heart and Mind

I often share the words of Kahlil Gibran in my Poetry Friday posts, so today is dedicated to the source of that poetry – his best selling book The Prophet. The Prophet is a collection of 26 essays written in English by the Lebanese artist. A masterpiece, it has been translated into more than 20 languages and is considered one of the most loved classics of our time. Gibran was also a philosopher and each chapter provides us with wise insight on how to approach different aspects of our life. These topics include love, children, giving, work, joy and sorrow, laws, freedom, reason and passion, pain, self-knowledge, teaching, friendship, talking, time, pleasure, beauty and death. It is a profound and spiritual read containing many a simple truth, expressed with poetic fluidity. It is a book that can be read over and over again, or dipped in and out of when inspiration is needed. I would highly recommend you invest in a copy – and another for a friend, because it makes a great present and is certainly a book that needs to be …

Poetry Friday

Then a Woman said, speak to us of Joy and Sorrow. And he answered: Your joy is your sorrow unmasked. And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears. And how else can it be? The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain. Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter’s oven? And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives? When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy. When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight. Some of you say, “Joy is greater thar sorrow,” and others say, “Nay, sorrow is the greater.” But I say unto you, they are inseparable. Together they come, and when one sits, …

A to Zen of Life by The Dalai Lama

A to Zen of Life, By The Dalai Lama  A – Avoid negative sources, people, places, things and habits B – Believe in yourself and succeed C – Consider things from every angle D – Don’t give up and don’t give in E – Enjoy life today, yesterday is gone and tomorrow may never come F – Family and friends are hidden treasures, seek them and enjoy their riches G – Give more than you planned to H – Hang onto your dreams I –  If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door J – Just do it K – Keep trying no matter how hard it seems L – Love yourself M – Make it happen N – Never lie, steal or cheat. Always strike a fair deal O – Open your eyes and see things as they really are P –  Practice makes perfect Q – Quality not quantity in anything you do R-  Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer S – Stop procrastinating T – Take control of your own destiny …

Redefine Success and Create a Happier Life

When Arianna Huffington collapsed from exhaustion in 2007, she was forced to take a long hard look at her life and redefine what success meant to her. With her health so visibly deteriorating, the classic notions of success as money and power, were irrelevant. If she wasn’t alive, both would cease to matter. In her book THRIVE, we are introduced to a third metric of success. A metric that consists of four equal pillars. The pillars represent Wellbeing, Wisdom, Wonder and Giving and they make up the four chapters of her excellent book. An impassioned read, Arianna encourages us to look within ourselves and build a more meaningful and fulfilling life, aligned with our values. Touching on the importance of sleep and meditation to nourish our minds and bodies. We are also introduced to the power of giving back to our local communities and the joys of delighting in wonder. Something we rarely give ourselves the time to do. “Disconnecting from our technology to reconnect with ourselves is absolutely essential for wisdom.” Arianna Huffington Each page is filled with wisdom and insight, and I would …

Words of Wisdom

No matter what is going on Never give up Develop the heart Too much energy in your country Is spent developing the mind Instead of the heart Be compassionate Not just to your friends But to everyone Be compassionate Work for peace In your heart and in the world Work for peace And I say again Never give up No matter what is going on around you Never give up Never Give Up, Dalai Lama XIV

6 Steps to Reconnect

Connection with other people is fundamental to our happiness and wellbeing. Yet with the rise of digital technology and online social networking sites, you would think the opposite was true. The lack of face-to-face connection is having devastating effects on society, with social isolation and the loneliness epidemic reaching all time highs. On par with early death through cause of smoking and obesity. We can certainly reverse this negative impact and through very simple means increase our connectivity levels. Here are a few simple steps to get you started – CALL AN OLD FRIEND It’s automatic to text a friend or write a quick email between meetings at work, but there’s nothing quite like hearing someones voice when you actually take the time to pick up the phone and call them PAY SOMEONE A COMPLIMENT A stranger on the street, your boss or the local chemist. Whoever your path might cross with, make a point to give at least one compliment each and every day. You’ll be amazed at the positive impact a little kindness and small  connection (even with a complete …