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Posts Tagged ‘love’

A glimpse from the mailroom in the As You Are exhibit. - Chicago, Il

A glimpse from the mailroom in the As You Are exhibit. – Chicago, Il

“There is no such thing as chance; and what seem to us merest accident springs from the deepest source of destiny.”
-Friedrich Schiller

If you have a moment, I want to talk a little about synchronicity. It is the natural flow of energy through our lives when things feel particularly connected. Examples: You have had a life long dream to skydive, and you hear an advertisement on the radio. Or You feel like having an apple, and your dad stops by with some extra groceries, including a 3 lb bag of apples. Or right now I am looking at a 3 legged pig figurine given to me by my dear friend Christine. I smile at it. It reminds me of her and makes me think I should give her a call. 5 minutes later, as I am still working on this post, Christine sends me a text. I love moments like this, don’t you?
moment2smile street art
Here is what I wanted to point out, synchronicity is the natural flow of energy, meaning this is the way life happens on its own. When things feel stressful or discombobulated, most of the time this is because we get in our own way, either not listening to our intuition or blocking the flow by focusing our energy on negative areas in our lives. When we are following our bliss as Joseph Campbell often talked about, things are more likely to fall into place
moment2smile you are beautiful bottle
The other day I was watching a report on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday about an artist named Matthew Hoffman and his You Are Beautiful project. Here is the basic idea, Matthew wanted to send a simple message to the world, You Are Beautiful just as you are. No need to pretend to be someone else. He wanted to spread the message by creating simple stickers with the message You Are Beautiful on it. First he gave them to friends, then more people started asking for them so he created a website where people could buy them. Guess what? It spread like wild flowers. People began taking pictures of the sticker with the simple message all of the world and sending them to Matthew. 10 years later the project has snowballed into much more than he imagined and the stickers have been everywhere from the Great Wall of China to Antarctica.
moment2smile speak positivity
I loved the thought behind this project and when I found out that an exhibit showcasing the decade of You Are Beautiful was being held in Chicago(Talk about Synchronicity!) I knew I had to go see it. The exhibit was fantastic! I loved it so much that I wanted to pass on the ideas to you guys.

I hope you are having a lovely Sunday and may you have a week full of synchronicity.

Much love, Marjon

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Moment2smile thirsty fish

Koi at the Museum Of Contemporary Art – Chicago, Il.

“I have a thirsty fish in me
that can never find enough
of what it’s thirsty for!”
– Rumi

“Love much. Earth has enough of bitter in it.”
— Ella Wheeler Wilcox

“Amongst the madness…Love does work. BELIEVE IN YOUR LOVE!”
-Anonymous

“Follow your bliss.”
-Joseph Campbell

I believe we live in an environment of inspiration all of the time. I think what I call LOVE/GOD is in everything including us if we just learn to see it. So many times though we get disconnected from that truth and see things through different eyes, the eyes that see the world around us as a challenging harsh scary place. Things happen that do not make sense, that rock our foundations of security and we are thrown off track. I see so much in our environment that steals our energy, negative story after negative story that is repeatedly teaching us to be afraid. So much pressure to be successful and achieve that we forget to ask why we want to do that in the first place. What is it I am supposed to be doing here? Today? Tomorrow? The rest of my life? And so we learn to feel stress, maybe a little at first and then over time, we learn to think that stress is normal and we should expect it. Let me let you in on a little secret, STRESS SUCKS. Ok, maybe not such a secret, but then why do we act as though it is a condition we should learn to put up with?

I will tell you that it is not. STRESS is a glaring sign that you are disconnected. Deep down you may know this already because we do not feel good when we are in distress and we in turn are drawn to ways to feel happy. Sometimes though, We look for the answers in all of the wrong places. We look for them in relationships, making someone else responsible for our joy or flip the coin and blame them for our suffering. We look for it in our jobs, so many of us focusing all of our energy in something we do not love or believe in and then feeling depleted at the end of the day. We look for it in addictions, from shopping to food to substances. We are looking to escape from the world that drains our energy and find some outlet to turn our light on. I know looking for the good in painful times can seem so absurdly illogical. However maybe it only seems absurd because the reality being presented to us is so skewed towards the negative. We all are in search of something to believe in, some hope that the reality we see is not the full truth.

A better way exists. I have not figured out most of the answers but there are some things I have learned and one of them is that feeling love trumps everything else. Sad? LOVE helps. Stressed? Booyah! Love eases that. Mad as hell? LOVE LOVE LOVE. Now before I lose you to the idea that I am on some Pollyanna high, life is not always easy/happy. For some reason, we need the harsh times to help break us down so we can be built back up to a truer version of ourselves. However that does not mean we need to be bombarded with harsh times and my friends does it not seem like that is the case sometimes? Who doesn’t want a bit more joy in their lives?

I for one want to see more love in this world and I will do my part to help change the tipping point. We need places to go to help rejuvenate our energy, to be reminded that we are surrounded by inspiration, in fact you are surrounded by inspiration right now wherever you are reading this. There is a quote by the poet Rumi that talks about the thirsty fish. I LOVE THIS THOUGHT! Not only would it make an awesome bar name, but it is a perfect metaphor for what I am trying to communicate. A fish is surrounded by water by its very nature. The thought of it swimming around(IN WATER!) breathing in yet again more water and then searching for something to drink is laughable. Open your eyes fishy (irony on top of irony it does not have eyelids), water surrounds you. It is in you as we speak! We are no different. We are thirsty, many of us desperately thirsty for passion, joy, purpose, inspiration, something more than what we currently see. Remember when I said I believe inspiration surrounds us? LOVE/GOD is in everything. IT IS IN US, we just need to take off the fish eyes and start to see the truth and I think having more places that show us that truth might help. Here is what I am going to do. I am going to work on making some adjustments to MOMENT2SMILE so it can better serve its purpose and will let you in on those changes as they come closer. In the mean time though, I am going to magnify the good that I see so you can see it too. Maybe if you see love and inspiration you could share it with me so I can pass it on? My intention is that if more people see the love, more people smile, then the more people will notice it in their own environment and we will have a few less thirsty fish in this world.

For now, I hope you have a fabulous day.

Much love, Marjon

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Moment2smile Love at first sight

Baha’i Temple- Wilmette, Illinois

In all the world, there is no heart for me like yours. In all the world, there is no love for you like mine.
-Maya Angelou

Do you believe in love at first sight? Personally, I am not sure what I believe but I know that I love hearing stories of love at first sight. I can remember tales from my best friend’s grandparents about the moment they first saw each other. I knew them for years and every time, her grandpa would say, he knew from the moment he laid eyes on grandma that she was going to be his wife. And he wasn’t all talk either, you could feel it when they looked at each other from across the kitchen. Even after 50 years, you could still feel it in their gaze. That gaze said it all. It is not just grandpas & grandmas either. My friend Christine has an amazing story that I have talked about before regarding finding true love with a handsome surgeon at an Indiana rest stop. I love meeting people like this, hearing their stories, believing their love for each other. They not only give me that warm & fuzzy feeling I have grown quite fond of, but they give me hope that AMAZING LOVE exists and is not some fable that should be filed away with unicorns and leprechauns.

I would like to tell you a little story, if you have the time. It starts of course, with a heroine. I am not going to name names (It’s me) but let’s make her unbelievably charming, adorable, curvy, brilliant, heart of gold and why not throw in humble? Now, our heroine has a challenge before her as most main characters do. She is working on a big school project. Now for multiple reasons, we find her down to the wire on this assignment. She needs to start kicking things into turbo mode and to do that, she needs a place of solace, a haven that includes some workspace, free wi-fi and why not throw in some baked goods? One day, our heroine stumbles upon one such utopia, you might call it Panera Bread in your neck of the woods. And eureka, our story begins.

Multiple times in a week, we find her typing away on her laptop, reading articles, typing some more and yes, if you must know, eating cookies. This goes on for a couple of months, day after day in the same corner, same table(It’s by the electrical outlet), until one Monday comes her way. She thinks it is any other Monday folks, but I will tell you a secret, it is not. Can you picture her? She is sitting at her computer, finishing a sandwich and a double chocolate duet cookie(Yumm). Her eyes move from the article that she is reading to her computer, focused with a sexy determination(author reserves the right to remember story as she sees fit), until someone comes over to her table and picks up her dishes. I look, uhh, I mean, she looks up from her work and sees the most adorable BIG BALD TEDDY BEAR (BBTB) of a man. (FREEZE FRAME: Do you know what a lazy second is? It is a second that seems to take a tad longer than the rest of its buddies. Time stops for a brief moment and then carries on as if nothing happened so that you wonder if it really happened or if it was just in your head. Understood? Good, lets insert one of those here. Carry on.) Now where were we? Ahh, yes, eyes meeting each other, time pauses, and the moment is passing, hurry,think of something to say! Thank goodness our heroine is quick on her feet and says something amazingly suave like, “Thank you”. He smiles, nods and walks away. BUTTERFLIES! People, am I right in saying that butterflies in your tummy are in the top five world’s best feelings? You know the feeling when you find someone you instantly like? Not sure what it is about them but there is just something, possibly but not necessarily including a bald head.

Now folks, I may not have mentioned this before but I have a soft spot for bald heads. I like them on babies and I like them on men. So much so, that all of my close friends are well aware of my feelings, and will tell me when a potential bald suitor has come into view. (Bald man at 12 o’clock). One such friend was phone called on this fateful day. It went something like this… “Christine, there is a bald man working at panera! We may have a new crush! ” “Ooooh tell me more” And so began the first of many conversations regarding BBTB.

It is funny to look back on that moment now. Remember the first moment I saw him. Remember how pleased I was that a cute bald man was carrying away my dirty dishes (a subject I like to remind him of as I persuasively build my case that dishes are his duty). Remember that in a moment, our heroine did not know what had hit her but she knew it was better than the double chocolate cookie and my friends, you know that is saying a lot. Maybe I do believe in love at first sight, I know for sure I felt that way about the double chocolate cookie when I laid eyes on it, why not a BBTB?

Much love until next time, Marjon

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moment2smile beloved community

Covered Bridge- Crown Point, In

Hello! I will be without internet for a few days but will post whenever I see the opportunity.

Today I am writing from my favorite place in the whole wide world…the beach. I can hear Lake Michigan’s waves kissing the sand in the background and feel immediately at ease. As I have been taking it all in, I have been thinking about a topic that keeps presenting itself to me: the correlation between seeing eachother and seeing ourselves. It started with a conversation I had a few months ago with my friend Kit. We were sitting in the car preparing to go get something to eat(sidenote: this tends to be one of our favorite activities, yet another reason to love the woman) when we began talking about different cultures and the need for increased tolerance in our world. Kit surprised me by saying that she questioned whether tolerance was even a good thing. She explained that tolerating differences in others might not be as effective as celebrating the differences in others.

“Tolerating” has the goal of acceptance, while celebrating has the goal of not only accepting those different than us but getting to know them, seeing them for who they are, and creating the opportunity to build an authentic connection and possibly even love. To “accept” is a bit more hands off, you can acknowledge others, say “to each his own” and move on without ever really seeing the person for who they are and in turn they miss the opportunity to really see you. What could have been a moment of connection passes, just like each wave that hits the shoreline in front of me.

As an alternative, what if we set out to learn and love the immense variety in our world? Are you familiar with the Zulu saying Sawubona/Ngikhona ? It is a greeting. Sawubona means “I see you” and the response, Ngikhona, means “I am here“. Isn’t that lovely? By my seeing who you are, I bring you into existence. And by you seeing who I am, I exist as well. We need connections to others because those connections help us to learn, to evolve, to love. The more I see others, the more I see myself. It reminds me of something that Martin Luther King used to characterize as the “Beloved Community“. Not just existing with one another because you happen to live in the house next to me or we parked next to each other at Target, but taking the time to see each other whenever we have the opportunity. It is the beloved community that made the Civil Rights movement of the 60’s so powerful. Standing up for justice as one loving entity. Taking a curious stance in our fellow neighbors, opening ourselves up to the experience of getting to know someone if only for a moment, opens our hearts and knocks down the initial dominoes to creating more love in our lives. In the end, isn’t that what we all want?

On a side note, this is my 100th post. I would like to take this time to thank you for reading Moment2smile. It is a pleasure to connect with each and every one of you. May you have a beautiful day!

Sawubona (o;

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moment2smile connections

One of my favorite couples (o; Don't you love it when you see people who are happy?

“Since you cannot do good to all, you are to pay special attention to those who, by the accidents of time, or place, or circumstances, are brought into closer connection with you.”
-Augustine of Hippo

“When we get too caught up in the busyness of the world, we lose connection with one another – and ourselves”
-Jack Kornfield

“a good friend is a connection to life- a tie to the past,a road to the future,the key to sanity in a totally insane world”
-Lois Wyse

Make it a point to smile today. Look people in the eye when you talk to them. Give a hand shake. A pat on the back. A hug. Connect. We all need it just like we need sustenance. And just like food, the high quality connective moments are more satisfying than the to-go versions. Facebook. Twitter. Emails. Texting. All good in their own right but some times you need the old fashioned homemade goodness of a face to face encounter to remind us that we are in this together. That we are part of something bigger and that we do make a difference in this world in our own uniquely beautiful way.

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moment2smile infinite love

Sunset- Grand Beach, Mi

“How bold one gets when one is sure of being loved…”
-Sigmund Freud

How wonderful would it be to see ourselves through the eyes of a loved one? To see how perfect we are as is. To be ourselves and feel nothing but acceptance and love. LIBERATION! Gone is the urge to earn love. The voice that says you are not good enough. That You need to try harder or accomplish this before you are worthy. THESE ARE LIES.

TRUTH BE TOLD the only reason you do not feel unconditional love are the barriers you have within yourself. Put a bit of your energy everyday into breaking down the dam. Let the love flow and then watch to see what a force you are in this world.

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Moment2smile Solace

A walk in the woods- Sauk Trail, Il.

“Boredom is the feeling that everything is a waste of time; serenity, that nothing is.”
-Thomas Szasz

“Peace is not a relationship of nations. It is a condition of mind brought about by a serenity of soul. Peace is not merely the absence of war. It is also a state of mind. Lasting peace can come only to peaceful people.”
-Jawaharlal Nehru

“And you would accept the seasons of your heart just as you have always accepted that seasons pass over your fields and you would watch with serenity through the winters of your grief.”
– Kahlil Gibran

“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
– The Serenity Prayer

Have you ever been looking all over for something(in the car, under your bed, in the couch cushions, in the refrigerator, in the car again{I just know I left it there!}) only to find it right next you the whole time? This is the way peace operates. It is within you the whole time. Always. May you find a moment today to have a cup of tea. To learn something new. To be in nature. To appreciate. To dance. To do a yoga pose. To laugh till you snort. To meditate. To love. To just be.

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