Act of kindness #18: Kind news

I simply adore The Happy News, a newspaper dedicated to celebrating all that’s good in the world.

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The creation of graphic design graduate Emily Coxhead, this quality quarterly is jam-packed full of happy stories from all around the world, features on all things happy, and snippets of showbiz, travel, food and much more.

It also has a section to celebrate Everyday Heroes where readers can nominate a person, group or organisation for recognition and appreciation.

When I was ordering Issue #3, I saw that the very first issue was on offer and thought it’d be lovely opportunity to send a copy out to a few friends. I really wish I had the funds to send a copy to everyone I know, but I have to work with what I have.

I couldn’t wait for my Happy Newspapers to arrive through my door, so I could get them straight into the post. And when they arrived this week, the timing couldn’t have been more perfect what with all the crazy stuff going on in the world.

I wrote this message on my Kindness CardsI hope this brings you an abundance of smiley moments, and attached one to each newspaper.

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And as they wing their way around the country, I really hope it helps bring a few smiles to the receivers of The Happy News.

☆♡☆

PS If you too are tired of all the negative news and want to be reminded of all that’s good in the world, you can order yourself a copy at thehappynewspaper.com/shop

The Happy Newspaper

Being grateful for The Happy Newspaper:

I’ve been a BIG fan of The Happy News ever since a kind person sent me a copy a few months ago.

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In the words of its wonderful creator, graphic design graduate Emily Coxhead: “This is not your typical newspaper… The Happy Newspaper celebrates all that’s good in the world; a platform to share positive news and wonderful people.”

This quarterly newspaper guarantees smile after smile, page after page. And with issue #3 just out, it’s jam packed full of brilliant, positive, uplifting stories from all across the globe.

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It also has a lovely section which celebrates Everyday Heroes – where readers can nominate a person, group or organisation who make the world a little happier and, well quite frankly, deserve a little appreciation and a whole lot of love.

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Written by Emily and a host of kind contributors, there’s oodles more content around lifestyle, showbiz, travel, food and much more. All guaranteed to make you feel happy 🙂

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And as I was flicking through the latest issue, I was surprised and excited to come across an article written about little ol’ me:

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So if you too are tired of all the negative news and want to be reminded of all that’s good in the world – of which there really is an abundance –  go and order yourself a copy at www.thehappynewspaper.com/shop.

Currently only available online, Emily’s happy to post to anywhere in the world, and fingers crossed it soon rolls out into our newsagents so everyone can enjoy a quarterly dose of Happy News.

You could also, like me, buy a few copies to give to your friends (Issue #1 is currently only £1) and help spread a little happiness.

As negativity tends to dominate our news stands, it’s utterly refreshing and uplifting to read about the good things that are happening in the world.

And The Happy News really is a big beautiful breath of fresh, happy and positive air.

☆♡☆

Act of kindness #17: Mirror messages

Having recharged enough energy to take myself into the city for a brunch date this morning, I couldn’t resist planting some kindness messages I’d written on my Kindness Cards around the city.

First up was in the bathroom of the delicious deli I had brunch in:

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Next was on the mirror in the changing rooms while I tried on some pjs:

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Then I popped one on the mirror of the bathroom in my fave café which makes the best coffee in the city:

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And finally I stuck one on the wing mirror of a car parked in the city centre:

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I really hope my mirror kindness messages have made a few folk smile on this the first day of summer; especially as people are feeling a tad fed up as it’s been raining cats and dogs for days and days.

☆♡☆

Act of kindness #16: Sweet Dreams

Today I sent a kindness package off to a beautiful 10 year old bright light.

Eva sometimes feels a little anxious and doesn’t sleep so well because of it. But when she tried some of my Sweet Dreams essential oil blend I’d sent to a friend, she slept all the way through the night.

She was so happy, she sent me a heart melty video saying: “Thank you Helen, you are a miracle worker”, which made me smile and smile and smile.

I thought I’d make Eva a special blend of my Sweet Dreams potion and popped it into a goody bag, along with a handmade Wish-Upon-A-Star Bracelet, a handmade You Are Amazing postcard and one of my Kindness Cards.

Sweet dreams goody bag

I hope it’s a nice surprise and welcome gift for this lovely ray of light and that the oil blend continues to help her enjoy many more blissful night’s sleep.

☆♡☆

Being grateful for the opportunity to explore lovely Chester

When I heard I had to go to Chester for an early Monday morning legal/medico assessment, I wasn’t relishing the idea of a journey consisting of either 4 trains or a 2+ hour solo drive through Monday morning rush hour.

So I was really happy when my folks said they’ll join me and suggested we stay overnight stay to make it into a little getaway.

I have so many happys from these two days, I thought I’d write them in a gratitude list:

1. I am grateful for a positive and encouraging legal/medico assessment

2. I am grateful for my mum and dad coming with me as it was nice to have the support and spend time with them away from the normal daily routine of home

3. I am grateful for dad doing all the driving so I could conserve my energy on the way there, and rest and recharge on the way back

4. I am grateful to the hotel for moving me to a quieter room without any fuss

5. I am grateful for doing a forward roll on my deliciously comfy and humongous king-sized bed (even though it made me feel really dizzy and made my neck a little sore!)

6. I am grateful for the messages of support from dear friends and a thoughtful card from a cherished soul sister

7. I am grateful for getting a little taste of lovely Chester. As well as having to rest lots, we were able to: walk on part of the 2000 year old wall which surrounds the city boundaries; witness the jaw dropping beauty of the cathedral and ornate prettiness of the 1897 Eastgate clock; meander along the cobbled lanes seeing gorgeous Tudor buildings at every turn; stroll through the Roman Gardens and Amphitheatre; see the beauty of the raindrops on lusciously green leaves; and be by the water as we walked alongside the canal and river.

Chester

8. I am grateful for yummy, healthy meals in fab restaurants with exceptionally friendly service

9. I am grateful for finding the only cafe open after a burst water pipe stopped all running water in the city centre on Monday morning

10. I am grateful for the kindness of a fellow driver signalling that one of our tyres was near flat on the 2hr drive home

And all this is worth feeling like this…

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… for a few days. Now it’s time to rest, recuperate and recharge.

☆♡☆

Act of kindness #15: Happier Goody Bags

Since joining Happier almost two years ago, I’ve become… well, Happier. My absolutely favourite app is an online community of like-minded souls and works like an online gratitude journal; members post ‘happy moments’ and fellow Happiers can ‘smile’ and write comments on these posts.

I truly feel like I’ve found my tribe: a community of kind, loving, supportive and positive souls from around the world.

There’s been quite a few meet ups, mainly in the US where the app’s HQ is, and it’s lovely to see friendships grow and flourish.

And I know I’ve made some cherished friendships for life.

The UK Happiers are dotted all over the country and a big meet up was arranged in London last month. I was deeply disappointed not to feel well enough to travel down and join them, but I enjoyed seeing the love and friendship radiating from the photos of the smiling faces.

There was another meet up in London today. And sadly again, I’m not well enough to go 🙁

So I thought it would be a lovely idea to make up some special Kindness Goody Bags and send them down to everyone who could go. That way I feel like I’m a part of the day even though I’m not physically there.

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A lovely Happier hosted the meet up at her home, and kindly let me send the parcel of goody bags there in time for the big day. She even tied some fabulous orange balloons to the bags to give them an extra Happier vibe. And she’d made an amazing cake especially for the occasion.

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I love that not only do I get the opportunity to spread a little kindness around this amazing community but I also got to be a part of this special day.

☆♡☆

Act of kindness #14: Costa’s Dream Team

I popped into my local Costa Coffee this morning for my usual decaf soy flat white.

I usually tend to avoid going in on Friday’s as it’s market day in our town and the cafe is usually really busy and very noisy, and unfortunately busy and noisy are not great friends with CFS.

But as today was the best day for me to go into town, I hoped I could sit outside on one of the three outdoor tables.

And when I arrived, there was one table free… hooray!

There were only two servers working and I was so impressed to see how calm they were under the pressure of a long queue and full cafe, and how well they worked together.

The staff here are always lovely and friendly, and I always enjoy a quick chat with them.

And today was no exception.

When it was my time to be served, they were still big smiles and friendly chat.

As I enjoyed my coffee in tranquility outside, I decided to write them a little message on one of my Kindness Cards to show that they are appreciated.

Thankfully I carry a spare Kindness Card in my bag and I quickly wrote: To the Costa Dream Team, You are both AMAZING Xxx

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As I left, I popped back in to hand them the card, so they could put it where they can see it and be reminded of how much they are appreciated and what a great job they are doing.

☆♡☆

Lola

Being grateful for making a new furry friend:

On a day where I’d expected to be feeling a little sad as some plans had fallen through, a little four-legged Westie appeared and turned my day around.

Lola is my Auntie and Uncle’s 2 year old fur baby, and they all paid us a surprise visit as they are currently holidaying in the nearby Derbyshire Dales.

I met Lola when she was only a few months old and she was an energetic, excitable ball of white fluff, bolting and bounding around our living room, non-stop.

She was craaaaazy!

Unfortunately, I find excessive noise and fast movement a challenge, due to the nature of the CFS, and so sadly had to spend most of that day hiding away in my bedroom.

For this visit, we were promised that Lola had calmed down and as it was a warm summer’s day this time, she would enjoy having the freedom of the garden.

When she first arrived, she manically darted around, exuberantly exploring the wonders of the garden and I thought her boundless energy would be too much for me again.

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But thankfully she calmed down after a while and we soon became firm friends.

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We played catch and fetch, although Lola hasn’t quite yet mastered the part about bringing the ball back – or maybe she has and is proving she’s nobody’s fool!

And as our friendship grew, she began teasing me by not letting me get to the ball or her new squeaking monkey ring toy. She gleefully even made me chase her around the garden a few times. And of course, that finished me off!

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When I needed to go upstairs regularly for rest breaks, she sat poised, waiting for me to return so we could play all over again. Not long after lunch, I was too wiped out for the rest of the visit, but she insisted on one last run around the garden before they set back off the beautiful Dales.

I think it’s fair to say we both had a good day and I’m already looking forward to our next play date…

☆♡☆

Hello summer, is that you?

Being mindful on the first day of summer:

Hooray for the long-awaited first day of summer, meteorologically speaking that is.

However, in typical English weather defiance, we have been promised a day that is “dull with grey skies and drizzle, some early heavy rain“.

Quite.

And incidentally, it’s the same temperature as it was over Christmas, 12-13 Celsius!

I am now slightly regretting putting my winter coat, scarf, hat and gloves, along with my warmer clothes up in the loft as I recently switched my limited wardrobe space from winter to summer attire!

But as we all know, we are only blessed with such rain to ensure our glorious nature is kept lusciously green and blossoming with life: the English countryside wouldn’t be as beautiful as it is without our very generous rainfall allowance.

And so I appreciate how the flowers, trees and plants will all be thankful for this wet day.

One of the best things about these kind of gusty days, is watching our neighbour’s magnificent sycamore tree from my bed.

I attempted to capture it on video and of course the tree became a little camera-shy, but here goes: please click here. (Ummm… I’m not really sure if this is going to work as it’s the first video I’ve ever tried to upload to YouTube and it’s very confusing for my brain-fogged mind!! So fingers crossed it works.)

It reminds me of a symphony with its branches the orchestra and the wind its conductor. I feel honoured to have a front row seat to its performances and am mesmerised by nature’s sweet music rising and falling, full of emotion and drama, as it reaches its crescendo.

I think this poem by Charles Ghigna sums it up perfectly:

A Symphony of Trees

Trees make such exciting sounds.
They whisper, when we’re near.
Whenever we pass by the trees,
This is what we hear:

We hear their branches sway and creak.
We hear the wind howl higher.
We hear a symphony of trees,
Of nature’s great, green choir.

We hear the squirrels scampering.
We hear the blue jays sing.
We hear the robin and the dove,
All sounds the trees can bring.

But one thing that we never hear
When we pass through the park;
We hear the trees’ sweet symphonies,
But we never hear their bark!

It really is a beautiful sight to behold.

☆♡☆