Sunday, January 31, 2010

Spreading Happiness - One Page at a Time

I was lucky enough to stumble across the fabulous Jamie Ridler on the internet a month or so ago (don't you just love the internet sometimes?) She runs several communal projects through her website, where people (women, mainly) get a chance to explore their creativity and make their dreams reality. It's a wonderful place to visit, full of positivity, friendship and talent.

I saw that she was about to start a new project, called The Next Chapter: The Happy Book and thought "what the hell - I'll give it a go". It is a wonderful, life-enhancing project. Jamie has sent four copies of The Happy Book to people all over the world. Each of these four gets to keep the book for a week, filling as many pages as they like with pictures, words, quotes and silly things - all the things that make them happy and bring them joy. At the end of the week they send the book on to the next person on the list, and so on to 25 other people. So, for about a year, allowing for travelling time, those little books will be flying about the world, getting filled up with joy, at which time they will return to Jamie and she'll show them on her website. Isn't that a wonderful thing to do? It is great to be involved in something that offsets all the gloom and anger in the world. Spending a week thinking about what makes me happy is doing me the world of good, getting the opportunity to express all the things I am grateful for, and knowing that my words and my little pictures are maybe going to brighten someone else's day - it doesn't get much better than that.

As I said, there are four books trundling around the world. Jamie has given each project a name of its own, so we have the Glee Circle, the Mirth Circle, the Giggle Circle and the Bliss Circle. I am in the Mirth Circle and was a little nervous to discover that I was first on the list - nobody else's pictures to inspire me, but it's been okay. And being first, I got to feature in a video of Jamie posting the books, which was pretty cool!

Jamie Putting the Happy Books in the Mail from Jamie Ridler on Vimeo.

I have to send the book on to Lani in Nova Scotia, Canada next Tuesday so I am dedicating today to filling some pages with colour, fun and all things jolly - a rather nice way to spend a Sunday. I'll post again when I've got some pictures to show.


Coffeecup said...

Looking forward to a sneak preview of your part in the book Puddock. What a delightful idea. Will you be published in future too?

When I thought about it I actually found it quite tough to think of things that make me happy, which was surprising and revealing! Concentrating on the good stuff for a whole week ought to have you feeling on cloud nine. Lovely!

Thank you for sharing (the links too) it's a brilliant idea. Good for you! :-)

gina said...

Hope you're having fun with the book. It was a little hard being the first one in Bliss Circle--thank goodness Jamie added some of her entries. I really liked sharing different pages with friends. I'm done now and the book is off to Australia!

Erika C. said...

I came to your blog via Lani who is receiving the book from you soon! I don't fit into the category you describe of being widowed or divorced but a new, wonderful friend of mine's husband just died two days ago and I wondered if you had any advice on what you think she might most need from me at this point.

Though I am 50, my children are young, my son just turned 8 and it through one of his school friends that I met my friend.

I don't know her that well but I want to support her. Luckily she seems already to have a huge circle of friends and family who are with her.

(I also love Scotland though I was only there once when I went to the Findhorn Foundation in 1994!)


Puddock said...

Welcome Erika!

Everyone is different, of course, and I don't know your friend's circumstances, but I can say what has meant the most to me and been the most helpful - an early contact to break the ice and then a call or a knock on the door every now and then for much, much longer than you think she'll need it - many, many months. She might turn you down at first because she is having a bad day but she will always appreciate that someone is thinking about her, even if she doesn't take you up on your offer of help.