When I first began Finding Happy…One Day at a Time, my intention was to inspire others to find a little joy in their lives every day. I was a fitness challenge junkie and a positive psychology enthusiast and thought why not somehow meld the two together. Taking a page from my physical training to someway impact my mental training, I started the calendar of daily activities to remind those who joined me to consciously choose positive, kindness, self-care and happy. I never realized that implementing this program to help others would positively affect me as deeply has it has. While being grateful, exercising and spreading kindness have all altered my thinking to be on a more positive path, giving back has humbled me to where my steps are lighter and my heart is open.
Giving back, paying it forward or volunteering has been a weekly calendared task that I haven’t missed since I began this journey. Before this conscious effort to give back, I had volunteered mostly with the animal shelters, but it had been some time since I actively made the effort. So, I have made it a point each week to find a different charity or volunteer event to participate in, and have to say there has not been a lack of choices. Thanks to our local community site Hometown Happenings and the inspiration behind the site, Tim Fealy, we have had our pick of events. Each week I am blessed to have the opportunity to be part of these incredible groups of people who make it their mission to do what I have to make a conscious effort to do, and this week was no different.
St. Mary’s is a church that is literally a block away from where I have lived for several years, and this past week was the first I heard that they ran a food pantry. Every third Saturday of the month they open their doors for those in need and ingeniously call this program “God’s Groceries”. The name, the people and the atmosphere of positivity and love was such a force that I couldn’t help but be moved. As a surprise to all who came out for groceries this past Saturday, free breakfast of eggs, sausage, potatoes, fruit and pastries was served, and I had the privilege of being a part of it. I was in awe of those in charge, enlightened by those who helped, and humbled by those who, no matter the hardship, came to breakfast with a smile and gratitude.
Times like these, are times that words cannot describe. The collaboration of a community, the unity of ideas and new friends, and the art of giving back is something we need a little more of in this world. If I can give no other advise, it would be to do something for your fellow humans without the expectation of something in return. We all have challenges, we all have difficulties in our lives, and we all have the ability to spread joy to others. So, choose joy, choose kindness, choose love, it will reap rewards that you may not be able to touch but you will feel deep in your soul, and can open you up to a heart full of happy.
Just a few pictures of the amazing people (and new friends) I had the privilege of spending my morning with 🙂
If you would like to donate to God’s Groceries, St. Mary accepts non-perishable food donations all year round, you can either message me or Hometown Happenings for more details.
On another note, I would love the opportunity to write about the different charities in the area and would like to spotlight them a couple times a month on my blog and social media. I couldn’t believe I wasn’t aware of God’s Groceries and would love to get the word out of the wonderful programs available for those in need. If you know of events, programs or opportunities to give back, please share I’d love to give a shout out. Also, if you don’t want to miss a post follow me at www.positively-love.com!