Friday, February 24, 2012

Share the Shine Project, Passing it Forward!

    This story today is even more long and circular than usual, 
so please bear with me. 
xoxoxo

***Background***

   When my girls were little we had lots of driving-to-school rituals, one of them resulting in the name of my little textiles effort, Green Goose, a story I'll tell some other day, and another having to do with Christian radio. The three of us listened to K-Love a lot, simmering in the upbeat songs and fun lyrics just like so many other people. It makes for a positive morning!

   One of our favorite songs was called Shine by the Newsboys. We would crank it up, sing along, laugh about at the silly parts with Eskimos and origami, and share the energy. Lots of laughter. Lots of smiles and air kisses. Although the three of us don't drive around together much these days and when we do we're catching up furiously, racing our conversations against the clock instead of singing along to the radio,  Shine remains one of my all time favorite songs. This probably has a lot to do with the loving memories with my girls, but the song is just plain good.
   Give it a listen if you have exactly 3:44. Here's an i-Tunes link. And here are the super fun and motivating lyrics. Funny thing, we used to sing the word ketchup somewhere in there, and now I don't see it anywhere. Huh. Also, I never noticed "Oprah" before. Whatevv.





   My Sweet Chickens on the way to school in 2006
They shine in every way. 
If you know them, you know what I'm talking about.
xoxoxo


***Recent History***
   Okay, there's a bigger reason I'm telling you about this. The word shine is special to me, and recently it stood out in a cool way. A few weeks ago I was browsing a sewing blog that has blossomed into a seriously soul nourishing blog called Lil Blue Boo. The owner and writer, Ashley, is a beautiful young woman battling cancer and sharing her story with the biggest dose of joy you can imagine. She chooses joy! I am seriously inspired by her, as are a lot of people. Well, she recently gained a new sponsor in the form of another  beautiful young woman also named Ashley, and her site is called The Shine Project.

   I am not exaggerating to tell you that upon browsing Ashley's Shine site I felt that same rib rattling joy I used to feel when singing with my girls on the way to school. Yes, it could be the word coincidence, but only in part. She drums up a craving to move beyond "enough" and really be vibrant. To really, truly, shine, every single day. No matter your circumstances, no matter your resources, no matter your fears. Just gather up all you've got, smile from deep inside, and shine. She encourages and motivates people to serve others.

   She also sells simple charmed necklaces and tee shirts to raise money for college scholarships for kids in her area (Phoenix, AZ), but the encouragement to Shine is about all parts of life, and I love it. 

   I ordered a necklace and have been checking in on her writing here and there, and today I get to be part of launching a new project. 

***On Shining & Passing It Forward***

(Please check out the Spread the Shine site for complete details.)


   Starting this week, a large quantity 
of pre-printed cards 
will be circulating the globe.
They look like this:


SHINECARDback(1)new.jpg


They're kinda like little "pass it forward" Olympic torches 
than belong either to no one at all or to all of us at once, 
depending on how you like to look at things.


Each card has its own identification number, 
correlating to a special site Ashley has designed.


As the cards move about the world, 
one personal transaction at a time, 
spreading good will and small, 
random acts of kindness, 
the unique stories attached to them 
will be gradually documented on the site.


That is, if everyone takes the time to participate, 
and why wouldn't you?


Talk about a community building affair!
So if one of these cards happens your way,
please join the effort.
It does not have to be expensive.
It just has to be selfless.

   Okay, that's my long winded celebration today. I'm pretty excited about this, and I am really looking forward to receiving my card in the mail so I can start its circulation in our little corner of paradise. (I already know who's getting it first!) Remember, you don't need a pre-printed card to be randomly or intentionally kind. And your life does not have to be perfect in order for you to shine, today.

   Take a deep breath, gaze at all the blessings in your life, and embrace joy fully! Love and joy are powerful antidotes to pain, I really believe that. And we all have so much to share with others. Let's get to it.

Be radiant, be happy, pass it forward!
xoxoxo


pinnable

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