Sharing the Love and Peace

So, every Christmas I make an Advent Calendar for the kids, a simple paper tree that usually the kids draw and color and cut out little flaps, and then I add fun things to do together as a family for every day of December leading up to Christmas. They get so excited to open each day and see what we will be doing. We add all of our traditions like reading holiday stories, baking cookies, and making gifts, and also visiting an old town all decorated, planting a tree, and having a Winter Solstice ceremony. But, by far, I think our most memorable and my favorite activity of the season is when we go out and "share the love" <3 For the past two years we have written small expressions of happy and joy on little squares of paper and plan an outing for the day as a family to share these messages of love.

This past holiday, we drove to Ashland, OR, a favorite mountain town of ours on the West Coast, two days before Christmas, when many were busy with last minute shopping and hurrying to and fro to wrap up their lists. We walked around greeting others with smiles, and leaving these paper love notes all over town. Some we handed directly to people as they passed, some we left in places where they would be discovered by the next person. Our daughter gave one to the guy at the Ashland Co-op that gave her a sample orange to taste. Our son left one at the walk up ATM machine at the local bank. Our younger boy left one on the table next to the napkin holder at the pizza place after we were done eating. We sat one up in the window of a store, on the counter at the market, and when we bought some milk and cookies for the kids to snack on we handed one over along with our money to the cashier. In every instance where we saw another person read the blessings, a huge smile came to them. For the moments unseen, we hope it brought the same amount of joy.

The kids were happy spreading cheer, we as parents were happy to see the kids giving and experiencing the true meaning of the season, and we hope we brought a lot more smiles to those having a busy day. When we were driving home that night full of light and love with the little joy that we could share, I thought we should do this more often. True, we try to share peace and love throughout the year when we do events and festivals and just generally when we meet people in our travels. But, this activity was fun and joyous in other ways. Our oldest son was able to hide little messages in secret places to surprise others with a little love, more his style of engagement. And, as social and expressive as our daughter is normally, she was able to share joy with purpose, and come into her light of giving.

So, we have decided to continue to share the love throughout 2014, all year through! And, would love for YOU to join us! All you need is some paper, crayons or pencils, and a little creativity. Cut small squares of paper or whatever shapes you want, and write expressions of joy, love, hope onto each one. Then take your stack and go out into your town with a smile! Leave one in a book in the library, hand one to the cashier at the deli, and to a mama at the park. You never know who you may impact. Maybe someone is having an extremely hard day and you can share a smile with them to lift their spirits. Maybe someone is lonely and doesn't have friends or family nearby and you can provide a little connection. Yes, the Mama Bear of Eco Womb in me thought about the fact that those papers might not get taken home or recycled appropriately, oh no! But say they did blow in the wind and end up somewhere, maybe they would just keep providing smiles as they traveled.

So, if you are interested in joining us for a smile revolution, and want to participate in sharing the love, simply spread some happiness in your neck of the woods, take a photo of your sweet messages being shared, and tag us at @ecowomb with hashtag #sharetheloveandpeace

You can do this on Instagram or Facebook or Twitter, just be sure to let us know by tagging us so we can follow who else is sharing the love and peace! And, comment here, too, to let us know you shared.

We can't wait to see the smiles being shared and the love being spread! Much peace and love to you for being a part!!!

Angela Malson