Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Saving the World with Beauty and Bliss -- and Facebook

One of the last roses in our garden from a few days ago.

The world will be saved by beauty.
--from The Idiot, Fyodor Dostoevsky

When I first started this blog, at the top of every post every single day, I would include a link to the music that was my current favorite, and then I would write a small paragraph of that day's bliss.  (You can see an example here.)

Every day on every post.  This was when I was writing seven days a week.

The point of this part of the blog was to show how, no matter what else is going on, there are always bright spots.  Little things that we can be thankful for.  Always.

(Side Rant: what a disturbing thing over this past Thanksgiving week to see a backlash against...of all things...GRATITUDE.  Too many posts on Facebook were people complaining and saying they didn't feel like feeling grateful.  Don't feel like feeling grateful!? This blew my mind. Perhaps they could start by being grateful for having computer access which implies a certain level of wealth...)

I am not sure why I stopped writing that particular part of my blog. It had more to do with design and structure, though, than any sort of existential crisis.

And recently, I have found myself using Facebook to do a similar thing.  Anywhere from one to three times a day, I write little "Good Things" lists.

It can seem all Pollyanna, but it is a mindfulness practice and it is one that is speaking to people.  Besides the comments I get on my status updates, I have been getting pretty regular emails about my "Good Things" and how much they affect the quality of people's days.

What got me to really thinking about the power of all of this was an email I got the other day via Facebook.  I've surely gotten a lot of these, but for some reason, this one made me think.

It was a brief "love note."  Just a friend writing to say, basically, "I see you; I care about you" or some such version of that message.

Suddenly, because of that message, I saw my Good Things in a different light.  They are a mindfulness practice, for me, for sure, but they are more than that.  They also help other people to be more mindful.

As of today, I will change my "Good Things" lists to "Bliss List" on Facebook, and I will start writing them at the top of my posts again, also.

I invite you to do the same.

Let's change the world by noticing one little bit of bliss at a time.


Lori-Lyn said...

Thank you.

just me said...

I love this!

"If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough." - Meister Eckhardt

Thank you for reminding me keep mindful and for inpiring me to put it in writing. Writing it down slows the process for me, it helps me to focus, be present and spend some time with my thoughts. Otherwise, they are fleeting and they fly by at warp speed!

Tess said...

Beautiful rose and quote (gonna borrow the latter...).

I don't think that bliss lists are all Pollyanna - sometimes it is very, very difficult to emerge from the sludge to find gratitude. It's a sign of strength. Glad you do it.

Danny Lucas said...


a 1999 book by Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D writes about "Rising Above Life's Challenges with Humor, Hope, and Courage.

One of my favorite bloggers is "Writer Dad" and recently, he wrote a Blog post using that exact title, without attribution, despite Copyright by Seaward in 1999.

To avoid that same trap, note here that the title of the book is copyrighted, but appropriate in THIS Blisspost.

Seaward uses many "desserts" to remedy "stressed", but I think the greatest omission in those tasty delicacies of his book passages is GRATITUDE.

Why has this whithered in our culture?

Just open the book and the author begins with "Thanking" all the people who helped make the book possible.
No one reads that page.
Who really cares about the "behind the scenes" folks that made the book possible?

Taylor Swift gets an award on TV and begins to "Thank" her fans for making it all possible...a tribute I appreciated,.... as opposed to all other winners "thanking" their producer, agent, and on-and-on, with names we do not know or care.

We are bored with gratitude, for it has become imitation, not genuine. It no longer satisfies, for the calories of intake on imitation gratitude do nothing to nourish the soul.

Sunday evening, I watched a Hallmark Movie on TV. Soon, a Hallmark commercial came on, and appeared proper and true and meaningful.

But it also reminded me of reading just a short time ago (wish I could recall where...and attribute it), but the words said:

"When you care enough to send the very best....but not enough to write it yourself!"

As I watched an oafish brother address his sister, the bride, using the words of a Hallmark Card, in the ad, with just the perfect statement at the bride's reception, I was reminded again that REAL gratitude is rare, and requires effort.

And the reward to sender and receiver of gratitude is commensurate with that effort!

We live in the same small town, but have never met. But I want you to know that you improve my community, by adding the just desserts of BLISS!

I am grateful for that.
(and I do not need a Hallmark Card to say it).

Danny Lucas

Christine Claire Reed said...

Danny! For some reason, you popped into my head the other day, and now, here you are. :)

I am also grateful.

Deborah Weber said...

I'm totally inspired by your post! I believe gratitude helps us stay anchored in grace, and seeing the treasures and beauty all around us is one way of adding to the light quotient of the world. ;-) I love the idea of sharing bliss lists, and thank you for the invitation to play.