About twenty days ago I decided to go on a thirty day journey to bring a little sparkle back into my life on a daily basis. I was hesitant at first to tell anyone for fear I wouldn’t be able to find a sparkly moment everyday day for thirty days but I’m happy to report that it is day twenty and my Bright Sparkle Project, as I named it, is going extremely well. It’s starting to transform my outlook on life and it’s given me more awareness to look for the shining moments and be grateful.
Everyone, at some point or another, goes through tough times. Death, illness, divorce, separation, lay-offs, coming-out and the list goes on and on. Stress hormones run amuck in our bodies and our brain becomes flooded with potent neurotransmitters. Suddenly, life starts to look and feel a little less hopeful and a lot bleaker. In such times the primary need is to restore balance. To equalize the struggles, turmoil and chaos of the mind and the physical responses to stress with more positive and life affirming messages. The objective it to provide a counter-balance to the negative stressors and give back sense of empowerment and control to the individual.
I don’t really know where the idea came from for the Bright Sparkle Project. It’s not original. As a matter of fact if you Google bright spark you will find a plethora of websites talking about how to add sparkle into your life. I was at a point in my life where I felt I needed to do something to swim out of the turbulent waters and find a calmer place to rest and begin the journey of finding balance. I first started by creating a table to record my sparkle moments, this is my type A personality brightly shining in its full glory. I dated it for thirty days and then pondered what I would do first. I wanted to do things that would give me a little zing in my day.
Here’s how it started;
Day One: Hiked up the BCMC in the snow and it was absolutely fantastic. There was no one on the trail the trees were heavy with freshly fallen snow. It was quiet except for the hum of the tram on the wires and a Grouse calling far off in the distance. It was peaceful, heavenly and the perfect start to my project. I got home and wrote my first sparkle down on my new table. I was on my way.
Day Two: This may seem a little strange but my bright sparkle was assembling newly purchased IKEA furniture. I’m not sure why I love to put that stuff together but I do. I really like to use my hands and build stuff so this was a sparkle moment for me. I only had one screw left over, also a sparkle moment and the topic of many good furniture assembly stories.
Day Three: I treated myself to a facial. It was absolutely heavenly. Every woman should have a facial at least once a month. The aesthetician was very funny and we ended up laughing a great deal during the treatment. Normally they are very quiet but she had a very bubbly personality and we had a great time.
Day Four: I went back to do the BCMC and had a hot cocoa, with whipping cream, divine.
Day Five: I had lunch with a very good friend of mine and did some shopping at a yoga store. Bought some pillows to sit on and meditate.
Day Six: I set up my yoga mat in the living room, lite candles, played soft music and practiced yoga for sixty minutes, amazing.
Day Seven: I hung out at home and cooked stew and baked fresh bread, food for my soul which is just what I needed.
Day Eight: I took my dear dog Bailey for a walk in the snow and enjoyed watching him chase and bite snow balls. He is the cutest dog ever.
Day Nine: I had dinner with my landlord and their family. They are awesome people and we had such great stimulating conversation about religion, politics and the universe. Came home and read a comic book to balance out my brain.
Day Ten: I worked out with a very good friend of mine, had lunch and dinner with more friends. It was a friend filled day.
Day Eleven and Twelve: No sparkle moments. It was a rough two days emotionally as the holiday season approached I felt sad and not much like shinning. I just honoured that no sparkle came to me.
Day Thirteen: I had my family over for Christmas Eve dinner. I cooked, they ate and then they left before 9:00pm sparkle, sparkle, sparkle.
Day Fourteen: Went snow shoeing with a new group of friends. We climbed up to Dog Mountain on Seymour and the snow was absolutely amazing. The trees were so heavily encrusted with snow that their branches were bent under the weight. The trees looked like something out of a Tim Burton movie.
Day Fifteen: Went hiking and had lunch with a very special person in my life. We had a lovely time. I was invited to a friend for Boxing Day dinner with his family.
Day Sixteen: Went to a spicy hot yoga class and was really getting into the flow of the poses. Listened to my brothers’ band, This Side Up, play at the Admiral Club. He is the drummer and they are terrific.
Day Seventeen: Had lunch with an old friend to catch up on each other’s lives. Where does the time go?
Day Eighteen: Took myself up Grouse to do the Snow Shoe Grind on the first sunny day in Vancouver in a long time. It was glorious. Romped and rolled in the snow.
Day Nineteen: Went to a New Year Eve party for the first time in over a decade and danced my high heeled shoes off.
Day Twenty: Dinner with my brother and sister-in-law, plus sharing this project with all of you.
My Bright Sparkle project has reminded me of the importance of living my life in the moment. We truly only have this moment because we can’t go back and live in the past and we have no idea what the future holds. It’s the day to day moments that create the richness and fullness of our lives. Take the time to acknowledge those moments every day and live in the moment. It will give you a great sense of gratitude and appreciation for the small things in life that truly bring joy and sparkle.
I’m excited to continue my bright sparkle project, if only to remind myself that my days are filled with good and sometimes even great moments. It fills me with gratitude to know that I live a life that affords me these moments. Even on days that are tough emotionally I know that tomorrow is a new day and that something sparkly is just waiting to happen if I let it. I honor my tough days and I don’t force sparkle moments on myself during those times. But it does give me great comfort to know that the difficult times are only temporary and they serve a purpose too. I do feel like this project is transforming my awareness of just being grateful and living in the moment.
Why not give it a try yourself or maybe get your kids involved or the whole family, perhaps creating bright sparkling moments for each another way of appreciating and saying thank you to your loved ones.