Friday, November 16, 2007

500th post -going public

If in our daily life we can smile, if we can be peaceful and happy, not only we, but everyone will profit from it. If we really know how to live, what better way to start the day than with a smile? Our smile affirms our awareness and determination to live in peace and joy. The source of a true smile is an awakened mind.
From Nhat Hanh -Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life, Bantam reissue, 1992, ISBN 0-553-35139-7
Introducing the person behind the blog:
I started using this blog to express my thoughts on reducing our carbon footprint and to regain a perspective on a healthier lifestyle. The advantage of doing so in an anonymous way has enabled me to express those thoughts more easily than if I had been asked to speak in front a group of people about my passion for nature, the environment, what is possible and what is difficult.

This is the 500th post and having just published a selection of posts in Rich Pickings from Berry Cottage, I want to thank you for all your responses and encouragement.

When I return in December we will have moved into our local village shop with a view of continuing our vision of reduced carbon footprints not only for our family but involving the whole community. Can we get our village to take steps to go green? How will we deal with trade waste, what are the options, the choices faced, the opportunities. Join us for the next instalment.

What makes you smile?

Working with preschool children and watching their capacity to embrace each day, each new experience with all their senses makes me smile. Young faces smile, old faces smile, emocicons smile but many people rarely do. If smiling is our outward sign of happiness lets show each other that life is worth embracing by smiling. When the boys were little we would go splashing in puddles, dance in the rain and fall in a soggy heap on the floor. When the robin comes close to me while I sit in the garden, or when during sleepless nights I observe the stars in the sky and the moon lighting the world, I smile and I am grateful to be here. Going out on a cold day when the sun shines and the snow is on the mountains makes me smile, the world smiles at us in many ways and lets us know it is happy we are here. Can we smile back?

I dare you to try an experiment : take a walk and smile. The world will look different and people will react differently. Then take the walk without smiling and notice the difference within and in the world. If we can show our life energy with a smile, imagine what that would do to the world.

I was introduced to meditation by Brandon Bays, and it helps me focus on the parts of my body that are in pain. I listen to the spaces in between and ask what can be done today to help my body heal, feel more relaxed and happy. It brings inner peace and it makes me a lot nicer to live with. A daily dose of smiling, joy and beauty are a necessity.

Smiling is very important. If we are not able to smile, then the world will not have peace. It is not by going out for a demonstration against nuclear missiles that we can bring about peace. It is with our capacity of smiling, breathing, and being peace that we can make peace. Nhat Nanh

And to celebrate 500 posts, I leave you with Charlie Chaplin until I return at the beginning of December for the next chapter.


Marnie said...

it's funny - you look exactly how i imagined - it must be that your voice is so clear in your writing...because it rings true it really does convey who you are, including your appearance...nice to see you!

Downshiftingpath said...

Dear Marnie

Your comment really touched me, thank you! Just shows how little I could hide even if I tried.

Mark said...

Hi Anne,
I am impressed with what you are doing particularly taking on the village shop, they are so important as a center for village like yours. You could stock tupelware containers just in case the train spotters have forgotten theirs.
I normaly come down youe way to see thew Large Blue butterflies, i go to a place called Green down, which is next to the railway by Charlton Mackrell, is that far from you, as i would pop in fro a cup of tea and a slice of cake.

Cheers Mark

Anne said...

I was thinking of doing a railway enthousiasts widow interest basket with some tasty sweets and a warm scarf while she sits in the car and waits.... then there will be warm baguettes and croissants and coffee on a sunday to go with the papers.

Let me know when you usually come down this way, guess winter is not the right season.

gary said...

Congratulations on your 500th post, Anne.

I've been a regular reader of your blog for some time now and enjoy reading your considered views.

Regards, Gary

Anonymous said...


Just recently found your blog - well worth reading. Do hope you are still going to do regular posts - even though you are now "public"!