I can look back on my life and see the signposts that, bit by bit, led me to create this website. They usually showed up when I was feeling depressed, wondering what the heck I was supposed to do with my life, or when I was trying to find some meaning in what I was already doing.
One of them that popped up was when I stumbled on the website for the Happiness Sprinkling Project. The concept is simple: a Happiness Ambassador (the person in charge) signs up, chooses a date, and receives a bunch of signs in the mail with short, encouraging messages on them. The Ambassador rounds up a bunch of friends, wears yellow (the happy color), and stands out in a public space holding up the signs for passersby.
You can make it as festive and fun as you want...wear yellow flowers in your hair, bring yellow balloons, play happy music, etc. There's also little cards you can print up and hand out, too, that promote the site and have more cool messages on them. When it's over, the Ambassador packs up the signs and sends them on to the next Sprinkle.
The signs have been to Sprinkles all over the world!
Well, when I read about that, I knew I wanted in, especially because there isn't an agenda or affiliation of any sort with it, it's anyone and everyone. I looked to see if there would be a Sprinkle near me that I could join, and lo and behold there was going to be one the following month. I contacted the Ambassador and she was thrilled to have me join them.
I was nervous when I arrived, because I knew I'd have to put myself out there, and I can be a little shy. But Nikia (the Ambassador) has a big, loving personality and I just followed her lead. Turns out she was hosting it as a birthday celebration for her son, who was also there.
We were a small but mighty group of goodness standing in Sundance Square in downtown Fort Worth. Some people looked at us like we just fell out of a UFO, but gosh, the people who did stop to see what we were were doing, lit up when we told them we were there just to brighten people's day.
I saw people smile from ear to ear, tears in the eyes of others, and one or two even took a sign that spoke to them and joined us for a little while. A news crew showed up to film us. People driving by honked and waved and smiled.
It was magic.
I swear I was high for two straight days after that. Who would've thought such a simple thing could mean so much?
So I signed up and showed up for several more years. Nikia hosted one on the same day each year, for her son's birthday. I took my son my second year, and he got into the swing of things, too, handing out yellow lollipops and wearing a yellow cape.
Then my husband came and was a part of it. I was so proud of him, because something like that was definitely outside of his comfort zone, but he really got into it and became the "Free Hugs" guy in the group. We always left feeling amazing, and marveling over the different reactions we had gotten from people.
The Happiness Sprinkling Project was suspended for these last two years due to the pandemic, but I saw on their website today that they're now back up and running again, and that's got me thinking about finding my yellow t-shirt and hosting my own soon.
If you'd like to know more about this wonderful project, check out the website at www.happinesssprinklingproject.org. I can't recommend the experience highly enough!
The memories from those days have really stayed with me and made me think about more ways that I could have a positive impact on people. I'm so grateful for that signpost, for the project, the experiences I had, and for Nikia, for welcoming me with open arms.