Sprinkling Happiness

22 Jun

Today, on a bit of a whim, I joined Hadea (my amazing acupuncturist) and her community for my first-ever happiness sprinkling!

DSC_0225We dressed in yellow and gathered to meet in the JoAnne’s parking lot in Mount Vernon, where Hadea doled out signs inscribed with short affirmations like “Live Your Dream!,” “You Are Enough!” and “Trust Yourself.”  We stationed ourselves on the four corners of Riverside & College Way and sprinkled happiness for a few hours by smiling big and waving our happy signs at drivers as they passed (or sat for a seemingly eternal stop light).


Well, as one of the signs states, “Why Not?”

Hadea created today’s event in honor of Laura Lavigne, founder of the Anacortes Center for Happiness, who began the greater Happiness Sprinkling Project (read the whole story here).  Today, Laura was just up the road giving a talk about the Sprinkling Project at TedX (yes, like the Ted Talks we all love) hosted by Skagit Valley College.  My friend and fellow yoga instructor previously hosted a Happiness Sprinkling and said it was a blast.  Why not?

I expected it to be fun, but the experience was better than I’d hoped for!  I chose the sign that resonated most with my personal life mission and my practice of yoga: “You are Loved!”  Standing on the corner in my bright yellow pants, I danced to the occasional music pumping out of the Camero with tinted windows, I blew kisses to the frowning truck driver, I waved to the small eyes poking up just past the window in the back seat of the soccer mom van.  It was a fun challenge trying to reach the folks who diverted their eyes away from our activities while they waited for the light to turn green.  I pointed, I jumped, I blew more kisses.  It was transformation on the spot, a scowl into a smile.  Some people looked at us untrustingly, wondering if we had an agenda.  Many people, of course, honked and waved.  One yelled out his window, “I LOVE YOU TOO!”  There were lots and lots of smiles.

At one moment, Hadea exclaimed, “Oh my cheeks hurt from smiling so much!” (she was holding the sign that said “You Rock!”) and I realized my cheeks had a sweet sensation, too.  It took me back to the days of my childhood, riding horseback with Huntoon Stables in the fourth of July parade, waving and smiling and feeling so proud to be on a horse.  I can remember even as a young person the joy of connection when my eyes met a stranger’s: the sparkle of acknowledgment.

I think that’s what we need most as a species.  Connection.  Acknowledgment of our interrelatedness.  The realization that we depend on one another, and that when we build each other up, we both benefit.  Union.  Today’s sprinkling was yoga in action: my smile transformed your smile, and it fed me just as much as it fed you.  We took our smiles into the rest of our days and they spread to others.  We can be so much more powerful when we are united.


And after the hour and a half of dancing and waving, my cheeks hurt and I was sunburned but not exhausted.  In fact, I was reenergized, positively buzzing.  And I noticed something when I traveled up to Fairhaven to the bookstore, and when I stopped at Rite Aid to get some aloe for my sunburn: even long after the sprinkling, my heart felt more open, I looked into people’s eyes more, and I smiled.  And for the rest of the day, each person I encountered smiled back.

Happy Sprinkling!


If you are located anywhere in the WORLD and are interested in hosting your own happiness sprinkling, contact the Happiness Sprinkling Project and Laura will send you some yellow shirts and signs.  It’s a simple as that!

And stay tuned, as soon as it’s accessible, I’ll post Laura’s TedX talk here!


3 Responses to “Sprinkling Happiness”

  1. Jessie June 22, 2013 at 11:17 pm #

    Reblogged this on Jessie Tierney.


    • Laura Lavigne June 22, 2013 at 11:47 pm #

      Oh Jessie! I am so glad you all had such a good time! I could feel your energy all the way from a few blocks away. And I cant wait to come practice some happy yoga with you!


      • Jessie June 23, 2013 at 5:57 am #

        HORRAY! How did it go, Laura!?! I can’t wait to finally meet you in person soon! Thank you for starting something so sweet.


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