It may just be a regular old pair of shoes, but a little glue, some glitter, and a couple of gemstones, and you've got a pair of ruby slippers that can take you anywhere.
Alright, so maybe be-dazzling is not your cup of tea, but I believe that pleasure and joy should come from the simplest, "every day" things...how amazing is it to turn the "ordinary" into "extraordinary"?
Think about it, there are things we do every day- shower, drink coffee, walk down the street, see people. Ordinary, every day activities. But with just a little shift in perspective and adding some simple 'indulgent' details, you can make that ordinary activity extraordinary.
Ordinary Activity: Shower
1. Aromatherapy, Soap, and Presence Pick a soap that smells fantastic, and really take note of the scent. Breathe deep in the shower, be present. Don't let your mind wander into your to-do list, enjoy this time.
I like this Organic It's a Beautiful Morning Soap on Wingsets. It's a handmade soap made with shea butter and yucca root, infused with essential oils (the real deal, not just the extract or oil) from Peppermint, Rosemary, Eucalyptus, and Basil. Its good for cleansing, toning, purifying, even breathing and alertness, so as the name suggests, you'll wake up happy:
Or, are you in the mood for a little sweetness? I am crazy for the Milk/Brown Suga'/Lavender Handcrafted Soap onEtsy. It's a perfect combination to calm you with lavender while you benefit from the exfoliating properties of brown sugar and the hydrating effects thanks to shea butter and goat's milk. It's creamy, smooth, nourishing, and homemade for $3.95:
2. Spa-at-Home You can also take some of your favorite kitchen ingredients and use them to make a homemade scrub or hair treatment. This can definitely turn your daily shower into a spa-like experience!
Try this Milk and Honey Scrub by mixing 1/3 cup of sea salt to 1 tablespoon of milk, a squeeze of honey, and a drop of olive oil:
If your hair is needing TLC, try this Coconut Hair Treatment simply by infusing coconut oil and a splash of coconut milk into your favorite conditioner. You can even make your own conditioner by mixing the coconut oil, coconut milk, an egg, and a teaspoon of honey:
Ordinary Activity: Morning Coffee
1. Mugs with Meaning Using something special to eat off or drink out of is a great way to savor the food or drink. I love my morning coffee, so taking this ordinary activity to extraordinary is super simple for me. First, I suggest finding unique or meaningful mugs. I'm not talking about fine china- find something that evokes a feeling, a memory, and switch it up so it doesn't become the same old mug.
Since dragonfly's remind me of my grandmother, and one of our favorite places is North Carolina, I am enamored by this handmade Dragonfly Mug by One Clay Bed :
And, since my LuLu and Little Man love art so much, I would cherish a mug decorated by them. I guess Santa found another gift for them?! This Personalized Kids Art Mug from Walmart provides a canvas for kids, turning an ordinary morning coffee into the perfect reminder of the how beautiful life is:
2. Cafe' in Your Home You can also make ordinary morning coffee an extraordinary experience by creating simple versions of cafe' style coffee.
Just by heating the milk on your stove top and frothing it a bit, you turn your coffee into Cafe Au Lait. Add a dash of cinnamon, and this is a cozy, warm way to begin the day:
For a real Cafe' style blend, try a Darker Roast Bean, like French Roast or Sumatra. Something rich in flavor will really jazz up your morning coffee. Even having a few varieties of coffee on hand is a good way to keep it interesting- perhaps Dark Roast one day, Hazelnut the next, and Colombian the following. For a variety of flavors, I love Newman's Own Organics Sampler. And, they even make a Cafe' Almond Biscotti coffee:
Ordinary Activity: Seeing People
Of course we see people all of the time. In our neighborhood, at the school, bank, toll booth, food store, walking the dog. You name it, people are around. This can seem like an ordinary occurrence, where maybe you wave or give a slight grin of acknowledgment. It can be extraordinary just by connecting with others in the world around us. We have the power to heal each other with our presence, without even knowing it. But to do that, we must be present and fully engaged in the moment.
1. Smile with Your Eyes There's a difference between a quick smile and a connecting one. When we see people, just by looking at their eyes and smiling, we are connecting with them. Being genuinely happy to see a person will spread happiness to them, and then they spread happiness to the next person they see, and so on. This ordinary activity just became a chain of joy:
2. Share Change The next time you see someone fumbling for change just to realize they have to break a bill, fumble with them and see if you have it. If you do, share it with them. Or, if you have loose change around your home, car, or in a penny jar, bring it to the bank's Penny Arcade, cash it and give your findings to someone in line behind you or someone you see in need:
There are so many ways to find joy in the simplest moments, and most of the time, the simplest way is to shift our mindset and view everything as amazing, as a wonder, as if through the eyes of a child. How do you make an ordinary activity extraordinary? I'd love to hear!!