Community//

Pop with Actions and Connections of Joy

"Keep your popper popping"

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Imagine if you could turn on a popcorn air-popper in your brain that pumps out non-stop positivity and joy. Not in the way of hearing “it’s a small world after all” in your head over and over, yet in a more productive way that transforms seemingly disconnected events into connections that light up a purposeful life.  

I have been in brainstorming sessions where the facilitator will ask a question to the group. A question that builds on the intersection of different products, service offerings or the creation of new ideas. I find it to be a fun exercise. I love building ideas with other people because ideas and connections start to materialize faster, are better together and become plentiful. This particular facilitator kept encouraging us to keep going. They said, “keep going until the air popper stops popping.” It encouraged us to keep the ideas popping because it was exhilarating when the creative juices were pumping and the flurry of thoughts was being built.

Ever make popcorn in an “air-popper?” Simply turn it on to warm up and add some kernels. Within seconds, popcorn starts popping like crazy into the bowl. It is just like that when we take purposeful steps to build on an idea or innovate and it even works with our happiness. 

Many people will say they are not creative, not good at brainstorming new ideas or no longer imaginative as they were as a child. I have even heard some say they do not need to develop any further in their jobs and just focus on the work. That may work for a few years, yet life and the world will pass them by. When nothing changes and we believe these thoughts, it becomes our reality. Then our minds feed on these stories of doubt and self-preservation. If we do not recognize and become aware that we are sabotaging our best selves, we limit our potential and become powerless. We give our power to the negative little gremlins ruling our thinking and stopping us from taking any steps forward to run the life we dream of.

I bet you are aware this all starts with you. It starts with becoming aware of what stories are holding you back. Grab ahold of those stories and replace with new ones that help frame a more positive life. While stories always stay with us, it is never too late to develop new ones. This is how momentum and change occurs. Change seems scary, yet rarely happens all at once and we all are capable of it. We develop through acting out our beliefs, stories while taking small steps to form new habits that become the path forward.  

Insert YOUR “air popper” here.

I encourage you to openly talk with a friend or someone you respect about areas or talk tracks in your mind that are holding you back. It is just fine to undertake this alone if you prefer, yet building on other’s ideas can be magical. Then, identify some easy steps to take and integrate them into your day. When you begin, you have officially installed and plugged in your own “air popper.” As you become more aware and take more steps toward building up your new story, you begin to believe in it and yourself in a different way. Things begin connecting in ways you never could have imagined. Share with others and invite them in to reinforce your new-found path. Let that continue to grow and keep the connections popping. Consider building on another story or belief in your brain that you would like to rewire and repeat until you are living a life filled with joy.  

Here is an example of when my world was turned upside down. I had a purpose to bring out the best in everyone. In a vulnerable moment, I realized I was not living out that purpose. When my emotions calmed and eyes cleared, I could see the actions I needed to take from that day forward. I formed a new story wherein I began to say “I believe there is beauty inside each of us, waiting to be unleashed.” It was a phrase that was clear and intentional that aligned perfectly with my new found purpose. This sparked me to see every person in a new light and to search for the light within everyone. I reflected at the end of each day to see if I fed this belief in my actions and thoughts. I wasn’t perfect at first and am always looking to improve. I self-explored and honestly reflected to keep doing better through a continuous learning loop. I learned and built this belief through experiential learning and living. It took time, purposeful actions, self-awareness and a commitment to see it through. I changed, and now I automatically shift the dialogue going on in my head to see the beauty in each of us.

I am grateful for those that have helped me see something that was holding me back. It has given me the gift to truly welcome and embrace all people. For me, it has been the catalyst to being an inclusion champion and collaborator. This role has filled me with a newfound joy. This shift led me to write a book, become a blogger and an igniter of happiness.

Start today and let it become a joyful habit. Begin connecting with the world like never before. Let your continuous actions, outcomes, and adjustments build upon one another to ignite your air-popper of connections to unimaginable levels. You will become filled with joy and positive vibes. It has given me the gift to truly welcome and embrace anyone in my presence. Plug in and live your possible.

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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

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