Monday, March 31, 2014

Happiness Jar: Ninjas and Bridges

I have fallen out of habit once again.   The happiness jar sits on my stereo, half full.

But now I'm reminded to fill it with the upswelling of love that continues to float around my heart.

Like observing how  Elliot is cultivating a source of joy for his life through acts of giving.  Last month he raised 125 dollars for his cause through a bake sale. We delivered the funds on Friday.  The conversations he shared with the organizers at the IRC day center can only be described as effervescent.   Elliot is bubbly on an ordinary day, but was popping with charm in this special place where people gather to simply "be."

 While we drove away to celebrate giving with ice cream, he said "I feel so happy.  This is the best feeling."

Elliot is learning that giving is a renewable resource for feel-good living.   When I asked him what the highlight of his weekend was, delivering his "ninja bread" money to help people experiencing homelessness was at the top of the list.

It was even more special than wining first place in a bridge building contest.

And that teaches me something about my own ambition.

After the bridge competition, Elliot went back to "work" on a new t shirt design based on his original Elliot's Ninja character "Ninjability."  Ninjability represents the spirit of ability in the face of adversity and challenge.  This character developed in collaboration with our friend James Terpenning, who won a contest on Elliot's Ninja Art Facebook page.  James helped Elliot to understand that people who navigate the world by wheels often have abilities that exceed normal expectations.  As a member of the basketball team "The Rolling Hoopstars," winner of Extreme Home Makeover, and one of the orphans who were flown out of Vietnam during Operation Babylift, James inspires us by his incredible life story and the impact he makes in his community.

Here is the latest version of Ninjability, which Elliot plans to list in his Etsy shop this week.

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