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Give A Flower, Get A Smile

 In a society that feels more isolated and lost than ever before, we relentlessly continue to stuff ourselves with junk food – materialism.

Hoping that buying things will make us happy. They never do.

Give A Flower, Get A Smile

Think about how different our world would be if more of us focused on the stuff that matters.

Nature. Connection. Generosity. Kindness.

What nutrition for our souls this would be.

I Have An Idea

I have a concept that I think could help us do just that.

It’s simple.

GIVE A FLOWER to a stranger that you pass on the street.

My daughter came up with a terrific phrase that I love - GIVE A FLOWER, GET A SMILE.

It’s a small act of kindness that elicits a smile and feeling of pure delight for the receiver – and yourself.

Over the past 10 years, a plethora of research has shown that flowers increase the levels of positive energy and moods, reduce the likelihood of stress-related depression, and help people feel secure, relaxed, optimistic, and happy.

I’ve been testing this idea on the streets of Tel Aviv for the past 2 months. The response has been one of surprise, lots of smiles, open hearts, joy – and connection. The video above will give you a taste of my experience.

I Need Your Help

It’s time to test market GIVE A FLOWER, GET A SMILE in cities and towns throughout the world.

Will you be a beta marketer for  GIVE A FLOWER, GET A SMILE?

This is what you need to do.

Buy 5 flowers and give them to strangers.

If you tend to be a bit timid, walk over to the person and say ‘I’d like to give you a free flower.’

If they ask why, say something like “I decided that it was important to slow down, connect with individuals I don’t know – and I can’t think of a better way of connecting when we pass each other on the street then giving you a flower.”

So far, the majority of the responses have been heartwarming. This morning, one woman said that I had touched her heart. Tears were streaming down her face.

If someone passes you by, says ‘no’, shakes their head ‘no’, or looks at you like your crazy, don’t worry. It happens. If you think of yourself as a sociologist or anthropologist studying human behavior, you can have a lot of fun if this happens.

Will you help me?

I would appreciate it from the bottom of my heart.

Different Ways of Participating In GIVE A FLOWER, GET A SMILE

I believe that by participating in this one act of kindness, of giving a flower to a stranger, you are making a significant impact on an individual’s soul and the spirit of the universe.

You are helping to make the world a more connected, loving, caring, and joyful place.

And isn’t that what we all want?

With gratitude and love –Fran

 

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A Flower Can Change Your Day

I was all set yesterday morning to begin my post on drought tolerant plants, seeing as how we in California are in the midst of a really dry winter.  Then at breakfast my wife brought me a single Camellia  from the garden, set in a clever stone vase.

holt_2014_0074.CR2

My day changed.  I am so easily distracted. Continue Reading →

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Probing Beauty

Garden photographers look to capture beauty with a camera.  Poets use words.

Hazel White leads a poetry walk, Marin Headlands Center for the Arts

Hazel White leads a poetry walk, Marin Headlands Center for the Arts

My friend, the poet and occasional garden writer, Hazel White recently led a hike as part of her artist in residence program at the Headlands Center for the Arts where she seeks to “create a series of site-responsive sonnets, each of which is 14 forays, or lines, of thought on the liaisons between landscape and language”.

This is artists’ speak for probing beauty of place, which is what she asked us to consider as she led a hike into the marshes near the Center.  In consideration of beauty, do we find it ?, or does beauty find us ?  Hazel gave us each a simple four foot garden stake as a physical probe to extend our own physical space into nature around us, as we went exploring for beauty.  What would we find ? Continue Reading →

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Why You Garden

Sometimes we need others to remind us that much of what we desire is, in fact, possible; all we need to do is dig down into our courage, embrace the unknown, and invite our creative minds out to play. It is then that we can access our infinite possibility and grow into the fullest expression of who we may yet be. Fran Sorin

Why You Garden

Sorin Cutting Garden

Your garden mirrors your soul. When your creativity is unfettered, you’re in full bloom.

In a state of silent exhilaration. Savoring each moment.

Abraham Maslow coined the phrase ’peak experience’.

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi calls it ’flow’.

Continue Reading →

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25 Top Holiday Nature Gifts For Kids

With each new piece of research that documents how our childrens’ wellness – physical, emotional, and spiritual, is in sharp decline,  you – as a parent – experience a pang of fear.

 Our kids’ addiction to technology and lack of connection to nature is the major cause of why we have such a preponderance of obesity, depression, ADD, anxiety, and a declining happiness among our youth.

You want to help your kids’ become healthier but feel overwhelmed. Don’t we all?

One easy way to put your ‘toe into the water’  is by buying holiday gifts that will help your kids interact and become more sensitized to nature.

There’s such a plethora of imaginative and classic nature gifts for kids that you’d be hard pressed not to find at least a few for every child in your life.

Here is my list for 2013 of the

25 Top Holiday Nature Gifts For Kids

1. Build A Tree House. I can’t imagine a child -or adult- who wouldn’t be thrilled with this gift. Either bring a design for the tree house or sit with your child and start from scratch. And this spring, set aside weekends to build. What a great opportunity to be in nature and working and creating together.

For incentive on how to build a tree house on a limited budget, check out this article on Huffington Post where a family built one for under $300, and an article from Popular Mechanics.

kid's treenhouse in nature

Continue Reading →

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