20 Oct
Just Give It Away

Today, I want to introduce you to the purposefully happy Mandy Ross. She has an artist's soul, and she sees the beauty in almost everything. I first met Mandy when she worked for my husband and me, in one of our retail stores. We rediscovered each other, years later, on Facebook.

Mandy Ross is a woman who understands the universal concept of giving. She is on a healing journey and openly shares her story in a weekly blog. She expresses pride in herself when she finds the courage to make personal changes, and she cheers for others when she observes their bravery.

Mandy starts every week by sending a love letter to her subscribers. I am a subscriber, and I love her philosophy. She says she is sending each of us a “slice of her personal sunshine.” She often strikes an immediate chord with me, and I send her virtual hugs in return. I think many of her subscribers respond with joy, and I am sure that this "Monday morning positivity" lights up the Internet.

Every so often, Mandy chooses one subscriber to receive what she calls an “inner beauty capture.” When I learned that she had selected me for this honour, I had no idea what to expect. The process began when I received her email asking many questions about my favourite places, my favourite music, my favourite quotes and so on. At first, I wondered if I had time to answer these questions, but once I started, I actually found it therapeutic. By the time I was finished writing my response to her, I knew I had to keep a copy of my answers. Reading these answers would be a great review for me, should I lose track of myself. I think we all do that, occasionally. Mandy feels we should all send a little sunshine inward, regularly.

Mandy took the information that I had provided and began to create a painting. She would think of the places I love, play music that I enjoy, and consider my favourite colours and seasons, while she worked.

One day, Mandy wrote to tell me that my painting was complete. Ironically, I had just ordered a couple of mini-paintings from her website, so we decided to meet for coffee and she would bring the paintings. We invited a mutual friend and met at a trendy coffee shop called City Perks. We ate ginger cookies as big as our faces, while sipping coffee and reminiscing. Meanwhile, a perfectly wrapped parcel sat on the table between us. I waited to open it until I could give the process my full attention.

Alone, at home, I began to peel away the layers; the tissue had been scented. Between the layers of tissue, Mandy had placed meaningful quotes on ribbons of paper. She had tied things up with strands of straw and made a note card from torn vellum.

And there in the midst of this finery was the painting she had made just for me. She captured my belief in making life a celebration. The painting sits on my desk and when I see it I feel happy. I know that the flowing tablecloth covers the big flat rock that I love. My husband and I celebrated on that rock before we even had a house on our acreage. The painting is a nod to my love of contrast, romance, and solitude.

Along with my inner beauty capture, Mandy had included the two small paintings I had purchased, and a bonus teeny tiny painting. I consider the little painting to be one more Mandy-moment of unexpected sunshine.

Mandy, in an effort to become stronger, has discovered the joy of giving. In order to have enough sunshine to share, Mandy practices gratitude. In the book, What Happy People Know, by Dan Baker and Cameron Strauth, we learn that, “Appreciation is the antidote for fear.” The authors explain that fear is the greatest enemy of happiness and that the mind can’t be both grateful and afraid at once. That’s a comforting thought, right? 

You may remember the song Magic Penny by Malvina Reynolds. The lyrics go like this:

“Love is something if you give it away,

Give it away,

Give it away.

Love is something if you give it away,

You end up having more."


If you would enjoy some Monday love from Mandy, you can receive your very own Monday Love Letter by visiting www.mandyrossartstudio.com/blog. It's a happy place.



Comments (5)

  • Darlene Aitken
    October 29, 2016 at 11:27 pm

    Thank you for the introduction. I am looking forward to some Monday love.

  • gayle senger
    October 22, 2016 at 04:05 pm

    Again Maureen you inspire other people to live and love like you do. Great job of finding someone almost like you. A true connection

  • Tony Harris
    October 20, 2016 at 09:33 pm

    Love this story and totally agree with Layne that good people attract great people. There is true power in positive thinking and actions; especially the gift of giving whether tangible things or just good-will. Through thick and thin my beautiful life partner and I try to strive for this and it brings us such deep and meaningful happiness. Maureen it sounds like you have a life-time friend in Mandy; we just need many more Mandy's in this world hey!!

  • Layne Strelic
    October 20, 2016 at 01:34 pm

    Well, you have confirmed my belief that good people attract great people! that was so touching and a great lesson. Your interpretation of her painting was as beautiful as the painting itself. So glad my cousin introduced me to your site! Keep up the good work.

  • Marion Murawsky
    October 20, 2016 at 01:17 pm

    Very nice you two reconnected!!! So nice for two such talented people to collaborate .

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