By Jackie White
Every holiday season I look forward to watching one of my very favorite holiday movies, “Elf”. Sure, it’s funny and entertaining, but to me it’s also a reminder to live life with more fun and joy.
Buddy the Elf is a simple character whose naivete of life is refreshingly honest. He is true to himself and finds joy in everyday things. He is not afraid to show his true feelings and wear his heart on his sleeve. Much of what we say and do is dictated by the way we think society wants us to act, but what if we could just add a little more Buddy into our lives? Wouldn’t that be fun?
You don’t have to pass through the seven levels of the Candy Cane forest, through the sea of swirly-twirly gumdrops, and then walk through the Lincoln Tunnel to learn to be a little bit more like Buddy. Here are some simple reminders to live life more joyfully – like Buddy:
Be Curious: Buddy has a curiosity about the world. He wants to try out the revolving doors, the escalator and coffee. He doesn’t always like it or get it, but he is willing to learn about it and try. Getting curious about your world will open up worlds you never even knew existed!
Spread Joy: Buddy is constantly trying to bring joy to those around him., He says “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud so all can hear”. You don’t have to sing it, but spreading joy to others is a great way to bring happiness into your own life.
Make Others Smile: Buddy wants to help others and make them smile – A classic quote of Buddy’s is “Smiling's my favorite”. This is another way to brighten your day. Just smile and others will smile back. It’s contagious and the oxytocin released from smiling is mood lifting.
Belief and Faith in the Magic of Life: Buddy doesn’t just believe he knows that Santa’s magic is real. He also knows that Santa’s presence is undeniably powerful. In life sometimes there are things that are magically powerful. Feelings like love, acts of random kindness or faith in a power greater than ourselves are some of those things.
Compliment Others: Making others feel good makes you feel good too. Buddy makes a woman’s day by saying “You’re so pretty your face could be on a Christmas Card”. He also says to the waiter in a café: "You did it! Congratulations! World's best cup of coffee! Great job, everybody! It's great to be here." By complimenting others you can turn a person’s day around. You never know what someone is going through and giving a compliment might just be the spot of happiness that person needs to hear.
Do the things You Love in Life: Why don’t we do more of what we love? Buddy says "I planned out our whole day: First, we'll make snow angels for two hours, and then we'll go ice skating, and then we'll eat a whole roll of Toll-House cookie dough as fast as we can, and then to finish, we'll snuggle." Make the time to engage in the things you love to do.
Follow your Heart. When Buddy sees he doesn’t fit in and that his calling was not to make toys, he takes off for a journey to discover who he really is. It’s important to examine if the life you are living is the one you want to live. If not, you need to follow your heart.
Take Joy in the Little Things in Life: Amongst many other things, Buddy tells his brother “So good news, I saw a dog today”. Sometimes noticing the face of a dog or a smile from a stranger can turn a whole day around.
Have fun! Buddy doesn’t have any trouble having fun. "Francisco! That's fun to say! Francisco. Frannncisco. Franciscooo.". Make time to have fun every day!
Love Without Conditions: Buddy loved his family and friends without restriction. He felt the love and let them know. “I love you, I love you, I love you!” Don’t forget to do this!
Be Creative: Buddy answers the phone with this creative statement:" Buddy the Elf! What's your favorite color?" Think differently about situations and find creative answers to your problems or everyday issues.
I hope these ways to see life creatively inspires you to live a little more like Buddy. Oh yes, I almost forgot, don’t be a “cotton-headed ninny-muggins” and miss out on living a life of joy, happiness and meaning!
Erika Fehrenbach Prell is passionate about inspiring and educating, others on their path to complete wellness-mind,body, and soul. This desire led Erika to the helping profession of nursing, and she obtained her Master's Degree as a Nurse Practitioner in 2007. Erika specialized in cardiac surgery, largely influenced by her personal experience with heart disease. While she loved working with this population, her heart's desire has always been to impact lives on a larger scale and from a proactive, not reactive, place. The universe answered when her path crossed with Jackie and SoulShine was born. Erika finally feels she is walking in her purpose and is excited for this journey to unfold.