Wednesday, August 15, 2018
Glamour-bombing is a practice that is pretty new to me, at least in that name. I learned of the term from a forum post, where you leave little bits of magic and wonder out in the world, for other people to find. There are a lot of very similar practices to this, which all boil down to: doing nice things for strangers.
This is a trend that I've seen in many forms recently, and I think it's brilliant. Several years back, Pay it Forward was the catch phrase, and it was often more tied up in actually paying for things. You might buy a coffee for the person standing behind you in line, or give your pocket change to the person in front of you at the store, because they were going to put back something they couldn't afford. During the height of the hype, I even saw sets of bracelets being sold with the intention of passing them out to anyone who admired them. One manifestation of Pay it Forward that I loved was leaving little love notes with a dollar paper-clipped to them in dollar stores, for either kids or adults to find!
But, it doesn't have to be something monetary. There are tons of beautiful stories on the internet that illustrate the Pay it Forward principle, where someone was having a rough day, but decided to do something really small, even as little as smiling at someone they passed on the bus, but that person then felt a little better and decided to hold the elevator for someone who was rushing to catch it. Each act of kindness builds into a bigger chain reaction, as each person does a tiny bit more for the next person. In the stories, it always loops around and the very first person will receive something lovely, and it all started with their simple act of kindness.
While this makes a beautifully heart touching story, I think it rarely manifests as cleanly as this. When we do nice things for other people, it's not about thinking what we will get in return. But we do get something back! If I am having a horrible day, but I'm out in public, I don't want to share my moodiness with other people, so I'll make a point of trying to smile at strangers and do nice things (because if I don't make the effort, I know I'll just be grumpy and kind of mean). Just by doing these things, with the intention of being nice to other people, I tend to feel better myself....especially if people respond with a smile or a thank you, it just makes me feel good!
There is a practice called geocaching that I think is super fun. It's like a huge treasure hunt, where people make and hide caches of stuff, all kinds of little treasures to find. You go hunting and you can trade something of your own for something you find. I think it's brilliant!
I really love the idea of anonymous surprises best of all. Inspirational rock painting has become really popular lately. Our library has even hosted rock painting workshops. Not only do you paint the rock, often with a word like Love or Believe on it, or a short message like "You are beautiful," or "You are worth it," but then you go out and stick it somewhere for someone else to find.
You could do the same thing with cards or small works of art. Draw or paint a little picture, write an uplifting message on the back, and then stash it somewhere to brighten someone's day. Leave Valentines at the bus station, or notes of encouragement in doctor's waiting rooms!
Going back to the Glamour-bomb idea, when you add in magic, there is so much more you can do. Any of these acts can be blessed and dedicated to helping the person who finds it. Infuse your rock with prosperity energy, bless your picture to bring healing to the person who sees it, or perhaps your note will carry the intention of banishing worry and stress from whoever reads it.
I read an article a while back, about a woman who performs Reiki on her city. I think that sometimes, we think about the natural world, our focus is there, and not on the people and the modern world around us. We do ritual and make offerings to the moon or deities, but we can also bless and energize the city we live in.
This opens up SO many nifty options for magic work and blessing! If we are stopped at a red light, we can send our intention to the light, to keep everyone safe as they navigate the intersection. When we shop, we can bless the checkout lanes, so that things run smoothly and everyone stays calm.
When I first started working with the loving-kindness meditation, I read that you start with yourself, then when you are comfortable filling yourself with loving-kindness energy, you can share it with your loved ones. Then with strangers, then your enemies. I think magic work can do the same! We often wait until things impact our lives, until we are kicked in the rear and prompted to respond, but we can be proactive and spread magic to bring joy and delight into other people's lives, whether we know them or not!
I want to live in a world where everyone wants to help other people. Where we are invested in each other, where the ultimate goal is for everyone to be happy and fulfilled. And I truly think the way to get there is by helping each other. If we only focus on our own struggles, we only help ourselves. And while we might be able to struggle through on our own most of the time, sometimes we need help. If we never help other people, how can we expect other people to help us?
Instead, if we do what we can to lift other people up, they can in turn help even more people. When one person is having a bad day, there are dozens to help them through it! And once they are back on their feet, they can help someone else who needs them. If we are all neck deep in the muck, we can't help anyone!
So go out, and bring joy to strangers! Find small ways to leave surprises that will make someone smile. Bless everything! And Glamour-bomb the world!