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I spy joy in Portland, Oregon


In late March of 2011 the Wall Street Journal released a study finding Portland, Oregon, to be the the 2nd most miserable city in the U.S.

I have found much evidence to the contrary. In fact, looking at photos I’ve taken in recent years for ISpyJoy.com and LicensePlateWisdom.com as well as images of the joy-spreading work of The Joy Team, it seems the Portland-Vancouver metro area is overflowing with joy, love and wisdom.

This video is a just a sampling of those images–all taken in the Portland / Vancouver metro area.

City of Roses, you are also the City of Joy, Love and Wisdom.

June 8, 2011   3 Comments

I spy joy in a sign

God Loves You!

I have no religion.  I don’t attend church.

I consider myself to be a very spiritual person.

I don’t believe in hell.  Never have. I can’t even begin to fathom a God that would put anyone in such a place. It just doesn’t make sense.  I mean, I would never put my children in anything even close to hell.  My children have my absolute and total unconditional love.  Absolute. There is nothing–nothing–my kids could ever do to change that.  No matter what they do I want the very best for them. I want the best and highest of love and joy for them.

If I love my children like that, wouldn’t God?

So when I–a woman without religion– saw this man holding this sign, something clicked in me.

This man is wearing a nice, clean jacket; with a nice, clean, shaved face and cut hair.  Which is only to say, I can tell he’s not using this sign as a means to make money (like so many others on freeway ramps).  He needs nothing from me or anyone else who happened to be driving off the Mill Plain exit on I-205 in Vancouver, Washington. He’s just sharing a message. Of love.  And joy.

God loves you.

God loves you. Allah loves you. Buddha loves you. The Universe loves you.

You are loved and adored beyond belief. Beyond condition.

Absolutely.

April 21, 2011   2 Comments

It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s a billboard for joy!

Portland, OR - SE Foster Rd, 150 feet west of 51st Ave

Portland, OR - SE 82nd Ave, 100 ft north of Ogden St

As you’re driving to work or a board meeting or a dentist appointment today you might see a big yellow billboard reminding you to choose joy. Or maybe one nudging you to believe in yourself. Or maybe one boldly declaring You are totally awesome!

Believe your eyes. You can choose joy, you can believe in yourself, and yes, you really are totally awesome. Totally.

There are 8 bright yellow billboards boasting positive messages going up in Portland, Oregon, and Vancouver, Washington, sometime today through Friday.  They’ll be up for 4 weeks. In that time over 2 million sets of eyes will have seen them. That’s 2 million impressions for joy.

The Joy Team is spreading joy, optimism and inspiration to millions. Want to join us?

April 5, 2010   1 Comment

Introducing an ad campaign for joy!

One Billboard for The Joy Team

Many of you may remember my daughter and I hitting the streets last November with messages of joy and inspiration from The Joy Team. Now we’ve made it official.

The Joy Team is now a non-profit corporation in Vancouver, Washington with the sole mission of spreading joy, optimism and inspiration to millions. Instead of reaching 30 or 40 people at a time, we’re shooting for millions.  How are we going to do it? With the awesome power of outdoor advertising:  billboards.

And we’re planning to put the first round of inspiring billboards up in the Portland, Oregon metro area in April or May of this year.  We’ve got at least two billboards in the works. And we’d love to have more.

Want to be part of what very well may be the first ever ad campaign with the sole purpose of spreading joy? Find out how here.

Another billboard for The Joy Team

March 7, 2010   No Comments

I spy joy in wearing your heart on your tree

Hearts light up the tree on the corner

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and, as you’d expect, hearts are everywhere: in stores, on mugs, on socks, in windows, and even on sleeves.  I was pleasantly surprised, however, to see hearts lighting up a tree on the corner of Kaufman and McLoughlin in Vancouver, Washington.

Sappy as this may sound, I heart hearts!

February 10, 2010   2 Comments

The Joy Team hits the streets

Park Bench at 8th & Everett, Portland, OR

Park Bench at 8th & Everett, Portland, OR

The Joy Team hit the streets yesterday in what some (well, maybe just my dad) are calling an act of Guerilla Happiness.

My daughter, Taryn, and I dropped 23 Joy Notes at random locations in Vancouver, Washington, and Portland, Oregon.  We started what I hope to be the first of many outings with 18 different card designs — 6 of them drawn by Taryn and 12 of them created on the computer by me.

Next to Subway on Main St., Vancouver, WA

Next to Subway on Main St., Vancouver, WA

All the cards have positive, encouraging sayings and / or images on the front, hence the name Joy Notes.  On the back is a note addressed Dear Friend, which lets the finder know the card was intended for him or her to find and keep.

Taryn and I happily dropped cards on park benches, in planters, tucked in cereal isles, propped in bathrooms, nestled in store windows… Together we had a wonderful time.

Bathroom for ICU waiting room at Emanuel Hospital, Portland, OR

Bathroom for ICU waiting room at Emanuel Hospital, Portland, OR

Driving home I was filled with joy at the thought that 23 people will stumble across these cards and their day will be brightened, even if just for a few minutes.

While Taryn and I have set out these seeds of inspiration in Portland and Vancouver, batches of Joy Notes have been sent to Seattle in Washington, Beaverton and Medford in Oregon, and Santa Fe in New Mexico.

Starbuck's on Main, Vancouver, WA

Starbuck's on Main, Vancouver, WA

To see photos of all 23 drops, visit our Facebook Fan Page.

The fronts of the first 18 Joy Notes are below.

Joy spreads!

Joy Notes 1 from ISpyJoy.com

Joy Notes 1 from ISpyJoy.com

Joy Notes 2 from ISpyJoy.com

Joy Notes 2 from ISpyJoy.com

Joy Notes drawn by Taryn, 6 years old

Joy Notes drawn by Taryn, 6 years old

November 30, 2009   4 Comments

I spy joy in The Joy Team!

Taryn on The Joy Team

Taryn on The Joy Team

Taryn and I are heading out to spread joy today in Vancouver, Washington, and Portland, Oregon.

We’ve started The Joy Team, t-shirts and all, and are on our way to put our first game plan into action.

More to come…

November 29, 2009   2 Comments

I spy joy in snow

Kellen sledding down 43rd St
Kellen sledding down 43rd St

Although 8 inches of snow mixed with freezing rain can cause all kinds of transportation challenges here in Vancouver, Washington, it sure brightens up the holiday season for the kid in all of us. Several of the children on our street spent a fair chunk of the day sledding down the slight snow-covered slope we live on. Laughter, squeals of delight and many a “who hooo!” could be heard as they reveled in this rare phenomenon for our area.

As I watched my son go down the hill backwards, laying down and seemingly doing the happy dance I too squealed with delight.  And then I promptly went inside to thaw out with some hot tea.

December 21, 2008   No Comments