Hello :)

Hi, peoples!  :)

I hope you are doing well these days: taking a good care of yourself and are exploring and practicing ways to be joyful in your daily life. 

In these interesting times in the world, I have found myself inviting more intentionality in my life, learning to be more conscious of what I am creating around me. I have finally taken on the right mix of tools, courage, playfulness and assertiveness to create the space for me to share with the world what I have to offer. As a result, I've recently created Smiling Spaces - an organization, that fosters joyful, balanced well-being. We are still just launching, and some may think it’s too early for a newsletter, but I feel sooo excited about sharing our mission, about our upcoming events (that are all online so anyone from anywhere with internet can participate), and about my creations that I’m beginning to share with the world through our Etsy shop in order to support Smiling Spaces’ various programs and projects. I feel grateful and privileged to be able to share these resources with you, especially at this time, when so many of us are feeling disconnected, discouraged, hopeless, overwhelmed, drained – here are some tools towards connecting, towards supporting each other and ourselves, towards care and cooperation, if you choose to.

This is our first official newsletter with upcoming events, gift ideas, writings and suggestions. I invite you to check it out, visit our website and gift shop, give us your feedback, share what resonates with a friend, or just say 'Hi' - it puts a smile on my face to hear from old friends and acquaintances.
Speaking of smiles… Guess what puts a smile on almost anybody’s face?! Speaking with a pinched nose! Why not try that randomly at a next meeting, or in the grocery store, or with your loved ones at the dinner table? Let the smiles spread and sparkle   :)

 

Thank you very much for reading this far, and hopefully you find below something that speaks to you.
Lots of smiles to you!

Warmly,
Aliona, your friend/acquaintance and the founder of Smiling Spaces

 

1. Upcoming (Online) Events
2. Writings
3. Gift Ideas
4. Middle-Burner Projects
5. Support and Volunteer Opportunities
6. Additional Resources
7. Amazon-Free Holidays?

 

1. Upcoming Events

 ~ Self-Love Practice Group (season 2) – Jan 15 through Mar 26, we meet online on Monday evenings or Tuesday mornings to learn and integrate a new way of loving ourselves, and continue connecting with each other throughout the week if we choose to. More information.
 ~ Relationship Skills Practice Group –Jan 6 through Feb 10, we meet online on Wednesday evenings 5.30-7.30pm EST, to co-create a comfortable online community, in which we learn and practice listening well, expressing our feelings and needs, and making requests without assumptions, judgments or demands. It also gives us an opportunity to connect with each other more deeply.
More information.
 ~ Compassionate Communication Cafe – an ongoing weekly drop-in online group for connecting, practicing various communication scenarios through role-plays and games, getting feedback and having fun. We shape our communication around NVC (Non-violent communication).
More information.

 

2. Writings

~ Ode to Impatience ~

Impatience, goddess, you are frowned

Upon by so many of us. But why?

Don't you accompany the progress

Of passionate and eager, but needing to slow-down, guy?

...

Continue reading here.

3. Holiday Gifts

Check out our Gift Shop on Etsy, where you may be able find a holiday gift for a loved one and assist Smiling Spaces at the same time. We offer gifts that give you aesthetic pleasure plus inspiration or education - always aiming at awakening smiles and raising awareness. We have launched this shop just days ago, and are still in the process of adding original items almost daily – please, keep checking back!

We also have Gift Certificates available - they can be applied towards any Smiling Spaces events, services or products that are either available currently or will be in the future: the balance will remain until redeemed. If you would like to gift your loved one an opportunity to participate in Self-Love Practice Group, or a chance to purchase original art from our gift shop, or an individual balanced-and-empowered-being coaching session with Aliona, or keep it open – please let us know, and we will make it happen. 

 

4. Middle-Burner Projects

Little did you know, Not quite back-burner, but also not quite at the forefront of our daily activities, here are the projects we are working on - and inviting you to express interest, collaborate, contribute, if you like:

 ~ Visionary & Self-Empowerment Discussions Discussion-and-Practice groups on topics like Self-Empowerment, Manifesting, Living outside of Fear, Healing Fully in this Lifetime (emotional-spiritual kind of healing), Self-Loving, Living Ever More Consciously, Choosing Joy, Thriving in this Life, etc. Because some of these topics may feel controversial, as feels necessary - I would be more actively facilitating these in order to encourage and support curiosity-based respectful discussions. Would you be interested in participating? We'd love to know the level of interest, when & how often people would be willing to engage in such, and the type of structure/facilitation/expectations from them. Let us know that you are interested, and we'll keep you posted when these begin shaping up.

 ~ Compassionately Connecting Opposites - Interviewing Opportunities This project attempts to find a way, and perhaps create a template, for connecting people who seem to have opposing views, for example, an extreme democrat and an extreme republican. We believe, they have a lot in common and can respectfully and joyfully co-exist, despite their differing views on a specific subject. For this purpose, we are seeking people to interview. If you are willing to share what political views you have and respond respectful questions that may arise during the interview, as I just record your story without judgments, please reach out - or recommend this to someone you know. Initial deliverable will be an article on communication, with excerpts from these interviews. We are writing about how political differences could be overcome, and we need real people to talk to about their real perspectives. We can conduct interview over phone, zoom or email.

 ~ Social Initiatives (Community Creation Process, ILCs, etc) Social Initiatives is a very new umbrella-type name for a number of smaller projects. You can reach out if you want to hear more now, or await updates in the future newletters as it gains more clarity and form.

 ~ Dental Nutrition As part of our mission to foster a balanced well-being and our insight into dentistry being key and mirror of our physical well-being, we are continuing to do research in bio-chemistry of nutrition and supplements in oral and intra-body environments. Topics focus on physical consequences and bio-chemical interactions of human body and orally-taken minimally-processed ingredients, for example: turmeric, bentonite clay, calcium carbonate, Himalayan salt, activated charcoal, baking soda, diatomaceous earth, licorice root powder. If you have knowledge or are willing to assist with researching such things, please reach out. Also, if you have any contacts in any laboratories, that could maybe assist us in doing saliva analysis as part of a research project – please put us in touch, we would be very grateful!

 ~ Other Projects There are some other ideas in the pipeline, that are still in the gestation phase or have hardly sprouted. They rely on skills like video and audio editing, animation, literature editing. You will hear about these in the future newsletters as well, but if you are eager to learn what all that is about and engage in co-creation - shoot us an email!

 

5. Support and Volunteer Opportunities

Smiling Spaces is this little baby plant right now, having just sprouted into this world and needing warmth, water, sunlight and nourishment to grow, strengthen and create an abundance of fruits and nourishment for others. If you have a desire to assist us in our growth - we are very grateful, and we can suggest various ways of doing so. You  could:

 ~ simply pass this email along to someone you think may find it of interest. We are building a network of people who care about creating and supporting a balanced well-being within and without, and you could assist us in wideing this network.

 ~ participate in our events - so that we can learn and grow together, creating more shared experiences of joy and connection, supporting each other in living intentionally.

 ~ consult us on topics of: IT and web security, bio-chemistry, nutrition, community creation, accounting and legal things, and more - email us if you are interested to contribute even a small amount of your time in this way.

 ~ engage and help us grow as an organization - as a Board member for our future non-profit; or a visionary buddy - being a sounding board and a mirror for our vision meetings; or as an assistant in organizing of notes, ideas, reserach, projects; or maybe some other way we can't think of right now. Let us know!

 ~ support us financially: either by purchasing something or making a donation. You can learn more about donating here, which, just to name it, at this time is not tax-deductible because we don't have resources to organize ourselves as a non-profit yet (although that is part of the plan).

 ~ any other ideas you have? Bring them - let's talk :) We'd love to engage in a productive conversation and find ways of mutual support.

 

6. Additional Resources

On our journey this far, we have gotten support, advice, coaching, mentorship from the following sources. We would like to thank them and hope to keep cooperating in the future, supporting each other's growth and offerings for the world.

 ~ Jonah Life Institute. Jonah’s lessons on self-empowerment, living in joy, friendships of the heart, thriving and abundance cultivation have been transformative in my life, prompting my self-discovery and self-empowerment. In all honesty, Smiling Spaces may not have shaped, if it were not for Jonah’s, Hossca’s and Tamy’s wisdom. “Intention is the building block of the outcome” has been a guiding force for me. If you feel a pull towards seeing the world more clearly and pondering mass-supported beliefs and values, I encourage you to hear what Jonah has to offer, and I would love to hear from you about your impressions. Words of caution: it may feel intense in the beginning, there is a thick accent and a loud voice, and some things you may initially not be onboard with – suspend your skepticism for a short bit, because chances are – they will be addressed later, and you will probably get onboard with them then, once a bigger picture is presented. You can find audios at JonahLifeStore.com. Even if you don’t fully resonate with their messages – I guarantee you will find a few bits of wisdom that you can carry forth.

 ~ Red Fox Media. John’s passions for wild-foods foraging, nature connection and photography have fueled the creative force behind sprouting Smiling Spaces. You can feed your soul with aesthetically-delicious imagery at Red-Fox.Media.

 ~ PARAcards. PARAlabs are weekly get-togethers to discover and play with a topic related to Personal and Relational Awareness. We choose a topic for the evening, and ponder it, share about it, hear others’ perspectives about it, adjust our viewpoint of it as needed, and then choose an activity to embody this topic in a way that would benefit us. Past topics that I deeply enjoyed, included: Helpfulness, Curiosity, Loneliness, Playfulness, Conscious Transitions, Vulnerability, Boundaries, Desire for Depth. PARAcards’ participants, gatherings and activities have been instrumental in launching and supporting Smiling Spaces’ vision and offerings. Learn more about them at PARAcards.com – and I strongly encourage you to consider participating in their upcoming individual sessions and module: you needs for connection, depth, exploration, play and personal growth will be met, even if your need to be away from a computer screen may need to concede for these few hours.

 ~ ReTribe. Their mission being reawakening individuals to their interconnections with themselves, the community, and the earth, ReTribe offers transformational programs for children, teens, and adults. Learn more about them at ReTribe.org. ReTribe has provided space, support and numerous learning, healing, practicing, connecting, growing and celebrating opportunities, as an organization, as individual people in ReTribe and CLP family, and as land and nature stewards and caretakers.

 * * *

 ~ BioLumina. Lance and Lyndia have done years of personal growth work, and seem to exist to support others on emotional, physical, spiritual levels in learning to thrive. Their original product – BioLumina Spirulina – is a quantum-infused super-food that many swear by. Besides that, they offer other products, but more so – support, listening ear, advice as needed. If you are onboard with raising global consciousness, check out their website NewPhoenixRising.com.

 ~ Quillwood Academy. Eric, coming from academia and knowing oh so much about where food comes from, survival skills, emotional healing, has been a huge support in shaping some of the concepts and philosophies of Smiling Spaces. I am excite to participate in his upcoming course ‘Finding Sanctuary in a Changing World’, and “Where Food Comes From”, which will be happening soon after (spoiler alert!?). You can find  more info about his courses at Quillwood.org.

 ~ Answers From Within. I have a deep appreciation for Linda’s signature “answers from within” and her supportive and wise presence in the lives of myself and people I care about. You can learn more about her offerings as a soul-activation astrologer on her website LindaMasterson.com.

 ~ Tracey Pacelli. Tracey has written numerous novels, and is a certified Hellenistic astrologer, teaching astrology to beginners, making readings and appearing on astrology panel – you can learn more about it on her website TraceyPacelli.net/. Tracey has encouraged the journey of Smiling Spaces from a distance.

 

7. Amazon-free Christmas?

Perhaps perceived initially as Amazon-demonizing declaration, our intention with this statement is to create awareness around our choices - and an invitation to ponder: What are we voting for with our money? How content are we with those choices? And, if we are not completely content, what can we do differently?

Thanks for reading!

Until next time, let us thrive the best we can.

 

Aliona Manvae | SmilingSpaces.org

smile_spaces@pm.me | 802.335.2060