Jacqueline Way is a dedicated world changer serving humanity with love every day. Her sole purpose is to teach, inspire and empower the hearts and minds of people globally to create a happy, meaningful life and world together. She expresses her purpose through her global giving movement 365give. The charitable organization was created with her 3-year-old son with a simple vision to “Change the World one give, one day at time.” She is a world-renowned keynote speaker with one of the most watched TEDx Talks “How to Be Happy Every Day – It Will Change the World.” She is committed to living the highest expression of who she is through her work, family and by touching the lives of others. She presented on Zoom January 15, 2023 for Yoga Moves MS’s Giving and Gratitude Challenge mid-way check in.
The Giving and Gratitude challenge runs the entire month of January and it’s not too late to join us as we embark on generosity as a way of life. Here’s what to do:
- Spend a few minutes journaling on our gratitude prompt of the day. (We have included a list of prompts for the month of January and you can follow along on our Facebook or Instagram)
- Perform an act of giving each day. (We have included a list of suggestions, most of which cost nothing and require no special skills or equipment.)
Interact with others challenging themselves on our daily social media posts and “in person” during our virtual yoga classes. Building a life of generosity and gratitude is a practice. If you miss a day, don’t beat yourself up, just begin again.
Watch the entire presentation
Jacqueline’s exercises to move happiness through your body
Emotional scan/check in
How to do it:
Ask yourself: How are you feeling? Where is your emotion sitting? Are you stressed or relaxed?
Why do it:
It’s only when we know how we are feeling that we can start shifting our emotions.
Direct your Energy
How to do it:
Put your hands together and rub them as fast as you can to generate heat and energy. Put your hand up and send that energy to others in your life – even though they may not be physically present.
Why do it:
You can feel connected to others and share your energy with them, which will elevate your positive emotions.
5 deep breaths
How to do it:
Breath in through the nose and out through the mouth deeply and slowly.
Why do it:
Breathing this way calms the nervous system and helps us practice emotional regulation.
Visualize a happy moment in your life
How to do it:
Shift your attention to a vivid visualization of a happy memory. Think about what you were grateful for in that happy moment.
Why do it:
You can change your emotions in the present by channeling good feelings from the past. This gets your “monkey mind” to focus on the positive rather than the negative.
We all need to be seen and heard in the world. Give others a big smile to turn on your endorphins and create happiness in your own life and the lives of others!
Key takeaways from Jacqueline Way’s talk
Jacqueline is an adoptive parent of 3 boys
“There is no more magical time than holding your child for the first time. I held my first son at 11 weeks old at his foster parents’ home and I felt unconditional love for the first time. I didn’t know who my son was or who gave birth to him, but I knew I now had the ability to give unconditional love away every day. That moment set me on the path of my life. We all have the ability to love unconditionally.
“Through the adoption journey we needed to go through a counseling course to discover what you’re going to be like as a parent. One question was what are your expectations for your child in their life? My husband’s answers were traditional, he wanted our child to have a good life, be well educated, have a good career. My answer was a bit different, I wanted my child to grow into a kind, compassionate, loving human being.
“Just before my son started school at age 3 I knew he would be influenced by other children and educators so I decided to start a personal parenting project to do one impactful kind thing every day for 365 days. I wanted to keep this close to home and simple enough that my 3 year old could understand it.
“The more we focused on giving, the more opportunities to give showed up for us. We went to the park and picked up litter, on garbage day we would pick up our neighbor’s bins.”
The Birth of 365Give
“I started a blog 12 years ago and wrote about our journey and the small things we did to create a positive effect. These were not random acts of kindness, these were intentional actions for people we knew and spaces we occupied. He really liked animals and we donated blankets and towels to the animal shelter and spent some time with the cats playing and petting them. He realized in that moment how happy giving makes you feel. At the end of the year I realized I had become addicted to giving. I didn’t realize at the time the positive effect giving had on us.”
Giving is not just about money
“We found ways to save money and raise money. We collected our recyclables to get the deposit from the depot. We had a jar in the car for the change and had almost $200 by the end of the year and helped build a roof on a school in Africa. Through the blog we reached almost $2,000 and were able to Skype with the students we helped.”
365Give Challenge in Schools
“My friend was a teacher and wanted to bring giving to her classroom. We piloted a giving program where students could impact their community through giving. Over three years we expanded to 26 schools and more than 8,000 children.”
The ripple effect of giving
“I met an 83-year-old man at the gym who knew someone who knew someone and I ended up on the TEDx stage. Creating that talk was one of the most stressful things I’ve ever done. We are now a global giving movement that has traveled to countries around the world. We all have the ability no matter your age, culture, socioeconomic situation or physical ability, to make a difference.”
Our daily DOSE of happiness
“These are neurotransmitters and hormones that we all have. Dopamine is the reward system – it fires when we cross a finish line. Oxytocin is the love hormone. Serotonin is happiness. Endorphins kick in to keep us going, it’s a pain reliever like the “runner’s high.” Giving is the “helper’s high” where all four of these fires at the same time.”
Benefits to giving
- increased happiness
- increased wellbeing
- increased mental and physical health
- helps you live longer
“I use my social media to create positive messages to put out into the world. We know that the algorithms in YouTube, your social feed, Netflix reflect what you’re watching. It gives you more of the same content. I know that by putting out good content, it’ll influence the algorithm of those people who see it.”
Other crowdsourced ideas for ways to give
- call a friend
- volunteer at a charity
- wave to your neighbors
- make a handmade thank you cards
- leave art or an uplifting note in public for others to find
“Stress, depression, and anxiety is our society’s greatest challenge. People in a poor mental health state are not usually capable of going above and beyond in their community
“My first boyfriend came into my mind over the holidays and I decided to find him on Facebook and send him a message. He was so grateful that I reached out to him. I subsequently reached out to 4 other old boyfriends to say thank you for making that impact and teaching me something about love.
“We all have things we’re healing from: mental healing, emotional healing, trauma or physical healing. We are not alone. Take time in your life everyday to think about how to start your own happiness habit. My journey with 365Give as much as it was a lesson for my son about being a kind, compassionate, loving human being it also became my own lesson to understand how I could be a kind, compassionate loving being every day. When we look back on the last day of our life we will want to look back and say I lived a happy life, my life had impact, meaning and purpose for others and myself.
“Giving is a very simple practice. You will impact everyone around you, and the biggest impact will be on yourself. When your emotions are regulated and you’re in a happy, peaceful place, that happiness is contagious to everyone around you. The research states that in our lifetime we’ll touch 30,000 to 50,000 other people. We are all connected through every energetic exchange. We can create a positive impact just by how we feel and radiating that positive energy.”