Ok! What is The Red Nose Daily?? It is a project I have created where I wear a red nose out in public every day and then I report/blog about it! Why, you might ask, would I wear a red nose out in public??? Well, I want to connect with people. I want to make people smile. I want to have people break out of their head/their own little world and shift their energy for even just a moment. Even if they don’t smile but they just look at me, or have a confused look on their face, or whatever else they might experience, they have shifted their attention/energy. You see, the red nose is “the smallest mask in the world” and gives the wearer AND viewer permission to take risks, to express themselves in a way that they normally wouldn’t do and also helps them go beyond their own expectations in a positive way. With the red nose there is an open-heartedness and innocence that occurs with all involved. A spark. A light. A curiosity.
I had this idea for over 2 years and have never done anything with it. Fear had the better part of me. “What would people say??” “What would people think or do?” I had so much (still do!!) anxiety about wearing my nose that I put the idea away…however the idea didn’t stay quiet. It kept creeping out from the closet I tucked it into in my mind. It’s not as if I have never worn a red nose before. I worked in health care facilities as a clown doctor in Ontario. I co-created and trained high school leadership students in a Spirit Clowning curriculum, for both classroom and leadership conference purposes. I also co-created and presented a one-hour motivational, entertaining, and interactive presentation for elementary and high school leadership students in the metaphor of living life with a red nose on!
What had my stand up to my fear??? Many conversations recently with good friends. Friends who love me and know I want more in life. Friends who see me being stopped by fear and my conversations. Friends who have been honest enough to say that my life is too much about me…and not enough about others.
So…I’m doing it! I started yesterday. Oh my goodness! I was so scared! My heart was racing all day thinking about putting on my red nose. The conversations in my head where not pleasant and almost stopped me from doing it. But, I put on my nose and took a deep breath and walked to the elevator in my apartment building. I was praying that no one would be in the elevator!! Of course there was someone. She looked at me…she had a confused look on her face, then said “nice nose”. We both laughed. She asked why I was wearing it. I said I am doing an experiment to see how many people I can make smile. She said it was great idea and to count her as one!! Fantastic! While walking I started saying hi to people and some people laughed, some smiled, some just starred, some made comments (“You have a bloody nose there” , and “Seems like you forgot your sunscreen”.) and some didn’t even look up to me. I noticed how many people don’t notice or choose not to notice. Many people just kept walking. Eyes down. Plugged into whatever they were listening to. No connection. That has me thinking of how often I do that myself. How many connections I have missed because I have been in my head and not present??
It was a great first experience. The voice in my head didn't shut up the whole time and I didn't die!! I made people smile!! And…I’m about to go out and do it again. And my heart is pounding. The conversations are strong. However, my nose is near and will be put on before I leave my apartment. I’ll be walking down Davie Street to meet a friend for dinner. Maybe I will make new friends along the way!!