PORTLAND -- March is National Optimism month and a Vancouver mom has found an unusual and far-reaching way to promote positive thinking: She convinced Clear Channel to use unsold billboard space for inspirational messages.

Breathe in love and exhale gratitude, said Michele McKeag Larsen as she looked at a board near Portland s Jeld Wen Field.

Over the next few months, as many as 20 billboards will feature cheerful slogans courtesy of the Joy Team, a nonprofit created by the mother of two.

Positive thought can change the world, she remarked, but it s like Yoga. It takes practice. I haven t always been this cheerful.

The Joy Team found sponsors like the Gifford-Pinchot National Forest Task Force to help cover the $100 cost to put a vinyl cover on each board.

We re about enjoying the outdoors and being stress-free so this just seemed like a good fit for us, said task force spokeswoman Jill Campbell.

Passersby appreciate joyful words like Something wonderful is about to happen or Think Positive.

It s awesome, said Portlander Colin Christiansen, I can see one of the billboards from my apartment and it s a great reminder.

Convincing doubters that positive thinking can evoke change is a challenge the Vancouver mom enjoys. She believes there s a simple place to start: Find something to be thankful for every day. The more you express gratitude the happier you are.

Click here for an optimism quiz

Read or Share this story: