I am so grateful my son gets excited about random acts of kindness. Today I got a text from him explaining to me what happened during lunch. Starting this year, the kids are allowed to leave campus and eat at the local restaurants. I know like most parents, my husband and I give Chase an allotment and it has to last him all week. Realistically I know it’s near impossible so somedays the kids eat fries or split something. Today they walked a half mile to a local fast food place. All the kids were eating except for one when the manager approached and asked why? She explained she was out of money for the week and the manager brought her a small bite to eat adding that she couldn’t go all day without eating. Some may find this offensive but to me, this is humanity at its best. My son was very moved at her concern and kindness and I can only hope that this is something that someday he might pay forward. All it takes is one person to notice and care enough to make someone’s day a little bit brighter. Thank you to the kind women who offered such hope in a time when hope seems sometimes lost. There is no doubt we will share the word and fully support this local business. Thank you for being the change we so need in the world. This is the America I grew up in and love. This is the America where we have one another’s back and reach out through our community to take care of one another.. This is the America where kindness and compassion are practiced each and everyday. Yes, there is hope and today it came from a manager who sent this wonderful ripple out into our community.
I think I’ve decided you can’t fix stupid. You can’t reason with it, change it or even influence it. Much of what is going on in our simple little world is just plain stupid. We say whatever feels like rolling off our tongue, we insult and demean with no consideration of who is on the receiving end. We spew our opinions as if they hold more value than anyone else’s. It’s disheartening to watch. I feel I have so little power as I sadly watch humanity, respect and civility self destruct. My prayer is simple. Raise me up above the petty nonsense that destroys relationships and even lives. Raise me up above the need to be right or louder or better or smarter. Humble me to know my place in this world is not less or more important than anyone else’s. Help me hang on a little bit longer and share whatever I have left to give. Help me shine and be a beacon of light in a world where the light is sometimes fading and growing dim. Help me be a better person each and everyday. That is my purpose. That is my journey.
You can change your life.
I know because I did it.
A year ago, I was in a very dark place. Depression had a death grip on me and I was having frequent anxiety attacks. I was so unsettled in my own skin but the hopelessness I felt was one I thought I would never escape. I was helpless and I reached out but there was no life raft waiting for me as I slipped deeper and deeper into despair. I tried depression medicine and meditation but it only got worse.
A year later I am feeling back to my normal self. I had to change my self talk which eventually led to a change in perspective about my current situation. If I couldn’t change the part I was stuck in then I had no other choice than to change myself and use my perception to gain my power back. My mantra was “the sky is not failing”. You are okay. It took months to convince myself that I would survive my situation. That I could live a happy life right alongside the mess I was in. I decided to lessen my reaction to things that once sent me straight to panic. Ah yes, the sky is not falling and this is only temporary. Patience with myself and gentle reminders turned into a new sense of peace and confidence. I removed myself from negativity and the past few months I have started walking every day. I am up to 35 miles a week and there are no words to express what this has done for me mentally. Most days I feel happy. Did you hear that? Me, happy! And rarely do I feel anxiety for more than a few hours and it doesn’t happen often at all.
Was It easy? Nope. I had to give up my bullshit stories that kept my anxiety alive and thriving. I had to admit that my thinking was most of the problem and the only fix out there was my decision to fix myself. I share this story because I know the silent suffering and wanting someone to take just a little bit of my despair away so I could get through the day. I also share this to tell you that you can overcome this too. It takes patience and a great deal of self love. I hope my success story becomes your own and please know you are not alone. I am out here cheering for you and I know you can do it too. You’ve got this! I promise.
I went to another concert last night. I was left with this image of the entire arena filled with individual lights. It was a beautiful sight. Sometimes I don’t see the light in others because I don’t want to look hard enough but last night all I saw was light. What an amazing feeling. One that left me full of hope. What was your glimmer of hope today?
Don’t get caught in the current today.
Rise above it.
You are love.
You are peace.
Offer yourself as a refuge to those with a heavy heart.
Be a spark of hope.
Lead the charge.
We expect so much out of life and the people around us. Today, be the unexpected. Be the smile, the kind voice, the helping hand that reaches out when no-one else does. Be kindness, offer motivation and be the reason someone feels a tiny sparkle of hope. You can change the world one small act of kindness at a time.
Before I pick my son up from school, I walk at the local YMCA. The track is located above the basketball courts where the after school program takes place. There are kids yelling and running and bouncing. To be honest, after coming directly from yoga, the noise and the movement really gets on my nerves. A week ago I walked into the restroom where two little girls insisted I go first. They were chatty and smiled at me through missing teeth. I smiled back half heartedly. Yesterday, they met me there again. They told me they watch for me so they can come and say hello. This time, I knelt down and I looked them both in the eyes. I am very happy to see you both today I said through a warm, inviting smile. See you tomorrow then?
It takes one person to warm your heart. One person to show a kindness you didn’t notice before. Look for the blessings. They are there waiting for you to notice. Those little girls made an enormous difference. I am so grateful for them.
I cannot believe the doom and gloom I am seeing as people turn their middle finger up to 2016. I have had some great years, some painful ones and so many more in between. The truth is, life for the most part is what we make of it. We can zoom in on all the bad or we can choose to focus on the things that were good. I have learned a few things over the last 45 years. Sometimes we are convinced that we’ve gone through a bad time or a horrible year and then we are shown what a bad year really is. There are so many blessings and wonderful opportunities all around us but sometimes our tunnel vision blocks our ability to notice. As 2016 ticks away, I will persistently focus on all the wonderful things I am truly grateful for. That is how I will exit this year and enter the new one. With a heart full of hope and gratitude, I will make this transition with all the positive energy I can. I have my health, my family and a home to keep me warm. I have people who love me. I was blessed enough to live another year. We are owed nothing and every single day is a gift. Sometimes when everything is not exactly the way we want it to be we allow ourselves to become a victim. Poor me. Not this girl. I have started to recite all the reasons why this has been a fantastic year. My focus is on the good. My focus is on hope. My focus is love. Happy New Year everyone!