I was actually having a not so great day today. I've been having some pain issues with my neck and shoulder. Just some weird thing that pops up now and then.(I hadn't mentioned the pain/discomfort to my husband.)
But today I was aggravated with my spouse. Feeling ignored etc. (I'm thinking it could be due to being off of work for two months now.) I was weepy and just not having a very good day.
My spouse went to the grocery store this afternoon. I went into the kitchen and put away the items from the store. Still weepy and defensive.
I walk into the living room and there, on the spot where I usually sit, was a neck pillow with heat and vibration for neck pain. This made me smile.
It's so funny how perception is reality. Sometimes its the wrong reality. This made me remember all of the times my spouse has been giving and thoughtful. I need to remind myself that there are times when my POV can be so lopsided that I cant get out of my own way. :)
I was a grateful recipient of kindness today. We are about to take in a Guatemalan woman and her infant child for three weeks, until the infant is healthy enough to move.
I was on FreeCycle.org this morning searching for a bassinet and car seat. Then I spent the afternoon harvesting the generosity of others, who will in turn allow us to provide much needed housing to this woman and her infant.
My 7 year old daughter wanted to do some kind act for our mail man. So she made a thank you card, drew a picture. She also taped an organic fruit bar as a small gift. Also tagged him with a smile card. She is so excited:))seeing her smile makes me smile :)))
I was sitting in a coffee shop sipping on my decaf and simply watching the world go by. My eyes caught sight of a very mature couple. I knew this as their hair was very white and they were slightly hunched over. They stopped and seemed to be looking around, perhaps lost? Who knows? But what made me smile was.....they were holding hands. Was it the many years they were together or was this a fairly new romance. I wondered, as the smile on my face lingered and together they walked away.
I'm grateful that my Mom taught me to love and respect my elders. Tonight as the power was flashing on and off, I lit a candle in my apartment.
Then I went and checked on 3 elderly neighbors between the ages of 84 and 92. I took candles and a lighter with me to make sure that they would be okay if the power did indeed go out. I know that at their age, a fall could be devastating.
These women are wonderful and I love them like they were my own grandmothers. Besides, how can I expect someone to help my grandma, if I'm not willing to help and check in on another person's grandma. Thank you Mom.
You know what? I think that working on gratitude and my spiritual practice is TRULY helping me to be more patient, to smile, and to appreciate those who support me. Here's my example: My wife was upset with me this morning and I was already sped up and trying to get to work. I managed to acknowledge that she had good reason to be upset, and rather than pout like I sometimes do, I smiled and thought "this is an opportunity to be patient and enjoy my morning with her anyway." Although, I didn't want to get groceries, I decided we should go together and make the best of it. When I got to the store 2 separate employees were cheerful and friendly to me. I gave them my full attention and smiled back, even though I was having a challenging morning and needed to get to work. I'm grateful that I took ... Read Full Story >>
In my high school yearbook my teacher wrote a quote from "Hamlet": "To thine own self be true." It took me years to understand what that meant.
Through actions and mis-actions I began to learn to listen to my heart and to follow it in my decision-making and activities. In the 1960s and 1970s I was an activist against many things: racism, the Vietnam War, sexism, nuclear power... This work was endless and exhausting.
I was being true to myself at great personal cost. I reached a point when I could do no more (age, health, economics). When I let go of being against so much, I found all that I am FOR.
My energy has increased, I am happier. I am turning every "against" belief into something I am for and focusing on change for the better. I feel more true to myself than ever before. And I have immense gratitude for that.
Today as i was driving home, I saw a lady with two prosthetic legs, from the hip down, out for a brisk walk and she had the biggest smile as she waved when I stopped for her. Such a wonderful example and reminder of overcoming adversities. Such a small thing but it brightened my day!
A few days ago a friend of many years paid me a compliment: "I've never told you this because I could never figure it out before, but now I know. What drew me to you and draws others to you is that you have eyes that smile and twinkle with merry mischief."
That compliment thrills me because I had an aunt with a sweet little smile and a mischievous twinkle in her eye whom the family often asked: "what are you up to?"
Now I realize she was just delighted with every little detail of life!
Over many years I have struggled with depression, but the last few years I have engaged in a daily gratitude practice ...and now I know that the practice is paying off!
That just makes me smile and smile and smile!
Yesterday was a long travel day with connecting flights that involved passing through customs in Miami to get to my final destination. At the baggage claim, people from my flight waited almost an hour before someone finally unjammed the carousel and allowed the luggage to finally start to move.
Some people missed their flights, but I thought I still had a shot at mine. A kind young couple in the customs line insisted I go before them and then another couple bid me to go ahead in the security line. Even the TSA officer apologized when I got the random beep to have my hands tested for gunpowder or whatever it is they test your hands for.
As I left the security area I heard the young couple who had originally granted me their place in line. "Go, GO, GO!!" I made the flight with 10 minutes to spare. Thank you to all those wonderful strangers!
I was about to pay for some items at the store today but was told by the cashier that the person in front of me had paid for my purchase as a random act of kindness. I had to try my hardest not to cry!
Stopped at 7-11 on the way home from work and saw an obviously homeless guy stop at store. I was on my way out and felt bad for him because I was almost homeless once, so gave him $20.00 cash.
I had to follow him down the street in my car because he changed his mind (before I could get out the money) and left the parking lot. He was so grateful because it was unexpected - he was NOT begging - didn't have a sign, just all his worldly possessions which he was carrying.
Today, a friend of mine was being picked on for always wearing the same sweater so I told the bully to stop, and he eventually did. Also, the class was being really rude to our teacher, so I told the teacher that no matter what, I was so appreciative that he was our teacher.
I just believe that it's nice to let people know how special they are and that they should never let themselves get down, because it's nice to know that you're appreciated for being just who you are. <3 (:
I was just in France to visit my grand-mother who is very dear to me. I don’t get to cross the Atlantic very often, and she’s now 96 year old, so every time I go visit, the two of us are very aware that it might be the last time we see each other. Last time I visited her in December of 2004, I did a series of short video interviews about her life. I asked her what it was like to grow up with her father in the 1910s (her mother died during labor), to live through the German occupation alone with two young children with a husband away in a prisoners' camp in Germany. I asked her about her greatest memories and life learnings so far, her favorite books, foods, stories. I also asked her about her spirituality and her thoughts about death. I learned a lot of amazing ... Read Full Story >>
One day, while riding a bus in San Antonio, Tx, (a city filled with some of the friendliest people), I sat next to a young man (his appearance was that of someone who had little financial means).
I was reading a book and we struck up a conversation. He seemed very intelligent and had a lot of knowledge about literature. Soon it was his stop and as he rose to leave, he said "thank you so much for talking to me" Many people dressed like yourself (I was still dressed in my business attire) don't usually take the time to even speak to me, let alone listen to me. Thank you so much for taking time to spend with me"
. I'm sure I've been guilty of not taking time to spend with others, but I try to remember this encounter when I am among others and if nothing else, share a kind smile and a polite hello.
Did the "usual" acts of kindness today. Encouraged a co-worker, left homemade caramels on co-worker's desk, advocated for a student to be placed in public school, and sent an encouraging email to a teacher who is moving to another job.
Today seemed to be MY day though! 3 boxes of books were delivered to me for my trade in project for the 4th graders and a previous director of special education read my facebook post and sent me a check for books!!! Tomorrow I have to pick up more books from 3 more people!!!!
I took a vase of pretty red carnations and a container of homemade vegetable-bean-barley soup to my elderly neighbor.
She was happy to visit and I warmed up her hands, which were cold. I have been a bit busy lately, so it was good to slow down and spend time with her.
Lately, I have been having an unusual amount of anxiety. It has been affecting my personal life as well as my abilities to perform well in school. I have been subjecting myself to an unhealthy amount of criticism and having a difficult time staying positive.
Today, an amazing woman I have looked up to since I began studying engineering assured me that this is not uncommon for women in general and especially in a field as male-dominated as engineering.
She reminded me of the importance of being proud of myself and what I've accomplished and to not let every little bump in the road steer me off course. She helped me see what is important. I hope that in the future I can remember this and learn to be patient with myself, staying calm rather than becoming anxious.
In late August, I saw a local news story about an elderly man, a Korean War veteran, whose former attorney had stolen most of his trust fund ($286,000) before he found out. She was subsequently disbarred and is currently serving jail time. I was so taken aback by the story - at the injustice to the victim and the horror that someone in my profession had done this. I set up a web page on a crowd funding site to raise money for him. At the same time, I contacted his current attorney to let her know, so there would be no appearance of impropriety on my part. People from all over the country donated and left him beautiful messages, including my dad, who is also a senior citizen. Today I finally closed down the account. I mailed a check and a letter to him along with the printed pages of the ... Read Full Story >>
This was actually a few days back. But I got the biggest thrill out of posting a RAK on the soda machine at my work. Who wouldn't like a free soda or water?
It was fun being sneaky to not "get caught" and even more fun imagining the person finding it. Was it the cleaning lady? Was it the grumpy guy down the hall? I enjoyed daydreaming about the mysterious recipient!