Today was my personal "volunteer day" :) First, I woke up early to walk my friend to the animal shelter a little over two miles away. Then, at the shelter, I did "cat socializing" (AKA: playing with them) for around 30 minutes before I had to leave to walk another 4 miles to the beach to volunteer in the clean-up of an Autism Speaks 5K walk. On my way there, I asked for directions and ended up getting a ride for the remaining two miles. Once I got to the beach, I helped clear tables and spent a couple hours picking up garbage (there was a lot!). Afterwards, I turned to go back home and ended up getting a ride back to the animal shelter, where I spent another 40 minutes doing "cat socializing" :) before going home with my roommate/classmate/friend. On top of that, our professor offered us a ride home. I also ... Read Full Story >>
I belong to a women's group, and I am very grateful for the love, support, laughter and inspiration it provides for me.
Feeling overwhelmed for the women in this group and the space of care that we carve out for each other, I took my jewelry making skills and supplies, and made something special for each woman in my group.
During our group today, a special, anonymous gift will go out to each member, along with a smile card. I'm glad to have the opportunity to let each woman know that they are loved and appreciated, just for being who they are. :)
A friend and fellow teacher and I were talking, making plans after attending the Greater Good Summer Institute in Berkeley this summer. We both work in an inner-city elementary school, where needs are great and burnout is high. We wanted to try an experiment to see if we could begin a movement toward a more compassionate, kind community, and in the process, renew ourselves. This is how the Kindness Coalition was born. We submitted the idea to KindSpring, and won the monthly prize! In the two months that have passed, amazing things have taken root. We began by giving everyone on staff a personally grown, small potted plant, along with a kindness quote, and encouragement to pass it forward. Since then, we buy small gifts and anonymously place them in mailboxes or workspaces, along with a quote and a tag from the Kindness Coalition. We keep track of people we've tagged, and ... Read Full Story >>
Today, my friend and I went to the post office to mail a package to an old friend. She teaches religion, and we make red, white, and blue rosaries in honor of our men and women in Iraq and Afghanistan. Our friend had expressed interest in our handmade rosaries, and asked if we could send some of these specific ones.
While we in line at the post office, I heard a woman begin to choke. Alarmed, I asked her if she needed water or anything else. She explained that she had asthma, and would be alright.
Even though nothing needed to be done, it made me feel good to show concern for a neighbor to the same degree and quality that I would home someone would show for me, if I ever needed it. The more I offer these small gestures of support, the friendlier the world seems to be. :)
I was traveling on the London underground subway, and got off at my destination station. I started climbing up the stairs when I saw a couple carrying luggage up the stairs. They were each dragging two heavy bags up the stairs. The gentleman was doing a decent job, but the lady was struggling to lift them. I offered to help her, but she said that it was really heavy. I still insisted to help. Then, I squatted, lifted the bag from the wheels side, and together we smoothly carried the distributed weight up the stairs.
By doing it together, it took us less than a minute to reach up the stairs, and we were able to avoid further wear and tear to the bag!
The couple thanked me, and as I was walking away, I heard them talking about how we still have such sweet people who help others. :) I smiled and said to myself, "You should visit kindspring.org to find a world full of them!"
Gratitude for all of you, for inspiring me to grow in kindness!
When I had my knee replacement surgery 3 years ago, I was having a particularly bad night because of a pinched nerve in my lower back. I will never forget the kindness of the nurse that I had that night. He went above and beyond to help relieve my pain and discomfort.
So, to pay it forward, I talked to the nurses at the oncology center where I go with my friend for chemo every week and have made plans to bring in treats or something to brighten the drab, colorless room once a week.
This week I am filling small colorful "favor" boxes with treats for each patient and in subsequent weeks, I plan to make cookies, buy bouquets of balloons for each aisle, and provide some Halloween treats for the patients.
I had a bit of fun at my local store today.
As I was checking out with just my normal purchases, I decided to tuck a $1 bill and a Smile Card between two boxes of candy bars in the check out line.
I hope whoever finds it enjoys a good chocolate bar half as much as I do!!
I've packed a bag full of toys to send to Great Ormond Street children's hospital. My partner and I set out to buy toys for different ages and a mixture for boys and girls.
I really wanted to be involved with the spirit of giving, especially for those people who may not get to enjoy the festive season like most of us can. Many of these children have long term illnesses and so I hope to make them all smile and remind them that they are being thought about.
A year back, my friend and I had gone to a nearby town to attend a wedding. After the reception, we were waiting for a public transport bus to go back home. It was nine o'clock at night, and although many buses passed, none stopped. We waited for an hour and were getting desperate. We wouldn't be able to stay overnight because it was a weekday, and we both needed to work the next day. It was almost 10pm when a family who had attended the same wedding passed by in their car. Probably sensing that we were waiting for some means of transport, they stopped and gave us a lift. I was so overwhelmed by their kindness, and I expressed my gratitude to them. When we reached my hometown, the family dropped us at the nearest point from where we could catch a shared rickshaw to get back to the spot we ... Read Full Story >>
I made a lovely pair of faceted carnelian earrings with 14k goldfill wire spirals and popped it into a mailer with a birthday card to mail it off to someone who will never ever expect it.
She's a lovely young woman with much heart and strength. I gift my earrings constantly and donate them for fundraising auctions etc. My personal goal is to give a pair to every powerful wonderful beautiful woman I know.
Using yarn that's been donated to our elementary school, our third-grade knitting club makes little knit caps for premature newborns. I just finished a striped one (see photo), and one of my students put the pompon on it. :) Today, I started another-- a little yellow one.
A simple knit cap is an essential tool to help keep newborn babies warm, especially if they are of a low birth-weight and don't have access to things like caps and incubators. It takes about two hours to knit this life-saving measure for a baby in need, and it fills our hearts with immeasurable love to think that we are positively impacting the world of another family, nearby or worlds away.
Here's a sweet six-minute video story about it, with our students' voices. :)
The Fowler family turned a disappointment into an act of tremendous generosity: when their daughter's wedding was cancelled 40 days before the event, the reception had already been paid for. Instead of cancelling the event and losing their deposit money, the family decided to invite an entirely different set of guests: 200 homeless women, children, and families. Willie and Carol Fowler, the bride's parents, contacted Hosea Feed the Hungry, an organization their daughter has volunteered for in the past, and offered to host 200 guests at Villa Christina, an upscale venue in Atlanta. "When they first called, the administration thought it was a prank call because it was too good to be true," Quisa Foster of Hosea Feed the Hungry told ABC News. "It's a very creme de la creme wedding venue, so to say that you're going to host 200 homeless individuals at Villa Christina - it sounds like a prank ... Read Full Story >>
Recently, in the spirit of kindness, I've been trying to do a little something every day.
I noticed the hand blower in the public restroom broke, so I put paper towels. I gave small treats to children at Sunday school, gave an acquaintance a baby gift, bought extra soda for a friend while getting groceries, donated some vacation time towards an unknown person in a medical situation, shared my lunch with a co-worker, and try to smile and say "Hi" to each person I see throughout my day.
These experiences have helped me to stop and appreciate the day more, and I notice myself counting my blessings and feeing grateful to be able to share so much with others.
It's amazing what can happen with you venture out with the mission of kindness! Yesterday, I had a most successful trip out. :) First, I started off by recycling and picking up trash around the dumpsters. Then, I put a muffler, hat, and gloves in a bag to give to the woman who lives under a bridge near her home. I didn't see the lady who would give it to her, but I have the bag ready-to-go in car for when I do meet up with her. Then, while running some errands, I chatted up with the clerks at Trader Joe's. It was nice to have some laughter and good conversation. After that, I swung by the bank. I had been to the bank about six weeks ago, on my birthday, and the new teller remembered and asked how my day had been. We ended up chatting about kindness, and I shared ... Read Full Story >>
I came to work at 7:30 in the morning today. Right next to the restroom there is a candy machine. You simply deposit a quarter in the slot, and it in turn pours out a handful of M&Ms for you.
Today, on top of this machine, I found 50 cents and a smile card. :) It totally made my day, and now it's my turn to spread kindness...!
I moved into my current home when I separated from my husband. This was the first time in my life - at the age of 41. I rarely used the dining room, living room, spare bedroom/office and basement. I heat and cool these spaces. I pay for the square footage. And my house is considered SMALL! I would often entertain the idea of putting the space to use - by taking in foster kids… but I work a lot and travel for work often — not really conducive to single parenthood. I could take in people fleeing intimate partner violence… but I work a lot and travel for work often - not really conducive to be awoken in the middle of the night or to be a consistent and reliable place for people to “land.” So I continued to struggle with this question. I also have (wait for it) 6 ... Read Full Story >>
We went to breakfast yesterday with a friend that we haven't seen for some time who wanted us to meet her fiance - they are near 70 and being married in 2 weeks!
So, although not I was not invited to the wedding and didn't need to give them a gift, I decided to buy a beautiful wedding card with lovely sentiments and I found a small pewter angel that says "Love is Kind, etc." on it.
They were pleasantly surprised. I think. They said they are going to hang it on their First Christmas Tree Together in Florida this year!
Yesterday, I wasn't home for dinner because I was attending a baby shower. So, in the morning, I put a stew in my slow-cooker for my husband, so that he would have a home-cooked meal when he got home. I also left him a note with a blueberry pie for dessert.
He was really happy to come home to the savory smell of a home cooked stew, and he wrote a note back to me.
The small gestures lifted both of our spirits and made us feel good.
I've been doing the kindness challenge, and yesterday's challenge idea was to "call a loved one". I have had a strained relationship with my mother, but after reading that idea, I knew I had to go see my mom.
I went by her place for a visit, and brought her my son's latest school photo. She loved it, of course. Then, while I was there, I was able to help her take down her summer blinds. We spent a couple of hours together, just enjoying each other's presence. It was pleasant and there was with no controversy.
Grateful for the reminder that we only have today to be with the people we love.
A day away from technology, spent lots of time outdoors, being quiet & still, enjoying the sun, trees, breeze. Renewing . Grateful .
"What you will see is love coming out of the trees, love coming out of the sky, love coming out of the light. You will perceive love from everything around you. This is the state of bliss."
Miguel Ruiz, The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom