The last 5 weeks turned me upside down. I talked about chronic depression June 5. In an attempt to treat it we induced an episode of hypomania. Something I have also experienced before but never this profound. Enter mood stabilizing drug and BAM! Another adverse drug reaction. Finally, finally I am starting to return to my version of normal. First, thanks to all of you who sent notes. Your encouragement helped so much. I have felt like my ROAKs have significantly decreased. I haven’t made any smile packs for over two months. I had a horrible few days of pain and being freezing cold. I'm not sure why. But Friday I had to go to Trader Joe's - a site of many ROAKs. I met Hosiah, a wonderful man,who was trying to reach ripe plums from his wheelchair with an already full basket in his lap. He is currently living at ... Read Full Story >>
I always saw a mom picking up her son at the same time I did at an after school program. We usually smiled and exchanged pleasantries but no more, as my German is limited.
Then a week before we were deciding to leave the country, she spoke to me in English and told me all about her time in America as a grad student with her husband and the book she had left her science field to start writing. We became sharing pals. She saw us off with gifts and well wishes and a request to sprinkle some of her husband's favorite petals in the Bay when we return since she had lost him a few years ago.
We have been running around unpacking boxes and living in piles of unorganized stuff and today we are going to the Bay with my pal's petals. Blessings!
It was finally the day for my wife to travel back from her parent's house on the East coast to where we live here in the Bay Area (West coast). She set out her day with a 6:00 am beach walk on the east coast and geared for the airport to travel by air. Little did we know what this day was about to bring! All southwest flights nationwide were facing delays and cancelations due to a massive unexpected downtime of their IT flight system. She had to wait for about 4 hours to get to her first flight and we both knew the second flight will probably be delayed too. As she approached the first lay over and learned that the second flight was canceled. With hundreds of angry, tired, anxious travelers who were about to loose their patience, she instead decided to choose kindness. The last flight from Phoenix to our city ... Read Full Story >>
Many years ago while waiting in a long queue at a busy check in counter in an airport I passed out. I had rushed to the airport on an empty stomach. I have never forgotten the kindness of two strangers who picked me up stayed with me until I regained consciousness and gave me a hot drink that they had bought from the cafeteria. Having made sure I was OK they rushed off because their fight was already boarding. Yesterday I had some way of paying it forward. I went with some colleagues from my office for a dinner to a local very popular restaurant. It was peak business time and the restaurant was packed. We finally found a table in a corner for three of us. It was so crowded that the cleaning boy was just clearing our table as we were sitting down, while the waitress apologized for all the ... Read Full Story >>
Last evening we went to see "The Secret Life of Pets" at our local community vintage movie theater. All seats $7.00 all the time! We worked so hard all weekend and wanted some fun, so we decided to see this new Disney animated movie. We laughed so hard and the animals reminded us of our pack!
There were 2 young girls behind us in line with their cash in hand. They were talking about splitting a soda and popcorn. Well, we could not have that! We purchased their movie tickets and gave them each $5.00 and told them to enjoy snacks on us. They told us they earned the money helping their mom's clean. They smiled and said "Thank you" with such sweetness.
We're going to make this a monthly date and give back at this small 1-room movie theater. Wonderful experience!
Last night I invited my ex husband's mother out for a meal. After the meal we came back to my house and sat and chatted. That's when she told me about the true value of the pocket watch. She had nursed her brother Arthur when he was dying of cancer. He gave her an old pocket watch. He removed the old cord which had been on it for as long as she could remember, and with his mother's permission he attached it to one of his father's pocket watch chains. He was getting it ready to gift to her. A few weeks before he transitioned, the local priest came to speak to her. He knew the true value of the pocket watch and after much thought and prayers decided to share this story with her: A widow in the diocese was not only grieving her husband's death but she was also distressed about ... Read Full Story >>
Lately, I had become so cynical about finding goodness in people looking at the happenings around the world. But I have also been pleasantly surprised by goodness in unexpected people. I am beginning to realize that goodness still exists in the world if only we have the grace to be surprised by goodness from unexpected people. A few weeks ago I had gone back to my hometown and I was traveling by train to visit a friend in the comfort of a new air-conditioned coach while it was blisteringly hot outside. After a few stations, the delivery man from the cafeteria in the train came around to deliver the pre-booked hot meals and drinks. Just behind him rushed in a young girl, maybe 9 or 10 years old obviously used to begging and put out her hand pleading for some food just with her gestures but no words. The food supplier was ... Read Full Story >>
I've learned-- that sometimes the people you expect to kick you when you're down will be the ones to help you get back up. I've learned-- that sometimes when I'm angry I have the right to be angry, but that doesn't give me the right to be cruel. I've learned-- that true friendship continues to grow, even over the longest distance. The same goes for true love. I've learned-- that just because someone doesn't love you the way you want them to doesn't mean they don't love you with all they have. I've learned-- that maturity has more to do with what types of experiences you've had and what you've learned from them and less to do with how many birthdays you've celebrated. I've learned-- that your family won't always be there for you. It may seem funny, but people you aren't related to can take care of you and love you and teach you to trust people again. Families aren't biological. I've learned-- that no matter how good a friend ... Read Full Story >>
Today I did something I have been really ambivalent about before joining your beautiful souls at KindSpring. I am not a shy person, nor am I a confident person, I also have no difficulty talking to strangers. I have always had difficulty though in dealing with homelessness. It is not difficulty per se about homelessness, it is more about whether the person is genuinely homeless and in need. This is because I have often heard that sometimes people are not homeless and they are just trying to hoodwink anyone who is naive enough to be hoodwinked. Today I spoke to a homeless man who was sitting outside shops in my town. He was sitting on his sleeping bag. I bent down and asked him if he would like me to buy him something to eat. He said he would and I asked him what he would like. He told me he would like ... Read Full Story >>
My Neighbor struggled to buy his house and in so doing, he fell short on money for a Lawn Mower. He would feel so bad when he saw me cutting my lawn and all he had was a weed whacker.
I went on www. Freecycle.org, Where you can get things for free and found an Electric Lawn Mower in a nearby city. It was almost new, the guy had it 6 Months before he landscaped his yard.
It came with a 100 FT Cord " Brand New". You should have seen his face when I test ran it on my yard & he saw it. And his face when I cleaned it and gave it to him. That was a Great DAY :)
Inside this card is one of the biggest kindnesses I am yet to do.
The other day when thinking of a girl I know. Not a friend as such just someone I know through others. I thought of how much I admire her fighting spirit and 'never give up' attitude as she struggles financially. She recently immigrated here from her homeland of Croatia with her two children and husband.
As I was thinking of her so randomly I also heard a random 'thought' or inner prompting and voice. It said "Gift her. Bless her financially with whatever you can spare".
So I am. $100 in fact. A fresh green crisp $100 bill. Thankfully I know her postal address so can post anonymously. Inside the card it reads:
"I pray that this $100 bless you both.
I pray that this $100 be the beginning of an abundance so rich to fall upon you.
I pray that this $100 gives you both faith that the universe always provides.
And I pray that you both know how loved you always are 💜
I have had one of the best days of my year this week because I had the chance to spend time with my big brother. My brother is one of the most burly, independent and strong men I have ever known. He very seldom asks for assistance with anything (as he is quite prideful as well) so whenever he asks for help, I make sure I go running to do it. As a matter of fact, I have a sweet way of volunteering my time. I call him early in the morning and ask if there is anything I can do to help him throughout the day and that it would make me so happy if I ever could. It works most of the time and I rejoice in the experience. My brother has what we call 'an old soul'. He is very mature and levelheaded. He's made very good decisions and ... Read Full Story >>
Football fans get a lot of bad press but this story inspired me. Northern Ireland were playing Wales in France a few days ago and Tom, a 13-year-old Welsh fan got separated from his dad.
Northern Ireland fans lifted Tom up onto a bin and helped him locate his father in the crowd. The video shows the rival teams chanting and cheering as Tom locates dad. Beautiful.
Quick action from men who recognized the importance of Tom even though he supported the rival team. A young boy became more important than the Euro Football for those who were football fanatics and who were living and breathing for their team victory.
Don't you just love such a public display of solidarity and love from men especially when meeting in a rivalry situation?
Our newer neighbors have been doing massive re-muddling to their over 100-year-old
home. I noticed that they had disposed of several over 100-year-old solid oak doors with lovely hinges and hardware. I corraled my spouse and we rescued them from the trash heap. Not being able to use them ourselves, we contacted the former owners of the house who had moved into a "newer" house.
They were able to use the doors in many forms in their new house, by using them as their intended purpose, cutting one down to use as a table. They picked up the last door last evening. The earth has been saved of more useful things from landfills and those gorgeous old wood doors have been able to live many more years.
I was in the supermarket queue yesterday and was having a lovely chat with the lady in front of me. A member of staff came to me and directed me to a checkout which had just opened. I was reluctant to go but felt obliged to do so. When I arrived at the said checkout the cashier was allowing a little child to scan through their shopping. My first thoughts were I'd have got served quicker if I'd just stayed where I was. Eventually it was my turn. The cashier was sweet and apologized for the delay. Then she asked me to pass my shopping bags to her so that she could pack I thanked her and told her she was busy enough I would do it. 'But I want to help.' came the big smiling reply. We chatted as we both packed and somehow through our small talk she told ... Read Full Story >>
My mom and I were out driving when we saw a car ahead of us suddenly slow to a crawl in the middle of an intersection and then roll to a stop as it reached the side of the road. We pulled over and asked the woman inside the car if she needed any help. She said "yes, please!"
Since we were right next to a parking lot, we tried to push her car up the incline into it to get her out of the road. We were not super successful, it being a heavy car and all, but then a man and his kids came over and offered their help as well! Together we got the woman's car into the parking lot where she was safe and could get the help she needed. We all smiled at each other and then went on our way.
This is an odd little kindness I'm sharing here. It isn't even really that kind ... more the opposite! But I am sharing because it took some strength and I'm sharing because I'm proud of me. Earlier today when I was out shopping with my toddler he was in a real playful mood. Holding my hand, jumping up and down, and swinging on and off me. And quite frankly it peeved me off. I felt myself getting all worked up inside. It was SO annoying l. He kept yanking on my arm pulling it back one way then the other. I wanted to yell at him. Wanted to 'punish' him. But I didn't. Instead of reacting instantly to this annoyance I watched it or more so, watched myself. I watched how worked up I was getting. How angry. Then I thought ... "Really Nicole. Really?. Is this that bad? He is 4. He is ... Read Full Story >>
I have usually driven by the folks at the intersection who are asking for help. I've noticed so many people asking and I often feel overwhelmed. Today I felt more open, so I stopped and asked the man what one item he would like me to buy him at the food store (where I was headed).
I felt joyful to be connecting and caring. By the time I got to the store I had expanded more and decided to get him not just the chocolate milk he asked for, but also an apple, cheese and meat jerky. I felt excited about creating a delightful snack. I was so happy to be in the experience of creating a nurturing surprise,.rather than trying to figure out how to not be overwhelmed. I'm so grateful for this expanded experience.
It was totally tangled around another piece of jewelry. I thought I would never unravel it but I knew I had to, it was important to me. You see, this lovely gold heart locket was a precious gift from my then 13 year old daughter. She had thought long and hard about what she wanted to gift me for my birthday and she must have saved really hard for it too. She refused to let anyone else contribute to it, it had to be solely from her. It is a gold heart locket which is inscribed 'Love you always' on the back. The little card which goes with it says ' To my beautiful mummy. Love you with all my heart! from Lauren xx' Such a thoughtful and loving girl. Inside contains two little really badly cut photos of her and I. Life with Lauren is very challenging since she was diagnosed with ... Read Full Story >>
I was at the shops last night and saw a homeless woman with a trolley full of all her things. She was sitting inside to keep warm. I went up to her and tried to give her money for her to get something to eat. She wouldn't take it. I said I wanted to help her but she said if she had enough given to her that day and if she had money on her, other homeless people would steal it from her when she slept. I explained that I wanted to help her and could I buy her something warm. Again she said no. She thanked me and said how grateful she was that I had spoken to her and offered help. We introduced ourselves and she said that when I saw her next time, she would accept help. What an amazing woman. So as I walked out into the cold ... Read Full Story >>