Hiking today with the wags and a friend provided yet another opportunity to move out of my comfort zone and connect. Cold with a mixture of sun and snow encouraged a quicker step than usual on the mountain. On the descent, we came across a large troop of boy scouts and their families heading down as well. The trail and people bottle-necked for a few moments before the majority of the troop was well ahead and out of sight. Left behind were a young boy and his mother who seemed unsteady and unsure on the trail. We slowed our pace for a bit to talk with them before eventually passing them. They caught up again when my friend paused to tie her shoe. The boy at that moment slipped and tumbled forward. My friend attempting to catch him as he rolled down the trail. Helping him up he was nervous, crying in his ... Read Full Story >>
I found myself in the city for work today. On my lunch break I decided to walk around the public gardens. It was one of those unusually warm September days, 90+ degrees and humid, but it felt good after being in the air-conditioning all morning. That is until I walked past two individuals, sweaty and asleep, on a park bench together. What appeared to be all their belongings were in a few bags scattered around them. I continued walking but kept thinking about the pair on the bench. So, I went to Starbucks and purchased five bottles of cold water. Then I returned to the park. First stop was the couple on the bench. I woke the gentleman up and asked if they were ok. Sleepily, he assured me they were fine, but he gratefully accepted two bottles of water. The third bottle went to a man playing his violin by the remembrance garden. ... Read Full Story >>
Massachusetts is notoriously known for bad traffic and aggressive drivers. I am occasionally included on this list. The past few weeks I started to consciously try something new: When I feel myself beginning to get agitated, I try to slow down and will let other drivers pass me or pull out in front of me. This simple action brings me calmly back to the present moment and makes my commute enjoyable. While I am sure other drivers appreciate the courteous action, I know I am the one benefiting the most from this act of kindness.
I sent a "We Heart You" card to a young woman who fostered my dog in between her (my dog's) time in the pound in Arkansas and when I met her.
It has been three years since I've adopted Espresso, and I am grateful everyday to all the people and agencies involved the rescue process. But individuals who foster animals (and children) stand out as exceptional.
To love unconditionally and without attachment to save a life ... Jennie is one of those exceptional individuals.
I want share a act of kindness bestowed upon me .... A close friend of mine recently passed away and his memorial service was held at his home. When it came time to leave I felt distressed that I would be leaving his home and that connection to him for the last time. Feeling myself getting emotional and upset, I put my sunglasses on as I said good bye. A friend pulled me into a hug, and sensing how upset I was would not let me go until feeling my breathing relax. Four times I attempted to end the hug, at which point she just squeezed me a little tighter and said "not yet". She calmed me down without saying anything. Usually when some one in my world passes I am filled with intense gratitude and feel blessed that I had the opportunity to have them in my world. And while I do ... Read Full Story >>
I purchased a 'quick pick' ticket for tonight's lottery drawing. I then tucked it under a random car's windshield wiper with a note attached that said "I hope you get lucky tonight".
On a recent walk in the woods with a friend and her two toddlers I took the opportunity to have the little ones help me share Mindy's peace doves. They each choose a dove and decided to hang it on a branch for another to find. Soon after they came upon a large hawk feather that they where having a hard time deciding who should keep it, but in the end took turns holding it to bring home for their older sister who collects them. Proud of their good behavior, their mother decided to take them out for lunch as a treat. Pleased with herself, the youngest (who is 3) smiled and said "that's karma".
I have had a lot of fun sharing Mindy's doves ... I have shared them at recent museum and library visits, during recent travels (including rest areas), hiking and at work. Thanks Mindy!!! Curious if you have kept track of how far your doves have traveled and if you have gotten feed back from people who have received them? Cheers to their continued flight!
One of my practices to cultivate connections is to make small floral arrangements and distribute them to people living in one of the local nursing homes or elderly housing. I save glass jars to use as vases, and about every other month when I have compiled about 1/2 a dozen or so I will make vase arrangements.
My niece's and nephews help by making cards to go with them. This was my project tonight. Tomorrow I am looking forward to giving them out. When I first started doing this I would leave the arrangements at the nurses station for them to give to the people they thought would enjoy It. My favorite part now is giving them out and the visits that come from doing so.
The winter thaw has revealed a lot of debris. Even hiking up the woods I came across random trash scattered along the trail. I have a habit of picking up as much of it as I can and carrying it out to throw away when I hike: I find this trait can be contagious when others witness it.
Today I picked up a few bottle caps and I saved them for a friend who is an artist and is using them for a new project ... also cans, random styrofoam packaging,and a few cups.
At one point my dog started running over to point out trash to me, please with herself and her ability to nose it out - this made me laugh. Apparently recycling is not limited to humans. Cheers to green spaces, wagging tails and laughter found in unexpected situations.
On my last visit to the local farm I took a few minutes to say hello to all the animals, including the sheep and the attention seeking donkeys.
The farm has the bubblegum dispenser style feed machines where visitors can purchase food to give to the animals. I bought some food and enjoyed feeding the animals, then I filled all the machines with quarters for the next person who came along.
There are so many opportunities to practice loving-kindness in the day to day happenings that make up a life. Letting a car pull out in front of me during my commute, slowing down, holding a door, giving a smile, a compliment or a kind word. The treats of surprising someone by paying for their coffee, their meal, groceries or toll. Writing notes of love, support, appreciation and gratitude for family, friends and strangers. Sharing what we love and allowing others to share with us in return. It makes for a happy life and joyful heart. It also can be done anonymously and is a bit impersonal most of the time. This past week has gifted me with opportunities to examine "what more can I do" - and it involves stepping out of my comfort zone. 1:1 interaction beyond social norms and opening myself even when I may be uncomfortable or nervous ... Read Full Story >>
I bought dozens of flower bulbs this evening - tomorrow I will be flower-bombing my mother's gardens while she is away. I told her I would help get her gardens ready for the fall/ winter and I will.
I think the best part is that she won't know until the spring rolls around and things begin to grow and bloom. I love a little mischief mixed in.