I instruct an exercise class at a retirement home every Tuesday afternoon. There is one resident who is no longer able to attend the class because she is becoming so frail. She has had several falls. We have had an agreement between us that I would still knock on her door to invite her to class but instead of an invite I give what she calls a 'wee cuddle'. I have been doing this since about March. Today there was a sign on her door saying she had a fall and was unable to use her walker and must use a wheelchair. I did not knock because she often is napping at the time I make my rounds to gather up folks for the class. After class she was just coming out of the elevator for the social hour. One whole side of her face is badly bruised, cuts around her ... Read Full Story >>
On occasion I come across a poem or short story that I have read that deeply touches my heart. I was sent this poem when Peace was a theme that kept recurring throughout my days. Thank you for the beautiful kindspring soul who sent this poem to me when I needed it most. I am hungry for Peace. I want to slather it on thick as a sun drenched smile rising from my heart to yours. I’d make a sandwich of our tribulations and joys, layering it with compassionate slices of a mellowing perspective. The bread would be kneaded with seeds of kindness, baked to a delicate golden crust of understanding, fluffy and warm on the inside with forgiveness. I’d be sure to eat it from my best chipped plate, the one with flowers painted from a forest rain, tinged with the blush of a robin’s breast. And to wash it all down, there would be goblet of stars whirled into a constellation of such possibility, that I’d have to sip slowly so as not ... Read Full Story >>
Have we ever noticed that we are so busy doing that we are missing out on a great many things? Sometimes we are given the opportunity to sit in silence and take in our surroundings. It may seem difficult at first, but soon we are able to see, hear and feel what is going on around us. All our senses become engaged. Although our sense of smell is always working, while sitting quietly we may notice that we are able to more fully take in the aromas of the space we are in. Our ears pick up the sounds of the birds singing. As we sip our water we have the time to notice how it tastes and how it quenches our thirst. The contrast in the colors may become more visible as we take the time to see them fully. We also have time to observe the people who are ... Read Full Story >>
As I explore my home town I came across a sign on a front lawn of someone’s home that is written in three languages. Each time I walk by this sign of acceptance my heart warms, my mood lightens and I grin from ear to ear. The sign reads “No matter where you are from, we’re glad you’re our neighbor.”
Another day as I walked along this same street I realized that there is several churches of different denominations within a block of this sign.
To me this too is a sign of acceptance. How wonderful to have such open signs of acceptance in one’s neighborhood. I do not walk the same way each day but when I take this a particular route I find myself looking with anticipation to catch sight of this sign. Each time I pause and give a silent thank-you to the home owner for displaying this sign of acceptance of all their neighbors.
Yesterday while attending a fitness class I met a new participant who was nervous and shy about taking the class for the first time. I did my best to calm her fears and make her feel welcome. I co-lead the class and kept an eye on her and helped her when she seemed loss.
After class there was a Christmas luncheon for the participants and I invited her along and she accepted. I introduced her to those who were sitting around and they also made her feel welcome. We all encouraged to her to come back to class on Thursday. She seemed pleased to be so readily made part of the group. It felt good to take the opportunity to help someone who was so visibly uncomfortable.
Yesterday I was asked to walk my granddaughter to the school bus stop. Her other Grandmother has mobility issues and is not able to walk through the snow and ice with her walker.
There was a mom walking her son to the same stop while struggling with 3-year-old twins. One was screaming and crying the entire way. After the bus left I walked with her and she explained that the boy she was carrying is non-verbal. He can make sounds but no words at this point.
I held out my hand to the boy who was walking and he took it. Soon I was holding the hands of both boys. They were quite content to walk with me while I chatted with their mom. I felt I was of service to all in those few minutes we walked, giving the boys my unconditional acceptance and their mom someone to talk to. It made me very happy, too.
When we think of the term women of Influence what comes to our mind? Are they women who have social tatus and power, whose work brings about great changes for their communities, countries and the world? As women of influence their work is important. There are other women of influence whose roles are equally as important but often go unnoticed in social media. The roles our mothers, grandmothers, sisters, aunts, friends and mentors play in our lives, influencing the people we’ve grown to be. These women also lead by example with love, resilience, strength, gentleness and vulnerability. They made and continue to make personal sacrifices so that we continue to flourish. There are many women in my life who have helped me grow into the woman I am today. First and foremost my Mom, whose strength and courage showed me how to be strong and courageous too. My memories of her still fill ... Read Full Story >>