I wrote an earlier story about a friend who was put on hospice care. I would visit her on Tuesday nights and we would talk and have some "girl time". I would do her hair on those visits. I couldn't heal her but for a night she felt beautiful! We would talk and laugh. And after her hair was done on one of my last visits I put lipstick on her lips and some color on her cheeks. When I held up the mirror for her to see how she looked she smiled at me and told me she was going to go dancing. I told her to be home before her family got up in the morning! How nice to be at the end of your life and have a sweet dream of getting out of your wheel chair to dance! When I went for my visit this week the ... Read Full Story >>
I wanted to share something that put a smile on my face this morning. My work place is very diverse, as matter of fact, my company ranks in the top 10 among the most diverse companies in America. With this being the case, a lot of times we run into situations where there is a language barrier. Last week while I was at work, one of my coworkers twisted her wrist while lifting something that might have been too heavy for her.This particular coworker of mine speaks little English and my Spanish needs “mucho” work. But we have never had a problem communicating. When I ran into her shortly after her injury, I took a look and I knew that a simple first aid routine was in order. With me being an athlete, I knew that a simple procedure called 'RICE' (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation), was what she needed until she ... Read Full Story >>
On my first visit to India with my partner, Barry, we met a really nice woman on the plane who was flying from Canada to India to move back with her family in Chennai. Talking with Uma, a dentist, who had been trained in England, made the long flight from the US go by much faster. When we arrived in Chennai, we learned that our bags had somehow not made the trip with our plane. As we filled out the missing luggage forms, we couldn't help noticing the mountain of unclaimed baggage in a corner of the terminal. Would we ever see our belongings again? This was not an auspicious beginning to our 6-week trip. It was now 4 a.m. Saturday morning. The officials had told us there was no point in checking to see if our bags had arrived until Monday. What should we do next? As we stood there wondering, ... Read Full Story >>
18 years ago I discovered I was unexpectedly pregnant, I was on my own and in an extremely limited financial situation. I worked at a pet shop, a job I loved, but cleaning cages with unrelenting nausea was pretty awful to deal with. Having little money, and unable to keep anything down, I started losing weight instead of gaining it. There was a neighbor woman I had visited with a couple of times, and to my surprise, she started working at the pet shop too. Everyday, for lunch, she would produce large, organic salads and other very healthy meals. To my surprise she insisted that I have some of her lunch. I tried to refuse, but she was determined. Puzzled, I managed to eat, and when I admitted to everyone at work that I was pregnant, she was very excited, and kept on feeding me, despite the fact that I couldn't hold it ... Read Full Story >>
I used to work in a hospital as a Pharmacy Technician. As part of our duties we would make rounds of all the nursing stations to pick up orders deliver medication, etc. On one of my rounds I met an elderly lady. She was sitting outside a room crying. People walked past and saw her crying but nobody offered to help. I stopped and asked if she was okay. She said her husband was in the room - dying. I asked if I could call anyone or do anything for her but she said she didn't have any family near-by and they never had any kids. So, I just sat there a while, holding her hand and listening to her. This went on for weeks, me listening and hugging, and her waiting and crying. Well one day on my rounds I saw her sitting there, not crying. So, I went to sit with ... Read Full Story >>
As a part of my Pay it Foward project revolution, I'm starting the 29 day giving challenge...again! I've done this in the summer, but this time is different because I'm also doing it with some friends from school and some friends here at KindSpring ;) Today, as my first gift, I believe I have given the gift of encouragement and cheer. Looking back , when I had first done this challenge, normally I would think, " What kind of gift is that?" Looking back at that experience now, I realize that these simple gestures mean a lot more then one thinks they do :) Today, some of my friends were a bit gloomy, perhaps because of the weather, some because their schedules got changed (it's a new term for us now at school). There was this one frind from school that had recently gone through a break-up that I didnt know of, ... Read Full Story >>
Last December, following the Friday night performance of our Winter Solstice Celebration, my wife Chez had gone to the Cathedral parking lot to get some gear before taking a taxi to our hotel. When I finally got to the hotel a couple of hours later, Chez realized she was missing a small bag and was sure she’d left it on the ground outside the car. So I said I’d go back and look for it. It was quite a dark and wintry night, and when I arrived back at the Cathedral around 1:30am, the whole area was deserted. I found the all-night security guard and asked him to unlock the gate to the parking lot for me. We walked back to Amsterdam Ave. and up past the front of the Cathedral to the north lot entrance. We were about 50 yards into the lot when we heard a woman’s voice calling ... Read Full Story >>
My friend's husband left her suddenly, taking the car and leaving her with the mortgage. She was left with 3 children to take care of.
My friend had no way to get the kids to school and get to her job on time without a car. I told her I would see to it everything will be okay. I wanted to do something to help her.
Later that day, I drove to her job and handed over the keys to a brand new Cadillac Escalade and the title. This would mean she could get her kids to school and get to her job on time.
The only thing I asked for in return was 1 dollar.
It was a usual day at the hospital. I was running around doing what I needed to get done for my patients. Then I stopped in my tracks because I could feel my cell phone vibrating in my pocket. I almost always keep my phone on. In the event of an emergency my family and friends can that way get in touch with me. It was an emergency. There was a death in my family. I couldn't move. I couldn't think. I was excused early from work that day, but came home to an empty apartment and didn't know what to do next. I cried. I didn't know if I wanted to be alone or phone my close friend. I didn't know if I should have bothered my friend. Death is a sensitive subject for some people. Different people handle it in different ways. What does one say? What does one do? After deliberating for a ... Read Full Story >>
I am an Iranian man who has been battling cancer for the past two years. A transpant has meant things have been better over the past six months. It means I have a lot more time to spend online learning new things. I have a friend in England who is really feeling home-sick. It's making him quite depressed. He would tell me that he didn't want to do stuff, he just wanted to be left alone, and so on. But I didn't want to leave him in his depression. So, I asked him if he could teach me English! Even though we were far apart we could communicate by Skype. He jumped from his seat towards the computer in his enthusiasm! "Yes! I'd really like to do that! Can I do that? Please?" Now, after a few lessons, I can see him becoming happier and more energetic again! In am sixty-two years old and ... Read Full Story >>
I had just finished my monthly Free Hugs session in Union Square, NYC, and was walking back to Harlem where I lived. I save subway fare by walking as often as possible. Being a storyteller I don't have much money. That's when I saw a woman sitting on the pavement. The shopping cart to her was side piled high with her possessions. Her shoes were worn to nearly nothing. I got out my Free Hugs sign and approached her. I smiled gently and asked if she would like a hug. She looked at me with disbelief and asked, "You would hug me?" I opened my arms and walked closer to her. "If you want a hug," I sad. "Absolutely." She reached out for the hug and then told me she had not been touched in almost 20 years. I hugged her tighter. I apologized to her that I had no money to give her that ... Read Full Story >>
“We hugged, now we’re friends, right?” he asks as he takes my hand and leads me up the steps to the Lincoln Memorial. I’ve never offered Free Hugs at a March before, but decided it might offer the smallest bit of healing at the March for Justice in Washington DC on August 23. It was an impromptu decision. My friend Sarah accompanied me. Honestly, we weren’t sure how to best offer the Hugs. So we simply walked, We walked among thousands of people all searching for the same thing; Healing and Hope. Free Hugs signs overhead, we walked through the throngs of people. We smiled. Made eye contact. And the response was overwhelming. Hundreds of people accepted hugs as we made our own March in a sea of people winding their way across the Mall. It was heart-expanding to not only share hugs but to hear people’s comments: “Best sign I’ve seen ... Read Full Story >>
Today, I reached out to three amazing women I am blessed to know in my life. I let them each know how even though life moves us away from each other some times, we still always live on in each others' hearts.
I told them about all the things I love about them, what their special gifts are, how they touched my life, and that I'll always treasure them, near or far.
Beautiful words are just such a gift... expressing gratitude, love, connection - what could be better! I hope they each in turn do the same with friendships of their own that may need rekindling. I'm so grateful and blessed they crossed my path in life.
Today I logged on to my Facebook account and searched for an old elementary school friend named Mike.
After just 5 minutes I was able to find him. It turns out that he has been going through a rough patch in life. He struggled with depression and suicidal thoughts.
Mike and I ended up chatting for over an hour! We reminisced about the good old days and about what the future may have in store for him!
At the end of the conversation he told me he hasn't smiled that much in two months! I am so glad I chose to look him up!!!!
Today I kept a promise and had lunch with a friend I had not seen in a while. I was extremely tired from school, work, and my 5 hour art lab I had just come from and I really wanted to go home after a long day. But I kept my promise to not upset my friend this evening.
As it turned out, we had such a good time that I stayed longer than I had planned and really saw how much the occasion meant to my friend. We caught up on months worth of news, and it felt like we had never had such a long break.
I really wanted to go home and hide under the covers today. But in keeping my promise and going to meet with a friend, I not only was kind to another person, but was also kind to myself.
I got some much needed self-care out of the occasion and was able to make the day of another person -someone who had been just as busy and still kept their promise to have dinner with me.
Peace and Good Vibes
Compliments can be the easiest acts of kindness. I truly enjoy complimenting people I see every day. I like to think about what kind of compliment would make that person's day.
For the fashionista down the hall, it's fun to compliment her on her shoes. But maybe the person that just smiles all the time would like to hear, "You have such a nice smile!" Maybe the waitress that's working extra hard would like to be acknowledged. My 5 year old loves to hear how she is the greatest artist EVER!
I'd have to say the greatest compliment I ever gave was to a very close friend. This friend just didn't see the amazing spirit that I see in him everyday. He had ignored or doubted all these wonderful emotions and actions he was capable of.
When I complimented him on all his wonderful attributes, it was like a light bulb went off and he had received that confirmation that he was all those things. Since then, he has embraced his true spirit and it grows everyday. I'm so happy to be a part of that.
I was racing around making a six figure income when I suffered a bursted brain aneurysm. Over a five year period I lost everything that I had worked for - home, savings and career and having to do a bankruptcy.
I am humbled and also grateful for being able to live. During this time I went into kidney failure - and a dear childhood friend has offered me her kidney! Can you believe this gift??!
Life is so delicate and precious. Walk softly.
In early January I wrote about the fact that I was taking a trip to Portland to visit a very dear friend who was dying of aggressive lymphoma. That visit was important to me as I was able to be with her in person and share some amazing time with her. We held hands and talked and talked, about what we meant to each other, what we cherished about each other, some of the lessons we had learned together and/or with the support of the other. Her partner and our friend who had driven me there from Portland went out for a walk together, giving us this gift of time together. We shared a simple lunch, all four of us, and talked about some of the logistics of care for my friend, the fabulous hospice nurse who came every day, my friend’s hope that her father would be able to come ... Read Full Story >>
Two weeks before my wife's birthday, I contacted some of her friends from university and requested that they send a video wishing her a "Happy Birthday". I asked them to recount any pleasant memories they had from their university days. I received seven videos from friends she had not been in touch with for eight years! Many of them described fun memories from college and talked about how they miss those times. When I showed the videos to my wife on her birthday, she could not stop smiling. She was very happy and I saw tears of happiness in her eyes. A simple gesture made her birthday special by connecting her to old friends.
A few weeks ago, I purchased a ring for myself called the "tree of life" (because of the design on the ring) with the word HOPE inscribed on the inside. It is made from steel and was inexpensive but symbolized the journey of recovery from breast cancer for me. A friend at work has also been going through a courageous journey with cancer treatments for uterine cancer. I decided to share the ring with her, its meaning to me and I asked if she would like to have the same ring. We decided what size would fit and I ordered one for her as a gift. When I was able to give it to her, I told her she was strong and the steel represented her strength in beating her cancer. The tree of life and the inscription of hope inside the ring could further serve as a reminder of the positive outcome that she ... Read Full Story >>
A friend of mine is struggling with Lyme disease. I'm aware that because of it, my friend has a restrictive eating plan. To help heal her immune system, I came up with an idea for an advent calendar for her to enjoy - a new seasonal tea bag every day, plus a puzzle/doodle or idea/affirmation to do or share. And I enjoyed putting it together for her - it felt good to be doing something to support her recovery :)
Today I Am grateful for the opportunity to help a friend in need. It's amazing how sometimes the advice you give is the same advice you need to hear. When that happens it's as if this friend is going through hard times for a purpose, and part of that purpose is to help you grow as a person. At the same time, perhaps the challenges you've faced and the lessons you've learned have lead you to this point and put you in a position to be of service, thus giving your own trails greater purpose.
A friend's mother recently told me how she has been going through some hard times lately. She knows I practice a feminine yoga called "tigress" and often asks about it. I told her about an upcoming trial taster class. She told me that if finances permit, she would attend.
So tonight as I was thinking about her and about Tigress yoga, I heard a voice in my head say, "Pay for her Nicole." And so I did!
I told her I would love to pay for her class and asked her if it were ok. To which she instantly replied, "Yes!" I love a woman who can so easily and graciously receive as I was nervous asking because I don't know her too well.
Yesterday a housemate asked if I'd join him with dinner, he just felt like cooking and sharing. So I got treated! I was just passing him in the kitchen, on my way to next door to the supermarket, and thought it would be nice to get some Tiramisu as dessert (I almost never do dessert, but hey it felt good!)We had a great conversation too; he knows I am into spiritual things, so it got interesting. He shared he liked Jason Upton and shared this amazing song called Beautiful People.
My friend phoned me last night to thank me for helping her with some housework. She said her husband came home and was going to tackle the ironing pile, but saw that there were less clothes to iron, and was very happy to find some of his shirts ironed and put away. Really, it was a small thing to do for a busy friend.
I am so grateful for the therapeutic walk with the young neighbor lady who was having a PTSD episode and texted me. I suggested we grab our dogs and head for the park, even though it was very hot. She said, ok, but said she hasn't been able to eat the last few days. I suggested peanut butter for some protein and easy on the tummy. She was able to eat it and felt better. Then we headed out in the 90 degree sun. We met a neighbor I keep reintroducing her to, and he is starting be kinder and more accepting to her. Then off to the park with a breeze blowing. We talked and walked. Before you know it she was feeling much better. I gave her a light up solar leash (we sometimes walk at night) with doggy bags tied to handle (she forgets these bags and neighbors get mad ... Read Full Story >>