Saturday, December 29, 2012
When I was a kid, I remember a story, that you've probably heard, so I'll keep it short.
It was a story of a man walking along the ocean after a big storm when the tide had receded. He noticed hundreds, maybe thousands of Starfish stranded on the beach. He never gave it much thought until he saw a kid frantically picking up Starfish and throwing them back in the water. He finally asked the kid what he was doing.
The boy explained to the man that if the Starfish stayed out of the water too long, they would die.
The man was incredulous. He said.. "There are maybe thousands of them on the beach, you won't even make a dent in it.. Why are you wasting your time? It just doesn't matter."
The child picked up another one and as he threw it back into the ocean said, "It matters to this one".
I love how something that we do, even if it's small can be a miracle to someone else.
This Christmas I was able to witness some of these miracles made, by seemingly ordinary people doing extraordinary things.
The first is my dearest friend. One of her passions is the Homeless. While I was decorating my home for Christmas, she was on bed rest with pneumonia... But she used that time to write, call, and seek out donations of hats,mitts,blankets and food... and when she was able, proceeded to hand them out to people on the street who could use them.
Another person, who I don't know personally but admire, works tireslessly in the aid of animals who are abandoned, or abused... While I was finshing up my Christmas shopping... She spent weeks gathering donations of Cat&Dog food and other supplies that she was able to donate to 6 local shelters and organizations that care for animals.
And one more who touched my heart...
On Christmas morning... I logged into my Facebook page and saw a single mothers post. She doesn't have a lot of money.. Nor I imagine enough time to juggle between a couple of small kids and a job... But she wrote:
"If anyone is gonna be alone for Christmas please inbox me or text me, your more then welcome at my place ...no one should be alone for Christmas!"
Just an invite to anyone alone... I had plans for Christmas... I spent the morning with my kids and worked in the afternoon... But it still touched me that someone would make that offer.
The world around us is what it is. Sometimes Fabulous, Sometimes Scary and it's not always easy. I don't think that any one of us alone, can fix it.. But we can make it better for someone by chosing kindness and by supporting those who would go the extra mile to make it better..
We aren't all going to go on the street and give the homeless blankets and soup. But we can donate to the person who does.. Or to the person who is protecting the animals.. or anyone who is trying to do good on a larger scale....
We can do those things that may seem small to us, but could be huge to someone else.
It can be as simple as being a friend.. To the people we know and even those who we don't know.
Then we get to help, we get to be part of the miracle. And while it may not matter to everybody... It will matter to someone...
Tuesday, November 6, 2012
Sometimes I get a thought, and I can see clearly how to express it. Either in speaking or in writing. I'm grateful for this.. It's not so much that I think anyone needs to hear/read my thoughts as much as I get a lot out of communicating them.. I understand them and therefore myself better. Other times... It's not so clear. It's more like a jumbled mess that I try to get out one way or another. While it may seem confusing, I am always grateful for my family and friends who humour me by letting me get it all out. This thought, I think falls in the latter category.
What's on my mind tonight is how many of us wait... We wait to tell the important people in our lives how important they really are, and why. We hold it inside because "They Know", or it might be awkward, and of course we have thousands of tomorrows to say something if it happened to come up.
The fact is though.... That so many people have no idea of their own value or worth in the world,or in someone else's life.
People walk around lonely and alone when really if they had the slightest idea it could change everything for them.. and who has that information? WE DO!
I haven't been to a lot of funerals in my life, thankfully, but the ones I have been to all have one thing in common. People saying wonderful things about those who have left. Many of them with thoughts of "if I had only told them".
The saying:"Evil conquers when good people(men) do nothing", applies here. There is a big world out there that sometimes seems intent on making each of us feel bad about ourselves and not seeing our personal worth, and all we have to do for it to win is absolutely nothing.
Or we can try being an island and hold ourselves up with much force and struggle, until we hopefully win, or finally get tired of fighting, But do you know what takes remarkably little effort? What is so easy for us, but has so much power for others? If instead of holding ourselves up.. We boost up someone else. Think about it.. You can stand in front of a mirror for hours, building yourself up, and even walk out your door with your head held high... But that feeling is nothing compared to when someone looks at you and honestly says.."Wow, you're looking Great today." So simple and yet so powerful.
We all have so many amazing people in our lives, and for the most part, we don't know their battles or struggles. However, No matter what they deal with we all have the ability to make it better and help them to stand taller. Simply by being honest. By letting those around us know how much we value them and even why we do so much.. Just pointing out things that may seem simple to us, but they may desperately need to hear.
My challenge this night is not to make things up... But to be more honest with those in our lives, and allow ourselves to simply not hold back.
We just never know who's life we might change.
Thursday, October 11, 2012
Years ago I had a friend who, among other things, used to work at summer camps with children. He told a few of us this story once on how He used to tell them that they were "Neato". One day though one of the more deep thinkers of the boys called him on it. He asked him if "He was Neato?(Pointing at another kid). Brent(My Friend) said "Yes".. Then he pointed at another someone else and asked the same question, and received the same response.. This happened a few more times before the little guy announced; "Well if everyone is Neato, then really, No one is Neato".
Ahhhh... Kids can be too smart. LoL...
The story popped in my head today as I was thinking about some Awesome people in my life.. and then I thought of the Word "Awesome".. Which I will admit, I use a lot. The funny thing with words though is they have great power. I think most of us can acknowledge that. But when you use a word a lot.. It loses some of that power, sometimes to the point where it can be meaningless(Think of the words "I love you", the first time someone says them to you.. Your life is altered. You feel a huge rush of emotion. The words have tremendous power... But after 10 years of hearing them every day from the same person, you barely even pay attention to them).
However I stand by it... and other great words that describe people... Fabulous, Amazing, Incredible..Words that say "I see that unique spark in you. That piece of you that sets you apart from everyone else on this planet and it is AWESOME!!!"
Can everyone be "Neato" Or "Awesome"?... Yes, in fact they can be... because we are all so unique and each of us has something amazingly "Us".. that shines.
Some people just wear it.. The Artist, the Musician, the people who seem to light up a room with their personal energy.. Others it's more inside.. Softly glowing.. They seem just average on the outside.. They go to work, or school.. Live their quiet lives.. But leave food out for the neighbourhood cat, or gives a buck to the Homeless guy downtown.. Some people don't even worry so much about "Glowing" for everyone to see.. But would rather help you "Glow" instead.
The challenge is to take that moment and see it in those around us... Not only see it, but say something about it when we do. People need to hear it, because sadly we can be our own worst critics.. We may be able to see the "Awesome" in everyone around us, but be completely incapable of seeing it in ourselves. In those moments, we rely on those around us to see it for us(whether we realize it or not).
So Let's do it. Let's see the best in the people around us, so when they see themselves though our eyes, they see it too. Let's not be shy to tell people how amazing they are, because they may desperately need to hear it...
And one last thing... When someone actually takes that moment to tell you how incredible you are, whether it's for something Huge or just small..... Believe Them
Peace Kiddies :o)
Ps... The heart Picture on the top was painted by my awesome Daughter :-D
Saturday, August 25, 2012
Not a bad age but to be honest, I wasn't really happy about it when I woke up this morning(and by this morning, I guess I really mean yesterday morning, but as I haven't been to bed yet.. This morning it remains :o).
It wasn't so much about being older..I'm ok with that. It was more a case of what I've accomplished in my 49 years of life or more to the point, what I haven't accomplished.
I crawled out of bed and felt what is becoming the all too familiar aches and pains of starting my day, and noticed that I had already received some Happy Birthday texts..As I drank my morning juice by my computer I saw that my e-mail,Facebook and Twitter were also filled with kind words from my Phenomenal family and friends...
I have to level with you... It took me out of my Birthday doldrums and made me smile Huge.
It also changed the way I was thinking and I started reevaluating my life and this past year, not so much in the things I may have accomplished or how much money I may or may not have, but in terms of what I have learned.
This year, for example, I learned to be kinder in how I view others. I learned that sometimes when you see what appears to be an homeless man on disability balancing a 24 of Budweiser on his walker, that sometimes that box is not actually full of beer, but instead full of food from the food bank. You wouldn't actually know that unless you watched him long enough to see him stop and pull out a jar of peanut butter to give it to some other person that he felt needed it more than he did.
I learned that in relationships, perhaps what we are capable of is less important than what we are willing to try.
I learned to follow through when I get that feeling to write or call someone, because sometimes they might need a friendly voice, or even a hug(and everyone needs hugs :o)
I have learned that there isn't a joy or sadness that isn't made exponentially better by sharing it with someone who cares about you.
I have learned that to be a true friend means not only being there for someone, but allowing then to be there for you as well.
I have learned that there is no reason to give a false or insincere compliment. Everyone has real gifts and qualities, and we only have to look into their personal pool of awesome to find something real to compliment them on.
And not lastly, but the last one I will write about in this post;
If you spend your time with others, building them up and helping them see their inner awesome.. Sometimes when you look in the mirror at night, you will see a glimpse of your own.
Thank you to my Amazing Family and Friends... For making this day and all of my rest..... Completely Awesome.
Friday, March 23, 2012
So here I was one lovely evening on a bus, reducing my carbon footprint on the environment(My P.R. person tells me that women find that statement sexy LOL) and listening to some happy music on my mp3 player when I glanced to my right and spotted a man somewhere in his 30's doing the same thing.. But with one difference. I was sitting still and expressionless, but he was Air Drumming,... in public,.... on the bus, and not caring one iota who was watching, snickering or even laughing behind his back.
Now I admit that my first reaction to seeing him was one of thinking that he was less than sane.. I mean who does that? Then I looked around and saw that most of the people on that bus were doing the same thing as me.. Listening to their music.. Straight faced and devoid of any exterior emotion.. And it occurred to me that my someone eclectic co passenger was actually the most sane one of us there.... Music evokes emotion.. it makes us move,dance, clap and sing along. I was listening to Annie Lennox, "Put a Little Love in your Heart".. if I had been at home alone when that was on, I would have been singing and dancing away.. But I have taught myself to sit there unmoving when I am in public.
It got me thinking about how we do that in our day to day life... When we look at children, they are unrestrained.. They Love and Feel with their whole hearts.. When a child gives you a big hug. You know that you've been hugged, but as we grow older and put on our Grown up pants... We slowly learn to tuck that all away.. We may have moments of doing or feeling with abandon, but they are pretty sparse compared to the hours we spend being and behaving the way we think adults are supposed to.
Isn't that why young love is so beautiful? They haven't been scarred yet, so they go into it fearlessly with everything they have.. When we get older.. we kind of dance around it.. We don't want to play all of our cards and spook the other person, or open ourselves to hurt.
But I have to ask myself, what are we missing out on?
Honestly I have no answers...No big piece of advice to tie this all together. I only know, that I learned an important lesson that night from a complete stranger. I know that I am going to make a point of letting my inner 6 year old come out and play.. and allow myself to feel and live with my whole heart. Yes, it could lead to more scars..but it also leads to joyful tears and belly laughs...It leads to being awestruck at the full moon and cherishing the Suns rays and of course being silly for no reason at all.
All in all, I think that's worth risking a few scars over... Don't you?
Peace Kiddies :o)
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
I can sum up Jann Ardens show in London last week in one word... AWESOME!! If I could use two words then they would be Fabulously Awesome. I can tell you that I laughed, smiled and even choked back a few tears. That's the thing with Jann's music, it touches your soul.
I should start by saying a bit about her band. Such a gifted group of Musicians.. After listening to their intros that highlighted their individual talents, I had the strong impression that each of these amazing performers could have been center stage for their own shows. In fact Allison Cornell who did vocals and violin has her own solo work out(She was quite amazing), and yet they played together as if that was all they had ever done, each complimenting the others in their performance. It just shows the caliber of artist that we were privileged to see.
Jann Arden herself was wonderful, The girl is just so funny, she had us laughing one minute swaying to her hypnotic voice the next. She looked so incredibly at home on the stage and immediately had us feeling like she wasn't so much headlining a concert, but instead entertaining a gathering of friends.
She started out with some of her new stuff, which includes some old classics like Rocket Man and Misty Blue, then eased us into her older hits, including everyone's favourites "Where no one knows me", "Could I be your girl", and of course "Good Mother".
Her music is filled with warm breezes, smiles and memories of driving down the road with the radio cranked singing at the top of your lungs, and I felt it all sitting there.
While some concerts have you leaving ready to "fight for your right".. I left that show with a smile on my face and my world being a little lighter, brighter and warm.
Even though the show was about 2 hours long, time flew by. No sooner had it begun it seemed they were doing their encore, leaving us wanting more, of course, but also going home feeling better than when we arrived. It's a week later and I still carry it with me.
In closing I would like to thank The John Labatt Center for providing the tickets. My Friend Cheri McLeod for spear heading the project to go as reviewers, and lastly, but certainly not least, Jann Arden and her Awesome band for sharing their talents with us. I can't wait until the next time :o)
Friday, February 10, 2012
On those days, and we all have them. Where you don't feel strong enough, or smart enough...When you have done something that you regret and just don't like yourself.. You look in the mirror and all you can see is that your hair isn't right, and you don't look like a fashion model or Antonio Banderas..Those days when you just don't feel "good enough"...
Close your eyes and think of the one who loves you best of all... Take a moment and see yourself through their eyes... They see you for all of your wonderful qualities and your worse flaws and love you anyways.. Remember the look, and the feeling. Then take a deep breath.. smile and carry it with you through out your day.
It may not be a significant other.. Maybe it's a friend, or a child or even a parent...Who ever it is.. hold it with you and know that you are strong, smart and beautiful... You are more than good enough. You are AWESOME!!!
Now go out and let your Awesome shine.