Friday, July 30, 2010

Circle of Kindness

Here's another great way to show how kindness can come full circle in this wonderful story. Enjoy ~ Kat

I was shopping at my local I normally have for years. One particular day I had done about 2 weeks worth of shopping and was headed toward the register to pay for my groceries. After the cashier had scanned my items and I had bagged them up, she stated that the total was $150.

I reached into my back right pocket to pay and noticed that there was no money in there. I started to get nervous. I knew my pocket book was in the car and I was sure I had put the money in my back right pocket. I look at cashier with wet eyes and a confused look not knowing what to do. There were people behind me on the line. She told me to speak with the courtesy counter. I laughed and said "really, it's cash, no one would hand that in."

I said I would be right back and ran to my truck to get out more money to pay my bill, money that was to be used to pay another bill. I ran back inside and handed money to the cashier. She again prompted me to as the courtesy desk, "you never know, she said". I laugh and said "okay".

I decided that there was no harm in checking so I walked up to a women behind the counter and said "I have to ask, did anyone turn in cash by any chance?". She asked how much. My face then lit up. I said 200 in the form of one hundred dollar bills. She said actually yes someone did! I was so surprised! "Who?" I asked, "I want to thank them." She points to a young girl about 10 years old and says she did..

I walked over to the mom and hugged her. She said it wasn't was my daughter. I said "I know, I wanted thank you both, although she found's because of you that I got this back." I was so happy, I was almost in tears.

The next day at work, a person in another department offered me tickets to the circus. He handed me 5 tickets. Almost instantly that young girls face popped in my head. After work I went back to the supermarket and stopped at the courtesy counter and asked if they had any idea who that women was? She smiled and said "yes, actually I do. She is a friend of mine". Oh good, I was so happy. I asked her to do me a favor and pass along these 5 tickets to her and say thank you from me.

She told me that the family of the little girl who found my money don't have very much so they would really appreciate this. She also said that they have 3 children, so five was the prefect number of tickets.... "Wow," I thought.

At first, I had I felt a little weird bringing those tickets to the store but I am SO glad I did. Lesson: Never think twice about doing something nice for someone.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Freedom to Make Mistakes

"Freedom isn't worth having if it doesn't include the freedom to make mistakes." -- Mahatma Gandhi

Tip of the Day:
Do you remember the first time you rode a bicycle? Can you relieve the exhilaration of riding free, the sense of triumph as you broke free to the crutches of support? Now step back. How many times did you fall off the bike before that first ride? Today, fear of making mistakes is deeply ingrained in our psyche. At home, mistakes lead to admonishments. At work, mistakes have serious repercussions. Good workers get it right the first time, we are told, and so success is driven by our image as experts rather than as learners. But is this really the best philosophy? Vineet Nayar asks us to imagine the opposite: What if employees are told to make mistakes? Making mistakes, Navar says, is actually an art. It's a process of innovation, growth and learning. Without mistakes, there is no such thing as success.

Be The Change:
Don't hold back: When faced with a problem today, keep solving it until you make five mistakes. What did you learn?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

You've Got A Friend In Me

Today's Tip: Do something extra nice for your pets. They truly deserve it.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Kindness for the Summer

It’s summer….a time for outdoor fun, family vacations and summer reading. It’s also a good time for putting some new kindness ideas into action. While our children are at home, in camp or special summer programs they probably have some free time when they can learn the value of doing favors for others. It doesn’t have to be a big thing; small or large it’s the kind actions that matter.

How about setting up a lemonade stand and donating the profits to a local food share? Or making crafts with seniors at the local retirement center? Making a new friend and sharing a special snack is always a fun summer experience when you travel. Middle schoolers can pack up books that may be too young for them now and deliver them to a family resource center, or read them to younger neighborhood children. How about teaching a younger child to play baseball or fly a kite, too? Many High School students want to change the world so why not direct that energy into a kindness brigade that fixes broken bikes, mows lawns or adopts school yards to clean?

Learning that each of us can make a difference by doing one kind act at a time is a great lesson anytime. But the fine summer weather, a slower pace and some unstructured time gives children a perfect opportunity to engage in random acts of kindness. The experience of offering a hand, doing a good deed, and feeling the reward of someone else’s smile, gratitude and happiness will ensure the kind acts continue. It might also make those cheerful summer days last longer.

On our way to making a kinder world, let’s encourage our children to start doing kind acts in their own communities.

Today's Tip: Write a fan letter to your favorite author!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Finding Goodness

The fragrance always stays in the hand that gives the rose. -- Hada Bejar

Good News of the Day:
Many years ago, when I was working weekends to pay for extras my parents couldn't afford (school ring, class trip, etc.), I lost my wallet. A man called and asked me if I had lost it. I checked my purse and, to my horror, I had. He asked me to tell him how much money was in it. I told him. He then told me where to pick-up my wallet. As I pulled into his driveway, I noticed his handicapped van and the ramp going up to the house. There is no way this man easily got out of his van to pick my wallet off the street. He had to pull over, get in his wheelchair and lower the lift to pick it up. I was amazed and humbled. I asked him if there was anything I could do to repay his kindness. He said "Just pass it on."

Be The Change:
Pass on an act of kindness you have received.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Creation Calls

Let's spend time remembering our creator, God!

Today's Tip: Give a child a copy of the book you most enjoyed at their age!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Spreading Your Wings

Check this out - Double Click on the Image to View

Someone in our lives has given us encouragement, someone has said, “you’re ready.” We are lifted and inspired. We can spread our wings and feel confident that whatever we have chosen to do will actually workout well. We hope your viewers will enjoy the visually and musically uplifting, “Breakaway” with the value of “Spread Your Wings…Pass It On.”

Friday, July 23, 2010

A Little Art Lesson in Love

I like to draw because it makes my mind flow. -- Todd, age 10

Fact of the Day:
Artist Leigh Hyams of San Miguel Allende, Mexico writes, "I found this script today in a forgotton portfolio. It was dictated to me by my four-year-old granddaughter Annalena, who could not write then, but she knew how to advise people to paint and draw. I like her advice enormously, not to mention her attitude..." Here's just one example of Annalena's painting wisdom: "When I don't have anything to do and get bored, I start painting and then I just can't stop and it makes me feel good."

Be The Change:
Make your mind flow: Paint without worrying about making a good likeness. Try out Annalena's suggestions, while you're at it!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Keeping Life Simple

Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated. -- Confucius

Good News of the Day:
Jay Shafer lives in an 8-by-12 foot house. He built it from scratch. With no prior carpentry knowledge or experience. "I'm sure there are people out there who think I'm crazy for living so small, but living in this little house has allowed me to totally reinvent my life," he says. With a desire to "escape the rat race," the former grocery-store clerk's intentions were simple: focus on the things he really wanted to do, and not on working for money. Now, he runs a company that builds small homes for others. "I never thought I'd be an entrepreneur in anything, but it's my passion to design small houses," he smiles. "It's been really liberating."

Be The Change:
Brainstorm 5 ways to simplify your lifestyle.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Chocolate Covered Kindness

"Remember, there's no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end." -- Scott Adams

Idea of the Week

"Yesterday my sister and I were giving out chocolates with Smile Cards to people who looked like they needed a lift. We saw an elderly man standing by himself looking a bit lonely so we went over to him, gave him a Smile Card and some chocolates and wished him a lovely afternoon. He suddenly seemed so happy, seeing his face light up with a big smile really made my day! We had a short chat with him and then carried on tagging other people. Sometime later, as we were coming out of a nearby shop we overheard the old man's wife exclaiming to the shopowner: "My husband is so thrilled - some kids came over earlier and gave him a Smile Card and a chocolate, told him he's been tagged and wished him a happy day!" -- Jacinda

Today's Tip: Pick up the lunch tab for someone in military uniform.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Be Happy!

For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin - real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life." -- Alfred D. Souza

Inspiration of the Day:
"Great wife, amazing kids, a full head of hair - like so many people I felt I had no real grounds for feeling unhappy. But all too often I did, and it was getting me down." At 44, Cathal Morrow found himself getting bogged down by the trials and tribulations of daily life and spending "a decent amount of time veering between mildly piqued and downright upset." But then it dawned on him: he was happy. Overall at least. So what's the unhappy happy man to do with this minor epiphany? Spend a year in happiness, of course. He resolves, "When problems arise, I'm going to recentre myself and then react in the way a happy person would." For a man who spent a year without lying, and hasn't told a lie since, Morrow certainly knows a thing or two about changing habits.

Be The Change:
Decide to be happy today.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Writing Kindness

My major allegiance has been to storytelling, not to history. -- Russell Banks

Fact of the Day:
"Everyone has a story to tell," says Stephanie Ursula Hodges, one half of PenTales, a New York City based storytelling initiative. In an age where SMS and the solitary nature of social networking are the standard, Hodges- together with childhood friend Saskia Miller- is hoping to integrate the art of storytelling back into people's lives, thereby fostering community and cultivating new storytellers across the globe. And it all started with a notebook. Well, 20 notebooks. The two women gave 20 empty notebooks to 20 storytellers, with just one request: write two pages and pass it on. Now, PenTales is empowering storytellers in Paris, Berlin, Hanoi, Chicago, San Francisco and London.

Be The Change:
Share a story. For inspiration, check out some tales from PenTales:

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Exercise in Compassion

Here's another great story I found in my email I wanted to share with all of you! Enjoy! ~ Kat

Sometimes the people who are noticed the least can do the most to lift us up...

On Thanksgiving morning I got up early to run in the local 5K run. I figured it might give me the motivation to get back into running. It was nearly freezing that morning so everyone getting ready to run was hopping around trying to stay warm.

On the side of the road, sitting in the grass, was a man wrapped in a blanket. It was pretty obvious he was homeless and as usual, most people pretended not to see him. I went over and talked with him for a few minutes before the race. In the midst of the idle chit-chat, he told me that he was a veteran and had hoped he might be able to earn a few dollars that morning to be able to go buy a Thanksgiving dinner. He had a glimmer of happy memories in his eyes when he talked about hot turkey and stuffing. With only a brief moment to sit with him, I had to start the race but I told him I'd talk to him more when I had finished. He said he would be there watching "the parade" that he hadn't expected that morning, and would watch to see me cross the finish line

I thought about this man during most of the race. I'm in the military and it always hurts me to see someone who served going through such a rough time. He hadn't asked me for anything, but I wanted to do something for him. But what? I only had a couple dollars, certainly not enough for a thanksgiving dinner for the man.

After the race I went back over and sat in the grass next to him, that got me more than a few odd looks from other runners. During our conversation I gave him the cash I had. He didn't want to accept it, but I told him I wanted him to have it and that it may get him a little something extra during the day. He then said, "This has been so nice. Thank you. I haven't really talked to anybody in a real long time."

"Wow", I thought. This man is thanking me for just talking to him? I'm nobody special."

After I said good bye, I went up to a couple of other people who were involved with the race. I asked them if they had a couple of dollars for a homeless veteran who just wanted to buy a hot Thanksgiving dinner. I think he ended up getting enough for a good dinner that night.

I went to the run to try to do something for myself, but he did more for me than I could ever have gotten out of just running. He showed me how to smile through the rough times and reminded me not to take for granted the many blessings I have.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Walking for Peace

One little person, giving all her time to peace, makes news. Many people, giving some of their time, can make history. -- Peace Pilgrim

Inspiration of the Day:
From 1953 to 1981, a silver-haired woman walked over 25,000 miles on a personal pilgrimage for peace. Crossing the United States seven times with nothing more than a toothbrush, some pamphlets, and a navy sweatshirt, she vowed to "remain a wanderer until mankind has learned the way of peace, walking until given shelter and fasting until given food." Leading a fairly ordinary life up through young adulthood, Mildred Norman Ryder died at 72 as "Peace Pilgrim": a woman who transformed everyone and everything along her path. This weekend, her hometown of Egg Harbor, New Jersey will celebrate her life and legacy in honor of her birthday on July 18.

Be The Change:
Learn more about Peace Pilgrim

Thursday, July 15, 2010

How Much Life Do You Have Left?

Editor’s Note: If you read one story today, read this one. How many marbles do you have? It sounds like a set-up, a prelude to a punchline about losing one’s marbles. But as you’ll see from this remarkable story below, the marbles measure much more. And you can personally change that which they measure and perhaps, the quality of your life going forward. This is that story from unknown:

The older I get, the more I enjoy Saturday mornings. Perhaps it’s the quiet solitude that comes with being the first to rise, of maybe it’s the unbounded joy of not having to be at work. Either way, the first few hours of a Saturday morning are most enjoyable.

A few weeks ago, I was shuffling toward the kitchen, with a steaming cup of coffee in one hand and the morning paper in the other. What began as a typical Saturday morning turned into one of those lessons that life seems to hand you from time to time.

Let me tell you about it. I turned the volume up on my radio in order to listen to a Saturday morning talk show. I heard an older sounding chap with a golden voice. You know the kind, he sounded like he should be in the broadcasting business himself.

He was talking about “a thousand marbles” to someone named “Tom”. I was intrigued and sat down to listen to what he had to say. “Well, Tom, it sure sounds like you’re busy with your job. I’m sure they pay you well but it’s a shame you have to be away from home and your family so much. Hard to believe a young fellow should have to work sixty or seventy hours a week to make ends meet. Too bad you missed your daughter’s dance recital. ” He continued, “Let me tell you something Tom, something that has helped me keep a good perspective on my own priorities.” And that’s when he began to explain his theory of a “thousand marbles.”

“You see, I sat down one day and did a little arithmetic. The average person lives about seventy-five years. I know, some live more and some live less, but on average, folks live about seventy-five years.” “Now then, I multiplied 75 times 52 and I came up with 3900 which is the number of Saturdays that the average person has in their entire lifetime.

“Now stick with me Tom, I’m getting to the important part. “It took me until I was fifty-five years old to think about all this in any detail”, he went on, “and by that time I had lived through over twenty-eight hundred Saturdays. “I got to thinking that if I lived to be seventy-five, I only had about a thousand of them left to enjoy. “So I went to a toy store and bought every single marble they had. I ended up having to visit three toy stores to round-up 1000 marbles. “I took them home and put them inside of a large, clear plastic container right here in my workshop next to the radio. Every Saturday since then, I have taken one marble out and thrown it away.

“I found that by watching the marbles diminish, I focused more on the really important things in life. There is nothing like watching your time here on this earth run out to help get your priorities straight. “Now let me tell you one last thing before I sign-off with you and take my lovely wife out for breakfast. This morning, I took the very last marble out of the container. I figure if I make it until next Saturday then God has blessed me with a little extra time to be with my loved ones…… “It was nice to talk to you Tom, I hope you spend more time with your loved ones, and I hope to meet you again someday. Have a good morning!”

You could have heard a pin drop when he finished. Even the show’s moderator didn’t have anything to say for a few moments. I guess he gave us all a lot to think about. I had planned to do some work that morning, then go to the gym. Instead, I went upstairs and woke my wife up with a kiss. “C’mon honey, I’m taking you and the kids to breakfast.” “What brought this on?” she asked with a smile. “Oh, nothing special,” I said. ” It has just been a long time since we spent a Saturday together with the kids. Hey, can we stop at a toy store while we’re out? I need to buy some marbles.”

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Kindness in the Laundry Room

Here's a story I got in my email last night. I had to share it with you all because it shows how we can all do something even when we are in the strangest of places. Enjoy ~ Kat

I was a first year college student in a Graphic Design course and I'd like to tell you an interesting story that happened to me a few months ago. You see, I live in a "seedy" (an abundance of illegal activity) apartment building whose residents are a large diversity of minorities, most of which I have never met, (I don't even know my neighbors name), and we all have to use the laundry room on the third floor. The dryers in the laundry room are old and usually require more than one cycle to fully dry even a small load of laundry.

One evening I found I had only one loonie left for the dryer (they only accepted $1 coins) and so opted to leave my wet clothes in the dryer all night knowing that my clothes would still be damp in the morning and that they were the only clothes that I could functionally wear to school that following morning. (the dryer's autocycle only lasts for an hour though).

When I woke up expecting to find uncomfortably damp clothes of mine in the laundry room I found quite a surprise. On top of the dryer were all my clothes, and they were perfectly DRY, and they were PERFECTLY FOLDED(in an organized manner). No one in that building would have known those clothes were mine, nor do I have the slightest suspicion as to who this kind stranger was. Thanks to this generous person I was able to go to school that day in tidy, warm clothing, (warm, being a necessity during a Canadian winter). To think that people like this exist, even in a seedy little apartment like mine, just proves to show that wherever you go, there are good people amongst us, even if they are exceedingly difficult to find.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Miracles Still Happen

It always seems impossible until it's done. -- Nelson Mandela

Fact of the Day:
Susan Schaller's story, comparable to "the Miracle Worker, is still not widely known. Perhaps it's so amazing, it's hard to grasp. How can one understand what it means not to have a language at all? For a man already 27 years old, to be in such a situation was considered completely hopeless. Fortunately, Schaller didn't know the situation was considered hopeless. Instead, she followed her instincts: "One of the things that attracted me to him more than anything else- the intelligence in his eye caught my eye- but more than that, he hadn't given up. I can't imagine going twenty-seven years thinking I was stupid and watching mouths. The most frustrating thing I can imagine. He didn't know what language was. He didn't know what sound was, but he knew something was happening and he wanted to know what that something was." Here is the story of a contemporary miracle. Maybe it's just at the point of giving up where real possibility exists.

Be The Change:
When you find yourself discouraged and ready to give up, remember that miracles do happen.

Don't forget to hop on over to my reviews blog, Reviews From The Heart and get in on the Guardian Angel giveaway today!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Be A Kid Again

Jul 11, 2010

"If we do not lay ourselves at the service of mankind, whom should we serve?" -- John Adams

Idea of the Week

"Our company has started a tradition of 'Secret Santa With A Difference'. Here's how it works - everyone picks out the name of someone else in the company from a hat and then buys a gift for the person they picked. The twist is that we have to envision the recipient as a child and buy them a gift accordingly. :) It's great because the toys we exchange give us all a good laugh and when we are done we collect them all up and donate them to a local toy drive. It makes us all feel so good knowing that there will be gifts under the tree for those children in our community less fortunate than ourselves."

Today's Tip: Do something today that reminds you of what it's like to be a kid again, run in the sprinklers, jump in some puddles, color in a coloring book, just have fun. It will keep you smiling all day.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

What Goes Around Comes Around

What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal. -- Albert Pike

Inspiration of the Day:
It is so often true that "what goes around, comes around," and that life lessons often walk in through the most unexpected doors. On one hot summer day, a single mother and her son find themselves on a broken down bus. When their fellow elderly passengers grow unbearable hot and uncomfortable, the mother-son duo hand out all their food without a second thought, even though they have no money to spare to buy more. Eventually, they make it to the train station, but only to discover they had missed the last train of the evening! With no other option but to spend a dinner-less night at the station, a stranger nearby shouts, "Hey you two, come over here!..."

Be The Change:

Give without expectation today.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Giving The Gift of Flowers

Random Acts of Flowers The Random Acts of Flowers Foundation just delivered their 3,000th flower bouquet to patients in hospitals and nursing homes in the East Tennessee area. Congratulations! Founder Larsen Jay says: “So many simple acts of kindness - just to make this world a little better place. My goal is to have a chapter of Random Acts of Flowers in every major city in America.” One of the recipients of Larsen’s flowers recently contacted our office by mistake to thank us for the kind act. She wanted to request flowers for someone else because they had meant so much to her while she was sick. We were impressed by her enthusiasm. You can contact Larsen if you have a dream of having your own Random Acts of Flowers. or email

Today's Tip: Give the gift of an unexpected floral delivery to someone who needs to have a smile added to their day.

Operation Ten Smile

We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give. -- Winston Churchill

Good News of the Day:

The average Facebook user creates 70 pieces of content per month, virtually poking people, finding friends or updating their status on what they ate for dinner. But this social application means something else for Sherry Evans and Tim Foster. "I can't imagine my life right now without Facebook," says Evans. Twenty-three years ago, the two were classmates at Althoff Catholic High School. Through Facebook, they recently reconnected online, and Evans discovered that Foster was going through rough times. He had no job, no vehicle and no home. His family was forced to move into a cheap motel. "It just broke my heart when I saw them all in that hotel room," says Evans. With the click of a mouse, she went to work, creating a covert effort named "Operation Ten Smile." The class of '87 donated items: a washer and dryer, furniture, another did laundry, one found a van, and then, a place for the Fosters to call home.

Be The Change:
Brainstorm ways you can make a difference through Facebook, or any social network you belong to, today.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Child and The Bench

The park bench was deserted as I sat down to read beneath the long, straggly branches of an old willow tree. Disillusioned by life with good reason to frown, for the world was intent on dragging me down.

And if that weren’t enough to ruin my day, A young boy out of breath approached me, all tired from play.

He stood right before me with his head tilted down and said with great excitement, “Look what I found!”

In his hand was a flower, and what a pitiful sight, with it’s petals all worn, not enough rain, or to little light. Wanting him to take his dead flower and go off to play, I faked a small smile and then shifted away. But instead of retreating he sat next to my side and placed the flower to his nose and declared with overacted surprise, “It sure smells pretty and it’s beautiful, too. That’s why I picked it; here it’s for you.”

The weed before me was dying or dead. Not vibrant of colors, orange, yellow or red. But I knew I must take it, or he might never leave. So I reached for the flower, and replied, “Just what I need.” But instead of him placing the flower in my hand, he held it mid-air without reason or plan. It was then that I noticed for the very first time that weed-toting boy could not see: he was blind.

I heard my voice quiver, tears shone like the sun as I thanked him for picking the very best one. You’re welcome, he smiled, and then ran off to play, unaware of the impact he’d had on my day. I sat there and wondered how he managed to see a self-pitying woman beneath an old willow tree. How did he know of my self-indulged plight

Perhaps from his heart, he’d been blessed with true sight. Through the eyes of a blind child, at last I could see the problem was not with the world; the problem was me. And for all of those times I myself had been blind, I vowed to see the beauty in life, and appreciate every second that’s mine. And then I held that wilted flower up to my nose and breathed in the fragrance of a beautiful rose. And smiled as I watched that young boy, another weed in his hand about to change the life of an unsuspecting old man further down the path on his own park bench.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Tucking Away Kindness

Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the and the blind can see.-- Mark Twain

Here's another way to spread some kindness. There are literally no limits to what you can do. I got this in my email this morning!

"Today I had some free time during my lunch break so I went to the 'Good Will' store nearby just to look around. As I was wandering around, I remembered that I had two 'Smile Cards' on me and I decided to use them in the store. I had two $1.00 bills in cash which I folded and paper clipped to each Smile Card. I then placed each one inside a different purse. I hope it will bring a smile to the people or person who finds them!! It made me smile just planting them!"

Today's Tip: Put some money in a coat your donating and let the recipient discover it!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Can You Take A Compliment?

I can live for two months on a good compliment. -- Mark Twain

Good News of the Day:
"I like your jeans." "I like your brown shoes." "Have a nice day!" Don't you love it when someone says something nice about you? Doesn't that brighten your day? Imagine how wonderful your day would be if someone said something nice about you, just because. Brett Westcott and Cameron Brown, also known as The Compliment Guys at Purdue University, are doing exactly that. "When people come up after they've had a bad day and say thanks for a good compliment, that brightens my whole day," says Cameron. Compliments are so contagious, that the duo even went on a 10-day compliment tour last summer!

Be The Change:
Give someone a compliment today!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Shake It Off and Step Up!

A parable is told of a farmer who owned an old mule which fell into the farmer’s well one morning. The farmer heard the mule ‘braying’ desperately from its hopeless position, battered and bruised. The mule looked upward for a savior.

After carefully assessing the situation, the farmer sympathized with the mule, but decided that neither the mule nor the well was worth the trouble of saving. Instead, he called his neighbors together and told them what had happened…eventually enlisting them to help haul dirt to bury the old mule in the well and put him out of his misery.

Initially, the old mule was hysterical as his awful plight soured further. But as the farmer and his neighbors continued shoveling and the dirt hit his back…a thought struck the stubborn mule. It suddenly dawned on him that every time a shovel load of dirt landed on his back… HE SHOULD SIMPLY SHAKE IT OFF AND STEP UP!

And so he did, blow after blow. “Shake it off and step up…shake it off and step up…shake it off and step up!” he repeated to encourage himself as the well grew shorter and the light above grew brighter.

No matter how painful the blows, or distressing the situation seemed the old mule fought “panic” and just kept right on SHAKING IT OFF AND STEPPING UP

It wasn’t long before the old mule, battered and exhausted, stepped triumphantly over the wall as the neighbors and a farmer once intent on burying him learned a lesson about overcoming adversity in their own lives.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Hot Chocolate and 2 Equals

Here's another very heartwarming story I just had to share with you that popped up in my email. I hope you enjoy it. ~ Kat

Last week, I went to work very early as I had a lot to do, and early mornings, before others get to work are the times I can be most productive. I arrived at the Embarcadero station in San Francisco from the East Bay around 5:30am and as I surfaced from underground, I checked my BlackBerry and noticed the next SF Muni bus was in 10 minutes.

Instead of waiting around for 10 minutes in the cold, I felt inspired to go buy this (possibly homeless?) man in a wheelchair something from the Starbucks. I had seen him before sitting outside in his wheelchair trying to stay warm, and quietly and politely shaking his cup gently (I've never heard him asking for change though) hoping someone will contribute some more coins.

I went up to him and asked "Brother, can I bring you some hot coffee from Starbucks?" He replied with "Hot Chocolate," immediately, without thinking about it. It took me a little bit aback how quickly he replied - he really knew he wanted the Hot Chocolate! I then told him I'd be back in a few minutes.

So I went to Starbucks, ordered the Hot Chocolate, and they asked me whether or not I wanted whipped cream. That also took me aback for a moment, trying to put myself in his shoes and wondering if he would like whipped cream on top. So I told the Starbucks person "a little, please."

I brought him the Hot Chocolate, decided not to "tag" him with a Smilecard as it did not seem appropriate even though I had one on me, and then went on my way.

The very next morning, I found myself at the Embarcadero station at the same time, approximately 5:30, and also had about 10 minutes before my bus was due to arrive. I looked up Market Street and he was there again, so I walked up and asked him if I could buy him another Hot Chocolate (it was also very cold that morning).

He said, "Yes, please," and I asked him if he wanted whipped cream or not, and he said, "No, two Equals." Again, that took me aback how quickly he answered (usually when people are deciding what they want, they pause at least ever so slightly to think about it). I clarified with him that he meant Equal, the sugar substitute, and he confirmed that is indeed what he wanted.

So I went to Starbucks, and after opening the door I noticed two things:

1) The difference in temperature between the frigid outside and the warm and fragrant-smelling inside of Starbucks

2) The song that was playing on Starbucks' "radio." It was that Christmas/holiday song about the drummer boy who plays for baby Jesus -- "I will play my drum for you, pa-rum-pa-pum-pum."

I had been reading a book the night before describing Jesus' life and service, and hearing that song was so powerful for me that I almost started crying in Starbucks, so for me it was confirmation for me that I was doing "the right thing" and that in his own way, Jesus was supporting me through giving me that beautiful synchronicity.

So, I paid for the Hot Chocolate and then looked through all the packets of sugar (raw sugar, equal, sweet & lo, and a few others) and took two Equals.

Then I walked a block and brought him the Hot Chocolate with two Equals and a napkin. He thanked me, and I went on my way to work.

Both interactions were so sweet for me. I don't know if I'll see him again or not, but I was touched and am a little different because of it. Different may not be the right word, morose "closer to my authentic self." It felt like a layer of whatever was getting between me (small ego self) and the real me (as spirit) thinned, or the veil was pulled back a bit.

Today as I reflect upon it on this day after Thanksgiving, I'm struck by the metaphor of the 2 Equals. On one hand, he was a homeless man in a wheelchair, and I was an employed person with full use of my limbs, but from another perspective, there is no difference between us. We are brothers, equals, children of God both trying to do our best to navigate what can be a challenging world.

Today's Tip: Buy someone a cup of coffee or hot chocolate with whipped cream today.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Lacking Motivation

Feeling a little down today, hopefully this will turn your day around for you.

Today's Tip: Write a message, "This is Your Lucky Day" put it in a bottle and toss it into the sea.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Spread A Little Love

I got this wonderful story in my email this morning and just had to share it with all my wonderful readers. Here's another wonderful way to spread a little love!

I entered the monthly Kindness contest, answering the question, "What would you do with $100 to help your community?" I said that I would buy 100 cake mixes and bake 100 cakes and deliver them to 100 different blocks in my community, encouraging the recipients to share their cakes with their neighbors! I wanted to deliver not only food for their bellies, but food for their souls! I wanted to show the love that I had for my community and encourage others to talk with or meet their neighbors! I named the idea, "Compassionate Cakes".

To my surprise, my idea was chosen and a $100 check was sent to me to do my project! Now, I had to get to work. I bought the cake mixes and made "tags" telling the recipients about the project and encouraging them to visit the website, I added a "tag" to each cake delivered. I made yellow, white, strawberry, butter, chocolate, all different kinds of cakes! I got a map of my town and every time I delivered a cake, I put a sticky "star" on the map to show where I had delivered the cake. I kept a notebook with the names of the families where I delivered the cakes. I got my whole family in on the project, helping me deliver the cakes! I took pictures of the families receiving the cakes. The response is overwhelming! People ar really amazed that you would take your time and bake a whole cake for them. It really is such a small and simple gift to me, but a huge gift of love to others. I am blessed beyond words for this website and the opportunity to be a giver of "Compassionate Cakes" for my community.