10 Ways To Be Kind You Didn’t Think Would Count

You don’t have to do big things in every moment of every day, even simple, small things will change the world.

10 things you can do this week to feel better about yourself and maybe set a good example to someone…your child, your mate, total strangers, squirrels.

1. Put your grocery cart in the corral, even when no one else is around. I do this because I’m trying not to be an asshole. Putting your things away is the nice thing to do. AND! 10 minutes ago, when I started to return my cart on this rainy day (sprinkling lightly, it’s Arizona so we think even humidity counts for rain), a perfect gentleman came over to me and said, “I’ll take that” and he took it! He returned it to it’s little corral where it snuggled up next to its fellow carts. I am not a feeble looking woman. I assume he was walking by and thought, “I’m going that way anyway.” It surprised me, in a good way. Note, to self, I will do this someday too.

2. Do something nice for yourself. You count too. Stop for one minute and meditate: my favorite free app is Insight Timer. This one minute meditation by Don Reed Simmons reminds me that “I am safe, I am accepted, I am forgiven, and I am loved” among other important tactics to get through a day somewhat peacefully. You can always meditate longer, I have a short attention span.  Get a pedicure, a massage, a facial! Call on a phone and speak out loud to a friend. Pet an animal that you like, it increases Oxytocin which can increase empathy and reduces anxiety! Breathe. In and out. Not just in. Dance-anywhere, everywhere, at any time. I recommend the kitchen.

3. Forgive someone who pissed you off or trampled your herd of kangaroo’s. Forgiving and letting go requires some patience and resillience. But, I genuinely believe your life will improve if you manage to fully let go. Once you have accomplished this garganguatan task, see #2 for how to reward yourself.

4. Forgive yourself. Harder than those two words imply.

5. Be kind to the planet. Turn off your lights when you’re not in the room, drive less, walk or carpool more, recycle even when it isn’t convenient.

6. Shop locally owned businesses and be respectful and a delight while your there. Support your local ‘hood and when you park, stay within the painted lines. Leave room.

7. Look food servers in the eye, smile, use their name if offered, speak gently and reward good service with more than a 20% tip. Even if you’re not in the mood.

8. Be the first to apologize. It’s gracious. And grace is always a good thing.

9. Compliment a stranger. Sincerely.

No copyright infringement intended, but just look at him go!

10. Be inspired by Helen. Saint Helen, a neighbor and friend, has a table set up in front of her door with cold water and snacks for Amazon, UPS and postal workers with a sign that says “We our delivery drivers! Please help yourself to a drink and a snack.” Here in the Arizona inferno, this seems an inspired way to keep delivery peeps alive while they frantically run from house to house with no air conditioning.

Do you have a number 11 to share? Please do! We all need prompts as we go out into our own personal inferno’s.


Tell Me Something Good

This poster hangs outside of one of my classrooms. It inspires me daily.

What can you tell me about your good stuff?

This blog is a place for good. But, good often comes out of struggles, pain, evil, lack, and on and on. Disaster gives us a chance to rise up and be better human beings and doings to make a difference.

So many heroes rose from the ashes of the terror attacks on September 11. In every hurricane, tornado, storm surge and firestorm comes hundreds of volunteers giving their energy and sharing their resources selflessly. In my hometown of Santa Rosa, California, I’ve witnessed kindness in the form of millions of dollars of donations, back-breaking labor, and open arms bringing in newly homeless victims while this town tries to recover from last October’s devastating firestorm that leveled most of its buildings and homes. Even my friends from Chandler, AZ brought winter coats, scarves, gloves, clothes and money for me to bring up to this community last December. Plus one of my former students from over 20 years ago donated $100 to help a student dancer I heard about when volunteering at Vanguard Properties in Sebastopol, CA. She just understood what it feels like to have dance ripped out from under you when you lose everything. Complete selflessness for people they would never meet.

I am blown away by the magnitude of kindness our species is capable of exuding. Aren’t you?

More often though, are small, tender moments of mercy and generosity that we might miss if we aren’t looking. Little things that happen almost everyday…someone holds the door for you, another car lets you pull in front in the long line waiting to merge. I learned in driver’s training back in high school that one good turn deserves another.

What have you noticed on your daily walk through life? Please share them here, there, anywhere! Because you might inspire a good turn that keeps building and building and building.

Here are a couple of my experiences lately!

This is Josh at Einstein Bagels on the corner of Shea and Tatum Blvd’s in Scottsdale. He made my day just by wearing the Caribou Coffee antlers asked of him. A smiling, happy man offering up a mocha latte and a toasted Everything Bagel with cream cheese yesterday. I entered his store, frustrated, running behind due to the Maps App and hungry. One smile and laugh from an antlered man and it was a 180 degree attitude shift for me. He said he hears that often. Thank you Josh.

Have you met Michael at the Apple Store at Chandler Fashion Square? If you need a genius, he’s your guy. He was patient, funny, and gave me new, working!, iPhone X when my first one stopped recognizing my touch. The touch screen on the X’s has been a factory problem, it wasn’t the frantic tapping on my part…I swear.

Have goodness to share? Please let us all know what good has come across your radar! Your voice can reach across continents, and change a little corner of the world.

How to be Beautiful, Part 1

Beauty Tip #1:

Lovely, right?

Our beauty, or lack of, is always, merely the reflection of where we are directing our gaze. 

For example:

Beaming with pride for someone else.  I am photographed often in this particular state. I’m a wife, mother, teacher, general “lover of all things sweet and beautiful and good” and I look better when I observe anyone doing even remotely well, and  smiling with every cell. It is a selfless moment, it is a reflection of where I am directing my attention. Beaming with pride looks like this on me and my very patient man: 

In Haiti when we learned how to take a selfie!

Personally, I think we look good wet and thrilled at our new accomplishment. I’m much happier with the photos caught while I’m beaming at someone else as compared to: lost in a silent stare, crying, early in the morning, yawning, no make-up, sick, bored, just for example. 

I’m choosing not to show the other emotions captured. Maybe later.

Webster has this definition of beauty: a person or thing that gives pleasure to the senses or pleasurably exalts the mind or spirit. Has anything exalted your mind or spirit lately?

My point is, and I do have one, that when we look and think on what is lovely, we are happier and nicer and significantly more beautiful.

Imagine what our world would look like if 92% of the people we encounter anywhere were directing their gaze toward beauty.  We would live in some peace, we would not fear random violence, and would deal with each other from a happier place. Sadly though, I follow the news. Scathing words from our capital on all sides; devastating racism, floods, fires, horror, but to stay blindly ignorant and not keep up isn’t the answer either. I believe the answer is within ourselves and reaching out across our streets to make a lovely connection.

I got a virus today from the pit of hell and had to stay home from work, go to Urgent Care and then the drive-through Walgreen’s Pharmacy where my cough suppressant wasn’t ready. Not the best day today. But, when I was pulling out of the Walgreen’s parking lot I was behind this van! Look over here 

So, there I was in my little Prius, coughing and dripping all manner of things across the world and I see that I look lovely today. Nice! The woman who owns the plate never sees her own inspiration. It’s always looking behind her. This woman is brightening the lives of those who also are waiting to turn left and she never sees them. I think I’ll hang this message from the back of all my pants. Or I will look around more, at my neighborhood, at the people I pass and try to be more like this lovely lady: trickling kindness behind me and not looking back to see if it was noticed.

I followed her into the Target parking lot. I had a hard time keeping up. Gotta love a Prius! (I do actually.) But I just couldn’t get the shot, she was speedy quick! Like a creeper I pulled behind her parking spot and took the photo. She got out of her van quickly, so I couldn’t escape. I rolled down my window and thanked her for lifting me up. It stopped her, this coughing stranger following her and staying long enough to connect. Her reply, “I think license plates should say good things.” She was way cool.

Have you seen any license plates like this? I’d love to hear what else is out there!

In conclusion, if you can literally find nothing that pleasurably exalts your spirit, I’ve found the best face mask! My skin actually looks way better. I highly recommend this stuff! Farmacy Honey Potion Face Mask I learned about this wonder-stuff from a glowing 30-year-old. And Sephora has a better price than Amazon at this moment.

I swore the horse was following me. My joy was complete, a new horse! No ULKLVLY on my butt yet! But, no, he wasn’t. The beauty behind and in front of me still remains in my mind. (I LOVE NEW YORK!)