Strangers can INSPIRE

6861961190_50a84fb868I have always loved and enjoyed the strangers that have come into my life and when I look back I smile with genuine connection. For some reason my quick conversations, the strangers that I meet and never see again leave an impression on me.

I think back about the homeless man singing on the side of the road and the sweet conversation we had as my young daughter handed him a sandwich. He looked at my daughter and it took him to a place that made him think about his daughter that was out in the world some where. I could genuinely see and hear the regret he had that alcohol had snatched that relationship away.

I remember the two, young homeless teens with their dogs that I invited into my car after I had just moved home from Bend, Oregon. There was some familiarity of Bend when I saw their dreaded hair, the piercings, the tattoos and I knew I needed to stop and ask them about their story. I knew people from ‘around here’ would not stop and would most likely just stare. We had a great conversation about their travels, their dogs and I ended up taking them to my parents home and them having showers and a meal. My parents just smiled and immediately wondered if they had lice, where they came from…..I just smiled and told them I felt it was the right thing to do.

I just read a journal note from a recent trip we went on to Washington D.C. My little family had never been there, so it was especially special. My favorite part? The uber drivers! These are just a couple we enjoyed! So many great conversations.

Eddae who was a pool shark and told us about his “brown parents” and how he has not talked to them in years because they were not proud of him or his passion for pool. My heart sank for him & luckily I had just watched a Mysteries at the Museum that had a great story about Willie Mosconi who was one of the greatest pool players in history. It was fun to be able to share the story about how Willie’s father owned a pool hall, but forbid his son to play. Willie as a young boy wanted to so badly. He would get up really early without his father knowing and use potatoes and a broom to practice. He secretly got really good. In time a good friend of the family was at the pool hall and Willie desperately wanted to play and so a friendly wager was made about Willie winning and being able to play. Willie was confident and showed his Dad how good he really was. His father had to let him play. It was a great story and so fun to share with our new friend whose father had shunned him because of the game of pool. We encouraged “Eddie” to keep playing if he had such a passion for it. It was a great car ride.

Then there was Marcus. He was the sweetest, Christian man who seemed to light up the DC area. He was proud to share that he had grown up in DC and as we drove he shared memory after memory about the area. At one point he was talking about his two daughters—17 & 6 from a previous marriage. He admitted he was young & dumb & worked harder at making money than working on his marriage. He also mentioned finding Christ & how that helped his whole life. He said it really is true if you dont go through the pain, then You truly won’t gain. He said he had gone through a lot of pain, but gained so much from it. We were in traffic for awhile, so at one point I asked him if he was close with his mom. The energy literally changed/dipped. He was a little choked up & mentioned that he had been in the hospital with her this week because she just had a massive stroke & things did not look good. He has 7 siblings & most are in the area, so they are praying to see if she comes out of it, but it is not looking good. I told him we would pray for her. He humbly said, “Wow, I was not expecting this in my day.” You could feel his genuine light & love.
We continued talking for a little bit & he learned we were leaving the next day. He said, “Can I say a prayer for all you?” We happily agreed. He started praying in his sweet, big voice. He prayed for our safe travels home & ended with such love & conviction in Jesus name. Sweetest experience ever!!

Love & light is everywhere if you take the time to look.

One more stranger…I will always have a special place forever in my heart for my friend Marianne. She was working at my local Walmart about 10 years ago. I started talking to her and she told me she had just moved here from Turkey with her daughter. She had told me that it was not a good situation with her husband so they had to flee the country. My heart felt for her.

Later that day I had a very big impression to stop back by Walmart and ask her what she needed for her daughter. It was the holidays, so it seemed like a pretty simple idea. I walked in and found Marianne at the cash wrap. I asked her when she was going to get off work & I told her I would meet her then. She looked at me completely puzzled. When she was done I asked her, “So what would your daughter like for Christmas?” She looked even more confused, “What do you mean,” she asked. I told her I felt I was suppose to help her in some way, so I figured with the holidays coming up she may need some toys for her young daughter. She hesitantly picked out a couple of things. I kept pushing her about what her daughter likes, enjoys doing, etc. Marianne was so genuinely grateful and did not want to do too much. She was sincerely appreciative of anything. I left there that day with the beginning of a friendship that has lasted about ten years. She has moved out of state, been married and divorced and through it all we have still stayed connected. She even wished me to be her daughter’s guardian if anything happened to her. We are family. Always will be.

ONE LAST INSPIRING STRANGER story

I JUST READ THIS story this morning and LOVED it. We enjoy the tv show Survivor at our house, so we were truly cheering on Stephanie in this season. She just got voted off sadly, but we pulled up her bio and this great “stranger story” was inspiring. Enjoy. I pulled this off of CBS. Who or what is your inspiration in life? Bob Scott. 87 years old. He is my angel. I met him the week of my divorce and two weeks after his wife passed away. I like to think his angel wife brought us together. He taught me to swim shortly after we met because he wanted me to be a “happy and fit mom” for my boys. He helped me learn to ride a triathlon bike. He introduced me to the world of triathlon, which changed my world. He competed alongside me at my first half Ironman and full Ironman and still competes to this day. Bob taught me the sport is about fun, fitness, and friends and that to do this for life and be just like him, I had to keep this mentality. We still train together each week as well as compete alongside each other.

You never know what will come from a sincere meeting with a stranger. Look for guidance, be a light and you will always be inspired by others.

-Peace and love to you today. H

Advertisements

Brilliant! Strive to do more.

I am always amazed at the fight and fortitude of my sweet daughter. She is currently in the 9th grade and has strived for 100’s her whole life. This was the first year (the year things begin to count for high school) that she was told by a few of her teachers, “You don’t have to get 100, you can still get an A even if it is above 93.”

My daughter is determined. Someone her age told her last year that getting 100 all the time was impossible, so I think that is a little spark that continues to inspire her. She keeps giving and doing and not giving up. She want’s 100. She goes over and beyond and her will to do her best is inspiring to me.

If we all could find that glimmer, that spark to go a little farther, to work a little harder and live to our potential, that would be a gift to us all.

I tell her to find a balance. That she does NOT have to get 100, but there is something inside her that wants to do her best despite everything or anyone else’s opinion. She says, “It’s my will, not pressure. I know I only have to get 93, but there is something in me that wants to go further.”

There is a world full of people, but I do believe there are select few who truly live up to their purpose, their potential. I admire that & will not be the one to stop her from striving to do her best.

HOW COULD WE ALL STRIVE TO GO A LITTLE FURTHER??

I am going to look at SOME of histories greats and see if I can find some good tips, to do lists, success lessons that we can all learn from.

RGB-h_02329678 Oprah WinfreyLESSONS from OPRAH

A book that changed her life, “Seat of the Soul” by Gary Zukav.

“In it, [Zukav] talks about how every action is followed by a reaction, which we all know is the third law of motion in physics,” explains Winfrey. “But he also said, before there’s even a thought or an action, there is an intention.

“Something struck me about that,” says Winfrey. “That an intention precedes every thought and every action, and the outcome of your experiences is determined by the intention.”

“THIS PRINCIPLE OF INTENTION IS LITERALLY WHAT SAVED AND CHANGED THE TRAJECTORY OF MY LIVING.”-Oprah Winfrey, media mogul  https://www.cnbc.com/2017/06/15/the-one-book-that-changed-oprah-winfreys-life-and-business.html

Lessons for Success: 

How do you find your own flow? Here are the four things you need to know to make the right decisions and be successful in work and life, according to Winfrey.

“EVERY DECISION I’VE EVER MADE THAT LED ME TO THE RIGHT SPACE AND PLACE IN MY LIFE, I GOT THERE BECAUSE I RELIED ON THAT INNER VOICE.”

1. What is your inner voice telling you?

“Everybody has what I call this instinct, this inner voice,” says Winfrey at Skidmore. “Every decision I’ve ever made that led me to the right space and place in my life, I got there because I relied on that inner voice.”

2. What is your intention?

3. What are you grateful for?

“I practice being grateful,” says Winfrey, and she knows what you’re thinking. “And a lot of people say, ‘Oh Oprah, that’s easy for you ’cause you got everything!'”

No, says Winfrey: “I got everything because I practiced being grateful.”

4. What is your truth?

In 1998, Winfrey was sued for defamation by a group of cattle ranchers to the tune of $10.3 million for “saying something bad about a burger.” (Google it, she says.)

“Everybody goes through trials — I just happened to be in an actual trial,” says Winfrey. “There’s going to be a trial in your life,” she tells the Skidmore graduates. “It may be disease, it may be jobs, it may be any number of crises that stand outside yourself to try to tell you who you are.

“And it is your job to know the truth” of who you are, says Winfrey. “And let that truth set you free.”  https://www.cnbc.com/2017/05/23/oprah-winfrey-these-are-the-4-things-you-need-to-know-for-success.html

 

2015_leonardocodex_001 (1)LESSONS from LEONARDO DA VINCI:

He was a painter, architect, inventor, and student of all things scientific. He is best known for his art, including the famous, Mona Lisa painting.

He would carry around a notebook where he would write down anything that “moved him.”  Buried in one of these books, dating back to around the 1490’s, is a to-do list. Check this out. Here is a sampling: Calculate the measurement of Milan and Suburbs, Get the master of arithmetic to show you how to square a triangle, Examine the Crossbow of Mastro Giannetto, Find a master of hydraulics and get him to tell you how to repair a lock, canal and mill in the Lombard manner, Ask about the measurement of the sun promised me by Maestro Giovanni Francese…(that is not everything) You can just feel Da Vinci’s voracious curiosity and intellectual restlessness. Note how many of the entries are about getting an expert to teach him something, be it mathematics, physics or astronomy. Also who casually lists “draw Milan” as an ambition?
http://www.openculture.com/2014/12/leonardo-da-vincis-to-do-list-circa-1490-is-much-cooler-than-yours.html

 

stephen-hawking-death-atheismLESSONS from STEPHEN HAWKING:

Stephen Hawking , he is considered one of the most brilliant theoretical physicists since Einstein. He authored a brief history of time, an international best seller, From 1979 to 2009 he was the Lucasian Professor at Cambridge, a position held by Isaac Newton in 1663. Professor Hawking has over a dozen honorary degrees.

Some of his quotes to live by…

Advice he shared with his children: “Look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see, and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious.”- Stephen Hawking

Don’t give up: “The victim should have the right to end his life, if he wants. But I think it would be a great mistake. However bad life may seem, there is always something you can do, and succeed at. While there’s life, there is hope.”

Nothing is perfect: “One of the basic rules of the universe is that nothing is perfect, Perfection simply doesn’t exist…without imperfection, neither you nor I would exist.”

Matter of attitude: “People won’t have time for you if you are always angry or complaining.”

Matter of purpose: “Work gives you meaning and purpose and life is empty without it.”

Matter of perspective: “When one’s expectations are reduced to zero, one really appreciates everything one does have.”

 

10-valuable-lessons-from-richard-branson-part-i-1024x682LESSONS from RICHARD BRANSON:

Here is some actual information from some of Richard Branson’s To Do Lists. Branson emphasizes his “love of writing lists” and how it started from a young age. “Lists not only provide great structure for getting things done, but they also help us to set goals and achieve our dreams,” Branson wrote. Way back on a list from 1972 he listed, “Learn to fly, open more Virgin Record Stores, clean up…”

Fast forward 45 years and take a look at where Branson is today. He has a net worth of about $5 billion and is the founder of an organization that houses more than 450 companies. It’s safe to say Branson is doing more than OK. In part, he thanks to-do lists for this.

HIS SUCCESS TIPS:

1. Follow your dreams

You’ll never be successful if you don’t love what you do and wake up every morning excited. “Those people who spend their time working on things they love are usually the ones enjoying life the most,” Branson says. “They are also the ones who dared to take a risk and chase their dreams.”

2. Do some good

According to Branson, “if you aren’t making a positive difference to other people’s lives, then you shouldn’t be in business.” This goes not only for individuals, but companies as a whole, Branson says.

3. Believe in your ideas

If you aren’t advocating for yourself, you’re not giving anyone else a reason to. As Branson says, “If you aren’t proud of your idea and believe in your plans, why should anybody else?”

4. Have fun

Though often underrated, Branson calls fun one of the most important ingredients in any successful business. “If you’re not having fun, then it’s probably time to try something else,” he writes.

The concept of having fun has driven some of Branson’s most successful businesses, especially when he was first starting out. When he went to the CEOs of Virgin Music with the idea of using a third of the company’s profits to start an airline because he believed it would be “fun,” they weren’t entirely on board, Business Insider reports. But Branson persisted and Virgin Atlantic, one of the company’s most well-known properties, was born.

5. Don’t give up

“On every adventure I have been on — whether setting up a business, flying around the world in a balloon or racing across the ocean in a boat — there have been moments when the easy thing to do would be to give up,” Branson writes. But, by sticking things through, he’s propelled himself to immense success, both personal and professional.

Branson’s onto something with this tip. Psychologist and MacArthur “Genius” fellow Angela Duckworth spent years researching achievement, and found that talent by itself is only one factor. Success also requires determined effort, and lots of it.

“Without effort, your talent is nothing more than your unmet potential,” Duckworth writes in her book, “Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance.”

6. Keep setting new challenges

“If you don’t write down your ideas, they could be gone by the morning,” Branson says. He solves this problem himself by making lists of every kind, from ideas for companies to upcoming plans.

“Write down every single idea you have, no matter how big or small,” he wrote in a blog post. And then challenge yourself to follow through. You never know what’s going to hit.

7. Learn to delegate

Learning that you don’t have to do everything yourself is a difficult skill for many entrepreneurs, but it’s worth it. “If you find people who can take on tasks you aren’t good at, it frees you up to plan for the future,” Branson writes.

8. Look after your team

Your personal success matters, but so does the success of your team. Branson points out the importance of fostering a welcoming, safe and innovative work environment: “If your staff are having fun and genuinely care about other people, they will enjoy their work more and do a better job.”

It’s also crucial to hire the right people. “Find people who look for the best in others, praise rather than criticise, and love what they do,” Branson writes.

9. Get out there

Success — and adventure — isn’t going to come to you. You’ve got to go find it. “Rather than sitting in front of a screen all your life, switch off the TV or the computer and go out into the world,” Branson says.

10. When people say bad things about you, prove them wrong

To thrive, you must be prepared for critics and copycats.

“Some people will react to success by trying to hang onto your coat tails,” Branson warns. “The best thing you can do is to not only ignore them, but to prove them wrong in every single way.”

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/07/21/billionaire-richard-bransons-top-tips-for-success.html

 

 

3-Questions-motivation-manifestoLESSONS from someone who wrote THE MOTIVATION MANIFESTO: 

Brendon Burchard survived a horrible car crash & had what seems like a life awakening. He began asking people three questions: DID WE LIVE? DID WE LOVE FULLY? DID WE MAKE A DIFFERENCE and DID WE MATTER?   That is all I have to say about that. 

After diving into SOME of these greats I have realized how there are SO many more out there, so I may have to do additional blog posts on other people who have overcame, lived with purpose, went beyond and found their own kind of brilliance!! It is so motivating and fun to read life lessons, quotes and inspiration from so many incredible people.

We can all strive to do more with our lives. Love it!!

Peace and love to you today!!  -H

 

 

 

Greater GOOD videos

After having such a stressful and daily mind bog of ‘what if’ situations, you walk away feeling a sense of gratitude, a new perspective on ‘what could have been.’

I cannot tell you what a relief I feel of the gifted outcome I received last week. Even in such a heart sinking month of unknowns, I look now and know what a gift it is that I am not sick. Such a gift makes you look at everything you want to do, everything you want to aspire to do, everything you know you can now make time for & say YES! NOW, I look at the day and say, “I could be going to the doctor each week and getting chemo and not able to get out of bed because of treatments.” NOW, I feel even more alive. It makes you want to be more on purpose and to find those things that make your heart swell and move you in a direction of doing for the greater good.

So, today, I am going to gift all of you with a variety of story videos that I have posted (or not posted yet) to inspire you. We need inspiration. We need good stories.

Enjoy!!

“I have a process: You commit and then you figure out how you are going to do it!”  -Mick Ebeling

 

“I learned from my parents that you have to get pleasure out of what you’re doing, or don’t do it,” he told Earth Island Journal in 2012. “You can be in the wrong craft. That is why I got out of making stuff that nobody needs. … Everybody’s destiny is what it is. I just feel lucky that I somehow escaped from the confines of the business class. … I feel so fortunate that somehow I managed to break out of that world and get to do something that really had more meaning. It’s like David Brower used to say – to pay my rent for living on the planet.”

 

“Some people collect antiques or baseball cards, for me I like to collect experiences and soak in as much as I can.”  -Erik Weihenmayer           LOVE THAT!!

 

I love his story because he came from humble beginnings, followed his heart and has helped create jobs, restore hope and do good things. I have read his book and feel he is a good man & I don’t even drink coffee. haha. Interesting fact: If Howard Schultz gave up after being turned down by banks 242 times, there would be no Starbucks.

“I believe life is a series of near misses. A lot of what we ascribe to luck is not luck at all. It’s seizing the day and accepting responsibility for your future. It’s seeing what other people don’t see and pursuing that vision.”  -Howard Schultz

 

I just posted these videos not too long ago, but they are so worth watching if you have not seen them. https://yourhappyplaceblog.com/2018/01/24/the-difference-one-can-make/

 

I hope these videos inspire your day!! Be inspired. Life is too short.

-Peace and love to you today.  -H

 

BLESSED. GRATEFUL.

I literally skipped out of the ultra sound radiology room after I was told that the lump was benign and that I will be fine.

My sister was waiting for me in the waiting room and I lit up jumping up and down, “Best day ever. I am going to be fine!!” Another woman sat in the room & smiled, “it is a good day,” she replied.

I was a flutter of good energy, so grateful to be alive, to not have cancer running through my body, to FINALLY KNOW that this bubble gum sized ball in my breast was nothing!! It was a morning of unknowns & then you look at the mammogram and see a dark, black mass & wonder if that is a good or bad thing. You have no idea until you hear the final verdict.

I cannot even imagine. I looked at the ultra sound tech and grabbed her and gave her a big hug. My emotions got me & I said to her, “I bet you have seen many different outcomes.”  She responded, “My mom had cancer, so days like today are good ones. I feel like I am helping people & this is a great outcome.”

My sister and I hugged each other as we left the nurse’s station and I began balling with happy tears as we walked out the doors. It was like a flood of emotion ran through me and relief swelled up inside my heart. I grabbed my sister so tight and told her, “I was so scared. I am so grateful. You have no idea.” We both cried and then cheered with joy. It was literally one of the happiest moments of my life. I just kept feeling so much gratitude in my heart. I know people walk out of their daily being told to go see an oncologist and I was a truly blessed person to walk out of there feeling relief, joy, gratitude. It was humbling.

I got home & my daughter was waiting in the doorway. I ran up to her and grabbed her so tight and told her everything was good and I was going to be okay. I started crying happy tears again. I expressed to her how blessed and lucky we are that I was healthy and that it was benign. We hugged the biggest hug ever. Relief filled both of our hearts.

It is a pretty delicate thing to look at a huge fear and know you have no control.

The day before I went to the hospital (Tuesday of this week)–my last post, I went on a long walk alone and just cried and cried. The what if’s were strong, but I looked at the mountain range in front of me & I said, “God. You can create incredible mountain peaks. Surely, you could remove or take away a small pebble sized fear in my breast.” I kept thinking that and crying. I kept looking at the immense mountains around me and had to have a greater faith that things would be okay.

I got to the end of my walking path & walked close to a small river. I looked down and noticed a black rock that had tons of small lines all over it. At our house we call black rocks with white lines, “Spirit or wish rocks.” Most spirit rocks just have a single, white line, but this rock had multiple lines in every direction. I picked it up, looked at it and said, “You have many wishes you hold. You are what I need to hold on to & have faith in many good wishes.”  I took that rock home & I also carried it with me to the hospital.

FAITH truly is in small details. I now feel the lump in my breast and know that it will be a reminder to me to have faith that things will be okay and that I am blessed.

GRATEFUL and BLESSED will never be enough expression of the relief, the gift, the shift that has taken place in knowing what a different journey I could have been on today.

THANK YOU is all I can even begin to say.

 

God bless. give thanks. be grateful in all things. Thank you. xoxo