Deliberately CONNECT

Albert-Schweitzer-Sometimes-our-light-goes-out-but-is-blown-again-into-instant-flame-by-an-encounter-with-another-human-beingSince my sweet connection with a stranger (that I wrote about in a previous blog), I have felt a deeper desire to be deliberate in sending out “sparks” of connection. In doing so, I have literally had some of the sweetest conversations with complete strangers that I have met on trails. Have shared sincere smiles & hellos. One of my favorites was when my husband and I were at the car wash. The young car wash attendant was washing windshields & looked like he was in a trance of doing the same thing over and over. I instantly waved at the car wash attendant & my husband quickly chimed in, “he is going to think you are trying to get him to stop the car.” The attendant instantly began smiling and waving. Me & the young man both happily waved big waves, big smiles & gave each other a thumbs up in genuine appreciation of connection. It was so fun to light up someone’s job. It was deliberate & it not only made my day, but I am sure it helped the young man have a better day too.

There is something about deliberately seeking connection–You seek out smiling at someone. You look people in the eye. You find yourself trying to identify who may need a smile or hello more than someone else. But most importantly, I find, I get out of myself and contribute to the world, even in a small way.

When you watch people, you see there is a big need for connection. People need a little spark–a hello, a smile–to feel lit up. The world needs more of that.

I came across the following story & I fell in love with the spirit of this man. He is and has been on a mission to do his part–to connect on a daily basis. Enjoy his story.

 

May you have the courage to get out of yourself & spread a little more connection.

May your day be filled with light and love. xoxo

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CONNECTION

i-love-those-connections-that-make-this-big-old-world-feel-like-a-little-village-403x403-nk7a7kI had a beautiful moment happen to me today. You may on occasion have a complete stranger smile, say hello or have a brief conversation about something going on around you, but today, I had a sincere, emotional connection with a complete stranger.

It was an incredible gift to my journey and I just wanted to express how important connection truly is to one another. I enjoy people, but there is a part of me that is a little guarded— because it is just me & some of my human experiences.

Today, I was driving around running a few errands & I often find myself praying as I drive. I always ask to be a light in the world & today was a confirmation that each and every one of us can be a connection, a hope of friendship, a light to someone.

I was printing off a few quotes for a gift I am doing for my daughter’s friends with school graduation tonight. I entered a local copy shop & knew no one. A tall, ordinary guy in his mid-twenties came to help me. There was some orchestra music playing & he seemed to light up at a song that had cellos. “I love this song. I play the cello.” He beamed and I told him how wonderful that must be. As he laminated and printed my items we had a brief conversation about the power of music and I asked him his thoughts on the connection between music and brighter minds. He shared a study that was done that he had read about & I explained that my sixteen-year-old daughter loves & is good at science and math, but struggles with instruments.  We talked back and forth & it was just a sweet, innocent conversation about music.

As he was placing my items in a paper sack, he genuinely looked into my eyes & said, “Just continue to do whatever it is your doing. You seem so alive. I knew when I started talking to you, that you felt like a friend in this world. We are all on this journey & just keep doing what you are doing. It’s great!” His eyes literally began to well up & I was taken back by his genuine sincerity. It was so refreshing to see and feel a stranger share something so kind. I lovingly thanked him & then smiled a big smile and said, “Maybe it is because I am reading “The Book of Joy” by the Dali Lama and Desmond Tutu.”  He beamed & began to laugh, “Are you serious?” I smiled and genuinely said, “yes. You should read it.”  He began heading to help another customer & smiled, “I am always looking for good things to read.”  I yelled across the counter, “Thank you for your genuine kindness. It meant a lot.” and I walked out the door.

It was one of those moments where you feel truly connected in the world & you know you are where you needed to be. I don’t know why, but I knew that my prayers to seek to be a light were confirmed that we can each do our best to be a light, to seek to shine, to connect with others, even strangers.

It was a beautiful gift. I will cherish this memory & always hold it as a sweet reminder that we are all genuinely connected. Love is the string that ties us all together. I sincerely felt that.

Thank you.

“We are hard wired to connect with others, it’s what gives purpose and meaning to our lives, and without it there is suffering.”  -Brene Brown

“Connection is the energy that exists between two people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgement; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.” -unknown

PS One last god wink that just happened—I wanted to find a quote to go along with this post & the Gina Bellman (at the top of this page) came up & she is an actress that I had never seen or heard of until I just started watching the series “Leverage” (great series) within the last couple of weeks. Love the not so coincidences of life. smile. smile.

Peace, Love and Light to you today.  -H

Go Deeper

4f07b79d2e67ca2f3121eac1e4e955a9“But people are oceans. she shrugged. You cannot know them by their surface.”  -Beau Taplin//Surfaces

I think this is an incredible thought to think about and ponder. It genuinely gave me chills because of the truth held within this statement.

I often struggle at the surface conversations that seem to be the norm. Why can’t we truly connect and go deeper with people? Why is it such a struggle to talk, be vulnerable, to seek connection on another level, to learn from someone…

I often talk to my teenage daughter about not being afraid to “go deeper” in conversations with friends or people she meets. She tells me she doesn’t want this guy to assume she is getting too deep because she likes him or something.

Is it out of fear of getting to know someone on a more intimate level & feeling like you owe them something? Or is it a fear of having to go deeper yourself?

I am of the genuine opinion that every person we come in contact with has something we can take or learn from.

I recently watched a tv series that was short-lived, but it had life coaches, young adults with dreams & entrepreneurial spirit, so I was intrigued. At first glance, I thought it would be a shallow show with lots of egos, but as I watched each episode I began to see the people break open, become more vulnerable and begin to learn about themselves & one another. They developed deeper connections on many levels.

Here are some great lessons I took away from the show “Dream Quest”

One of the coaches was describing to one of the adults how “To become soft again”—it made me think of “moldable” to be able to create a better version of oneself. To be flexible and agile enough in a way that you could take things in, learn, create, change, move differently…take things for your life & make it better.

“Boundaries are not limiting, they are liberating.” The coaches were illustrating a point to one of the adults on the show. They were trying to show him how it is easier for people to pull or drag you down than it is for you to lift them up. That is why it is so important to surround yourself with good people. (They did a great visual–they put Tim (big guy on the show) up on a table & told him to pull up Kortney (Lifecoach who is a small woman). Tim could not do it. They talked about how it was easier for Kortney to pull him down than for him to lift her up. It was a great visual.

They talked about a study with school-age kids on a playground & they first had no fence (no boundaries) & they watched & observed them & how they played. Then they put a fence up around the playground & they found the kids played longer, were louder, felt safer & more secure. The boundaries were good.

Accountability—center console in your car metaphor
You clean your center as soon as you need to pick someone up at the airport.
You need people to help you be accountable.

Habit—your habits are either helping or hurting you.
The first part of a habit is the hardest part—
Did you know the Shuttle Uses More fuel in the first 7 seconds of liftoff than it does to orbit the entire earth?
As you get through the hard part & are committed to a good habit then it’s easier to go with the flow.

What discipline am I going to add into my life right now to make it better??

Good Communication is 7%words 35% tone and 58% Body language

Do it afraid!! Face the fear of rejection, what others think, regret, etc & do it anyway. Ask yourself. What if I didn’t try….how would you feel?
Choose COURAGE over FEAR
ITS OKAY TO FAIL, just don’t fail to try!!

Comparison & worrying about others will quickly handicap your dream
Take it one step at a time focusing on yourself & where you are going.

Switching your attitude will change everything in an instant. Nothing can be based on circumstances—it’s your attitude about it.

Never give up!

Emotional intelligence & dealing with people
Sympathy—I feel sorry for them…
Empathy—I understand how they are feeling
Empathy is one of the most important traits a good leader can have.

Kylie Jeans words of affirmations with her parents growing up: I like myself. I have a great destiny and people listen to me because I have valuable & important things to say.

Learn from anyone & everyone you can.

I believe you can learn SOMETHING from everyone you connect with. It is up to you whether you take it deeper and have it become more of a meaningful outcome for your own life. Lessons are everywhere—stories people tell us, feelings we get from someone, words of affirmation, life lessons shared via email or social media, a smile from a stranger, a compliment from someone you work with, a sincere thank you….there are so many ways to connect & when these interactions go deeper, they mean more.

Stretch. Learn. Grow. Don’t be afraid to invest in others by connecting on a deeper level. You both will benefit.

Here are some good links to help:

200 Deep Questions To Ask If You Really Want To Get To Know Someone https://thoughtcatalog.com/rania-naim/2016/02/40-deep-questions-to-ask-if-you-really-want-to-get-to-know-someone/

Tips for deeply connecting with others https://www.huffpost.com/entry/connecting-to-others_n_1083976

How to listen and build deep connections with people https://theartofcharm.com/networking/how-to-listen-and-build-deeper-connections-with-people/

 

Hope you will take away some good. Make today amazing. Connect.   xoxo -H

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Your Personal Mission in the World

2112133-Farrah-Gray-Quote-I-believe-that-my-personal-mission-in-life-is-to-1To have a personal mission in the world.

What could you do??

461768-Mahatma-Gandhi-Quote-If-you-want-to-change-the-world-start-with-1.jpgYOU: Make a personal difference in your own life to better it. One person at a time, begins with YOU. Until you take care of you, you are not going to be your best self & show up for those in the world who need you.
How to Take care of yourself physically, emotionally & spiritually.

Here are some ideas for YOU: Take long, warm showers they are good for the whole. Get grateful–write a daily list of five things or have your family send each other a short list of things to share with one another. Get outside for the sunshine, nature, the healing effects that are all connected. Read, journal, do something that utilizes and focuses the mind. Listen to beautiful music that seems to move you, calm you, connects you. Coloring calms the mind (its not just for kids–try it). Practice saying ‘NO’ to things or people that drain you or that you may just not want to do. Take a nap. Make a list, whether it is a ’99 things I Love List’ a ‘bucket list’ or a ‘goal list’…to help you tap into some of your personal desires or things you enjoy or want to do. Meditate and clear your mind. Do yoga. Smile. Exercise your mind and body. Give puppy loves & enjoy some pet therapy. Go to sleep earlier. Volunteer. Make time & activities for family time. Get creative by painting, doodling, art journaling, paper folding, etc. Garden or just pull weeds & enjoy being in the sun and dirt. Laugh by watching funny videos or a hilarious television series. Breathe. Avoid social media because it can steal your time & your joy. Disconnect. Declutter to create room and space. Get inspired.

2031865-C-S-Lewis-Quote-You-can-t-go-back-and-change-the-beginning-but-youTHE BIGGER PICTURE: Start with small steps

Be present with people. I recently met a young girl who works with my daughter at our local aquarium. My daughter has told me many sweet conversations about how this girl makes her laugh, feel included…so, when I met her face to face, I lit up, reached my hands out & grabbed hold of her hands & affectionately shared my thanks for her genuine kindness to my daughter. It was a sweet exchange.
Afterward, my daughter mentioned how she noticed this girls positive reaction to my affection & thought she was genuinely touched in a good way.
I smiled at my daughter & told her to just be present & share love with people. It’s all good.

Give longer, more meaningful hugs—my mom recently had brain surgery & it has been a tough journey seeing her in such pain & struggling. I find myself giving her longer hugs. I’m sure it’s just my way of being grateful she is still around to hug. It has shown me the greater power of hugs.

Let someone else SHINE—my daughter works at the our local aquarium & she is very passionate about educating kids. Just the other day we were visiting the aquarium with some family & friends & my daughter was at a glass tank that had zebra geckos inside. My daughter began to tell her little cousins about them, when all the sudden one of her co-workers jumped right in the middle of everyone & started telling the kids all about the geckos. My daughter stepped back irritated. But, when her co-worker was done, she had everyone clap for him & his great presentation.
My daughter was so irritated & I had to explain perspectives. I told her he obviously needed some Shine time!! I told her she handled the situation beautifully by having everyone give him some shine & celebrating the job he did.
Sometimes we just need to step back & let others shine to make the world a little brighter.

Compliments go a long way—who doesn’t like a compliment?? Everyone enjoys hearing something nice, so spread a little love with a kind word, or a compliment.

Just smile—a smile breaks barriers, connects with kindness, it says ‘I am open’  It is a universal language that just lingers and spreads good.

Remember the ‘Golden Rule’—treat others as you would like to be treated. We learn this at a young age, but sometimes we forget. When a car cuts you off or someone doesn’t smile back at you—just remember to be kind. Don’t get mad or angry.

I have a sweet friend that has grown up in various tough situations, so her exterior is a bit rough sometimes, but her heart is so good. Whenever I drive with her she gets mad at other drivers that don’t wave back if I give a friendly wave of thanks. She gets mad if I open a door for someone & they don’t say thank you. She will literally raise her voice and say, “Your welcome.” I always have to remind her that as long as I am sending out the good vibes of love and care than it is alright. If you are always treating others the way you would like to be treated, then you are doing good in the world. It may not be reciprocated, but as long as you are sending out good, then you are doing good.

Energy–There is energy in all things. Are you being a force of positive or negative energy? Just check in with yourself on this each day. See how you are FEELING and work on being a force of positive goodness.

Be an angel for random acts of kindness–Give someone a water bottle who is working out at the gym, say something nice, give a candy bar to a drive-up attendant, leave a plate of cookies on a strangers doorstep with a note that says, “You are loved.”  Leave quarters in a child’s quarter toy machine, hand out flowers at a nursing home…Do something small that will make someone smile.

Research the companies you get your food or goods from to see if they are environmentally friendly (helps or hinders the planet)—My daughter has an app that she can scan food or goods and tell if they use a lot of palm oil, which is ruining & cutting down our jungles. She can easily scan & determine what products are good or bad & what we should not buy.

Put your phone away when you are around others—I have teased my friends and family when we are together and someone is “hiding” out on their phone. I have genuinely asked them if they are hiding out. It usually instantly helps them put away their phone. Be present when you are with people.

Always use your manners–just the basics help everyone feel good. Smile. Say Please and Thank you. Hold gratitude in your heart and be an instrument of good.

Always strive for good things in your life–I smile whenever I see a car sticker that says, “Feel Good” or “Life is Good” or “Good vibes” or “Be the good” because I know that the people driving that car are trying to put out good feelings into the world.

Whether it is good music, good movies, good conversations, good people, good vibes, good notes you send to others, good stickers or good, positive words you say…make it good. Whenever I pull up to a drive-thru for a sandwich or something & the worker says, “How are you doing today” I always say positives like “I am fantastic or fabulous”—it sends a good, positive message & the people are usually really happy to see me. Strive to have good things and spread good things in your life & those around you.

Invest in your relationships—when you ask people how they are doing, genuinely wait, listen and strive to go deeper with your relationships with people. Really connect, ask questions and be interested. We have way too many shallow and meaningless relationships. Take the time to talk, listen and go deeper with your connections.

My husband has been traveling for work and meeting and spending time with a lot of different people he works with. Whenever he comes home, I ask him, “What did you learn about so and so.”       Take the time to invest in others.

Always have a growth mindset & be willing to learn and grow in all you do. I think it is when we become stagnant that we get off track to becoming our best self. If you are striving to learn new things, experience things that scare you, challenge yourself to get better each day, and are pushing yourself to become better—even just a little, then you are going forward. You are becoming a little better each day for yourself and the world around you.

f683c10ff13b3a512ef75d08f0e2f800--one-tree-motivational-thoughtsBe an example of someone who is a light in the world. Be Someone who is striving to do a little better each day. I hope you can begin with these ideas to help you follow your heart & begin living your life mission. Begin small, but begin.

Peace, Love and JOY to you today.  -H

 

A little Star of Hope & Light

7209137-Stained-Glass-Star-Abstract-in-three-different-blues-rippling-water-glass-0

“Hope itself is like a star—not to be seen in the sunshine of prosperity, and only discovered in the night of adversity.”  -Charles Spurgeon

 

My sweet mom had brain surgery about a month ago and it has been a genuine trial for her in various ways. She seems to sleep all the time, her medications make her loopy and unclear, she is frustrated at her rate of recovery, she feels like a weight to my Dad….every day is different & despite her usual cheery disposition and love for life, she has seen dark moments and struggled to find light. It has been hard to see my mom who is always a bright personality & known as “Sunny” be taken to muddy waters and unable to see the surface very clearly.

I usually call my Mom every morning to see how she is feeling & yesterday she shared the following story—She has a very young neighbor that has four or five kids and is suffering from an immune illness called Potts disease. Just last month she spent weeks at the Mayo clinic in Arizona, getting nourishment from feeding tubes. All the while, her small family was in Utah being taken care of by family members. From the stories I have heard it has been one struggle after another trying to get her out of bed.

This sweet woman came over to see my mom & they got talking about my Mom’s doctor. The woman replied, “Don’t you love your doctor. He is such a good man.” My mom was taken back that this woman knew him & the woman began to explain to my mom that at one point her brain stem had began to grow into her spinal column, so she had to have brain surgery to have them disconnected. The woman smiled & expressed to my Mom that she had an idea of what my mom was going through & then pulled out a stained glass star and gifted it to my mom. The woman looked at my mom & said, “I usually buy one of these every time I go through hard things & you have earned this one.” The woman explained that she hangs them in her window to remind her of hope and to see the light in the dark moments of life.

My mom was a little emotional as she shared this story with me & it helped my mom see that even though she is in a dark place, others have been there, are going through more and yet they are able to get themselves to a place of hope.

It was a beautiful reminder to my Mom that she can and is dealing with tough things and that she will get through.

I think it is a beautiful lesson and story for all of us. I hope that no matter what you are dealing with today, you can give thanks for the stars in your own life. We all have dark moments, but those help us see the stars in our life that give us light and hope.

“Only in darkness can you see the stars.  -Martin Luther King

-Peace and love to you today.  H

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Kisses from Heaven

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“Snowflakes are like kisses from heaven.”

I sure felt that yesterday as the snow kept falling. I woke up dreading more snow because this winter seems to have been snow storm after snow storm, but as I walked out to try and catch a snowflake, I found something that changed my perspective.

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You may not be able to see the detail that well, but I wandered through my yard and found millions of little snowflake kisses. I looked so close and saw such divine details. It made me ponder the greater scale of the infinite, the divine that is all around and makes up everything. I thought, “Wow. If God takes such care and puts such detail into the smallest snowflake, what a miracle and care He has put into my world.”

These snowflakes were part of thousands…millions of clusters of snowflakes, so they were literally not much bigger than a pinhead. It was unbelievable.  I have tried to capture the snowflake details before as they drop from the sky, but the heat usually just melts them away. This was a beautiful gift that I stumbled across after looking a little deeper and seeing the tiny details of the freshly fallen snow. It was beautiful.

It was beauty everywhere! So, today take a minute and give thanks for your incredible body that is made up of a million tiny miracles. Look at a bud of a tree and see the possibility it is feeling awaiting Spring and next time it snows, take a closer look. There are miracles everywhere if we just look for them.

Peace, Love and Light to you today.  -H

Little Canary within

I recently heard Glennon Doyle Melton’s Canary metaphor & instantly understood how it can be used within our own lives.

Love Warrior: “Canary” by Glennon Doyle Melton from SALT Project on Vimeo.

I then watched the above video & found myself completely understanding my own awareness of boundaries, energy and creating that safe space in my own life. Seeing the ‘canary” in me & hearing her words…”Im too sensitive, I feel too much”…I have had to tell myself “I value” when others around me would tell me, “Your too sensitive, too thin skinned…”

I had to switch my viewpoint to feel my own worth, value and safety.

canary-escaping-cage--flying-toward-open-window-97373083-5b4c137c46e0fb0037a69c3e

It reminded me of my own canary story: Years ago I had a beautiful, orange canary that loved to sing & it filled my home with light and beautiful music.  It was so beautiful that I did not want it to be alone, so I went to my friend who bred canaries & asked her if she had another. While I was at her house I noticed a beautiful, yellow canary that was crooked and just seemed to sit at the bottom of a small cage. I asked my friend about it & she said, “You don’t want that one. It is crippled.”

She obviously did not know me very well because once I heard that, I instantly knew that was the one that needed me. It was a beautiful, bright yellow canary that had one leg that could not stand & was mangled and twisted into its body. Others would look at it & see an unwanted, crippled bird, but I saw beyond its outer shell. I knew that it just needed a chance to be seen and heard. It needed to find its own voice within its broken, little body. Oh how it could sing. I named it, “Little Angel Wings” because though it was broken physically, its song sang to the heavens and filled my home with heavenly music. It may have been broken, but that little bird knew its purpose & shared it with the world.

Oh, how I wished to see the little bird fly. I knew it would be able to fly & be soo free, but I knew if I let it fly, it would surely just die. It had grown up in a cage.

 

Both of these canary stories can help be reminders that we have been given strengths, purpose, gifts to share & that we cannot be limited by outer influences. We need to be aware of the stories we tell ourselves of our past. We need to be aware of the “Poisons” or toxins around us & close them off to our lives. We need to be aware of the energy people carry into our homes, the entertainment we allow in, the voices we listen to, the smallest things that can hinder our growth and allow us to see a higher realization of who we are meant to be in this world. The world needs us to be our best. The world needs the light we carry and the gifts we can share with one another.

Listen to your canary within. Follow your internal guidance that will allow you to FLY.

Peace and love to you today.  -H