“God Winks”

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I fell in love with this term when I heard it a little over a year ago. What a gift for our lives. If you think about little coincidences within your life, you cannot miss the sweet “God winks” that sparkle throughout your life. Just think about it.

I recently had a sweet God wink moment, in fact, it was a couple weeks ago. Every year my daughter and I find gently used stuffed animals and dolls & we clean them up, my daughter has knitted scarves for them, we write a loving card, add some candy & turn unloved toys into magical gift bags for kids in need. It is a wonderful tradition that we have done for years. Usually, we drop our gift bags at our local Walmart for their BACA (Bikers Against Child Abuse) tree. They have always happily taken them, so my heart ached when I called to see if they were doing the BACA tree this year and they told me it was replaced by Toys for Tots that only take brand new items.

My daughter and I were going to put the gift bags of 30 + Beanie Boo’s together but had nowhere to take them.  That same day I went to the dollar store to buy the cards to put with the toys. As I was checking out a woman and a young boy were placing items on the checkout counter. I glanced back at them and said, “It looks like you guys have found some fun stuff.” The woman smiled and motioned to the stack of coloring books she was purchasing & explained that she has a high-functioning autistic son who drives a bus for young special needs kids. I had an AH-HA moment!! I smiled so big & explained to her that I was in need of a place to give these gently used toys & thought it would be a perfect situation for her son (and other drivers he may know) to gift these kids our gift bags. She was soo excited and knew the kids would LOVE it! IT WAS NO COINCIDENCE. IT WAS A GOD WINK. We exchanged numbers.

The following week my new friend, Denise and her son came by to pick up the boxes of Beanie Boo’s. Her son was so excited to see the kids’ reactions. We were all genuinely happy for this beautiful gift of the holiday season. I then looked at Denise and told her we had probably seven other larger stuffed animals if she had anywhere to give them. She explained that she had another daughter with special needs who had been awarded, “Miss Inspiration.” She beamed & said, “I will have my daughter put on her crown & we will hand them out to kids at the hospital or something like that.”

Our hearts were happy!! We all hugged and exchanged loving appreciation. Strangers who came together in a God wink. It was beautiful.

A few days later I got a sweet image from Denise. It was a cute picture of her daughter in her crown doing good at the Deaf and Blind School. It was wonderful!!

People come into our lives & we can easily miss a sweet conversation, a service situation, a new friend…slow down and look for those doors that open. There are God winks in all you do. Notice the little things, smile at someone in line, open the door for someone, look for someone who is alone, share your gifts and talents, be kind in all you do.

God is looking for a way to smile down and wink at you in all you do.

May you have a blessed holiday season. Be Love. Bring Peace. Give Hope. Do good.

Peace and Love to you.  -H

PS if the term God Winks makes you curious, I first heard this term from Squire Rushnell. He has a huge series of books that have lots of neat stories about “God Winks.” I LOVE a good coincidence and true stories just make my heart smile. These would be a good any time read. Enjoy!!

WORLD KINDNESS DAY

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Tomorrow, November 13th is WORLD KINDNESS DAY!! My challenge to YOU…do one thing that will spread KINDNESS. 

Here are some ideas. There are so many more online, but hopefully these will get you thinking and doing. Have fun. Make a difference with your smile. Make the day a little brighter for those around you. Just begin with a heart that wants to spread kindness.

SMILE . Write a thank you note to someone you are thankful for . Leave random love notes . Celebrate someone you admire by taking them out to breakfast or dinner & share with them things you appreciate about them . Take some of your left over change & make people smile as you drop it in tip jars . Write fun messages in chalk on local paths or park areas . Leave change at a laundromat . Leave a Happy Day note on random cars . Buy flowers for a friend or teacher . Organize a local activity to pick up trash & fishing line (doesn’t break down for hundreds of years) in your local park . Make cards for Meals on Wheels . Do a sock drive for your local United Way (most needed item at shelters) . Leave a kind note in library books you have checked out . Genuinely listen to people when they talk to you . Turn off lights you are not using . Say kind compliments to others . Share something positive . Hand out some $1 bills to kids at a dollar store . Buy a huge bag of bird food & feed the feathered, little ones . Offer to walk an elderly person’s dog . Deliver positive notes to an elderly home . Put your phone down and invest in the people around you . A little way to say Thank you–give little baked goods or candy bars to those who give you great service at a drive-thru, nail salon, grocery store, delivery driver, mailman, etc . Write encouraging notes for strangers to find . Share something yummy with your coworkers . Give an unexpected hug to someone . Say hello . Walk a path, smile & say hello to every person you see . Start a family gratitude text chain (daily text of five things you are each grateful for) or family gratitude journal . Take a vase of flowers in to an elderly person who doesn’t get visitors . Plant a tree . Make a meal for someone . Give movie passes or tix for an event to someone who would enjoy them . Share a favorite book with someone . Make pinecone bird feeders . Thank local heroes (police, fire) by dropping off a fun bbq kit or baked goods . Ignore your phone when you are with someone for an entire day–try it! . Reach out to someone you have not connected with in awhile . For one day make sure you say ‘Please’ and ‘Thank you’ . Write a letter to a teacher or mentor (someone who has inspired you) & thank them for the influence they have had in your life . Clean up a hiking trail near your home . Connect with someone who seems alone . Send a great joke to someone . Ask someone a highlight from their day . Be happy . Use a reusable grocery bag . Take some time for yourself . High five a stranger . Be present with people . Give longer hugs . Always remember the ‘golden rule’ . Check your personal attitude–is it positive or negative . Get grateful . Do your best to spread some kindness & love . More ideas…

JUST BEGIN. Begin small. I am trying a little harder to send love, make small changes and to begin a positive ripple in some way. I figure we should begin in our own backyard. As individuals you don’t need to start revolutions or host a talk show to try to make a difference. Just begin. Begin small. I put a small poster out in my front yard to tell everyone tomorrow is World Kindness day. I also put a bucket of Hershey kisses with a note that says…”Take one and do something Kind.” I also printed off the above list of ideas for anyone who wishes to take one.

We are all here to learn, grow and become better. Being kind is a good step.

Love, Peace, Hugs and Kindness. -H

The Little Things

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Every morning I go out into my yard with a cup overflowing with birdseed. Every time I walk out to scatter it under a certain pine tree my heart finds joy. Then as I watch the quail, my blue jay friends, the pair of doves and the variety of other little birds, my soul sings.

I have been throwing birdseed for years, but I now have an even greater appreciation for such a simple thing. A few years ago my husband was without a job and we literally had to get financial help from our community. We were in a bit of a fix, so every little thing added up. I had been feeding the birds for years & my heart would break every day I would look out under the pine tree & see them come, but unable to give them food. Believe me, I would gather bread crumbs and try to find anything that would suffice, but being unable to buy a simple bag of bird food was extremely humbling.

It is very true that sometimes it is the smallest things that take up so much room in your heart. I now treasure each morning that I am able to throw birdseed and see the birds gather. I hold such gratitude in my heart.

May we always appreciate the little things, for they truly are what make up the big things within our lives.

Embrace the day. Find something small to be grateful for and hold forever in your heart the ability to see clearly those things that are the most important gifts within your life.

Peace and love to you today.  -H

It’s What’s Inside

ITS WHATS INSIDE that matters

LOVED this ad. Enjoy!! Great visuals. Great meaning. Great, upbeat song.

I thought this ad was a great, upbeat way to illustrate the whole idea of “It’s what’s inside that truly matters.”

My sweet daughter is at that age (16) where she is starting to connect, date, get to know…She has had great conversations with many people she works with, strangers who have connected, guys at school, clubs, etc. She is beginning to notice the looks, the awkward moments, the cute guys who hide out on their phones or the even cuter guy who is really adorable because of his fun personality.

I have had conversations with her about getting to know people on deeper levels because that is where the true riches are…what’s inside. When you can just enjoy someone there is a whole new level of connection. It truly is what is inside that can surprise; that can charm; that can inspire; that can challenge; that changes things.

Here are a variety of ways to connect on a deeper level and find the treasures within.

  • SMILE
  • Make eye contact
  • Really connect through quality time (stay or limit your phone use)
  • Actively listen–really hear what the other person is saying. Don’t just listen to them speak, really hear what they are saying. Listen from your heart not your head.
  • Practice doing things for another person. Make someone laugh, do nice things for strangers, make a nourishing meal, just send out loving gestures of kindness and love. People genuinely remember how you made them feel.
  • Be present. Listen, ask questions, don’t get distracted and notice how you are interacting with others. When you give your full attention & are present with them, they will notice & your connection will be deeper.
  • Be YOU. Don’t just put on a face or pretend you are something you are not. People will appreciate your vulnerability and your authentic way you live. Share, provide safety and care for those you genuinely care about.

 

Ways to Have fun with someone!!

  • Do art together–Get a large piece of paper and just start creating with words, doodles, paints, anything. What is coming together??
  • Tell each other your favorite songs, turn them on & start singing.
  • Create a joke together–what would it be about? Would it be a pun?
  • Make a meal or dessert from scratch together.
  • Take a class together
  • Do an escape room to see how someone handles pressure
  • Play a game–board game, trivia, would you rather, etc
  • Take a walk and just talk–research says walking helps people open up
  • Check out a bookstore or library to find books or topics you both enjoy
  • Try something you both have never done–a new flavor ice cream, an activity like rock climbing or find a fun store neither of you have been before.
  • Do something outside–horseback riding, bike ride, hike, snowshoeing, etc
  • Visit a garden
  • Go to the zoo or aquarium
  • Take a mini road trip
  • Volunteer for a cause together
  • Find something unique to your town–old cavern, famous wishing well, haunted house, old mine, special restaurant that was highlighted, etc.
  • Rent some bikes or scooters & do a fun scavenger hunt around town
  • Go to an interesting museum & walk and talk about the various exhibits
  • Go bowling & make it interesting by checking out these ideas https://www.usports.com.sg/news/7-fun-game-ideas-at-the-bowling-alley/
  • Just BE yourself. Ask lots of questions & enjoy getting to know someone.

 

It truly is what is inside that matters. Whether this is on a personal level or on another level of getting to know someone on a deeper, more intimate level. Everyone becomes better, more beautiful when the sparkle shines from within. The surprises inside are always worth the wait.

-Peace and Love to you today!!  H

Be Love and Light

IMG_2111“Don’t be afraid to shine, the world needs your light.”  -Gabby Bernstein

I have been truly understanding the concept of getting out of yourself and striving to live from a higher place. I think we get into the habits of being human and caring soo much about what others think that it becomes hard to get out of that trap!

My realization–genuinely started by reading “The Book of Joy” by Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama. The book is all about finding Joy, living compassion and striving to become better. Such a good read. Highly recommend!! While reading that book, I had a complete stranger notice and acknowledge my spirit, my joy!! It blew me away and I have been trying to live a little higher each day & it has made so much of a difference for my life.

Here are a few examples: yesterday, my husband and I were stuck for thirty minutes in a one-way commuter lane & no way to avoid sitting, stuck in traffic that was not moving. After a few minutes of me and my husband complaining about being stuck because we were going to be very late to pick up our daughter from work, we gave in and began to let go. We could not control or change the situation, so we began to dance in the car. Our spirits began to get happy, so I decided I could do something! I opened my car door, stepped on my side rail of the car & began blowing kisses to the VERY long line of cars behind us. The line wrapped around for miles. As I blew kisses, the guy in the car directly behind us lit up with a huge smile & gave me a huge rock on/love you sign with his hands. It was AWESOME!! I guarantee we all felt a little better sitting in traffic. It was such a fun and memorable moment. I will never forget that guy’s face as he lit up. Priceless.

Another ‘light’er life experience was deciding I was going to do a lantern walk for my community neighborhood. I am not the same religion as everyone who surrounds me, so after living here for nine years & not feeling very connected I have felt a need to do something. So, I told my husband and daughter I was going to create a lantern walk & invite EVERYONE! They both looked at me & thought my family would make fun of me & that no one would show up! With my new feelings of trying to be a spark–I carried on with my plan. I created a website in a day, began ordering paper lanterns, lights, found a four-foot LOVE sign and began planning every detail. I planned Oct. 7th at 7 to have people gather at my home & all walk together down a forest path next to my house. They would walk through branches of hanging paper lanterns, a tree adorned and decorated with flower lights, mason jars of “fairy lights” and paper lanterns with butterflies. My “fairy tree” was especially made for the children. [It is a special tree that I would take my daughter & her cousins to when they were growing up & they would look for fairies who lived there] There were two other decorated trees that had quotes about being a light in the world. People would then cross bridges with lights and a trail of paper bags lit by votives, a four-foot heart on a hill made from light rope and would then end at a small amphitheater where they could take pics with their families at the large “Love” sign. I had it all figured out in my head!! It was going to be a lovely evening made for families.

Weeks passed and I was hoping I would have someone in the community offer lanterns, to help set-up…anything, but I heard nothing. My husband was wondering if anyone was going to show & kept saying, “maybe you need to post more notices or have someone send out something again to let people know about it.” I told him I had two neighborhoods post it multiple times on their email groups, I made a large sign I posted on the forest path & I just kept telling him, “those who are meant to come will be there.” Smile. Smile.

I was popping paper lanterns for days & preparing everything for the big day. My husband and daughter began to see the bigger vision & began to get excited. The morning of Oct. 7th came & my sweet husband had taken the day off of work, knowing I would not be able to pull this all off without him. The crazy thing—it is actually a literal Godsend, was that when I first began to plan this event I just imagined us with ladders in the forest & now I know we would have NEVER finished in time. Just a week after I began planning, my father-in-law passed & in his will he left my husband a side-by-side atv. It was a genuine Godsend. If we would have NOT had this vehicle, the outcome of our lantern walk would have never been finished. We were zipping up and down the forest path all day. My husband was standing on the top of it to reach large branches to hang lanterns, it made the timing so much faster. I kept hoping someone might help us, but the day was ours. It took me and my husband all day & by 7pm, I had not showered, was running to meet anyone who may be at our house & I was in a tank top for any first impressions. It was hilarious. I had my parents man my home & invite anyone who showed up into the backyard. I ran upstairs to change my clothes & found that my husband had locked our bedroom door to ensure no one entered. My husband was still at the park trying to finish set up & laughed as I called him begging to get into our room. I finally made it in [after he told me where the key was & how to open it] & threw a shirt on. I quickly ran to my backyard and found probably a hundred people waiting. My Dad was saying something to everyone & then noticed me, he turned the crowd over to me. I merely said, “What a wonderful surprise!! I told everyone that my husband was still trying to finish up details in the park, so we just wanted to remind everyone to make a memory with their families, to spread some love in their communities & I invited them to take some kindness cards that we had printed up to say kind things & share them with others, kids lockers, a meal to someone in need…to spread some love.” It was short but sweet and heartfelt. I then invited the whole group to head to the forest and it was a beautiful night.

My husband will never forget seeing the huge group of people coming out of the forest, all holding lanterns, walking as a huge community of people. He was happily surprised! Everyone was so grateful for the night. It made my heart so happy to see families taking pictures around the love sign, talking to neighbors, just sitting on a nearby grassy hill watching the night light. It was a lovely time. Definitely a night of Love and Light—just what it was supposed to be.

Even though no one showed up to help, my husband, my daughter & her friend will never forget working so hard to put so much love into something. We did it together and it was a beautiful gift and memory we will always treasure.

All of our family and neighbors kept talking about doing it next year & I kept saying, “We will see.” My husband has been talking about next year ever since. It was a gift to all.

Check out some of the pics below. IF you want to do a lantern walk where you live—-I can help!! Its all about spreading Love and Light. You can also check out my website and click on the Spreading Love link where there are lots of things you can do. There are printable kindness cards and more. Check it out http://www.loveandlightlanternwalk.com

Begin with you. One person can do small things that can spark a little light and love into the world. DON’T let other people stop you. DON’T let other people make you feel small or worry so much about what they think. This is YOUR life. Make it bright!! Make it full of LOVE and LIGHT.

Peace, Love and Light to you today!!  -H

PS Smile, say hello or wave at someone today!! Make their day. Be a LIGHT!

Here are some of the quotes I used & hung on trees CvvE5wWUMAAxL_mquote_1-1.5.18shine10863536030fee581b324a74a5d2f73a9-1

 

What I Know for Sure

What+I+know+for+Sure+(1)GREAT QUESTION–WHAT I KNOW FOR SURE? 

Oprah has always asked this question in many of her interviews. She then took the idea and turned it into a book (great little read).

I wanted to share some of her great quotes and have you ask yourself…What do you know for sure? It is a question that makes you really go within to seek real answers. If you take the time to truly, honestly answer, it will be a beautiful gift for your life.

“Before I could challenge my fear and begin changing what I believed about myself, I had to admit that, yes, I had always been afraid–and that my fear was a form of slavery.” -Oprah

“So long as you’re still worried about what others think of you, you are owned by them. Only when you require no approval from outside yourself can you own yourself.” -Neale Donald Walsch

“What if you learned to live with it [Fear], to ride its wave to heights you never knew were possible?”  -Oprah

“What I know for sure is this: You are built not to shrink down to less but to blossom into more. To be more splendid. To be more extraordinary. To use every moment to fill yourself up.”  -Oprah

“I’ve learned that the more stressful and chaotic things are on the outside, the calmer you need to get on the inside. It’s the only way you can connect with where your spirit is leading you.”  -Oprah

“What is the truth of your life? It’s your duty to know. In order to find out, know that the truth is that which feels right and good and loving.”  -Oprah

“I prayed to be more resolved about being fully conscious, allowing every experience to bring me closer to the deepest essence of life.”  -Oprah

“I want to be lean and clean for the future, dust off my wings. I know for sure that doing so will make it easier to fly.”  -Oprah

“Let your life awaken in you. Whatever your challenge–let it be an open door to your holiest revelations about yourself, an invitation to your best life.”  -Oprah

 

May your day be filled with deep questions that awaken parts of you that were sleeping. Life is a daily ritual of digging deep within to uncover the valuable essence of your one, precious life.  -Peace, Love and Light to you today.  -H

Sobering 9/11

njdg1tawqxjbq964frl2Many people will never forget where they were or what was going on around them on 9/11. It is so humbling to walk back in your mind and remember how paralyzed our nation was and then how joined it became.

I was living in a tiny, country town, Shelley, Idaho. It was a place of acres and acres of potato fields and very few people. I will never forget how at that time in our nation, it became a place of American flags on every car, people honking and cheering on our local fire engines and public safety, giant flags painted on barns…it was a beautiful thing to see a community join together in such patriotism.

I don’t think anyone will forget the images that kept replaying on the televisions across the country, the sobering stories of everyday heroes, unbelievable stories of survival and the heartbreaking realizations of loss.

Every 9/11 is a mix of emotions and this morning I woke up to an email that informed me of my dear neighbor with six young kids (under the age of 14) who just found out she has breast cancer and its spreading. My heart ached and I immediately ran over to be of service and see what I could do.

Any tragedy is sobering, so I ask of you on this day of 9/11…find those things within your life that you daily take for granted and give thanks. Hold your family a little tighter. Reach out to someone in need. Take something to your local fire department or public servant and say thank you for their service.

We are all in this one life together, so if we can remember this daily, then when any tragedy hits your family, your neighbor, your community, your country, then you will be ready to take on anything TOGETHER.

TOGETHER: Here is something soo interesting: [I posted this years ago, but it has always stayed with me on 9/11–shows how connected we truly are]

Out of the horror of 9/11 some amazing scientific discoveries were made–our satellites positioned thousands of miles above the earth–every 30 minutes the satellites send a signal that tells us how strong the magnetic field of the earth really is. It ebbs and flows each day. On 9/11 there was a huge spike and the researchers had never seen a spike like this before or on both satellites. They were trying to figure out what on earth happened & this led the researchers to understand the collective heart-based response, The human emotion that was outpouring in a particular time of that day. It was so powerful that it coupled with the magnetic field of the earth. It showed how everything is connected to the field. It took a tragedy to understand the connection, but what heartmath is trying to decide is if they can utilize the same connection without tragedy.
Can heart-based coherence bring people together in peace. Heartmath has a coalition has sensors throughout the world trying to decipher human emotions trying to see how to bring about human coherence throughout the world.

May we always seek to have grateful hearts for the world we live in, the relationships we are gifted to share and the love to freely give—always.

Peace, Love and Light to you on this day of 9/11.  -H