In Awe.

All I can say is…watch the following two videos and notice what you FEEL.

 

 

After watching those videos all I can say is…humbling. To FEEL is to evoke the emotions within us and we need to remember our feelings throughout this world experience. When I first saw the video of Italy and the quiet streets I was so humbled. It made me think of how unusual a time we are living in. To see these streets so still, so empty brought about a certain respect. It was almost like a spiritual prayer of quiet. There was a seeming reverence that seemed to echo throughout the streets. A hush, a stillness.

It made me think of how quickly the world was brought to its knees by a virus that began with ONE person and was then able to spread like a wildfire throughout our world. Wow. It is humbling.

It is also humbling to think that we are each given such individual gifts and powers. If you think about it, there are great, inspiring things that also begin with ONE person. There are so many things that change and move the world. It is where we place our focus that matters most. We can either fold and give in to the negative powers and let situations get the better of us as individuals or we can focus on the positives and see the good things that come about through the bad. If we focus on the light of the world, then we will all be able to see through the dark moments.

This is but a moment in time. This to shall pass and we will look back and remember the good that came from such tragedy. That is how we are as a people. The world is resilient. We are each forces of nature and we shall rise by lifting one another.

Peace, Love, and Light to you today. May the beauty in these videos lift you.  -H

Look for the GOOD

ellen-degeneres-quote-the-world-is-full-of-a-lot-of

There has been a lot of FEAR, NEGATIVITY, and JUDGEMENT, BUT I also think there have been incredible stories of HOPE. These are the situations within our world that make us come together, that help us see others, that remind us of the human spirit and that we are all connected.

Over the weekend I watched the televised in-home concerts of musicians all around the world & reminded my daughter that she will never see anything like this again. It is wonderful to see so many come together no matter what religion, what political party, no matter what state or fame they may have. It has been incredible to see people singing from rooftops around the world & coordinating via social media times to celebrate and cheer on the frontline health workers who are working tirelessly. It is humbling to see the photos of hospital workers’ faces bruised and bleeding from wearing the masks and equipment for so long. It is heartbreaking to hear the stories that one spouse died, but the other survived or that a couple both passed within hours of one another while holding hands.

There are soo many stories that break, that humble, that touch us on a deeper level. We need this emotion, this unearthed sensitivity to those around us, to a world that is broken but also needs so much healing. In a way, this is a very big wake-up call on many levels. May we listen and may we humbly pray for healing and to be where we need to be to learn, to love and to serve.

I look out my windows and I see so many people out walking with their loved ones and it is a beautiful thing to see people connecting. I have never seen so many people outside. Being outside is itself a healing gift that is given daily for those who take advantage of it. It is wonderful to see so many Fathers out playing or doing yard work with their children. We are seeking good things together and that is a very good thing.

May you continually seek good. May you take this time, as my husband calls it, “a hold.” The world seems to be on hold and everyone is waiting for the outcome. Instead of being ON HOLD May we have HOPE and HOLD ON TOGETHER.

7300-quotePOSITIVE THINGS TO HELP FIND THE GOOD:

Go to MSN Good News and daily read the new stories that are GOOD.

Get outside. Go on a walk, a bike ride, garden, do chalk art, take pictures, anything that feeds the soul.

Limit the news and media. There is soo much that can and will bring you down. If you can focus on good stories then you will feel better. Plus you need to be careful with what sources you believe. There are truth and lies out there, so be aware. Be safe.

Do drive-by LOVE. My sister-in-law had a birthday & her friends decorated their own cars and did a special parade in front of her home to let her know she was loved.      My little family put together little “Quarantine Kits” full of popcorn, a movie, a little family activity and dropped them by to everyone in my family. We kept our distance but dropped them some love.

Keep those at risk safe: Inform family and friends that your loved one is following the guidelines and is at risk. We made care packages for loved ones at risk full of activities, movies, little gifts to open, word searches, puzzles, etc. Anything to help them with boredom. Keep in touch with them for any personal needs.

Ways to Serve: Think of ways you could serve safely at this time.

Meals on wheels may be looking for people to help. Here is a link you can contact https://meals-on-wheels.com/sign-up-to-be-an-on-call-volunteer/?mod=article_inline

Call your local food bank to see if they have anything you can do to help.

Call and check on neighbors via text or phone. Many people are also face-timing or gathering many people together on zoom. Connect. You can also help out a great org that is reaching out to elderly https://mailchi.mp/39f288f79cd8/dorots-passover-package-delivery-sunday-march-2661959?e=f071038a0e

Care & Share Another great service that is connecting people with helping others with personal needs https://www.mutualaidhub.org/

Thank your local heroes. There are grocery store workers, delivery personnel, teachers who are teaching from a new platform they are not use to, local health workers, local police and fire….so many to list, but do something to show your thanks and that you care. Bake cookies, make signs, write notes of thanks, etc. In my neighborhood someone put a large thank you note on our local elementary & hung a line out in front for others to drop a note of thanks to the local teachers. So sweet.

Connect through fun. Someone drew chalk quotes all along my local walking path. It was so inspiring and fun to see someone trying to spread good.  One of my dear friends who lives two hours away from me was telling me how here tiny town had a few cars decorated and they were driving down the neighborhood roads honking and inviting others to join in their parade. They were trying to lift spirits of others.

Buy local. Get out of your house and get lunch, grab dinner to go and have a picnic. Use your local resources and help them continue to survive.

Make your own sanitizer from home: [from market watch article] Anne Marie Helmenstine, who holds a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences, posted a tutorial online for how to make it. It may take your mind off the plunge in the stock markets, although some health experts say homemade versions may not be very effective. Here are the ingredients and equipment you would need:

  • 2/3 cup 99% rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol) or ethanol
  • 1/3 cup aloe vera gel
  • 8-10 drops essential oil, optional (such as lavender, vanilla, peppermint, grapefruit)
  • Bowl and spoon
  • Funnel
  • Recycled liquid soap or hand sanitizer bottle

 

Take care of YOU. Be KIND and focus on LOVE over FEAR. We WILL get through this and if we can find the GOOD then we will come out better in the end.

Peace, Love and Light to you today.  -H

Looking for the GOOD in all this

GREAT MESSAGES OF HOPE…so much GOOD.

I just LOVE Bindi. She has been through challenges and continues to inspire and guide in goodness. She is a great role model for many. LOVE the work she does.

The outspoken wildlife warrior posted a quote written by ‘Walk the Earth’ writer Nikki Banas on her Instagram page. ‘If you only carry one thing throughout your entire life, let it be hope,’ the 21-year-old shared.'If you only carry one thing your entire life, let it be hope':  Bindi Irwin has shared a message of 'hope' with her Instagram followers amid the coronavirus pandemic

‘Let it be hope that better things are always ahead. Let it be hope that you can get through even the toughest of times. Let it be hope that you are stronger than any challenge that comes your way.’

PRINCE HARRY & MEGHAN – “These are uncertain times. And now, more than ever, we need each other,” their post read. “We need each other for truth, for support, and to feel less alone during a time that can honestly feel quite scary. There are so many around the world who need support right now, who are working tirelessly to respond to this crisis behind the scenes, on the frontline, or at home. Our willingness, as a people, to step up in the face of what we are all experiencing with COVID-19 is awe-inspiring. This moment is as true a testament there is to the human spirit.”

“We often speak of compassion,” they continued. “All of our lives are in some way affected by this, uniting each of us globally. How we approach each other and our communities with empathy and kindness is indisputably important right now.”

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PEOPLE DOING WHAT THEY CAN to make a positive difference during these challenging times.

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/video/c/embed/9ca7a6f9-eead-40f9-8b08-219e597e365a

 

THANK YOU MSN for your GOOD NEWS section!

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/good-news.

You can always find GOOD stories here.

Here are some of my favorite stories to inspire from MSN

Restaurant regular stuns staff by tipping $9,400 to help. On the reciept, the patron wrote: “Hold tip to pay your guys over the next few weeks.” https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/good-news/restaurant-regular-stuns-staff-by-tipping-dollar9400-to-help-with-coronavirus/ar-BB11jMOJ

One man’s birthday GoFundMe raised $16k in 18 hours to help Milwaukee restaurants during virus. https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/good-news/this-mans-birthday-gofundme-raised-dollar16k-in-18-hours-to-help-milwaukee-restaurants-during-coronavirus/ar-BB11qTS7

 

Student delivering groceries for free to the elderly. https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/good-news/this-student-is-delivering-groceries-for-free-to-the-elderly-during-coronavirus-outbreak/ar-BB11qnxu

People are also donating funds. A search on the GoFundMe website for “coronavirus” brings up more than 6,000 results, many for Italian hospitals. One campaign for the San Raffaele Hospital in Milan has raised more than 4 million euros ($4.47 million) via the site.

So many other great stories that I am sure change every day—cards to nursing homes, Penguins taking field trips, Property owners tell restaurants to pay staff instead of rent, etc. There are so many good stories if we seek after them.

CHINO High records their concert from home after they could not perform. Very COOL.

LOVE the resilience of this beautiful world. 

A BEAUTIFUL tribute to Italy—a country that has gone through so much

Just great!!

 

JOY over FEAR

I am doing my best to embrace the little things I am noticing around the world and in my own backyard. There are many fears at the moment, but my state is brimming with the virus & woke up to a 5.7 earthquake yesterday! Talk about FEAR!! I have never experienced an earthquake, so it was definitely scary and the fear set in as my little family loaded our car with essentials (just in case) & then sat around our large table for hours, so we could hide under it we needed to. The fear was real, BUT, with anything life gives, it is what we do with the moments that truly help us grow.  As the day went on I smiled as I noticed a calm reporter sharing earthquake stats. I looked at my daughter, pointed at the television and said, “That reporter was in our front yard about ten years ago covering a story about a huge flooding situation that was going on next to our home. The mountain was flooding, so the city decided to divert the waters down the middle of our neighborhood street into a nearby canal that was next to our home. It was a crazy situation.” I continued to explain to my daughter how there will always be things that happen in life, but what you learn from them will help your life. You learn you can get through tough and scary things. So much of how we react is what we take from any situation.

We need LIGHT. JOY. HOPE.

So, this morning I came across this great article that spreads hope, light and helps take away the fear that has spread across the globe. Read, watch and enjoy this little bit of JOY that definitely overcomes the FEAR across the globe. It is a fun montage of people singing from rooftops across the globe and ends with a great video of everyone clapping to thank hospitals and health workers. It is a feel-good…a good JOY!

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/03/16/kind-triumph-spirit-locked-down-italians-singing-balconies-inspire-hope-across-world

Do what you can in your neighborhood.  Put out a positive sign of hope in your yard. Make cookies and secretly leave them on porches. Leave notes of wellness. Leave boxes of chalk for neighbor kids to draw on their driveways. Smile. Ask neighbors if they need anything & drop it at their door with a kind note. The little things will make a big difference.

Focus on the good things I have noticed around my neighborhood… I have seen more than ever, families playing outside together. I have seen Dad’s with their kids and more kids outside than I have ever seen. This is healing time. This is together time. This is what we need to notice. We need to find the moments of JOY that linger…the stories that touch our hearts, the hope that can be amplified by spreading good things, the smiles we share as we walk past others. We can be safe, but also good-spirited. We need to allow LOVE to flow over FEAR.

Find the JOYS A few JOYS–my daughter works at the local aquarium, but it has obviously been closed, so the employees have been doing different things to enjoy their time in an empty aquarium. All the employees were gathering together & doing live presentations at the animal exhibits and posting them online. They were all cheering each other on during the presentations. One of my daughter’s co-workers made a video of herself singing in the shark gallery & sent it to her. Another friend of hers had guy realize life is too short & wanted to ask her on a date. My husband has had multiple people at his work donate their paid time off to give to other workers who need the coverage.

This is what we need to see. This is where we need to focus—-to find the little JOYS.

Peace, Love and Light to all.  -H

DONT let FEAR live

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FEAR is that force that brings with it so many dark emotions, questions that seem to get bigger, actions that scare or minimize. It is the opposite end of the spectrum of LIGHT, LOVE, FAITH, HOPE…

Our world at this moment is in deep FEAR and those fears are bringing about quick actions that are causing more concerns. We cannot change what is, but we can take personal responsibility for how we react, or how we use our energy.

My husband called me and explained that his work is stopping any travel (we are talking in the U.S.) & I shared that with my parents who then mentioned my brother-in-law’s large company also banned travel, their religion has a world conference & told everyone to not travel, the list goes on. I have been thinking of the devastating impact that is going to have on airlines, the economy, hotels, travel, business, etc. Those are just apparent things.

My brother-in-law has been researching masks, ordering boxed food and preparing for the worst. I understand the logic, but if everyone begins to panic—FEAR wins and takes over and leaves us with more fears.

I understand the worry, the health concerns…but with 2 percent being fatal, this virus is seemingly taking bigger control with corporations, stock markets, world trade…the FEAR is taking control in even larger ways. We must be careful of even larger collapses.

I am NOT trying to minimize this world event in any way or make light of people dying and families on larger scales being affected. I just feel we need to each take a moment and pray. Pray that the world can be healed effectively and quickly. Pray that we can send love to those families who are hurting. Pray for the world to hold together. Pray that light can find a way through all the thick fog of fear. There is power in PRAYER. There is power in LOVE over FEAR.

DOES PRAYER WORK? Should we and could we pray across the globe and have a positive outcome?? Here is what I found:

Although science is ill-equipped to prove the existence of God, scientific research does show that prayer works. The literature I looked at states, regardless of God’s existence, elements of prayer are universally valid – across various religions, traditions, and practices. The act of prayer itself has beneficial physiological effects.

Prayer, much like meditation in Buddhism, or concentration on breathing techniques in Yoga, causes the mind and body to focus on singular focal points that align the mind, soul, and physical aspects of a person to lower cortisol levels, improve oxygen utilization, and confer numerous other psychological benefits.

Marilyn Schlitz, Ph.D., and lecturer at Harvard, says, “It’s clear from the correlational studies within the epidemiology data that positive relationships exist between religious and spiritual practice and health outcomes on a variety of different conditions.” Moreover, she says that in a study and confirmation study on intercessory prayer, “the prayer groups had statistically significant improvements in outcome, suggesting that the intervention has clinical relevance.” https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/the-power-of-prayer-science-proves-it-works-has-positive-physiological-effects

A SERIOUS STUDY: Back in 1996 Michael Onstott, then 46, thought he was going to die. Sick with AIDS, he had only a few T-cells left in his body to fight deadly germs. Kaposi’s sarcoma, a form of cancer, was spreading across his body, creating dark lesions everywhere. He was rapidly losing weight. He was deeply depressed. He prepared for the worst.

Two months later Onstott was putting on weight. The Kaposi’s sarcoma had slowed down. His depression had lifted. All of a sudden, he recalls, “I began to be optimistic.” He attributed his miraculously improved health to a new anti-viral regimen.

But doctors at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco had a far more shocking explanation: Onstott, one of 40 men and women in a ground-breaking double-blind study, had been receiving long distance healing energy an hour a day, six days a week, for ten weeks.

Onstott had no idea he had been receiving healings. Although he had signed up for the study, he never met or talked to a single healer. The healers and the patients never met each other. The healers were given the names of the patients and a photo to work with-that was it. While Onstott was in San Francisco, the healers were all over the country, some as far away as New York and Pennsylvania. The doctors overseeing the study wanted to control for the power of touch and the power of suggestion. They were trying to isolate the healing energy in a pure form.

For the healers who volunteered to participate in the study, published in the Western Journal Of Medicine in December 1998, the healing work was quite visceral. “I didn’t just sit there and pray for someone,” recalls Susan Ulfelder, a healer based in Washington, D.C. “I was literally pulling globs of virus out of their fields.”

At the end of the study, Onstott and the others who received long distance healing all did significantly better than those in the control group, even when the new anti-viral cocktails were factored in. They had fewer illnesses, fewer visits to the doctor and spent less time in the hospital. They even had improvements in their moods. The results were so dramatic-and statistically significant–that The National Institutes of Health gave a $500,000 grant to California Pacific Medical Center to do another study of distance healing, this time focusing on glioblastoma, a deadly form of brain cancer. That study is now underway.

Other studies have found that healers can influence plants, fungi, and even cancer cells in vitro, just by intention, even if the healer and the subject of the healing intention were in different rooms, cities or states, as Dr. Daniel Benoir notes in Healing Research. Recently, several double-blind studies of heart patients have looked at the power of prayer, considered a form of distance healing. These studies, including one published in the conservative research journal, Annals of Internal Medicine, on October 25, 1999, found that intercessory prayers significantly improved medical outcomes in the critically ill, even when they had no idea they were being prayed for by people they had never met. “This result suggests that prayer may be an effective adjunct to standard medical care,” wrote the researchers, a group of doctors and scientists.

Why people who pray are healthier article: Stay healthy. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/why-people-who-pray-are-heathier_b_1197313?guccounter=1&guce_referrer=aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuZ29vZ2xlLmNvbS8&guce_referrer_sig=AQAAAGgM0uEgsNEOnNyEOEJAg8M4erMvmJu_NG2SpsB2Bc_HBF_WgLEhdvJM1jdRrnsy4Njz7eTqjHa-8rZE1VOO9ngYi7yXruTtzITTFkLb5lA7lVbr1WqvuD25D8bjW9X2ySdf0652U7-MC_UHndnOgOAxr_4nXn00MkjJuJ56Cfbe

Young woman practicing yoga on the beach.SO, DOESNT IT MAKE SENSE WE AT LEAST TRY TO PRAY FOR THE WORLD AND THOSE WHO ARE ILL?? If studies can tell us ‘distant prayers’ have been answered in numerous ways, or how people who pray are healthier, then why would we not put our energy there and focus on FAITH not FEAR for our world.

I pray that you will strive to send good vibes, positive energy…energy that is full of LOVE and LIGHT out into the world and NOT the energy of FEAR. We need everyone to think higher, pray and pray the world will find the solution.

-PEACE, LOVE and LIGHT to you.  -H

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Remember your light

1-1“Every day, wherever you are, you have the opportunity to be a light and a blessing.” -BB

I recently came across a lovely blog, diaryofanaesthete, (aesthete–a person who has a special appreciation of art and beauty) by a truly beautiful soul. If you need the inspiration to become better, along with exquisite photographs and an overall rich journey for the soul, check out this blog. James journeys to find himself and help others along the way, while finding beauty everywhere. It is truly a gift for the soul. Thank you, James. Bless you in all you do.

I think there is some deeper part of all of us that yearns to feel and find a higher part of ourselves. Everyone is a seeker, whether for joy, for humility, for service, for spirit, for love, beauty, purpose, strength, etc. We are all in search of those inner ingredients that will fill up the voids of the divine that has been hidden within this earthly journey. We are all seeking to find a little piece of home while we are here.

We are having a glimpse in time; an experience that challenges us to awaken and to hopefully remember where we are from. We are divine gifts that have so much power and infinite possibilities that we sometimes get caught in the human traps that lure us to lower living and forget who we are. Ultimately, we are supposed to seek a higher place that will help us nurture our rich talents that lie within our hearts. Doesn’t it make more sense to live this life and find the deep riches hidden within that add to the world? Ways to use our talents, to spread our wings, to be a light in some way? We were not sent into this life to become powerless, depressed, lonely and in need of excess to fill our voids.

What helps us to be better is to remember the stars within us, to awake in this dream and find those things that light us up. I LOVE the quote Howard Thurman shares, “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

When we are doing something…anything that improves the world, even in some tiny way, we are fueling the light within. The stars within us shine a little brighter. Try it.  And then hopefully, the world is a little better.

For LOVE week (aka Valentines) I did some little things to bring light. I am always seeking to notice and find someone who may need me or something I can give. First, I put a sign outside on my street that tastefully read, “Spread Love” and listed ideas, hoping to spark something in the passerby’s.  I then had a great exchange at a local grocery store, so I decided to surprise the cashier with a pink shake to spread some love. She was so moved and so gracious that someone would think to do something nice for her. She gave me a huge hug & expressed how grateful she was because she had a bit of a sore throat and knew the shake would feel great. I handed out “fortune fish” to drive-thru attendants & told them how fortunate I was to know them. I then had a sweet “Godwink” while I was waiting in another check-out line. The woman ahead of me was buying a bunch of small toys, binders, games, etc. I merely said, “it looks like you are going to bring a lot of joy.” I honestly thought she was probably buying fun gifts for her grandchildren, so my heart sang when she began to tell me about her journey of running a dyslexia center for youth. She told me how she had six locations & felt like she was always buying lots of incentive prizes that took more money than she was making. She was a good-hearted woman trying to do good things. We had a genuinely sweet exchange & I told her she didn’t need to do everything on her own & that people would be happy to help. I gave her my contact info. & I look forward to helping her with a fundraiser or buying little gifts or something.  While she was being checked out the line became very long, so by the time I was leaving there were probably eight people behind me. I smiled a big smile & yelled to everyone to have a happy love week and to spread lots of love. There were lots of smiles and love was shared.

We all need one another in some way–even if it is just a loving lift, a smile or encouragement. If you do anything today, I challenge you to begin doing small things that may light the way for your heart or those around you.

May you have peace, love, and light within your lives.  -H

Be LOVE in all you do.

PS Next week is RAK (Random Acts of Kindness) week, so now is the perfect time to do tiny things that will have a big benefit. Begin. Do. Do everything with love and everything will begin to lead to better places for your life.

So much LOVE

Love-552x864February is right around the corner & I LOVE all the wonderful things it brings!! RAK week, Valentines, my anniversary, my daughter’s bday…so much LOVE. Love it!!

What do you do and how do you FEEL about the month of LOVE? Do you spread love and kindness to those around you? Do you feel more alone? Do you feel you wish you had someone to love? Do you want to enjoy it & just don’t know how to fully engage?

Here are some ideas to get you enjoying LOVE month no matter what!!

RAK (Random Acts of Kindness) LOVE: LOVE EVERYONE: Smile at everyone (even strangers).  Share a compliment with someone. Surprise someone with flowers. Send a love note to at least five people you care about. Text some great notes or quotes to inspire others. Drop some money for a street performer or take a minute & share what you appreciate about their craft. Leave a note or treat for your delivery people or those you see/visit to get your hair done or someone you buy your coffee from, etc. Have compassion and hold that space for people who come into your life. Open & hold doors for people. Notice those around you–is there an elderly woman walking home & needs help with her groceries? Stop & help. Turn your phone off when you are in a deep conversation with someone–your attention is a gift. Inspire others with uplifting posts, texts, sticky-note messages, any chance you can–send some good into the world.   CREATE A GIFT FOR SOMEONE. Use one of your talents & create something nice for someone. Write a song or poem, bake cookies, leave a little note, etc. My daughter has this co-worker who is amazing at drawing animals & she randomly will gift one to my daughter. It is a genuine gift made with love and care. It makes everyone feel good.   DRIVE NICE! I always tease my husband on this one. I am constantly reminding him to let people in, not cut people off, be courteous to other drivers, etc. I always say, “what if that was a neighbor?” just to make him think & remember to be kind to everyone.   GIVE: Whether it is going through your “stuff” & finding items to donate or you want to make a meal for someone in need–do something to get out of yourself & your life and give time, items, needs to someone who could use you or your talents.   LOVE THE EARTH: be kind by recycling, composting, planting a tree, using less plastics, gaining knowledge, pick up trash or fishing line at a local park, Start an earth day campaign, etc. Do a little more of what you can do to make the world a better place.   SPREAD LOVE TO CO-WORKERS: leave a small, handwritten note in everyone’s inbox. Bake something yummy to share with everyone. Give praise and acknowledge greatness on a regular basis. Care & listen. Leave inexpensive gifts as surprises for everyone [ie: mandala coloring book, quote cards, candy treats, etc]   WRITE IT OUT: most people just send a silly meme wishing wells or happy bdays, but I have one friend who makes it her mission to send hand-written cards for various occasions. Sometimes it is just a wonderful gift to get a handwritten note via snail mail.   BECAUSE YOU CAN: Call & tell your parents you love them OR better yet make it a fun night together. Many people have lost someone close to them & can’t reach out and share feelings. My husband’s step-dad recently fell ill with a rare disease and was gone within two weeks. It hit everyone hard, so reach out, because you can!   VISIT THE ELDERLY: I just read a very sad article that mentioned how 60% of elderly in rest homes do not have visitors. At our home around Valentines we usually buy the $1 store heart doilies & we write generic love letters on them & then drop them off at our local rest home. Take the time to drop off something, visit someone, make a fun deck of cards everyone can use, share a talent, etc.  BE SINCERE: we all go through the motions of asking people how they are doing, but do you really mean it? Check it next time & be genuinely present, listen and be sincere with your conversations.   BE GENUINE: with your hugs, your time, your conversations, the way you give of yourself—do it all with LOVE.

DO SOMETHING FOR YOURSELF: Be nice to you! I wear a feather ring to remind myself “FLY: First Love Yourself” How can you do little things to be kinder to yourself? Be kind & tell yourself something you love or need affirmation. Exercise. Get quiet. Take time for yourself & give yourself some self-love by…BUY A BOUQUET OF FLOWERS, but before you do, learn & study about the symbolism associated with specific flowers or colors. [ie: Bird of Paradise symbolizes joyfulness and magnificence. A carnation Pride and Beauty. Daisy innocence and Purity. Gerber Daisy Cheerfulness. Iris Eloquence. Lily Purity and Refined beauty. Sun Flower Pure thoughts. Rose Love.]   SPA DAY: either stay home & diy spa treatments OR go to a spa & indulge in a facial, get your nails done, relax to a massage, etc. Take some me-time.  SOMETHING NEW: maybe you have always wanted to go to the 7pm spin class or try an indoor rock climbing gym. This is the perfect time to do something new you have always wanted to do.   GET GRATEFUL: this is huge for anyone who needs to FEEL a little more ‘something’ from their life. It has been scientifically proven that if you write down five things a day that you will be 25% happier within a month. When we have grateful hearts every aspect of our lives becomes a little better. That is a great gift you can give yourself.   SAY NICE THINGS. What are you saying to yourself on a daily basis? Are your being kind? Are you saying things to yourself that you would say to others [like your best friend]? Check what you are saying to yourself & focus on trying to say nice, kind things to yourself.   HAVE VISION its 2020–everything should be a little more clearer this year! Take time to make a vision board.  Here is my vision board story & directions to make your own https://yourhappyplaceblog.com/2013/01/02/tap-into-the-vision-for-your-life/

SOMETHING FUN WITH OTHERS: ST. VALENTINE SWAP! My daughter has a bunch of friends who work with her that are in their twenties or thirties and single. I came across a great idea: have them all swap names and give one another a fun valentine surprise!! [think Secret Santa swap] but this I am going to call The St. Valentine Swap!! So fun!! Deliver flowers, buy chocolates, give them movie tix, take them out, make a valentine’s card, etc.  LAUGH OUT LOUD: gather friends or family & watch something funny. Find an old favorite comedy, put on a funny comic or have your own open-mic night & invite everyone to tell jokes, share funny & embarrassing stories, karaoke, etc.  YOUR FAVORITE THINGS NIGHT: Invite friends or family over to share some of your favorites. Bring a tub of your favorite ice cream or a dvd movie that tops your list or a favorite chapstick you want to share with everyone. Have everyone bring favorite things to share & go from there.  MYSTERY & MURDER: My daughter has fallen in love with murder mysteries, so we had one of her friends over & we watched the Netflix original, Murder Mystery with Jennifer Aniston & Adam Sandler, had fun food & after played the board game, CLUE.  You could also make up your own Murder Mystery dinner & have guests come dressed up as their character. It doesn’t have to be a romantic comedy, just make the night fun and memorable.  CURL UP & DYE IT NIGHT: bring fun colors to semi-color your hair, junk food to share, and enjoy a night of color, conversation and downtime. Make it fun for everyone!  FOND OF YOU FONDUE NIGHT: Invite friends or family over for sweet and savory fondue dishes. Have them bring a favorite ingredient to share with everyone. Pull out the fondue pots and make it fun!!

I hope these ideas get you planning many special moments for LOVE month. Make it memorable. Make it FUN!! Most importantly–Spread some LOVE. xoxo

Love & JOY to you today.  -H

 

FRAGILE handle with care

61f71b81c03c3205c2d8352182c1d956 One thing I have learned is that God places me (or the other way around 😉 in situations where I am needed. Whether it was a single mom who had just moved here from Turkey and they didn’t have anything for Christmas, a couple of homeless kids who needed a shower and a meal, various people who just needed a ear to listen, a homeless musician who needed encouragement to connect with his daughter, a young girl just out of foster care who I still talk to every day…there are people all around us who need something.

There are so MANY people who need to be handled with great care. 

After my daughter and I came across a young man (Quinn) walking along the road carrying garbage & our brief encounter, I have had this nagging intuition to find him. I have felt very strongly that he may need us in some way, that we were put in his path for a reason. After weeks of thinking how crazy that looks (an adult trying to find this young man) I decided I would try. Because, I know for some reason we crossed paths.

I felt we (as a family) could use this inspiration of one kid doing such a small act and build on that, so we decided we would find this young man and tell him what an inspiration he was to us that we are going to start an organization that finds other kids in our community who are making small changes that will make a big difference and gift them some kind of award and one hundred dollars.

We thought we would begin with Quinn. We knew he lived in a certain area near our home, but not sure where. I stopped by a random house and simply asked if they knew a Quinn that lived somewhere nearby. The woman did know the young man and asked why we were looking for him. I expressed that he had inspired us with a kind action he had done for the community and we wanted to give him a gift to thank him. She asked what he had done & I explained the story of finding him on a main road with armfuls of garbage. She smiled & said, “Yeah that is pretty great! My kids definitely would not do that.” She then told us, “that will be a great thing for Quinn. He and his family have been through  a lot.” My heart immediately knew we were in the right place and that following this continued guidance was where we needed to be. She sent us his address.

I ran to the dollar store to find a gift box and a frame for a favorite quote we would gift him. While I was at the store I came across this huge hanging rack of shipping labels that said in huge letters, “FRAGILE. Handle with Care.” I looked at that and it made me think how people are like that. Everyone has a story, a journey, heartbreaks, challenges, emotional needs, etc. and how we need to be sensitive to others and handle them with genuine care.

We genuinely just wanted to make this young man feel appreciated and notice him. We still don’t know what he or his family has gone through, but we wanted to handle the moment with great care and love. We wanted it to be a highlight moment in his life where complete strangers noticed him and his light in this world. We wanted him to know he was not alone or that his actions went unnoticed.

It was a wonderful exchange and he was so surprised and moved that his actions would inspire anyone. We all felt lifted by the genuine care and sincerity of the moment.

Everyone is going through something—“Everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Always be kind.” Everyone is going through something on some level, so remember the labels we put on others and try this one…”FRAGILE handle with care”

So, when you see a stranger carrying garbage or an elderly woman struggling to carry groceries, pull over, have a genuine moment and handle them with love and care. Everyone will take away something good from the needed connection.

Peace and Love to you today,  -H

 

Angels among us

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Christmas day this year we surprised our daughter with a Cirque show in Vegas.

We were a little worried because our Dodge Durango had been giving us some transmission issues a few days before Christmas. We were recently gifted a truck after my husbands Dad died a few months ago, so thankfully we had a truck to drive down to Vegas.

We drove six hours on Christmas Day to see the Cirque show, Le Reve and it was an incredible show. The night was magical and our day ended with such delight and a great memory together.

The next morning we got up to drive to a nearby city to get breakfast. The morning was colder than normal for Las Vegas and the roads were wet with fresh rain. As we were driving the truck hit a slick patch and began to spin out of control. Our daughter was in the front cab with us and became hysterical. Everything slowed down & every moment was in such slow motion. We fully rotated two times before hitting the seventy-degree, man-made mountain that the truck was thrown up on. We began to roll. My husband looked out his window and saw dirt that then turned to grey sky. I was watching my window seeing only asphalt and waiting for the large truck mirror to explode on impact. As my daughter was screaming and crying, I calmly told everyone, “We are going to roll.” We all braced for impact and then all the sudden miraculously, the truck tipped back up into an upright position. We were facing oncoming traffic, but luckily it was like the truck had been perfectly positioned on the shoulder where we were not stopping or blocking any traffic.

We sat stunned and motionless. We watched as many cars drove by. We were so grateful that we did not have the amount of traffic that was passing us when we were spinning out of control. There could have been multiple people involved. Another blessing.

We also knew that there had to be angels with us through that crash because how would a car be tipping, in the midst of rolling and then come back up. We all knew we had been protected and blessed. My husband joked, “my Dad obviously did not want to see his truck destroyed.” We laughed and joked, but we also knew it was very true. We know there were angels there that day.

Two of the tires on the driver’s side were blown out and we were in such a hidden location that the cops couldn’t find us. Thankfully no one was hurt or it would have been an even scarier situation.

It was a terrifying experience, but it was also a memory we will always have together that will always remind us how close heaven truly is. We know we were protected. We know there were angels there that day.

-Peace and Love to you today. Know you are held in the safe embrace of heaven.

Connect

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We need connection as human beings. I have struggled with this and continue to try and find my way through seeking connections on various levels. I don’t suffer from depression or have any greater emotional need. I have lonely moments from a lack of feeling connected, who doesn’t, but I definitely see and feel a strong need in the world for connection.

“We were born with the craving for connection. Each of us every day look for evidence that we are not alone.”  -Lisa Prosen

People slip by us in grocery stores, rarely do we thank our delivery man or woman, smiles seem to evaporate with the busy race that seems to speed up our lives and the constant attention our phones demand takes away any sense of eye contact or connection.  We seem to be feeling more and more alone in this world.

One Republic has a great song called, “Connection” that illustrates this common feeling of needing connection by simply stating, “Can I get a connection.”

According to an article by Psychology Today, “In our advanced digital age, one of the prevalent concerns regarding the increasing emergence of loneliness is how we have become less caring of others. At one time, our very survival depended on trusting and supportive relationships. Fundamentally, it doesn’t matter how technologically sophisticated we become; emotional connectivity remains a core part of being human. We need each other—maybe not in the ways that characterized us evolutionarily, but for a need that remains essential for psychological survival.”

So, as many of my posts have talked about, I have been seeking and trying to connect more with those around me—strangers, restaurant workers, neighbors, etc. People need connection. They need a simple smile, a hello, someone interested, someone who notices them…simple things.

My daughter and I were driving down a road near our home and came upon a young man who had his arms full of stuff. Upon closer look, he was carrying garbage. I looked at my daughter and could not believe it!! I said to her, “how often do you see a kid your age picking up garbage? I am going to turn around and give him some praise and thank him.”

My daughter was mortified and said, “No, don’t!”

I smiled and turned the car abruptly and headed in the young man’s direction. We pulled the car over right in front of him. [I actually think I scared him & he wondered if we were going to run him over.]

I jumped out of the car & told him what an incredible thing he was doing. One person making a difference in any way he could. He smiled and was so humble. My daughter by this point figured she should say something and got out of the car. We all exchanged some small talk about different areas/projects we have tried to do cleanups to help make a difference. We were all passionate about making small differences. It was a fun conversation and we ended up taking all the garbage in our car so he could finish his run home.

It was a great moment of connection. We were so happy we stopped and made a new friend—someone else who needed the connection. We all left that moment better. Sure we could have just kept driving, but we would have missed such a blessed moment together. It was a gift to all of us.

So, next time you see someone who may need a compliment, a boost, praise, a hand to hold, a smile, a ride, a friend…just connect. It will change your day and theirs too.