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

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Spring Cleaning for the Soul

Hello. Happy March 1. It is the beginning of a beautiful month and a perfect time to ask yourself some great personal questions. Kind of a Spring Cleaning for your Soul.

My daughter just turned 14! ahhh! Time goes by so quickly. One thing I wanted to give her for her birthday was an inspirational book that I made full of quotes, activities, questions and ideas to help give her life VALUE. When we feel we have values in our life, our life is richer with purpose and reason. I thought I would put together some ideas that you can run with, think about and incorporate into your own life.

 

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I think understanding what your VALUES are in life is key. You may already live by certain values OR maybe you are not sure what they would be. Here is a good exercise to get you started. There are lots of value exercises out there, but here is one to get you started…I would suggest your circle the top 8-10 and then from there narrow down your top 3 or 4. Post them in a visible place to remind you.

values-checklist

 

 

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FAITH is another good thing to have within your life. “Surrender to what is. Let go of what was. Have faith in what will be.”  -Sonia Ricotti     I think as humans we have a very hard time letting go and allowing. Faith is a step that you take to show you believe in something bigger than yourself.

ACTION: As a little reminder: just step outside at night, look at the stars and know how truly small you are.

 

 

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FOLLOW YOUR HEART  Your heart is like an inner compass, connected to all things good. When you are able to learn to listen and be guided by this inner compass, then you will be led to good things for your life. Each step in the journey of life is important & the best map is held within your heart. Follow it.  It is a divine treasure.

‘FEELINGS’ are a BIG indicator when following your heart. I learned this simple lesson & it was an ‘aha’ to my life. It is SO simple: If something (a decision, a conversation, an experience, etc FEELS ‘GOOD’ or ‘BAD’ then you follow that guidance. Everything you do will give you a feeling that is either good or bad. You cannot FEEL both at the same time. Follow that inner guidance at all times and your heart will make it feel so.

ACTION:  Make a list of things your heart desires for your life: a bucket list if you wish. This list will be great inspiration and will help you follow your dreams. Your deepest interests and aspirations for your life will come from the guidance of your heart.

 

 

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BE YOU   Be yourself no matter what anyone else thinks. God made you the way you are for beautiful reasons. He has given you gifts, strengths, talents & has made you unique.  Besides, an original is always worth more than a copy!   “Being the best is great, you’re the number one. Being unique is greater, you’re the only one.” -unknown

ACTION: Ask yourself these questions–What are some ways you can become or discover more about yourself? [take a personality test, write down things that make you happy/sad, etc]

What unique skills, strengths and abilities do you have? Write down what you feel you are good at. What awards or certificates have your received? What motivates you to do better? What strengths do you feel are you? What do you like to share with others? What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? What are some characteristics you admire in others?

 

 

blendinBE A LIGHT My favorite quote ever…speaks volumes about being a light. Love it.3abb3ea07eadb814b972960e9f70de91

ACTION: How to become someone that shines brightly from the inside out.

Have positive self-talk. How? Affirmations are a good start. Say positive things to yourself each day.  “I am happy to be me.”  “I am a vibrant being of love and light.” What I say to myself: “I am beautiful, healthy, fit and trim. I am love and light.”  No matter what–be kind to yourself. Don’t say things you would not say to a good friend.  Cultivate positive beliefs about yourself.

Self-love. Learning to love and respect yourself and your body takes practice.  Don’t compare yourself to anyone. Nourish your body with good foods and exercise. Have personal boundaries by surrounding yourself with positive influences, being able to say no and not allowing others to take away your power. Work really hard to not let others opinions matter so much. Be yourself.

Listen within. Follow your heart and your inner guidance. You are the only one that can feel what is right for your life. If you feel guided to do something, listen. Begin to tune in to the signals and guidance you get from within.

Know your personal values and live by them. When we violate the values that keep us in alignment, we violate the person that we truly are.

Don’t aim to please others . Don’t worry about how others view you . Learn all you can about yourself . Learn to appreciate who you are .  Be confident with who you are . Forgive yourself . Stop being negative about yourself . Find and do hobbies that you love . Learn from mistakes . Set goals and strive for what you want to accomplish

REMEMBER THIS: “Be the light that helps others see.”

 

Those are a few spring cleaning actions for the SOUL. I will write another one to accompany this, but I figured this is a good start for today.

FEEL GOOD.

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Great Stories

I LOVE a great story. You can never share enough of the ‘good stuff’ that puts a little positive perspective out there. I hope you enjoy this story as much as I did.

 

New+York+New+Jersey+Continue+Recover+Superstorm+bZDA4KrliNJlIf you missed the May Oprah magazine, you missed a great story I want to share by Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat Pray Love). Enjoy.

Some years ago, I was stuck on a crosstown bus in New York City during rush hour. Traffic was barely moving. The bus was filled with cold, tired people who were deeply irritated–with one another; with the rainy, sleety weather; with the world itself. Two men barked at each other about a shove that might or might not have been intentional. A pregnant woman got on, and nobody offered her a seat. Rage was in the air; no mercy would be found here.

But as the bus approached Seventh Avenue, the driver got on the intercom. “Folks,” he said, “I know you’ve had a rough day and you’re frustrated. I can’t do anything about the weather or traffic, but here’s what I can do. As each one of you gets off the bus. I will reach out my hand to you. As you walk by, drop your troubles into the palm of my hand, okay? Don’t take your problems home to your families tonight–just leave ’em with me. My route goes right by the Hudson River, and when I drive by there later, I’ll open the window and throw your troubles in the water. Sound good?”

It was as if a spell had lifted. Everyone burst out laughing. Faces gleamed with surprised delight. People who’d been pretending for the past hour not to notice each other’s existence were suddenly grinning at each other like, is this guy serious?

Oh, he was serious.

At the next stop–just as promised–the driver reached out his had, palm up and waited. One by one, all the exiting commuters placed their hand just above his and mimed the gesture of dropping something into his palm. Some people laughed as they did this, some teared up–but everyone did it. The driver repeated the same lovely ritual at the next stop too. And the next. All the way to the river.

We live in a hard world, my friends. Sometimes it’s extra difficult to be a human being. SOmetimes you have a bad day. SOmetimes you have a bad day theta lasts for several years. You struggle and fall. You lose jobs, money, friends, faith and love. You witness horrible events unfolding in the news, and you become fearful and withdrawn. There are times when everything seems cloaked in darkness. You long for the light but don’t know where to find it.

But what if you are the light? What if you’re the very agent of illumination that a dark situation begs for?

That’s what this bus driver taught me–that anyone can be the light, at any moment. This guy wasn’t some big power player. He wasn’t a spiritual leader. He wasn’t some media-savvy leader. He was a bus driver–one of society’s most invisible workers. But he possessed real power, and he used it beautifully for our benefit.

When life feels especially grim, or when I feel particularly powerless in the face of the world’s troubles, I think of this man and ask myself, What can I do, right now, to be the light? Of course, I can’t personally end all wars, or solve global warming, or transform vexing people into entirely different creatures. I definitely can’t control traffic. But I do have some influence on everyone I brush up against, even if we never speak or learn each other’s name. How we behave matters because within human society everything is contagious–sadness and anger, yes, but also patience and generosity. Which means we all have more influence than we realize.

No matter who you are, or where you are, or how mundane or tough your situation may seem, I believe you can illuminate your world. In fact, I believe this is the only way the world will ever be illuminated–one bright act of grace at a time, all the way to the river.

-taken from Oprah, May 2016 by Elizabeth Gilbert