I was taught to "leave things better than you've found it." And my mother was/is a huge advocate for "be respectful of others". And when looking out into the world and intermingling with other humans, I forget that not everyone had the same amazing momma as I did.
I try never to travel on the weekends as there seems to be heavier traffic and people get upset if I don't want to go 75 on the highway dragging my camper. (Now if it was just me and Xander - my truck- I'd be all over it!)
So, that usually leaves me in campgrounds over the weekend.
Normally, I don't mind. I love hearing the kids squealing in the cold water and playing into the sunset. I love seeing that families are spending time together. I love the smell of a good campfire and grilling of their fresh catch of the day. I love that people still appreciate nature... sort of... and that "camping" is still a thing that is sure a tradition that will carry on into the future.
This weekend, there was such little regard for others and zero respect for the grounds and the nature around it. It just makes me so sad. Who taught you that this is okay?
There was trash, broken bottles and cigarette butts all over the place. People left their wrappers for the brand new floaty devices all over the beach.
People drove through the campgrounds- despite there being signs, despite the children running around- too fast or in the wrong direction! Would it take SO much time out of your life, just to follow the rules?
While I was out walking a vehicle sped past me and kicked up all kinds of rock dust, but also shot a rock out that hit me in my leg. That sucker hurt! I have a lovely purple bruise commemorating the moment and a regular reminder, every time I accidentally bump it, about that rude human.
If you want to play music at your campsite, that's fine. But don't assume everyone else needs to hear it. And, in the same instance, if you are in a neighboring campsite and the music is not to your liking, is it REALLY necessary to play YOUR genre even louder?
The bathroom... oh... please... just... can't you just... you know, be considerate of others? Or at the very least take responsibility for yourself and don't assume that it's someone else's job to come along after you and clean things up.
And please... keep an eye on your children and pets. Neither are meant to be left in a vehicle while you go out and play. No other explanation should be necessary. And if you keep your pets on a leash or lead, there would be no need to scream and yell obscenities at them because they are not staying in the invisible parameter of your space.
All of these things, state parks especially, are here for your enjoyment. Please stop doing the things that will make the state parks decide that it's just not worth it anymore.
We all have different ideas of what we want to experience in our campground vacations and we all have a different idea of what a good time is. Please! Go camping! Have a good time! Create awesome memories for your children and yourselves- but don't rob others of theirs.
Please don't make my state parks unsafe for me, I would just be so sad.
Consider this a public service announcement.
-Pick up your trash.
-Respect others and their space and property.
-Take care of your littles, furry and otherwise.
-Leave things better than you find it.
And our state parks will be here for years and years to come.
Rant over. Have an amazingly beautiful day.
Let It Begin With You
With it being a new year, it seems like everyone automatically hits the “restart” button and is on a search to make their lives… better, more productive; their bodies, healthier, skinnier, stronger. Their thoughts more wholesome, or more private or public, learn more, change for the better.
We all seek transformation.
It makes sense. While the thoughts of these changes may flit about our thoughts for moments or months, the new year gives us a starting date. Walking up to that white line at the beginning of a “race” is intimidating enough, but when the rest of the world is joining you in their various audits, it doesn’t seem as impossible.
The trick is to find what works and what will stay with you for the duration of the project, the goal or the lifetime.
Change must begin with you. It can’t happen from the outside in. There could be circumstances that happen TO us that may force our hand, but in the end, it still has to be our choice. Our change.
The doctor may tell you that if you don’t quit smoking, you will shorten your life by X- amount of time. You must choose how important/valuable that time could be. And then take steps according to the value you’ve placed on his advice. Quit smoking? Cut back? He’s a quack…
In my line of coaching, unfortunately, I do not ask for quick changes. I’m not the one you seek out when you are looking for different food diets to lose a few pounds, or room customizations, or resolutions that will be let go in a few months. My teaching/training/coaching demands so much more. I deal with heart transformation. Life changes. Love changes.
We only have one life and how you are remembered by others, is a question I ask myself on a daily basis and then act accordingly. That is my line of “work”. It my calling to Lead with Love and teach others the same methods.
Now that I’ve lured you in and if you are still reading, perhaps your heart needs some tweaking and you are looking for some ways to take small steps to change your inner-love values*.
Here are just a few, simple suggestions to add to your New Year daily dose of becoming a better person adgenda…
You don’t have to get all creepy and stalker-ish, but don’t you love to be complimented? We are often so hard on ourselves that while we are so busy tearing ourselves down, someone out there thinks you are amazing.
It took me a long time for me to learn how to accept a compliment without downplaying the comment, but now, it is so appreciated because they didn’t have to say anything. They could have kept their comments to themselves, but they chose to share it with me. And so often, I am so surprised that I am twice as grateful that whatever it was had not escaped their notice. And belive me, your kind words will stay with that someone for a long time to come.
Another benefit of compliments, is it helps to build up another person’s self-esteem. And as we all know, the stronger your self love foundation, the stronger you are able to withstand harmful words, attentions and actions. Isn’t it better to give someone a stronger shield than to pierce it yourself? (P.S. It ends up building your self confidence as well! Win-win!)
Yes, be yourself, but you can also be considerate.
Remember your manners. Just because they are related to you doesn’t mean you don’t need to say “please” and “thank you”.
Don’t take and take and take- what can you do to give back? So many adults are angry with a family member because they feel they are not getting the attention they feel they deserve. My question to you is, what are YOU doing to participate with the family? How often do YOU reach out to each of THEM?
Aging Parents- It’s taken an enormous amount of time, money, effort, patience and love to raise you into adulthood. Don’t take it for granted. Be respectful. Be patient. It is such a difficult thing to KNOW that you are not as sharp or as healthy or as quick as you once were. It’s not like they don’t know of the changes happening in their lives. Life is busy. You have a life of your own. But don’t forget that at one time you were their whole life. Keep them in the loop.
I hope these simple starters are tiny little adjustments that you could add to your “attitude regiment” to have really and truly a happier and heart healthy new year and lasting relationships.
* For more reading, Love Begins With You is available on Amazon!
As many of you know, I am a hairstylist when I am not writing, and I have recently moved from my home state where I'd been living most of my life to someplace completely different. Adapting to the changes have been quite a challenge.
People fascinate me. Now, being an introvert, I like to watch from a distance, but being part of the human race, I eventually have to participate as well. When I was studying relational coaching, my goal was to use it for mainly teens, but I am surprised that I can use this knowledge in every aspect of my life.
I have been a hairstylist, off and on for over 23 years and have belonged to several different shops. The one I left was probably my favorite and the one that I developed the best friendship skills. Granted, this was also the time I was studying my relationship coaching training, so I learned a lot and put new ideas into practice of how to get along with other people. They essentially became my tribe. I belonged. We all looked out for one another. We played together, we worked together, we loved, we lost, we bonded. It was the first time in my life, I had multiple friends. In the past, I had only been able to concentrate on one friend at a time. This became a separate.... family, so to speak. (Like I said, I'm an introvert but never had a name for my "condition" until a few years ago!)
When I moved and started my new job here, it's been an excellent reference as to how complete strangers assimilate to become one team. These twelve people, my new tribe that I had been assigned to- some have worked together before, some knew each other in passing, and I, of course, was completely new... but all of us were new to this franchise and brand new store.
I like watching the natural progression of things grow. How people group together; find different ways to assert their authority; come together to weed out a common enemy, toleration, education and bonding together. It is amazing to watch.
I had been asked to be the leader of our motley crew but had declined. I wanted to devote my time to creating and not so much cutting. But knowing that I am out of the running for a leadership role, I am able to watch the process unfold without bias.
It's a good group of girls here, under a good GM and a positive owner. The shop will do well, and these girls look like they are here to stay. So I am anxious to watch the friendships unfold and to see if it stays "just" co-worker status among them or if they will bond together as a cohesive unit.
I am having a nice time learning who everyone is. They're likes and dislikes, things we have in common, their work practices (how they cut differently than me or customer skills or retail skills). I am fascinated with their family-lives, how many kids they have, boys/girls, ages, married/single. Their hobbies, their joys, their addictions, what makes them laugh.
While I miss the cohesiveness of the tribe I left behind, I am learning so much about myself and the others and this experience is only going to make me a better person by being able to love on these new people.
We have all been thrown together for about a month now, and in that short amount of time I have learned so much about these young women. Their heartbreaks and their trials and the things they are doing to cope. If they have a common denominator among them all, it's strength. I have heard of some of their trials; things that would cripple another human being, but these girls don't give up. They find a new way to keep going. They all have strong family ties and as with everyone, they are all struggling through something. I am humbled that they trust me, an outsider, to tell their troubles to. They don't tell me to "get" something from me, they are just sharing. I am honored that they feel comfortable in such a short window of time to share with me. Apparently, I fall into the "momma" role wherever I go.
It is true that people fade in and out of your life in seasons and that not everyone you meet is supposed to be in your life forever, and sometimes its hard to let go of your "comfort zone", but we can grow stale if we stay in the same "place" for too long. I have discovered that I am a wanderer. I physically need to move from place to place to stay inspired. I think I've known it for a long time but was too afraid to step out of the "norm". But when I say "place", I am more referring to a mental or spiritual attitude if you will. We as humans need to grow. We are created to want other human companionship, and yet its scary to face change. I wish for you to embrace change. Me, the introvert, says reach out and love people. All kinds of people. It doesn't have to be up close and personal, but we can love from a distance as well.
I will have to get used to meeting new people and leaving others behind. And while I feel the need to not settle- at the moment- I hope that I leave behind me a trail of affection and that I touched people's lives with love. I hope that those I come in contact with feel inspired and if I'm lucky, I will have the opportunity to watch their dreams come true. (Facebook at its finest! I can move about the country and still keep track of all my people!)
We all come in contact with people every single day. Make it a positive experience. And while we won't build tribes with all these people and they may only be in your life for a season, (or less), let it be a good experience for all involved. A little love, a little kindness can go a long way. Lead with love.
A New Perspective
The 30 Kindness Challenge is officially under way as of the 15th of June! And while your verbal support is greatly appreciated, what we need now is action!! Some people may think that this is a silly endeavor and can't really understand why I would want to do something like this. What can one person do, kind of thing... So, this blog is to get you to see things with a new perspective.
Today, as you are out and about, just take a moment to take notice of how people treat one another. Look for kindness, and you will see it. Look for anger, and you will find it. It is the goal of the 30 Day Kindness Challenge to be able to see kindness every time you turn around. It's my hope that it can replace a lot of the anger. I know that it can't replace all of it, because we all have angry days, but if we made a conscious effort to make a difference, what kind of world could it be?
So what do you see when you take a moment to get outside of yourself and see others? Notice how kindness can change an interaction. See how kindness can alter attitudes. Notice how kindness can bring a smile to a face no matter how young or old. When kindness becomes a part of our daily routine, we won't need to stop and think about it.
So do me a favor, while you are on your way to work, or the store, or out in a public place, take a look at those around you. Try and guess which ones are participating in the 30 Day Challenge! Look for ways you can show kindness and tell us all about it.
Be the kindness you hope to see in others...
Join Us for the 30 Day Kindness Challenge
Put A Little Love In Your Heart- And Share It
30 Day Kindness Challenge- An Invitation
A Change of Attitude
A Change of Attitude
As a society we have fallen into the pattern of "if he is nice to me, I'll be nice to him". We need to change that attitude. What if the other person is thinking the exact same thing? You could have passed up a new friend, a possible sale, a potential relationship or just that warm fuzzy feeling of sharing smiles.
What would happen if you decided to be nice first? What if you smiled at everyone you came across? How do you think you would be perceived? And do you think this would help or hinder your first impressions?
We only have a short time on this earth and personally, I'd like to be remembered as a kind, caring and loving person. When my name or image comes up in conversation or perhaps on a web search, it is my hope that the way I lived my life will have people thinking fondly of me. And in order to achieve this, I try to be kind every day, to everyone I meet. Most days, I think I am successful. I'll be the first to admit that I have my "off- days" where I would rather not have to speak to anyone... but luckily those days are few and far between. Lol. (I bet you have felt the same!)
Loving behaviors and just being kind should be an automatic thing regardless of how you are treated, or who says "hello" first. The meaning of kindness is seeing the value of every person we meet. Sure, sometimes we have to look a little deeper, but it's there. We just have to take the time to see it. And I promise you, more times than not, you'll see it the moment you show kindness. And even with those tough ones that you can't seem to get to crack a smile, I'd be willing to bet that they'll think about your kindness again at some point in the day. Sure, they might think you're crazy, but... you may have been the only person to love on them in who knows how long.
Sometimes we don't get to see the impact of the kindness we bestow on others, but it is never wasted.
I had a man come up to me one afternoon in a grocery store. I unfortunately had no recollection of who he was but he told me that I had taught his daughter in my Broadway camp one summer. He said that she had the best time and felt so welcomed that she still talks about it to this day. (It was well over five years ago!) She was considered a "social outcast" and had no friends so even signing up for the camp was a huge step for her. After jogging my memory, I knew who is daughter was. She started out very shy and and tried to stay off to the side, but she was welcomed in and she was part of the family in no time! At the time, I had no idea of the impact she took with her, I was just "doin my thing", but how happy it made my heart to hear about it several years later.
But think of what your acts of kindness could mean to strangers. We have no idea what other people are going through in their lives, but we are all going through something. What if your simple smile meant the world to someone else? What if you purchased the coffee for the person that was just having the WORST morning? What if you gave a compliment to someone who was absolutely filled with self-doubt that day?
Starting today, be the one who smiles first. Take the initiative, be the ambassador for kindness. Let's go for that change of attitude. Bring kindness to others, don't wait for it to come to you.
If you haven't signed up to participate for the 30 Day Kindness Challenge as yet, click here and write your commitment statement in the comments below the blog!!
More to read:
Put A Little Love In Your Heart- and Share It
30 Day Kindness Challenge
I got so much response from my Put A Little Love In Your Heart & Share It blog, that I've decided to put some things into action! Thank you for your feed back (and compliments on the picture, lol, that was very kind of you!) but for a minute there, I thought I was the only one who felt this way or saw the lack of human connection!
I've decided to create a 30 Day Kindness Challenge and I'm inviting you to participate with me!
- We all need to feel loved and valued but sometimes it takes giving love to receive it. So this is a great opportunity to give love to others and feel the benefit of just... giving.
- It feels good.
- In our high-tech world, it has become apparent that we are slipping further and further away from our relationships with other humans. The challenge takes us away from the computer and cell phones, and puts us in play with others.
- If the response is anything like what I'm thinking, this could become a worldwide event! How awesome would it be to say you were a part of a Love Challenge that went WORLDWIDE!! I've already gotten commitments from FOUR other countries!!
- Love is contagious. Maybe it takes YOU to start the trend and it will take off from there...
But why now? Sure, it makes sense to start on the first day of the new month, but I got so excited from the response that one thing just led to another... and you know, bam, a challenge was created! I just felt the need to get started right away while the iron was hot.
So- the 30 Day Kindness Challenge will begin
June 15th through July 14th.
They say that a new habit can take hold by repeating the action for at least two weeks. BUT, it is 80% MORE likely to stick if it is practiced for thirty days! It is also proven that kindness isn't necessarily a trait that we are born with, but it IS an action that can be learned if taught and practiced. It's true, apparently, there are those out there in the world that don't know how to give or receive kindness. SO- I'm hoping to change the world for the next thirty days, and I'd like for you to come along!
I know that there are tons of excuses running through your head right now as to why you can't (or won't) participate... "I'm really busy right now." "I don't like to talk to people." "I don't have any money." I'd really like to impress on you that it's ONLY 30 days and that it won't take up too much of your time. You control how much time you devote to it!!
- It's COMPLETELY FREE to participate
- There's NO signing up (or sneaky marketing ploys)
- There's NO cost (unless you choose)
- It's be FUN!!! And I promise you, it WILL be rewarding.
All you have to do is commit to 30 days of simple acts of kindness and agree to share your results with the rest of us! Tell us what you did and what the reaction was (if you were able to see one!) If you are uncomfortable telling us the specifics (Matthew 6:1) then just share "I did an act of kindness today and the reaction was ______________" That way we can still share in your joy!
Invite others to participate! (Hebrews 10:24) Let it be contagious! I am anxious to see how many we can get to join with us and how far across the globe we can reach!
I'll be right there with you and I'll be encouraging you on this blog as well.
AND~ to keep you inspired and motivated, I've got some prizes to give away at the end of our 30 days!
So without further adieu, let's begin the 30 Day Kindness Challenge!!
If you want to join- leave a comment below this blog or follow me on Facebook and leave your commitment statement there! Let the world know (and me!) that you are stepping up to meet the 30 Day Kindness Challenge!!
Spread the word!! It's always more fun doing stuff with friends! And think of all the new things you could think of when you have someone else plotting with you!
Get Out There and Do Your Thing! Show some love! Spread a little kindness! Need some ideas to get you started? Check this blog (the one that got this whole thing started!) for a few ideas! Need more ideas? Follow me on Facebook and read the comments that others are leaving! This is one time I give you permission to steal ideas and put them to your use!! Lol!
Remember, it doesn't begin until June 15th so that gives you a few days to think of some ideas and maybe set back a few dollars if you're planning to do some monetary kindness. There are SO many opportunities to show kindness! I can't wait to see what everyone comes up with!
Share your progress with the rest of us! Follow me on Facebook and add your results along with others! Read what everyone else is doing and pass it along! Be sure to tell everyone that you're participating in the 30 Day Kindness Challenge and maybe they want to do it too!!
I can't wait to see where this leads!! It's going to be SO awesome!! Please share the posts you see on Facebook so we can determine how far and wide we can really get this thing to go!! Can't wait to read your name below!!
And let me be the first to offer these words of kindness. You are valued and loved and by participating in the 30 Day Kindness Challenge, you will be helping others feel loved too. Thank you so much for joining with me!!
Let's go make a difference!!
Put a Little Love in Your Heart & Share It
The subject for today: Kindness. Does anyone even know what that means anymore? Is it such a difficult thing to do?
I was people watching the other day, (something I LOVE to do... usually) and I have to say that it was a sad turn of events. It seemed like every single person was having a bad day. I was outside sitting on a bench watching people of all age groups, shapes, sizes and colors, meander about. It was a beautiful day, not too hot, not too cold and the sun was shining. That's enough right there for me to be grinning like an idiot at everyone that passes... hmm, maybe I was. That's why I wasn't getting responses!
I digress. As I am watching the folks I couldn't help but notice the extreme LACK of kindness. Just in general. The workers at the food truck did not smile at their customers. The parents were short with their children. Passersby lacked common manners when accidentally bumping into one another. Family units separated by technology and passing up this amazing time to interact. No one held open the door for ANYONE! How have we come so far from common decency toward our fellow man? Are we all so busy that we can't stop for a moment and recognize the person standing next to us, sitting across from us, or smile back at me!!!
What is kindness? Maybe we have skipped a generation where that was taught? Is kindness a characteristic or is it something that can be learned? Are we born to naturally be kind and then lose it along the way as we shift our thinking to the "me first" mentality? Or is it something that we don't even notice until it is brought to our attention?
Well... here I am. Bringing it to your attention.
Kindness means seeing the value in every person we meet. Every person. Some might take a little bit of searching, but there is value there. And not just seeing the value, but acting on it.
We as humans were made for relationships. We were born to be integrated into tribes. We need each other to survive. Yes, yes, I know, there's an exception to every rule, but for the most part, we need to be loved and appreciated by others. Kindness is just a form of that love. A smile, a nod, a kind gesture... all ways of expressing that a person is valued. It's that simple people.
"No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted."
What are you doing to show kindness to others? It doesn't take a whole production, it could be something simple as:
- letting someone with fewer items go ahead of you in the grocery line
- buy the person's coffee behind you in the drive-thru lane
- opening the door for someone
- letting another driver over during traffic
- smiling at the teller at the bank
- adding coins to the charity bucket of your choice
- putting down your cell phone when a loved one comes in the room to talk to you
- watching what your kids want to watch instead of your choice
- slipping a note into your husband's lunch.
- complimenting a stranger
- leaving a gift for someone anonymously
- offering to do a chore around the house
- helping out a co-worker or classmate with an assignment
- offering a smile...
What kind things have you done today? How are you making those around you feel loved and valued? What kinds of things can you add to your weekly routine to increase the acts of kindness? And most importantly, how does it make you feel when you see the results of you tiny acts of love?
Let's make a difference in the world. Let's take care of our tribe. Let's learn (again) how to love and value one another with every kind of kindness!