Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Random Acts of Kindness

What a difference your kindness makes for YOU!

Random acts of kindness may come in different forms. For example, someone who discretely helps out a person on the grocery check out line with a couple of dollars when the person discovers he/she does not have enough money to complete their purchase.. or if perfect stranger stops to offer assistance with a flat tire or someone offers to help you with a heavy load.  Simple things like this and more. I can bet that throughout your life, someone has offered you a random act of kindness...something unexpected, simple and yet meaningful! But how easily is it forgotten? For some reason we seemed to be driven toward remembering the negative that has happened and create a narrative revolving around how difficult things are. Studies have demonstrated that there is an innate tendency to focus on the negative. If a project you completed was evaluated by 25 persons and 24 offered good to great reviews, and 1 offered a negative review...or you see a report card with 5 A's and 1 B... which would be your tendency to focus on?  Some argue that it depends on if you are "glass half full" person or a "glass half empty" person... which is valid; but for the most part, there is the a tendency to focus on the negative... Hence, we see bad news flooding the media each and every day that reinforces this tendency. But how can we counter this?

Today I read a quote by Nathaniel Brandon; " As spiritual advice 'follow your bliss' is well-intentioned, perhaps, but clearly inadequate. If one wished to reduce morality to a single sentence (which is a dubious endeavor), one had better say, 'live consciously; take responsibility for your choices and actions; respect the rights of others; and follow your bliss'. But of, course life is much too complex for moral one-liners, except insofar as they serve as reminders of basic principles."

 Life is complex and no one answer fits all, but his quote is extremely valid.  And what I do know is that living consciously and in the moment is key. (See Living in the Moment post) AND when a random act of kindness is offered and received, there is a softening... a sense of joy and hope that money cannot buy. I believe that if we all  engaged more frequently in random acts of kindness, the better we can feel about ourselves, our community, and our world!! Live consciously, give more, appreciate more, smile more, and your focus will shift toward the innate good in you and the positive in life! Let go of preconceived notions or judgement and just do it! It will make a difference!

 I want to thank those who have offered me a random act of kindness throughout my life. And for those I have been able to offer a random act of kindness, you made a difference in life!

Peace, Light, and Well-being!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Finding your sparks...even if you are shy!

August 5, 2013 
The following was my daily tune-up for the day and it got me thinking... 

Special Sparks Shining...
We all have sparks of Light that are intended to shine for all to see. It's important first to know we have them, and then to uncover them. Otherwise we may miss the opportunity to step into our greatness and illuminate our destiny.
Start spending some time uncovering your special qualities, and once you see them glimmering, start to share them with the world!
~ Yehuda Berg   "Daily Tune-Ups"  A year of living Kabbalah

No matter who you are or what your belief system is or even if you don't have one, this speaks to a very important part in all of us.... and invites us to inquire whether we are even aware of what our sparks are. I believe this is true. I see it every day in my work ... In clients that are talented and have qualities untapped because they feel they are too shy or timid to even try. It is also important to note that at times low self esteem can be masked as shyness but for today we will focus on shyness....

Many things impact how we see ourselves... our upbringing..... our environment... our beliefs both internal and external... whether our parents encouraged others treat us...etc. All of these and more influence our sense of self.  However, some people simply have more timid /shy personalities regardless..... There is nothing wrong with being shy... A shy person can be intuitive, a great listener, and a keen observer and great contributor to the workplace and may compliment a partner very nicely.

However, there may also be challenges for persons who are shy.  At work or school they may have great ideas but too shy to share them and with that, a missed opportunity.  In relationships, they may lose out on dating the person they like because he/she was too shy to ask. Others may take them for granted and they can become pushovers. Bullies can make the shy students life miserable at school.  Many may explore fields of work that keep them away from the limelight... not the actor but the camera person... not the lead singer but the drummer... not the computer sales person but the computer repair person. All great things as long as that is what they desire to do. But what about those who may feel a lack somewhere deep inside because of their shyness... who live in quiet desperation and are settling for less?

Overcoming shyness in order to manifest one's dream is possible.  I read an article that interviewed George Lopez, a well known comedian, in which he mentioned being significantly shy.  Really? George Lopez? Add to that, the iconic singer, Barbara Streisand who has talked about being so shy she still feels butterflies in her stomach prior to each this day!! How is this possible? It seems that what they didn't lack was the courage to follow their dream! In spite of their shyness, they recognized their sparks and would not settle for less!! They both glimmer and shine in their performances and it becomes obvious that once on stage doing what they love... it is clear that nothing else really matters and they give their all!

 It is important to ask what Mr. Berg suggests in his message. To take some time to discover and uncover the special qualities and share them with the world. especially if you are shy. You may have all the encouragement in the world but ultimately, it is up to you to develop the courage to take the step into your greatness.  A few simple steps....
  • Take an honest look inside and start with stating intention to move forward
  • Think about the things that you have kept yourself from doing/accepting due to shyness
  • Identify your sparks and hone in on your dreams yet to be manifested
  •  Seek support from a loved one 
  • Work hard and start with one step each day, just one step (make a call, send an email, find a connection, start a blog)
  • Know that part of success is the willingness to face rejection. Not everyone is going to jump in and give you the 'big break' and most everyone who has succeeded has not done so without rejection.. Michael Jordan, Oprah Winfrey, just to name a couple...
  • Give yourself a pat on the back for taking the step and start again the next day
It will take courage and time you are willing to give....and the rewards you reap will be great! Just picture yourself sharing your sparks with the world; doing what you know brings you happiness, satisfaction, and joy! The rest will fall right into place...

Until next time.... Shine on!!!  

Peace, Light, and Wellbeing,