Sunday, May 8, 2011


Time to get on the bandwagon and start blogging my kindess acts again.

How many times in a day, do you ask someone how they are doing, but don't really take the time to listen to their response? I have to admit that i have done this more times than i would care to admit. Showing genuine compassion/concern or interest in another person can really make someones day. I was in a situation a few weeks ago where i had spoken to a parent from my daughter's preschool (whom i don't know - except to say hi in passing) and asked him how he was doing. He seemed rather disgruntled. He said that he was fine. I responded with "are you sure?, you look a little upset." We had 10 minutes of conversation prior to the kids being let out and he opened up about the difficulties he is dealing with in his personal life and the struggles of being a single dad. At the end of our conversation he thanked me for allowing him to vent and me just listening without judgement. I really didn't do much at all except take a moment out of my day to converse with another person in a genuine manner. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Simple Acts Make A World Of Difference

When we say "patience is a virtue" we are exposing our moral values and expressing the importance of patience as a foundation of principle. All too often i am reminded about this phase and how worked up  i get when i have to wait "for something". Typically i will find myself having to wait longer then anticipated, when i am already late for an appointment and rushed for time. Life truly presents ironic situations, and i find these scenarios somewhat comical when thinking about them (however when in the midst of being rushed and finding myself waiting and waiting - i truly am not laughing).

For the majority of us, we are required to wait in line on a daily basis. Whether this be while driving to work, running errands around the city, getting groceries etc. Our frustration levels rise and our patience is tested when we are required to wait longer then what we deem a reasonable amount of time. This was a valuable task that i took on for my act of kindness, which involved testing my patience while at the same time helping another. I was at the end of my grocery shopping on a busy Sunday afternoon when i chose the "wrong" line up at Walmart! My first thought was "how can they possibly only have 5 tills open on a busy weekend when there are 4-5 people with carts per line". I sucked it up and waited my turn, keeping myself busy flipping through magazines while i waited, and waited and waited. The lady behind me was obviously in a time crunch and getting more flustered by the minute. I tried not to stare at her, but when i turned around and saw that she was visibally upset, i offered for her to go in front of me with her cart. She still had to wait another 10 minutes or so, but she was that much closer to getting to where she needed to be. My small gesture tested my patience, as i was not wanting to wait in line either, however, i was not nearly as frustrated as the woman behind me. She thanked me and continued on with her day i would assume. It made me feel a little better knowing that i helped her save a few minutes and decrease or diffuse a small amount of frustration.

I am so blessed on a daily basis, that if the worst part of my day is to have to wait in line an extra 10 minutes then so be it!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Love Surrounds Us!

Over the past two weeks i have witnessed and been a recipent of generosity and kindness. I shouldn't be surprised, as i would expect there are a number of individuals who make daily choices to help others. It does warm the heart to see first hand how acts of kindess can go a long way in lifting another person up. This is why i continue to love my resolution and stick with it!

Sometimes the littlest acts are the ones that we appreciate most. I had a friend stop by this week so our girls could have a playdate, and she texted me the night before asking if i wanted a starbucks that morning when she was coming over. It sure felt great for her to think of me and it was just an added sprinkle of sugar to my day! She is also the same friend who a week prior, dropped by with homemade cupcakes all iced beautifully for us. She had thought of us as my girls has been sick that week. When i scan through facebook and see all the "friends" that others have, i stop and wonder how many of those friends are true. Would they stop by and drop off dresses for the girls, or bring cupcakes or starbucks? I feel very fortunately and appreciate the kindness that i have received.

My act of kindness last week was to pick 5 of my FB friends that i don't always chat with and let them know how much i like reading their status updates and staying tuned with their life. It gave me a chance to reconnect with them and let them know that they are on my "friends" list for a reason. I am not the type of person to have hundreds upon hundreds of friends. The ones i do have and have kept are because i appreciate them show an interest in their life. I hope that those five that i connected with had a smile from my messages.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The last 3 weeks of kindness

My weekly posts need to become more of a priority. I apologize for the lack of time i have put into posting, however this does not affect my intentional acts that i continue to focus on each week.

I have truly found this to be one of the most challenging resolutions i have set for myself. I'm sure some would scoff that and say "how hard can helping others be?" and honestly it isn't the fact of helping others, but more so coming up with intentional acts that i deem worthy, and being consistent on my follow through. I have found that by focusing on others, i feel better about myself and the role model that i set out to be for my kids. I have noticed how my oldest daughter is starting to make more of an effort to help those around her - which can be a difficult take for a 4 year old (when they feel that the world revolves around them). The other day as we were going into her school, she held the door open for at least 10 others that passed through. Each one acknowledged her helpfulness and commented. She replied to one lady "I am just beng kind, like my mommy". Defiantely a heart-warming moment for me.

The last three weeks of kindness have been wonderful!
Act 7: My daughter came home for school and remind me how much she loves to learn. The level of enthusiasm that i see on her face daily when she is able to correctly add a few numbers, or identify some of the newest shapes she has learned, or read a word in a book, solidifies to me that she has "wonderful" teachers that care about her. I asked my daughter what she wanted to do to celebrate her teachers and she told me that flowers would be nice and smell good. So off to the grocery store we went and purchased 3 sets of flowers for the teachers. Breana picked each set out and wrote a little note saying "Thank You for helping me learn". A little gesture goes a long way!

Act 8: This was one that i can not take any credit for and wasn't even present, but my daughter's teacher explained the story to me. It was just after circle time at school and one of the little boys was looking a little sad. Breana went up to him and asked him if he needed a hug. I guess he accepted and Breana held on for longer then would have been deemed acceptable. When the teacher approached Breana informing her that she needed to let go, she responded that if she hugged him longer then he would feel better and she wanted to see him smile again. I heard that and my heart smiled!

Act 9:  As with everything in life, there needs to be BALANCE. I made the decision this past week to focus on personal kindness as an opportnity for self growth. I believe that in helping others, we also need to recognize the importance to help ourselves as well. My intentional act was to take some time and write a letter to myself. This may sound strange, but in end, i found it truly rewarding and thereputic. I wrote a letter to myself with the purpose of forgiving myself for a past regret. I wanted to tell myslef it was okay to be forgiven instead of beating myself up with negative self talk when i am feeling down. As a person who deals with depression on a daily basis, medication can only do so much, it is important to look at myself in a positive light and recognize that i am worthy. This was a milestone that i needed to pass and in turn have let go and forgiven myself.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Kindness # 5 & # 6

It always seems that the shortest month of the year tends to feel like the longest. I acknowledge that i have not been following my weekly goal of posting on my blog. No excuses - just life getting in the way. This however, has not stopped me from remaining conscious of my levels of kindness or my random acts that i have performed. I would love to say that i was able to give hours of my time this month to volunteering, or donate a significant about financially to a charity, but this is not the case. I do however find pleasure in the smaller, less elaborate acts that have the same level of worth in my eyes.

Kindness # 5 This is somewhat of a funny story. A month back my oldest daughter was eating an apple. She wasn't wanting to share with her sister (which we are working on) and decided to take the apple and dispose of it in one of the toilets. Well suffice to say, after flushing the toilet it became plugged and a plummer needed to be called. The plumbing company was awesome (a little mom & pop business) and instead of collecting payment at the time of arrival, they chose to send me a bill in the mail. I promptly wrote out a cheque for the service provide and had an idea about delivering it personally to their business rather than send it back in the mail. I had appreciated their promptness and understanding in coming out and fixing my toilet, that when i delivered the payment to them, i decided to put together a fruit basket for them. I wrote a little note expressing my appreciation. When i dropped it off, the "lady" that runs the business laughed and laughed when she saw the basket. She called me the "apple lady" and remarked by saying "none of these have been in the toilet have they". We both had a chuckle and she was thankful for me generosity. Sometimes a small act can be just as fulfilling.

Kindness # 6 In the 21st century it seems that the majority of us live a technology based existence, whether that be facebook, blogging, twitter etc... Social networking has become the norm and has established online friendships that in the past might not have existed without technology. My intentional act this week was to take an hour out of my day and write a letter to a friend the old fashioned way (with pen and paper). In my letter, i expressed how much i missed her and her family. I reminised about old memories, and touched on new things in my life (which she likely has read on facebook). I ended my letter, expressing why i chose to write to her in this form rather than send a message. I asked her to write back the same way, that way when i go to the mailbox i have something to look forward to rather than opening the endless cycle of bills. I wanted her to know that i care and love our friendship. I just hope that my letter puts a smile on her face when she opens up her mailbox.

Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God's kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile.” ~Mother Teresa.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Kindness # 4 "Ten Tiny Deeds For My Family"

My intentional acts of kindness have been put on the back burner for a period of time. There is no excuse why this has happened, life has just taken presedence and i haven't found the right opportunities to sieze my moments. With that being said, i need to remember that it isn't always about the "big acts" of kindess that need to stand out. Sometimes just taking the time to focus on what is important in my life, and make those in my life feel special, loved and care for, is just as important.

With that being said my Kindness #4 act is filled with a number of small details that have made my family feel special. I will call this ten tiny deeds that i have done this past week for my family:
1) Gave my husband a back massage for 15 minutes after his long and tiring day of work.
2) Daily "potty" dances with Sierra as encouragement for her toilet training.
3) Ticking Breana's back after prayers as she falls to sleep.
4) Grooming my dogs and spending time each day giving them the affection they strive for.
5) Spent time with Breana on her alphabet stickers, that was suppose to be used as her quiet time (turned into Mommy and Brea time).
6) Admitting that i was wrong. This may not seem like an act of kindness, but knowing and acknowledging that i was wrong diminished fighting and kept hubby and I happy.
7) Taking some personal time outs when my stress level rose. This helped diffuse tension and arguements between myself and my four year old.
8) Really LISTENING to my girls and sincerely commenting on their remarks. It is so easy to hear and not fully engage and listen - this was a focus on mine this week.
9) Turning negative comments into something positive. Focusing on the positive provides a higher level of energy and warms the soul!
10) Trying to be the person that the Lords see me to be in all aspects, with friends, family, strangers and acquaintances.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Eight Kindness Gifts

I came across this wonderful post on a website that struck a chord with me. I felt the need to share these Eight Gifts of Kindness.

The Gift of Listening...

But you must REALLY listen. No interrupting, no daydreaming, no planning your response, just listening.
The Gift of Affection...
Be generous with appropriate hugs, kisses, pats on the back and handholds. Let these small actions demonstrate the love you have for family and friends.
The Gift of Laughter...
Clip cartoons. Share articles and funny stories. Your gift will say, "I love to laugh with you."
The Gifts of a Written Note...
It can be a simple "Thanks for the help" note or a full sonnet. A brief, hand-written note may be remembered for a lifetime, and may even change a life.
The Gift of a Compliment...
A simple and sincere, "You look great in red," "You did a super job" or "That was a wonderful meal" can make someone's day.
The Gift of a Favor...
Every day, go out of your way to do something kind.
The Gift of Solitude...
There are times when we want nothing better than to be left alone. Be sensitive to those times and give the gift of solitude to others.
The Gift of a Cheerful Disposition...
The easiest way to feel good is to extend a kind word to someone, really it's not that hard to say, "Hello" or "Thank you."

- by Isaac Ng, Singapore

Although these gifts seems rather simple, it so easy to see how they can be overlooked. I know there are many times within a day that we "hear" what others have to say, but do we "listen"? When giving a compliment make it sincere and appropriate. The gift of joy and cheerfulness comes from satisfactions and love within ourselves.

For those of you reading this - take a moment and re-read the eight gifts of kindess and pick one to reflect on others!