Tag Archives: kind

When I Grow Up

When i grow up….

Driving to work I have the opportunity to listen to my favorite radio station every morning. As with all radio stations they usually have a topic for discussion . This morning’s topic was “when you were young what did you want to be when you grew up and did you achieve that?” So of course I immediately thought of what I had always wanted to be when I was younger (a marine biologist- an amazingly cool career ) and then became somewhat sad because I did not achieve that (from that to dental office manager). Life just doesn’t work out how we want it to sometimes. And as I sat there and reflected on that, I became somewhat sad, thinking not achieving that always made me feel a little bit of a failure. Maybe many others were doing the same thing at that moment. Then a thought crossed my mind. What if when we were children instead of desiring or having the hopes to become a marine biologist, doctor, a lawyer, an accountant, electrician, etc., we said to ourselves “when I grow up I want to be kind”. I wondered if we thought that and if we all really tried to achieve that instead of thinking about a status or the money that something will bring in, we only wanted to be the best version of ourselves. Now of course there’s absolutely nothing wrong with doctors and lawyers and such. We need them of course. And those are smart, amazing helpful people. And I thank God they are here for us. We all need a job to bring in some money to pay our bills and to enjoy some things in life. But kindness is a choice isn’t it? Some people have more of it in them and some people maybe a reminder wouldn’t hurt. But if we thought as children “I want to be a kind grown-up” wouldn’t the world be a much better place? Wouldn’t we be better people? If we grew up striving to be kind not only to others but to ourselves? Content with ourselves and not so critical. No bullying, that’s for sure because if we grew up wanting to be kind we would pass that on to our children, how could we not?

I believe I have a kind heart but there are days that I am disappointed in myself thinking where did the kindness go? Why didn’t you take that opportunity to be a better person? To be kinder? It doesn’t take any money or any status to smile at a stranger, to not be bothered by a person going a little bit slower on the road than you would like, to take somebody’s grocery cart back for them, to go out of your way to talk to someone that you normally wouldn’t, and not be bothered by every little thing. I am going to work on all of those things and I’m going to encourage my children to do so as well. Because, well there are a lot of good people and kindness but we can always have a little bit more of it don’t you think? And I can start with myself, because I still have growing to do in many ways. And I really hope that question comes back on the radio someday so I can call in and I can say when I grow up “I just want to be kind”.

`“Wine (or whine) in the tub”

(I realized that a little glass of wine in the bathtub helps sometimes. You can decompress, cry, recuperate without an audience.. and you can whine to yourself as much as you want, then get out and you’re ready to take on the world again)

Not Just Good But Greater Good

Not just Good, but Greater Good.

Can you imagine what your Greater Good would look like?  Close your eyes and imagine.  Who would be there?  What would you be doing?  How would you be acting?  What would you say?  Where would you live?  Etc, etc etc.  Now, understand and know…. that you have not even come close to the actual Greater Good that is available to you.

God’s Ways are over, above & beyond anything our puny little minds can concoct.  We are one small piece of sand on the Pacific Coast.  We are one minute being in the galaxy of endless galaxies.  We are a blade of grass in a field at full-on harvest.  Do you believe in the grand scheme of life, there is far more available to you, coming to you, waiting for you?  Open your arms & be ready, because it is there.

I am part of the Greater Good of all mankind.  I am an instrument of God’s love in the Greater Good of my life.  I wake up every day expecting the Greater Good to show up.  I see, hear, feel and stay open to every bit of Goodness that is for me.  I’m being used every day in ways I’ve always imagined possible.

May we both walk through life with our heads held high in anticipation for what is next.  May we be ready for it when it comes and handle it with courage and grace.  May we be beacons of greatness to others who are waiting for theirs.  May we move forward, press on, stand tall, dig in, love big, express peace, share joy, give back, believe in more, take it, own it and share it with the world.

Are you ready?

I am.  I’ll meet you there.

xoxo

Your God-Girl,

Tracy

See The Good

This school year, I have had the pleasure of meeting some incredible individuals. One of which is a lovely girl named Sofi. She approached me with the most beautiful smile at the beginning of the year, and made me feel so welcome in my new environment.

As I got to know her, I learned that she had such a wonderful outlook on life. I left every conversation I had with her with a giant smile. The more time I spent with her, the more I picked up on the little acts of kindness that she does to make others feel happy.

Sometimes it’s a simple “hello” to those she walks past, and other times its hosting a service event for those in need. Something I truly admire about her, is her ability to exude positivity even when times get rough.

In her attempts to spread that positivity to others, she created “see the good.”. Her goal is to try and help others focus on the bright side, even in times of difficulty. She managed to create a business that allows her to foster her good character traits and her passions.

It all began with a sweater and the three simple words “see the good.” Now, it has become a movement that shares the stories of other amazing people as well.

Whether you read one of her posts, watch one of her YouTube videos, or wear one of her sweaters, you’ll be inspired to be a better individual and to share positivity with others. I feel beyond blessed to be able to call this beautiful person my friend, and I couldn’t be happier to share her story and goal with all of you.

On behalf of Sofi, I wish that all of you take the time to see the good.

-Dani <3

https://www.seethegoodbysofi.com/

My Friend Bill

I would like to tell you about my friend Bill. You may know him. He’s made a few movies. Big sports buff. Very quirky and he got his start on one of my favorite television shows.

When things in my life were feeling their lowest I started looking for positive outlets.

Me being me I needed them. It couldn’t be a glass of wine that would easily turn into a bottle. It couldn’t be a beautiful pastry my sweet tooth doesn’t ever seem to know when to stop.

It couldn’t be a trip to Target because it would mean a cart full of things I have no budget for.

It couldn’t be a night out because it can’t.

So…

I listen to music.

I read.

Watch movies, but I will be honest I am also easily distracted. 

I began digging deeper.

Looking for those things that would fill the gaps but wouldn’t lend themselves to my somewhat self destructive old habits.

Dear friends, I’ve sugar coated them. My bad habits.

Maybe a blog for another day.

Around this same time I watched the Razor’s Edge and Stripes. Two decidedly different movies from Bill Murray.

I mentioned to a friend how amazing I thought Bill Murray was. He suggested I read The Tao of Bill Murray.

My new friendship was born. Bill just doesn’t know it.

I also started digging into some amazing quotes from his.

As silly as it sounds these quotes have me some perspective I needed.

Here’s one:

“Everything happens for a reason. Sometimes the reason is that you’re stupid and make bad decisions.”

Welp… lol, yes.

But this one, this is the stuff.

“Don’t think about your errors or failures, otherwise you’ll never do a thing.”

That is exactly what started happening. I got so bogged down by all of the things that went wrong, I either didn’t do anything or did WAY too much.

I always looked for the other ball to drop. The bad.

I keep saying this but not only is 48 my year of no filter it’s also the year I work hard at happy. The year maybe I can give that happy to other people too.  As it has been to me in so many ways. One in particular a picture of one of my Chewbaccas with the man himself. It’s my screensaver and it makes me smile.

There are still going to be bad days, but to paraphrase my friend Bill… maybe it will be a day that a slice of pizza and cold beer can make feel better.

Much love Mommas

<3 Caprise

The Tao of Mr. Rogers

The Tao of Mr. Rogers….

While I am not a fan of resolutions I have been trying really hard to make both my 48th year and 2020 the year I am kinder to myself.

It started by not filtering my photos.

It’s a small step but if I can’t embrace and love who I am, how can I possibly expect anyone else to?

A lot of this shift started with Mr. Rogers.

I work with the under five set and I grew up on Mr. Rogers, so when the Tom Hanks movie came out, I started visiting with my favorite cardigan wearing sage again.

Secret: I would change my shoes and put on a sweater when I would watch the show when I was little.

Now you know that about me.

ANYWAY…

One of my favorite quotes from my man is:

“There is no person in the whole world like you and I like you just the way you are.”

Another absolutely fantastic one:

“There isn’t anyone you couldn’t learn to love once you’ve heard their story.”

Yet we live in a world that tells us to hide our true selves away.

As I write this I am snuggled under a blanket that looks like a tortilla because I love tacos.

Obsessively so.

I am a taco snob.

For real.

I fly that flag- high.

As I should. 

But along the way I’ve been teased, questioned, gotten an eye roll.

Why?

That’s a teeny example. A random kinda silly one.

But a bigger secret. A deeper, harder one to share. I am incredibly shy. I have a hard time showing my true self to people I care about. See people I’m dating. Yes we are going there, just a little for now. I worry about being too much. Not enough. I have had a bad habit of comparing myself to other people.

Boy, Mr. Rogers would be disappointed in me for that one.

There isn’t a magic switch to make that stop. But, I have changed my environment. I’m working on changing my mindset.

I have edited out the people who thrive on being negative cheerleaders. Here’s the thing. I appreciate honesty. I don’t appreciate cruel. Backhanded compliments. People who feed my insecurities.

We all have had those people… “I’m your honest friend.”

Are you?

A blog for never.

Forty eight may be the year of no filter, but it’s also the year I let certain things go.

Even if they’re people.

Somewhere along the way we forgot the lessons from our childhood. Being yourself is amazing. People who really, truly love you will love you. Even if you have a really unhealthy obsession with tacos.

Trust me.

I am also wearing taco socks right now. Yup, also a gift.

I know it’s hard. Being yourself. Not comparing. But did you forget who you are?

You’re a Momma and there is absolutely no one like you, and that makes you amazing.

 

Much love Mommas

<3 Caprise

The Caretaker Of Broken Dreams

The Caretaker Of Broken Dreams..

“We’ve buried dreams, laid them deep into the earth behind us. Said our goodbyes at the grave, yet everything reminds us. God knows we ache, but he asks us to go on… how do we go on?”

~Ellie Holcomb

I’d been wandering through the same leaves, the same graves… struggling to remember exactly where he was. It had been years since I’d placed my hands on the earth that held what remained of a brother I never got the chance to know.

The caretaker must have seen my wandering. He gently approached me and asked who I was looking for. I couldn’t help but notice the kindness in his eyes… his voice. He didn’t ask me what grave I was looking for, he asked me who I was looking for. I told him my brother’s name and he gently led me over to his grave… mere feet away from where I was standing. And isn’t that the thing… so often when we feel utterly lost, we’re closer than we know to finding what we need?

I traced his name with my fingers, brushed leaves off his grave. Funny how we want to tend and take care of things for people we love who are gone. I think sometimes these small, tender acts simply remind us of what once existed, remind us of what’s been lost.

I never used to visit the cemetery. When they put up a memorial for children who’d died in a local park and my brother’s name was etched into the stone, I didn’t want to attend the ceremony. Who wants to feel the weight of that loss again and again? For many years, I’d it pushed down, held it at bay, the pain and grief of loss. I thought that maybe if I held it down, swallowed it deep, maybe I could avoid the crushing ache of it.

And for many years… that worked. Or it worked as well as it can when your body is holding onto an aching sadness. Because the thing is, you don’t just lose a person, you lose the way it feels like your life should have gone. You lose what you thought would be your life. And you can only hold that for so long until it comes busting out.

25 years after losing my first brother, I lost the only other brother I’d known. And his loss was sudden, traumatic, and crushing. What was the last thing I said to him? Did he know how deeply I loved him? Was there something, anything I could have done to save him? That loss sent me reeling, and yet I quietly pushed it down. How do you put words to grief that shakes the foundation of what you thought you knew?

Three weeks after losing him, two surgeons took out my womb, and my hope for carrying more children ended more abruptly than I was ready for.

Although, who is ever really ready to bury a dream?

And in the months that followed, it felt like I dug a grave of loss so deep I’d never climb out.
I buried a brother, then the dream for more babies, a job I loved, a place I loved, a marriage, the life I’d known for the last decade of my life. All buried in quick succession. And in burying those dreams you bury other things. You bury relationships, spaces, and places that you once fit, things you used to be sure of, your sense of worth and belonging.

And again, I pushed it down, held it at bay… Until I couldn’t anymore. One morning several months later, I woke up and the tears came and wouldn’t stop. They bubbled over until my body trembled at the weight of what they meant. I was fully feeling the loss. And they’ve been coming ever since.

And at first that scared me. I felt ashamed. Was I falling apart? Was I weak? Why couldn’t I keep it together? Why couldn’t I just put my chin up and move on? Life is hard for everyone, and my trauma is small in comparison to other people’s. So why was it a struggle just to get out of bed and face the day?

The caretaker told me there was someone with the same name as my brother and asked who he was to me. I told him that was my grandfather. I thanked him for helping me find my way and watched him go about the care of a place that holds many buried dreams. My eyes scanned the sea of graves and I wondered… How much care and compassion must he have to know the names on gravestones? My breath caught at the nature of his work. But more than that my eyes welled at his kindness.

I knelt next to the grave, raked my fingers through the ground, rolled up my sleeve and laid the tattooed ashes of one brother alongside the grave of another. And my heart broke at the beauty and devastation of that moment.

It had taken 27 years… but I was fully feeling the loss. I was acknowledging that it mattered. Sometimes we need to say their names. We need to speak about the broken places. We need to dig our hands in the earth where our dreams have been buried. We need to allow grief to be part of our story instead of trying to move forward as if we are the same. Because we aren’t.

I ran into a dear acquaintance at the grocery store recently who looked into my eyes and genuinely asked me how I was. The care and compassion on her face was evident. And as we embraced she said something I will never forget “I’m on your side… no, there are no sides… I’m in your corner.” I looked at her and nodded “No, there are no sides…” I repeated. She told me how she’d read an article recently about how no one brings casseroles to people going through divorce. And she reminded me that it’s okay to gather up your people and weather the storm with them, without explaining where you went. She reminded me that sometimes the places and spaces we so desperately wish were a safe place for our pain, simply aren’t. And that maybe the beauty in all of this is that we can be a safe place for someone else walking a similar road someday. Because there is nothing quite as healing as knowing you aren’t alone.

So how do we go on…? How do we put one foot in front of the other in this life that now feels new and unfamiliar? How do we make sense of the loss, acknowledge it, feel it, and yet still move forward? How do we live it and not lose ourselves in it? My deeply insightful answer is this: I don’t know. I don’t know how to do this well. Maybe none of us do. There is no manual for this. No one can tell you how to bury dreams and carry loss well. We just find our way, wrack our hands through the dirt that carries our loss, and attempt to wrap our arms around people walking a similar road… letting them know they aren’t alone.

And cemetery caretakers and women in grocery stores may just be balm to our wounds, if we let them. What I find deeply beautiful about pain… is the way it brings out compassion.

So might I say something? Today, be the cemetery caretaker and help someone who is a little lost find their way…. Be the woman in the grocery store and stand in someone’s corner without needing to know the story. Be the balm to someone’s wounds. Err on the side of compassion and write the note, send the flowers, make the casserole, pay for the coffee of the person behind you, wrap your arms around someone. Give them the balm of your kindness, help them find their way. Or, kneel next to them in the dirt, ask them how they really are, and trace the pain of their losses. It’s what will help them go on.

Death, loss, divorce, the estranged family member, illness, childlessness, financial crisis… the list goes on. We’ve all buried dreams. We’ve all racked our hands in some kind of dirt and whispered “this wasn’t how it was supposed to go.”

I sat there for awhile, arm stretched out, brother next to brother, fingers etching a grave, hands feeling the dirt. And then I looked up to see the caretaker tenderly digging in the earth. I don’t know why. I do know it felt an awful lot like love watching a man carefully shovel dirt and tending to loss in such a profoundly intimate way. Maybe we could all learn a thing or two from the caretaker who spends his days carrying losses and helping people find their way.

-Michaela

Spread The Love

Spread The Love.

Recently, I’ve suffered from a little lack of inspiration. For someone that spends most of their time writing, this issue can become a little concerning.

My days have been full of mostly schoolwork and student government duties, which basically left my brain little space for creativity. (The struggle is real).

The other day, however, one of my teachers made a very simple statement that once again got my creative juices flowing. The words, “Spread the love”, stuck with me for the remainder of the day.

I’d repeat the statement over, and over again in my mind. There was something about the simplicity of those three words–yet the strong impact that it could have on so many people–that inspired me. The phrase itself could have so many meanings, but all of them have a kind purpose.

“Spread the Love” is something we should follow every day, especially in today’s world, where kindness is not always our number one priority. This made me ponder on how the phrase could be used in my everyday life. I don’t necessarily think that it means you always need to be happy.  That is obviously not realistic, since all of us struggle with the ups and downs of life.

What I do think it means is to be mindful of how you treat others during those ups and downs. It’s never okay to treat those around you with anything less than kindness. Our goal should always be to raise people up, not put them down for the purpose of trying to feel better ourselves. I know that growing up in a world of social media has made many teens think that it’s ok to say negative things. It’s especially easy when you’re hiding behind a computer screen. I encourage everyone reading this to practice spreading the love. Whether its behind a screen, or in person.

As a society we must spread positivity, spread kindness, and, most importantly, SPREAD THE LOVE!

-Dani <3

Operation: Kindness

I didn’t think up this idea by myself. A friend challenged me to put my positivity on paper. I have always been a gal who thrives on spreading kindness. Ever since I was little girl, that was my goal to make others feel important. But we all have had a plot twist moment. You know, that moment where you can picture everything about that moment, no matter how old you grow?

I remember flying to London in high school. As we rounded a corner in I saw someone homeless with a sign and a tattered blanket. I watched men in what looked like million-dollar suits walk by him, with painted looks of disgust. How? Sure, I was young and naive, but when did a person lose their worth? I knew I came from a close-knit small town, but it didn’t make sense. I walked over, handed him the money I had, and thrust the words that trembled on my tongue “You matter sir, and I hope you never forget that” He eyes welled with tears, and it broke my heart. How did so many people walk by him, but yet he felt invisible. I promised myself that I would make it my mission to see people. In whatever state of their life, to do my best not to judge, but to lift them up and remind them of their worth.

I had been blessed with a family who always did that, and my love bucket was filled. I wanted to make sure others were filled too! Now that I’m raising my own 3 kids, and am married, I have made it my mission to fill their buckets daily, as well as anyone I encounter. It is not often big ways, I’m lucky if I remember to bring the cup of coffee I brewed to work, verse leaving it on the counter. But in world I can be anything, I want to be kind. I want to make people smile and remember that they are capable of happiness. Since London, I have done it, and it has made me the happiest woman alive.

 

Stay Positive and Kind,

Rah- Rah Rachel

Be Better In The Middle Of Your Grief

What on earth? How many tears can one body produce? How many boxes of tissues must you go through? And what’s up with the mad… sad… content… tears… misery… anger… denial… tears… happy….. anxiety… pissed off… acceptance and back to sad again? Welcome to the “Stages of GRIEF”.

Can you hear yourself.… “Really? Can’t I just go back to sleep and then it will all go away? What about a therapist, won’t that cure the crabbiness? I know, I know…. chocolate. That always makes me feel better? Waaaaaah.

You have good days and bad days. And the triggers come out of nowhere and at the most obscure times let alone when you’re not expecting it. And the rollercoaster ride of Grrrrrief seems to be going and going and going. When will it stop?

And not for nothing but…..

You want your life back the way it was. You want the to-do’s back in order and the schedule back on track. You really want a do-over. Why is going through the Stages of Grief so hard? Well it JUST IS. Seriously. Nobody wants to be the one left behind, nobody plans to lose a loved one, and nobody knows what its like until they experience it. Nobody can judge the length of time it takes you, nobody can heal your heart and nobody can wipe the tears to stop. Just you. If you trust God, like I do, turn to Him in your sadness and ask for healing. Do what you have to do and press on with joy in the sadness.

Maybe just maybe, when you’re on the other side of this, you can be a smile in someone else’s grief, share a hug, speak a kind word, offer a nice gesture. Do something to ease their pain because you remember how hard it was for you. But for now…..be a better you in the middle of your grief.

 

Your God Girl,

Tracy xoxo

It Could Be You

It could be you….Picture it.  You’re late for work and the driver in front of you is going…so…slow.  I mean – molasses in January in Maine slow.  You want to honk.  You want to scream.  You’re literally losing your mind. Am I right?  Why are people so self-absorbed and inconsiderate? You just want to get where you need to be!

Now imagine you’ve had a super long day and you’ve run into the grocery store to grab a few things.  You’ve beat the crowds and you’re next in line, when some lady saunters up and sets her stuff down in front of you.  Did she really just cut in line?  What do you say to her?  How do you feel?  Wow.  The audacity!

Typical stuff in modern life when out and about.  We’ve all experienced one of these things – or something like them.  And we probably all felt a little outraged, angry or indignant.  Maybe you even said something to the person – a cutting remark meant to remind them of their horrible behavior and put them in their place.  “Hey buddy – gas pedal is on the right!” or “What the hell?” C’mon – we’ve all done it.  They deserved it, right?

Maybe not.

What do you know about the slow driver or the line cutter?  Truly.  What do you know about them other than the fact that they seem to be oblivious to others?  Probably nothing.  You don’t need to know anything to know that they’re rude, do you?

Actually, you do.

That slow driver might have just said goodbye to their mom or dad for the last time.  Maybe they’re driving home after having just received a terminal diagnosis.  Perhaps that line cutter was distracted because those pads she’s buying are because she’s currently miscarrying.  Or maybe she’s in the middle of a divorce and rushing home to her kids who are home alone for the first time.  You don’t know.

Maybe you don’t care.  I mean after all – they’re still being rude, right?

But here’s the thing.  They could be you.  Someday you’ll be old, and you might struggle to drive.  Someday you will lose a loved one and, in your grief, you might do something you didn’t intend to do.  Someday your world may come crashing down and you will be them without even realizing it.

I tell you this from experience.  I’ve run a stop sign during a time of grief.  I’ve snapped at a cashier during a miscarriage.  I’ve lost my shit during a divorce and I’ve been the slow driver after I was told my baby might not survive.  But do you know what?  If you ask my friends and family, I probably say please and thank you more than anyone I know and I’m typically pretty considerate.  Those actions were not me.  One less honk, one less middle finger and one more wave of “it’s ok – it happens to the best of us” would have meant the world in those moments.

When things happen we often jump to conclusions, assuming the worst motives and assigning blame.  But that doesn’t make the world a kinder place.  Maybe those people are just rude.  But maybe they’re not.  Maybe they’re sick, hurting, distracted or afraid.  And maybe, in a year or five or ten, they will be you or your loved one.  And when that time comes, I guarantee that you will be grateful for the stranger who gives you the benefit of the doubt.  So please, be kind.  Judge less.  Care more.  Remember what you don’t know.  And never forget that someday, it could be you.

 

~Cassandra