Tag Archives: kindness

Gratitude Is Like A Birthday Present

Is it my birthday

Gratitude is like birthday presents. It comes in all different sizes & packages. It comes from places you expect and places that surprise you. Some gifts rock your world while others look like they were a re-gift from the 80’s. Some are given with the fullness of authentic love while others are backed up with an obligation attitude.

To express gratitude takes effort. To stop in your tracks and have the thought is good, but then to speak the words… that takes a conscious act of the heart.

It could look like this:

A small size gratitude could look like a 20 second thanks while you’re running between errands and someone held the door for you.

A medium gratitude might look like a surprise as someone gives you a treat you never would’ve imagined, & you blurt out a laughter within the Thank You.

A large size gratitude comes from deep within your soul where truthful thanks exist. You take a minute to give an honest word of thanksgiving, you look the person in the eyes & you let them know you mean what you say.

The true spirit comes from a thankful heart. A heart who knows things could be worse, acknowledges it is exactly how it is supposed to be right now and it is GOOD. How do you do that you may ask….. What is there possibly to be grateful for in your tragic drama-full life.” You say. An attitude of gratitude can be practiced every day starting with little things, meaningful details, acceptance of mediocrity. A good way to get yourself in the mood is to start a journal and write down 3 things your grateful for every day and see where it takes you

Start here: ….. toothbrush & toothpaste, a hot cup of coffee, clean clothes, hot shower.

It could take you to a happy place you never knew existed.

Your God Girl,

Tracy

Cut Yourself A Break

Cut yourself a break.

Why is it that we are mean to ourselves? Not just rude, but down right mean. Since I was little everyone called me Rah-Rah Rachel. Lifting other people up was and well…. still is my entire identity. How did I insert a light switch into the way I talk to others, verses myself? I spend my days crafting ways to lift others up. Do they need a card with reasons why they are important, should I pay for their heating fuel with all my taxes, should I drop off flowers because they posted they had a rough week? I search.   I search day in and day out for how to help lift others, and yet I drop myself.

I do a nightly routine of squeezing my mama chunk roles, and self-loathing. I never even noticed I was doing it each night until my husband told me to stop, and I was perfect the way I was. I would grab my rolls and squeeze them tight, huffing and puffing about how unhappy with my body I was. I wouldn’t sit down and eat a warm meal, I was racing around to clean the dishes verses just stopping and putting me before a pile of stationary dishes. They weren’t going anywhere…. But I couldn’t stop myself or love myself enough to give myself a moment break.

My fellow mamas, I’m sure you’re in the same spot. You equate the price of shirt your looking at for yourself, into bottles of formula, day care costs, kid activities, laundry detergent. The shirt never makes it home because you don’t rank on the importance scale in your head.  YOU ARE IMPORTANT. You DO matter!  It’s not about the shirt. It’s about the concept!

Self-care isn’t all about bubble baths, and new clothing. Sometimes it’s not pinching your belly chunk or leaving the dishes. Sometimes its talking to yourself like you would a friend. It’s blasting a song, singing silly in the car with the windows down not caring who is watching, or sipping a cup of coffee in 5 minutes peace. Make yourself important. Put your needs first even once a day. If it is leaving the laundry till tomorrow. Leave it. It won’t go anywhere, but you deserve kindness. You deserve a moment to just yourself, however you choose to use it.

Stay Positive and Kind,

Rah- Rah Rachel

“Your trauma is valid. Even if other people have experienced “worse”. Even if someone else who went through the same experience doesn’t feel debilitated by it. Even if it “could have been avoided”. Even if it happened a long time ago. Even if no one knows. Your trauma is real and valid, and you deserve a space to talk about it. It isn’t desperate or pathetic or attention-seeking. It’s self-care. It’s inconceivably brave. And regardless of the magnitude of your struggle, you’re allowed to take care of yourself by processing and unloading some of the pain you carry. Your pain matters. Your experience matters, and your healing matters. Nothing and no one can take that away.” — Daniell Koepke

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

Lessons and Changes Within Leadership

I was listening to a T.D. Jakes sermon this morning while on the treadmill and he said that “with new levels come new devils.”  He went on to explain that success and leadership are actually very painful and arrive with a whole new set of things to overcome.  When God has placed a calling on your life He sets out to equip you for it.  This usually involves challenges and circumstances that will bring you to your knees.   When you are in God’s leadership training you don’t actually know it at first, you don’t get a letter in the mail, no email comes, no memo, no warnings.  Life just starts to kick the crap out of you, challenges come at you, people betray you, and relationships disappoint you. You navigate each situation and you get stronger.  Every time you pick yourself up, you keep going and you never quit.  Then one day you look back and see that there was a reason for all of those things

Success is often viewed as leadership.  People in positions of leadership are seen as having ‘made it’ in some way.  They are thought to be the winners, the ones that have reached their goals and achieved some modicum of prosperity.

A lot of people want to be Leaders; they envision that being a Leader is important, filled with glory and has a lot of perks…perhaps they even think that being a Leader is where the ‘money’ is.  The truth?  Being a Leader, is in fact, more difficult than any other task. Being a good or great Leader?  That requires more work than most people can even fathom.

In order to lead you must be able to follow…happily and humbly.  You must be able to take direction and work within someone else’s framework even if you think you could do it better. If you can’t follow someone else then NOBODY will ever follow you, no matter how amazing you perceive yourself to be.  This is an important skill to instill in young people, the act of following happily and humbly.  I promise you that every great Leader began by following someone else first.

To lead successfully you must also lead by example, you must first have done the task that you now wish to entrust to someone else.  You must have executed that task to fully learn how to do it with excellence and to understand what it feels like to do that particular thing.  If you want to order people around then you better be coming from a place that includes already doing that work, otherwise people will not do as you ask and they will resent you.  If you think you are too good to clean windows or toilets or empty trash, then I suggest you remember where you came from and I suggest that you don’t imagine that someone “beneath” you should do those things.

I don’t care who you are or who you think you are—nobody is beneath you and you are not better than anyone else on this planet.  You may be different and you may have more advanced skills and you may make more money, however you are not ‘better’ than any other human being.  God created all of us equal and to be a great Leader you will do well to remember this and to treat people accordingly.

Real Leaders want to build people up and help them get to the next level in their lives; Leaders know that their job is to leave this planet better than they found it.  They make it their business to INSPIRE other people, not make fun of them or put them down.

I see so many people trying to succeed and trying to lead and they just seem to keep forgetting the source of true leadership which is to lead by example.  You must first FOLLOW the disciplines that you wish to teach, you must walk the walk and succeed there before anyone will listen to you.  Sure, you can lead without doing this and whatever you are trying to do will not hold water, eventually it will collapse on top of you and you won’t prosper to your full ability.

You can’t sleep late, live like a pig, be rude, make fun of people, and lack self-discipline and then get dressed up and go and tell people how to be a success.  People may look like they are listening, yet you will lack the authenticity needed to produce results.  You can put lipstick on a pig, but it is still a pig.  You can even put eye shadow and a dress on it, but it is still a pig.

Gandhi said “be the change in the world that you want to see”, that is really good advice.

Be authentic and don’t try to teach people things that you haven’t already walked through.

~Noelle

Finding Benevolence In Chaos

When you are a single mother, most of the time you are fearful that you won’t be able to make ends meet. Trying to hail mary a check at the grocery because your pantry is empty. I have been there so many times. We are constantly reminded, “the struggle is real”.

Lucky enough, I was able to find a job at a local trauma hospital. Watch out local market, here we come!

I saw things that  will not settle in my psyche for a long time. Along with severe accidents, there were things that were amusing. A nice balance of good and bad.

Over time, I was able to somewhat shield myself from the chaos. After this, I realized that I was going to be given a huge life lesson.

Originally, I thought I was not able to feel compassion for others. I was too involved in my own life to pay attention. It was then that my heart opened up and my lessons were about to be learned.

Most of the reps would take the easy cases. They would shy away from the others. Since I had a job to do, I took the ones that they didn’t want. Compassion 101.

While a family was waiting for their person, I checked and offered what could be done to make them comfortable. Tissues? Ice water? A warm blanket? It was only 2 minutes of my time. Later in the night, they had thanked me for being so sweet.

I took the unruly kids to the snack drawer and loaded them with treats. They were thrilled!

Eventually,I scouted out the patient’s that needed kind words or special treats. It was my lesson because I began to see the blessings of kindness. My little ole heart had started to open. Indeed, not everyone was a jerk.

Compassion and kindness are free. Most people appreciate small gestures. Take the time to smile. Practice, practice, practice. Go thru the lesson to get the reward. At the end of the day, embrace your blessing. You won’t be disappointed.

Striving for exceptional – Tristen Ahlsey

Innocence of Children

Our 7 year old approached us last night in complete disgust complaining that someone in her class had made fun of the inside of her nose. Yep, you read that correctly..lol. Not because she was picking her nose but those ridges inside your nose?-Yeah those. Just the presence of them. I looked at my husband with disgust in the fact that kids now resort to making fun of something everyone has and trying to hide my laughter after seeing my daughters face while she was explaining to us, knowing full well that she cannot possibly fathom why people make “fun” of each other.

She’s in the 1st grade, we have to talk to her almost weekly about how not to treat others that way, since she started pre-school at 3.  As you all know we have 2 older children, whom I do not recall all the teasing and poking fun happening with them at such an early age.  It’s absurd!

She is not a girlie girl and doesn’t care to dress in “fancy” clothes, and quite honestly if I didn’t intervene she would go to school and out in public looking like a mis-matched, outdated, rag muffin.  Jeans, sweatpants, sweatshirts, and t-shirts are her preference and when it comes to shoes, she would rather not wear any.  Occasionally she will come downstairs in a dress that my grandmother sent her styled and popular in 1972 and think it is the most beautiful thing she has ever seen. Her sense of “style” is crazy and I am perfectly ok with that but most kids her age are not.  Breaks my heart for her.

She is our wild child and loves to sing, dance, paint, draw, and write songs! She loves to fish, kayak, swim, camp, bugs, snakes, animals and the dirtier she is the happier she is! It’s a daily struggle to get her to go to school-although, she loves it when she gets there-and she’s super smart, she just has things to tend to -school gets in the way 🙂

You try to help your children not “mold” in to what others think they should be. You want them to stay as innocent and perfectly themselves, forever. And no matter how hard you try to keep them true to who they are, there is no denying it’s a struggle. Outside influences have a lot of power, and at any age it’s difficult. I struggle with what others think or say about me, not to the degree that I lose sleep over it or let it control my day, but it’s still there.

Kindness and Compassion are virtues that have become less and less. Remember-it costs absolutely NOTHING to be kind to one another.

Love to All-

Kim

ABB- Always Bringing Benefit

Always Bringing Benefit.

So there’s ADD, ADHD, OCD and a plethora of other acronyms that have negative connotations…I thought it was time that we invented a new one that didn’t make you feel depressed when you used it.  Introducing ABB…Always Bringing Benefit.

We could all be people that have ABB; it’s possible for us to act in ways that are always bringing to others.  Granted we may have to tailor our current conversations and behavior, however it is indeed possible.

Perhaps instead of all of us worrying about what affliction everyone may have, we might concern ourselves with how we can make things better for other people.

It doesn’t take much effort to bring benefit to another person…can be as simple as opening a door, giving a compliment, drying a tear, giving a hug…you get the picture.

Go ahead give it a try…maybe we should get T-shirts made:)

ABB—Always Bringing Benefit