A compliment only takes a moment, but can make someone’s day. Sometimes it can be as simple as noticing that someone has a new haircut. Or it can be more in-depth — letting someone know that their welcoming personality made you feel at ease with a new group of people. It doesn’t cost anything but a few moments of your time.
It has made a HUGE difference in my life to GIVEcompliments to others. Not only do I feel good personally, but I can see in that person’s reaction that they feel good. A GENUINE compliment can remind someone that you “see” them. Of course you can see others with your eyes — but to REALLY see someone — is to let them know that they mattered to you – even for a moment. It is an amazing gift that you have the power to share.
We are all travelers on a journey each day. Navigating our way with others who are dealing with things that may be difficult and painful. Be that bright spot that gave them hope in humanity.
In front of the Cleveland Museum Art is one of Auguste Rodin’s statues, “The Thinker”. If you look closely at the photo you will notice that the feet and original base that the statue sat on are missing. This is due to an act of vandalism that took place on March 24, 1970. There were no human casualties as a result but the statue itself was damaged.
A limited number of these statues were created by Rodin who lived from 1840-1917. The Museum (located in Cleveland, Ohio in the United States) put a lot of thought into their decision about whether or not to repair the statue or to leave it in the damaged state. It was finally decided that by leaving it this way it bears witness to a time of unrest in our country.
Sometimes there is a tendency to overthink or analyze things. Suddenly everything can look like a storm that is cloudy and bleak. Others can be thoughtless and unkind to you. But that does not mean that we have to be!
Before you speak – Think. Your words can hurt or they can help. That is your choice. Before you act – Think. Your actions show your true intentions. The actions of a few people in 1970 damaged the statue in these pictures and are still impacting people today when they see it in person.
Your words and actions matter. Be positive. Be kind. Think first. Be a thinker.
I know that patience is a virtue. But I can’t wait to have it! For those that struggle with being patient, you get the joke.
It’s hard to be patient when you really want something to happen. I have been through many experiences like that in my life. But I want to share a little bit about my dog, Luke. He really wants to go for a walk right now. He doesn’t want to wait because I am typing this. In fact, he knows that if he looks at me long enough like this, whines a little and scratches at the front door — he’ll get his way. But he really doesn’t want to wait.
I know that when it comes to human beings, we do the same things. When we are waiting for things to happen we have all kinds of reactions. We might give someone “the look” — like “let’s go!” Or we have our own version of whining. It might be less of whine and more of a heavy sigh. (You know who you are! Because you probably just sighed.) But we don’t scratch at the door. Instead we might cry, shout, give the silent treatment or just complain outright that we want things done now and the way we want.
Does being impatient, make things better or happen faster? Sometimes it can move things along. But it comes at a cost. We waste the time we spent complaining and miss out on the present moment. When the moment comes and we got what we want it often is not enjoyed as much. Mostly because we are thinking “Finally!” “It took long enough!”
When my dog was in the backyard one day, he was smelling the grass and flowers. He was just running around having fun. No whining, no scratching and he wasn’t giving me “the look”. In fact, I think he looks pretty relaxed in this picture. The more we can be patient in our lives, the more enjoyment there is in each moment.
Life is meant to be enjoyed! It is often taken for granted that there will be plenty of time to say and do the things in life that we want to do. This day we are living has never been before and will never be again. So I need to embrace that there are 24 hours in this day and I have choices on how to live it. It is a gift.
I love the words fun and adventure. Adventure for me doesn’t necessarily mean that I have to climb Mount Everest or hike the Grand Canyon. For me, adventure means enjoying my life – sometimes just going with the flow. Laughing, smiling, being silly, not always taking everything so seriously!! I enjoy my life!
Sometimes, it’s hard to be an adult, mature and focused on the important business at hand. But really, it is OKAY to have FUN! Even when you are an adult. I do little things for myself and others that make me smile. For example, the shoes in the picture below are my new favorite shoes – I bought them in January 2017 and they symbolize fun to me. Why wait?
Think about the most fun you have ever had in your life. It doesn’t have to be a monumental event or experience. I try to have fun every day. I am a VERY HAPPY person. When I think about WHY I want to be happy – I think of this little girl in the picture. She is me. She is still inside me and deserves to grow up and be a happy person who has fun!
When you are tempted to be too serious and focus on the pain and sadness in life, remember that happy and fun time. I think it’s okay to acknowledge pain and process it. Then, I get on with my life. This little girl deserves it and so do you.
It’s so easy in this busy world to think that small acts of kindness or concern are a thing of the past. Often the kindest thing I can do for someone else is just listen. Have you ever had a conversation and you could tell the other person just wasn’t listening? They were getting ready to respond to your comment – but not really listening to you.
I work really hard to be in the present moment when someone is talking to me. And REALLY listen. It can be hard if the other person is not really listening to you. But you can’t control other people – only yourself. Who knows, they might follow your example!
A friend that I used to work with is a great listener. I think I am a pretty good listener too. Here is why it is important to really listen to each other. One day at work, I was very busy and I shared my frustration with my friend. I told her that I wasn’t really frustrated about being busy so much as it was so nice outside. I didn’t have time to get outside for lunch. She listened and I appreciated her doing that for me.
When she came back from lunch, she brought me the dandelions that you see in this picture. She told me that since I couldn’t get outside for lunch, she would bring the outside to me! Now to some it might seem like she brought me weeds. BUT, she listens and remembers. I had told her in the past that I love dandelions. That I know they are considered weeds and that lots of people don’t like them. I LOVE them! I have fond memories of dandelions as a child.
Her act of kindness meant so much to me that day – and still does. It took her only a few moments to bring empathy and kindness to me – her friend. When she did that I gave her a huge hug and thanked her for being such a good friend.
Did you notice something? It didn’t cost us anything but our time and our attention to be kind. Next time someone needs your kindness – pay attention and listen.
Peace. The kind of peace that I feel deep in my soul, when I think “Ahh, all is well”, seems to be fleeting. I have come to realize that I can have that feeling anytime I want. I actually can do something about it. This definitely happens more when I stay in the present moment.
I used to live in an apartment near a park in Willoughby, Ohio. One day I decided to check out the park. I heard someone say that you could see the Lake (Lake Erie) if you kept walking past the baseball fields. That sounded peaceful and inviting to me. So I made my way past the kids running the bases on the field, others practicing soccer moves and some people just hanging out. Before I got to the shoreline, I stopped in my tracks and was totally focused on a tree. Here is my tree:
When I saw the tree, there were no leaves on it and I thought it was the most peaceful and beautiful thing that I had ever seen. When I sat down under the tree on the bench, I thought, this is officially my new favorite place in the world. That day was in August 2000.
I periodically went back to sit under that tree, even when I moved out of the apartment in Willoughby. I was there when it was full of leaves and birds and even a few squirrels. I went there when the colors of the leaves changed in the fall. My family went there for a picnic one time on Father’s Day. It was so relaxing. And peaceful. When I met my husband, I took him to see the tree and we sat in a swing by the water. Lovely. And peaceful.
I went in 2010 and took the picture below in March. You can see that there is ice on the lake and it was very cold. That day, I started calling it, the Tree of Life.
A few years ago, I was going through a very tough time in my life and I went to visit the tree. And it was – gone. Just gone. I cried. I thought, “That’s MY tree!” How can it be gone? Where will I find another place like that? That brings me peace?
I sat in the swing by the lake and prayed. I asked God for help with my difficulties. And then it was put in my heart that I can have peace – true PEACE if I live my life in the moment. Not regretting decisions of the past. Not worrying about the future and how it will all turn out. JUST BE.
Yes the tree is gone. There are also people that I have lost and I miss them dearly. But like the peace I felt from the tree, those people are in my heart. When I want to feel that way, I close my eyes. I feel that peace. The peace wasn’t in the tree. It’s in me. And by the way, it’s in you too… you just have to slow down and look for it.
If you are from Cleveland, Ohio or you were paying attention to the NBA playoffs in 2016 – then you know the Cleveland Cavaliers (aka Cavs) are the 2016 World Champions! As a proud Clevelander and a fan of the Cavs, I thought it was the right thing to do to go to the Victory Parade being held in town.
My parents and my brother came to the parade too. We were going downtown extra early to get a prime viewing location. As we were walking out of the parking lot, I lost my footing. And… you know the phrase “she fell flat on her face”? Well, that’s what happened. And I could hear my head hit the cement and my glasses flew forward. And I felt dizzy. Really?!?! Yes, really!
My brother rushed over to me, made sure that I was laying still and started asking me questions to make sure I was okay. My parents were working on getting the paramedics to come take a look at me. Everything was in slow motion in my mind, but my brother kept me talking and in addition to asking my name and what day of the week it was, he asked me “Who is your favorite Cavs player?” I smiled and said “Delly” (that’s Matthew Dellavedova). He said to me later that when I answered that way, he knew I was going to be okay.
The EMS came and took me to the hospital – just to make sure that I was okay. Here is a picture of me when they told me that I could still go to the parade:
We walked over to the parade and when I was tired, I sat down and rested.
You might think that this was an awful experience. Well, I wouldn’t want to repeat the falling on my face thing again… But, I remember that day as one when I was filled with GRATITUDE.
The love of my family, the paramedics (who happened to be only one building away from our parking lot!), the hospital staff that helped me, the Clevelanders who were so gracious and offering to give me their seats on benches!
I am beyond blest that my injuries were manageable, that I could still see the parade, that when I learned to be a fan or a supporter of something – I am fiercely loyal! And that the Cavaliers had won the Championship!
No matter what is happening, there is ALWAYS something to be grateful for.
When all is lost and it seems like it isn’t going to work out. When you feel like things are not how you would like them to be. When it seems like “nice guys always finish last”. What can you do? HOPE.
That’s what people hold on to when it seems like there is no answer.
Why be hopeful? Because -there is POWER in Hope. It is that small voice inside us that says “keep trying”, “you matter”, “you make a difference”, “it’s not over”, “don’t give up!”. It can energize you to make things happen!
It might sound corny or trite to some people. But when I think about what got me through the saddest and most difficult times in my life… it was HOPE. Next time you feel like you are in the pit of despair and that there is no one that understands – have HOPE. You are not alone. There is someone who understands what you’ve been through.
And if you are in a really good place – be HOPE to someone else. Give them your ear. Listening to someone can give so much hope. Give it a try!
I went on a trip to Vancouver, British Columbia in July 2013. While I was there it was shared with me that the Capilano Suspension Bridge was an amazing experience. I am not very good with heights, but I kept hearing that once you were on the other side, it was sooooo worth it. Here is a picture of the bridge behind me – it’s that little line above my head with dots on it (those are people crossing it – yikes!). Did I mention I am not good with heights? Anyway, now you know it was really high up.
I am smiling in this picture (sort of – LOL), because I had already accomplished what I set out to do, I crossed the bridge. But this picture was taken after I calmed down and dried my tears. I was terrified beforehand. When I say there were tears – it was actually sobbing – they came when I got to the other side of the bridge. Below you will see me holding on to both sides of the bridge. I was really terrified. But here is the thing – I could see that my fear was in charge.
I don’t want fear to be what fuels my decisions in life. I want to be someone who enjoys my life to the fullest. Without regrets! Without resentments! BUT, it takes courage. When I decided that I was going to face my fear I was honest with the other people on the trip – I said – I AM AFRAID. But I want to do this!
This was just a bridge. I could have lived my whole life without going across and that trip back! But, it was symbolic to me. I am committed to living my life in a positive and uplifting way. Sometimes I am still afraid of things, but I summon up my courage and move forward.
One of my favorite movies is called “Strictly Ballroom”. One of the pivotal quotes is “A Life Lived In Fear – Is A Life Half-Lived”. It’s time for us to live our WHOLE LIFE.
My goal is to share something with you everyday that helps me to be a positive person. Like many people, I have had my share of obstacles and triumphs. But regardless of the situation, I have always had a feeling deep in my soul that JOY can be found. That HAPPINESS can be shared. Those who know me well know I am THAT person — who tries to “make the best of a bad situation”.
I stay open to inspiration in my life. And sometimes, it just appears, like the photo below I took on Christmas Day, 2011.
My husband and I were driving over to see my parents on Christmas Day. We were on the road for a few minutes when I had a sinking feeling that I left an iron or something on at the house. So we turned around and started driving home to make sure. Then… we saw the view in the photo above. It was breathtaking and even more amazing in person. I took this picture and have not adjusted the colors or light at all. NO FILTERS!
For many people, this would have easily been a moment to whine and complain because we would be late. Instead, we were both happy it turned out that we were blest enough to see this inspirational scene before us.
And now for the best part – we showed people the picture, we told them the story of this experience and we shared our positive feelings. What a great day!