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"Be the change you wish to see in the world."

~Mahatma Gandhi

 

A few weeks ago we applied for TSA precheck.

As my family and I waited, all the agents were in view behind their glass cubicles. One woman had a stern look on her face, displayed no personality, and was rather curt with her customers. I thought, and my husband verbalized: “I hope we don’t get her.”

Well…you know we did.

But we are a polite and friendly little family and though initially she didn’t respond to our little jokes and light banter, inside of the 15-20 minutes that we were together we had her laughing as she was merrily chatting about her family and her job.

It was a true delight! We all left feeling a little happier and elevated from the experience. (And I would bet that the customers after us had a different experience than the customers before us–our behavior matters! )

We all respond to acts of kindness–no matter how small the gesture. Try it. The only time you won’t get a response is when the person is so in their own head that they did not even recognize your attempt to be kind. –Don’t take it personally or get annoyed if they don’t say thank you while you're holding the door. Instead, say a prayer that whatever burden has them so distracted may soon be eased.

Do your part. Be happy. Be kind. Spread a little love. (And then enjoy the results!)

 

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Happiness is created, experienced, and practiced moment-to-moment-to-moment...

- Happiness is there when I open my eyes in the morning and say “Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.” as I acknowledge my gratitude for another day.
- It is there when I take a deep, mindful breath before I begin journaling.
- It is there when my daughter is telling me a story and I decide to stop what I am doing to be fully present to hear her and to feel her.
- It is there when my nephew shows me a video game and I try REALLY HARD to understand what I am looking at, only to remember it doesn't matter because I only care that he wants to show me.
- It is there in the tension between my husband and I when I choose to respond from a place of love and not fear.
- It is there when I look the Starbuck’s server in the eyes and thank her for my peppermint tea.
- It is there when I have patience with the salesclerk who is moving way, too, slow.
- It is there when I smile knowingly at the mom whose child is losing it in the grocery store.
- It is there when I share a glass of wine with a girlfriend as we dissect our work, lives, and relationships.
- It is there when I choose to look for what’s working in my life, not for what’s not working.
- It is there when I see the homeless person and validate his humanity.
- It is there on my iPhone when I think how lucky I am to live in a time where I have access to all the knowledge in the world in the palm of my hand! (That still blows my mind! )
- It is there in a health crisis when I choose to rise above the fear and grow.
- It is there in the mundane tasks of laundry, cooking, and errands as I am mindful that those tasks serve the higher purpose of caring for my family.
- It is there when my head touches the pillow at night and I scan my thoughts choosing only to focus on “What Went Well” today.
- It is there in the prayer for a better, safer, less scary world for all of us.


We create our happiness by the way we choose to show up in the world, and by the meaning we decide to assign to the events and circumstances of our lives. We must remind ourselves that happiness is not “out there” but always, and only, in the present moment. –So don’t let a moment go to waste! 😀

 

 

 

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The other day I was doing my yoga stretches. Just when I thought I stretched as far as I could I noticed: I could stretch a little farther! I began to think that this was a great metaphor for life.

We are often called to stretched ourselves. Sometimes beyond what we think we are capable of–yet, we can all go a little further.

A few days ago I was having an argument with my husband. My patience was being stretched, but I didn’t snap. Experience taught me that there are multiple ways to interpret a situation. After the argument, in a quiet moment, I could see his point of view. With introspection, I could see my role in the disagreement and an area where I could give a little more. (I couldn’t have arrived there so quickly twenty years ago, but over two decades of stretching readied me to push a little further! )

We are all capable of more than we realize. There are places in our lives where we have shut down, places where we have given up, but we can open ourselves up, give a little more, try a little harder. We can stretch our capacity for love, hard work, resilience, or patience with ourselves and others.

Exercise your life–stretch!