Tag Archives: inspiration

An Inspirational Birthday!

burst of sunshine

I am so excited to write today’s blog because it is so inspirational and such a fun and easy idea!!  Today is my friend Eileen’s birthday.  She sent me a message today telling me that in honor of her birthday this is what she wanted to do,

“I want to spread joy today. I told my kids at school that I’d be doing some random acts of kindness for my birthday (when they asked.) I love the way I feel everyday, but especially on my birthday, so I really want to spread the happiness.”  

I think this is an amazing thing!!  Here are some of the things that she did to celebrate her day!   First, while she was running errands, she stopped at the post office. After buying what she needed, she bought  an extra pack of stamps and she gave them to an older man.  She said the man looked at her in a funny way,  but she just looked at him, smiled and said, “Have a great day!”

Then she went to CVS, and bought $2 CVS Gift Cards. She walked around the store, looking for people to give them to. The first person she found, was an elderly woman who smiled and thanked her; the second one was to a woman with had her hands full and also thanked her and gave her a smile. Meanwhile, as she was doing this, the clerk at the counter was smiling and asked her if she was just randomly handing out the gift cards to strangers. When she told him yes, he smiled and said, “Wow, that’s cool!”

After her CVS trip she went to Shop Rite! All she did was get a coffee, but she did it just so she could pay for the coffee of the woman behind her.  Eileen told me that the woman was almost in tears thanking her and that it made her feel so good!

She bought $1 scratch-off lottery tickets and plans to hand them out later in the week.  She is baking brownies for a friend who is battling Cancer and putting aside extras to bring to her nurses in the hospital.

She gave her son $20 to “spread some goodness” today in Newark where he works and is waiting to hear about his good deeds.

I told her how excited I was that she shared this idea with me.  I told her that I would love to share it on my blog and she told me that would be great.  She told me that she was so glad this was started today, on her birthday, but by no means will it end today!!

It was amazing how it took only a little bit of time and money to make so many people happy!  She told me that she was having the best birthday EVER!!  She said that my blog keeps her motivated to spread joy!  I told her that this birthday idea has inspired me to share it and let others see how easy it is to do!  It is her hope – and mine, that those people will now pay it forward.  Imagine if it keeps on growing!!  It could take over!!  Spreading good deeds rather than negativity…how nice a world we would have.

 So today, I say, thank you to Eileen for inspiring me!  I hope that this inspires others to do the same.  It could be so easy!

20,000!

i can't believe i did that

When I first began my blog, I had a few “hits” a day.  Never very many, but sometimes if I tagged it correctly I’d jump up a few!!  I was excited after realizing that there were some people out there who were checking it out.  I wrote about kindness and things that I found inspiring that I thought others would enjoy reading about.  I started a facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/AProjectForKindness in the hopes of getting even more readers.  Still, it moved slowly, but I had vowed to write everyday and I wanted to stick to it!!

After joining the journaling /life coaching class that began in February, I started to expand my horizons and branch out a little more in my writing.  I tried to become more personal and that was very hard for me.  I am a very private person and I very rarely share intimate parts of my life – especially with complete strangers.  In January and February I averaged about 1000 hits per month.

But then, in March, my mom died.  The week before she died, I began blogging about her and how our family was coping with it.  Hundreds of people began to read my blog.  My post on March 14th about Grandmas,  https://aprojectforkindness.wordpress.com/2013/03/14/grandmas/ was one of my biggest posts up until that date.  The following day, the day we took her off life support, I got even more.  I have had people write to me, stop me on the street, send messages just telling me how much my blog helped them get through this time.  They did not even realize how much it helped me to write it.  The hits on my blog remained pretty steady for another week or so and then, slowly dropped off, but I was still averaging close to 100 a day which amazed me.

Then, Francine died.  In the days that followed her death, I had record numbers of people reading.  One day there were 990 hits!  Again, so many people just needed to understand what was going on.  they needed to feel like they could make sense of a situation that was incomprehensible.  I am just grateful that my blog was once again able to help them.

Since that day, (although I have not had anywhere close to that many hits), people are still coming to read what I have to say.  I have become much more vulnerable and opening up – writing a lot more than I ever expected to share, and in doing so, I have found people who are interested in reading what I have to say.   I still get people, (some complete strangers), commenting and talking to me about it, or telling me when a particular blog reaches out to them in a way that I never expected.

This week, I reached 20,000 hits on my blog!  I don’t know if that is a lot or not when compared to other bloggers.  Truthfully, I am not sure I even care about comparisons.  All that I know, is that this is far beyond anything I had ever imagined.  There was no way that I could have known when I began in January that I would actually have “followers”!  So, thank you, thank you, thank you, to everyone who reads and comes to visit to see what I have to say.

I have learned a lot about myself and laughed, cried, got angry and empathetic but I have enjoyed it so much more than I ever imagined I would.  Something inside me has changed, and I think it is for the better.  I am still looking to find things to write about.  Hopefully more people will become interested, and want to come and visit and read what I have to say.  I can only hope that I can continue to inspire…not just others, but myself.

A Regular Day

the present moment

My New Year’s resolution was to write something about kindness everyday.  I have definitely had days that I have not been inspired to write.  My kindness blog has branched out to include a lot more than just kindness.  Most of March was dedicated to my mom.  I did not have trouble finding things to write about during those few weeks.  They may not have been directly about kindness, but my mom was definitely one of the kindest people around.  I knew that before I began writing about her, but so many people shared stories about how she touched their lives that I guess it really did fit right into the idea of a kindness blog.

Yesterday, I wrote about some struggles we are having with our son Drew and how we are going to deal with his mood swings after the concussions.  That blog had nothing to do with kindness, but in response to it, I received an act kindness from a friend who shared her own personal medical struggle and how she felt it was “brave” of me to talk publicly about it.  So although, I did not feel kindness while writing it, I received kindness in return.

I sat for over an hour trying to decide what to write about today.  I googled ideas, looked for great quotes, but still was stumped.  I realized that writing everyday was going to be difficult.  I am not going to give up though.  Some days, I have so many things I want to write about and other days are like today.  So instead, today, I tried to think about those “jelly belly moments” I wrote about months ago.  Those times that I found sweetness in my day.  One sweet spot was when I took my boys mini-golfing.  It is Spring Break for us and we are not going anywhere this year, so we decided to make it a fun “stay-cation” for them.   They played a round of golf and then tried a silly arcade like game.  They were laughing so hard and enjoying it so much, I could not help but laugh with them.  Now that we finally have Spring like weather, another one of those moments was hearing them play in the front yard at dusk.  Despite their nearly five year age difference, those times that they get along like best friends, still gives me that feeling.

I know that this is not what people are going to be coming to my blog to read about.  Nothing exciting, nothing out of the ordinary.  Just a regular day for us, but after a very long, hectic, busy and sad few weeks, maybe regular is just what we needed.

Making the World a Kinder Place

kindness gift

Last night, I began to hand out “Smile Cards” in celebration of Random Acts of Kindness Week.  I shuffled the deck and told them that they could choose a card.  It looks like a regular deck of cards, with all of the typical suits.  The tasks begin at number one and are rather simple and they get more difficult as the number gets higher.  Each suit is a different color and represents a different category.

  • For people you know
  • For yourself
  • For our world
  • For those unknown

It started out with a lot of laughter after my kickboxing class as I had each of the women choose one WITHOUT looking.  Some of cards just don’t work for  everyone, so I let them put it  back and choose another if it was not appropriate for them.  It seemed a little silly at first, but as they chose cards that had significance to them, it became more meaningful.  We all got a good laugh from the first one chosen, which was in the category, “for our world” and was  “hug a tree in public and inspire others to do the same”.  Not that any of us don’t respect our planet, but it just was not feasible or realistic with a foot of snow on the ground right now in the freezing weather.   One of them chose the card, “Call a mentor to say ‘thank you'”.  She loved that one and was happy to have a reason to do it.  Each of the women chose a card that inspired them and will try to act on it this week.

At school this morning, I shared the cards with teachers and staff as well.  Here are some of the favorites.  Perhaps you could try a few of these too!!

  • Connect two friends who had not previously met each other
  • Help someone with a chore unexpectedly
  • Create five cards with positive messages and leave them in a coffee shop for someone to discover
  • Donate your favorite book to a library with a note inside why you love it
  • Get in touch with an old friend who you’d like to reconnect with
  • Strike up a conversation with an elderly person
  • Leave a snack for an unsuspecting co-worker

When you do an act of kindness, someone else will be inspired to do the same, keeping the kindness chain alive.  If you would like a directive, I will be happy to pass along some of the ideas from the cards.  If you have some of your own that you’d like to share, post them as well.  The more kindness shared, the more power we have to make the world a kinder place.