One of my favourite quotes is from the Dalai Lama:
"Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible."
So, let's practice random acts of kindness.
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Let someone in front of you in traffic Smile at strangers Hold the door open for people Help your neighbours: shovel snow, carry their groceries, bring in their trash cans or babysit Offer your seat on the bus
Leave a few quarters at the laundromat or in a vending machine Pick up trash Share your umbrella Buy a coworker a coffee
According to the opening lyrics of one of my favourite Quartet songs "Inspiration doesn't simply appear, it must have a spark, a chance to come clear and light up into view." So take a moment now to consider what inspires you:
Reconnecting with someone?
Trying something new?
Having a little alone time?
Breaking out of your routine?
For me, I find listening to music inspiring. My all time personal favourite inspirational song is "I Got a Name" by Jim Croce
“How wonderful that no one need wait a single moment
to improve the world."
Anne Frank (1929-1945)
With so much buzz about 2012 and the Mayan calendar, I can't help but think about our future and what it might look like. I must admit, some days it's hard to be optimistic. Political revolutions, austerity measures, oil wars, corporate bail outs, climate change, famine, peak oil, genetically modified food - so many things seem to be reaching their tipping point. So what can one person do about any of this? Lots!
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for
good men to do nothing.”
Edmund Burke (1729-1797); Statesman, Author, Philosopher
Try to keep things in perspective. Be mindful of the big problems, but focus on solving them through the things we can all do everyday to help reduce them. Develop a positive outlook:
First, accept that you are only able to control your actions and responses to changing conditions around you.
Take responsibility for your actions in all things. It sounds simple but being accountable to yourself will help you make the necessary changes.
Stop to consider the consequences of your actions (if I choose to do this, what will be the result?).
Lead by example! If you can change, then it just might inspire others.
Remember that one person can make a difference. Small accomplishments add up quicker then you might think. Remember, no matter what your economic standing, you can help save the environment and money at the same time. You the consumer drive the market; products are made because you buy them. If you buy products that are better for the environment it will become profitable for companies to respond to the demand for environmentally-friendly products. It really is that simple.
If you choose only one product on which to flex your consumer muscle, please make it bottled water. Watch the movie "Tapped" - it will boggle your mind! At least spend a bit of time on the movie's website found here. Thank you!
“I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything,
“...if anything matters then everything matters. Because you are important, everything you do is important. Every time you forgive, the universe changes; every time you reach out and touch a heart or a life, the world changes; with every kindness and service, seen or unseen, my purposes are accomplished and nothing will be the same again.” William P. Young, The Shack
Some of you may know that after a 20 year break I started riding a motorcycle again 3 years ago. Last summer I got a new bike (picture here) and have really enjoyed being back on the road. For Christmas my hubby gave me a book about woman and motorcycles written by a local author and motorcycle instructor Liz Jansen.
The book, Women, Motorcycles and the Road to Empowerment is a collection of 50 stories of women and their motorcycling experiences interspersed with Liz's personal story of how she transitioned from a corporate career to running a motorcycle touring business. The overall theme of the book is finding yourself through change and challenge.
As I started the book I found myself thinking that, other than riding a motorcycle, I really didn't have that much in common with these women. But I kept reading. I personally know a couple of the featured woman and was looking forward to their stories. The more stories I read, the more I thought. And the more I thought the more I realized that I too had overcome several barriers to be out there riding on the road. Some of these barriers were self-imposed, others had been imposed upon me. I felt my perceptions continue to shift as I read through chapters like "Dealing with the Unexpected", "Connecting with Spirit" and "Leading with your Heart".
Eventually I realized the insight Liz and these ladies were sharing wasn't limited to motorcycling. It could be applied to any type of challenge. The timing of this book in my life was impeccable. Some rather unwanted change was occurring and I needed to work through it. The thoughts, ideas and inspiration I found in those pages really made a difference in how I reacted to that change. Releasing my resistance and embracing a new direction has resulted in a more grounded, more expansive and more inclusive experience than could ever have been possible before.
I will admit this book is not going to win any literary awards . But what it lacks in scholarly finesse it more than makes up for with spirit and intuition.
I'd like to share a passage from the book I found particularly inspiring:
"We are riding our own rides. We've developed and honed our instinctual skills, connected with our wild nature and now embrace it. We love who we are and embody empowerment and joyful and full living in all aspects of our life. We are change agents and leaders, often in subtle, unplanned ways and without even being aware of it. We're closer than ever to who we are. We know our power is there and how to use it appropriately. All we have to do is call on it."
“If you are not doing what you love, you are wasting your time.”
“If you want to improve, be content to be thought foolish and stupid.” Epictetus
Understand (life) by
seeing how the stone
has been hollowed out by rain. Do not cling to the illusion that nothing changes. Dr. Mikao Usui
“When we are no longer able to change a situation… we are challenged to change ourselves. Victor Frankl
“The wise stand out because they see themselves as part of the Whole. They shine because they don’t want to impress. They achieve great things because they don’t look for recognition. Their wisdom is contained in what they are, not their opinions. They refuse to argue, so no-one argues with them.” Lao Tzu