Tag Archive | smile

Life Is In The Little Things We Do

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I am not a person who goes to Starbucks very often.  That being said, the other day it was warm out and I decided to treat myself so I pulled into the drive thru of a local Starbucks for a mocha frappuccino.

In our busy world of fast food, there’s a routine that’s fairly consistent.  We pull up to speak our order to the person behind the screen.  Then we pull around to the window, pay for our order, then wait in line to pull to the next window to receive what we’ve ordered.

Easy.  Routine.  Expected.

So when I pulled up to order at the Starbucks screen I heard:

“Good afternoon.  Welcome to Starbucks.  How may I begin your order today?”

At first I was a bit astonished because I’m so used to the voice at the other end of the screen being a bit frazzled and curt.  Yet her voice was soothing, patient and happy.

“Good afternoon!  I’d like a medium (or whatever you call that size) mocha frappuccino please and that’s it.”

“Of course.  What a perfect treat for a sunny day!  Please pull around to the window.”

“Ok, thank you.”

I put my car into drive and moved to the window.  As I rolled up to the Starbucks’ window, the glass slid open and a young woman (probably in her early 20’s) leaned out and smiled at me.  She had blonde and purple hair with a floral top on.

“Hi,” she beamed at me with a smile.

“Hi,” I answered back, expecting that she would immediately tell me how much I owed for the order and we’d move on.  I mean, this is a drive thru and people are always in a hurry these days.

“Excuse me for a moment,” and she turned away to take the order from the next car in line, just as politely as she had taken mine.  Then she turned back to me.

“How are you?”

I stammered.  I mean, this wasn’t what I was expecting.  Was this a social call?

“I’m doing ok thank you.  How are you?”

“I’m doing great today  The sun is shining and all is well.”

“That’s terrific.  I like the way you’re thinking.  You’re right.  It is a beautiful day out.”

“Excuse me again,” she said as she took the next order.  I watched her speak with a smile  to the next person in line.  It struck me that she really liked her job.

She turned back to me and continued to chat.  I was still stunned that we were continuing to have this casual conversation and she still hadn’t told me how much I owed for my order.  She was completely relaxed even though there were cars behind me and the place was obviously busy.  I was holding the bills in my hand because I didn’t know how much the drink was.  I raised my hand to show her the money in hopes that she’d tell me how much I owed and I could pay for my order.

Then it struck me.  What’s up with me?  I wasn’t in a hurry and yet here I was, chomping at the bit (horse vocab intended) to get on with it.  To pay, to receive and to move out of the way so that the next car could pull up to get their order.  I was not really in a rush and yet, here I was acting like I was because I was so attuned to the fast food mentality of rushing through life.  Yet, here was someone who was completely at ease in a stressful situation and I was not.

She smiled at me again and continued to talk as if we were old friends.  Was I the only one aware that the minutes were ticking by?  We were both looking at each other and it was then that I realized that we were connecting as humans and not as mechanical robots.  She took one more order and then turned back to me.

“Your order comes to $,” she finally said, smiling even more.

I counted out the bills and handed them over to her.  She handed the change back to me still smiling.

“I’m sorry I was frazzled when I pulled up to the window.  I wasn’t expecting us to have a conversation.  It’s usually not done that way.”

“I know.  You did look a bit frazzled but look, now you’re more relaxed.”

Smiling a huge grin, I laughed as she handed me the drink.

“You’re right.  Thank you for making my day brighter.”

“You’re so welcome.  I’m glad we connected.  I hope you have a lovely day.  Enjoy your treat!”

I reached back into my wallet and handed her a tip.

“Thank you for your unique way of being.  This was really lovely.”

“You are so welcome.  You’re not the first person to be caught off guard when I talk with them.  I find it makes the job more fun to meet everyone and to connect with them, even if only for a few minutes.  I hope it makes someone else’s day better when they feel that I really see them and we connect.  You never know what’s going on with anyone, but I find that trying to brighten someone’s day makes all the difference.”

“Well, you certainly brightened mine.  Thank you for your kindness.”

We both smiled again and I waved to her as I pulled away, still aware of the line of cars behind me.  Yet, the funny thing was that none were beeping.  They seemed to all be patiently waiting their turns.  Perhaps it was because they knew that the girl behind the counter would be giving each of them her full attention for a few moments of connection.

As I drove away, sipping that delicious concoction, it tasted even better.  I opened the sunroof and let in the wind and sunshine.  I turned up the volume as the music enveloped my soul.

I silently thanked that purple-haired angel at Starbucks for her sweet reminder.

Connections make all the difference.

Shine On!

xo

 

 

 

 

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Rabbit Rabbit

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June 1st!  You know what that means, don’t you?  Rabbit Rabbit, White Rabbit White Rabbit!

I looked back to the original post and it was on June 1, 2014 that I began the tradition.  Does it seem like it’s been four years already?  Time certainly flies in some respects and with others, it’s very slow and sometimes tedious.

But today’s a celebration – an anniversary of sorts for the four years that I’ve been reminding you to welcome the new month full of goodness!  So join me today in cheering for a month ahead filled with heartlights shining, love surrounding us and all the goodness this Universe has to offer each and every one of us!

Smile today!  Feel the blessings that are bestowed on you and raise your vibrations to embrace all with whom you connect today – especially yourself!

Shine On!

xo

Make Your Dreams A Reality

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Sam and Me!

 

I had my second lesson the other day.  I am in heaven.  It has long been a dream of mine to learn to ride horses as I told you before here about Charlie.

I am making my own dreams come true and I’m truly loving it!

This smile that you see is only a fraction of the one when I was on Sam’s back learning how to balance and ride in the ring.  He is even bigger than Charlie (seriously!) and so I needed a mounting block to get on his back.  But, I am proud to say, that I dismounted all on my own without the block – ok, I’ll be honest, I slid off him, but I did land on my feet and not on my rear end!  That was a plus I think!

Oh my goodness, when I tell you how much my heart is bursting with happiness, there aren’t even enough words to explain how I feel.  It’s euphoria that I am doing what I have always wanted to do!  I feel like my heartlight is shining so brightly!  If I could financially swing everyday riding lessons, I wouldn’t think twice about it.  That’s how much I am enjoying my time with these horses.  Truly.

Go after your dreams.  Don’t lose them because you never know when you will get the chance to enjoy them!

Shine On!

xo

The Waving Girl, Savannah

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I have always loved visiting The Waving Girl in Savannah, Georgia.  I’ve spent a lot of time down there, especially over the last few years and I always have the urge to go to visit her statue.  It started when I was younger and I was first on River Street with my family and heard about her.  From then on, she stayed in a special place in my heart for reasons unknown to me.

On River Street, the above statue stands as a testament to The Waving Girl.  She was a woman named Miss Florence Martus who, by waving her handkerchief in greeting to the passing ships, grew a beautiful legend by her simple act of connection and kindness.

Here you can read all about her!

Have you ever been to Savannah?  There is so much to do there!  It’s an amazing city full of Southern charm, ghosts, good food, shops, antiques, history and of course, my favorite, The Waving Girl.

What entices me about her?  I guess it’s the simplicity in which she changed the world around her.  Above you can read how many ships she greeted in her lifetime and what her simple act did for the crews on the passing ships.  They looked for her greeting and looked forward to seeing her waving her handkerchief to them as they passed by.  To me, it’s like smiling at strangers in the grocery store or on the street.  You hope that by that simple act, you connect with someone else for a moment in a good way.

Imagine our world if we were all to greet each other with kindness, with a smile or a friendly wave, asking nothing in return except for a similar greeting!  Oh my, I can feel the world now smile with joy for the love that would surround Mother Earth!  Can’t you?

Here’s Miss Florence Martus waving to you!

Won’t you please greet the next person you see with a smile?

MissFlorenceMartus

Shine On!

xo

**Photo of Miss Florence Martus, 1931. Photographer Unknown. Courtesy of Bull Street Library, Georgia Live Oak Libraries.

** Photo “Waving Girl” Statue on River Street, 2016. Courtesy of Alison Lechner from the Georgia History website.

 

Out of the Mouth of Alzheimer’s

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Recently I had a precious moment with a loved one who has Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia.  It came quite unexpectedly as our phone conversation was in the evening which usually brings sundowners for her which means she can become more easily confused.

But on this evening, the woman who spoke to me was a voice from my past, her voice quiet but firm, yet with a softness for which I had hungered for a long time.  My Aunt spoke with me and I sat ready listening with my heart.

At first, I thought that we would just chat, I would make her giggle and then having connected in the only way she has been able, we would say our goodbye and requisite, ‘I love you,’ at the end of the conversation.  But instead, I received a gift that we shared.

She told me that she was happy that I could understand her as it had been hard on her for a long time.  “Words don’t seem to come to me,” she explained in a resigned voice.  “And I can’t say what I want for I don’t know what I want to say.  It’s been a long time since I was able to be understood.”

I waited patiently, stunned by her admission ~ for the last few years, we haven’t been able to have this type of conversation because she simply hasn’t been able to share how she’s feeling.  Words to even express pain weren’t readily available to her, instead a grimace gave us the inkling that something was wrong.

“It’s like I can see the words, but I can’t reach them.  I get confused easily and then everything vanishes.  My brain just refuses to work like I want it to anymore.  I think that I want to say something and then the thought is gone and I just can’t remember what it was.”

I listened with my heart and felt through the phone her ability at that moment to tell me what was going on with her.  She was strengthened by sharing with me and I am ever grateful that we had that time of lucidity together for it had been a long while.

We had a few giggles as elder sisters can when we talk about our younger siblings.  We’ve always had that bond and it was strengthened for a few minutes during our conversation.  In the end, her sister was getting antsy to talk with me, so she explained that she would give the phone back to ‘the baby’ (aka baby sister) and we giggled.

She thanked me for always talking with her and for being her niece.  She told me that she was glad we had a chance to talk and that she knew we may not be able to talk like this again.  I promised to continue to try to translate for her when the words didn’t come easily again.  I could hear us smiling together as she said, “I love you.  I love you with my whole heart.  Please remember that,” and I repeated the same back to her.

She handed the phone off to her baby sister and the moment was over.  When I hung up the phone, tears continued rolling down my face for I knew, in my heart, I had just been given a precious gift which I would never forget.

There was no pity party invite when she told me what was happening with her and how aware she was at that moment in time that words, thoughts, and understanding escape her.  She didn’t ask why.  She didn’t make excuses.  She only wanted to share with me how she felt and I was there, a ready listener to receive her message.  A true moment ~ The Presents of Presence. ♥

And isn’t that what life is all about?  Being there to listen and connect with a kind, loving heartlight?

Shine On!

xo

January 21 is Hugging Day!

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I have learned that there is more power

in a good strong hug

than in a thousand meaningful words.

~ Ann Hood

Today on Sandra Boynton’s page was the lovely post above…so please enjoy a heartfelt hug from me!  Then, take a hug, give a hug and continue to let your heartlight…

Shine On!

xo

 

Tips to Help You Cope With Holiday Estrangements

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There may be times in our lives when we feel separated from others and it seems that the holidays are the hardest to bear when we are in this position.  There are no words to balm the feeling of grief and loss, not even succinct platitudes which are uttered that bear witness to the heaving sadness in our hearts.  Whether your estrangement is with the living or deceased, it is sometimes hard to put on a happy face during this otherwise joyous season.

Feeling alone doesn’t help, so I am here to walk this holiday season with you.  Take my hand.  Let’s get a plan in place to make the best holiday season that can be!  I want to say that it doesn’t matter what the cause of the estrangement is or with whom, but then I’d be lying, for each of us in this position feels the pain of estrangement in our own ways and in our own situations and my goodness, it does truly matter.

But in a general way, here are some tips that may help us all.

Decide what makes you happy, festive and in the mood to celebrate and plan it.

Be kind to everyone, (especially you) during the holidays.

Remember Ram Dass’ quote, we are all just walking each other home and as you may be finding it hard to walk home at this time, others may be as well.

Change is difficult, but it opens our lives up to fruitful empowerment.

Take some quiet time for yourself.  Meditate.  Take a bubble bath.  Nourish your soul by feeding yourself loving, peaceful moments of stillness.  Smile.  Pray.

Be the observer in your own life.  See how each and every person you meet is struggling and feel the compassion in being kind to everyone, no matter the circumstances.

Do your best to shine your heartlight.  Do what makes you happy and not for approval of the masses.  They may judge anyway.  Just continuej to be your sweet, loving self.

Get enough rest.  Drink extra water.  Do not overindulge in food or alcohol for it will not help you.

Silence is a gift you give yourself.  If you have nothing nice to say, then please don’t say it.  If someone says something nice to you, allow yourself space to walk away and not engage.

Listen with a loving heart for you may hear tidbits which explain the estrangement (if you don’t already know).  When you speak, do it with kindness and not with negativity nor anger.

If you must leave, then do so quietly without rancor.  Best to err on solitude than to have your actions gossiped over by others.

Remember the reason for the holiday season ~ to show kindness, generosity of spirit and love.

Make good memories for yourself and others by coming from a place of patience and peace.

Look up.  Ask for help from God.  Imagine yourself surrounded by white, loving light which protects you all the time, especially during trying times.

Bless the festivities.  Ask your Angels and God to be there with you as you pass through the holiday season.

Be grateful that you are here and do your best to make a difference with each and every encounter.  Let no one leave you without feeling the genuine warmth of your smile.

Remember that you have a friend in me.  Take my hand and know that you are loved.

Shine On!

xo