Archives for posts with tag: Kindness

We have now officially ushered out 2017 and introduced ourselves to 2018.

I’m not sure how old i was when I remember I expected to feel something different when I woke up after my birthday, or on New Year’s Day. After all something defining had occurred right? Another year older, another year past.

I realized then it wasn’t the magic of the clock turning to a new day, there wasn’t a wham bang sudden change. I grew another year older day by day and 2017 passed day by day like every other year. Today is just the day after yesterday. Just like every other day. It’s what we choose to do with that extraordinarily ordinary day that matters. Every one of them.

Some of us are bounding in to 2018 with smiles, hope, plans and attitude. Rock on. Make it your year. Fly! Learn, love, grow.

Sometimes it seems there is only hardship and sadness on the road ahead of us. But, in amongst the challenges life puts in front of each of us right now, may we also find our way to see the beauty, feel the joy, hear the music and be touched by the love hidden in each day that dawns before us.

And I say to you as well,

Rock on. Make it your year. Fly! Learn, love, grow.

Wishing you a blessed 2018! Every extraordinarily ordinary day of it.

©️2018 JFries/Rise Like Air

Advertisements

I love sitting in my reading nook under the stairs. I feel a bit like a glorified Harry Potter. Except I chose to make this my space. I didn’t get cast away under the stairs. Quite a difference there. Really, it’s all I have energy for right now with this lousy cold in my nose. Grateful that’s the worst of it. At least it’s not in my chest.

Feeling a little sorry for myself. Needed and wanted this week off so badly and then to be sick sorta sucks.

But I’m one of those annoying people that actually believes everything happens for a reason even if I don’t ever see the big picture. I really do. So I’m grateful for my cold even tho I don’t see the purpose and maybe never will. For one thing it’s giving me the perfect reason to do nothing except enjoy my new nook. Maybe that’s as simple as the purpose needs to be. Else I know I’d be running around

Which, by the way, my niece tried out the nook on her own over Christmas and liked! Made my day. So much better than the disorganized messy storage area it was before. It only took me about 12 years to get it ready. Some projects take a little extra love and time. And sometimes you just have to get off your butt and make it happen. A thought to take you out of 2017 and into 2018.

Happy Wednesday! Take time for you. Find your own nook and make it yours if you haven’t already.

©️2017 JFries/Rise Like Air

On October 23rd I opened my new copy of The Kindness Boomerang. It felt so good to have a copy of my own again. You see I tend to gift a lot of them, and I was without one for myself for weeks.

img_0787
The Kindness Boomerang is a book by Life Vest Inside founder Orly Wahba who inspires us to change the world with kindness. It’s all about everyday people doing everyday things a little more consciously.

I’ve learned through these daily kindness exercises it’s true, the little things really are the big things.

So I opened the book and the act for that day was

Eat and shop locally today.

img_1479

Excerpt from The Kindness Boomerang by Orly Wahba

It just so happened that I was about to buy some sticky sweet honey from our local apiarist, commonly known as a beekeeper, who is just down the road at Zee-Bee Honey. I had to smile as I made the arrangements with the owner (and my friend) Michelle.

Saskatchewan produced honey courtesy of the bees from Zee-Bee Honey

The Steve Maraboli quote accompanying the act fit perfectly,

Every single time you help somebody stand up you are helping humanity rise.

It was another one of those “rise like air” feeling occasions. Everyday people doing everyday things a little more consciously everyday. I like it when things come together with that peaceful sweet serendipity.  Just another reminder that really, “it’s all good”. It’s all in how you look at it.

©2017 Jewel Fries/Rise Like Air

You can also find Rise Like Air on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter!

lara-blog

Lara Heller is a multi talented screen actress for films including The Cut, Ben Hur and The Odyssey. All these films are natured based-shooting in beautiful majestic locations like the hills of the Badlands in Canada, Snowdonia in the mountains and the jungles of Thailand. Nature is a sanctuary for this family throughout all aspects of their life.

And here’s the really exciting part… (sssshhhhhh….) In May I was honoured to be able to tell Lara’s story of her father’s perseverance and kindness towards their community in Life Vest Inside’s The Kindness Flash.  I discovered what started out as a simple act of planting a few flowers turned into a statement of kindness that would last season after season.

tkf-banner-blog

I hope you enjoy Lara’s Everyday Kindness Story, Sowing The Seeds Of Happiness

Lara remembers how how her father always loved nature. Lara and her siblings grew up in the tiny mountain village in Germany that had a grand total of 100 people. Upon moving to Brighton her father missed the wild flowers he’d enjoyed so much in his homeland. He was sad that little children passed on the street every day and the trees were bare. He decided to take it upon himself to make a change and proceeded to plant daffodils under one tree.

The children all looked at the pretty little bed of bright yellow. The tree stood out. Elderly people smiled walking past. Children stopped and showed their parents. It was amazing and beautiful how a single tree decorated with flowers could attract so much attention!

Sadly, one morning the Town Council put out wood shavings on all the trees including the one with daffodils crushing all the little flowers. Devastated, the family ran out and asked why. The reply was also devastating,  ‘Council orders-it looks different to the others. They need to be the same.’

Lara’s father chose not to become angry. Instead he proceeded to plant daffodils under all the trees! The next spring the whole street looked the same, each tree an explosion of yellow flowers. Children laughed again and neighbours sent Lara’s family letters as a thank you.

Lara reminds us beautifully that,

quote-openDaffodils like kind deeds multiple. Every year there are more little yellow trumpets waving in the wind. And our neighbours have planted more flowers under their trees. Kindness isn’t always encouraged but that doesn’t mean we give up. As my father taught me-plant enough seeds and suddenly they’ll all blossom.quote-close

reprinted from The Kindness Flash #14 May edition ©2017 Life Vest Inside

Where there is a will, there is likely a way. If there is not a way there is a lesson.

What a beautiful reward, the ongoing multiplication of kindness and blossoms. Bloom and grow. Remember you can check out Lara’s work here.

 

©2017 JFries/Rise Like Air

Visit us on Facebook   Our WordPress Blog

Follow us on Twitter    Join us on Instagram

Pin us on Pinterest

 

Monday dawned sunny and bright. I was fortunate to awake to the sound of waves lapping at the lakeshore and the sun peeking over the hill top.

18519662_1354113284672916_6700577096305493190_n.jpg

(sunset shot the night before)

There was already a lot of ugly and sadness I could have focussed on if I had let myself. And I admit the temptation to let it swallow me whole was palpable, but I put my big girl panties on, pulled up my positive pants, threw on a great pair of shoes, straightened my tiara and topped it off with bright lipstick and mascara! Well in truth, I took a deep breath, threw back the covers and made a CHOICE to CHOOSE beautiful; to see it, believe it and channel it. And I made that choice over and over when the temptation to doubt tapped me on the shoulder.

Later in the day the headline on my news feed about Manchester appeared.  Manchester – a place from far away that I’ve always associated with sports and music for some reason until that head line. The choice to see beautiful became even more difficult. My shoulders slumped, I just felt heavy.  I felt raw and numb all at once. I think a lot of us did.

Tuesday morning Huffington Post reported “explosion killed 22 people and injured 59, many of them teenagers.”  at an Ariana Grande concert. I witnessed the feelings come out through social media and in the news.

A friend posted, “Tears for those who just went to a concert. Tears for the world.”

18581819_458106077855143_4220860024130254165_n

A cousin asked,

18716686_1358367044247540_600264915_n

 

And then I read my friend Michelle’s eloquent and heart felt Facebook post and am honoured that she gave me permission to share her words with you. When things happen which are impossible to make sense of, in the end all we really want to do is keep our precious treasures, those we love, safe.

Bubble wrap.
I need so much Bubble Wrap.

You know… The stuff you use to keep the things that are most precious to you, safe from harm. We wrap them up so they don’t get broken.

Bubble Wrap… Safe, dependable Bubble Wrap.

It may give one peace of mind, but there isn’t enough bubble wrap in the world on a day like today. On any kind of day in a world like the one we live in this day.

“Prayers for…”
“Our hearts and thoughts…”
“We stand with…”

These phrases are like labels now. Words we use to tape together the Bubble Wrap that we place around our hearts and minds to help keep us sane enough from locking our children in their rooms and nailing shut our windows and doors to keep out all the Bogeymen outside that lurk within a world that keeps getting smaller, from stealing their innocence, our naivete, and our collective sense of normalcy.

There is nothing normal about any of this. Even though this insanity is quickly seeming to become the norm. Padded rooms were once for the insane and yet, here I am, wishing I could wrap every precious being in my world in Bubble Wrap. How insane is that? And yet, Bubble Wrap was my first wish… My first “logical to me” thought while my heart screamed “Why?” and it’s echoes throbbed through my head.

Just as “There are no words…” is heard echoing thoughout the world.

But there are words…
“Please.” and “Stop.”

And there are so many echoes.

Because there will never, ever be enough Bubble Wrap.

©Michelle Laing Hoffman 2017

 

But until that plea is answered, in amongst the tragic and terrible burns the eternal flame of human kindness and compassion.

Huffington Post reported, “Public transport shut down, and taxis offered to give stranded people free rides home, while residents opened their homes to provide lodging.”

As the BBC noted, Then there are people like this young man who says “We can react in a lot of ways. We can react in anger. Or we can react by doing. This city is a community.”   The news outlets are capturing more than the devastation and carnage, they are capturing the humanity, compassion and resilience as well.

I think Grande summed it up for many of us with her tweet, “broken. from the bottom of my heart, I am so sorry. I don’t have words.”

“When someone says, “There are no words,” it is there I will find them and we will meet in the silent language of grief.” Benjamin Allen

While I have no words left, I do have kindness and compassion, and with those I will continue to shine my light more brightly so the darkness has no place to grow.

Please.  Stop.

Shine Brightly.

 

©2017 JFries/Rise Like Air

Visit us on Facebook   Our WordPress Blog

Follow us on Twitter    Join us on Instagram

Pin us on Pinterest

 

 

 

“Remember there is no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.” Scott Adams

When Orly Wahba was four years old she told her parents she dreamed of changing the world with kindness. Years later as a middle school teacher, after receiving devastating news about the death of a student, she became motivated to make that dream a reality. Inspired by the life vest inside sign she saw while waiting on the plane for take off, the plan that  would see her four year old self’s dream materialize began to take shape.  Orly’s amazing vision would  eventually lead to the making of The Kindness Boomerang video, forming the non profit Life Vest Inside, including the Dance For Kindness movement and now, most recently, the release, January 3rd 2017 of Orly Wahba’s book, The Kindness Boomerang – How To Save The World (and Yourself) Through 365 Daily Acts.

img_0787

 

Orly has always believed, without a doubt, that small acts of kindness perpetrated by everyday people change the world. She often quotes Margaret Mead,

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

unknown

Orly Wahba, Author and founder of LVI

Six years ago when she started Life Vest Inside I was fortunate enough to come across the video The Kindness Boomerang. That eventually lead me to getting to know Orly and volunteering at Life Vest Inside. I was also fortunate enough to enjoy being part of the experience seeing this book become a reality. I recently picked up a couple of copies and on January 19th I opened the book. I couldn’t help but smile at the entry, my favourite topic,

PERSPECTIVE!

img_0786

After giving one of my former students an Act of Kindness card that read, “hold the door open for someone,” I received phone call the very next day with loads and loads of excitement coming through the other end. “You won’t believe what happened after you gave me the cards yesterday!… Everywhere I turned there was a door that someone needed to be opened! It was crazy!” I smiled, chuckled, and said, “Those doors were there yesterday and the day before – but it’s only now that your awareness is heightened that you’re really seeing them!” You’d be surprise by the endless kindness possibilities out there. It’s all about increased awareness. Let’s start seeing the world through the lens of kindness. – Orly Wahba – The Kindness Boomerang

And that, my friends, is the crazy thing about perspective! Once you shift it even slightly and you relax with it all of a sudden you see the world completely differently!

I hear it all the time.  I see it for myself. The world changes, sometimes subtly, sometimes dramatically but it almost always always always changes.

As Orly’s surprised student discovered, what we see was always there, just waiting. Waiting oh so patiently for us to see it, to become aware. To bring it beyond reality, but instead to embrace it as our own very personal reality. Our own world.  And then, oh my, our lives change. And the lives around us change. And the world changes. And life is very very good.

Here’s the thing. One of my biggest frustrations in life right now is realizing how many people just do not get this concept. My second biggest frustration is trying to help others recognize it.

Like most things, I’ve come to understand all I can do is plant the seed and patiently water, nurture and yes, wait. There is nothing like the feeling of seeing someone else’s eyes get wide and watching them connect the dots that bring them from coincidence to how many doors needed opening to “Those doors were there yesterday and the day before – but it’s only now that your awareness is heightened that you’re really seeing them!”

I get the biggest emotional high when I’m fortunate enough to witness those magical, dare I say almost spiritual moments. They do more than touch the mind, they touch the heart and most importantly, they reach deep and touch the soul.

Here’s the thing.  The Kindness Boomerang holds 365 opportunities to make that connection, to touch minds, hearts, souls and lives. And when you finish the first 365 days, you can start all over again.

So are you ready?  Are you ready to throw the boomerang and have it come back to you? Heads up, because I guarantee you it will. You just never know when it will happen – so be ready.

Interested in being part of the movement to change the world simply by living the Kindness Lifestyle? Then consider picking up a copy The Kindness Boomerang today. It makes the perfect gift for anyone and the best place to start sharing a little kindness is with yourself.

Consider becoming a Life Vest Inside Kindness Ambassador and meeting, inspiring and being inspired by like minded people from around the world.

If you’re interested in watching the short film that started it all please enjoy “The Kindness Boomerang”

 

Orly and Life Vest Inside sharing the Kindness Boomerang in NYC

 

©2017 JFries/Rise Like Air

Visit us on Facebook   Our WordPress Blog

Follow us on Twitter    Join us on Instagram

Pin us on Pinterest

Awhile back I received a crowdfunding campaign message about a 2 cd album being created in support of Postcards For Peace. They are a group I’ve heard about before, I think they do really wonderful work so I checked it out and decided to contribute a little bit. That little bit got me the gift of  the cd and a postcard.

They arrived yesterday by post as promised, with a simple Thank You hand written on the flap of the envelope.

It came, as with most things really,  perfect timing. What better way to wind down the last few days of 2016, certainly in truth not my favourite year overall, and begin what I believe will be a phenomenally amazing 2017. How am I going to do that? By I’m holding onto a world of hope every minute of every day.

As I write I’m sitting here listening to We’ve Got It All by Peter James Millson and now Fiddle or a Gun by Oysterband just came on. The album is a beautiful complication of a somewhat eclectic group of artists coming together for peace. I like that idea. Breeze Redwine brought me to tears with her beautiful piece Courage. I can tell that as I listen to these beautiful heartfelt pieces, each will find a way to uniquely entwine themselves into my heart. There’s something about the cover art that just makes me want to smile and find a park to sit in for awhile. Maybe even write a post card or two… with a message for peace.

a-world-of-digifile-front-cover1-300x274

 

Check it out at Postcards For Peace shopping page:

“In support of international charity Postcards For Peace, whose goal is to end discrimination and violence through education, twenty six incredible musicians have contributed songs to create a truly beautiful album.

The title, A World of Hope, comes from the lyrics to Jo Hamilton’s ‘There It Is’ (one of the first tracks contributed to the project) and it is a fitting name for an album that features 26 songs of war and peace, of hope and of love, of living life to the full, of not giving up and of having the courage to face adversity.

It includes acts that have truly earned the right to be called legends, Grammy award nominees, multiple BBC Folk Award winners, acts that have enjoyed chart success and artists that spend their lives travelling the world to get their music heard. From octogenarian Peggy Seeger to teenager Breeze Redwine, every single one of the artists has donated a track to this album because they want to help build a world in which people care for other human beings without discrimination, prejudice, violence and hate.”

Happy New Year everyone. We wish each and every one of you a most amazing 2017. No matter what it holds, or even what it doesn’t hold make it great because you can. See the beauty, live the kindness, be the change and most importantly – simply be you. Because you are truly amazing. Even if sometimes you don’t see it in yourself. Unique and human, each and every one of us and there is nothing more amazing, magical and miraculous than that. Be Flawsome embrace your flaw – know you are awesome no in spite of them, but because off them – today and everyday.

You Matter – Hope – Today and Everyday

©2016 JFries/Rise Like Air

Visit us on Facebook   Our WordPress Blog

Follow us on Twitter    Join us on Instagram

Pin us on Pinterest

As 2016 winds down I thought I’d share a story that warmed my heart as a mother and as a human being. Sometimes our kids just do that.

My son works at a hardware store and one of the things he does is cut keys and rekey locks.  The old keys get thrown in a discard bin. So one day when a woman came in requesting to buy new keys for a craft project my son offered to give her an ample supply of discarded keys free of charge.

…And being the typical 19 year old he thought absolutely no more of it.

The next day the same woman arrived back at the store seeking him out. She had a thank you gift for him, a necklace. The key was now stamped with the word HOPE  and an accompanying tag stamped YOU MATTER.

She was on a mission to spread an important message – there is hope and we all matter – every one of us. No matter our past, our present or our future – we all matter. And there is always hope.

My son was fairly blasé about the whole affair.  He came home and shared the story with a somewhat puzzled look on his face. He said he really didn’t understand why she felt the need to thank him (sigh) and while the idea was sorta neat, he didn’t really  think he’d ever wear it. And then this look dawned upon his face and he turned to me. “Mom, this is more like something you’d like…” I graciously accepted the pay it forward gift with a very big smile.

I’m far from perfect, I have to embrace my “flawsome” every single day. Somedays there seems to be more flaw than awesome, but I embrace my humanness as best I can always. Because, after all, that is what I am, human – designed, created or a fluke of nature – unique and human is all I can guarantee. And I always keep a smidgeon of hope tucked away for those days where I’ve misplaced all the rest.

images

Today, I pulled the necklace out again, knowing that I would finally take a few minutes to sit down to tell the story.  My daughter noted it with an air of admiration and interest.  She knows sometimes we need to be reminded we matter and there is hope. Some of the best reminders are a little rough around the edges.

With the Pentatonix “Hallelujah” playing in the background my eyes are searching for a place where this necklace can be constant reminder of this oh so important message that strangely, so many forget at this time of year of celebration. I realized today that this necklace isn’t really mine, it’s meant for anyone who needs a little extra reminder that YOU MATTER and that there is most certainly HOPE. So like the other sets of keys in this house, it will hang accessible to anyone who may need use of it at any given moment.

Don’t ever forget….

YOU MATTER

and there is

HOPE

I promise

Don’t ever forget….

 

©2016 JFries/Rise Like Air

Visit us on Facebook   Our WordPress Blog

Follow us on Twitter    Join us on Instagram

Pin us on Pinterest

 

 

 

 

tkf-banner-blog

I am honoured to be a blogger as part of the Life Vest Inside organization founded by Orly Wahba. In short, we’re all about changing the world through living the kindness life style. This month I was fortunate enough to get a little more hands on experience putting together the monthly newsletter, The Kindness Flash with Orly and my fellow blog guru Soumya.

Unforeseen circumstances had each of us stepping a little further outside our comfort zone than usual, but minutes into our brainstorming session our confidence in our ability to pull it all together grew. During those first moments of our discussion it seemed obvious our theme for December 2016 would be Humility.

I’ve always liked the way CS Lewis defined humility as “not thinking less of oneself, but of thinking of oneself less.”

We found people had their own wonderful ways of describing the quality of humility, like Rodrigo Barbosa.

For me, humility is understanding that other people are just as much “people” as you are. That the fact that you are better than them at something only makes you better than them at something, not a better person. ~Rodrigo Barbosa

We didn’t have to look far to find stories about humility either. In November LVI held the 5th annual World Wide Dance For Kindness. One of my fellow LVI ambassadors and good friend, Jeff Kuske helped organize and danced with a group this year. I think every group has their own special story and Jeff shared theirs with Orly recently.

Jeff works with men suffering from various forms of addiction, but his ability to see beyond the addiction, to see the person, paved the way for a little love, a little kindness, a little laughter, and a whole lotta dancing.

Jeff says, “DFK2016 allowed these men to participate in an event that was bigger than themselves. It gave them the opportunity to do something for others, all of them strangers.” 

A couple of months ago I never would have cared about something like this. Thank you for showing me that I can make a positive difference in the world.  – New Beginning participant DFK2016

Read the entire letter here.

I would describe humility as helping wherever, however and whenever I can, knowing that helping others is really helping myself. We all grow and bloom

What does humility mean to you?

Check out the full 9th edition of The Kindness Flash here for all the great sections including The Kind Connection, Everyday Kindness, and more.

 

Interested in learning more about Dance For Kindness check out the promotional video for 2016

 

or the 2015 Dance For Kindness Montage

 

and the video that started it all way back in 2011 that now has over 25 million views

 

©2016 JFries/Rise Like Air

Visit us on Facebook   Our WordPress Blog

Follow us on Twitter    Join us on Instagram

Pin us on Pinterest

I’m one of “those” people who tries to live by the philosophy that if you find your passion and live it you will always be engaged. If you haven’t found your passion, then ensure you live your current life with passion because I think it’s a sure way to run head long into your ultimate passion (or hey, why stop there, let’s go all the way and say passions!)

I seem to run into a lot of people (happens when I’m seeking my passion and/or living passionately) who have defined passion in big grandiose terms. They think their passion has to make big money, have loud impacts, be colourful.

screen capture from KSL High 5 segment


The good thing about being  on this earth plane as long as I have,  I’ve learned a lot and am capable of learning a whole lot more. One of those cool things I’ve learned is that passion is nothing more than that… passion.  It’s the passion itself that is larger than life. What we’re passionate about can be very small, very quiet, subtle hardly noticeable. But when we do anything with a true passion, the differences that are made are really, really big.

How many people would consider being a McDonald’s employee at a drive thru window something to be passionate about, let alone a position that makes much difference in others lives. Let’s face it, how many times have you gone through a drive thru and thought any more about it other than did they get the order right, did they remember straws and most importantly is the right toy in the bag to prevent a meltdown in the back seat?

This week, I was fortunate enough have this wonderful story cross my path that, in my opinion, shows what a little passion can do, even in at a McDonald’s Drive Thru.

“Rick is just a ray of sunshine in our lives.”

Shara Park from KSL News did a High 5 segment on Rick, a McDonald’s employee experiencing some health challenges.  When the community discovered his plight they were more than willing to show him what a difference he makes to them each time they go through his lane.

photo screen capture from KLS High 5 segment

But what makes Rick special? In my opinion, it’s all about the love and passion he brings to his job. His daily interactions with people, giving them their fast food grub – just doing his thing his way, with quiet passion. The results of bringing his passion to his job, brought him more joy than any “big” thing probably ever could.

It’s not about being passionate about something great.  It’s about making things great by being passionate.

Think about it: Passion, Perspective, Possibilities. What are you going to CHOOSE to bring your PASSION to today?

 

 

©2016 JFries/Rise Like Air

Visit us on Facebook   Our WordPress Blog

Follow us on Twitter    Join us on Instagram

Pin us on Pinterest

%d bloggers like this: