Archives for posts with tag: Orly Wahba

Grit, the stubborn refusal to quit. Now granted, sometimes you just have to know when it’s time to quit, but for the most part good old fashioned grit is what gets us through the bumps and challenges of life. The bigger the challenge, the more grit required. Lately I’ve been seeing a lot of grit quietly but so importantly play out around the world.

Sometimes it gets lost in the flood of news about sadly comedic and destructive world leaders, kittens in Facebook feeds and the daily rush of life in general, but it’s there, large as life and begging to be recognized.

And what makes up grit, that stubborn refusal to give up?


  • Guts
  • Resilience
  • Initiative
  • Tenacity

And that’s why people with grit tend to win. They stay the course. They get back up. They adjust and most importantly they get it done and they inspire along the way. If they have to get a little dirt under their finger nails or make waves here and there, they do.

In her best selling book Rising Strong, Brené Brown says,

Embracing the vulnerability it takes to rise up from a fall and grow stronger makes us a little dangerous. People who don’t stay down after they fall or are tripped are often trouble-makers. Hard to control. Which is the best kind of dangerous possible. They are the artists, innovators, and change-makers.

As I look around my own little world and when I listen to It’s All Good Radio Show each week I am amazed by the everyday people who exemplify grit at it’s finest.

Megan Rose Taylor, an amazing young woman who sustained a head injury which causes her to faint numerous times a day.  What did she do? Entered the Three Peaks Challenge and reached the summit of all three mountains. She has helped veterans, trained her dog Ruby to qualify to be her assistance dog and the pair are favourite visitors at local senior homes. That’s just the beginning.

There’s Wayne Dixon and his dog Koda who are committed to cleaning up the beaches of the UK from all the trash and plastic that comes to rest there. And he’s inspiring others to join the effort.

Orly Wahba, founder of Life Vest Inside, creator of the viral video The Kindness Boomerang and author of The Kindness Boomerang, is a person who has changed my life and others around the globe. She shows how small, genuine acts of kindness by everyday people, performed everyday can profoundly change the world for the better.

Polly Higgins, ecological lawyer and author is determined to advance the international crime of ecocide. Polly is guided by the principal of “first do no harm” and is involved in Mission Life-force a platform to fund ecocide law and to protect activists.

Age isn’t a factor when it comes to grit. Take Zach, “a small dude with a big love of nature” who writes about his nature hunts and what he finds. Zach says, “I’m always looking for new things and love learning about the world around us.”  Zach’s blog A Year of My Nature Hunting just celebrated it’s third year.

Then of course two of my favourite people, Debbie Hyde and David Durant, of this wonderful weekly 2 hour show called It’s All Good Radio Show on Riviera FM.  They share stories about people, businesses and organizations who are changing the way we live and work for the better.

And there’s me, Rise Like Air, conspiring to inspire through the celebration of hope. Sharing stories of people rising above challenges, and actually embracing what might even seem impossible.  And thanks to Debbie and David of It’s All Good, I now get to conspire to inspire with them as well.

These are the kind of people who dare to speak up, stand up and challenge the way we think, the way we do things, and even what we believe. These people have true grit. These are the people that keep getting up, keep believing and keep doing even when others laugh at them, question their sanity and take the time to explain every possible reason why what they are doing won’t work, can’t work and even maybe shouldn’t work.

It is these very people who embrace their vulnerability as they get up and head out to change the world whether it is one piece of trash at a time, one radio show at a time, one act of kindness, one blog or climbing a mountain.

The people with grit remind us that it’s all about our attitude – and our guts, resilience, initiative and tenacity.  It really is all good. It’s just in how you choose to look at it.


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.

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.


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

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“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.



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.”


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,



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

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At the end of January I shared on Facebook, and in a blog about a $10,000. grant that Life Vest Inside, a group I’m involved with, was trying to win through a voting campaign on KIND Causes. Well, I am very happy to report that LVI was successful!  We did it!  We were fortunate enough to secure 6,294 votes, winning by a mere 12 votes! It was down to the wire, last minute kind of stuff, breath holding, nail biting action adventure when the site crashed just before closing. But it’s official! So thank you to everyone who voted. Am still amazed that it was 12 votes. But I’ll get back that in a moment.

When I was writing the blog on January 27th, letting my readers know about the voting process, I decided I should actually go check out the other groups trying to secure the grant just as much as we were. In January alone, there are about 108 worthy causes. The ideas and goals were all over the board, but everyone of them was trying to do something good.

There was Tracey Pearson’s “Prissy Tomboy Athletics”, empowering teen girls through sports and adventure. (69 votes)

How about David Rosenker’s “Herd By A Horse – Equine Therapy”, helping families who can’t otherwise afford it (111 votes)

Or Allison Yacht’s “Bravehoods to Brave Kids” giving soft personalized, inspirational hoodies to kids living with cancer. (434 votes)

There was even an organization we have mentioned on Rise Like Air a couple of times, Erika Georges, “Empowerment Plan” which started with a university class assignment for the founder, Veronika Scott. She began creating coats for the homeless that could be turned into a sleeping bag. Then came the next step, hiring the homeless. (60 votes)

As I paged through and read more, I was stunned by the ideas, desire and commitment.  The common thread,  the need for that little extra help to get to the next level to make that dream to help others, make the world a better place, come true.

And I have a confession to make. I thought, “We just want to dance. Some of these people are trying to do really big things like eliminate hunger, provide comfort to the ill, help the homeless, engage children in learning and reading!”

“And we, well, we want to dance.”

And our vote count is like way up there, from the start. We’re one of the leaders.

And we are going to dance!

I really wondered, “How can I, in good conscience, actually ask people to vote for us when we’re just going to… dance?”

And then a voice somewhere in my head said in a rather impatient and annoyed tone, “What do you mean JUST dance?”  And then just a little more gently, “Have you forgotten WHY we dance?”

Then the dots connected and I saw the picture, of course. We dance to promote kindness, to show kindness, to remind people about kindness, to help them put a face to kindness, to inspire kindness, to emulate kindness, to make it visible. To make it real.  To make kindness a fun, normal, everyday kind of thing. That’s why we dance.

I only have to glance at the headlines to be reminded  that we are in desperate need of kindness, toward each other and toward ourselves.  Every one of us can find our own small yet significant way to start to be kind, conscious, mindful more often than we are not.  We need to inspire, motivate and empower people, including ourselves, to embrace this change of attitude.

Why is it such a big deal?  Because kindness is incredibly powerful, kindness can work miracles.  Just think, little you and little me, we have the power to work miracles, simply by being kind.  The kindness doesn’t even have to be big!  It can be a simple as helping someone learn how to tie their necktie for a job interview.

Think about it for a minute.  If we could empower everyone to be kind without judgement first, in everything they did every single day, there would really be no other causes.  As people became aware of needs, they would take it upon themselves to help fulfil the need, or solve the problem, or assist with the challenge.  We would recognize that we are “the someone who needs to do something”.  Instead of rationalizing, judging, blaming or waiting, we would simply be kind first, just kind.

That’s why we dance.

We don’t “just” dance. We dance “to empower and unite the world with kindness…by spreading kindness, empowering people and building self worth.” LVI FB page

That’s why we dance.

As Kindness Ambassadors with LVI we all believe that “by creating an exciting and accessible kindness experience, we will become more aware of the opportunities that surround us and recognize our potential to change the world, simply by changing ourselves.” LVI FB page

And that, is why we dance.

After it was confirmed that LVI would receive the grant, the founder Orly Wahba posted a video message titled “You Matter, Yes You!”

Orly mentioned that her friend Ellen had contacted her with congratulations. She reminded Orly that LVI won by 12 votes and that had special meaning. If anything should show people how much each person matters, and how significant everyone is, that they can make a difference… that’s it.  I think she’s exactly right.

Orly said she realized that it had to be that crazy close at the end when we were 300 votes behind and then squeaked through by 12 votes.  It was because it made each of us dig deep inside ourselves, when we could have easily given up. It was to remind everyone that our vote, our voice matters. We could make the difference, we did make the difference. The voting process allowed each person to turn their vote into 4 if they shared it on social media so in the end it may have been as few as 3 people that made the difference.

What if those 3 people had given up? Orly ends by honestly saying that we all question our own worth or value sometimes, no matter who we are, even Orly. The next time that happens we can all remember the life lesson we’ve just shared. We’re each a piece of the puzzle. We are valuable. Each and every one of us is significant. We are unique. One is as important as the other.

The next time you question your value or your own self worth remember this message.

“You matter. You make a difference. You are important.”

In closing, I kindly invite you to do something kind, no matter how small, at least once every single day.  I also invite you to join us for the 2015 4th annual Dance For Kindness.  Be an event co-ordinator, helper or dancer.  No major skill sets required.  You just have to want to spread a little kindness and have a lot of fun doing a little dancing.

Just can’t see yourself dancing?  That’s ok, trust me.  There are plenty of other ways you can spread the kindness and be a part of Life Vest Inside.

Incase you haven’t seen The Kindness Boomerang, here you go.

“Let’s unite and change this world with the power of kindness.” – Orly Wahba

©2015 Rise Like Air  J. Fries

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