Hope

“Love comforeth like sunshine after rain.” -William Shakespeare

I know in this beautiful sentence Shakespeare is speaking of love, But I found my mind latched onto the three words at the end,”sunshine after rain.”

Sunshine after rain. Hope. Sometimes the storm you’ve been in seems as if it will never stop, youve been in clouds and darkness for so long you’ve almost forgotten what the sun feels like.

Don’t give up! You may not see it, but behind the clouds there is sunshine.

Hold on.

Hope.

Even though it feels like it, the rain won’t last forever.

The Voice of the Office, story of inspiration

There are a lot of us who feel or realize maybe our job isn’t anything special– we aren’t preforming surgeries on a day to day basis that save lives, we aren’t flying jets, manning businesses that literally make the world go round. We are the people that maybe sit in an office or flip burgers, cut trees–whatever our occupation is, it isn’t quite our dream job and it doesn’t really feel like it is that big a deal to the world.


 

Her name was Bev, short for Beverly. She had been 25 for exactly 1 month. Twenty-five. A quarter of a century. Five years until thirty. Barely managing to cling onto being able to say, “I’m in my early twenties.” Bev was an average girl, with brown hair, blue eyes and freckles. Bev was also a girl who at one time believed she was going to be one of those people who change the world.

Bev stood in the small office of her job as of a week ago, glancing around the room.  The walls were made of giant bricks which had been painted the exact color of gray which brings to mind a day filled with endless rain. In the small room there were two windows draped with  sun-dyed green curtains, providing an excellent view of the dumpster below. She turned to face her desk where a phone, computer and key board sat, letting out a long sigh. The sigh of a person who realized life was no where near she imagined. The sign of a person who realized her dreams might not come true. She felt the tears rush in, threatening to spill out. She took a deep breath, holding her head slightly back attempting to somehow send the tears back where they came from. She inwardly reminded herself of how when she cried even just a couple drops her nose, eyes–face would be swollen and red as a beet for a the rest of the day. What if someone would stop by? Then she remembered her bosses’ words, “Yeah, at this job you’ll sooner see a cow walk through those doors than another person!”

Bev burst into tears, letting them spill freely down her cheeks.


Boom-boom. Boom-boom. Boom-boom. 

“You here it?” Bev’s Dad asked, his coppery colored eyes crinkling at the corners like they always did when he smiled.

Six-year old Bev nodded, her brown curls swishing. “What is that, Daddy?” Her blue eyes where wide with curiosity.

Her Dad touched the round, metal object pushing it along his chest.

Bev’s eyes got bigger. “Boom-boom, boom-boom….Daddy what is it?!” She clutched the tubes of the stethoscope which were lodged into her ears, trying to figure out where exactly the boom-boom was coming from.

Her Daddy smiled, eyes crinkling, dimples carving alongside the corners of his mouth. “That’s your Daddy’s heart beating,” he said softly.

Bev’s mouth dropped open as she stared at her Dad in stunned silence.

Boom-boom. Boom-boom. Boom-boom.

“That’s your heart, Daddy?”

He nodded.

Bev smiled, pushing the tubes deeper into her ears in an attempt to hear the beat better. Her eyes ran over the purple scars barely inching out of the neck of his button-up shirt. “That’s your new heart beating, Daddy isn’t it?”

Tears were touching his eyes, but she didn’t notice. “Mmmhmm.”

“I can tell it’s BIG and HAPPY–and it’s not gonna get tired like your last one. It’s strong– just like you, Daddy.”


 

Bev had wanted to be a doctor. Since the day she heard her Dad’s new heart beat, since the day she discovered how her Dad’s life had been saved by a heart transplant, since the day she received her first stethoscope, since for as long as she could remember. Bev wanted to save lives. Bev wanted to give people the gift her family had been given. Bev wanted to make a difference in the world.

And here she was sitting at a small office, her stethoscope buried in the back of her closet at home; buried under piles of bills, back luck, her Dad’s death, and the resentment and pain she felt from dropping out of medical school from grief.

What would her Dad think of her? She was working somewhere where she saw more walls than she saw people. Where her boss called her the “voice-literally” of the company because her duty was to manage the phone lines and any other form of communication, yet no one saw or would see her face.

She turned on her computer, and flung herself in the chair feeling hollow and missing her Dad more than ever.

She pulled up her personal email account, breathing heavily. Her eyes fixed onto the last email from him. The last email her dad had sent before he died. She let out a deep breath and clicked onto it, reading over words she had nearly memorized by now. He had spent the last two years before he died traveling, volunteering with mission groups that brought food and medical supplies to children. He had been at a remote village in the Amazon Basin, his email filled with the story of his struggle to communicate with the locals in the village. “After hand motions…talking louder and louder and slower and slower (why we do we automatically do that? Hah! NEVER, EVER WORKS but we still give it a go anyway)…the whole nine yards–The chief smiled. And I smiled. He laughed. I laughed. Smiling–it was just about the only thing we understood. I tell ya…if you wanna make a difference, make someone smile.

At the end he had put the quote, “Everyone smiles in the same language”-don’t you forget it, Love Dad =)

Bev read the quote again and again.  Could she ever really have an impact on someone’s life when her career involved practically zero human contact when it did not involve the phone or email?

She read it again.

smile

 

Bev logged out of her personal account and signed into the office email. As she was replying about a client’s question, she decided send out a smiley face next to her name. Before long, Bev decided to send out a smiley face with as much communication as possible, when appropriate. Whether it was through email or by her personal signature, she always sent out a little smile. She didn’t really think it would make a huge difference, but she felt like maybe she was at least sending a little happiness someone’s way.


 

Two years later…

Bev looked into the tiny office with it’s gray brick walls, sagging curtains, and old computer one last time, her heart swelling with happiness and sadness all at once. She had just learned what a difference that smile made. She received hundreds of calls, emails, gifts, and notes of gratitude from so many people she never even met. Hundreds of people had flooded her with gifts, memories of small conversations or shared laughs, saying they would miss “the girl who sent smiles”. Notes which said, “I will never forget the girl who made people smile.” “I know we never met, but we became friends, how amazing is that.” “Bev, you made me feel like I mattered,  you are an amazing young girl.”

Apparently that smile mattered to some people a lot, a lot more than Bev realized.

Today Bev is a cardiologist, making her dreams a reality, and signing her name with a smile.

Wherever you are you can touch someone else’s life. If you can brighten someone else’s day or make them laugh or smile, or complement them in some way, you are a world changer. Even if it was just for a moment, you made someone feel like they mattered or that they were special. We need more of that in the world.

Wherever you are…whoever you are…you can make a difference!

Happy Wednesday!

Never Underestimate Your Ability to Notice

NEVERUNDERESTIMATE

Definition of the word “underestimate” according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary:

  1.  to estimate (something) as being less than the actual size, quantity, or number
  2. to think of (someone or something) as being lower in ability, influence, or value than that person or thing actually is

Never Underestimate your ability to notice.

Do you ever feel forgotten about? Or if maybe not forgotten, overlooked? It happens to us all. Literally all of us.

Have you ever had this experience?

You are with a group of friends…coworkers…family…people. Everything is laughing, talking, having a good time. You start telling a story of some kind. You have barely started telling it when you realize somehow someone else has started talking and…everyone is laughing and listening to them. Your words start to get quieter and quieter and slowly fade into almost nothingness as you look around for any stragglers who may be still listening to you. After a glance around the room, you stop talking and give up. Oh well, it just happens (A LOT) You think to yourself. You join in with the others, listening wholeheartedly to the individual who has taken (stolen) the floor.

awkward moment

Yeah. I think we’ve all been there.

And we have probably all been the person on the other end who cut someone off while they were talking.

But… have you ever had this happen?

After 10 minutes your half told story has never made a comeback…it has officially died. Then out of nowhere someone turns, looks you in the eyes and says, “Hey, you started telling a story about such and such….what happened?”

You sit there, in shock and amazement. So someone was listening! Someone does care! Isn’t is startling?  And… AWESOME!

When people notice things about our lives it makes us feel special and cared about. It just makes our day when someone takes the time to compliment us in a very specific way, they ask about something talked about in previous conversation, or remember important dates and events coming up in our life. When people notice things about our lives it makes us feel wanted, like we matter.

I love Trent Shelton’s saying, “It all starts with you.” If we like the feeling of being noticed, why not share the love? =) Truthfully, most of us aren’t very good at noticing things…other than bad things. I’m not sure how or why but bad things are so much more noticeable, but for some reason that is what our minds latch onto. So how do we change this cycle and become someone who is good at noticing?

Three things to help you tap into your “noticing the good things” superpower:

  1. Listen. Being a good listener is devoting your whole attention to whoever is talking and engaging by asking questions, looking at them, and joining in the conversation. (Put your phone AWAY!)
  2. Remember. Do whatever it takes to remember important events or even unimportant things happening in the lives people you come in contact with. I am so, so bad at remembering things, for me I have to write stuff down!
  3. Make a point to say something. People won’t know if you don’t say something…so speak up!

Noticing things has a lot of power. It can literally turn someone’s day around or even make their day. Noticing things can bring more depth to your relationships. Noticing things can save someone. Never Underestimate your ability to notice.

HAPPY FRIDAY!! =)))

 

 

 

The Batman series is AMAZING. You know what makes this series so amazing? Alfred. 

Alfred has always been one of my favorite characters…he’s just kind of awesome.

Alfred is the butler, friend and unsung hero. Every hero…every person…needs an Alfred in their life-someone who will call us out, is fiercely loyal, inspires us or saves us from ourselves. 

I love quotes–I love the power a sentence or a phrase or a word can have…and how something so small can grip your heart or motivate you to action. This is one of those quotes that gives me chills! And is said by Alfred of course…


We all are going to fall. Falling is painful. Sometimes things get broken on the way down. Sometimes they get so broken we don’t even think we can get back up.

But no matter how bad the fall…GET UP. Don’t quit. GET UP. Don’t let the fall defeat you…use it to make you stronger.

Falling hurts but it also teaches us, prepares us, motivates us, and makes us stronger. 

Every superhero has fallen, failed or experienced defeat….but we still call them heroes. Why? Because when they fell they got back up. 

Thank you Alfred for your words of wisdom!

  

You are just too nice

Have people ever told you, “You know what your problem is, you are just too nice!” ?
Is there really such a thing as being too nice?

No. 

Before you start writing your rebuttal please continue reading.

I am not talking about being fake and nice…that’s called CHEESE. It’s awful!! Cheesy people are the worst! No I’m talking about nice people that are just genuinely nice. Those people you bump into or meet that leave you smiling and thinking, Gosh! That person was super awesome! I believe striving to be overflowing with kindness changes and impacts the world around you in huge ways. I believe there is enormous power in nicest….and that you are influencing and bettering a lot of lives with your kindness….and as an added bonus nice people tend to be happy people.

But…still…can one be too nice? No…but there is such a thing as allowing yourself to be taken advantage of

People call it “being too nice” but I call it the fear of confrontation and not believing or knowing your worth. 

The fear of confrontation can be a huge problem. The good news is you aren’t one of those people that pick and search for fights and cause a lot of grief to not only others but themselves as well–the bad news is you often feel unappreciated, used, like people don’t listen to or value your work or opinions, and you might just have very low self esteem. The fear of confrontation can take over your life and lead you to down a destructive path. It breaks up friendships, relationships, and opportunity. And in the long run it turns genuinely nice people in to bitter and very mean people.

How do you break the fear of confrontation?

Know your worth. You are valuable! Do you believe that? Really believe it?You have to believe that about yourself. And because you are valuable you have to learn to stand up for yourself…because you owe that to yourself. No one should be taken advantage of…but more importantly no one should allow themselves to be taken advantage of. 

Confrontation is part of life…it will happen at work, in your home, with strangers or with friends and family ….confrontation is everywhere. I hate it…it’s uncomfortable but it’s just gonna happen. If something bothers you say something…be nice (you should be good at that! 🙂 ) but say something. More often than not you will discover people don’t realize they are hurting you or know you are feeling unappreciated. And when you say something? It will clear the air, open a door, sometimes close a door, and most importantly you will be glad you said something. 

I hope this post helps someone out there! I am one of those people who wants to run and hide at the first sign of confrontation…it scares me to death! But I had to realize in the end my lack of being able to stand up or speak up about things was really, really hurting me. The more I faced confrontational situations the easier and less scary it became and the better I felt inside. I was still nice and kind but I felt stronger and more valued! 

Stand up, speak up, be nice and know your worth! 

Have a great saturday! 😊 

Change 

Change. 

It’s a word that makes me excited and strikes fear into my heart all at the same time. 

There’s lots of different types of change. I like to categorize them into four general groups.

The GOOD- This is the kind of change that all, any human welcomes eagerly. This change in life’s story involves something awesome happening that you’ve only dreamed of happening. And you embrace it, with all your heart. For example: You just won the lottery! 

The BAD- this change isn’t actually bad…it’s a great thing. Its change that is saving you from something bad–your saving grace. This second group of change is tough but it’s necessary. This type of change usually involves our willpower. We don’t eagerly accept it.  We fight through it because if we realize if we don’t change we are headed for disaster. Example: losing weight, getting out of a bad relationship, overcoming an addiction.

The UGLY- This type of change refers to situations in which we have no control over. It is thrust upon us without our choice.This change is usually very unexpected and often unpleasant (at first). Example: losing a job, getting bit by a super spider and becoming Spider-Man.

And then there’s that last category of change–the one the bulk of this post is about.

The CHOICE. This category of change is  when in life you find yourself facing a path which leads two, five, or seventeen different ways. Each one of them means change, you just have to decide which path to take. You know you can’t just stand there and not ever choose. These are the changes that you are in control of but often leave you with questions and the dreaded task of making a decision and sticking to it. This type of change involves taking a risk or a chance. And sometimes you don’t know how it will turn out. Haha! Can you guess which category of change I am facing right now!? 😉 

As I was thinking about change and making a decision, this thought hit me. 

What really makes a good life? 

You do. 

It’s not money or a perfect job or a house on the beach…you make your life good. It’s up to you. Even though I’d love all those things….I can still be happy without them. There’s nothing more dangerous than waiting for something to happen to live and fully enjoy life. You’ve got to choose happiness where you’re at, you’ve got to choose to make the most of your life now. If you live each day to its fullest–smiling, thankful, laughing, building good relationships, loving people, helping people, exploring, etc., no matter where life takes you…rich or poor, moving here or there…you will have a good life. There are so many things we have no control over in life, but what we do have control over is our attitudes and actions. 

What’s the point of all of this? 

Change happens. Sometimes it’s good sometimes it’s bad. Sometimes you have a say in the matter and sometimes you don’t. But no matter what change brings your way…you can always be in charge of how you face it or reacte to it.

Stay positive! Do good! Make people know they matter! Try your best! Be the best possible version of yourself! Enjoy the little things! If you’re doing that…no matter what path you take, what change you embrace…it will be okay!

Persistent

Things happen when you are persistent.

I was reading success stories this weekend, in particular author success stories..the stories of those lucky souls who have gotten their books published. To tell the truth at first I was discouraged. It seemed like the book publishing dream was all up to chance…a 1 in a 1,000,000 shot. Then I saw the light…the key…the common link. The people who have gotten their book published wrote, rewrote, sent in submissions, got rejected ….over and over again. But they never gave up. They were persistent and it paid off.

Persistence is hard because it means facing failure …it means being patient …it means knowing results may not come right away…it means work. Three years ago I lost 30 pounds–thirty pounds I had been trying to lose for years. What changed is I realized the workouts..the healthy eating had to be day in..day out…for many many days. Change wasn’t going to happen unless I determined each day to work out and to eat right. What is crazy after a few weeks, eating healthy got easier…and easier…now it’s habit. (But I still enjoy cheese covered fries every now and then…gotta live a little! =) )

The BEST things in life usually don’t happen overnight. They are grown, cultivated, worked for. It has been said that the harder the work, the sweeter the victory. Some of the people I admire the most are people who don’t give up easily…who are persistent. Being persistent can change your body, your job, your relationships…and your life.

DON’T QUIT!