Happy New year again everyone!
Today marks the first day of our journey of 365 days of cultivating JOY through unconditional acts of kindness both on the giving and receiving sides.
I hope you will feel encouraged to practice simple acts of kindness starting with yourself and then with someone you cross paths with today.
So the challenge of cultivating JOY and for random acts of kindness to flourish we need to begin in the hardest places, our own hearts. For kindness to be twice blessed, it will be important to find time each day to refuel your spirit by doing something wonderful for yourself. The simple acts of kindness towards ourselves could be many things from taking a bubble bath, reading a book, planting a garden, and or getting your hair done. It is a lot easier to truly give from overflow from a heart that is filled with love and peace. I will admit I am not great at this one because I like being the giving side and doing for others. I also know too that the cup will runneth dry when we don't take the time to fill up our cups as we often say. This will be more challenging for me but I am looking forward to pampering myself in ways that will keep my fire ignited with enthusiam to really make a change in the world not just for one day but for days, months and years to come. The second commandment in the bible says "Love your neighbor as yourself." Matt 22:38. This commandment says that we should loves others as we love ourselves. So when you find it hard to do wonderful things for yourself and without guilt, remember that God instructs us to do so. I love that Melody Ross is putting together courses called Soul Restoration. As women we tend to take are of everyone else and so many days we have nothing else left for ourselves. So let's change that this year. Today, right now!
So the second part to cultivating JOY is finding or making time to perform deliberate or random, sometimes thought of as unconditional acts of kindess and compassion. There are so many ways to go about this such as giving to someone without their knowledge just for the desire to give from the heart and wanting to make someone else feel better. Other acts can be deliberate where you make a conscious effort or plan to make someone you know or a complete stranger's day a little easier or brighter. There are so many wonderful and creative ways you can do this as well. I have mentioned a few the last month of RAKS that I am aware of that have given some wonderful friends and family HOPE again to include me on the receiving end.
I am commiting to living this year with intention and purpose EVERYDAY. By the way, my word for 2011 is intention and believing that by living to give will cultivate JOY and a life that matters. In wanting to leave a lasting legacy for my daughter, I am bringing her on board this year for her to do this with me, both by herself and as a team. TEAM WILLIS...and as part of this fun and exciting time, will have and enlist others I know to have challenges in the areas we live. Hopefully this will start the ripple effect throughout the world, one adult, one child, one family, one school, one community, one country and one world at a time.
I wanted to say in closing that I would love to hear what you did to make the world a better place today. I realize that some of you will not want to embark on sharing this with others and like to do it quietly and without acknowledging your RAKS and I am totally okay with that. I believe that we can encourage others who may be sitting on the fence by sharing our experiences and or can encourage others to do some of the same things you are doing. So dont forget this is the first day of the year and your life to take the ordinary deeds into extraordinary deeds and to possibly give someone the HOPE they need to go another mile or to live another day just knowing that someone cared enough to take the time to do something simple for them JUST BECAUSE.
Let's do this together and if you know of others that are making a difference in the lives of others, please share those friends with us and what they are doing. I am hoping to list a few acts you can do each day, some small and some big but all that will put a smile on an unexpecting face. Remember that behind every face there is a story that you may or may not be aware in your life journey.
Acts you can perform today or any day....
1. Bring a friend a cup of good coffee or Rte 44 soda
2. Listen to a friend or stranger
3. Send an email, FB message or text letting others know how much you care and love them
4. Contact an old friend
5. Visit a friend/neighbor
6. Pray for someone else in need
7. Give a complete stranger and or teenager $5.00 for no reason
8. Give a neck massage
9. Help a friend or family member out by doing their laundry, cooking a meal, watching their kids
10.Give away clothes to someone in need or a women's shelter/homeless shelter
12.Forgive when you have every right to get upset, be the better person even when it is tough
13.Write a letter by hand and send it to someone, write your child a letter or notes in their lunches
14.Make cards for our soldiers/college student and put stamps on them ready to go
15.Make boxes for our soldiers and send them out...I have some soldiers names and addresses in Afghanistan that you can do this for if you don't know any..
16.Knit gloves and scarfs for cancer patients - my nephew was a recipient of some awesome hats when going through chemo!
17.Share a book
18.Give a hug
19.Pray for someone....when I get requests, I stop right then and do it! Love being a Prayer Warrior!
20.Be a bone marrow donor - you can go to DKMSamericas.org to request a swab kit by mail for free and give the give of life. What a wonderful way to start your year!!!
Let's see if we can get 100 people to join us in the month of January with our Acts of Kindness and Compassion to cultivate JOY in the hearts of others as we change our own hearts, the hearts of our children and families, in our neighborhoods and in our communities. If we added a hundred new JOY WARRIORS each month we would have 12,000 acts of kindness and compassion daily. I am recommending that you start and keep a daily journal of your kindness to both yourself and others to see how your life is blessed by your gift of kindness and compassion. Thanks so much for joining me in this 364 Days plus One of daily acts of goodness and for wanting to change your life and of those paths you cross. Look for opportunities and seize the moment!
Live with intention and purpose in this minute, this hour, this day and this life with no regrets!!
Diana aka BiT