Paying It Backwards: A Random Act Of Kindness

Have you ever wanted to do something nice for someone? Make their day? Have you ever thought of doing a random act of kindness? Paying it forward? Yesterday morning, while getting my morning ‘Cup of Joe,’ I decided it was time to pay it forward.

While turning into Starbucks parking lot, with thoughts of paying it forward, a Chevy Avalanche chose to cut me off. My first knee jerk reaction was, “You Jerk!” Then another voice steps in, “I guess he was in a hurry for his cup of coffee. Too bad, because I would have bought his morning coffee.” Had he not cut me off, he would have been right behind me, making him the recipient of paying it forward or in this case ‘paying it backwards.’ His loss; the person in the SUV behind me…their gain!

I ordered as usual and anticipated the random act of kindness. “Quad Venti, Two pump, White Chocolate Mocha, non-fat, no-whip please!”

As I ordered my morning pick-me-up, I wondered where this man was off to in such a hurry. Was he on his way to work? Did he think he was the king of the road? Funny how we begin to fill in the blanks, judging others by the automobiles they drive. I was way off from my assumption of him being a professional athlete. Judging by the large vehicle, the professional sport logos, tinted windows and the major college logo on his license plates, I thought for sure he was a pro ball player…he wasn’t. He was indeed in a hurry to get to work and was not fully in the moment of friendly driving.

When I approached the checkout window, the surprise was on me. The Barista asked me to ‘hold on.’ When she returned she explained, “your coffee has been paid for. The guy in front of you paid for it. When we asked if it was a random act of kindness, he replied No, I think I cut him off. Please extend my apologies.” Huh?! The person about to commit a random act of kindness, just got served a random act?! Who cool is that?!

When I explained to the Barista my plan for the morning and the irony of this gesture, we both chuckled as the person I would have  bought a coffee for, bought one for me. Nevertheless, I asked her to keep it going and still chuckling she complied.

The moral of the story is this…people may cut you off…stay on task. Whatever the goal of the day, do not let others sway you from having a good day. In the end, you will be happier and the mundane will not seem so mundane. Who knows…you might be pleasantly surprised as to how things work out.

Stepping into the Canvas ‘Paying it Backwards.’ As we step out today, may we practice random acts of kindness. Whether it be paying it forward or, while at your favorite coffee shop, ‘pay it backwards.’ In the end you will have made someones day, you will feel better and the domino effect can go on for eternity…

 

Reigniting One’s Faith

It is often difficult to keep faithful when the world around us is collapsing. How do we stay faithful?…How do we stay focused on the positive side of things?…How do we stay positive in the canvas of life?

Next is a story of how one woman lost her faith, only to realize it had never left.

A friend of mine told me of her Grandmother and how strong her faith was. Her Grandmother’s faith was the rock of the family, but one day her faith had been lost…

One day her Grandmother explained to her, “I feel that I am losing my faith and God has abandoned me. I don’t feel I have a purpose anymore.”  Her Granddaughter didn’t know what to do, so she called other family members to help restore her faith.

While consoling Grandma, one of the children had noticed something very peculiar in the kitchen. The refrigerator had the word faith spelled out in letter magnets. You know that kind…when we were little? We used to spell out words on our parents refrigerator. The family noticed the word faith was missing a letter ‘T.’

“Mom, here is your problem! You have lost the ‘T’ in faith on your refrigerator, this must be why you are missing your faith?!” Insisting they look for the ‘T’ and that her faith resides in that word, they looked high and low for the ‘T’. They looked inside the fridge and out, but could not find it anywhere. They even pulled the refrigerator out and looked behind…but nothing…they lost hope. This left her helpless. Not finding the ‘T,’ grandma was left on her knees crying out with her arms raised to the heavens. With arms extended up she cried out, “I just need to know that everything will be okay.”

The very next day grandma woke and began her day by asking God for a sign, “Please Lord give me a sign that everything is going to be okay.  I don’t know what I’m going to do.  I don’t know if I have a purpose anymore…please just tell me it’s going to be okay.”  As she approached the fridge…she opened it. As she opened the refrigerator, there was the ‘T’ on the shelf.  The ‘T’ clearly was not there the day before, but miraculously has appeared. As if God himself was telling her it’s going to be okay…He placed a ‘T’ upon her shelf.

The irony to the story:  just as grandma was looking for her faith on the outside, we too are reminded that our faith resides on the inside. Traveling an inward journey we find our faith is truly strong. While Grandma found her faith restored within the refrigerator, she realized it was restored within herself.

We all have our challenging moments in life, but how we react to them…shall define our days ahead. We can waffle in misery or we can Shine On!  As we move forward in faith, our hope is restored…hope for a brighter future. When things bring us to our knees, rest for a moment and await the miracle in action. If we have a moment of helplessness or loneliness…rest…it too shall pass.

We are never alone…even when we are. If we enjoy the company of those present when alone…we shall never be alone. Plus we have a Senior partner with us, at all times…waiting for us to begin dialogue. Even if the world crashes down around us…we shall be taken care of.

Stepping into the Canvas by faith. No matter the outcomes, we shall focus on our own house. Keeping our own house in order, happiness begins eternal. It is through our faith that all will be good, we attract just that…more of what we want in our lives. Through our faith, we gain hope and through Hope we align with higher vibrations of creativity…Creating the life we want to Live.

The Parable Of The Lonely Shepherd

It is often difficult to stay a course of The Way, without getting side-tracked or pushed down another path. The key to staying the course, is through mindfulness. When we practice awareness of who we are or our greatest desires, we tend to remain focused on that which we most desire. But what about the suffering around us? How do we pretend everything is ‘hunky-dory?’

While the pilgrim remains lost, seeking The Way, the Warrior is found practicing The Way.~Ani Po

It is typically a small few who will rise above suffering and despair. Subscribing to a destructive way of life no longer serves them well and they begin to see life as beautiful as it can be. While the suffering remains, focus shifts towards happiness.

Suffering will always exist, but affix not our gaze upon it.~Ani Po

It is often written that we are to “brush the dirt off our sandals,” moving on our way. This does not suggest we pretend it does not exist or smug those in need. Not at all! We are to help when possible, but when others are set in their ways, unwilling to listen to our suggestions of change, then we must free ourselves by ‘wiping our sandals clean.’ This next story is about a man who knows this all too well.

Ani Po has a good friend who is a Pastor for an inner city church and makes it his life passion to aid those who are lost. A day does not pass, when he tells Ani Po of another funeral, “buried another young man this past week.” I recall him asking, “How am I supposed to continue helping people, when I can’t help them?” Reminding him of the simple teachings “we cannot save anyone, but we can show them the water of life. We can show them to the well…but they must drink from it.”

He smiled, as if he already knew this, but it was helpful to be reminded. Just as he needed reminding, Ani Po is not impervious to reminding. Have you ever been there? Have you ever needed a good reminding, when the message needed shows up? We all have our moments when we trip, but how quickly we get up depends on our practice. When we practice mindfulness, we practice awareness of who we are and how we shall or want to react to a given situation.

But what of this lonely shepherd? Ani Po continues the conversation with her friend as she is reminded of the loneliness he must feel. As everyone else follows a given way, he attempts to shift their thinking to following The Way. Just as a shepherd tends to his flock, so to the Pastor from the city.

Ani Po knows the feeling of loneliness. As she assertively moves forward in The Way, she is ridiculed daily on how she chooses to live her life. She smiles regularly at the others, as she sees how that way is working out for them, but chooses a way of happiness.

Even under great scrutiny the good shepherd tends to the one lost sheep. He may even, if necessary, leave the rest of the herd unattended to attend to the one lost sheep. Ani Po knows this is how it is supposed to be and we are all to attend our flock, with willingness to abandon others to secure safety of the one lonely sheep.

This Pastor is a lonely shepherd. He goes into darkened regions, when everyone else has given up. He Lights a flame of Hope for those who have lost their faith. He does not follow a rule book, but he follows his heart. He does not Love one person and not the other…He Loves freely for All people, randomly sending Agape into the world…knowing that he was never really alone.

Stepping into the Canvas as a Lonely Shepherd…Often doing what is right when not accepted by the masses…even when they are going left, you go right. Our character is defined by our willingness to do what is right, not for any one person but ourselves. When we stop worrying about approval from others, we accept our own approval.

 

Authentic Me

It is time to shed the false-self and accept the true-self. In this clip we touch upon the idea of attracting more of what we want in our lives, guided by Michael Beckwith, Esther Hicks and Rhonda Byrne. When we are authentic we are connected with source energy or we are connected with God. Abraham was the first to know about this Law and spoke these words, “As a man thinketh, so is he.”

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D4zWBHFCmXM

We are surrounded with so many distractions in our lives, further pulling us away from the intimate relationship with our Father of all Fathers, Source energy, God, Universe or as Jesus spoke of…The Way. He spoke of being the light and The Way.  There is no word for this Source of Sources, but we choose to refer to it as God. What if God was The Way? What if the ancient Chinese knew of this technology hence writing about it in the Tao de Ching (Lao Tzu)? What if Jesus studied under the Far East and mastered The Way?

Whatever the case, we still are left with a choice of who we are. We can choose to be stuck in an abusive relationship or we can choose to change our circumstance: either by leaving or changing the way we see our given circumstance. If there is physical or mental abuse, chances are the risks outweigh the results and it may be necessary to leave the given relationship.

We can choose to live in poverty thinking or we can choose prosperity thinking. Poverty thinking believes that everyone is against them, everyone owes them something or that they will never amount to anything, continuously coveting another person’s  life. Prosperity thinking is that of self-actualized and are free to create the life appropriately, having no regrets in their lives.

So what do we do? How do we get there? See it as if we’re already there and that abundance is already on its way.  First, we must have Acceptance of who we are. We need to see ourselves as a spark of the divine. It is said that God does not make junk, then why would we think we were anything other than a masterpiece? Secondly we must have gratitude for whom we have become, accepting (more acceptance) all of the ups and downs leading to present time. Without pitfalls, we could not have become who we are today. Thirdly, we must learn to Love the person staring back in the mirror. Once we embrace this trifecta, we can learn to see the world as a better place. People write about this place, they sing about it and it is attainable by all.

The world is filed with many distractions, good and bad, focus on our lives only. Care not about the people around us, but only about the personal world being co-created. Learn to Love yourself from head to toe and learn to reflect out into the world. When we embrace ourselves, we are embracing the world around us. Further, we are embracing our Source and completing the intimate relationship religious traditions attempt to teach. This relationship cannot be taught, but instead accepted.

With self-love comes a realization we are not perfect and sinners by nature. Accepting ourselves for who we are, perfect or imperfect, allows us to accept others perfections or imperfections. Just because we are human does not mean we have to dwell in this belief. Instead accept it and move on, focusing only on the life we want to create and releasing the Shadow of its stronghold.

It is time to accept the True authentic self and reclaim who we were born to be. We were born for greatness and not poverty. See it, believe it and know it to be true.

May the first breath and last breath be that which you want most, leaving  self-defeating thoughts behind. You are truly a Masterpiece and deserve to be on display! Humbly go forth and prosper, never looking back.

Bottom line is this…we have the ability to change our lives through our thoughts. Whatever is sought, know that it is on its way. From this day forward, Stepping into the Canvas, I vow to be my authentic self and be…ME.