Just one drop of kindness equals a recipe for success

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Facebook is an overwhelming aspect of social media.  Timeline’s are inundated with nonsense, Farmville and game requests are sent at alarming rates and too much personal information is given away like candy at Halloween.  But every so often a little gem of humanity seeps through the cracks and makes me appreciate the sharing of information.

The video below is one of those rare gems.  I watched it twice because the message really plucked some emotional strings in the orchestra of my life.  I have always been a firm believer in treating others as you wish to be treated, in paying forward a show of altruism and allowing others to benefit from your tenderness and understanding.

Every action in life creates a ripple effect.  Whether that ripple effect is as visible to the naked eye as a drop of water in a pond, or is so infinitesimal that it is unseen by the human eye, there is always a reaction.  A little bit can go a long way and that ripple may spread further than you could ever imagine.

I hope you will take the three minutes to watch this video created by a Thai insurance company.  Its message is heart-warming, emotional and eerily accurate.  One drop of human kindness could change the tides in so many oceans.

 

Ask me in forty years and I’ll tell you what happened

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When I look back at the road behind me, I am content with many of the life altering decisions I have made.  There would be nothing worse than glancing back over the history of my life through the eyes of regret.  But will I be that fortunate in another forty years to feel the same way I do after the first half of my life?  Will I take all of my knowledge, and the lessons I have learned about only living once, and disregard the opportunity to obtain the most happiness I can possibly achieve?

I don’t want to reach my ninetieth year and remember the moment that I let an opportunity for pure bliss pass me by.  I don’t want to have “what if” nagging at the  back of my mind.  I have 46 years of growth and experience under my belt and I can only hope I can wring every ounce of those two things out of me when it comes to pursuing my ultimate happiness.

wringing

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Sure, I’ve made my choices and I go through the motions of every day life but how would I feel if there were something out there that was just perfect for me and I let it pass me by?  Whether it be a job, a trip or a new love….opportunities are not presented every day.  Some of those chances are serendipity, a fortunate accident, and some are created through some mystic energy in the universe, perhaps a karma of sorts.

Regardless of the circumstance, I don’t want to regret a moment in my life where I should have taken a chance, but didn’t.   If  you ask me in forty years, I hope I am able to tell you that I followed my heart and made every moment possible by simply taking that chance on something that seemed like it was meant to be just for me.

 

 

 

Finding little pieces of myself along the way

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I lose time.  I don’t mean I have dissociative fugues and the inability to recall past events.  Time simply rushes by me at such a fast pace that I seem to lose little pieces of myself along the way, pieces caught in the vortex of the life I am living that is whirling by at a great speed.

Those missing bits seem to fragment during my busy work days and I don’t always recognize their absence until I inch closer to my day off.  I feel like a part of me has been eclipsed, hidden in a shadow, waiting to be rediscovered.

Today I had the benefit of finding some of those remnants of myself and putting them back where they belong.  Today I came home from work, knowing that tomorrow is a day free from structure, and allowed myself that moment to finally relax and let those misplaced segments of my life re-establish themselves.  Today I put my feet into the wading pool, bought for my dog, and let the water wash away the lingering moments of my work day.  Today I put together the puzzle that is me with the pieces I had lost during the week.  Today I made myself feel like the garden AND the rose.

It is important to take that quiet moment to collect all of the pieces of ourselves that are essential to us and recreate the whole picture of ourselves.  Segments of us will get lost along the way but the significant substance of who we are will always find its way back.  And in the moments that I was gathering the scraps of me that I had left behind, I came across this picture and it all made sense.

make a life

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Living in abundance

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I am not wealthy, but I feel rich. I don’t have a large collection of belongings, but I live in abundance because I choose to define my prosperity in the most basic of ways.  I choose to perceive my success in the reflection of the people in my life and I don’t measure that success by any other standards but my own.  My richness cannot be seen, only felt.  The wealth I have is in the things that I hold dear to my heart and, for that reason, I will never be poor.

I have love in my life, so I will never be without emotion.  I have friends in my life, so I will never be without laughter.  I have the gift of creativity in my head, so I will never feel alone.  I am bathed in the glow of the sun, so I will always be warm.   And I live as my most honest self so I will never be afraid.  My abundance is overflowing.

Life-of-Abundance

True success should only be defined at the end of your emotional journey and not in the possessions you collect along the way.  Your greatest wealth lies in the eyes of your partner or your children.  Your greatest strength lies in the arms of your family and friends.  And your only obstacle is the limit you give your imagination.

I live well because I am rich.  My stocks are in my family, my bonds are in my friendships and my gold is in my truth.  My richness collects interest with each day that passes because I have people in my life that support me and challenge me.  I have discovered new friends that inspire me and that feeling of worth pays me dividends that mean far more to me than monetary wealth ever could.  I am living in abundance and I have more than I ever dreamed possible.

 

Or sometimes more than a thousand words

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When I first saw it, I was captivated by it.  A simple photo of a friend on Facebook grabbed and held my attention but it was no ordinary photograph.  I had hoped there was more of an explanation to it than mere Photoshop and I was thrilled to hear her tell the story behind the picture.

She had agreed to have her portrait done by her friend who is fascinated by the origin of photography.  He posed her and painstakingly went through the process that photographers went through back in the late 1800’s.  His camera was an antique with the accordion-style lens and the black hood that covered the head of the photographer.

He waited until the precise moment that he thought he had captured her true essence and he let his finger plunge the button that would acquire every detail of her spirit.  The result of his effort was remarkable.  He printed her face on tin to truly encapsulate the original process of printing a photograph.

I stared at her photo for a long time.  There was so much more to it than just a picture of her face.  There was a story in her eyes.  His diligent process captured much more than just who she is now.  This snapshot seemed to hold the story of generations, perhaps lifetimes of moments that led up to her being in his studio and posing for this shot.

It wasn’t a selfie or a picture as a second thought.  There weren’t 100 takes in a minute because that is all we have time for nowadays.  He paused, he let the camera do what it was meant to do and he took a thousand stories, captured them in one single photo and printed them on a piece of tin.

erin

Look at the artwork in this photo and hopefully you can now understand why I was so drawn to my friend’s picture.  Without the use of any computer tricks, this photograph projects so much more than just a face on a piece of paper or a computer screen.  This picture has depth, emotion and a lifetime of moments that led to her presence in our present reality.

If I ever have the chance to do this, I will jump at it.  I would love to see what kind of story my face has to tell and what ghosts from my past linger in the background, searching for recognition.

I’ll take 40-something over 20-something any day

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Arthritic pains, hot flashes, stress and wrinkles withstanding, I would not relive my twenties if you paid me.  That creased, hot-to-the-touch skin cloaks me in a sense of comfort that I was never afforded two decades ago.  In those days, I wore a skin that never felt comfortable.  That twenty year old skin never seemed to feel like it fit on the body that was attached to my brain.

Perhaps these wrinkles are the road map of the journey that led me to where I am now.  Each crevasse that is etched into my skin marks a milestone that ensured, not only a lesson learned but, a memory was created.  Like every foolish twenty something, I thought I was invincible.  I didn’t necessarily feel like the world owed me anything but I felt like it was my oyster and it was my destiny to find that pearl.

It took me that span of twenty years to realize that I am the pearl in the oyster of my reality.  The epic search for the jewel encased in a hard shell was actually the search for my true self.  The walls that I had created in my teens and twenties became the shell of my oyster and the pearl was me.  Slowly, over these many years, that pearl has come to represent the confidence I now have in myself in every facet of my life.

Spending time chiseling away at the outer shell of my oyster has allowed me to gradually peer into the real meat of my reality and open the doors of that tomb that was my shell.  I no longer feel the same constraints I did in my twenties and if some remnants of those constraints still remain, I don’t care.  It is only a matter of time before the sand on the beach of my reality wears away the residue of that shell that still threatens to inter my world.

In my forties the world has become my oyster, once again, but in a completely different way.  I know who I am and I finally can admit to what I want.  My obstacle now is not the boundaries of my shell but the only the boundaries of my courage and my imagination.