celebrate kindness

Posts Tagged ‘reflection

Quote - Change

As many of you know, I have been sharing my thoughts as a blogger for almost five years now.

WOW! Five years? Surely that’s not correct.

Yep. Five years.

I began this journey in June of 2012, mainly to document the 40 random acts of kindness I wanted to complete for my upcoming 40th birthday. Of course, once I started to write, I couldn’t stop!

I’ve learned a lot about myself during this time. I’ve discovered my passion for kindness. I’ve met amazing people in the process and been blessed a thousand times over. I’ve been inspired by other writers who mentor me, encourage me, and push me to do more with my stories.

I have struggled as well.

I have been paralyzed by fear that I wasn’t good enough. I’ve been stretched so thin that writing took a backseat to life. I began to question, to doubt, to wonder if any of this even mattered.

It does.

I’ve learned that kindness takes shape in many forms. It can be an action that surprises a stranger. It can be a smile sent across the room. Kindness can be sharing of ideas or encouraging through empathy.

Kindness matters.

And now I’ve come to that place where I have to let go of the familiar and embrace the new.

I have decided to expand my sharing of kindness stories to include other stories from my life. I am a mom, an educator, a writer and friend. Now is the time to embrace all that I am and continue this passion for kindness in a new way.

This week I created a new website: www.tamaraletter.com. The time was right to branch out and take a risk – purchasing my own website domain and, in essence, starting over.

But I want to start over with YOU.

You matter.

You’ve read my posts and shared in my experiences. You’ve celebrated with glee and wept with sorrow. You have become a part of my story and I want that story to continue.

This isn’t goodbye forever, more like moving down the street!

I would love if you would visit www.tamaraletter.com and add it to your favorite sites. If you like email updates, there’s a place on the side and bottom of the new website where you can subscribe. You can also stay connected with me on Facebook and Twitter if that works best.

I will continue sharing my stories of random acts of kindness, so let’s stay connected so we can keep inspiring one another and making this world a better place!

You’ve already inspired me to embrace change and celebrate the new.

BeTheGood

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tell-your-story

Recently, I’ve been drawn to doing my random acts of kindness anonymously. No fanfare, no blog posts, no photographic proof of what I’ve done or who I’ve helped. Just me doing my thing, without attrition or acknowledgment.

It’s been a time of solace: balancing the changing tides of people and passions with small little acts that bring me joy. Not quite blog-worthy some might argue.

In fact, there was a part of me even contemplating if my journey as a blogger had come to an end. After all, I started this project four years ago, with exactly 236 stories shared online – quite a few more than my original vision of 40 RAKs for 40 years.

Was the effort worth the impact? Did the countless hours of writing, editing, and revising make any difference at all? Were the stories becoming stale from repetition? Did anyone even read my blog anymore?

Oh, the pondering of my soul.

Then I received an email from WBUR, a public radio station out of Boston, that wanted to spotlight our story about Secret Sisters on their radio show. That’s when it hit me:

Our stories matter.

Your story. My story. The pain, the joy, the questioning, the wonder. Our stories help us connect in this digital age and for some, may be a lifeline for comfort or peace. Our stories engage. Enthrall. Inspire. They give people hope to keep pushing on no matter the circumstance.

So it’s in this mindset I’m carving out time today to write. To share. To show. Not for the pat-on-the-back. Not to gain notoriety. For no other reason than our stories matter and some stories must be told.

For the past two months, I’ve been working with Erika Lantz, an associate producer of WBUR, to share the story of Secret Sisters to a larger audience. She and her staff have worked tirelessly to learn more about sweet Nate Metheny, the lifetime of memories he created in only six years of life, and the impact Secret Sisters had in his family’s journey through the painstaking days, weeks, and months of overwhelming grief and sadness following his passing.

It was a tough story to write; even tougher to speak aloud.

On Tuesday, December 20, the radio show went live, merging snippets of conversations from Nate’s family and myself with Erika’s storytelling skills to produce a seven-minute recap of Secret Sisters. I was almost too nervous to listen to the show with so many worries swirling through my brain. “What if I rambled too much? What if I sounded like a fool? Would I be able to do any justice whatsoever to all the ways Secret Sisters worked together seamlessly to love on this family? This story is not about me!”

Then, I overcame my fear and clicked the play button. I listened to the broadcast with tears filling my eyes. I was reminded yet again:

Our stories matter.

If I don’t tell my story, who will?

Even though we are still a week away from New Year’s Resolutions, I’m making one right now. I’m going to keep telling my stories. I’m going to overcome the fear of public criticism and continue to share my journey as one of the many kindness advocates out there. Because, even though my stories may seem simple and trite, they matter.

I wish you blessings this holiday season as your hearts turn toward others in love. I also encourage you to reach out beyond you comfort zone and share your stories of kindness. It may seem inconsequential at the time, but your story has the power to change the hearts of many.

If you would like to hear the radio broadcast of Secret Sisters, click here. (To listen to the podcast, click the red play button on the website.)

May your heart be touched by our journey.

writing quote

This past week as I was creating a digital photo book of my family’s vacation from last summer, I came across several photos that reminded me of random acts of kindness I did while traveling to Alaska. The memories flooded my mind and made me smile. From fish extenders to truffles to love notes for strangers, I was overcome by the realization that RAKs have permeated all I do – even vacationing with family.

Unfortunately, not a single blog post was written about any of them.

Sometimes I struggle with blogging. The need to write is visceral, and yet… I falter. I stall. I wonder if people bore of “another feel-good story.” I read posts of some who chastise those who RAK and tell, then find myself lifted up by those who share encouragement. Do I take the time to share my journey or keep it hidden inside?

Sometimes I’m distracted. Sometimes I’m weary. Sometimes I’m so excited to detail my experiences I can’t even settle my thoughts to find the right words. Sometimes my life is so busy I don’t even get a chance to sit down and blog until the midnight hour is chiming and I’m losing my glass slipper, my time already done.

And sometimes I’m so overwhelmed by the kindness of others, I don’t even know where to begin.

Kindness quote

So for the next few weeks, my goal is to share a few stories I’ve missed. To reflect and remember. To dig deep and retell the stories that make me smile before they fade away. Some RAKs are grand, others are so small you might question why on earth I would even take the time to write about them.

Because all RAKs matter.

RAKs inspire.

RAKs change people.

And no matter how small, a RAK is never wasted; some stories just need to be told.

Better late than never, right?

Be on the look out, my faithful readers, as I begin a blog fest of RAK memories. As always, thank you for taking time out of your busy day to spend some time in mine!

(And if you’ve always wanted to know what a fish extender is, check back soon – that will be the next post!)

 

 

 

 


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The cards I made as random acts of kindness to bless others through iServe #iservecsbc #rak
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