celebrate kindness

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Today’s random acts of kindness began with the sweetest surprise – a teacher brought me this card and said, “As soon as I saw this, I thought of you!” It totally made my day!

Photo Nov 12, 8 05 07 AM

Happiness is not a state to arrive at, but a manner of traveling. I really like that. 🙂 Later in the day, I received an email from a teacher needing to borrow an iPhone charger. I gladly offered mine. (Kate and Fay – this is a pay-it-forward for the days I borrowed yours!)

Photo Nov 12, 11 12 45 AM

As the day was winding down, a teacher passed by my desk and asked if she could have a piece of chocolate from my candy jar. “Sure,” I replied with a smile, “As long as you do a random act of kindness in return.” How exciting to think of all the acts of kindness that have been completed in exchange for some sweet treats. Looks like I will need to fill my candy jar in the morning!

Photo Nov 12, 3 40 00 PM

 

At our faculty meeting, our principal announced a kindness initiative for November where we will write kind words on red hearts then tape them to a hallway wall in the shape of a HUGE heart. The only problem is… we have no red hearts. I approached her after the meeting and volunteered to copy and cut the hearts for others to use.

This evening, I posted a shout-out on Facebook about my fitness instructor at the Y. She is so dedicated to her “second job” and has such a vibrant personality; she’s one of the few people I know who can make me smile as I’m sweating and struggling to lift a weight bar.

Photo Nov 12, 8 09 06 PM

You know what? I bet you don’t even realize just how many awesome random acts of kindness you do throughout one complete day. I would challenge you to make a list, even if no one else ever sees it, and record all the times you either said something nice to someone else or completed a kind action without expectation of anything in return. It makes me smile right in this moment to think that your list may be longer than mine.  🙂

Thank you, dear readers, for allowing me a small bit of your day to share my RAK stories in honor of World Kindness Week. It’s been a joy to blog them every day! Check back again tomorrow – I have a few planned RAKs up my sleeve for the coming days!

Be blessed and feel free to share this post with your friends and social media sites. The more we share, the more we inspire!  🙂

 

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One resolution many people make at the start of the year is to get in shape, start exercising, lose some weight.  It’s an admirable goal, especially for those who realize and acknowledge that life changes are good!

Personally, I am not a gym rat (and no offense to those who are!)  I enjoy exercising, but I also enjoy eating, so for me it’s more like a balancing act in staying healthy.  I’ve tried all sorts of gym activities, but the one I love most is Zumba.   Imagine fast paced dancing like salsa and mambo mixed with squats and lunges and you have a small taste of this hour long class.  It is an EXCELLENT form of exercise!  Best of all, if you do the classes consistently, you really can see changes in your tone, strength, and endurance!

There are many Zumba classes offered around town – some classes come to your workplace (seriously!), some are offered at gyms, and some can be shown on a DVD or Wii.  I like to attend classes at my local Y because it allows me to  get out of the house and meet new people while keeping me motivated with my fitness goals.

The Monday before Christmas I was trying to decide if I should go to my Zumba class or stay home and wrap some last minute gifts for the holidays.  If you are a busy mom like me (or just busy in general), you know how precious just an hour of free time can be! Although I was tempted to use the time productively to mark another task off my to-do list, I decided to head down to the Y and use the time on ME instead.

You can imagine my surprise when my Zumba instructor, Toni, opened the door wearing a Santa themed shirt and an obnoxiously huge elf hat made from skinny balloons.  (Where was my camera when I needed it?!) Her huge smile radiated joy as she welcomed us into the class.  What fun!  I almost expected to see a clown in the corner, inflating and twisting balloons into requested shapes.

As we all found our places to stand, Toni grabbed a basket off the shelf and announced, “I have a little something for you!”  You could hear the small gasps of “Awwww!” and “Oh, thank you so much!” as she made her way to each individual person in the class. When Toni made her way to me, I finally saw what made everyone else respond with such appreciation:

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Our amazing Zumba instructor, with her own time and money, had purchased each of us special Zumba jingle bell bracelets and created a CD of all the music we dance to in class.  REALLY?!?  Oh my gosh, it was such a sweet gift (and the first I have ever received from a gym instructor!)  Unbeknownst to Toni, we had a surprise for her, too, as we had chipped in with cards and money to purchase Powerade and gifts cards to show our thanks for all she does to inspire us on a daily basis.

It was a sweet moment of reciprocity, with both givers and receivers sharing in the emotion of surprise and kindness.  Best of all? We spent the next hour laughing, smiling, and sweating as the sounds of jingle bell bracelets danced in the air.

Today may you be inspired!  Try a new class at the gym or call up a friend to walk around your neighborhood.  Sometimes the most needed random act of kindness is the one you give yourself!  🙂


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