We can easily strike up a debate about the inherent nature of humans. Are we inherently good? Or are qualities like goodness, kindness, and compassion learned behaviors? Are they the product of nature or nurture? It’s easy to look at today’s headlines about the tragic events plaguing our world, and say no, there is no good.  …Continue Reading “Our Inherent Good – A #1000Speak Post”

What makes you happy?

No, it’s not a trick question. I’m serious. Sit down. Close your eyes and think about it for a few minutes.

Now, answer the question: What makes you happy?

 

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The answer, of course, will differ for everyone. The things, experiences, even people that bring us joy are as varied as we are. Maybe you said your family or friends make you happy. Maybe it’s seeing your grandchildren’s faces on the computer screen when you Skype with them. Maybe you said ice cream makes you happy or a walk on the beach or shopping or your dog. Maybe you said that kindness and compassion make you happy. Maybe it’s the smell of cookies baking or your Grandmother’s pot roast on a Sunday afternoon.

No matter what your answer, it’s a good one.

Let’s keep going. I’m out on a limb here, but my suspicion is that you – like most people – listed outside sources for your happiness. Am I right? But did you think of anything within yourself or anything about yourself that makes you happy?

Continue Reading "Choose Happiness – A #1000Speak Post"

I can’t help but think lately that life is a constant string of transitions.

We spend most of our lives moving from one phase to another: from youth to adulthood, from school to work, from one relationship to another, from one job to another…our movement is constant and sure. That’s not to say that we don’t enjoy each phase as we live through it. But eventually, we have to pick up and move on. We cannot stay in one place forever – at least not if we intend to grow and develop as human beings. Standing water only becomes stagnant and the path not traveled is a lonely one indeed.

 

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These transitions often seem to crop up just when we’ve gotten comfortable where we are. But maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe it’s best if we don’t let life catch up to us for too long. Maybe it’s best if transition and change happen before we’re quite ready to move on. I have a mug here on my desk that tells me “Life begins outside your comfort zone.” Maybe it does. If we aren’t prompted to move along through life, it is much to easy to settle into the right now and see it as a final destination, rather than a stop along the journey.

And life really must be a journey. 

Continue Reading "TToT – Catching Up, Transitions, and Change"

I want to tell you a story.

It’s a simple story – very short, truly sweet. It’s the story of a little girl who saw someone in need and acted with compassion. This little girl was on the school recess yard with a friend, playing whatever things little girls do on the school recess yard at lunchtime.

It was one of those days in the very late fall where some people feel cold and others feel warm. The second little girl had left her coat in the classroom and was cold. And so the first little girl removed her own coat and gave it to her friend to wear until the end of recess.

 

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That little girl – the one who gave away her coat – is my daughter.

My husband and I learned what she did from a teacher who had witnessed it firsthand. The whole thing took seconds. There was no debate, no pretense; she just saw a need and acted upon it. It very nearly brought me to my knees and most certainly brought me to tears.

Continue Reading "Celebrating One Year of Compassion – A #1000Speak Post"

It’s hard to believe, but 1000 Voices Speak for Compassion is one year old!

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For the last year, bloggers all over the world have been joining our voices and sharing our words each month to talk about topics related to Compassion so we can help flood the world with goodness.

Continue Reading "1000 Voices Speak for Compassion – January 2016 Link-Up"

It’s that time again, friends! This month, 1000 Voices Speak for Compassion continues to work toward a better world with a particular focus on the broad topic of compassion. Write a post relevant to this month’s focus – compassion – and add it to the link-up by clicking the blue button below. Here’s how to get involved: Join 1000 Voices…Continue Reading “1000 Voices Speak for Compassion – December Link-Up”

I’ve been thinking for weeks about my post for this month’s 1000 Voices for Compassion link-up. Weeks.

My #1000Speak efforts are most often fall under the umbrella of self-compassion – something I know so many of us struggle with and need to remember to practice. For some reason, I just couldn’t marry the gratitude theme to the self-compassion theme. The one idea I liked, I rejected.

It occurred to me (finally) that I had already written my #1000Speak post – I just didn’t realize it. So this post has already appeared on my blog, but it is also what I want to say for this month’s link-up on Gratitude. It was written last week for Kristi’s Finish the Sentence Friday hop. The prompt asked us to consider the hardship we are most thankful for having experienced in our lives…

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Let me tell you something about hardship.

You are never prepared for it.

You can tell yourself that you are. You can tell yourself that you’ve thought through all the possibilities that could befall you and can handle whatever life hurls at you. But no matter how much you think you’re prepared, when that moment comes – and I can assure you that it will come – the world will grow dark and it will bring you to your knees.

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You can believe your own half-humorous claims that your position in life is secure because they’ll never find another fool to do your job for what they pay you. But the truth is they will. Not only will they find someone to do your job, but they will find someone to do it for even less than they’re paying you.

Three and a half years ago, my Husband lost his job. We had no suspicion, no warning. There was only a seemingly sudden decision that his services would no longer be required. We were devastated. He had spent eleven years of his time, energy, and talent on that position – sometimes to the detriment of other aspects of our lives. He worked hard and cared about his work. But suddenly, circumstances beyond our control left us standing, mouths agape, utterly shocked.

Continue Reading "Having Gratitude for Hardship – A #1000Speak Post"

Let me tell you something about self-love:

Self-love is very difficult to practice when you’re feeling down on yourself.

 

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It should come as no surprise that I’ve opted for the self-compassion route again this #1000Speak link-up – that’s been my focus all along. Of course, it’s been a couple of months since I’ve actually contributed an original post… I’ve been very busy letting life get in the way and finding excuses not to post and link-up…

It won’t be good enough…

I have nothing valuable to say…

I can’t write about what I’m not doing well myself…

My words don’t matter.

I’m willing to bet that you have said or thought at least one of these in your recent past. I know I have. I know many who do. But why? Why do we so readily find ways to opt out? Why do we work so hard at explaining our failures before we even make an attempt?

Continue Reading "Self-Love is Hard; Self-Reproach is Easier – A #1000Speak Post"