Tag Archive | book

50 Acts of Kindness – 41-50


Here’s the final list from my Kindness Inspires Kindness birthday celebration. I hope you have all enjoyed the journey!

#41 Babies & Kids – I went to the day care center by my work and I read “The Night You Were Born” to the preschoolers there and donated it so they could read it to the kids when they have a birthday in the future. They were such a delight! I loved every minute and got a little misty when they all sang and wanted to give me birthday presents. They did make me a birthday card – aren’t they sweet? One little girl was having a birthday that week as well so I gave her my birthday boa. She was thrilled! I can’t show the kids for privacy reasons but here a couple of me.

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#42 Babies & Kids – We all know that teen-aged girls can be the hardest on themselves. So I wrote 200 notes of affirmation and love and had them put on the cars of the girls at the high school I attended. Actually, it’s the all-girl school that every girl in my family has attended. My sister is a teacher there and she said they were all talking about it the next day so I guess they appreciated a little love in their day.

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#43 Sick & Needy – I donated a pile of items to Goodwill. I like to do that several times a year.

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#44 – Created an angel painting with a special message included. Love when the angels come out to play! (NOTE – picture not delivered yet so putting these angel wings as a placeholder so as not to spoil the surprise!)

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#45 Just Because – I gave a copy of my book, MIGHTY INSPIRATION, Love Letters from God to someone. I love when I can spread the inspiration this way.

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#46 Sick & Needy – I gave blood. It’s been a few years and now I remember why. They said I’m a “slow” bleeder and I got just enough, just in time to meet the requirement. Whew!

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#47, #48, #49 – These three go together – These are my sweet “Giving Crew” – I bought them breakfast, lunch, and supper, respectively as they spent the day with me running around town and doing acts of kindness. They are precious and supportive and just the loveliest people! They helped make my birthday wish come true. Can’t thank them enough and couldn’t think of a better group to spend my birthday day with!

IMG_20130819_202200     73jW7XutsDACCDS1N0U0dwMatcwQG752zCvd-lKUwdA     giving crew - dinner (2)

#50 – Babies & Kids – I saved my favorite one for last. My daughter and I went to University Hospital, which is where I was born. I had a gift for a baby girl born 50 years after I was born. Hmmm I’ve learned it’s harder to give a gift to a stranger than I thought, but I was patient and God worked it out. Anyway, I met the loveliest couple. They had identical twins and about halfway through the pregnancy found out they had a very rare condition where all the amniotic fluid transfers from one baby to another. So one baby was really swimming in it and the other had almost none. The doctors gave the 2nd baby almost no chance to live and the mom almost no chance of taking the babies safely to term. There was nothing medically that could be done and there was no way to correct the situation. Those are dire words to say to a young couple waiting for their sweet babies. So the parents and family did the only thing they could …. they prayed. And within a short 2 week period the fluid had evened out (impossible huh?) and the babies were born at about week 36 or 37 weeks – that’s awesome for twins! Both are miracle babies. One (Truette Lynn) was in the NICU so I didn’t get to see her but I got to see Larkyn Ellen. And the parents graciously told me to go ahead and hold her. Yes, it was a present for me in return. And oh yeah, I cried.  I will forever pray for those birthday twins, Larkyn and Truette.

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There you have it – the BEST BIRTHDAY EVER, in pictures!!! Thanks for being witness to my journey of kindness and thanks to all who blessed me for my 50th Birthday. Dreams really do come true!!

Be blessed!

Book Recommendations


Yesterday a dear friend recommended a book to me called “Lean In” by Sheryl Sandberg. I’m going to read it but also realized I haven’t updated my “Books to Read” list in a very long time. So … I’m taking recommendations. What book has changed your life? What book to you read again and again? What’s the top 3 books you would recommend to a friend? What books do you like to give as gifts?

Now’s your chance to influence me. :-)

Read on and be blessed!Image

Pass it on!


Today I received a really lovely note from someone who had attended my speaking engagement on Gratitude. Of course I was pleased that she had enjoyed my speech. Her words were flattering. But that wasn’t the important thing about her message. What really caught my heart was how she had “passed it on”. My speaking had inspired her to in turn speak at her church and give her own testimony. She talked about Regrets and Resolutions and had the courage to share her own story. She passed along several of my insights that had touched her. What a gift she gave – not only to those she spoke to, but to me as well.

This is exactly in line with one of the chapters in my book, MIGHTY INSPIRATION, Love Letters from God. It talks about how one action, word, or inspiration spirals and twists and move across the face of the earth because it builds and grows as it gets passed along. We almost never see the far-reaching results of the positive things we create. But they live and move well beyond our initial creation.  This is one way in which we can change the world. Nothing happens if we receive it and hold what we have. It edifies us, yes. But it stops there. It lingers temporarily and then dies with the next thing that catches our attention and focus. Now, the real change comes when we receive and then give. When we pass it on – no matter what it is – it grows. It takes on more and more energy and spreads in multiple directions. It divides and multiplies – it does not diminish, when we pass it on.

I was thrilled to hear from her. I was delighted to see this principle in action. And I know, in the energy of spirit that more and more people are passing it on even now.

What are you passing on these days? Whatever it is, may it be a positive change in our world … and may you be blessed!

I’m changing the world


One of the topics in my book MIGHTY INSPIRATION, Love Letters from God, is the concept of changing the world. Do you believe that you can change the world? I do. Every action and word we use creates a ripple effect. We don’t just put  ideas and energy out into the world – we move them along as well. We expand them when we focus on them or talk about them.

It is my firm desire to change this world. I believe that I have a purpose. It’s not to gather the most possessions or attain the highest of titles. It’s way, way more important than that. I believe my purpose is to help others see their own light and empower them to embrace it. No I’m not perfect at it but I do deliberately work on it. I have a spiritual practice that involves gratitude as well as intercession prayers. Science is even backing up the idea that prayer and faith can change things. This is not new news to the believer but it is important confirmation that is starting to build.

I also work to use my talent for words to inspire – not just on my blog or in my social networking platforms, but also in my work. Planting seeds of positivity seems to be producing many fruitful changes. I enjoy seeing the faces of people when my words seem to strike a cord in their hearts. I enjoy it more when they share the words or even suggest some more. I see a bit of encouragement growing in the work place and I hope that my small efforts are a part of the cause.

And next I want to move from words of inspiration to actions of change. I have long been a “sponsor” for children outside of my country. And yes, I can help them with my modest financial donations. That enables others to use my gift by putting it into action. Lately, that hasn’t seemed like enough.

Next year I’m turning 50. Yep, it’s just a number but in my head it’s a number that represents the middle of my life. I’ve graduated from the daily needs of my children – they are adults and creating their own lives now. And I’m not at the end of my life where I reflect on the journey complete. I’m in the middle. I’m in a position of flexibility that I want to put to use. So I’m exploring where to go and what to do to make my mark on lives I don’t ordinarily have the opportunity to affect. I can go into the world, not once, but over and over. I can combine my love of travel and appreciation for different cultures to spur me into action – I can see the world and change the world and we shall all be the better for it.

I’m wrestling with new questions – Where do I go? What gifts do I give? What talents do I share? Who do I take by my side? The answers to these questions may not stir the world, but they will change the lives of some human beings I don’t yet know. I want to dream big. I want to reach as far as my hands can go. I want to change the world and leave it better for my journey. I want to let strangers know the love of God because they met a woman – this woman.

I’m open to suggestions and inspirations – help me answer my questions … and be blessed!

The things I could do …


It’s true … the days are getting longer.  As we get closer and closer to summer the light is lasting longer. It’s wonderful to go to work and come home from work in the sunshine. I’m not a fan of the coming heat, but the light is a welcome companion.

And yet, even now there’s so much I want to do, need to do, must do that the days still seem short. I know we cannot extend the number of hours in a day. And frankly, I wouldn’t want to because I’d fill those up too.  But now as I see so many of my friends leaving work to retire, my mind day dreams about what I could do without work taking up most of my waking hours.

I was talking to a friend about this yesterday. She’s retiring in June and we chatted about her next steps. She’ll continue to be a chair person for some of the volunteer activities at the big tennis tournament that comes to town each year. She’s thinking about working with dogs and training them to be both adoptable as well as training them to be healing pets. What wonderful aspirations.

I know I’m just a tad bit too young to be ready for this step but I know I’m creating my list of what I’d do. I want to learn photography, volunteer in a variety of places that require workday help, pick up some artsy classes – painting or stained glass making or pottery. There’s so many possibilities. I know I want to continue with my writing. By then I hope to have my 2nd book finished and maybe working on a 3rd.

All the books I’ve wanted to read would become my daily friends. The places I want to go all over the world with people to meet, and cultures to experience would take much of my money but leave me with an investment in connections and discovery.

Yikes I better stop day dreaming for today or I’ll find myself taking a leap I’m not quite ready for if I keep this up. What are you day dreaming up if time was abounding and plenty? Be blessed!

 

Inspired Action


I have noticed that my years seem to flow in themes. I started to see this about 3-4 years ago. Since gaining awareness, I also know that these are not themes which I pick, but rather what appears to be the “lesson of the year.” Sometimes the theme reveals itself quite quickly, and other times I see it only in retrospect. They are also wildly variant – from a year of learning (both formal and informal), to spiritual listening, to accepting my personal value, to surrender, etc. This year is shaping up to be the year of inspired action.

Just saying those words, inspired action, makes me both excited and a little nervous. I’m not going to lie, it takes courage to take action when it’s purpose driven. It means I can’t “go with the flow of my emotions” like I desire. It means having a bit of a plan, taking risks, showing my intentions to people. But, in spite of my desire to hesitate, I know that this is the course I’m on.

So what does inspired action look like? Here’s a few examples I’ve come across already:

> Speaking out in support of what’s right in the workplace as it pertains to the gay community at work. Nope, it’s not about religion, but about what’s right from an employee relations and human relations point of view.

> Sharing my spiritual experience and gifting my book to some very influential people in my life.

> Deliberately planting positive messages in the workplace as a way of leaving a legacy.

> Delving into the dark crevices of my heart and soul, really looking at some of the pain points in order to move to forgiveness and emotional healing.

> Purging my home of things I’ve held dear for so long because they no longer serve me.

These are just a few, and they aren’t all easy. But I know that in the end I will gain personal power from the process. This year of inspired action will set me up for what comes next year.

Do you recognize the themes in your life? Awaken your awareness and be blessed!

Speaking in Love Languages


We have an exercise we use at work called “The Valuing Exercise”. It’s simple, but quite effective. It is a good tool for managers when they want to recognize and reward employees in ways that the person will feel valued. It consists of a  pretty comprehensive list of potential ways people tend to want recognition. The employee indicates their top 3 and bottom 3 preferences. The range of options vary from monetary rewards to public recognition to exposure of the work to leadership and everything in between. People new to managing others are sometimes surprised by responses because, as always with humans, people get in the habit of giving praise or recognition in the way they want to receive it. When they find out their “tried and true” methods are on the bottom 3 preferences for some people, it throws them off. And, if they continue to do so, it can backfire and be demotivating for their people.

One of the reasons I like the exercise is that it is a business tool that teaches managers how to relate to people in work-related forms of their “love language”. That phrase comes from the book the Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. It’s a great book – actually one of the best relationship books I have ever read. There are now additional versions of the book for many types of relationships like kids, teens, and at work, etc.

As a certified Myers-Briggs facilitator, I appreciate that this concept allows for the expression of various personality types. I must admit, if I had known about and read this book when I was married it would have made a difference in that relationship. If the relationship had been salvageable, it would have made all the difference. I say that because I now recognize the signs that indicate we were decidedly NOT speaking each others love languages, even when we were trying to be loving. I’ve tried to learn and practice with my children, my family, and my friends. I have seen a difference and a strengthening in relationships in my own life because I decided to become fluent in other people’s love languages, and not just in my own. I’m not always perfect, but I am in a different world because of it.

Do you know your love languages? Do you know the love languages of the important people in your life? Do you practice the art of using them? I highly encourage you to put this book on the tippy top of your reading list if you haven’t already.

Love each other, and be blessed!

Measure of Success


“Success is not about the end product. Success is not the measure of how much you do.

Success is about how much you love and give of yourself to help other people.

 It is about how you connect and help everyone’s dreams and creations move forward.

True success is not an individual thing at all.”

~ Barbara Bernard Miller, MIGHTY INSPIRATION, Love Letters from God (pp. 64)

Have you ever noticed how so many people who define success in a worldly way are so unhappy? They strive for money, things, possessions, and victories. They attain those things and look around and still find themselves lacking in fulfillment. Nothing seems to be enough. No achievement ends the quest for more, more, more. That kind of success feels hollow and solitary. It is fleeting in its enjoyment and temporary in its existence.

God has other ideas of how to define success. His message, as quoted above from my book, tells of the divine definition of success. Have you noticed when you put this aspect into action how much more fulfilling life is? Have you experienced the gift you give to yourself and your life when you have helped others attain their dreams? That success is permanent. It rings solid and true in our heart and spirit. It brings inspiration and drive to help more and more people to their fulfillment.

As I think of how our world is changing and economies crumble and jobs are lost, it makes me look at this quote differently. If we but reach across the worldly “game” of success to practice the divine essence of success we might all become successful. If we stop competing so hard and start cooperating, there is a chance for true success.

Something to think about. Be blessed!

Legacies


Today I was watching a documentary about Abe Lincoln. I’ve never really been a history buff because in grade school it was all about the memorization of dates. That was of little interest or use to me. But the one element that I did enjoy was the telling of stories. When I could hear the stories of the characters of history, instead of or in addition to the dates, I suddenly had a different opinion. Likely this is because I live my life in the service of connection with other people, not just in the facts and figures of their lives.

One element of Abe’s story that was told today was about his ongoing battle with depression. The interesting thing about it was that he rose to fame and glory almost in spite of the depression. He allowed himself to feel what he felt but still went on the quest of a meaningful life. He stated at one point to a friend that he did not want to die without being remembered for something important, and for him it was the Emancipation Proclamation. That was indeed something worthy of being remembered.

This post isn’t really about Abe though, but rather, it’s about legacy.  I do believe that each of us has a legacy, or legacies, that we are called to leave behind. Some of them may be consciously created, like Lincoln’s, and others are simply alive in the memories of those we interact with but are not declared. As I look at those that I have lost in my family I can clearly see their legacies – joyful strength, strong work ethics, patience, love of family, and smiling faces.

As time creeps on and I get closer to retirement I have spent some time thinking of my own legacies. At work I’ve been blessed to hear from some people what they “remember” about me. One woman recently commented that I’m always smiling. That was one I wasn’t even conscious of but it delighted me to know. Several others have mentioned how they love the weekly inspirations I post on my board and how they deliberately walk by my office to see what I’ve shared. This pleases me so much because I want to consciously and deliberately touch the lives of others and inspire them to be their best selves. Still others have mentioned my passion for diversity and inclusion and they can see the mark I am leaving on the organization because of my work in this area. That is a good legacy and I’m motivated even more to continue with this. And as much as I never planned on it, I’ve been told that I am known for my skills and abilities in dealing with employee relations issues. As an HR professional, this is a very good skill and I’m glad to be known for it. I’m sure I have other legacies, some less noteworthy or positive, given that I’m a flawed human being. But for the most part, I am pleased that these are the things I’ll be remembered by.

From a personal standpoint I know that many people will remember me for my book, MIGHTY INSPIRATION, Love Letters from God. Not just the book and it’s content, but also the story of how the book was written. That is a legacy that I am more than delighted to leave behind. And, with more time, I intend to add more books to the list. God willing!

As a daughter, sister, friend and mother I am much less sure what my legacies would be. I guess that is the story left untold for now. I know that both my good points and bad points show themselves more frequently to those I love. I hope the good outweigh the bad. I hope what I believe in and stand for overshadow that which I failed at or stumbled through.

Do you know your legacies? I’d love to hear who you’ve been in the world – it does inspire me and others to hear your story.

Share your legacies and be blessed!

God came to lunch today!


I had a most unexpected and gratifying experience today. While having a lunch meeting with a colleague the subject turned briefly to common work friends, and work decisions and ironically, to my book. I’m now growing accustomed to this happening from time to time. As usual, when he asked, I gave a short answer that it was a book chronicling a spiritual experience I had. I’m always conscious of the “line” between speaking my truth and delving into a topic that could make someone else uncomfortable in the workplace. Then we breezily moved on. That’s normal. Then we talked business – yep that’s normal too. Slowly he danced his way back into asking about how I wrote and what I wrote. He was curious. Okay, that’s normal.

Then suddenly, without a blink or a turn signal, it happened. It sounds cheesy but it was like in the movies when the lights go down around and there’s just this spotlight on two people engrossed in  meaningful conversation. There was no cafeteria. The other diners faded into the distance … and God came to lunch. I could feel it. I knew this moment was a powerful one. We had a verbal dance from one topic to another. There was no preaching. There was no religion. Just connection and wonder and questions. How do you hear God? Has he come to you in other ways? Do you get messages? Can I tell you about my wife. And I know people who feel things – like my mother who “felt” when a family member was dying 200 miles away. The conversation swirled and twirled and I sensed it was bigger than just the two of us – it was somehow complete.

This man, who I had only known a few short months, who came from a land across the sea, was sitting here now, making a deep and spiritual connection. In that moment we were kindred spirits with no hierarchy, no cultural difference, no language barrier, no time constraint – just Spirit. There was a heat, an energy and a light that emanated briefly from our table and then – fade to black. And as the moment passed and the cafeteria came back into view, I knew, on this day, with this person, the universal truth of connection had come to life.

I have been blessed … be blessed too!

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Review: "You’re Not Going Crazy, You’re Just Waking Up"


I read a great book entitled YOU’RE NOT GOING CRAZY, YOU’RE JUST WAKING UP by Michael Mirdad, and I wanted to share it.

The book is about the 5 stages of a Soul Transformation. It’s an easy read and not too long (about 90 pages) but I found it to be impactful from the first chapter. For anyone, or I guess everyone, who has gone through a crisis in their lives that caused change and transformation, this book provides a framework for understanding the different stages and help to plan for them again, as life is ever changing. Michael talks about all change being inevitable but that there are two ways to go through it – the easy way and the hard way.

The entire book felt so familiar to me because I could recognize the stages of my own transformation as he described it. I was impressed that he was able to capture the truth and the learning from my personal journey by describing the universal journey.

I truly enjoyed the book, and the peppering of relevant quotes from notable religious and wise humans that we all recognize.

If you want to understand the process of your transformation – I recommend this book. If you want to prepare for the next one – I recommend it even more.

Enjoy and be blessed!

Joy


“I am thrilled to realize in spite of the world’s trajedies, heartaches & conflict, there lives and thrives in this world a great joy. It is love of God, self, neighbor, creature & earth. It is the passion in us that keeps us striving for good. And the compassion inside of us that helps us continue to lend a hand to those in need. It is God inside of us working to change what is not God-like. We are blessed!” ~ Barbara Bernard Miller

Opportunities – Mighty Inspiration


This book, MIGHTY INSPIRATION, Love Letters from God, has offered me many number of new opportunities.  My life is filled in a different way as I learn about author subjects and resources, networking and marketing.  Who knew that just a year ago I’d be sitting here as a published author with fans on my FB fan page:  http://www.facebook.com/pages/We-Live-Positive/198800249416?ref=nf and readers spreading the word about my books and website:  http://www.mightyinspiration.com/.  I’ve had many talk radio interviews in various states and on national radio.  The word is spreading and I feel so fortunate for all the opportunities!

I have a new opportunity starting up as Judi Wheeldon includes me in her work called “I Read Your Book”.  She will be reading my book and blogging about it for 7 days.  I’m anxious to hear the insights of another Christian as they let in the words of God as they were given to me.  I’m excited that more and more people will hear the message and be blessed.

So, make sure you check out Judi’s blog:  http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000229837296&ref=nf.  And to sweeten the deal, Judi will be giving a signed copy of the book to one of her readers.  Be sure to comment on her blog so you’re included in the opportunity.

Be blessed!

Counting Angels


I am so amazed every day by the number of angels that flit (and walk) into my life.  It doesn’t matter if it’s a special day or an ordinary Tuesday, I seem to be surrounded by them.

Do you notice the angels in your life? Here’s just a few I ran into today:

* The guy who let me into the correct lane during jam packed traffic so I wouldn’t miss my exit or my appointment.
* My friend who helped me pick up my papers when they went scattering on the floor.
* The acquaintance who popped in on my facebook to see how life was for me today.
* My oral surgeon who saved me from losing a couple of teeth.
* My boss who was more worried about my safety in driving to work than in whether I got there on time.
* My neighbor who always uses his snowblower on my sidewalk without telling me – I still don’t know which one it is.
* A stranger who offered to help me with some technical problems just because he knew how.
* My puppy who adores me (even though I didn’t share my supper with her).
* My aunt who is so proud of me that she buys and hands out my book just because she can.
* My colleague who knew I was out so she set up my meeting for me without hesitation or being asked.
* The postal worker who kept his window open past closing because he saw me approaching the door with packages.
* My friend who prayed for me and sent me a lovely email just because she was thinking of me.

My list could go on but I just thought I’d share since I was sitting here counting my angels.  Be blessed!