Guys, I am so behind on kindness… It makes my heart sad, really. When my head (and my heart) are in a good place, a positive place, I can see kindness everywhere! And I am inspired to DO kind things, which in turns puts me in an even better place. Know what I mean?
But if I start feeling out of sorts, down, and buried with “life in general”, then I overlook the kindness around me. It is as if I put on a pair of kindness blinders – I just MISS IT. So, I, in turn, DO less kind things… And that makes me feel even worse, even more “in my head” and consumed with “to do lists”.
It is a vicious cycle. And it is one I need to work on breaking! If I can just bring myself around to focus on kindness again, I know my spirits will lift and my eyes will be less foggy – and therefore my outlook on the world will be better! I mean, that’s the whole PREMISE behind this project – share about kindness you see, do, or receive, and spread the kindness like a ripple to those who read about it. SO HERE WE GO!
This is a kindness that I heard about way back in August, and I am just now writing about in November. Sigh. I apologize. It is a sweet one and will inspire you!
My friend Vanessa was sick. She was overwhelmed at work, had lost her voice, and was just having one of those days. Her friend from college, Heather, was chatting with her over GChat, listening while Vanessa whined (her words, not mine!).
|Heather and Vanessa - friends for over 15 years but now live very far away from each other|
Yup, cookies. Vanessa said she was confused when a call came in and she didn’t recognize the caller ID, but she answered anyway. “The guy on the other line said, ‘Vanessa, I’m downstairs with a cookie delivery.’ I was like, ‘Huh? I didn’t order cookies…’ “. So, Vanessa went to the lobby of her building and sure enough, there stood a cookie man! The card with the cookies read, “Keep your chin up, buttercup! Love from Wyoming!”. Vanessa told me, “My reaction was to tear up. Everyone has tough days that really seem silly the next day, but not everyone has amazing people who go out of their way to cheer them up.”
|Vanessa and Heather relaxing - now THAT DAY does not look stressful!|
I totally agree!! How many days do you notice a friend who is struggling, down in the dumps, and just having a tough time in general? If you are like me, it is pretty often. Yet not once have I thought, “I know what she needs – COOKIES!!”. But seriously, consider it – wouldn’t ANY DAY get better with a couple of cookies?? I think so! I had to ask Heather how she decided to treat her friend with such a swell gift, and she said, “I could tell she needed a pick-me-up. I remembered seeing a cookies and milk delivery service in the DC area and thought, this is a perfect time to surprise her with something nice like that”. Isn’t that the most thoughtful gesture?? I mean, flowers are nice to get and all, but COOKIES AND MILK takes the cake (pun intended).
I asked Vanessa why she thought her friend went out of her way to send the treats, and she told me, “Really, she just sent those cookies because that is who she is. She is thoughtful, selfless, and wonderful. She is the founder of People Spread Love ( People Spread Love link) , a social movement that spreads love to individuals through simple notes of love composed by volunteers. She literally dedicates her life to spreading love because her heart if overflowing with it, obviously. She sends me handwritten cards all of the time, just because… When my friend in Puerto Rico was diagnosed with terminal cancer, Heather was one of my biggest rocks from afar (Wyoming). Ever since college this girl has brought nothing but sunshine and adventure into my life.”
I have not had the good fortune of meeting Heather in person, but just from how Vanessa describes her it is clear she is someone very special. And listen to the kinds of things Heather does in her home town: “I do things most often in the Jackson, WY area (where I live) through the non-profit organization I started called People Spread Love. I organize random acts of kindness in the community on a monthly basis. I give free hugs on occasion, leave Heart Reminders on trailheads, airplanes and park benches. Last winter we showed gratitude to our snowplow drivers. We had the biggest snow fall in 100 years and we wanted to share our gratitude, so 5 volunteers and I got up at 3 am and brought coffee, donuts and held up signs to show them our appreciation. We were all pretty sleepy after that, but it was completely worth it. We have also shown gratitude to our postal workers, because they have so much stress in what they do, especially during the holidays. So we hold up signs to show our appreciation while we wait in line for our packages.” I don’t know about the rest of you reading this, but lightbulbs went off in my head when I heard the cool, kind things Heather and her group do! There are so many opportunities to be kind in the world, we just need to seek them out.
|People Spread Love logo|
People Spread Love looks like an amazing organization, one I want to get involved with. The premise is quite simple as Heather explains it, “People Spread Love gave me an outlet to do kind things for people and to encourage others to do the same. The main purpose of what we do is write notes of love to those facing adversity all over the country and the world. We have Meet & Make public events where we write notes of love together as a community. The circumstances do not matter; whether you lost your job, your dog passed away, you have had a run of bad luck, you are lonely, you need appreciation for all you do, or are sick, we send love to all that need a little extra.”
How lucky Vanessa is to have such an amazing woman in her life. Friends like the two of them – friends who are there for one another, listen, and act with compassion and love – are rare and valuable. What I think is great is that Heather went out of her way and sent cookies on THAT DAY. Like, it was not a horrible, no good, very bad day… Her friend was feeling overwhelmed, grumpy, and didn’t have a voice, but it wasn’t like Vanessa had just gotten fired or received bad test results from the doctor. It was “normal crap”, you know? Vanessa said, “No matter how small the problem, the person experiencing it may feel it tenfold. These little gestures are always so incredible to receive. They also inspire those receiving the tokens of love to spread it forward. It’s amazing what some cookies and big love can do. Those cookies gave me a BIG AHA moment: Work is work, my voice would come back eventually, but most importantly, I am beyond lucky to have people in my life to love and inspire me”. I couldn’t agree more!! You are so lucky to have a friend like Heather!
|Fun times are even better when shared with great friends|
P.S. – One part of this story that I thought was so funny is that the cookie order was actually wrong… Heather had ordered CHOCOLATE MILK to go with the cookies, but for some reason the cookie guy didn’t deliver it. So, while it all seemed so beautiful and perfect to Vanessa, in the background Heather was going, “Hey, where’s the milk??”. 😊
P.P.S. – Please make sure to check out the People Spread Love website and GET INVOLVED! Like them on Facebook, their posts will inspire you. Link to the website here: http://peoplespreadlove.com/