Business · Character · Soul thoughts

Someone has to open their arms first

Someone has to smile first.
Someone has to gesture for a hug first.
Someone has to open their arms for a hug first.
Someone has to be the first to let go of the hug.
Someone has to be the first to get to a party.
Someone has to be the first to leave a party.

Your decision on all of these things says something about you. Be sure it aligns with the truth of you.

Character · Just for the heck of it · Soul thoughts

Buy a stranger chicken. It’s a great experience.

She was two people behind me in the checkout line at the grocery store. That was until the woman immediately behind me ushered her in between us because she only had a package of boneless chicken breasts.

I glanced over and saw that she had one item. Faster than I could catch myself I was walking toward her asking for her chicken.

She wanted to defend her raw chicken. I could tell by the look on her face that she was leery of letting me take it. Hesitantly she surrendered it.

I turned toward the cashier and handed him the chicken, asking if he would swipe it next. As if he forgot his entire purpose in life in that moment, he also hesitated and stopped his rhythmic swiping of items, but quickly got the idea. Keep swiping. Yes, keep swiping.

He swiped the chicken and handed it back to me.

I turned and handed the woman her chicken with a smile and, “have a nice day.”

I’m a firm believer that we should consistently look for opportunities to bless people, and the checkout line is one of the easiest places! Go into the 7 items or less line and pay for someone’s milk and bread! It’s such a rush.

Lest this sounds like I’m patting myself on the back, I’m not. I was in motion and asking for the woman’s chicken before I even realized what I was doing myself. It was instinctual and logical that I would buy her chicken. It wasn’t until it was over that I realized how nice that must have been for her, and in retrospect, how nice it was for me. 

Business · Character · Soul thoughts

You’re not who I thought you were.

I’ve thought this of a few people over the last year.

It’s a phrase that acts as a last name when I think of their first name. Elizabeth you’re not who I thought you were. Frank you’re not who I thought you were. (Names changed to protect the guilty.)

And they’re not who they are going to be. People are moving targets. Deal.

Character · Soul thoughts

Overheard: “…Because my mom is a F@#&ing psycho.”

Maybe it’s because I’m a mama now, but my heart was torn when I heard those words from this young girl’s mouth. She was all of 16, maybe 17.  “Because my mom is a F@#&ing psycho.” I wanted to body slam her into the end cap of Captain Crunch Berries (we were at the grocery store), but held back.

And maybe her mom is psycho, but the context around this statement led me to believe otherwise.

It was New Year’s Eve and I was doing my weekly grocery shopping. (Naturally) Little Miss was in the store with a few of her friends and she was talking about wanting to be somewhere she wasn’t, and needing to be at the place her mom expected her to be. “I need to be there because she’ll look for my car because she’s a f$&*ing psycho.”

Or how about she’s obviously trying to give you some freedom letting you be out on New Year’s Eve as an “adult,” and she cares that you’re safe while you’re out and make it home alive.

No one should ever say that about their Mama. That guts me. Mamas aside…

It’s easy to make monsters out of anyone who doesn’t do things the way we like.

Don’t.

It’s ugly.

And that girl better hope I never hear that filth out of her mouth again because I’ll gladly pay for 20 boxes of smashed Captain Crunch to make my point.

With love xoxo 😉

Business · Character · Soul thoughts

Picking flowers.

Have you ever seen a kid pick flowers? They destroy them. Shred them. They don’t mean to, it’s just their way of “picking.” They pick the blossoms off of flowers, or better yet, they pick individual petals.

This reminds me of how people give compliments.

Some people know how to “pick” and give a whole flower, others nip off the bud for presentation, and others, in a feeble attempt at kindness, hand us a petal. They tried. It was the best they could offer.

It’s easy to dismiss a compliment in the form of a single petal or nipped off bud, but if it were a child presenting us with their best I-pick-a-flower-for-you-moment, we would accept the single petal with all the welcome of a full flower.

We judge a child by their intention to give a flower.
Something happens when we become adults and we judge each other by actions, not intentions.

Let’s take a lesson from the kids and get back to judging by intentions vs. actions.

Business · Character · Fitness · Just for the heck of it · Time

Patricia

I didn’t remember her name, but she remembered mine.

I hadn’t seen her in 2+ years when I saw her at the gym. She looked familiar. I remembered seeing her before. She was one of the seasoned members of my gym.

“It’s Amy, right?” she said as she walked over to me. “You helped me with my coat a few years ago.”

WHAT???

I helped her put on her coat a few years ago and that little act of kindness stayed with her?!

Folks, this post surely isn’t about Amy bragging about being a do-gooder. I’m the jerk who didn’t remember her name or that moment I fixed her coat that was apparently meaningful to her.

As I looked at Patricia and saw the appreciation in her eyes, I was melted by the reminder that we have the opportunity to leave beautiful impressions on people with very little effort.

Care.
Interact with people.
Be kind.
Be helpful.

We have no idea how far a little act of kindness will reach.

Character · Uncategorized

When did I/we stop loving on strangers?

While at the mall recently, my 18 month old heard a crying baby across the food court. She moved a few feet so she could get a better view.

I could tell she was being pulled so I asked her if she wanted to go see if he was okay.

“Yep,” and she marched ahead.

As she approached the stroller, he stopped crying.

When she got to the stroller they were face to face. She leaned in, he leaned in toward her, and they exchanged the sweetest little babe kiss.

They looked at each other for another minute.

She backed up, waved good-bye, and turned to leave.

I was holding back tears as we walked away. Yes, for the beautiful display of love and care, but more for the lesson I was learning.

When did I stop caring about strangers? When did I stop making sure hurting people were okay, even if I didn’t know them?

Business · Character · Soul thoughts

The answers to these questions will tell you a lot about yourself.

Who did you need to be growing up?
Who did you not need to be growing up?

Who did you need to be? – -> How did you need to act so someone would be pleased with you?
Who did you not need to be growing up? – -> What weren’t you supposed to do?

The years of adolescence are highly impressive years. We learned early on who we “should” be, and “shouldn’t” be. We learned what parts of us were loved and which parts weren’t so loved. We learned what garnered praise and what got us in trouble.

No doubt, our adult years are reflective of this conditioning.

Where I want to drill down today…is there a part of you, that’s truly you, truly good and righteous, that got set aside because it didn’t fit someone else’s view of who you should be while you were young?

Maybe you don’t know the answer. It’s a tough one.

Here’s another way to trigger the answer. Are there people you look to with admiration, magnetism, and a feeling of kinship? You love how they operate, and some part of you feels free watching them in the world?

It’s possible you have something inside that was suppressed, but when you see it in someone else, it’s familiar, attractive, and you’re drawn to it. You sense the freedom around it…because they’re living out what’s hidden inside you.

Who did you need to be growing up?
Who did you not need to be growing up?

Get to know you today. You’re remarkable.

Character · Soul thoughts

You know who I “put up with?”

While on a date with my little girl babe, another little girl spotted us. Her dad gave her permission to socialize with us and she scurried over. She was delightful. Nora is 4 years old, a twin, she played outside today, went to camp, likes my shoes, she picked out her shoes…you get the picture. She was a sweet little lady. She made comments and asked questions. She was truly delightful.

After a little while her dad came over to get her, made pleasantries, and as he was leaving said, “thanks for putting up with her.”

My heart dropped. And then broke.

I didn’t put up with her. She was delightful! Could he not see that? Does he not appreciate her?

And what she heard her own dad say is that she’s tolerable. Not desirable, not enjoyable, not appreciated, but tolerated.

No wonder she wanted to talk with strangers.

Be careful what you say. You’re shaping someone’s perception of themselves.

Business · Character · Soul thoughts

I’ll tell you when I’m going to “burn out,” Sir.

Life brings along moments I’m compelled to blog about. Like this one…

I got an email today from someone asking WHEN I would run my business into the ground or burn out. I started my business in 2012. After 4 years and no outside funding yet, apparently these are my options.

The email is from no one I know personally.

“Run a business into the ground?” Nah, I’m too agile and customer-centric for that. “Burn out?” Nah. Maybe 2 years ago, but not this Amy. I’m too self-aware, level-headed and expansive in my thinking now. Besides, I have the right people around me to safeguard against real burn out.

I can read the email and separate myself from the things he said. But someone else is going to get an email like this, and it’s going to jack up their life and business because they’re going to think this big shot investor knows what he’s talking about.

This email was a reminder to me that honesty doesn’t have to be mean. It can be kind and helpful in its delivery.