One Word Recap

If you would have told me One Word would change my trajectory, I would have thought you were naive at best.

And now, New Year Resolutions are a thing of my past.

Let’s face it.  New Year Resolutions are all about changing what you regret.  It’s about focusing on where you haven’t measured up.  I don’t have the time to spend on the regret of what I haven’t done or where I’ve fallen short.

Instead, I give power to words that push me where I want to be!

Over the last three years, I have embraced a word of the year: Kindness, Awaken, and Rise.

These words had intuitive significance at the beginning of each year, but nothing more.  Then when December 31st arrived, I found each word had changed my world in a beautiful and profound way.

With each word there was no regret, there was no condemnation, there was only focus, opportunity, and growth.

In 2017, my word is… TRANSFORM.

I don’t know where this focus will take me.  But what I do know, I am a very different person now than I was three years ago.  One word a year has been a big part of that journey.

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Your Results Are In…

What personality type are you?  What character from The Simpsons are you?  Click here for your results.

We see them all the time on social media.  This quiz will tell you what music represents your soul, what quote is yours for the year, or what Muppets character would marry you.  We laugh and enjoy these moments of bubble gum for the brain.

But it goes deeper.  I am seeing a greater number of personality, IQ, and spiritual quizzes coming through with the purpose to help define you.  They are supposed to help you get a clearer view of who you really are and what people, jobs, or concepts align to your “type”.  The questions are overly generalized and leave great room for interpretation.

Yes, I have completed these quizzes hoping for some insight I may have missed.  Yet, I realize that these quizzes have no clue as to who I am. They try to put everyone who ever lived in one of 8, 16, or 100 categories?  With over 6 billion people currently on this planet and each as unique as a snowflake, we have no true way to measure who we are.

Frankly, I like it this way.  In fact, this is AWESOME!  Because we get to determine our worth, our possibilities, and our path from here.

In a world obsessed with categorizing and standardizing, we stand out as the most unique of all beings.

I know this can be very unsettling to some.  There is comfort in having a quiz, test, or even another person to tell you who and what you are.  But, if you really want to know who you are and what you are about – you need to do the hard work of listening, reading, conversing, engaging, and REFLECTING on the answers you seek.

It’s in you!  You’ve got this!  It is incredibly hard work, but in the end you will find another level of awareness.  You will be AWAKENED to your possibilities.  You will RISE.

Your result: INFINITE…

 

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What Are You Prepping For?

 

What are you prepping for?  Are you prepping for your dreams or for doomsday?

Little actions over the course of time make a big difference.  Yet, so many of us spend these little actions on the worst scenarios and how we can insulate ourselves from every possible negative situation.  I am not speaking against the wisdom of preparedness for our future or having emergency plans, but some of us are consumed with the idea that we have to live a life of constant anxiety of regarding what can go wrong.  We are worrying ourselves into prepping for doomsday.  We are sinking ourselves into a scarcity mindset.  We are defaulting to fear.

But what if we flipped the script?  What if we spent our time preparing for our dreams to become our reality?

Think of the personal impact it would have on us as we think, plan, and take the small actions that will lead to our goals being met and our dreams coming true.  As we make these small, but consistent drops of effort into working our plan, we will sow the seeds of progress, abundance, and personal connection towards getting the life that we crave.

The path between simple existence and living our dreams can be eerily similar, but the difference is in the mindset and approach we take.  Are we preparing for doomsday or the day we dream about?

Are we fighting against sinking further or are we fueling our RISE?  AWAKEN to your possibilities and go forth with wisdom and courage.  AWAKEN and RISE to the small daily actions that lead to living your life to its fullest.

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Why Not You?

Why is the extraordinary life for someone else?  Why does another person get to live the life you dream about and wish for?  Why not you?

Let me ask you a question.

If you only had one year to live, and the only way to prolong your life was to do what your heart desired most – what would it be?  This isn’t a bucket list of to do’s.  It is a chance to look inside your soul and reflect on what you were meant to do with your life.

The responses I’ve heard to this question: 1)  write music; 2) start my own company; 3) get into real estate; and 4) travel the world and take pictures, to name a few.

Inevitably the answer is followed with a, “but…”

These wonderful individuals who are uniquely created for amazingness, begin to verbalize their doubt, fear, and scarcity mindset.  They talk themselves back into a cocoon of limitation by using this simple conjunction.

But, I don’t know how to do that.  But, I don’t want to take the risk.  But, there isn’t any money in it.

Then, I usually say two things:

  1. There is no other you.  Not before, not now, and not ever.  You are unique and amazing in who you are.  Don’t let fear and doubt stifle the power you hold within.
  2. When all is said and done, someone is living the life you are dreaming about.  Why shouldn’t it be you?  Why not YOU?  If this is what your heart desires – go get it.  YOU can do this!

I despise how we doubt and limit ourselves.  I see so many beautiful and extraordinary people living inside shells of fear.  I see myself reflected in them.  I see my fear and regret.

And even now, I am not immune to this.  Fear surrounds all of us, but we have to be more afraid of just existing in life.  We have to be more afraid of the numbness and regret that results.  Let’s be more afraid of that life than we are to live out our dreams.  When we live from dull moment to dull moment – we sleep walk through a life of regret.

My current reality, the fear of publishing my first book, has grabbed me.  I worry if it is good enough.  I fear that it won’t help anyone.  Fear tries to tell me that I am not able to make a difference.  It tells me that I cannot get enough people to read the message that is burning inside of me.  It tells me – I need to bury this foolish desire to become and author and a speaker.  It tells me – I can’t build the audience.  On and on it goes.

HOWEVER, I can’t go back to the way things were.  I am so much more afraid of the disillusionment, bitterness, and hollowness I felt before.  Life to me was simply existing.  I wasn’t living.

Yes, fear may surround us, but LOVE empowers us.  It strengthens us to find the freedom of fulfillment.  Its power to fuel the commitment to our purpose gives us the courage to share it with others.

As I prepare to make my next jump, I feel it all.  The positive and negative pelt me like a downpour.  It confuses me and makes it difficult to see sometimes.  But this I am convinced of, if I were to be given one year to live and the only way to prolong my life was to do what is in my heart; it would be to write, share, and speak in order to inspire you to believe in yourself.  To know that I am with you, sharing in the difficulties of finding our greater self.

You are amazing.  You are powerful.  You are more than a cog in the system.  Your value isn’t and never will be reflected in a paycheck.  If you follow your dreams, you will be more than OK.  In living your dreams, you will find fulfillment and a satisfaction beyond your imagination.  I’ve never heard of someone who has regretted taking a chance to do what they love.  Don’t let the fear get to you.  When you AWAKEN to your possibilities; you will RISE higher than you ever thought possible.

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Enemification

Originally posted on David Snape and Friends –  https://davidsnape.me/ as a guest blogger.

A phenomenal blog highlighting inspiration and the gifts of many bloggers, artists, along with an outstanding radio show!

Enemification

My heart has been hurting for quite some time.  It’s not pain that easily subsides.  And chances are, you are feeling it too.  It is pain that is echoed in the path of our country and the division that is occurring.

This is not a political post.  This is a post about us and how we can stop the escalating anger, bitterness, and hate.

The outcry is real, the pain is intolerable, the reality is scary, but we are powerful beings who have the capacity and capability to make great change.  Let’s do just that!

I believe, much of our hate centers around the creation of enemies.  Enemies where there are none.

We have come to the point in our country where we enemy-fy difference.  This enemification happens when we stop listening to each other and we begin to fear differences of thought, belief, and perspective.  We abandon the truth that these differences reveal greater solutions, understandings, and strengths.

As Abraham Lincoln said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”  Currently, we are divided.  I don’t think that is a surprise to anyone.  And as I’ve spoken with friends who have gone oversees or correspond with those who live in foreign countries; the world sees it too.

The hope – we have gone through this before in our history: the Civil War, the civil rights movement, the Goldwater v. Johnson presidential race, etc. and we have Risen stronger together!  We have healed the divide before.  We can do it again!

Some answers to healing can be found in the question, “How did we get here?”

Observation tells us:

  1. We label each other with surprising ease and judgement.  Forgetting our own imperfections and condemning the imperfections of others based on our own internal narratives.  We make assumptions instead of asking questions.
  2. We’ve stopped having real conversations.  We listen with annoyance or eye rolling as people express their thoughts that may conflict with ours.  Instead of asking questions, finding commonalities, and challenging positions with civility, we wait to pounce and prove them wrong.
  3. In the end, we allow for intolerance to take hold and we have created a new enemy.

So let’s do the opposite!

A part of the solution is straight-forward, yet it requires dedication, strength, consistency, and courage.

We drive out fear and hate with kindness, hope, and love!  Think about how we want to be treated and then take it to a higher level of kindness.  When we hear words of hate; listen with kindness and answer with love.  When someone talks out of fear; listen and then answer with hope.

Unlike math, when a negative multiplied by a negative equals a positive, humans don’t work that way.  Responding to negative words and actions with negative words and actions gives us the situation we are faced with.  Negatives can only be fought with consistent positives.  Fear can only be fought with HOPE.  Hate can only be fought with LOVE.  And darkness can only be defeated with LIGHT.

Awaken to the possibilities you have to make a difference!  It won’t happen overnight or with single interactions, but we have the amazing capability to RISE above the negativity that is playing out amongst us.  We have the ability to make peace and make a difference to everyone who is within our ripple of influence.

It is through embracing our difference that we will find strength, but it is through LOVE that we will RISE!

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I’ve Found It! The Secret to Reclaiming My Morning (part 3 of 3)

As the day breaks and the morning sings with newness in it’s heart, possibilities abound.  For many years, I have embraced the possibility to loathe this part of the day, but no longer.  The morning is mine!

I don’t claim to have transformed myself into a morning person and I don’t leap to my feet when the alarm clock sounds.  But I have reclaimed my morning and ultimately my day by doing these three things.

Quick recap: my hope is to share what I have learned through reading, listening, conversation, and experimentation to share something that is doing amazing things for me.

Why do I care to change?

Because the morning is the foundation that has eluded me for years.  The morning is the first thread in the tapestry of our present.  It is the first stroke of the brush on the canvas of today.  It is the first measure in the symphony of our now.

The first step was to implement a focus on gratitude, immediately.  No matter how late or how early I opened my eyes, I had to start with gratitude.

The second step was to Inspire, Infuse, and Invest in me by giving my attention to images, messages, words, and readings that light the fuse for great things to happen.

Something that I learned from Michelle Gielan this week, watching 3 minutes of negative news in the morning leads to a 27% higher chance that we will be unhappy 6-8 hours later! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dKxkDweFNw0

If you want to catch up on my last 2 posts follow these links:

Part 1

https://awakenandrise.wordpress.com/2016/10/22/ive-found-it-the-secret-to-reclaiming-my-morning-part-1/

Part 2

https://awakenandrise.wordpress.com/2016/10/25/ive-found-it-the-secret-to-reclaiming-my-morning-part-2-of-3/

And now, the last piece of the puzzle to how I have reclaimed my morning – find a way to serve someone.  Set this intention in the morning.  I like to know who it will be and how I plan to help them.

So many people spend their day in service to others, but it is often busy and reaction-oriented.  This is the act of being determined, mindful, and thoughtful in sharing our gratitude and inspiration through action.  Setting this focus in the morning creates an awareness for me to get outside of the speed of the day.

Simple right?  It hasn’t been.  I keep struggling to return my focus to this during the day and sometimes I forget to execute the plan.  But I can report that when I do, something amazing happens.  My day goes to the next level.  I’ve often heard when we serve, we get as much out of it (or more) as the person we are helping.  I believe this!

When I act mindfully in service to someone else, I return to the mindset of my morning.  It reinvigorates my RISE and strengthens my soul.  I gain a sense of renewed gratefulness.  It inspires me to focus on others instead of myself.

Creating an act of kindness for someone else is the thread that ties my morning into the action of my day.  It allows me to AWAKEN to the possibilities we hold for each other.  It fuels the RISE of others.  It is simple, yet powerful.

I hope you have enjoyed these three posts on how I have changed my mornings from being a moment of irritation and negativity; to one that now holds possibility and power.

If you are anything like me and struggle with the morning or if you want to experience a greater sense of empowerment, try these three steps and let me know how it has helped your RISE.  You can leave a comment or email me at brianlidle@gmail.com with your thoughts.

In summary:

  1. Start with gratitude immediately.  Focus on the things you are thankful for, verbalize your gratitude.
  2. Invest in yourself with inspiring visuals and reading.  Stay away from negativity, social media, and the news.
  3. Determine to serve someone with an act of kindness.  Set in your mind who they will be and make it happen.

AWAKEN and RISE my friends!  We are more powerful than we realize!

 

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I’ve Found It! The Secret to Reclaiming My Morning (part 2 of 3)

We have established my previous irritation with the morning, but if you are new to this series of posts.  Let me give you a quick recap.  I had a strong distaste for the beginning of the day: the alarm clock, the light, the stiffness of the body, and the flood of to do’s that stampeded my mind.  The hamster wheel began and I started the day in a desperate deficit.

I am sharing what I have learned through reading, listening, conversation, and experimentation the three things that work for me in recapturing my mornings.  Why do I care to change?

Because I refuse to surrender the beginning of my day to negativity and desperation.  I want, no – I demand my day to start with hope and strength.

The first step I took was to implement a focus on gratitude immediately upon opening my eyes.  No matter how late or how early I opened my eyes, I had to start with gratitude.  If you want to catch up follow this link:

https://awakenandrise.wordpress.com/2016/10/22/ive-found-it-the-secret-to-reclaiming-my-morning-part-1/

Now on to step 2:

Inspire, Infuse, and Invest in me by giving my attention to images, messages, words, and readings that light the fuse for great things to happen.  As I transition my focus from being grateful, it would be foolish of me to jump into the cold water of anger, bitterness, and disillusionment that social media, news outlets, and email provides.  It is critical that I fuel my day with strength and positive power.  This is common sense that I have forgotten.  Whatever you put in, that is what you will get in return.  I am choosing to expose my mind to possibility, kindness, inspiration, dedication, and love.

What does this do for me?  It reminds me of how my friends who love to workout before their day begins describe what a workout does for them.  They start with a feeling of accomplishment, strength, and centeredness.  Their mind activates and the day seems possible.  That is the exact result this is having on me!

As I read, watch, or listen to inspirational quotes, spiritual affirmations, stories of those who have overcome, read devotional material, and spend time in meditation, I have cultivated an inner strength that fuels me for the day.

This does not mean, we will live with a fairy tale utopian-view of life, but that we embrace the great possibilities to ignite our RISE.  We AWAKEN ourselves to greatness and strength.  We start our day focused on who we want to be and not the conditions of the world around us.  If we are to RISE, this is key.

More to come…

 

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I’ve Found It! The Secret to Reclaiming My Morning (part 1 of 3)

I’ve found it!  The secret to starting a day with hope, awareness, and the feeling of empowerment has evaded many, including me, for so long.

The next three posts, I will share what has changed my AM perspective.  It’s given me mornings that begin with growing purpose and strength.

Disclaimer: if you are a morning person, you may not relate to my morning agitation, but this could help you too.

If you are anything like me, when the alarm goes off in the morning my mind fills with dread.  Dread to have to open my eyes and put my feet on the floor.  Closely followed by Irritation as the light hits me like the sound of nails across a chalkboard.  Finished off by the realization that another day is upon me as the demands of life begin to pound at the door of my mind.  The hamster wheel begins to turn and the chaos of life forces me to start running for my sanity.  BUT THIS CAN CHANGE!

Regardless of how much I have enjoyed life, this has been a constant for me.  For years, I blamed myself and the world at large for the negative emotions I experienced about the morning.  “I’m just not a morning person,” I would say.  I never imagined that there was a way out of this, I figured it came with the territory of being who I am.

For those I shared my life with, I warned each to expect surliness in the morning and to refrain from requests or multiple questions until after 9:00 am.  In violating this forced agreement, they could expect a grunt or caustic response.

I rarely uttered the phrase “good morning” to those I encountered.  Instead, I would cleverly and quickly quip, “it’s morning”.  If you say it fast enough, it sounds close enough to the “good morning” greeting and very few noticed the difference.

But what if I could enjoy the morning?  What if I didn’t have to start my day in the negative?

Through a lot of learning, reading, listening, conversation, and experimentation; I found something that works for me.  I hope it will help and inspire you to experience a greater RISE through reclaiming your morning!

STEP ONE:

I have found that beginning my day with gratefulness has greatly changed my perspective.  This seems to fight the abruptness of the alarm screaming in my ear to wake up.  Whether I am lying down or sitting on the edge of the bed; I focus my mind on one of the good aspects of my life (large or small doesn’t matter) and I simply say, “thank you” and repeat it several times, while maintaining my focus on this aspect or gift in my world.

At first, I found this to be a bit hokey.  But then I realized, it couldn’t be any worse than waking up and cursing the day, the light, and the tightness of my body as my feet hit the floor: all while thinking about all that had to be done in the next 17 hours.

Gratefulness has a powerful effect on our psyche.  It has allowed me to find joy in so many things I have previously taken for granted.  It has allowed me to have a stronger resistance to difficulty and stress.  Things that would have drowned me in deep negativity still remain a fight, but they no longer have the power to overtake me the way they previously would have.  It has allowed me to find the things that matter and material possessions no longer have the same hold on me.  GRATITUDE has produced FREEDOM!

Better than pressing reset, gratitude is a release valve to the pressure we face day in and day out.  It is the first step to a greater AWAKENING and a launch pad to a greater RISE!

More to come…

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Three Powerful Ways to Make An Impact

We have infinite power to make a positive and memorable impact on the hearts and minds of those around us.  We only have to look inside ourselves to find it.

As the news, reality tv, and many people around us have fallen into the abyss of negativity, where is the hope?

The hope lies in our ability to make a difference with everyone who spends a moment or more within our circle of influence.  Whether you view it as the impact of your ripple, how you respond in your 20 square feet, or how you manage your sphere of influence, you are a magnificent and powerful being that can make a tremendous difference by doing three simple things.

1. Practice Kindness

Kindness is one of the most amazing concepts.  Not only does it create a connection and understanding to the recipient, kindness impacts our own hearts.  If we commit an act of kindness, the internal return is immediate.  Our hearts soften, our outlook improves, and the world around us brightens.  We find our own moment of euphoria that exceeds what we were trying to provide to someone else.  Kindness kills the infection of negative drama and selfishness.  It fosters an environment of connection and possibility.  Normally, we don’t always get to see the real impact of a act of kindness, but no act of kindness is ever too small.

Check out this video as an example:

(credit to the Anonymous Helper Youtube Channel)

Can you imagine the impact kindness could have on our country if we all acted like the man in this video?  We don’t need to wait for others, we have the power to act this way now.

This is transformational!

2. Engage in the superpower of Love

Many people talk about love and attempt to devalue it.  Whether it’s people who fear how it will make them look to others; or because they equate love to some bubble gum feeling that in their mind makes them weak; or those who fear the vulnerability of its power.

Love is the manifestation of humanity’s true superpower.  It holds within it the ability to put others above self.  Love is the only virtue that takes us into the realm of true self-sacrifice and vulnerability.  A parent has no problem putting their life on the line for their children, why because of the power of love.

Love opens us up to rejection.  Love requires strength of spirit and soul.  To use the power of love, one must be more invested and concerned with the RISE of others, than in the conveniences and discomfort they may feel in fueling that RISE.  The adage is true, there is no greater love than someone who lays down their life for their friends.  Do you want to change the world for the better?  You must use Love and it is POWERFUL.

3. Give your best Effort

The impact on giving your best effort is rarely understood by the person generating the effort, but the consistent and impactful nature of this concept has far reaching possibilities.

When I was 15 years old, I played football for a very good football team.  I remember that the expectations were high and the athletes who led this team were people who I looked up to at that time.  I was a sophomore on this team and didn’t see myself as having a chance of seeing the field, but I loved football and threw my life into it.  At the end of every practice when our head coach would blow his whistle and call for us to get on the line, I knew what was coming and I dreaded it.  It was time to run.

I have never had the gift of speed and the times we had to make always tested my limits.  I felt like a fool as I had to dive each time to cross the line to meet the expected goal.  If I didn’t make it, I could cause the whole team to run extra, so I was more than willing to endure this moment of embarrassment to finish.

At the time, I believed my teammates were irritated with this display, but at least they didn’t have to run extra.

A funny thing happened one day as I getting a ride home from a senior who I thought was the best guy for the kindness he consistently showed to me.  Tom McClure was a true leader and an absolute beast on the field.  This guy who I considered a role model turned to me and told me about how much he respected me because of my effort.  He said that I never took a practice off or even a sprint off.  He said it inspired him to see me doing something that he knew I hated doing, but gave everything for our team.

How did I, a self-considered non-factor on the team, inspire and gain the respect of someone who I admired?  By consistently giving my best effort.  Every day.  Every moment.  I don’t say this to gain any applause or self-gratification, but to simply share a story that serves as a self-reminder when my energy is low and I don’t want to push forward.

Give everything I have on every day.  I may fall short often, but even when I’m diving across the line, someone is watching and drawing inspiration and strength from our best effort.

We all need to step up our game when it comes to practicing kindness, engaging in the superpower of love, and giving our best effort every day, but as long as we don’t get discouraged and grow from moment to moment, we can make an impact.

If ever there was a time we needed kindness, love, and effort in our world it is now!  Let’s get above the political turmoil and create the world we want to live in.  Let’s battle the negative attitudes, hate, and apathy with our ability AWAKEN and  impact this world for the better.

Let’s fuel the RISE of those around us and ourselves with three simple actions: kindness, love, and our best effort.

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Sometimes the Kindest Thing to Do…

A moment of irritation is all it took.  I was judge, jury, and executioner.  I was a fool making hasty judgments with little evidence.

It was a random Saturday and I was working diligently putting the final content touches on my first book.  I was captured in concentration and my focus was on point.  A few people were in my favorite coffee shop, the barista, two seemingly high school aged young men, and another lady, who I approximated to be in her early thirties.

The door swung open and friend of the two teenagers walked in and plopped down on the couch between them.  He was filled with fire.  Immediately, he broke the silence of my office away from the office.

His anger was apparent through his profanity laced comments of disgust.  He told his friends how he was done with “that house” and he wanted to move out.  He was “sick of it” and “was going to pack up and leave tonight.”

Noticing that he rode his bicycle to the coffee shop, I began a narrative in my own head.  “What are you going to pack your trash bag filled with the clothes mom and dad bought you and ride your bike to…where? No where.”  I felt quite self-righteous in my narrative.  For that moment, I was the judge, jury, and executioner.  No evidence was needed.  I heard and saw all I needed to make the “right” call.

I kept my thoughts to myself outside of the momentary sigh.  Caught up in this chaos, no one else heard my audible disgust.  The three left the shop and began to talk outside.

A few moments later my alarm sounded and I had to leave to pick up my daughter.  On my way out of the shop, I saw the young man struggling to fix his tire.  The narrative began again.  “Are you going to leave home on a broken bike now?”  As I made my final righteous judgment, I heard the young man on the edge of breaking.  His voice filled with tears, but his eyes wouldn’t cave.  I heard, as Paul Harvey would say, the rest of the story.

“I can’t take it anymore!  My mom said she would stop drinking, because of what the doctor might find.  But once the tests came back clear, she started drinking again.  She promised me she would stop.  I can’t live there anymore!”

With his friends consoling him, guilt descended upon me.  Who was I to judge?  I can’t believe I mocked this young man, albeit in my own head, based on the stereotypes I have in my head about teenagers.  I drove off asking for forgiveness and knowing I was a little bit wiser.  I spent time praying for that young man and what he was going through.  Then it hit me.

Sometimes the kindest thing to do is turn off the judgmental narrative in our head and refuse to allow sound bytes to influence our judgments and thoughts.  We should spend time in prayer and positive thought for others.  Too often we don’t know the full story, but we allow observable faults to distract us from our own imperfection.  This often leads to permissible negative judgments, when we should be looking for a way to show kindness.

As I take this lesson with me and allow it to penetrate my soul, I can see many possible applications.  The bottom line, we all need to spend time looking to help and heal.  Let’s seek a chance to inspire and support.  When we are blindsided by the behaviors of others and sound bytes give way to a negative narrative, let’s take a minute to know – everyone we meet is fighting battles we know nothing about.  Let’s spend our time not in judgment, but in love and kindness.

It’s moments like these where we can have the biggest impact on others.  When we can fuel another’s RISE through small acts of kindness.  In the end, I have learned to be quicker with kindness than to judgment.  And that is a change, I am grateful to embrace.

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