Saturday, September 12, 2009

We Can Make a Difference

"No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted."
by Aesop, The Lion and the Mouse
Greek slave & fable author (620 BC - 560 BC)

One person can ALWAYS make a difference. It is the 'discovering' that has us baffled, in awe, in denial and humbles us. How can ONE person really make a difference?

The simple truth is that it is NEVER one person. Every single action, word and thought reverberates and brings us and the world closer to kindness and love or to separation and hatred.

It is always in our hands. To love and be kind and be forgiving - or to be judgmental, petty and unkind.

It always starts with us, individually.

Make a commitment today to act with kindness.

It may be holding a door open, contributing to a cause you believe in, giving up your place in line, filling a parking meter, hearing out a friend even though you're exhausted, inviting someone over for a meal, letting someone know you admire them, sending a greeting card or maybe saying 'I Love You". Any act of kindness will do - it will make a difference.

I promise you - any act of kindness that you do today will be felt. It will be passed on - It will make this world a better place.

Be kind to someone today.

















Hey Linda
Thanks so much for contributing to Darryel’s Charity Treks event.







This is such a grass roots event. The organizer spent about $5k out of his own pocket this year to make it happen. There were half the riders of last year – and all the donations go directly to the cause so the entry fees didn’t even cover the overhead this year, there were half the riders because of the economy.

There was one of the scientists/researchers at the closing ceremony, Harriett. Her studies are directly benefiting from Charity Treks. She flew in from UCLA to tell us all that her research has advanced to Phase 2 clinical trials for an AIDS vaccine. That is huge because out of all the attempts hers is one of two that has advanced.

May we all be healthy and well and happy. 

Hugs -d

Monday, May 11, 2009

GKE #7 - Coulda, Shoulda, Woulda ... just do it!

In January I was at BWI airport. It was early in the morning on a Thursday. As I walked through the airport I saw lots of men and women in military uniform – I wasn’t sure but had a pretty good hunch that these soldiers were coming back home from being deployed. On the way to my gate, heading for vacation to sunny Florida, I saw about 15 soldiers standing on line to board an aircraft bound for North Carolina. I stood there frozen for a few moments. I felt such deep gratitude toward these soldiers. I pictured myself walking up to each of them, shaking their hands and saying ‘thank you.’ I pictured myself standing on a chair in the waiting area and starting a wave of applause. I pictured myself walking up to just one of them and saying ‘welcome home.’ But I didn’t do any of those things. I said a silent prayer of thanks and continued to walk toward my gate. As I sat there waiting to board my flight I wondered to myself why I hadn’t spoken up. What was I afraid of? Did I really think they would dismiss my offer of appreciation? Did I think that they wanted to be left alone? Did I think I would have walked away from the encounter being embarrassed in some way?

There is a woman in town that is on the Meals on Wheels route I cover. I’ve got to admit that she’s a favorite for me. She has this calm and sweet way about her. She always offers a warm greeting and I leave her home smiling every time I see her. For the same reasons I didn’t say anything to the soldiers at the airport I’ve never really extended myself to the Meals on Wheels clients beyond dropping off their meals and offering a kind word. I’ve never wanted to overstep my boundaries or intrude in any way. Several weeks after my vacation to Florida I ended up once again at Ms. Campbell’s home. This time, with what I didn’t do at the airport fresh in my memory, I decided to linger a little while. I asked her a few questions and before I knew it I was sitting across from her having a lovely conversation. Since then I always try to set aside some time to chat with her each time I deliver her meal. I learned earlier this year that her son was very sick, he passed away in March.

During the week leading up to Mother’s Day I thought about bringing her flowers for the occasion. I pondered this and, although I knew it was a lovely sentiment, I again wondered if I would be intruding. After all, this wasn’t a regularly scheduled time for meal delivery. What if I would be bothering her by knocking on her door on a Sunday afternoon? What if she was having too hard of a day grieving for her son and didn’t even want to be reminded it was Mother’s Day?

After work on Sunday my husband, Darryel, and I were at a store picking up groceries to make for dinner and I turned around and saw these beautiful flowers. Even though Ms. Campbell’s home was only two blocks away – yep, I hesitated yet again. I knew Darryel was exhausted from working on our house all day and I was still unsure about how welcomed my gesture would be … but I pressed on. “Honey, would you mind if we stopped at Ms. Campbell’s house? I’d like to bring her some flowers.”

I knocked on the door and presented Ms. Campbell with my gift. Boy oh boy – her smile was the biggest I’d ever seen!! She hugged me and thanked us and was so incredibly delighted. It was awesome! Back in the car Darryel said “You know, you really made her day.” And I thought to myself, “No, she really made mine.”

There are lots of reasons why I find it difficult to seize every opportunity to practice random acts of kindness. Probably the biggest is that it truly isn’t an everyday occurrence in people’s lives. Personally I’ve received some odd looks, and even some pushback, when I’ve tried to do something nice for a stranger. But I think what I’ve learned most recently is that I’m committed to addressing my inhibitions and pushing past the fears I may have. I’m committed to stop doubting and start doing. :)

Friday, March 13, 2009

GKE#6 - Use Marketing Dollars To Help Charity!


GKE#6 - A week or two ago I was watching NBC news and they were down at Union Station in DC doing a news story on a website that was using its marketing dollars in a unique fashion.

Instead of using the hundreds of thousands of dollars put up by investors to advertise traditionally the president of the company is setting up a booth at high traffic locations in major cities and giving away money to those in need. In return he is hoping to get lots of news coverage for his good deeds thereby promoting his company. Hmmm, now that's a concept.

So today I decided to use his idea to promote La Muse. Over the next few days I am putting forth marketing dollars to reward each click & review on various websites with a donation to the Susan G Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. The promotion runs through March 17, 2009. Nifty, huh?

To spread La Muse and help the fight against breast cancer CLICK HERE!!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

GKE#5 - Compliment Often & Enthusiastically

GKE#5 - I have to admit this isn't an original idea. Last week a friend of mine forwarded an email to me on this very topic ... with this very idea. So I put it into practice.

Last night I went to see the play "Leading Ladies" at a local playhouse here in Alexandria. Wow, was it funny. The cast of 8 (well 9 if you count Roxy the dog) did a fine job and kept me laughing through most of the play. It was, by far, the best play I have seen at this little playhouse. At the very end the audience was clapping & yelling enthusiastically ... but I decided to take it one step further and stood up.

Now in the email I was forwarded, when the author and his friends stood up at the play they attended the rest of the audience followed suit and soon the cast had a standing ovation by the entire theatre. That didn't quite happen here ... it was just little old me standing and clapping. But do you know what? Some members of the cast looked at me and gave me a little nod as if to say "Thank You."

It made me feel good inside to be that brave soul who stood up to say "Wow, you did good!" ...and I'm sure it pleased the cast to know there was at least one person in the audience who felt they did a spectacular job!

Create Good Karma gets its own blog

A few months ago I started a blog entitled "Debra of www.ShopLaMuse.com" - I meant for it to be a forum to share ideas & engage in discussion about doing little things in our daily lives to 'create good karma.' The problem is that I also started adding lots of other things to that blog so I've begun this blog to go back to basics and keep me on track. My goal is to eventually write a book geared toward empowering people to create good karma in their daily lives.

I hope 'Create Good Karma' doesn't sound too spiritual for some ... it's not meant to be religious, cultish or hokie in any way. Although I believe that some principles in Hinduism & Buddhism absolutely have merit, and I admire the Dalai Lama immensely, I don't quite buy into the idea that if you are an unkind person you will be reincarneted as a maggot.

In it's more informal definition karma is described as "action, seen as bringing upon oneself inevitable results, good or bad." And this is the way I see karma; as a means to identify with the very basic idea that what you put out into the world (aka 'energy') is what you will receive in return.

(Case in point - and somewhat freaky - as I am sitting at the store writing this blog at 3:15 on a Thursday afternoon, a new customer, Sara, came in and purchased a necklace with one word on it: "Karma" Wow, if that doesn't tell you something...)

In my own life I have experienced the wonder, thrill, awe, peace, love and joy that creating good karma brings. So much so that it is addictive. The more good intention that I project into world the happier I am. And during those times
that I slip (and believe me there are many) and expose the less desireable side of myself I feel horribly discombobulated, anxious, heavy and discontent - yuck! Happiness or discontent? The choice should be an easy one yet, given the billions of signals the world sends us everyday, it is a choice that we need to be ever diligent about.

I hope this blog serves as a conduit to keep us all a little more focused on 'creating good karma' and bringing more happiness into our lives.

I will share my good karma stories and post stories submitted by others. Please comment directly on any posting or feel free to share stories with me at Debra@ShopLaMuse.com and I will add it to the blog.

Following are reposted entries from the first blog:

GKE#1 - Sending 'just because' greeting cards - over the weekend I decided to send two greeting cards to my girlfriends 'just because.' I told them I love them and wrote all sorts of fun quotes and affirmations all over the cards ... things like "Be the change you wish to see in the world," "Go confidently in the direction of your dreams, live the life you've imagined," "Peace begins with a smile" -Mother Teresa, and "I still believe that people are really good at heart" -Anne Frank Anyway ... in a time where we usually only receive bills in the mail, what a pleasant surprise to receive a greeting card 'just because!'

GKE#2 - Participating President Elect Obama's 'Day of Service' to honor Dr. Martin Luther King - Last Monday was MLK Day and my husband, Darryel, and I spent the morning at RFK stadium in DC helping to assemble packages for our troops. It was a morning filled with amazing energy as the city was filled to capacity with visitors for the inauguration. They had set up big heated tents for us to assemble the packages and I saw at least one TV personality ... I imagine there were more ... everyone was getting into the spirit. Michelle Obama even showed up - too bad it was about 30 minutes after we left!!

GKE#3 - Posting on www.USAService.org - Have you seen the commercials with President Obama touting the website? Well, I posted to it trying to promote the fact that I will send packages for the troops and to drop things off at my store. In the 6 days since I posted I have had 10 responses from people saying they'd drop things off ... and I had someone drop off about 30 pounds worth of goodies over the weekend! In addition, last week I boxed up 105 pounds worth of goodies and am dropping them off at the post office today.

For anyone looking for an economical way to participate in the www.AnySoldier.com program. The US Postal Service offers a flat rate box that can be sent to any APO for only $11.50 - how awesome is that? Fill the box with a bunch of used dvd's, books, cd's & magazines ... maybe toss in a few candy bars and, for under $20 you are going to make some soldiers VERY HAPPY!!!

GKE#4 - This afternoon two gentlemen from out of town came into my store. One of them, Chuck, asked me where the nearest post office was. After I gave him directions I asked him why he needed to go. "I need to go and mail the check for my boat storage." "All you need is a stamp?" I asked. He said, "yes, and an envelope." And I proceeded to give him both, "My mail man hasn't come yet, if you leave it I will give it to him." "Wow," he said, "you've really helped me out here, now I don't have to make a special trip to the post office." The second gentleman was waiting outside and as Chuck was leaving the store I heard him talking to his friend, Mike, raving about how I gave him a stamp and an envelope.

Amazing how much joy a postage stamp can bring! :)