Tag Archives: kindness to strangers

Give a flower — get some joy!

 

This lovely couple, Doris and Gary, were just two of the many wonderful people I met while at the Barnes and Noble bookstore in Roseville on Saturday.

I decided to take a page from my book, “Say it Now,” and give flowers away. (In the book, I encourage people to bring a single flower to your dentist, your post office clerk, your aunt, or your BFF as a simple and inexpensive way to express joy and appreciation to them.) I brought two dozen pink and yellow roses with me to the store and had a blast giving them away.

When I would see a couple walk in the door, I’d whisper to one of them, “Pssst, want to give a rose to that awesome person you are with?” I also asked a lot of children if they wanted to give flowers to the adults who brought them to the store. You should have seen the children’s faces light up with glee! They were all so quick to take a flower and were all a-giggle giving the flowers to their people.

Not surprisingly, it wasn’t quite as easy with grown-ups. As you might guess, many were cynical and thought I was going to ask for money or try to sell them something. However, I’d made a conscious decision that I wasn’t going to bring up my book unless someone asked me first. Instead, I wanted to take those hours in the bookstore as an opportunity to give people an experience of the book.

What was so transforming was to watch someone who was hesitant to take a flower, actually take one and then hand it to their beloved spouse or daughter when that person came around the corner. It was absolutely delightful.

THESE are the kinds of simple joys that are available to us all the time. You know? Just handing someone we love a flower and watching their glee.

So back to Doris and Gary. Gary chose pink flower for Doris and when I asked him if she was his wife, he told me that they’d been married for many many happy years. He had such loving things to say about her.

After he gave her the flower, she came over to talk. I loved their deep interest in positive psychology and spirituality. We talked about what it is like to create the kind of life that is focused on love and kindness. They were purchasing two journals to take with them on an upcoming trip to Portugal. They said every day at the end of the day, they sit down to write about all the good things that happened, that they are grateful for. Later, when they go home, they can re-read all that positive stuff.

Although they, did, indeed, buy “Say it Now,” I would have been so happy to talk to them even if they hadn’t. They brought me such joy.

Now, they are on their way to Portugal and they will take my book to read together on the trip!!

The next time you pass a flower stand, would you consider buying a single flower and handing it to a stranger or a friend? It might cost you a dollar or two and the payoff will feel huge.

I promise.

55-55-55 Birthday Kindness Project

 

 

It’s that time of year again!

My 55-55-55 Birthday Kindness Projects kicked off on Friday.

Every year for the past seven years, I have been sending letters of love and kindness to strangers as a way of celebrating my birthday.

The first year I did this, I wrote as many letters as the age I was becoming, in that number of hours. 48 letters to 48 strangers in 48 hours. Yikes! I don’t think I got any sleep those two days, trying to finish so many letters. It was exhilarating. But also, frankly, exhausting.

Starting the next year, I got a little smarter and changed it to “writing as many letters as the age I am becoming in that many days.” Ahhhh. Much more sane. As well, I quickly noticed that the sense of connection and quiet joy extended to a much longer period. I like that I’m immersed in this expansion of love for nearly a couple of months.

I turn 55 on October 2. If my math is correct, which I hope it is, Friday was Day One.

As always, I need your help.

Do you know someone who is lonely, lost, grieving, or blue? Someone who is going through a difficult time right now and could use a boost of love? 

The way this works is that I have you email me that person’s name and snail mail address. I also ask that you share just a few sentences about what they are going through and also what you love best about this person. Lastly, I need to know if you want the love letter to be sent anonymously from the Universe, or on your behalf.

I’ve already put out a call for the first ten letters — which went out to my Simply Celebrate community who receive my emails every week. (If you aren’t on that list, please join me! Click to the main page/home of this website for the signup.) I want to invite my blog readers to also participate!

If you are one of the first five people to contact me right now, I will let you know and we’ll make sure your friend or loved one receives some love in the mail. If not, I will apologize + invite you to respond next time I ask for help. (This will ensure my letters are timely.)

Make sense?

I want to tell you that what I love MOST about this project is that there is a circular motion of love in action.

You contacting me about someone who needs a boost is an act of love on your part. When I receive these requests, I get filled with a sense of loving YOU for being the kind of person who cares so deeply. Then, when I write and send the letters, I get to be filled up again with so much love for the person I am writing to. Finally, if the letter is sent on your behalf, you will likely receive a rush of love from the person who got the letter. (If the letter is sent anonymously, we can all imagine how uplifting it will be for that person to receive unexpected kindness in their mailbox.)

The love just keeps going round and round.

What I also love most, is that when I am in the midst of this project, I am reminded every single day that we can always expand the container of love.

We can expand how we love, who we love, and the ways we love.

💥💓💥

I used to feel lonely a lot.

Then, over the years, I started to understand that anytime I was feeling lonely all I had to do was offer love to someone in my life, and voila (!) my heart would be full and I would be connected.

Doing this Kindness Project has taken that concept to a whole new level. It has taught me that there is always someone I can offer love to — and I don’t even have to know them. That means there is an endless of supply of love at the ready. I just need to start the ball rolling by offering some.

I have this profound understanding now that I can choose to feel connected any time I am willing to reach out. 

Do you know what I mean?

Have you ever felt this?

I hope you might give it a whirl yourself today.

Reach out to someone and offer a kind word or a gesture of love. Then watch how you feel!

Thank you for being a part of my world. Our connection means so much to me. YOU mean so much to me.

We’re all in this together.

Seek celebration — even in the dark corners,
xo Sherry

P.S. A reminder that when I asked, “Do you know anyone who needs a boost of love,” that person could be YOU. Never leave yourself out of the equation of love. Reach out if you need a boost, okay?