Pass it on

Today happens to be Pay it Forward Day, all around the world. It’s a reminder how doing something unexpected for a stranger can change the direction of their day, and how that one small deed can have a ripple effect, that can ultimately be felt around the world.

I have been on the receiving end of a random act of kindness, and I will never forget how wonderful it made me feel. I was smiling from ear to ear, and my ordinary day suddenly turned to sunshine. I felt excited at the thought of passing it on. Even though I felt special receiving the kindness, I felt even better paying it forward. Simply because, I made someone feel as special as I felt.

Here are a few kind ideas:

Buy someone a cup of coffee

Pay for someone’s toll

Let someone go ahead of you in line

Smile at someone that needs encouragement

Pick up and deliver your neighbor’s paper

Open the door for someone

Compliment a stranger

Pick up litter

Be friendly to everyone you meet

Write a note of appreciation

Buy someone a meal

Give someone a flower

Spread kindness

imageI would love to hear your personal stories of how you’ve been affected by random acts kindness. What will you do to make a difference in someone’s life today? The good news is, you don’t have to wait for a national day to celebrate. You can pass it on and spread kindness any day of the year. Always give and expect nothing in exchange. Blessings will make their way into your life in many other ways.

xoxox…..Sheryl

 

She kicks like a girl

It amazes me how many new things I can learn in a single day, week, month, or year. If I thought about it, I would bet I learn something new on a regular basis. As a parent we try to teach our children about life, but I believe they teach us more than we realize. My children have taught me many valuable lessons, that I would call golden gems.

When my daughter was a junior in high school she came to me and said she wanted to be the kicker for the varsity football team. I chuckled and basically brushed the idea aside. She was an excellent soccer player which gave her a definite advantage, however, I ignored her statement and assumed it was a passing whim. Her junior year came and went without any other conversations, and I didn’t give it a second thought.

The summer between her junior and senior year, she once again declared she wanted to be the varsity kicker, but this time she had more confidence and conviction in her statement. She told me she was going to talk to the varsity football coach, and set up a meeting prior to pre-season camp. Again, I thought she was kidding…….she wasn’t!

At first, the coach was very skeptical of her request, but agreed to have her come to camp to try-out. Within a short amount of time, the coach could see how serious she was, and his entire attitude changed; he became a believer. She was the one that stayed long after camp ended to practice, and worked hard to become the best kicker possible. I remember after a scrimmage game, I was out on the field talking to the coach, and he was telling me how she never quits. That night the other players were long gone, and she was still under the lights trying to perfect her aim and distance. He finally ordered her to stop because he wanted to go home.

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As a new parent of the team I was unsure how she would be received, but once they saw her abilities, they welcomed us both with open arms. Her soccer coach, however, couldn’t have been angrier. He was afraid his starting center-mid might risk injury, and let the football coach know she was to be protected at all costs, and insisted on a no contact rule…..hip hip hooray! She was however, the season’s varsity starter for PATs and field goals.

What a valuable lesson that was for me, and so many of her teammates. She was also a wonderful role model for every girl in the school. She didn’t let stereotypes or the doubters stop her from pursuing her dream.

imageSome say she kicks like a girl ……You bet she kicks like a girl….with confidence, conviction and strength. My daughter inspires me everyday.

xoxox…..Sheryl

 

My Sweet Sixteen

Do you have people in your life that support and inspire you? If not, I encourage you to seek them out. Surrounding yourself with positive, uplifting people is a gift, and can keep you moving forward in your life, no matter come what may. Even though I have several circles of great friends that support and love me, I have a few girlfriends that are parallel to mine in a few areas of life.

At the end of last year, one of my girlfriends recognized this, and invited me to join a mastermind group, with her and two other like-minded woman. I knew one of the gals and have always admired her, so I didn’t hesitate to say yes. My friend organized the group simply for accountability and support.

We started in January and we meet on a weekly basis, either in person or virtually for sixty minutes. We have named the group “Our Sweet Sixteen“….get it…2016….how cute is that?image It is based in faith, fellowship and support for one another, and those that touch our lives. We have weekly prayer requests and make our personal commitments to ourselves for the upcoming week. Most importantly, we are each responsible for our own story.

We laugh, cry, encourage, validate, support and listen, and have come to realize any of our stories could easily be each other’s. Life throws everyone a curveball now and again, and it’s how we react that counts. Having someone in your corner makes things a bit easier.

Week to week we reveal our vulnerabilities in the beautiful, safe space we hold for each other. Understanding and encouragement fill the conversation, and laughter is peppered throughout. I know each week I can open my heart and speak my truth, without judgement, as peace and compassion is replicated for all.

Even though I feel blessed, you don’t need a mastermind group to receive this kind of encouragement, just surround yourself with people that support and believe in you.

To my Sweet Sixteen angels, thank you for your love and grace; a girl couldn’t ask for a better group to walk beside. My heart is full.

xoxox…..Sheryl

 

Chivalry lives

For the most part, I would consider myself a modern woman. I believe we are much stronger than we know, can multi-task like no one’s business, all while keeping family close to our hearts. Even though I say I am a modern woman, I would also say I’m old fashioned in my beliefs and values. I give full credit to my Mom for those standards. She instilled them in her children at a young age, and had the full support of my Dad.

If I or my siblings showed any disrespect to Mom, my Dad would quickly put us in our place, often just by a stern look. Being disrespectful wasn’t allowed, no exceptions. Once I was a young adult, I understood just how important they were in my life, and how much I appreciated those family values. We were taught good manners, being polite and respecting our elders.

Over the fast-paced and changing years, some of those standards aren’t as common in people as they once were. Whenever I witness those values and beliefs in younger generations, my heart smiles. I especially love to see young men showing respect to woman, no matter the age.

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In my current career as a trainer, in a corporate environment, I come across young men going through the program. Recently, in the last few sessions there have been a few men that have pleasantly surprised me by their actions. They weren’t trying to impress, they had nothing to gain….other than my respect, appreciation and thankfulness.

I am happy to report chivalry lives. So, here’s to pulling out chairs, opening doors, offering seats, and making someone feel special, valued and respected.  Well done, gentlemen, well done.

xoxox….Sheryl