Running To Stand Still

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Social Media for Do Gooders! 3 Ways it has uplifted me.

So in the past couple of days the opportunities to do some good deeds have surrounded me. I have been smiling at the pictures of humans helping humans and hearing wonderful stories.
Social media is being used to spread these  stories quickly. The eastern United States just suffered a terrible storm, Hurricane Sandy, and hundreds of thousands of people in New York City are without power. One guy had an idea that since he HAD power, he would share, and set up a charging station for people’s cell phones. A picture was taken and spread like wildfire. This simple, helpful idea inspired many others to do the same. They may not have had the idea themselves, but it is an easy and do-able way to help. I love the idea of posting great ideas like this and will make an effort to do it in the future.
This spirit of giving has shown up in other ways to help as well. A cousin of mine passed away at the young age of 33, leaving behind a 1 year old daughter who is deaf. Her aunt has decided to raise money to be able to get her the implants she needs and to fund all of the expenses around the travel and care of this beautiful little girl. Within minutes of posting the need for auction items I personally had 8 people offer their help. Tickets to the steak night sold out within a day.
For those dog lovers out there…I live near a small town. A gentleman I don’t know lost his beloved yellow labs. I don’t know him at ALL, but a friend of mine texted me and asked me to post asking if anyone had seen them since I have a large amount of people that see my posts. 3 people responded and 2 referred me to a closed Facebook Group they were part of and I was not. A lady had found them and posted there. These amazing connections allowed me to make a wonderful phone call to the dog’s owner and tell him where he might find his companions. Connecting them made my day.
You don’t have to actually know people to do good deeds. The opportunities surround you…all you have to do is take them.

©Jolie Engelbrecht 2012


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Random Acts of Kindess

So often I talk to you about giving random acts of kindness. Today I was on the receiving end and wow. It touched my heart.

I was at a gala this week when I got some truly devastating news.

My coat was inside so I went back in to sit for the last 15 minutes of the presentations so I could get it and get out. The perfect stranger who was sitting next to me took one look at me, asked what was wrong. I whispered the news and she nodded and watched me walk up to the front when I was called and pose in a little bit of a daze for a picture. She didn’t know me, but she took my business card.

Today she made a call that is hard to do even with your good friends and checked on me and offered a shoulder and some support. That lady has a huge heart. Wow. I am humbled by that kind of courage and ability to touch people.

I want to be like her when I grow up.
©Jolie Engelbrecht


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Ditch Some Stress in 10 minutes or Less

So today I DID something about it.

For months and months, I have been stepping on this pointy plastic piece that was poking through a hole in the rolling matt under my office chair. It hurt to step on it and I managed to do that several times a day.  I would hit it and grumble and move but I never actually fixed it. It was irritating but I lived with it. I can’t express how many times I hurt my foot on it.

This afternoon I pulled out my chair, pulled up the matt and pulled the piece out. Total effort?…minimal. Total time?… about 10 seconds. 10 little seconds and it will never ever irritate me again? What the hell took me so long?

This summer my husband finally fixed a piece of rotten wood in our hayloft that had bothered and scared me for over 9 years. It took him 10 minutes to fix it and  I was upset that he had left something that had caused me anxiety for almost a decade that was so easily fixed. This morning made me take a moment and think, “How am I any better? “

It got me thinking that that is probably the way it is with so many things in our life. What are the little things that we just live with, not fixing, not finishing, that are causing us pain, irritation or stress? What can we accomplish if we fix or finish some of those things? Do we even recognize them anymore?

What would life look like with less pain, irritation and stress?  My answer is “Pretty Darn Good.”

So…this week my mission is to get rid of some of those things and see what happens. If I can do that in 10 seconds, can you imagine if I focused a whole hour?

I am starting my list right now. 6 things that will take me 10 minutes or less to fix or finish.

How about you?

©Jolie Engelbrecht


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Ditch Some Stress in 10 minutes or Less.

 

So today I DID something about it.

For months and months, I have been stepping on this pointy plastic piece that was poking through a hole in the rolling matt under my office chair. It hurt to step on it and I managed to do that several times a day.  I would hit it and grumble and move but I never actually fixed it. It was irritating but I lived with it. I can’t express how many times I hurt my foot on it.This afternoon I pulled out my chair, pulled up the matt and pulled the piece out. Total effort?…minimal. Total time?… about 10 seconds. 10 little seconds and it will never ever irritate me again? What the hell took me so long?

This summer my husband finally fixed a piece of rotten wood in our hayloft that had bothered and scared me for over 9 years. It took him 10 minutes to fix it and  I was upset that he had left something that had caused me anxiety for almost a decade that was so easily fixed. This morning made me take a moment and think, “How am I any better? “

It got me thinking that that is probably the way it is with so many things in our life. What are the little things that we just live with, not fixing, not finishing, that are causing us pain, irritation or stress? What can we accomplish if we fix or finish some of those things? Do we even recognize them anymore?

What would life look like with less pain, irritation and stress?  My answer is “Pretty Darn Good.”

So…this week my mission is to get rid of some of those things and see what happens. If I can do that in 10 seconds, can you imagine if I focused a whole hour?

I am starting my list right now. 6 things I can fix or finish in 10 minutes or less.

 How about you? I’ll race you! 🙂

 

©Jolie Engelbrecht

 


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Going the Extra Mile

I had the opportunity to spend last week with some pretty unique individuals. One of my good friends is an active and ardent U2 fan and has spent significant effort developing relationships with many people who share her enthusiasm for this amazing band. She was very generous in including me not only in a piece of her 11 show odyssey this summer but also introducing me to some other super fans.
We stayed at a downtown Edmonton hotel and participated in a number of fan get-togethers. We also spent time visiting some of these same people who camped out in the General Admission line for 2 days.
The second day we were in town, we went down to breakfast and had a wonderfully cheery waitress. I always enjoy good customer service and spent some time visiting with her. On the way to the buffet I happened to notice a piece of the Edmonton Journal that had a huge picture of one of the new friends I had made. I excitedly brought it back to our table and my friend was tickled. We knew there would be an article but we had no idea that it would be a page and a half with huge pictures of three people we knew. In addition to that there was a second article that actually mentioned my friend as well.
I called our lovely waitress over and asked her if we might keep the section of the newspaper. She asked about the article and all about the concert. Then she smiled and said maybe she could do even better than letting us just keep that one paper. She went to every spot they had papers in the lobby and restaurant and brought us several copies of the article. In addition, the next morning she greeted us warmly and presented us with 2 additional copies she had located for us. She was Present in her job, saw our interest and Made Our Day by going the extra mile to make sure we could share them with our friends. She personified all of the things I teach every day.

©Jolie Engelbrecht 2011


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Cowtown Antics

I love to be impressed.

Last weekend I went to Calgary, Alberta with a friend and we went to Smithbilt hats http://www.smithbilthats.com/ where I was amazed with the customer service.

My friend had a hat from a (gasp!) different company that needed the brim trimmed. After a 7 hour drive this was our first stop in Cowtown. We walked in and were heartily greeted and made to feel comfortable immediately. After teasing us about not having one of their brand of hats we were taken right back into the workroom where they make the hats. They very carefully trimmed the brim until it was the perfect look. The gentleman in charge visited with us while this was being done and we learned he was also originally from Saskatchewan. He gave us a tour of the shop and his pride in what they do was evident in every word. This is a man who enjoys his work immensely. When my friend modelled her hat he noticed that it was a little tight and offered to stretch it too. They did a marvelous job and my friend was gloriously happy. She had her wallet out and was all ready to pay and pay a premium since it wasn’t even their brand of hat. He looked at both of us and said…”No charge. Just promise to come and see me when you are ready for a REAL hat. ”

I can tell you he has a customer for life…now…what colour should I get?

©Jolie Engelbrecht


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Making Their Day-Granny Style

My Granny is this amazing women…she just draws people to her with this great mixture of genuine caring and always remembering what people like.

Today at lunch she asked me to take her on an errand. She pulled out this pink bag and fiddled with it when she told me her story. Apparently she was in a thrift store earlier in the week she met this young girl, 6 or 7 years old and her brother.  The little girl was looking worried and Granny knelt down and asked her what was the matter. The girl opened her little fist and showed her a heart locket. She said…’I love it but I don’t know which chain it is from.’ My Granny smiled and matched it with a chain off the rack that was  beside them and said …’There…isn’t it pretty? ‘   The little girl nodded and smiled shyly. Gran said ‘Well honey maybe your Mommy will buy it for you.’ The little girl looked at her sadly and said her Mommy was dead. Granny’s heart just stood still. She said ‘Wait here’ and took the necklace and paid for it. In the meantime the children’s father had wandered over.

Gran being Gran said ‘Oh Good! I wanted to meet you to tell you I bought this for your daughter.’ She also smiled and handed a dollar to the little boy. He didn’t want to take it but she told him it was only fair as his sister had been given a gift too. Then, in her amazing way, after a five minute conversation she had most of the father’s life story. His wife had passed away 5 years before and now he was really cautious about who would be a female figure in the children’s lives.

She leaned toward me and continued with her story. She said…’You know …that little girl LOVED that locket…but when she put it on it was too tight for her.’ She went on to say she kept thinking and thinking about it…and then she opened the little pink bag she had with her at the table.  She had a gift box inside with a longer chain from her own jewelry box as well as another pretty necklace that she thought the little girl would love. In her chat with the father…she had found out where he worked.  She asked if we could make a little stop. I can tell you …she managed to Make that Family’s day not once…but TWICE.

I constantly look for ways to make people’s day but WOW. I have NOTHING on my Granny.

©Jolie Engelbrecht