A few weeks ago, I was at the grocery store and the gentleman in front of me in the check-out line invited me to go first. I wasn’t in a hurry and could have easily said, “Thank you, but you go ahead.”
Instead I happily took him up on his offer.
This is big because I haven’t always been great at accepting and allowing others to do things for me.
There were many years when it would have been more likely for me to say ‘no thank you’ to the offer to go first in line, or to blow off a complement, or to refuse a helping hand. And truthfully, it was usually because I believed I was stronger (or at least appear to be) if I did it all on my own.
But then at some point I realized what I was actually doing.
On a fundamental level, giving and receiving is about the exchange and flow of energy.
When I said no, I was actually saying no to flow in my life. And I assure you, life is sooo much more enjoyable when going with the flow instead of against it!
I hadn’t been doing myself or anyone else any favors by denying gifts and miracles in my life, by rejecting the love and compassion of others, and by blocking the flow of energy and kindness in the universe.
I share this with you in the hopes that next time you are presented with a random act of kindness, you join me in saying yes!
If you feel inspired to pay a bit of kindness forward, Random Acts of Kindness Week begins today on Valentine’s Day.
Need some ideas for how to participate? Keep reading, I’ve gotcha covered.
Four years ago for my husband’s birthday, I organized a scavenger hunt. One of the categories was “pay it forward.”
(And even though it required our friends to interact with complete strangers – a lot – they raved about how much fun it was afterwards. The beauty of kindness is that it makes everyone feel good!)
Here are the 10 items from the ‘pay it forward’ category:
- Hug a stranger
- Pump gas for a stranger
- Wash the window of a stranger’s car
- Help fold clothes in a laundry mat
- Hold the door open for someone
- Carry someone’s shopping bags to the car for them
- Pick-up a bag full of litter
- Find money on the floor/ground and give it away
- Make a stranger smile
- Help someone with a stroller
And here are 12 additional ideas:
- Leave an encouraging note tucked in a book at the library
- Let the person behind you in line check-out first
- Pay for a coffee or tea for the person behind you
- Give a complement to a stranger
- Send a handwritten letter to a friend for no reason but to appreciate them
- Smile at someone
- Ask someone how they are doing and genuinely listen
- Make a yummy healthy treat and share it with your neighbor
- Offer to help someone
- Make something beautiful and give it away
- Make something useful and give it away
- Share a hug and hold it for just a few seconds longer than usual
I hope you have lots of fun with this and I look forward to hearing your stories!