Category Archives: Inspiration

Heavenly Reverberations

jasonmraz_yes1-1038x576Mraz on the Mind

We all know what it’s like to listen to a brand new album. The first run through it, you’re a bit unsure. You don’t know most of the words or the melodies—everything tends to blend together and your first impression is basically, well, meh. All you want to do is sing along; all you want to do is revel in the utopian mix of treble and bass, but the newness puts all of that to a melancholy and sometimes depressing halt.

But you continue to listen… and you continue to learn the lyrics, along withe beats. And suddenly all is right with the world again. You find your favorite track, the one that never gets old, and you skip over the one or two that just don’t do it for you. It’s gotten to the point where your passengers would rather listen to Top 40 radio than listen to it again. And that’s when you know you’ve done it justice.

And yes, this may be just a tad dramatic, but we’ve all been there—and it’s not always about listening to new tracks (or being obsessed with Jason Mraz’s new album), but more about our days on this place we call Earth.

Mind over Grind

How many days do we live in the grind, mechanically going through the motions of our lives? We don’t do it intentionally. We actually strive outwardly to be the people who don’t do this. We post cliche quotes on Instagram and pin exotic travel photos to Pinterest. We remind our close friends and family that they just can’t have it all, but amidst that dashing truth, they need to live each day to its fullest. But realistically, what does that actually mean?

The more I think about it, it’s not about leaving work in the middle of the day to go cliff jumping or jet setting to Bora Bora in the middle of the night. It’s about knowing when to hold on and when to let go. It’s about knowing when to listen to your head and when to listen to your heart. And most importantly, it’s about listening to an album on repeat, over and over again, giving it a chance. Because eventually that favorite song will tire, those favorite lyrics will become nothing but a whisper, and that’s when you know you’re ready for something bigger, something better, something different.

~Ambitioussoul

 

Hope is Not a Verb

I catch myself throwing around the word “hope” all the time. “Hope to see you soon!” “Hope all is well!” “I hope so.” But today, after following up on an incredible story about a brand new mom of twin girls who is fighting a rare form of cancer, I realized in its most pure form, “hope” is not a verb.

True Hope

Hope is born when a cancer patient is declared to be in remission. Hope is alive when a family digs itself out of $150K of debt in five years and has completely changed their future. Hope is uncovered when a young girl decides instead of birthday gifts she wants her guests to bring donations for a local animal shelter. Hope is what keeps us going.

So I’m challenging myself, and I’m challenging all of you, instead of hoping, let’s bring some hope to those around us.

~Ambitioussoul

P.s. To follow Jenna’s journey, the mom I talk about above, “like” her support page here: https://www.facebook.com/prayersforjenna

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Quitters Never Say Die

Jon Acuff

It’s as simple as STARTing!

Huh? What? I know, I know. You’re thinking to yourself, “Quitters ALWAYS say die– This title definitely seems a bit oxy moronic. And I totally see where you’re coming from. But let me explain.

For those of you who are familiar with Jon Acuff, you know he’s the author of two best-selling career books, “Quitter” and “Start!” For those of you who aren’t familiar with Jon (and yes we’re on a first-name basis,) he was a self-proclaimed “quitter” who finally got what he called his “dream job” at The Lampo Group, Dave Ramsey’s company. Here is where he not only wrote his two books but also became one of Dave’s most well-known personalities, traveling around the country speaking with people stuck in their careers in desperate need to revive their dreams by just taking one step in any direction and simply starting.

Shockingly, a week after his excitedly organized and wildly publicized START! conference, I went to a site called No More Voices, a platform where Jon encouraged everyone to share their fears and gain a sense of community in knowing you’re not the ONLY one with self doubt or ridicule. You’re not the ONLY one who takes 20 minutes to talk yourself into something and then 2 seconds to talk yourself out of it. But when I arrived where the site used to be, a fear rushed over me that I had never even dreamed of: the site was gone.

A site that the Lampo Group hosted, it simply stated Jon had abruptly resigned, and the site was no longer available. I’m pretty sure I sat there for about 10 minutes in complete shock. My first thought was, “How could Jon leave his dream job? How could he leave ME?” Okay, that sounds a bit obsessive, but that thought truly entered my psyche, albeit a short stay.

I did what any normal human who has heard of the internet (or as my grandma calls it the world-wide web,) would do, and I immediately googled his resignation to try to get answers. Of course I only got extreme speculation. After marinating in the news for several days I thought to myself, “Isn’t Jon doing exactly what he talks about in his books? He’s literally living out the words he wrote in his books.” But this seems to be a double-edged sword. Because now that Jon’s words of having a “dream job” are etched in stone (or just printed on paperback, but details, details,) people are suddenly all over him about leaving Dave’s organization.

I am the first one to think Jon would be crazy to leave there, but who knows. Who knows what outside influences caused him to make the decision. Who knows what his head and heart were leading him to do.

My mom always says FEAR stands for “False Evidence Appearing Real.” And I’m sure Jon anticipated the speculation and judgement that would come with his decision. But he recognized the false evidence of all the rumors and decided to appear as real as he could, and do what was right for his family, his career and himself. And for that, I applaud you, Jon Acuff.

– Ambitioussoul

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Hometown Homage

Ambitioussoul

David Muir: A Catalyst ‘Round the World

This past week I had the pleasure of hearing ABC’s 20/20 David Muir speak about his career as a journalist. As a Syracuse native, he explained when he had his internship at our local CBS affiliate station throughout high school and college, he would ride around in the news cruiser thinking, “Wow! I’m so lucky! I’m seeing the world!” All of us in the room chuckled, knowing how small our dear city is, both in acres and blocks as well as people and events. Fast forward 25 years and here he is, actually seeing the world. It’s this excitement and spontaneity that has propelled him through his career where he now shares an anchor desk with the revered Diane Sawyer. But he went on to say why his job means so much to him, and it truly struck a chord.

How to Save a Life

One of the major stories David has covered during his career was the famine in Somalia. It was the worst famine this generation has seen, and he was there for it all. He depicted a scene that some of us can only imagine in our most gruesome and terrifying nightmares. A scene where doctors tended to people hanging on to their last thread of life. A scene where children’s skin was hanging from their bones due to the lack of nutrition. These made-for-movies moments are ones that reporters tend to capitalize on, ones that we at home ask, “How dare they be so insensitive and so dehumanizing?” But for David, these are moments that make him think, “What can we as Americans do to help?”

In David’s mind, “What’s the point of reporting on something if you can’t create change?” And that’s just what he did in Somalia. While talking with a doctor who was tending to a child’s bedside, David reached down and picked up a packet filled with a powdery substance. When he inquired what it was for, the doctor responded with, “This one little packet, only costing $2, can save a child’s life.” The packet contained a special form of peanut butter, one that contained enough protein and other nutrients to bring a child back from the brink of despair, deterioration and ultimately death.

So much more than the cost of peanuts

With a sense of urgency, David sent out a plea to all Americans. He explained the necessity of these packets for the doctors who were doing their best work in Africa. And over the course of just a few hours, Americans had given more than $100,000 to the famine efforts, namely for a bountiful supply of peanut butter packets. As David ended his story, I realized that this is what change is all about—capitalizing on a moment or situation of extreme need, and giving people a reason to be charitable, a reason to be selfless and most importantly, a reason to be thankful.

The Challenge

I challenge you, as we begin the new season (I know, I know, it’s been autumn for almost a week, but who’s counting,) to start looking at situations through a different lens. Make those moments and those callings more like revolutions, where YOU are the catalyst; you are the source of good in all that is sad and negative in that seemingly tiny and intimate space. Instead of asking God why these children are starving, why these adults are suffering, ask what… what you can do, what you can give, what you can be. Be the change. Be the peanut butter.

~Ambitioussoul

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(Un)hinged

Ambitioussoul

Hinges: not just hardware.

Hinge moments. I’ve always called them epiphanies, but “hinge moments” sounds like the next best marketing campaign. So I’ll go with that.

In Jon Acuff’s book Quitter, he talks about hinge moments. Those moments that while you’re in them seem as inconsequential as the color of my nail polish but when you stop to reflect,  you realize that one measly moment changed your paradigm and your path from there on out. You know those moments—when  the universe is pushing you in what seems like a natural, formidable direction, but every molecule of your being is resisting, and you’re not sure why. The resistance typically starts as a dull but nagging feeling deep inside your mind, but once the spark is ignited by this seemingly innocuous person, event or experience, you’re given all the evidence (or faith) you need to change direction. These moments can cause angst. They can cause agita (one of the only medical terms I know how to use in context.) But for me, hinge moments have come in two forms: a famous sportscaster and a drab apartment.

Here’s to you, Mr. Costas
It was my sophomore year of college. As the campus radio station’s News Director, I was flown to New York City to interview Bob Costas and a couple other broadcasting dignitaries at a prestigious media luncheon. When I finally got my marantz to cooperate and my heart beat to slow down, I made my way through the crowd to interview Mr. Costas (and yes, I was that formal with him. Come on, besides the multi-colored rings, this guy is the next best symbolism for the Olympics).

After I was done asking the formal and mundane questions and we posed for a photo together, he turned to me and said, “Have you ever thought about going to Syracuse University’s Newhouse School?” Ughhh noooo… the dreaded question. I had been dealing with this inquisition since I began looking at colleges my junior year of high school. I had been adamantly against going to SU since I could spell the world “college.” Sure I loved the Carrier Dome and Otto the Orange (lamest mascot ever,) but being from Syracuse, I was just… over it. I of course didn’t explain this deep disdain to him, but simply smiled and told him being from Syracuse was enough to keep me away. Being a Newhouse alum himself, he shrugged, urged me to apply and was on his way.

Before this encounter, it had NEVER crossed my mind to apply at SU. I didn’t want to move near home. I didn’t want to go to a school where I’d be just a number in an auditorium of about 3,000 students, trying to figure out what the difference between two beetle exoskeletons was (and yes, once I got there, I had to do that. And I was a broadcasting major. Go figure.)

It seemed easier to stay put. I had great friends, a great social life and loved my classes. But something made me submit the application paperwork. Something pushed me to see it through. Many months and an academic scholarship later, there I was… at SU… loving life and thanking Bob Costas for his priceless nudge.

The irony of it all: I didn’t end up being a broadcaster. I didn’t even end up in the industry. But being at SU got me on the right track to understand what I loved (writing) and what I hated (always having to look good while carrying around a 50-pound camera and tripod in snowbanks up to my eyeballs).I thought about switching my major to Public Relations and Marketing, but that meant I’d have to invest more time and money into an undergrad education. No thank you. So I stuck it out, hoping (and knowing deep down) that the practical knowledge I had gained at my 2 1/2-year internship would propel me through my career.

So why do I have Bob Costas to thank? Welp, he led me to Syracuse University, which led me to my internship. My internship turned into my first full-time job once I graduated. It was that job that introduced me to my husband. I thankfully got to reintroduce myself to Mr. Costas several years later with my husband at my side, and I explained to him how he had truly changed my life, all with a simple question.

Little did he know that simple question made me question my entire life. My entire path. The path that led me to where I am and who I am on this very day. And little does he know today, I’m labeling him as “Hinge #1.”

It Takes a Village

I was pretty much packed and ready to go. The big move was only 10 days away. I had rehabbed some end tables, saved money for furniture and already paid first and last month’s rent for our new apartment (notice I said “our”) in the village. But one night, something woke me up as abruptly as my 12-year-old sister yanking at my eye lids. Something made me sit straight up in bed and whisper to myself, “I can’t do this.”

It was the “our.” I was moving into an apartment with my boyfriend. The boyfriend who I had been with for 4 1/2 years but still didn’t trust. The boyfriend who I clung to all through college and justified our unhealthy relationship as a “growing experience.” WHAT?!

Since I already revealed the ending in my Bob Costas story, you all know I moved on and found the love of my life. But instead of moving to the village, instead of going through the motions of this relationship, I decided to end it. I decided to chalk up our 4 1/2 years together as a learning experience, being young and being dumb. No, it wasn’t easy. No, I didn’t feel good about it at the time. But I learned sometimes the hard things and the right things are the same. And I was destined for something else, and more importantly, someone else. Hinge moment #2.

Find Your Hinge
If you’re older than 5 years old, you’ve had a hinge moment. You’ve probably had many. Sometimes it’s hard to pinpoint them, but they’re there. They exist to be discovered, explored and appreciated.

Hinge away!

~Ambitioussoul

Bold. Daring. Audacious. Terrifying.

ImageIn my mind, you can’t have audacity with out fear. And yes, fear may only be manifested by the mind, but it’s as real as any other emotion. And when it visits, it’s raw—and it festers like no other. It just creeps in. Down to the bone. And sometimes, it never leaves. We may try to layer other emotions over it, ignore it, but eventually, most times, we surrender, without even a second thought or a gleam of acknowledgement.

That same fear is also what pushes you. It’s what brings success and a healthy confidence that’s virtually untouchable. All of a sudden those negative thoughts dissipate, and no one can stand in your way—no one.

So for these 24 days during the START experiment, I vow to be nothing but terrified—nothing but audacious.

-Ambitioussoul

What’s this START experiment all about? Check it out!

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SAHM Avenue intersects at Working Professional Boulevard

How do you women do it?!

How do you women do it?!

A Familiar Intersection
Unbeknownst to my husband, thoughts of becoming a stay-at-home mom, also popularly known in the blogging world as a ‘SAHM,’ (thank you to the world of over-used acronyms,) had been swirling around in this perpetually revved up brain of mine. Full time? Part time? I wasn’t sure. But it was something that I just
couldn’t shake.

I think much of this was due to the guilt I feel each morning when I drop Maryn off. Does she cry? No. Does she whine? Double no. Does she seem phased at all when I leave? I don’t even think I need to answer that… So why is it that I feel this natural pull to be home with her all of a sudden? Well, maybe it’s just that– the fact that she is perfectly fine with not being enveloped in my presence and love all day every day.

When I expressed my thoughts to my husband, I could sense the shock he was feeling even before I finished my sentence. After all, I was the definition of a career woman—always wanting to excel, progress and be defined in some sense by who I am when I’m in my office and sitting in front of my computer screen. I knew he wasn’t super sold on the idea, so I just let it breathe for a little bit.

He Speaks in Mysterious Ways
A few days later during my ritualistic Facebook perusing, I came across an article where a woman explained why she regretted leaving her career to be home with her kids. In her interview, she graciously pointed out that although she loved the time she was able to spend with her children, the eventual reentry into her career several years later was not only super challenging but quite dreadful. After losing her ability to cultivate professional relationships and networking opportunities that were at one time bountiful to say the least, she found herself dizzying over the thought of having to start from scratch. In her words, her world had “narrowed” before her very eyes.

Call it divine intervention, call it terrific coincidence, call it whatever you will. But I believe and KNOW seeing this article was no accident. Amidst the sea of inconsequential news feed shenanigans, that one post jumped out at me and urged me to click on it like nothing ever has before (except for maybe an oh-so innocuous J. Crew summer sale e-blast).

Gridlocked is no way to be
After marinating myself in the article and all it stood for, a sudden peace came over me. Yes, it’s difficult to tackle the inevitable sick days when there isn’t any sick time to be had, or the lazy days when all you want to do is immortalize the day by staying in your PJs and eating breakfast for dinner, but it made me think about all the things I’d say goodbye to. I like that I have an office where it’s just me and my music, writing the day away for clients. I like that I can run errands during lunchtime, without my daughter trying to snatch grapes from the produce bin. I like that my email signature defines me by company and title, mentioning nothing about my life as a mom and everything that comes with it. It’s almost like another identity… yet miraculously, it’s still me. 

Now, for you SAHMs out there, I give you more credit than you could ever imagine. The patience, grace and love you display each and every day is astounding, and I commend you deeply for it. You turned down SAHM Avenue and never even looked back in your rear view mirror, and that’s pretty incredible. But for me, the next left at Working Professional Boulevard, that’s my turn.

-Ambitioussoul

Oh, and here’s the article I reference in this post!

Like a Boss

Ambitioussoul

Your future awaits.

Apparently, according to my 19-year-old sister, the title of this post is a phrase that has recently been coined as hip and, well, awesome. It just so happens that it sparked my idea for today’s post. Like a boss… who knew?

I know I’ve been a terrible blogger lately. And I’m not going to bore you all listing the reasons why. Have you ever heard the term “organized chaos?” Well, my life has been “UNorganized chaos.” Enough said…

Among all of this chaos, I decided to start my own home-based business. (I know, for those of you who know me, you’re rolling your eyes…) So why would I want to do this? Why would I want to increase the chaos? It’s not enough that I’m so crazy I typically leave the house with Cheerios stuck to my sweater? Welp, it’s all about the BIG PICTURE. Let me explain.

Throughout the past couple of Financial Peace University classes I’ve taught, there are so many people who struggle with a monthly budget because there’s not enough month left at the end of the money. They are literally left with $3 extra each month (if they’re lucky,) to buy a slushee on the way home from a day of running all over kingdom come. When you are living so incredibly tight, how are you supposed to bank extra money towards an emergency fund or debts? Many people would answer, “It’s impossible.” But I challenge everyone in my classes to get creative, like I had to do. Just because I sit at the head of the table doesn’t mean I’m any different. I had to take charge. Like a… well, boss.

As I depicted above, sometimes it’s not a budgeting issue that people have—it’s an income issue. But after much deliberation, it may seem as though a job at the mall or the grocery store wouldn’t be worth the effort, especially after taxes are accounted for. But like I’m sure you’ve heard before, if you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’re getting. So you have to CHANGE your strategy!

Think about it this way: if you had to have a second (or in some cases a third job) for only 1 year, could you do it? Of course you could! You can do anything, especially when you know it’s only temporary. That’s the mindset you have to have when charting a new financial path for yourself. Whether it’s a home-based business, like what I chose to do, or something within the confines of a retail operation or a franchise, something is always better than nothing.

I guess it’s all about how bad you want it, how fast you want it, and what your “it” is. Is it getting out of debt? Is it saving for a house? Whatever it is, get passionate. Get dedicated. Like a boss.

-Ambitioussoul

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The 10-Day Hustle

That’s right, everyone. Christmas is 10 days away. 10 days. That means tomorrow it will only be single-digits away. Are you ready? (And yes, I can hear your echoing, angry “nos” all the way in Upstate New York.) So if your shopping still isn’t done, you’re still trying to decide between ham and turkey on Christmas Eve and you haven’t even decided on the holiday schedule (because we ALL need one,) this post may overwhelm you at first. But just know I want to help you compartmentalize, so you can focus on one thing at a time and enjoy doing it!

As for me, when I tell people my tree is up and decorated, my home is peppered with homemade crafts and DIY Christmas apparel to make it feel more warm, cozy and well “Christmasy,” my dining room table is set and my gifts are wrapped, I get the total evil eye, coupled with a chastising tone. And I totally get why, because that was me in 2011. But this year, I decided things were going to be different. This year, I was going to be proactive.

I know it’s a bit late to talk about the ins and outs of being “proactive” with Christmas and all its glory right around the corner, but hopefully these tips will allow you to use the next 10 months or so to mentally prepare yourself to start strategizing for Christmas 2013. It may seem ridiculous that I even suggest such a thing, but we all know it’s true! I’m not going to over-stimulate everyone and talk about every facet of holiday planning, but I’ve picked a couple that I know can be daunting. Here we go…

Setting the table for your Christmas celebration
We all know PInterest can be both a blessing and a curse. Yes, there are a million and one cute ideas on how to set your table for the wonderful dinner you will serve, but how do you choose which motif to go with? Centerpieces, tablecloths, napkins, runners…. ahhhh! But if you take this step-by-step approach, you can actually decide what you’d like your table to look like before you even get to the store. How do you ask?

1) Find old treasures. Dig through the bins of Christmas decorations you may not be using, and try to picture how they could be used in your centerpiece. Whether a wintry wreath or some pretty bulbs, you’re sure to come up with some ideas. Once you have a clear picture of what you already own and don’t need to buy, this will help you decide on a concrete and reasonable budget (both operative words here.)

2) Define a table setting budget. Yes, I said it, a budget. Now that you’ve taken an inventory of what you have and know what you’ll use, this will be easy. Speaking of budget, Dave Ramsey has an awesome Christmas budget sheet available on his website. Again, I know it’s only 10 days before Christmas, but this may help you stay financially organized. As we all know, when days start to get crazy, money just flies out of our bank accounts.

3) Choose a color scheme. This may be a little difficult to do without standing in Target’s Christmas aisle for 45 minutes, but at least limit yourself based on the materials you already have. For example, I knew I needed a silver, gold or green tablecloth and napkins to match the bulbs I was going to use. It was much easier to find those items in one of the three colors than heading to the store without a clue. When that happens, I always end up frustrated, overwhelmed and, well, sweaty.

Guide to Christmas planning

Ready, set, Christmas!

For my table setting that you see here, the only things I bought new were the tablecloth and the linen napkins. I had everything else (little did I know!) Total cost: $25. Budgeted: $30

The Perfect Gift… Wrapping!
This year I vowed to myself I would not buy one ounce of wrapping paper or any other packaging paraphernalia. I was going to use what I already had. <GASP> But once again, after taking an inventory of everything from bows and ribbons to bags and tags, I didn’t need to buy a thing!

Guide to Christmas planning

A flower topper

Not only did I not buy any wrapping paper, but I used scraps I never thought I would have a use for (unless I was giving someone a pet millipede,) to make my own homemade bows and gift toppers. And I must say, my gifts this year look soooo amazing!

So how do you make said bows? Well, since I’m trying to whole “less is more” thing, I’ll give you the steps to make the flower topper above, since that seems to be a favorite. You’ll need:

– Scrap wrapping paper (length and width will determine the circumference of the flower)
– Scissors
-Stapler
-Curling ribbon or twine

1) First, take your scrap paper and fold it accordion-style, first away from you, then towards you. It doesn’t matter if the printed side is face up or face down.

2) Once you have your makeshift fan, staple it in the middle.

3) Using your scissors, cut either a pointed or a curved design on each end.

4) Fan the paper out, connecting the two sides with either a piece of tape or another staple.

5) Complete with a bow or ribbon of your choice in the middle to give it some extra flair.

And ta-da! Happy bow making!

So, with all of this said, remember, baby steps. Take one thing at a time. And hopefully I’ve inspired you to get your table set and your gifts wrapped… today!

-Ambitioussoul

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The Change Crusade

Know it. Live it. Every day.

Do you ever have those times in your life that make you truly reflect? I’m not talking about the times where you’re washing dishes at the sink and stare out the window for two seconds and think, “I love my life,” or “I wish today would have gone better.” I’m talking about those moments that make you reflect so much that you actually change from them– moments or experiences where you can literally look back and say, “I’m changed for good because of…” (and yes, I stole that line from the “Wicked” soundtrack. What can I say? I’m hopelessly devoted to broadway shows.

For me, the past week hasn’t presented just one of these moments– there have been three. I think that’s God’s way of saying to me, “WAKE UP!” And the three…

“Amazing Grace”

Last Friday I attended a funeral for my friend’s mom. Although I didn’t know her well, I remember her being a woman of ultimate kindness and acceptance. She was one of those people who truly listened when you spoke. She didn’t just nod, waiting for her turn to speak her piece; she genuinely cared about what you had to say.

During the mass, the priest regarded this highly respected, loved and ultimately missed woman as an amazing grace. Those two words immediately brought tears to my eyes. Not only is that a song that “gets me” every time, but to hear him describe a person with this familiar adage was well, amazing to me. What a positive and unforgettable legacy to leave behind. I started to think about how proud my friend must have felt to be able to call himself her “son” and her his “mother.”

I began to think of the legacy I want to leave behind, how I want to be remembered when I’m gone.  Needless to say, there’s lots of work that needs to be done. But I’m willing to do it. And that’s half the battle.

Live and Give Like No One Else

This past Sunday was the last week of Financial Peace University. We had more than 50 people graduate from the class, and although I was helping to lead them all to true financial stability and confidence, I think I got more out of it than anyone else in the room.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Dave Ramsey’s plan, the last of his seven baby steps instructs you to GIVE. Whether it be your money, time or energy, GIVE to those around you who need it most. Being so caught up in budgeting, checking my spreadsheet and rechecking it about 10,000 times a day, the reason why we’ve been saving so diligently and spending so cautiously got lost. We’re doing this so later on in life we can GIVE to our church, GIVE to the organizations in our community that we feel led to support, GIVE to our neighbors who may find financial hardships or painstaking tragedy.

Sitting there last Sunday brought me back to the funeral and what was said about the precious woman this world lost. No, it’s not about your ability or inability to be philanthropic monetarily, but it’s about what you give and why you give. It’s about caring for your neighbor more than you care for yourself. Talk about leaving a legacy. Whether you can give $1 or $1,000 a week to a local charity, it’s where your giving nature is rooted from. Are you doing it to be recognized? Are you doing it because you feel like you have to? Or are you doing it because it’s the right thing to do? You’ll find that if you’re giving from your heart and not necessarily from your head, the rest will follow.

Do Unto Others…

The week couldn’t have ended any more ironically. After the two revelations I described above, a day later I found out a little girl who goes to the same babysitter as my daughter lost everything in a house fire. Not only was she left without any clothes, toys or furniture, her mom is expecting another baby in a few months, and they lost all the baby items they had been saving.

After finding this out, I immediately felt a pang in my heart. I needed to do something, something that would give this family a sense of hope and maybe even peace during this horrific time. I just kept picturing the little girl’s sweet face and how innocently she always looks up at me with her big, brown eyes. Although only 4 years old, too young to really understand, I know it’s something she will never forget. Not only will fire be branded in her mind forever, but I want those thoughts to be almost masked by the generosity and selflessness people demonstrated during an extremely difficult time for her family.

With that in mind, I spread the word as quickly as I could (thank you social media,) and I had friends and family donating everything they possibly could: clothes, toys, furniture, baby items, etc. People were so willing to GIVE. YAY! As I was feverishly trying to manage all the donations (what a great problem to have, right?,) I started to pose the same questions to myself as I asked above. Why was I doing this? Why was I investing so much effort and so much time? It boiled down to a simple rule, the golden rule actually. “Do unto others as you would have them to do you.” Such a simple concept, but not easy to authenticate each and every day. But it was enough to get me to swing into action, so it must have some type of moral weight to it, right?

I think we all stumble upon reflective moments in our lives that can lead to a true and permanent change. But I believe whole-heartedly we need to be mindful and accepting of those moments, otherwise they can easily go unnoticed. After all, the only thing that’s constant in this world is change. So be amazing. Spread grace. And give.

-Ambitioussoul

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