All posts filed under: Positive Living

They have books!

Just a quick update: Last summer, I mentioned helping out some teachers via DonorsChoose.org to buy books for their students. I continued this support throughout the winter and just the other day, I received a wonderful update from a teacher with some photos of the kids enjoying the books we helped donate. I’m so excited to see the positive impact that my choice for that day has made. It’s only a few bucks on my side, but seeing the girls’ and boys’ enthusiasm over their new books, along with the teacher’s Thank You note encourages me to continue to make choices similar to these every chance I get. She even mentioned that we’ve helped create “a habit of reading.” I’m BEYOND thrilled!!! From the note: We are loving our books! Students have been raving to their friends and parents about the plethora of good books they’ve been enjoying day after day. Students are improving on their phonemic awareness, vocabulary and comprehension one book at a time. Students are enjoying their new books during silent reading, read alouds, and buddy reading. Many of them are …

Free hugs

I enjoy sitting in an airport because I get to observe the different folks around me. I’ve mentioned this before, but the pure joy I get to witness when a person hugs their missed loved one makes me really happy.  This is why I thought Juan Mann’s Free Hugs Campaign is simply beautiful. Almost everyone, whether it comes from deep emotional sentiment or a simple recognition of someone’s existence in this world we share, will appreciate a hug. To me, when I give or receive a hug, I feel a sense of openness, acceptance, and a subtle shared celebration of that human connection that was just made or about to happen. It’s an expression of love in varying degrees, and it’s love nonetheless. Everyone who wants an honest-to-goodness genuine hug should be able to get one. Hug someone today. :) Visit the Free Hugs Campaign site for more info.

A reminder from butterflies

She liked being reminded of butterflies. She remembered being six or seven and crying over the fates of the butterflies in her yard after learning that they lived for only a few days. Her mother had comforted her and told her not to be sad for the butterflies, that just because their lives were short didn’t mean they were tragic. Watching them flying in the warm sun among the daisies in their garden, her mother had said to her, see, they have a beautiful life. Alice liked remembering that. – Lisa Genova, Still Alice Whenever I see butterflies, they always remind me of change. Metamorphosis. The transformation and the inspiration behind the seeming end. The staggering beauty of possibilities! I have forgotten that they only live for a little while, until I stumbled upon the quote above. Yes, life comes to an end for all of us eventually … but this thought should never take away from the simple joys of living, the quiet yet profound impact of each moment, and the significance of a life lived well.

Christopher Ategeka: From orphan to entrepreneur

“Life got really good,” Ategeka laughed. “They bought me a bicycle and gave me three meals a day, which is a luxury, by the way.” Talk about perspective. It’s a bit of a challenge to summarize Christopher Ategeka’s amazing life story in a few words, but I honestly feel that I have to share this with everyone I know right now. Christopher is an orphan in Uganda who lost his mother and father to AIDS at the age of seven. With his love of learning burning in him, he attempted to go to school through a charity and was denied due to lack of funds. When he was 12 however, an American couple, Michael and Martha Helm, offered to sponsor him through a church-based NGO and orphanage Y.E.S. Uganda. His drive and discipline impressed the couple, who continued to offer him the chance to live with them in California so he can continue his education. But the story does not end there. Christopher then proceeded to graduate with a masters degree in UC Berkeley and has since founded a non-profit organization, Rides for Lives. His group’s …

Just like you

I’ve seen a lot of videos and heartwarming articles over the holidays but for some reason, this clip from Skype is the one that brought tears to my eyes — even after viewing it a second time! As I have written about before, I LOVE the internet mainly because of its sheer power for connecting people. Whether it’s keeping in touch with a parent or a best friend who lives thousands of miles away, or with a friend who is just like you and whom you have a meaningful bond with though you’ve never met in person … through this technology, we are able to express love, show support, and share happiness. And that, is more than enough reason to celebrate. Happy New Year!

All about the bees

While eating breakfast this morning, I noticed that our cereal box claimed that if we go to their website with our unique code, they will donate 50-cents to a bee-friendly charitable initiative. I can’t remember the last time I went online to “redeem a code” since it’s usually for a chance to win another bottle of soda or fastfood french fries. But this time, I was pretty excited! I get to help our worker bees AND choose the focus that my 50-cents will go to. Whether this is a Cascadian Farm marketing strategy that completely worked on me (as I am now very aware of their brand + they’ve effectively influenced my next purchase decision on cereals), OR a cause someone from the company is genuinely passionate about — at the end of the day, I feel like I contributed in a very small way, to benefit bees’ habitat creation and research. I’m not affiliated with their company and I am not paid to endorse them, but the enthusiasm I felt in perusing their website (while I learned more about bees) reminded me of a Nielsen …