#LeapDay 2016 gives all of us one extra day. Imagine the potential in those 24 hours. Usually, we don't think much about our time and how we spend it outside of what we need to do to survive. Maybe you have to work on #LeapDay 2016, but, you can use that 24 hours on the weekend, or, next month. You can use it this summer. Because 2016 is a 366-day year. Even if you can't use February 29th to "catch up" on those dreams, you still have an extra 24-hours added to your life.
Don't waste that time. Time is the one thing we can never get back. Almost everything else is replaceable. Almost.
People can't be replaced. But we are often discarded. Given away. Ignored. Made to feel small. Less than. Weak. As if our life doesn't have legitimate value.
Have you ever made someone feel like that?
Think about it before you answer. We are all guilty of making that mistake. Usually because it was more convenient to walk away than deal with whatever the real issue may have been.
Every life that touches ours has value. Worth. Meaning. Because, we are all connected to each other. That homeless man you pass on the corner during your commute home? He matters. Take all of 30-seconds and hand him a few dollars as you drive by. If you have a little more time, go buy a meal at Wendy's or McDonald's before you pass that familiar street corner. Put a $5 bill in the bag and hand it to the person who has been stripped of everything. A place we all fear. By acknowledging the forgotten, the ignored, you are performing a true kindness. I'd say that's worth a few minutes of your extra day....
That homeless man can do nothing for you. So when you show kindness to him, it's real.
My son is a big man, standing at 6'5" tall. And yes, he's a full foot taller than me. But he's as big on the inside as he is on the outside. About two weeks ago, the area where he lives got dumped on. Three feet of snow silently fell as most of the world slept. It was mid-week. And, unexpected. Whoops.
My son was one of the few people driving to work that day. The snow continued to fall, multiplying in inches throughout the day. Tow trucks and plows were impossible to get on the phone. If you were stuck that day, you were going to stay stuck. Unless you were lucky enough to get stuck somewhere along my son's route to work. He drives a big pick up truck. You have to be an Olympic athlete to get in and out of that thing, unless, of course, you're 6'5"....
When my son saw a guy stuck on the side of the road the day of the storm, even though he knew he'd be late for work, my boy pulled over to give the guy a tow. The guy was shocked anyone would help in that weather, but was so grateful, he wanted to pay my son for his efforts. My boy just smiled, "I didn't do this for money; I did it because you needed help. You can pay me back by helping someone else in the future."
My son went on to work and helped three more people get safely home that day. He ended up being an hour late as a result, but knew he could make up the time another day. Those poor people, however, couldn't wait. They desperately needed his help in that exact moment. And, because my son operates on positive energy, he noticed. He was a miracle for some of those folks. We forget sometimes when searching for miracles that the closest one may be no further than our own reflection.
I'm obviously very proud of my boy for being the kind of man who helps strangers. But he is also an extraordinary friend. To my nephews, whom he loves as if they were brothers. To his grandfather, whom he prevented from taking a nasty fall one Christmas--30 people were in the room, but only my son was aware that my father-in-law was falling. He volunteers for animal rescue and fosters animals who are abused. He even takes the animals when they still have fleas, and need all kinds of care. He pays for their needs, even though my son works hard for every dollar he makes.
The same day of the snow storm, I was alone at my house and completely snowed in. I called every local plow service to no avail. And the snow was only getting deeper. I couldn't get out of the garage, let alone my driveway. My driveway is 75-feet long, too. My house is set back from the road and I have lots of mature trees for privacy. Which is great, unless you're snowed in.
It was getting dark and I had given up hope of leaving for the next few days. Suddenly, I heard a snow blower outside. My neighbor noticed I was snowed in and even though it was dark and cold, he did my entire driveway and walkway. I called out to him, to thank him for being my knight-in-shining-armor. You know what he said?
"You're so good to my girls, I'm always going to look out for you...."
My neighbor has two beautiful daughters I absolutely adore. And when I can, I bring them things like books, stickers, and this year, ginger bread house supplies at the holidays. I just do it because I love children, teaching, and giving. I never expect anything in return. It was amazing to have my neighbor brave the cold for hours to help dig me out. But that's what happens when you make time to share your time...and, positive energy.
I used to buy bags of food for students before break--kids I knew had no family, no money and were working hard to make their lives better. I even bought a blazer, belt, button down, & slacks for a young man who just graduated, had no mother but an abusive father, more than $100,000 in student loans, and needed to go to job interviews to improve his circumstances. And yes, I really do buy food for the homeless, quietly leaving it near their things as I pass by whenever possible. Otherwise, I keep a few dollars in my car when an unexpected opportunity arises.
Whether I have the money, time, or energy is no where near as important as helping a person who needs the support I can give in that moment. Just like my neighbor did for me, and my son has done for countless strangers and strays, and my friend did for a child he didn't even know. Making someone's life a little better each day makes your life better in not just that moment, but with every breath you take. And the person you help? They never forget it.
The biggest gift you can give to any human being is to acknowledge their existence through kindness. Even if it's just with a smile and a friendly word. By doing that, you also acknowledge their struggles, sorrows, and loneliness. We are all lonely. Without exception. It's easy to feel totally alone in a room full of people. But by spending five minutes of your time with another human being, you share in their life. For those five minutes, their no longer alone with their problems. And, that makes a big difference. For all of us.
By no small coincidence, you happen to have an extra five minutes to do just that! Actually, you have an extra 1, 440 minutes...starting tomorrow. How fortunate. It's almost as if it's Fate. Nah, not Fate. Fate happens to you. But Destiny, well, that's a choice. Like choosing to help ease someone's pain instead of pretending they don't exist.
You really can't effect much change in your own world in just 24 hours, but you CAN change someone else's in that time. If you took even three out of those 24 extra hours and used it to improve people's lives, you will have used that time well. Instead of watching an extra day of Netflix or playing more video games, try calling the person you haven't spoken to in over a year. Reconnect with someone you may not have treated entirely fairly. Make plans to see far-flung family. Schedule that lunch or coffee you keep putting off with the friend who deserves better. Do at least one thing with that one extra day to bring happiness to at least one other person. To make them feel less alone, more valuable...worthy of your time and attention.
When you do that, you are expressing real love, connecting to positive energy. There is no better way to use your extra 24-hours. By investing that precious gift of time in the happiness of others, you are investing in yourself. Your life will improve. You'll be the first person people think of when opportunity knocks. When they see your name, your face, they will smile. They will feel happier, and mindfully act in joy. Others connected to those you have helped will then benefit, too.
"A single grain of rice can tip the scale."
The above quote is from the Disney movie, Mulan. But the sentiment is much older. It can be found in verses throughout both the Old and New Testaments. Great minds like Dr. King, John F. Kennedy, Jimmy Carter, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and the Mahatma have all famously said something similar as well. Because, it's true. One person can make a difference...especially when that one person has one whole day of extra time.
You are that grain of rice for someone else. When you give value to another person's life by sharing your time, that person then feels worthy and can bring the same light to another soul. Like dominoes. It's a chain reaction, pushing your positive energy into the next life, and the next, and the next...until, one day, there are more people improving the lives of others than spreading misery. Real love will rule the world, not greed or jealousy or anger or pride. With positive energy, those things don't exist. But joy does. Peace is even possible. At least, it can be. One soul at a time.
"Is that all it takes?"
I can practically hear my late friend's gentle timber teasingly issuing the challenge. My standard answer was always, "Yes, that's all it takes." Even though annoyed by the game, I'd still smile as I said it.
Catching a mischievous glint in my friend's eye as he tried to contain his smile, and, with slightly flushed cheeks, he'd shake his head in disagreement, "If you say so, Girlie...."
The game was now afoot.
With a sigh, and just a hint of sarcasm, I'd answer on cue, "Yes, I do say so...have I told you how much I love you today?"
Satisfied that I was playing along, my friend's refrain was always, "Yes, but I never tire of hearing it."
Neither did I.
PS: To all the #TwinFlames out there, the 29th is an "11" and when the current month and year are simplified and added together, you get a second "11." So, unlike any other year to come, February 29, 2016 holds a great deal of positive cosmic energy for #TwinFlames. In that same way, the entire month of February 2016 has had a positive effect on #TwinFlame energy. Good luck! May your #TwinFlame journey be smooth, and, may you come back to reunion quickly.
#Peace #Light #Love #Joy #Happiness