Posts Tagged ‘Love’

I am repeating this post from my own blog from 2012. It is never too late to do a kindness and there is never a wrong time but today is the day that celebrates it. Should you wish more information, there is a Random Acts of Kindness website with wonderful stories, ideas, etc., but I suspect you know exactly how to be kind. Have a lovely day.

Recently a friend from the other side of the country – Washington State, to be exact – sent me an e-mail with the photos below. Needless to say, the images have been collected by someone from all over the web and put together in that e-mail. I have  pulled them together for this blog post because I believe we all could use a little inspiration here and there and it never hurts to be reminded of the difference a small kindness can make, how a simple gesture can touch a heart and soul, and how there really is a great deal of kindness in the world despite what many sources would have us believe. We can always add to that, and it needn’t be on an official Random Acts of Kindness Day – it can be any day or every day.

Enjoy the photos. The e-mail began with this : If you never learn the language of gratitude, you will never be on speaking terms with happiness.

A father and mother kissing their dying little girl goodbye. If you are wondering why all the medic people are bowing,….in less than an hour, two small children in the next room are able to live thanks to the little girl’s kidney and liver.

The e-mail continued on with the following, which I have altered slightly to be more inclusive of all beings on Earth:

Every day, every day, you hear …
Every day you hear people saying what they want. Well, here’s what I want:

  • I want people who are sick to be healed
  • I want children – and animals – with no families and no one to love them to be adopted
  • I want people to never have to worry about food and shelter and heat
  • I want to see a kinder world towards all animals on this planet
  • Most of all, I would like to see people start to care more for one another.

May your heart be touched by kindness today and every day.

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I have a love/hate relationship with the marketing world. I am so, so weary of having a zillion products and services pushed at me relentlessly in every media avenue I could possibly be in touch with. It’s annoying and sometimes exhausting, and, I suspect, touches your life as well.

But then … I come across a commercial which is absolutely brilliant, moving, and says something so important in a way that I could never imagine. At first, this short, wordless commercial shows us a touching relationship between man and his best friend, the steadfast devotion dogs have for us. But that’s just a part of the message. What’s ultimately being said is so unexpected and so beautifully said — take a look.

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“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe,
deserve your love and affection”

~ Gautama Buddha

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Is there one small spot in your home that makes you happy? Perhaps more than one? This is one of the spots in my home.



It’s a collection of items that all make me feel happy, calm, and grateful. An oak washstand I bought in Brooklyn on Atlantic Avenue back when I lived in Park Slope; a rather poorly matted, (by me), and framed photo of my Mom and Dad when they were married; a rusted crow sitting atop a real piece of branch; a couple candles and some fall leaves in a heavy opalescent dark brown pitcher …

I change these items around regularly, but for now, this is what speaks to me of Fall. Warm, simple, woodsy. Home. I am grateful to have these small reminders of where I’ve been in life and with whom, what holds memories for me, and how blessed I’ve been in so many ways.

Happy Thanksgiving.

“The greatest wisdom is in simplicity. Love, respect, tolerance, sharing, gratitude, forgiveness. It’s not complex or elaborate. The real knowledge is free. It’s encoded in your DNA. All you need is within you. Great teachers have said that from the beginning. Find your heart, and you will find your way.” 

― Carlos Barrios, Mayan elder and Aiq’ij of the Eagle Clan  

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We interrupt this day of seemingly endless shoveling, digging out, car cleaning and bright red cheeks to bring you a message of love for Valentine’s Day …


“To worship rightly is to love each other,
Each smile a hymn, each kindly deed a prayer.”

~ John Greenleaf Whittier

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Love is why I came here in the first place.

~John Denver

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Falling in love is always the easy part. Then it gets complicated. Why? Because “the other” has their own ways, their own ideas, their own habits, their own fears.

It doesn’t matter if “the other” is human or animal; no matter how hard we try, we cannot help but bring our own hopes, expectations, ideas, habits and fears to the table. Case in point – an animal one – elsewhere on this blog, I have mentioned that I feed a small feral cat with tuxedo markings whom I’ve named Little Fee. He’s been coming around since he was 9 months old or so, and that was the summer of 2009. He comes like clockwork for breakfast and dinner, and snacks in between from the bowl on my back porch when not chased away by one of the cats next door.

If not waiting for me on the back porch, he comes to his name when called. Yet he is extremely fearful and will not be touched or approached. He has never been missing for more than 2 days, and that was only after severe snowstorms. But now he is missing 2-1/2 days. What has happened to him?

The scenarios for a feral cat are … 1) Hit by a car  2) attacked by another animal  3) injured and laying low somewhere while healing  4) accidentally trapped in a shed, garage, etc.  5) poisoned  6) trapped by a human and removed with any number of intentions – to be neutered and returned, taken to the local shelter and/or to be killed. None but one of them are good. And there is nothing I can really do about any of them.

One of the things about loving another – be it human or animal – is that it is always fraught with risk.  Perhaps the greatest risk is giving up control, for it is the one thing we cannot have when another being is involved, or at least not without potential harm to ourselves or them. And one of the things about loving and caring for a feral cat, I see, is that I have no control at all.

And still we, in all our yearning humanity, risk loving again and again, knowing that we cannot control much … only our own thoughts, really. We can offer the best of ourselves to another being, offer our love, and then it’s out of our hands.

As for me, I keep intermittent vigil at my back door … watching and hoping … hoping my voice, my love, can bring this small being back and help heal him, if needed; hoping he’s not gone forever.


The Fee has returned! In one of my porch checks late last night there he was, looking none the worse for wear, a bit hungry, and happy to be fed. Breathing easier at last.

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Happy Valentine’s!

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“This is the miracle that happens every time to those who really love: the more they give, the more they possess.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

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Fear is the antithesis of love. We are in fear when we bemoan our fate that we are not yet published. We are in fear when we relentlessly edit and re-edit and edit yet again something that, in all likelihood, is just fine. We are in fear when we overwork an aspect of our illustration, striving for some elusive perfection. It’s not that uncommon to think and behave this way. Most of us were raised to be good, to be perfect, to be loved conditionally. As were those who raised us.

And what we most need in our lives, our work, is not fear, but love. When we write and illustrate books for children, we always bring forth our best work when it is coming out of love … not anxiety about its success or perfection, or how well we are faring compared to others, or how much recognition we’ll gain. But love. It would seem so easy, but for so many of us it is not.

Below is the quote that I had mentioned in my last post. It is by Marianne Williamson, metaphysical teacher, and from the book A Return to Love, her reflections on  the principles of A Course in Miracles, published in 1975. All of Williamson’s work is focused on growing into our richest selves, letting go of fear and living truly in love. And I believe it has a profound meaning for us as we  venture forth as writers and artists, aspiring to light the way for children.

Everyday Grace

My deepest fear is not that I am inadequate.
My deepest fear is that I am powerful beyond measure.
It is my light, not my darkness, that most frightens me.
I ask myself, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who am I not to be? I am a child of God. My playing small
does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking
so that other people won’t feel insecure around me. I am meant to
shine, as children do. I was born to manifest the glory of God that is within me.
It’s not just in me; it’s in everyone.
And as I let my own light shine, I unconsciously give other people
permission to do the same. As I am liberated from my own fear,
my presence automatically liberates others.

These words struck me so deeply in their undeniable truth. As a writer and illustrator of children’s books, aspiring to bring my gifts to young people, I can soar to heights in joy as I work or tumble to crushing frustration. Fear. All fear. And though living lives through fear in varying degrees is common to so many people on the planet, it seems to almost be the inheritance of all sensitive, creative people. I know there is a better way; I’ve known for a long time, and so, I suspect, have you.

From time to time, books, individuals, ideas, etc.  cross our paths, and usually, at times when we are ready to take the next step out of fear and into grace … into love. This book has been sitting on my bookshelf for about 9 months, and through a mention of the quote above from a friend, I took this book from the shelf. It was time – there are no coincidences.

Living in love, free of fear, is a great challenge. We were not raised that way. Shaman and author Don Miguel Ruiz calls it “domestication.” It is all the same. And what’s so wonderful is that there is never a bad time  to take another step, to let go of fear and our belief that we should be small, to believe instead  in the love and brilliance we are.

I find A Return to Love an amazing book, as is A Woman’s Worth, both by Williamson. Perhaps an inspiration for you, too. Please also know, if it makes a difference to you, that Williamson’s writings do not espouse any specific religious orientation – her writing is of a spiritual nature, and so speaks to us all.

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