Why Wait?

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Life certainly is short.  Recently, I have been thinking a lot about why people wait to say kind things to others.  Do we need to have a reason, an occasion, a move, or… dare I say it, a funeral?  Sounds crazy, but I bet you know as many people as I do that say the kindest things about people that have suddenly (or not so suddenly) lost their lives.  Many times I hear the words “I wish I had told them______________” (fill in the blank).  But why wish?  I wish people would share kind thoughts about each other more freely, and for no reason at all!

Think of how uplifting it is to hear how you have touched someone by a kind word, action, or just smile in the middle of a bad day.  There’s nothing so wonderful as knowing someone has noticed something you have done either through effort or without even thinking about it.

I have to say, this thought has been on my mind a lot lately.  Not because I’m looking for a boost to my ego, a pat on the back or just a kick.  I wonder what my efforts mean to people.  Perhaps what I mean to people.  Do I make the difference in people’s lives as I hope to?  Do I inspire?  Amuse?  I would like to know if there’s something that’s unique about me that my friends or my patients remember.  Of course I hope there is something.  Something meaningful.  I still hold on to an “autograph” book that I asked teachers to sign for me in high school but requested that they write something meaningful in, rather than just sign their names!  Yes, words matter to me.  Experiences matter.  And obviously, kindness matters.  And sharing kindness thrills me (thus, this blog) 🙂

To be clear, I do believe that the best feedback a person can get about their actions is from themselves — that gut instinct that tells us whether we’re doing what our own purpose/destiny is driving us to do.  And I feel that.  I also believe that beyond this life, our spiritual selves live on and can feel or be aware of every positive thought that is sent to us.  And I have no desire or intention of moving into the spiritual world anytime soon.Image

But again, life is short.  And although I hope my one-day funeral will bring about many expressions of kind memories from my friends and family, I do not wish to wait until then to hear some thoughts about what might be said about me.  So I pose this question to you today: If today was the last day you could express some kind thought/memory about me to me, what would it be?

Because I am in this state of thinking/awareness, I have decided to randomly choose a friend/acquaintance of mine per week to write to and express my own thought/memory about them.  Maybe I can inspire you to do the same or something similar.  Let’s not wait for special occasions to share kind thoughts with each other.

For now, I would love to hear from you if you have something that stands out in your mind about me (write here or email me or facebook message me — I would love to hear from you).

Kindly,

Hanifa

Puppies and Laughter?

ImageDid you know that it was National Puppy Day yesterday?  I only learned of this through a friend’s post on facebook (isn’t that where many of us catch up on tidbits of info that we could be fine without knowing, but we’re kind of happy to learn about too?!).  And tomorrow I will be providing a Laughter Yoga start to a large group of participants in a fundraiser for breast cancer, so I thought my post title was appropriate today.

I must admit, these are 2 areas that really do bring a smile to my face.  Puppies with their trusting eyes and admiration of their owners as well as their wonder and excitement of all sights and smells that are new!  And laughter with its contagious effect of happiness and feelings of well-being that are generated from its practice.

Oh sure I’m leaving home around 7:30 on a Sunday morning to make sure we’re nice and early for the event tomorrow, but I have to tell you that it feels good.  Also felt good to review the 2010 new puppy videos that were taken of our miniature schnauzer (Caesar Augustus von Schnauzer; aka DogtorCaesar on youtube).  Really, this entire blog could have been about Caesar.  I really never knew that even just the act of looking at him (awake or sleeping; being naughty or being good) and loving him would have brought me anywhere near the joy that it has.  But I’m sure I can/will write more about him later!

And being asked to offer a brief Laughter Yoga session before such a meaningful event tomorrow brings me joy too.  Being around energies of people that have come together for a common positive purpose is such a wonderful feeling.

So I notice a common thread in these 2 experiences that seem to be the foundation of my own Qi.  It’s a shared bond (whether with people or with Caesar) in which words don’t really matter. It’s a shared positive energy that fuels oneself and another and is reciprocated unknowingly.  What a joy.  I encourage you to share a positive energy with a friend/family member or even complete stranger or animal.  Do it with intention and meaning and be sensitive to the positivity returned to you. And I’d love to hear about your experience(s) with this task — whatever you do/did, I’d love to hear about it, so leave a comment.

Funny, for a person who is quite drawn to meaningful conversations and purposeful verbal communication, I feel enlightened today to really recognize the power of nonverbal positive communication.

Wishing for you to enjoy you own “puppies and laughter” in whatever forms they may take in your own lives.

Kindly,

Hanifa

Oh–by the way — here’s a picture of Baby Caesar!

I Think of You and Smile…

 

The other day I was able to connect with a patient of mine who is currently in the hospital.  She’s doing fantastic (relatively speaking); a few days ago she wasn’t feeling well as her bowels are a bit (very) blocked up and she is battling cancer currently.  Recently her husband emailed over her contact info at the hospital (she’s been in for about a week, but needed some time to herself for calming her own nerves), so of course I called her!  I started our chat with a “laughter yoga” hello (a customary “ho, ho, ha, ha, ha!)  And I could already feel her smile through the phone.  We caught up on her health, her improvements, her challenges, her eagerness to get home soon.  Some serious chat-time, some laughs and all genuine connection.  Ahh… what a great start to the day!  I finished the call with another laughing outburst which led to contagious laughing from her, and I felt we both had an equally good start to our day.

Sometimes it takes the smallest gestures to share kindness.  I think of many friends and patients daily.  If I haven’t called you or heard your voice lately, or emailed or facebook-messaged you, don’t think I’m not thinking of you. 

I encourage you to find a way to connect with someone you’ve been thinking of today to allow both of you to smile.

Wishing you a wonderful weekend!

Kindly,

Hanifa