radical unschoolers, Unschooling

Sharing your truth with the world

One of the biggest blessings and joys that I have experienced from living this life, is how much I have been inspired and encouraged by my children’s utterances.  Every time they have been questioned by others, they have been able to confidently stand their ground and their answers always floor me.  Since they were very little, it has been that way. Back then, it was always with a sense of darling innocence, as if they couldn’t understand why anyone would be so curious about our life. It was just our life!  As they got older and their public schooled friends seemed to have disappeared, the difference in the way we did things became more apparent.  And it became a bit of a chore trying to make others who “just didn’t get it” to understand.  Though there were lonely times when the kids wondered what it might be like to just “be like the other kids”, those moments were merely fleeting and now on the other side of that, both of them seem to have really found their footing.  To hear them now, as teens, explain to others what their life is like, it’s no longer just a matter of explanation but rather it’s become an opportunity to show others how the unschooling path has provided so richly for them.  Both Trystan and Alivia are so happy to share with others about this lifestyle.  Not only eager to set the record straight and prove themselves but to enlighten others to how easy, natural and wonderful life can be when you live by the philosophy of freedom and respect for all.

If you are a follower and/or regular reader of this blog, you are, no doubt familiar with both of the Tabangay kids but solely through my eyes, my narrative of their lives.  I thought it would be  a nice treat to invite the kids to join me in this post and share a bit with you (from their perspective) how they feel about their lives as unschoolers.

First up, Trystan (age 16, unschooler since the age of 8):

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Note: As soon as I was inspired to write up this post, I asked the kids if they wanted to participate by sharing their views here. They both agreed they really wanted to.  After some time and much thought however, Trystan decided there really wasn’t much to be said or rather too much to be shared, so he summed it up this way:

“I’ve been thinking on it ever since you asked me and the truth is, there are just too many things I could say. It’s just awesome!  I just think my life is awesome. My freedom, my friends, everything!”

And . . .  Alivia (aka Livy, age 14, never been to school with the exception of a short stint in Kindergarten):

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In Livy’s words:

“I’d say I love the freedom my parents give me and how my life allows me the freedom to be a true individual, if that makes sense… what I mean by that is, whatever it is I decide to do with my day will be made possible if it is possible and I’ll be free to do it! I can pursue all my passions now while I am young instead of being consumed by, I guess, stuff like homework and not have the time. To be honest, it’s actually really hard to say or express all the things I like about this lifestyle of unschooling because honestly i just like it as a whole and well, I think my lifestyle is just freaking awesome. x :)”

There you have it. Out of the mouths of free children:

AWESOME! It’s just freakin’ awesome!

And neither of them are shy in sharing this sentiment even with perfect strangers in foreign lands . . .

Their first official “speaking engagement” was in Puerto Rico at the Art of Embracing Life’s “Peaceful Parenting” workshop with their friends, Tiffany and Devin Martin.  Their mom Dayna was the featured guest speaker.  It wasn’ t the first time they had to entertain questions but the first time the questions came from complete strangers.  They were a tad bit nervous being in the spotlight (so to speak) but as always, their answers were heartfelt and genuine.

 

Trystan and Alivia answering questions from the audience. One of the most common questions, unschoolers are asked by fellow teens: “What do you do all day then?” And in response when they hear the answer of “Whatever I want, really”, almost always: “Lucky!”

 

I love how respect for others and support from friends is so evident in this shot. For more about our trip to Puerto Rico, click on the image above.

Most recently, they, along with a bunch of their unschooled friends, joined Dayna once again as special guests on her one-hour radio show “Try This At Home with Dayna Martin”. It was so refreshing to listen to the banter between them all, their authenticity, honesty, and sense of humor, so apparent!  Even when some of the comments in the chat room got a little nasty, they all held their own, their belief and confidence sustained them.  And the responses and comments that flooded in after show it wasn’t just us who were affected for the better.  These kids have the ability to inspire change and their lives are a testament to the peaceful parenting paradigm and the beautiful co-existence it makes possible.

Both of these experiences when the kids spoke out as advocates, were fantastic.  For me, as their mom, listening to them fills me with such a sense of contentment and pride.  After hearing them speak out on the radio show, I felt so inspired and so liberated. I even commented on facebook: “I am riding on a high right now from the kids’ energy. I feel so incredibly grateful and proud.” And Dayna: “All of the kids rocked it. We were so pumped up after the show…and STILL are!”

Click on the image above to be transported the to full audio version of this show

Another recent experience I can relate was about a month ago.  It isn’t just the families who live this life that are affected.  The kids spent a couple weeks with their best friends in New Hampshire;  a sort of impromptu “let’s extend the fun of Life Rocks” sort of teen gathering.  We drove them there and dropped them off not even sure how we were going to get them back home but tend to just “cross bridges when we come to them” and I was confident it would work out.  It did! Beautifully! The kids were given a ride home back to New York with our neighbor; someone who has always been gracious and so nice but who we really didn’t know too personally.*  Well, that car ride changed all that.  Not only did the ride provide an opportunity for the three of them to get to know one another a bit better (and they had so much fun) but it also provided a perfect opportunity for the kids to talk about what the unschooling life is all about.  Their so openly sharing with her has paved the way for a few more conversations since then and the chance to get to know her a bit more, myself.  In our short interchanges, she had always struck me as a serious professional woman (and she is, two bachelor’s degrees under her belt).  What I have come to learn is that she is also a very perceptive,  intelligent woman who is so kind-hearted and empathetic to the plight of our world today (our educational system being one of them).

When I told her about our blog and that I was going to be writing about this, she was kind enough to send me, in her own words, this narrative of her car ride experience. I think it speaks volumes and reinforces so much for me:

“Recently I had the opportunity to spend some time with tmy wo neighbors, a 14 and 16 year old. I had never had any substantial conversation with either of them prior to our lengthy road trip but the several hours I spent with them left me very impressed.
 These two young adults were not like most of the teenagers you encounter, not that that is bad but they were wise beyond their years. Our conversations were very diverse and they had many interests. They talked about their friends, who also had some impressive abilities and interest. I soon learned these neighbors (and their friends) were “unschooled”. I had never heard the term nor was I aware of the concept. They were so intellectually curious and well read which is something their mother told me is created by this education process.
 I had a great trip back home, learned a lot, and found myself telling several others of these bright, courteous young adults. If everyone has this type of outcome with such a non-traditional approach, perhaps this model should be used more extensively in educating our children.
 I was glad I had the opportunity to learn about this and get to know my neighbors a bit better.”

When you hear your truth spoken out loud it serves to prove all sorts of things to yourself.  Both to the kids and us, as their parents and partners in this life, it seems evident that the choice to live an unschooling lifestyle has been the best choice we have ever made; so very very easy to see why.  It’s why we are able to so confidently speak our truth (all of us).  I set up this blog for that very reason, as my purpose,  but it makes my heart so glad to see my children accompanying me on this advocacy path, seeking to inspire, encourage and help others to find their truth.

Love, Light and the Courage to always speak your truth . . .

the Tabangays

*To hear the whole story in how the opportunity manifested, you can check out this post.

Uncategorized, Unschooling

Our personal Neverland . . .

In the last year, Trystan’s love for nature has really grown.  From trekking barefoot through the forests of New Hampshire, to foraging for stones in the natural waterways of New York, to swimming and kayaking,  to building survival forts from only what the natural surroundings provide, to climbing (and sitting a spell, I might add amidst) the trees on our property, I love to be a spectator of it all!

As a self-professed “tree-hugger”  his connection to the trees especially intrigues me.

Just yesterday, I got this magical shot of him in the tree and I couldn’t help but think back to when he was a little boy mimicking his favorite hero, Peter Pan.

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And then, today, it occurred to me that there may be a parallel that can be drawn between the fictional character of Peter Pan and most radical unschoolers.  Mind you, I take a relaxed approach from J.M. Barrie’s depiction of the character (more narcissistic and vain) and present more my take, my perception of the character; the essence of Peter Pan, if you would.

So . . . Here are my thoughts:


~Peter Pan is all about enjoying himself.  Always having fun, always laughing. He famously said “to die would be be an awfully big adventure” but he first says “to LIVE would be an awfully big adventure”.  Unschoolers live a life with that sense of adventure.  With a view that life is to be cherished and enjoyed. That we are here to make the most of it, see the fun, don’t take things too seriously.  Living is learning! It is a natural by product of digging in and embracing each moment we have.

~While there are certain boundaries and laws to be abided, for the most part we  live a life of freedom and spontaneity.

~We live our lives with less fear.  I think this is for two reasons:

One-Having their natural inherent desire to learn encouraged and stimulated rather than squelched (as unfortunately it can be in the public schools system), unschooled kids love to learn.  My experience has been that when my kids want to do anything (play an instrument, learn to play a game, forge a sword, you name it) they become avid self-sufficient researchers, equipped with the feeling that there is really nothing they can’t learn if they only set their mind and heart to do so.  In reference to my kids, I recently had someone refer to them as “incredibly intellectually curious”.  I think that term so adequately describes so many of the unschooled kids I have the pleasure to know. With their desire to learn intact and the freedom and space to learn what they want to the extent they need and want,  they are afforded knowledge and with a better understanding of things, their courage is amplified.

Two- from the very beginning, unschooled children are given the message that we are perfect as we are, that all we will ever need is already within us, and we are encouraged to believe in ourselves. Peter Pan may be seen as being cocky but perhaps he is simply confident.  With our confidence intact, we are able to live life more courageously.

~People tend to think of Peter Pan as being reckless and irresponsible but I think it takes great responsibility to run an entire island, lead an entire band of lost boys yet still manage to create a sense of community and comradery.  And then, let’s not forget the great ingenuity it takes to outsmart Captain Hook.

Unschooled kids are incredibly self-sufficient and contrary to what some think, are very responsible.  They also make great leaders and yet because they are encouraged to see the world as a community they can contribute to, they are also excellent team players.  And I have yet to meet an unschooled kid who hasn’t blown me away with their creative thinking and ability to outsmart any situation.

A few of my other favorite quotes I think so aptly apply to the unschooling philosophy:

“Dreams do come true, if only we wish hard enough. You can have anything in life if you will sacrifice everything else for it.” 
J.M. BarriePeter Pan

“The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease for ever to be able to do it.” 
J.M. BarriePeter Pan

“Never is an awfully long time.”

J.M. BarriePeter Pan

“I taught you to fight and to fly. What more could there be?” 
J.M. BarriePeter Pan and Wendy

And finally this:

Peter Pan’s story is one based on the magic of our dreams, the fantastic places we can go in our imaginations and the belief that dreams are real.  Neverland, itself, exists in the realm between sleeping and waking.  In the movie Hook, Tinkerbell tells Peter (who incidentally has now grown up): You know that place between sleep and awake, that place where you still remember dreaming? That’s where I’ll always love you, Peter Pan. That’s where I’ll be waiting.”

I can’t speak for everyone’s household but in our household, we encourage each other’s dreams and promote the thinking that our dreams should be something we reach for, that we can be living our dreams right now.  Our dreams can indeed come true and that the sky need not be our limit!

Unschooling

Treading the path from activism to advocacy . . .

is not always an easy task.

“All Truth” copyright Amber R. Tabangay 2014 all rights reserved

I shared something on my facebook wall yesterday that prompted a discussion and was for the most part met with opposition. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised as it was ultimately my intention (not to receive opposition but to garner a discussion).  I had wanted to open up the floor for discussion but what ensued ultimately did not please me, made me feel kinda ‘icky and embarrassed, actually.  It made me doubt myself, my convictions and my very truth, as I knew it in my soul.  It seems that as of late, as I become ever more the activist and advocate, I am met with this same reaction.  When forced to examine my intent I find this:  that part of me longs to get people to open their eyes, view a different perspective, my perspective, a perspective I feel is vital if we are ever to really see a change for the better.  But it is just that; my perspective.  Even if my intention is also this: to promote a family life led with more peace, freedom, love and respect for all.  It is a noble intention and all of those things, good things, but I realized today that in treading the path as an activist/advocate one must walk a very thin line between inspiring others to change and ultimately forcing your truth upon them.

I have in recent years become someone who is very passionate about speaking my truth ultimately because I feel my truth has benefitted my life immensely.  My desire to educate others about the benefits of the radical unschooling/peaceful parenting philosophy is because I wish to see others benefit as I do. BUT, my truth is really only my truth and it is not my place (nor my will, I now see) to push that truth onto anyone else.  This is where I, as an advocate and activist,  must find a balance between sharing what I feel is a valuable perspective and my need to change the world with respecting the place and the truth of others.

When I seek to define those terms and where I fit into them more accurately here is what I find:

An activist is a person who campaigns for some kind of social change. When you participate in protesting against something, you’re an activist. Someone who’s actively involved in a protest or a political or social cause can be called an activist.*

As a noun, advocate (AD-v?-kit) can mean a person who represents someone’s interests. It can also mean someone who supports or works toward a particular course of action, as in “an advocate for civil rights.” The verb advocate (AD-v?-kate) means “to argue for” or “to publicly recommend”*

As an activist, I can stand very strongly in protest against something.

But as an advocate, I will surely stand very strongly in favor of/for something.

My facebook post yesterday was written  from the position of an activist.  I referenced an article that I felt portrayed and encouraged the wrong sort of parenting. It was another one of those articles focusing on the need to “put your foot down” and be tough with your kids.  It may have been presented in more of a light-hearted manner but I felt cloaked the bigger issues of the need to control our children rather than simply guiding them.  It was the old “be the parent, not the friend” argument with the notion that if you were to be seen as the “mean mom”, you were most certainly doing something right.  It was definitely something I was against.  And so as the activist I protested.   I posted the article link with this simple phrase: “I sincerely hope that this is not for real. . . Where is the LOVE?”

I got three comments.  All in support of the article.  The first person asking what it was I found wrong with the list as she was 100 percent in agreement with it.  And after sharing my views in a comment, two others responded in opposition (though maybe slightly in my favor in some things, I couldn’t tell).  And this has been my experience before.  Being someone who feels so compelled to change the world for better, it can be hard to take.  After sitting in the hurt for a bit, considering  putting my advocacy/activism to rest, and even entertaining the idea that maybe it doesn’t even matter what I do, I  put my ego aside and I asked myself why that was.  Why was the response negative when I had set out to instill positive?  I think I know why.

Posting in the activist role, I had put myself up against something.  I made the statement with my actions that I was in opposition.  I thereby attracted opposition.  I chose to stand against someone and rightfully what I got then, was people responding against me.  Of course, I received negative.   I put myself in the position of negating someone else’s truth and attracted exactly what I should have.

So, what if I were to  instead take the advocate’s role? What if instead of stating all the reasons I was against something, I had simply refrained from linking to the article and taken the opportunity to share all the reasons my truth is my truth, shared all the positive things it has brought to my life? Instead of playing the activist against something, what if I played the advocate, in favor and for something?

Your truth is your truth and while you have every right to believe in it, find solace in it and ultimately to share it with the world, your delivery in doing so makes all the difference.  The deliverance may just be what determines how it will be received.  My intention is to impassion others but not rile them up. My goal is to inspire change but not at the expense of raising others up against me or worse yet, intimating that their truth is of no value.  Besides, in speaking your truth isn’t it most likely that there will always be others who will not see it as such and no matter what you do will oppose it in favor of their own truth as they know it?  This does seem to be the opinion of many of whom I would consider to be history’s great thinkers, so perhaps there is something to that.

“All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.”~Arthur Schopenhauer (German philosophist)

“All great changes are preceded by chaos”~Deepak Chopra

“Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocrities.  The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary.” ~Albert Einstein

“You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.” ~Winston Churchill

I hope that the words of these men can be found to be true.  It fortifies me to believe that though initially I may find my truth opposed, I can still make a difference in sharing my truth.

OR PERHAPS it is more aptly and simply this:

“If a man does not keep pace with his companions,
perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer.” ~Henry David Thoreau

Maybe, it ultimately doesn’t matter what you do.  The music you hear or the rhythm by which you choose to live your life may always just be that, your music, your rhythm, your truth.  There will always be others dancing to their own beat.  That is their right just as much as it is yours.  It means that whenever you dare to strike out and dance your own dance, and especially if it is a unique dance, you will be noticed and opposed by the masses who seem to all hear the same exact beat, a different beat from yours.

And so we come back to THIS:

“When you dance to your own rhythm, people may not understand you; they may even hate you.  But mostly they will wish they had the courage to do the same.”~unknown

There will always be those who refuse to join us in our causes.  I accept that but since I don’t see myself giving up the dance as activist and advocate, now maintain that if it increases my odds of reaching others and promoting a positive change,  I will tailor my deliverance of my truth in the best way for it to be received and perhaps understood.  On this path, my task is to be at peace with that opposition I will still no doubt receive.  And to remain focused on the support I gain from those treading the path with me; those who hear the same drum beat, those with whom I share the same truth.  The opposition will surely not stop me from speaking my truth.

Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”

~Dr. Seuss

It no longer suits me to be the activist pushing others to see the errors of their ways and make a change.  Rather it is my continued hope that, as an advocate, I will encourage those already on this same path and perhaps inspire others (perhaps even those against me) merely by my positive words and actions.  It is my hope that in sharing THIS, this imperfect piece of my humanity and struggle, I have already done so.

As always,

LOVE and LIGHT

Amber

UPDATE-

After sharing the above and then thinking on it a bit more I was reminded of something, a little something that I think if I were to keep in mind,  would help this process along . . .

The Second Agreement (according to the Four Agreements by don Miguel Ruiz)-

“Don’t take anything  personally.”

“When you take things personally, then you feel offended and your reaction is to defend your beliefs and create conflicts. You make something big out of something so little, because you have the need to be right and make everybody else wrong. You may also try hard to be right by giving them your own opinions. In the same way, whatever you feel and do is just a projection of your own personal dream, a reflection of your own agreements. What you say, what you do, and the opinions you have are according to agreements you have made– and these opinions have nothing to do with me.”

This is totally how I felt when that little debate occurred on facebook.  This is not how I want to be.  Looking back on it, I see now it wasn’t even really such a big deal but it was important and it was necessary in order to be able to come to this place where I stand now.  It is, like most everything we encounter, a learning experience and an important step in my growth. That little encounter has led to such an awareness in so many ways.  And in turn, growth.  From activist to advocate to human being.

 

 

 *definitions taken from the following site: http://www.vocabulary.com/

Uncategorized, Unschooling

It’s the Little Things (a tidbit share of our daily life)

Little things I love about what this lifestyle affords us . . .

When you don’t expect someone to do something for you, when you don’t take advantage of the other person, when you recognize that everyone does their part, when you show respect you get respect, when you show appreciation you get appreciation.  An example that seems so small but means so much: Trystan had put some bagels in the toaster oven and while he was focused on playing his game, the alarm went off. I happened to be in kitchen so I decided it’d be nice to take them out for him and butter them up, put some cream cheese on them.  When I took them to him he was so appreciative and said “ah Mom, you didn’t have to do that.”  He was totally sincere.  And knowing he didn’t expect it of me, I felt more motivated to do it for him.  I knew he would appreciate the gesture and he felt loved/looked out for in that instance.  It’s a small thing but it set the tone for the whole day.

Both my kids are pretty self sufficient.  They have been taking care of feeding themselves for a few years now.  Both decide for themselves what they want to eat, make their own smoothies/green drinks, cook their own breakfast and lunches, help out with dinner.  As far as cleaning goes in our house, just as they are responsible for their own hygiene (keeping their bodies clean) I have only ever told the kids that they are only responsible for their own spaces (their rooms).  They have always made the choice (both of them) to keep their rooms tidy.  We have found (and discussed) that  physical clutter tends to lead to mental/emotional clutter; we all feel much better, more at peace when the house is in order. And so for the most part, it usually is.  But when it’s not, that’s okay, too. It’s always only temporary.  It is a system that works for us beautifully!

I have a friend who would say “This life rocks!”  I would have to agree.  Wholeheartedly! There is much evidence of that in my home every day.

Our life is awesome!

Here’s to the little things!

Amber

*I actually wrote up this post months ago and for some reason failed to share it. As of today, I also have this to share.  Further proof that when children are given freedom and respect they come to things on their own.  And knowing that they are motivated out of love and appreciation means so much more than if they had been forced or commanded to do something, or worse threatened with punishment or shame if they hadn’t.  And so, here you have it . . .

Both of my kids decided on their own, that in a effort to help out more, to ease some of my workload here at home, they have taken over the chore of doing their own laundry.  Their perspective: They are old enough to do it themselves, it’s good for them to have that skill and it helps me which makes them happy.

Uncategorized, Unschooling

Lessons in kindness . . .

Thank you memecenter.org for this fantastic image. I think I just might make one of my own one of these.
Thank you memecenter.org for this fantastic image. I think I just might make one of my own one of these.

Last night was one of those nights where as my head finally hit the pillow, I felt that instant release of pure exhaustion and then immediately after total fulfillment. Last night I drifted off to thoughts of how truly wonderful and miraculous our world is. And this morning as I think on yesterday, I feel just generally awesome. Too good to keep it to myself and so here I am. I must share!
It started with a conversation with my mom. Sitting with our coffee in the quiet of the house, the summer breeze flowing in through the windows, it was one of those many memorable conversations that seems to flow so easily between the two of us. I mention these details because it sets the tone for how I was feeling in the moment; gratitude. Grateful for the warmth of summer, for my comfy jammies, my cozy home, my favorite coffee in my favorite mug and for the friendship I share with my mom, the ability to talk so openly about the deeper things of life, to share our perspectives.
One of the things we discussed is how random acts of kindness, no matter how small they may seem, are so very powerful. My mom has taught me, by example, some really good habits. One of them just happens to be the practice of showing kindness to others, from a smile to paying a compliment to stepping in to help someone in need. Traveling, as I have been lately, has afforded me many opportunities to do just that. I was sharing with her, a few examples of these instances and we both agreed: these random acts of kindness, small or big, have the power to make a difference in not just the lives of others but yours too. You never know who just may need that extra boost of confidence or just how much your offer of help will restore someone’s faith. It costs nothing and the rewards are priceless.
Yesterday, I saw the power of those thoughts made manifest and I learned that kindness not only begets kindness but it is entirely contagious.
Just a few hours later after that coffee talk, my mom called me from our workplace (we both work at the same place) and said there were two elderly ladies who had stopped in for a rest. They had been shopping in town and were on their way back home (walking) when they were overtaken by the heat. They needed a ride and she asked if I would come get them. I grabbed up my keys and shoes and headed out the door. Of course I could do that.
The women were so taken aback and so so grateful. I would say they even felt a little guilty and I hate that the present human condition breeds such a feeling. Why should it be that we feel so guilty for putting anyone else out, why should we feel that we are not worthy of such treatment, why is it kindness for our fellow man is such an out of the ordinary concept? But it is and that is exactly what makes these random acts of kindness so powerful.
We settled in, and got to visit just a little on our short trip. And when I pulled up at the first little lady’s house, she was insistent I not get out and help her to the door. It was difficult for me, but I respected that and then I sat back and watched as something pretty incredible happened. As she was ascending the steps of her porch, I could see she was struggling and just as I was about to exit the car to help her, another young woman came jogging past. Just beyond the house, she stopped short and doubled back. She held onto the lady as she made her way up the steps and then opened her door for her. Joggers/Runners will tell you it’s very important not to break your stride and yet here she did; a random act of kindness on her part. In that instant, I realized: kindness is contagious.
The little lady turned and with a big smile on her face, she waved at us in the car. We had helped her and she was grateful. I was touched. I then took the other lady home (I regretfully never got either of their names though I swear they must have told me.) and then back home for me.
As I pulled into my driveway, I noticed my 94 year old neighbor (a few houses down) sitting on her front porch alone. I was intending to get back to some “stuff” I was doing when I got the phone call. Okay, I’ll be honest I was binge watching a new show on Netflix and was just two episodes away from seeing how it ends and I was a bit eager to get back to it but I felt really motivated to go check up on her. I vowed I would go sit with her and spend however much time she needed and I felt really good about doing just that. I was about to head over when I had the thought that I would be extra nice to bring her some flowers from my garden. I quickly wrangled up a bouquet and headed over.
As I approached the house, I saw she was on the phone and for a fleeting moment, I considered turning around so as not to interrupt but I had the flowers so I proceeded. My plan was to quietly hand them to her and walk away but as I climbed the steps, she politely said goodbye to her caller and waved me onward, invited me to sit with her. I did.
Within ten minutes, she told me that she had been having a rough time. Her niece, more like a daughter to her was very ill, had suffered a stroke two weeks prior and was not doing well. She was wrought with worry and the fear that she would not recover. Though she knew in her heart, it was what was best, had even prayed before bed that whatever was best would come to be, she was struggling with having to say goodbye. As she spoke and I listened attentively (thinking to myself she needs this, this is why I am here), her phone rang. She answered and within seconds, she cried out “Oh no! No!” . Her niece was gone, had passed in the night. I sat in quiet support, offered my hand and she held it as she spoke on the phone. When she hung up she turned to me and said she was so grateful I was there with her when she got the news. And she was amazed that just out of the blue had decided to bring her flowers. How did I know it was just what she needed and at just the right moment? I can’t rightfully say but knew I had to follow my instinct, listen to my heart. We were both grateful I did. What seemed a random act of kindness turned out to be so much more.
But there’s more to this story!
During our visit, another neighbor of ours (my next door neighbor) had been out working in her garden when it occurred to her also to bring flowers over to our elderly friend. She brought them over, took them into the house and then sat with us on the porch for a bit, as well. This was the second time that day, I witnessed my act of kindness being followed up by another.
And so why should I be surprised when in the course of our conversation when I mentioned that I was trying to work out a strategy to pick up my kids from our friend’s home in New Hampshire, she offered to pick them up for me. She has a home there, just happened to be going back to her home there tomorrow (today) and would be happy to bring them back to New York, upon her return. I had been stressing about how I was going to manage and in that instant felt totally relieved, this was my answer. And quite possibly my reward; a random act of kindness returned to me.
Even if it seems completely inadvertent at times . . . Kindness is contagious. Kind energy cannot help but attract kind energy. Kindness begets kindness.
Let us always BE KIND!
As always love and light . . .
Amber