Today I experienced one of those Universal headslaps that really makes you stop and go “hmmmm”.  It all began last night when I decided that I was too lazy to fix my breakfast for today, but as I’d been waking up earlier lately, would just do it in the morning.  I woke up to Dylan curled around my head, purring and washing my face, and could have happily stayed right there, but knew I had to get moving so I got up.  While getting ready for work, I decided that I’d treat myself to Jamba Juice this morning.  This thought in mind, I finished getting ready and headed out the door to the Jamba Juice in the mall.  What a surprise I had when I pulled on the door and it didn’t move!!!  I then looked at the hours on the door and found that I was 10 minutes early.  No matter, I’d go to the one near my office!  As the freeway was a mess as a result of an early morning accident, I took the prettier back way which took longer than a clear freeway, but since it wasn’t clear, probably a quicker and much nicer drive anyway.  Pulling into the driveway for the Jamba Juice near my office, I saw the homeless man (or one of them) who typically stands at the end of the drive.  And that’s when it hit me!  When I got to Jamba Juice, I ordered two instead of just one for myself.  Handing it to him as I headed to work, I noticed that he didn’t seem to have teeth so the Jamba Juice was probably a much better choice than a sandwich or something which needed to be chewed.  So, Thank you, Universe, for giving me the opportunity to do something kind for someone else!  I only wish I had done a better job of acknowledging his thanks, and maybe, wished him a nice day.

Now, I don’t think the Universe was really very subtle about it either as I followed a Food Share truck part of the way to work.  Sometimes, my friend, The Universe, is so subtle I just say to myself “I know you’re trying to tell me something, but I just don’t get it!”  But clearly, this was NOT one of those times!  I am being strongly encouraged to make sure that I truly make this holiday season a season of giving to those who are less fortunate!  I also heard a Toys for Tots commercial on the radio, and when I walked into Jamba Juice, there was a big collection box.  OK, Universe, I get it!  If you recall, I ALWAYS get something for Toys for Tots!!!  Why would this year be an exception?  I’d already planned to pick something up when I was at Costco for gift cards tomorrow.  I promise!!!!

As I re-read what I’ve written, it hits me that I have been meditating on kindness lately as I truly want to be a kinder person, and have many shining examples of kindness in the amazing women I am blessed to call “friend”.  In the tradition of “ask and it is given”, the Universe has heard me and is really making it easy for me to start practicing kindness, one small act at a time.  I’m also finding that when I start to have a critical thought about someone, I’m finding it easier and easier to, at the very least, throw imaginary confetti, but in many cases, to find something kind or complimentary to think about the person instead.  Slowly but surely, I’m clearing the blackness from around my heart, and further opening it up to the love and goodness that I know is out there!  But as it is a slow process, and one I need to focus on every day, I know that I must be diligent if I want to evolve.  Thankfully, I have my daughter to pull me back in line when I start getting cranky and judgemental. 

Tonight at dinner, a young boy jumped ahead of us in line at Souplantation.  My immediate reaction was that he was very rude and his parents should be better about teaching him manners.  It was Heather who noticed that his parents were, indeed, keeping an eye on him, but there seemed to be something going on which caused him to behave as he did.  I am so grateful that she looks beyond the surface and is a compassionate young woman.  I can stand to learn from her in this regard!  Granted, she has as little patience with screaming, whining, out of control children as I do, but she isn’t as quick to judge and be annoyed as I am.

We had a very nice walk with Gwennie, though she definitely needs some retraining.  She gets very excited and pees all over herself a lot!  She tends to pull to hard on the leash or stop suddenly to sniff things, but the kids are working on getting her back on track with her training.  She gets lots of walks now, and tonight’s was so enjoyable that I know we’ll make more of an effort to take her on these longer walks so she’ll be a little bit calmer when she gets home!  It also gives us a chance to chat without the distraction of other people, telephones, televisions or other electronic devices.  And this time of year, there’s the added bonus of being able to admire the neighborhood Christmas displays. 

And now, it’s time for Chanukah.  Though the latkes will wait until Christmas this year, we have candles to light and presents to open!  The fun begins, and I’ve barely gotten started with my wrapping!!

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful to be learning the lesson of kindness and for being given opportunities to practice.
2. I am grateful that I have the resources to help others in need, be they the two footed or the four footed kind.
3. I am grateful for long walks with my kids and grandpuppy.
4. I am grateful for a quiet end to a long, busy week.
5. I am grateful for the abundance I enjoy, and the ability to share it with others freely.

Love and light.

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