YOU Matter

YOU Matter - A Five Day Expose`Of Your Significance (Part 5) Do Your Surroundings Reflect Your Worth?

If you'd like to catch up on the previous 4 parts of YOU Matter, you can check them out below...

YOU Matter - Part 1
YOU Matter - Part 2
YOU Matter - Part 3
YOU Matter - Part 4

Let's get on to our final (and my personal favourite) YOU Matter - Part 5!

Do Your Surroundings Reflect Your Worth?:

Welcome to Day Five of YOU Matter!

It's our last day of diving into the many reasons why YOU matter, and your absolute importance as a worthy human being.

Today I'm going to chat about one of the things most dear to my heart.


Your home is the external validation of YOU. It's the one place you truly get to let your personality run rampant and feel completely at ease.

It's there to support and nurture you as you go about your day.

It has a simple strength and power to contribute to your life and how you feel.

Are you making the most of it? Are you creating your rooms in a manner appropriate for someone who matters (YOU)?

Do you treat your surroundings with the respect they deserve as an extension of YOU and your own worth?

“Wherever you live is your temple if you treat it like one.”

The Importance Of HOME:

As you know if you've read The Creed, I believe creating a home that nurtures our soul is a vital part of creating a life well lived. It doesn't matter how big or small, old or new, makeshift or stay put, trendy or kooky your home is.... what matters is, that for the time you're there, you feel safe, loved, nurtured and comforted.

Yes, home (wherever or whatever that may be) is only a physical space, but I think that having a place to belong, and a place you feel welcome and happy is paramount to emotional well-being.

I don't think it's coincidence that even primitive men and women who lived in caves painted on their walls and decorated them. As humans, most of us seem to have a yearning for making the space around us pleasant to be in.

As someone who matters, you deserve your home to be the most supportive and nourishing soul space it can be.

Home is a name, a word, it is a strong one; stronger than magician ever spoke, or spirit ever answered to. Charles Dickens.

You Are Enough Without The Stuff:

'Things' can become a big part of our lives. We become attached to them, and sometimes 'fill a void' with them. I've moved over 25 times in my life (mostly after I started university), and I currently live with my partner in a small unit with minimum space. I've learned over the years that too much 'stuff' is not conducive to a mindful life, and sometimes even masks and papers over whatever unhappiness I may be trying to deal with at the time. I have items I adore and would never part with, and that's okay. But I've also parted with some items I was supremely attached to for various reasons..... some of which became evident after counseling for a particular type of trauma.

Stuff is interesting, intriguing and encapsulating. In itself, it has no power what-so-ever.... and yet we give it power by transferring feelings and emotions to it. It's way too big a topic to get into deeply here, but suffice to say, you deserve more than being controlled by your stuff (in case that's how you're feeling).

Here are a few fabulous articles from Leo (this guy rocks when it comes to de-cluttering and what sits behind it), about how to deal with clutter.

Rules for getting organized and decluttered - from Zen Habits
Using gratitude to cure the impulse to buy more stuff - also from Zen Habits

“Discover sacred space in the midst of the ordinary, and realize that the ordinary has been extraordinary all along.”
(Victoria Moran - Shelter For The Spirit)

An Homage to HOME - The Creed:

I mentioned The Creed above, and in case you haven't read it yet, here it is reprinted below. I believe it's worth reinforcing/summarizing all the things I believe 'home' is. None of these things conform to any trend or third party ideal of what your home should be. It's all about YOU.

YOU are worthy, and therefore you deserve a home that expresses your worthiness in a way that speaks to you.

The Creed - an homage to HOME.

I believe HOME is so much more than just a shelter... it is an extension of the soul, a representation of the people within, a repository of personality.

I believe HOME is a safe, nurturing, supportive and happy place, where all who abide there feel 'loved' and 'free'.

I believe HOME is a soft place to fall, a welcoming place for family and friends, an incubator of dreams.

I believe HOME is not held to anyone's standards but our own. There are no expectations, no 'we must keep up with the latest fads', no feeling bad if we don't have lots of money to spend on it.

I believe HOME is a melting pot of ideas, emotions, laughter, pets (cats anyone?), people, books, colour, music, conversation, scents, tastes, texture, pattern.... what-ever it is that makes your house a HOME for you.

I believe decorating HOME is more about the 'gut' and the 'heart', than what's 'in' and what's 'out'.

I believe HOME is the champion of our unguarded moments.

YOU deserve a champion, and you have one within your grasp... it's up to you to make it your own.

* Here's 'The Creed' in a printable version.


You can download this version, along with the image quote and affirmation featured in this post by clicking on this Day 5 YOU Matter freebie (no strings).

“The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.”
(Maya Angelou)

Today's Take-Aways:

  • Your home (no matter if it's rented, transitory, makeshift, old, new etc) can be an expression of the real you.
  • You can create a home to nourish and support your wellbeing and soul.
  • Little changes can go a long way.... a candle, flowers, a snuggly blanket, a corner to call your own, music.
  • You are worthy of a home that makes you feel happy.
  • Your home is no-ones but yours and the others who reside there. Whatever makes you feel good, is what is worth doing.
  • Simplifying things means you have less to look after and more to notice (you can see things clearly).
  • YOU matter, and therefore so does your home - you deserve a home you love.

A 'HOME' Affirmation:

To finish, here's a lovely affirmation to say whenever you want to feel comforted, safe, and loved...

A 'HOME' Affirmation.

That brings us to the end of our 5 day 'YOU Matter' expose`!

If this is your first stop, and you'd like to catch up on the other 4 days of 'YOU Matter', you'll find them here:

YOU Matter - Part 1
YOU Matter - Part 2
YOU Matter - Part 3
YOU Matter - Part 4

I hope you've found something useful and inspiring within the 5 days to help you realise just how significant and deserving you are. I look forward to seeing you here on the Blog where I'll continue to write about self care, self awareness, self love, and home inspiration (along with daydream inspiration and enchantment)!

Until we meet again,

Warmest blessings, big hugs, and a wink!

Linda. xox

PS. I've added this post to Open Slather over on One Mother Hen!

Please share!

Thoughtful Way-finding + The Garden of Gratitude...

Once or twice a month, I send out small yet mighty notes of encouragement and support. These emails include way-finding directions, cheer-leading, and ideas to make your journey better one step, one fork in the road, and one magical moment at a time. Free access to The Garden of Gratitude is also yours as soon as you subscribe.


YOU Matter - A Five Day Expose`Of Your Significance (Part 4) Are You Taking Care Of These Fundamentals?

Welcome to Part 4 of YOU Matter!

You can find all three previous parts by clicking the links below.

YOU Matter - Part 1
YOU Matter - Part 2
YOU Matter - Part 3

Now, on with today's musings....

If YOU mattered, then you'd be treating yourself well.


If you can make a difference in the lives of others (as we spoke about in Day Two), then tending to your own health and well-being is a protective shield for all the value you bring to the world.

Allowing yourself to wither or shrivel from self neglect, is like robbing the world and the lives of others of your best self.

This begs the question...

Are you providing sustenance for your mental, emotional, spiritual and physical needs?

For me, there are a basic set of self care tasks and requirements I need to focus on to get the best from myself.

These are: good food, movement, sleep (a HUGE one for me), drinking lots of water, connecting with friends and family, showing gratitude, and being mindful as often as I can.

I find if I focus on doing my best and maintaining regular routines in all these areas, my life is significantly easier and more energetic than if I don't!

Let's take a closer look at some of these, shall we!

“Self-care is never a selfish act - it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on Earth to offer others. ”
(Parker Palmer)

Are You Cultivating an Attitude of Thanks?

Gratitude is such an easy and simple way to start feeling better about what you have in your life. It's an expression of appreciation for all that is good! If you're feeling grateful, you're also practising mindfulness, because you can't feel gratitude without first bringing your attention to what you're experiencing.

Positive psychology researchers tell us that being 'grateful' on a regular basis has a significant impact on our wellbeing. Grateful people have better immune systems, are more optimistic, deal with adversity better, are more generous and forgiving, feel less isolated, and are generally just more happy!

An easy way to start being more grateful is to take time at the beginning of the day when you first wake, and the end of the day when your head hits the pillow, to consciously think of 3 things you are grateful for, no matter how small.

You can find the desktop wallpaper below featured among other lovely wallpapers here. Download the wallpaper size to use on your computer by clicking on the image below.

Cultivate an Attitude of Gratitude. Desktop wallpaper to download for free. Circle of Daydreams.

The Most Crucial Pieces of The Puzzle (for me):

Let's take a look at the other crucial pieces of the puzzle... the ones we neglect at our own peril. I'm really good at neglecting some of these (especially sleep), and when I do it always comes back to bite me in the bum.



If I burn the candle at both ends, I find myself lacking in clear thought, unable to focus properly, more likely to make mistakes, and less likely to be able to be creative! Sleep gives me time to mull over ideas and process things, as well as time for my body to heal and balance itself out. I think we all neglect sleep at our own peril.

I'm actually at the peri-menopause stage and sleep is a hard thing to snag some nights, and the day after a 'poor sleep' night is always tricky for me.

Here's a lovely page (it's actually a site for selling blinds believe it or not!) about all manner of ideas and tips for sleep, and a sleep calculator. Pretty cool actually.

The app called Noisli is something I use often. You can mix and match your own soundtrack of background noises and sounds to provide a soothing all night soundtrack to your sleep. The app promotes itself as a productivity booster, but for me, its best use is as a sleep aide! I just sit my iPad beside the bed all night, and away I go!



I'm not the best at meditation (yet!), but I do love listening to meditative audios. Taking time to myself to just be, is so important. It's a way to retreat, regenerate, and renew my spirit and my energy. Even just 10 minutes sitting in nature, day dreaming, or focusing on my breathing provides such relief and refreshes my mind ready for whatever is next!

A special place I've discovered, with stacks of meditations to listen to for free, is Audio Dharma. The talks, downloads and meditations are centred around the teaching of Buddha and Buddhism. I've been interested in Buddhism for a long time, and find myself drifting closer towards its teachings as time goes on. Even if you're not interested in it at all though, this site is a huge sanctuary with resources to soothe and calm.

Also, Radio Magico has some wonderful meditation audios and info. You have to check this site out. It's terrific (I mention it again below!)

And, last but not least, Jack Kornfield's site has some amazing meditations you can begin to experiment with and use daily. These are written mantras and meditations. You can also shop for beautiful books and audios.



I suffer from chronic fatigue, and have to be very careful with my diet as a part of my maintenance plan. I try really hard to include lots of green vegetables, other vegies, simple proteins, the grains my stomach can get by on, and other simple unprocessed foods. I really know it if I eat too much junk food over too many days!

I really do believe in that old adage 'You are what you eat'. Or put another way 'You get out what you put in'. If you want a quality life, then you need to fuel yourself with quality food.



Movement (or exercise to put it more bluntly!) gives you a rush of feel good endorphins, creates mental space, and gives your body the chance to maintain flexibility, fitness, and strength.

Numerous studies have shown how beneficial it is to mental and physical health. It helps keep depression and anxiety low, and can add years to your life!! Why wouldn't you? I get most of mine from dancing, some walking and orienteering... doing things I love always motivates me to get going.

Alexandra Franzen agrees... When you 'don't have time' is when you need it most of all.



I'm an introvert, and I love my own space and time to decompress. Being in a room with lots of people can drain my energy big time, but catching up with a small group of friends is like gold. I make regular time to nourish my friendships and family connections because even though I'm a bit of a loner, I still need those connections.

As humans, we're wired to be social (so I seem to read everywhere), and especially as we get older, I think, they remain crucial to our mental and emotional well being.

Friends to share a laugh with, offer a shoulder to cry on, be there through thick and thin.... these are the things I value, and they do too!



As I've mentioned before, I think we all need to make time for moments and activities that bring us joy. I believe they're vital to anyone's best life. And, as YOU matter, you need and deserve these things.

Something that sparks joy for me is music! I couldn't live without it. If you're looking for some wonderful background music to stream whenever you work, try this site and click on the Radio Magico box. Music 24/7 whenever you want!

You can also download the app for free.

The music ranges from zen, to dance, to relaxation.

Amazing sounds!

“Self care is not selfish or self indulgent. We cannot nurture others from a dry well. We need to take care of our own needs first, then we can give from our surplus, our abundance. ”
(Jennifer Louden)

Today's Take-aways:

  • Taking care of yourself first is not selfish.
  • Everyone benefits when we nurture ourselves.
  • Focus on the fundamentals.
  • Use resources to support and help your self care.
  • Be kind to yourself, and pamper yourself!

Top Resources To Use:

I look forward to seeing you for the final 'YOU Matter' in our next installment! 

Linda. xox

The Mini Jumpstart To YOU Experience

The Mini Jumpstart To YOU Experience is a free, 5 day, inbox gift to help you 'reach for the real you' and ignite your dreams. Each day comes with a beautifully designed mini guide booklet containing prompts, activity sheets, clarifying questions, printable quotes, and journal scaffolds.
It IS possible.... you just need to begin.

Please share!

Thoughtful Way-finding + The Garden of Gratitude...

Once or twice a month, I send out small yet mighty notes of encouragement and support. These emails include way-finding directions, cheer-leading, and ideas to make your journey better one step, one fork in the road, and one magical moment at a time. Free access to The Garden of Gratitude is also yours as soon as you subscribe.


YOU Matter - A Five Day Expose` Of Your Significance - Part 3

Welcome to Day Three of this 5 day expose` of why I think YOU Matter!

Click the links below to check out Days One and Two if you missed them. The videos alone are well worth it in my opinion!

YOU Matter - Part 1
YOU Matter - Part 2

Let's get to it...

Are You Making Joy A Priority?

You treat you friends and family well because you love them and want the best for them. They matter, and so you prioritize and attend to them.

However, as YOU also matter, I'd like to ask 'How often are you prioritizing yourself? How often are you paying yourself attention? Doing for yourself the things that bring you joy, just as you do things for others?'

As someone who matters, (and as you're the only person who has absolute and direct control over YOU), it makes perfect sense to prioritize yourself first and foremost. Treating yourself with reverence, respect and compassion means you're better equipped to live your best life, and by association help others live theirs.

It's a win/win all 'round.

“The most important relationship in your life is the relationship you have with yourself. Because no matter what happens, you will always be with yourself.”
Diane Von Furstenberg

I'm a big believer in the 'life truth' that taking action before you feel like doing something leads to great results anyway! Starting to de-clutter or beginning a work project you've been procrastinating about is always the hardest part. If you wait until you 'feel' like it..... you'll never begin.

There is never a right moment. There can always be an excuse.

BUT, if you take a leap of faith, and trust that once you start it will all be okay, it's amazing what can happen.

I think treating yourself as though YOU matter (when you don't feel like you do), sits very well with this concept.

Loving yourself more, doing for yourself more, nurturing yourself more, being gentle and compassionate with yourself..... begin, and you will start to feel like 'more'.

Basically, if you don't already think YOU matter, act as though you DO matter, and you'll start to feel as if you do! 

>>There's a lovely activity further down the page to help you with this. It has a downloadable sheet to go with it. If you carry it out, you'll be well on your way to loving yourself more! <<

Ways To Act As If You Matter (Because YOU Do):

For me, one of the best ways to serve up self-respect and self-love, is to make sure I get enough time to nurture who I really am. Time devoted to tending my inner flame and spirit. I'm not talking religion here (although for you, that may fit beautifully), I'm talking about those moments that bring you joy. The ones where time flies by and you get lost in the flow of what you're doing.

I'm also talking about taking time to pamper, nurture, and plain old take good care of yourself...

When was the last time you gave yourself the luxury of doing something special just for you?

Simply because you wanted to?

Because you love it?

And, did you do it with no guilt? Without feeling selfish and terrible for treating yourself with so much importance?

If there's one thing I've learned over time, it's that taking care of myself as if I'm a seriously important person is paramount to experiencing life to the fullest, as well as connecting with others in the most fulfilling way.

I don't mean turning into a narcissistic egomaniac who's unaware of others' feelings and lacking in compassion for anyone else... that wouldn't encourage any type of meaningful relationships. I believe kindness, empathy, and general decency are the touchstones of any life well-lived.

But, after nearly 52 years on this amazing planet, and many tutorials by the 'Universe' in the form of life lessons, I've come to realize that self-care, self-nurturing, and self-love, allow me to sculpt and maintain the best version of myself.

And, creating and growing the 'best' version of myself not only has benefits for me, but for everyone in my life. If I show up for others fully present, feeling centered and at ease, happy in my own skin; then I'm giving them more than I'm capable of if I'm run-down, tired, and worn out from trying to do too much.

Taking time-out for myself reaps so many rewards.

So, what is it you love to do that you haven't done lately?

What can you do that will nurture your soul, soothe your worries, inspire your mind, open your heart, and just make you feel darn good?'

I'm talking about really simple things.....

  • Taking time out to sit at the beach, watch the waves roll in, and wriggle your toes in the sand.
  • Spending half an hour sitting in the sun with a favourite magazine and a cup of tea.
  • Snuggling in bed for an extra hour with a good book and nowhere else to be.
  • Buying a bunch of beautiful flowers to bloom in your home.
  • Taking yourself off to the cinema to catch a fabulous movie.
  • Indulging in a long, hot bath with your favourite bubbles and a candle.
  • Spending time writing in your journal or creating something.
  • Getting a manicure, a pedicure or a massage.
  • Giving yourself a facial, including a face scrub, a mask, and a moisturizing treatment.
  • Cooking your favourite meal or baking your favourite cake and savouring the taste.
  • Sitting quietly with your pet and giving it a cuddle or a pat.
  • Walking through a beautiful park or amongst some wonderful trees.

Time spent doing simple things you love can rejuvenate your mind, body and soul; and give you the opportunity to replenish your inner well or 'life-force'.

The next time you're running around doing things for everyone else, stop for a moment, and plan to do something for yourself.

You deserve it - totally - and so do your 'significant others'.

YOU matter.

Putting yourself first when it comes to self-care and nourishment leads to a win-win situation for everyone. YOU get to feel happier and healthier, and your nearest and dearest get the best YOU possible.

“It’s not selfish to love yourself, take care of yourself, and to make your happiness a priority. It’s a necessity.”
Mandy Hale

The Big List Of Little Loves:

Anyone else here love making lists? I'm a list maker - big time. I love making lists about all sorts of things. It helps get my mind sorted, and feel more in control. Sometimes I finish a list and cross everything off, and sometimes I only get a few things crossed off.

But, there's nothing more satisfying than putting a line through something on a list I've been meaning to do for a long time.

(I'll let you in on a secret.... Sometimes I put things on the list I've already done just so I can cross them off and give myself a mental high five!)

Today we're going to be making a really important list.

This list is going to form the basis of an ongoing activity that's going to help you squeeze more moments of joy into your life.

I think it may be one of the most important lists you ever make.

Before you start, you're going to need a sheet of paper (pretty paper would be wonderful), some pens or textas, a pair of scissors to cut the paper up, and a pretty storage box or envelope.

You may even need more than one sheet of paper if you think of lots to write. In fact, I'm going to ask you to think of 100 things (if you can), so I'm hoping you need many sheets of paper!

You can also use this downloadable list template to make it easy!

Let's go:

I want you to think of as many things as you can that are only little, but are things you LOVE, ADORE, REVEL in doing.

Simple little things that give you pleasure.

For example:
♥ having a coffee with friends
♥ sitting under a tree in summer reading a favourite book
♥ having fresh flowers in your room
♥ smelling and eating freshly baked scones
♥ drinking a glass of ice cold milk
♥ going for a leisurely stroll
♥ reading the newspaper
♥ completing a crossword
♥ stretching luxuriously
♥ day dreaming on the sofa
♥ taking a mid afternoon nap
♥ flicking through a favourite magazine
♥ sketching or drawing
♥ building a sandcastle
♥ finding shells on the beach
♥ looking for feathers
♥ playing cards with someone
♥ feeling a summer breeze against your face
♥ watching a butterfly
♥ going on a lazy drive and visiting shops you love
♥ patting your dog or cat
♥ going to the movies
♥ drawing or painting whatever comes to mind
♥ playing a board game with your family
♥ getting into a warm bed in the middle of winter (I love my electric blanket)
♥ listening to the crickets chirp on a fine night
♥ playing in the sand at the beach
♥ rolling down a hill
♥ swinging on an old tyre attached to a rope
♥ seeing spring blossom start to come out
♥ digging around in the garden
♥ eating chocolate
♥ running your fingers through a tin filled with buttons
♥ changing the cushions around (that's me all over)
♥ dancing - anywhere
♥ making a 'spider' (lemonade and icecream - yum)
♥ listening to your favourite music
♥ tickling your children
♥ riding your bike on a beautiful day
♥ swimming on a warm day
♥ karaoke..... whatever tickles your fancy and is something you LOVE (or used to love).

These should be small things that don't cost much (if anything) to do or experience. They can be things you can do at home (or in the garden), and things you do outside your home. They can be things you used to do when you were little or a teenager, but don't do anymore (but you know you loved them back then).

It doesn't matter if they're crazy things (like getting dressed up in a weird costume and having a party with your grown up kids), or things that others wouldn't find 'soothing' (like playing Dungeons and Dragons with a group of fellow enthusiasts)... this is about YOU, and the things YOU love.

Now, I want you to write them one by one on your paper. Leave a space between each one and write them fairly big, because you're going to cut them out.

The orderly among you might like to rule your page up first (or you can use this pre-ruled and downloadable page), and then write your suggestions in the boxes. It'd be great if you could come up with at least 30, but 3 times that much (and more) would be great!

You might write a heap, then come back later and write some more. And, then later on again some more etc.

I'm really serious about this. Get down as many as you can. Stretch and challenge yourself.

This list is what I call your 'Big List Of Little Loves'. It's a list of all those things we love to do, but many of us don't find time for. Things perhaps we used to do, but just haven't for years. Things we maybe did in a past part of our lives, but don't seem to squeeze in enough now that we're super busy and all grown up doing super busy and all grown up things.

Once you've written them all down, I want you to cut them up, and put all of them in your pretty storage box or a nice coloured envelope. (Or you can leave them all on your downloadable sheet and choose from there if that's easier)

Now, the fun part!

At least twice a week, (but daily would be even better), I want you to pull a slip of paper out of your box or envelope (or choose one from your sheet), and then make a space in your day to do it. If it's not possible that day, I want you to write a time in your diary, or scrawl on your calendar, and commit to making it happen as soon as possible.

I truly want to emphasize this.... commit to doing it by putting it in your calendar if you don't have time right at the moment.

Make an appointment with yourself - and keep it!

In fact, I give you permission to use your 'little love slips' multiple times a day if you so desire. Take a lucky dip and do whatever comes out! Keep a journal about what you do and how you feel about these things. Share some ideas with your friends and get them to do it. Paste your little love slips into your journal when you've completed each 'mission'.

The idea is to have fun!

When you've completed your activity, you can tick it off (if it's on your sheet), or maybe glue your cut out words in your journal or on a 'I Deserve This Because I Matter' inspiration board!

Most of these things don't take a huge amount of time. They can be dropped into your morning, lunch hour, coffee break, or evening. If you prioritise your own joy, you will make a space to carry out your latest prompt!

Let me know how you go. It would be wonderful to hear what you get up to.

Today's Take Aways:

  • Prioritize your own joy to create a WIN/WIN for everyone!
  • The more stress and overwhelm in your life, the more you need to make space for YOU time.
  • Fitting more joy into your day may only take a moment, but can have lasting effects.
  • Try to treat yourself to simple pleasures on a regular basis....little, often!
  • Having FUN is important, and you need to make room for it.
  • Taking time for yourself is nothing to feel guilty about.
  • Print your 'Big List of Little Loves' freebie and commit to using it (or your own lovely slips of paper)!

I'll see you soon for Day 4 - a pivotal point in this exploration.

Linda. xox

PS. I've added this post to Open Slather over at One Mother Hen!

Please share!

Thoughtful Way-finding + The Garden of Gratitude...

Once or twice a month, I send out small yet mighty notes of encouragement and support. These emails include way-finding directions, cheer-leading, and ideas to make your journey better one step, one fork in the road, and one magical moment at a time. Free access to The Garden of Gratitude is also yours as soon as you subscribe.


YOU Matter - A Five Day Expose`Of Your Significance - Part 2

Welcome to Part Two of this 5 day expose` of why I think YOU Matter!

*You can catch Part 1 of YOU Matter here if you missed it.

Let's get to it...

You Can Make A Difference:

You can make a huge difference by just being you. What you bring to the world is your own uniqueness. You don't have to be famous, rich, well educated, or look like a model.

It doesn't matter how old you are, where you live, or what skills you're capable of.

We all have the capacity to bring something beautiful to the world. Small actions can change the lives of others in ridiculously profound ways.

“You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want.”
(Zig Ziglar)

For the last 4 years, I've been part of an organization called Rotary International. We volunteer in various ways, and strategise about how we can raise money to help others locally and all over the planet. Just yesterday, I got up at 4.30 am to help run a catering station at a massive event organised by the club. I had to be on site by 5.30 am, and my shift ended at 11.00 am. The tent was full of volunteers giving their time to help raise funds for beneficiaries in our community.

Now, I am NOT a morning person. I've always been a night owl. But, the joy I got from being a part of something bigger than myself, for the benefit of those less fortunate than myself, was undeniable. The fact I have a bachelors degree didn't matter. My age didn't matter (there were people in age from teenagers to 70s helping out). Where I came from didn't matter. The fact I could stand and cook bacon at a massive bar-b-cue for several hours was what mattered!!

No matter how you feel about yourself..... lonely, overwhelmed, fed-up, joyless, stressed.... I find helping others is like a shortcut to happiness. It makes you feel good. It makes you feel valued. And, YOU are.

As the free desktop wallpaper below so aptly states...... (click the image to download it as a wallpaper)

Actions Are Free:

Your influence on the lives of others can be astounding. A kind word just when it's needed. A smile for those whom smiles seem absent. Really listening to someone who feels invisible.

All these things are free to give, yet can make a huge difference to a person at their lowest ebb, someone who's losing hope, a stranger who's looking sad.

As a teacher, I know what the children in my care value the most is my interest in them. My willingness to form a relationship and be curious about their lives. Truly holding their gaze and listening while they tell me about their ideas or difficulties.

By letting them know THEY matter, it means I matter in their lives. I can do something of worth.

Never forget that YOU matter!

Action is the greatest way to demonstrate this. Everything you do has a consequence, and the consequences you kick-start for others can grow the tiniest of ripples into a wave of goodness.

Read this profoundly moving article by Alexandra Franzen (please do), for a story of how the simplest of things (getting your hair cut), can change your life. This will not be what you think.

We are the ones to profit. Rumi. Circle of Daydreams.

Little Acts Of Kindness Can Be Done By Anyone:

Here are two gorgeous videos from You Tube. I've used both in my classroom (and yes, they're both a bit cheesy), but I think they're just as pertinent for we grown-ups as they are for children (the message is still a good one). The second is actually an ad, but is beautiful none-the-less.

Now, I'm not advocating you need to give away money like the Thai guy, because you can make someone's day without that. I'm also not advocating you go above and beyond and exhaust yourself. That would simply defeat the purpose.

But, I am saying that little acts of kindness can be carried out by ANYONE. And that means you!

Feeling good about ourselves is so often about what we can actually do for others.

And, you never know when your smallest of actions, will result in something lovely and ongoing. What seems small to you, may seem almost like a sign to others. Perhaps we should all envision ourselves as 'wearers of the vest' (see the first video link above).

“You cannot hold a torch to light another’s path without brightening your own.”

Even something as simple as telling someone they matter to you can be momentous. As a teacher, I try to do this with my students.

Check out the video for how this can play out with kids (from the bottom of my teacher heart - please watch it)!

As a parent, how utterly thrilling for your children to hear this and feel the truth of it.

As a friend, how delightful and heartwarming to hear these words from another.

Simple things, simple actions, do matter. You can do and say these things, so YOU matter.

Today's Take-Aways:

Until our next installment, remember...

YOU matter.

Linda. xox

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?”
(Martin Luther King Jnr.)

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