This is not a subject I would typically share, however, one of my goals this year is to practice random acts of kindness. Especially since I’ve been blessed in so many ways in the past couple of years. In my early thirties life was very hard, and I had a lot of inner demons. Albeit most of them internal, I learned to find the joy in life in ways I never knew existed through yoga, meditation and mindfulness / mindful grace.
After my divorce I started on a journey of great self development. My goal was no longer about buying more stuff to fill the void. It was all about finding joy in the little things, being more present and savoring moments – because that is what life is all about, finding the joy, and giving back.
As I approach 40 I’ve realized that many times we want something so badly, we strangulate it out of existence. This is visible when you take in account a couple who desperately wants to have a child and can’t, so they decide to adopt, and *poof*, they get pregnant. Like the frenzied parents, my goal to enlightenment was approached with a desperate heart. Wanting salvage for so many things, with unclear goals and the wrong emotions, I was pushing them out of existence and then wondering why I wasn’t achieving them. Then I realized the act of letting go, and being at peace with “what-is,” was the path to an enriched life – that is until I started giving back.
Now this new enlightenment did not occur over night. Financial insecurity, fear of the unknown and desperation clouded my decisions early on. But once I found peace – by way of small action, and small steps, ease and grace finally ensued. One such goal that I’ve had is to practice random acts of kindness, but I wasn’t sure what that looked like. Leave it to me to make it complicated! I planned, I researched ideas, I even kept a journal of all the things I loved and hoped to do. I even donated time at ministries, food drives, and local shelters to find out how I could give back in the greatest way. But planning without true action is like a party without cake.
In December I threw away the journal. Why on earth was I researching kindness when I knew what I needed to do? I wanted to do things that would help shift someone’s day, turn it around and make them smile. Just like my day with the mailman. I’ll never forget it. When I was 20 years old I walked up to a mail box and asked the mailman to take my letter. He was irritable and cranky, so I gave this stranger a hug and told him to have a great day. His body language immediately changed and he lightened up – this was what I wanted to give, one person at a time, through random acts of kindness. But I still didn’t know what I wanted to do, and then the answer hit me.
Yesterday while sitting at a red light a man and his dog were sitting there with a sign, “Please help in any way you can.” My heart was broken, and then I knew what I was going to do. I remembered seeing care packages on Pinterest for the homeless. So I dropped everything I was doing and went to target. For only $85 I was able to build four care packages to give to those in need, and this list below is what I included.
My hope in sharing this story is not to show off or gloat. My hope is that you will be inspired to do the same. Understand your blessings and give back to those in need. Because I am but one person, but if we join together, imagine the impact we can accomplish! So whether you offer a care package, a pair of gloves, or even a warm smile, small changes make a big impact in someones life.
Cheat Sheet for Homeless Care Packages
This is just a small list of needs that we crafted from information collected from the local food harvest, and ministries. And if you know of additional items that can be added or are in need, let me know and I will update the list!