• The JOLO Lifestyle Blog

The Secret to My Success and Why I Want To Share It With You

I know, I know! It's been a minute since I blogged but life has a funny way of keeping me busy. No excuse can take the place of us connecting and I get that but I have been slightly pre-occupied and for good cause.

So, here's the thing. I like to practice what I put out there and practice I have been!

I am totally obsessed with gratitude! So much so, that I have been consciously practicing the act of paying it forward. True to my personal form, I don't just practice, I take it to a whole new level. I take it to the Success Level!

Some time ago, I met a gentleman at my nail salon and he told me the most inspiring story about himself, but he also told me about a reoccurring nightmare he kept having. He's sitting around a huge table with all the people he has ever met in his life. There's an overflowing amount of food on the table but no one can eat it because their arms do not bend; leaving everyone helpless to feed themselves. You see, no one at the table has elbows...only straight arms. The only way they can eat is by feeding each other.

Wow...just Wow! I told him that was not a nightmare, it was an epiphany! He simply smiled at me.

We continued talking about acts of kindness he's done and the inspiring moments that followed. He told me story after story about ways in which the universe delivered unspoken messages to him. His act of generosity and kindness were rewarded back to him in ways that seemed unreal. His stories were endless, each ending with a spontaneous event that somehow benefited him in unexplained and unique ways. Some people might question the fact that good continues to grace this man simply because good things happen, as do bad. Others may even call it an act of coincidence but when these events happen often, can coincidence really be the explanation?

The encounter was something straight out of a Twilight Zone episode. I mean really, it was like something that only happens in the movies. I told him I had just finished writing a book called Lush & Luxe; Powered by Positivity and right then and there, he ordered a copy from amazon directly off his phone. I offered to give him a personalized copy as an act of kindness from me, but he refused. He wanted to purchase a copy. He loved that I wrote about motivation and inspiration and wanted to support my work. As it turned out; he not only paid for my manicure that day, he also purchased multiple copies of Lush & Luxe, Protect Me Not and

Too Close To Almost. How amazing right?

His continuous stories of how he paid it forward without expecting anything in return led to me wanting to practice the act of paying it forward myself, but not just when the mood struck me. I vowed to do one act of kindness a day, just like him. Sounds difficult but really, it's not. I've been practicing this for a little over a year now and I've never felt so good!

I know that it can be difficult to start and some might be thinking that they just can't afford to "pay it forward" daily but here's the good news. It doesn't have to cost a fortune to be kind. Kaaapow!

Here's 10 acts of kindness ideas to get you started that don't cost an arm and a leg but are just as valuable!

Buy a stranger a coffee. Yup! Give a cup of Joe and enjoy someone's smile. Now that sounds boring to some but the impact is lasting. Try to be different on the coffee approach. I bought a coffee for the crossing guard near my children's school. In fact, over the past year, I've made an honest effort to get to know him as a person not just the crossing guard. His name is Harold, and as it turns out, no one has ever bought him a coffee before. Really!

Hold the door open for people when entering and exiting a building or store. Somehow this act of kindness has fizzled away along with saying thank you. #BringingPoliteBack. Holding the door open for someone is not a masculine thing to do, it's a human kindness thing to do. It literally takes 10 seconds to do. Even if you don't receive a thank you in return, do it anyway.

Post daily positive affirmation on your social media account. I use my Facebook page for this. If I can put a smile on 1 person's face a day, then I'm winning. Feel free to like my VIVOLOg Facebook page and share my posts daily to get you started. After all, sharing is caring too.

Write a chalk message on the sidewalk. #GratitudeIsMyAttitude This is an excellent way to spread cheer. Chalking inspirational quotes is a good starting point if you don't have any ideas on what to these bad boys listed below:

a) Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations

b) It's the little things in life

c) An expert was once a beginner

d) You have to start somewhere. Here is a good start!

e) If you never try, you'll never know

f) Be a Warrior, not a worrier

g) Your attitude determines your direction.

I just gave you an entire week of chalk messages. Happy chalking!

Leave kindness stones at a local park. Say what? Yes! This is a fun and creative thing to do. Gather a few good size stones from your local park and bring them home. Beaches are also great places to find amazing stones. All you need is a black sharpie marker, a steady hand and some creativity. Write an inspiring word, message, note or hashtag on the stone and if you're feeling extra crafty, decorate it with fun paints and glitter. Voila! Bring them back to the park and randomly place them for others to find, keep or just admire.

Volunteer some of your time at a senior center. Did you know that many seniors don't get visitors everyday? Don't worry about what to talk about or even how to spend time with someone you don't know. Kindness and the generosity of your time holds no judgement. Bring a book to read to them, share a magazine to look through or even start a hobby like knitting or quilting. You can even play cards, play a board game or listen to music.

Here's one of my favourite things to do. Donate clothing you don't wear or need anymore. This is not only a great act of kindness, it's a necessity to purge your closet periodically! I like to put a bag... or 10 together and donate the articles of clothing to the cerebral palsy foundation. I mark the bags with a CP and leave them on my front porch for pick up. One call to the foundation and they do the rest!

Bake a dessert for a neighbour. I'm not a huge baker but I can make an excellent banana bread. There's all kinds of magic and emotion that happens when you hand over a warm loaf of banana bread into the hands of an unexpected receiver. The feeling alone will make this act of kindness your all time favourite. Here's the recipe I use.

Preheat oven to 350

2 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup of melted butter

3/4 cup brown sugar

2 eggs, beaten

2 1/3 cups mashed overripe bananas (about 3-4 bananas)

mix wet ingredients together, then add dry ingredients

bake for 1 hour

Let cool for 10 minutes

Let someone go ahead of you in line. This act is super easy and extra rewarding. It seems like everyone is in a rush to get nowhere, and fast! I'm guilty of this too. The universe reminds me all the time to slow down so I like to call the universe out and slow down all on my own. Letting someone go ahead of you in line trains your brain to slow down naturally. I did this today, only I let two people go ahead of me. I'm kind of an over achiever like that.

Call a friend you haven't talked to in a while.

Don't text them or post a message on their social media wall....pick up the phone and call them!

The intimate sound of your voice speaks volumes. Let them know you were thinking about them and perhaps take it a step further and make plans to meet up with them.

Have fun talking!

You guys, I cannot explain the overflow of gratitude I feel. It's like I have a million little heart emoji's beating through my veins. I never knew my positivity journey would take me to such elevated feelings of joy, but here I am! I hope you will join me and start your own gratitude movement. I'm seriously living my hashtag life. #GratitudeIsMyAttitude

With an attitude of gratitude and heart full of love,