A few months ago when my mom and I went on our trip to Niagara Falls I decided to really pay it forward. I overheard an older couple at the table next to us telling the waitress it was their 52nd anniversary. They were so sweet and eventually the man started talking to me directly. I just loved their energy and they seemed so sweet.
When I went to the bathroom, I gave the waitress my credit card. I asked her to add an additional dessert to the card and give it to the couple once we left. I rushed my mom out after lunch and we happily congratulated them on the way out the door. I didn’t tell them it was me, and I’m not sure what their reaction was or if the waitress let them know who paid for the dessert.
Sometimes it’s not about the reward, but the act itself. For me it was and is about love and kindness. Something in them reminded me of my grandparents (who’s 61st anniversary would have been this year). They seemed so special and I wanted to let them know there was a little love in this world on their special day.
This got me thinking. I love paying it forward! In B-school there is something called Pay it Forward Friday and we often exchange services or give love (I answer yoga questions). In my own life I leave gifts and cards and have been known to pay a meter or two. I buy coffee and bake bread. I overextend. I lend. I hold hands. I give.
There are days when I feel tired of giving because I feel I’m not being given anything in return. Those are the moments I call a friend, thank God for all my blessings and re-center around an attitude of gratitude. It’s part of the reason I wrote Magical Monday’s because each week and each day or moment is a blessing. I am in awe of our world and have so much appreciation for everything and everyone in my life.
With all of this said, I have decided to retire Magical Monday’s this year in lieu of something new. This blogs 2nd anniversary is in 2 days and today is the first of November: a month of gratitude. I have decided to make a shift that I believe is equally important and exciting.
Magical Monday’s is dissolving and in its place is Free Love Friday. Each Friday I will count my blessings, but also document my little moments of paying it forward. Some weeks it may be a video, or only photos while other weeks it will be an essay format. I want to do this for a full year: November 1st to November 1st to cultivate a powerful community around paying it forward. Hopefully my project will span other projects and ideas and we will all continue to spread joy in this way!!
Without further ado, I present to you my first Free Love Friday:
* Opening the door for a pregnant mom wheeling her 3 year old in the stroller
* Staying a few extra breaths in a bind so one of my students could have a breath in the pose
* Encouraging others during class & in the Power Your Spirit Challenge
* Feeding the meter in Waltham after a delicious cup of coffee
* Buying coffee for the person behind me
* Calling Grandma just because I love her
* Creating new family traditions, asking my mother in law for lots of help, getting family & friends involved in our cross-cultural life!
* Telling the lady on the phone from the RMV to “Have a great day!” and really meaning it
* Holding a friends heart from miles away & praying for her family
* Hearing about my family paying it forward (le sigh) and paying for others coffee
* Stopping by the church rummage sale to say hi to Gram & then learning hey raised $1200 for the church!!
There is always someone who needs your light or you smile. Continue shining & consider joining me on this year long adventure of gratitude, paying it forward & a TON of LOVE!!
Get out there – do yoga & make life sparkle!