Courageous Kindness

December 26, 2010

When was the last time you took a chance and stuck you neck out to do the right thing?

Here’s the scene. You are on staff of a respectable establishment and notice him as soon as he enters the building. He stands out for two reasons. 1. Because he is carrying a cute little girl on his shoulders and 2. because he seems to be a bit unstable on his feet. He spends 15 minutes browsing around with the little girl. He completes a transaction at the counter with one of your colleagues and lifts the little girl back on his shoulders and seems to stagger across the parking lot to his car.

What questions come to mind? Do you check-in with your colleagues to see if they have any suspicions? Should we say anything? What do we say? How will this guy respond? And who’s going to speak to him?

You have until he straps the little girl into her car safety seat to make a decision before he gets behind the wheel and drives away. Do you risk embarrassment or even a possible confrontation? What do you do?

Here’s what happened. The decision is made to confront him and you’re the one to do it. You walk swiftly out the main door and across the parking lot. The man notices you behind him as he lifts his head after fastening in the little girl into her car seat. You take a breath and ask the obvious question, “Excuse me sir, have you been drinking?”

The pause after that question while the man collects his thoughts at the abrupt nature of the question might have created anxiety if you had time to imagine the consequences of all possible responses.

He replies, “No. I haven’t been drinking.” He assures you and continues to explain, ”I have Parkinson’s Disease and that makes my right foot flop when I walk.”

You reply with the conviction of your values, “If you have been drinking we wouldn’t want you to drive away with that little girl in the car.”

His eyes fill with tears as he thanks you for the courage and kindness it must have taken you to come out and check with him about the safety risk to him and his child. He is obviously profoundly moved by your caring.
____

This is true story. I know because I was the man and the little girl was my 2 year old daughter Hannah. She loves the library and we had just signed out several Christmas books including, as she calls it, a book on “Crosty the Snowman.” I don’t know the name of the librarian that came out to talk with me. But I do know one thing, that such acts of courageous kindness are what make the world beautiful place. And given the true meaning of Christmas, is much closer to a gift of love than any boxing week sale items we can score.

My heartfelt wish for you as the New Year rolls out is to celebrate life and it’s infinite possibilities for love by embracing opportunities to do the right thing and help others with courageous kindness.

Stay Blessed.

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The 4th Step

November 24, 2009

My Bubby (Bubbly Baby) Hannah was in her 10th month of being adorable when she turned away from playing on her drum to crawl towards the stairs leading up to the kitchen. Until that time she had been content to explore the area within a short crawl of where ever we set her down. Today she was on a mission, answering a calling to seek new heights, to boldly go where no baby had gone before.

To support her first expedition to this new plateau of discovery, I dutifully assumed the role of Sherpa guide and spotted her for safety. You could see the determination in her face as she approached what was to be her first ascent up seven steps to her world’s Everest summit, our kitchen.

The first step up from the base camp was the easiest. Her clear intention merged with focused determination and was supported by the good grip off the carpet. Her desire paid off. First step conquered

The second step needed a plan. What does she do now? Right hand or left to lead? With a bit of trail and error her plan paid off and she figured out a system that best supported her goals. Second step conquered.

The third step required her to bring all her skills to the task and took a bit longer. Palm flat on the step above seemed to give the best grip but her knee kept slipping back. Both hands up got the best results. She brought all her skill and talent to the task. Third step conquered.

Attempting the fourth step you could see and hear the frustration setting in as she slipped back from the first attempt. Repeated unsuccessful attempts to push up built up more frustration. Tired? Discouraged? For what seemed like 5 minutes she fussed and fretted. I got the urge to rescue her, to scoop her up and call it quits to try another day. But this was an opportunity and I believed in her and realized she had made it this far and had proven she everything needed to succeed, the desire, the strategy and the talent. At this moment, in the face of setbacks, she lacked the courage.

I went from Sherpa guide to supporting Dad and grabbed one of her favourite toys within reach and enticed her with the “you can do it” dance at the 7th and top step. I added some good old fashioned side lines “Ra Ra Sis Boom Ba” coaching and she shook off her tizzy and plopped her open palm down with all her might on that elusive fourth level. With a dynamic move worthy of photo finish she hoisted her little 25 lbs up to that step and never looked back. The subsequent steps were easily mastered with her new confidence being bolstered at every level of success. Fourth step conquered and ain’t nothing holding back this Sista!.

You Go Grrl !

I cheered and clapped as she got to the top and she mimiced my clapping for her own piece of the celebration of the best of the human spirit. I was so proud of her achievement and realized this was only one of many that I can look forward to as a parent in the years ahead.

What about you? Do you find yourself with the first 3 steps of a desire, a plan and the talent but get frustrated when the going gets tough? When was the last time you had to dig deep to conquer fear or self doubt and in the face setbacks? How deep do you need to go to find attitude of courage needed to conquer the 4th step? All the best as you master your everyday Everest challenges and may those who love you stand proud beside you.


My Future BFF

October 1, 2009

This is a story that has yet to be written. It’s about two little girls I love. They will end up being each other’s BFF (Best Friend Forever) The oldest girl just turned a year in July. The youngest is 10 months today.

Hannah and Milli BFF

Hannah and Milli BFF

The older girl is named Millicent. (Pictured on the right) It’s kind of an old fashioned name for such an independent modern gal. That’s probably why we call her Milli. She has curly white hair, not fur, and she gets a monthly haircut. She is as adorable as she is full of beans. As she cuddles so she chews most things she can get a hold of. She is house broken, mostly…!? Milli is a “companion animal” for my daughter Hannah.

Hannah’s name means, “The Gift of a Child from God.” She is our blessing because we never thought we would have the opportunity to adopt. That’s why we took home a puppy to love. As the universe would unfold the week we took Milli home we got the call with a question that would change our life, “If a baby dropped in your lap would you keep it?”I’ve been doing heart opened things ever since like this spoken word poem Click here to listen

Their  bond started when Hannah was just 3 months as she would laugh at Milli’s puppy goof-ball antics. Nowadays at age 10 month Hannah tugs fur on a remarkably patient subject and grabs away the occasional chew toy. Their story has only just begun. Milli will be there to confide in, to offer a non judging ear through troubles and to be by Hannah’s side celebrating joy and family memories. They will probably curl up together for the night when crib walls come down. As these two gals grow up together they will form a special bond, they will be best friends forever.

On October 4 we celebrate the life of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron Saint of animals. Here is a video that celebrates the joy, wonder and unconditional love of companion animals. This is your cue to hug yours now and give thanks how far you’ve gone on your journey together.


I Goofed-Up or Did I?

April 27, 2009

Have you ever goofed up and then realized it wasn’t as bad as you thought? Here are two recent goof ups.

1. I traumatized our 5 month old Bubbly Baby, aka. Bubby. I had just placed her in the bouncy seat and turned away. I heard a soft thud and cry and there she was face down on the floor beside the chair. She rolled out and tumbled down 8 inches. I was a basket case. As I comforted her startled little soul I was in tears and kept saying, “I am so sorry Bubby” as I consoled her. I completely goofed up as a Dad meeting basic needs for my child’s safety, or did I?

When I shared my mistake with friends something unexpected happened. I felt comforted as everyone had their own child safety mistake, some much more harmful. With each confession I felt like I was stepping across a threshold to join a legion of imperfect parents, who despite their best efforts, are not and will not be perfect. I felt like it was a rite of passage to the humility of parenthood. Even though I learned the obvious lesson to clip the safety straps for our little squirmie wormie I also learned something else. That I am going to make mistakes like all parents before me and after me. And that I cannot be perfect but only do my best with love.

2. I was cleaning up some files and came across an order form for one of my audio CD product’s that I sold at the back of the room at a nurses conference two years ago. Unfortunately it was marked paid but never shipped. That mistake is just plain old embarrassing. I did my best to salvage the order by writing an apology letter and included a complementary Dreamweavers DVD as a consolation. If I were honest, I added the DVD in an attempt to release some of my guilt. I take pride in being efficient I thought nothing good can come out of this blatant bungle so best apologize and move on. I completely goofed up in customer sales and service 101, or did I?

The next week I received the following letter from Maggie (not her real name). I think it’s a good reminder that no matter how bad things we think things are sometimes there’s a silver lining and good can come mistakes.

“Dear Mr. Davison:

I’m writing to thank you for the recent video you sent me on Dreamweaver’s. Imagine for a moment that you’re feeling totally overwhelmed with the events of your life and that you’re praying to God and your guardian angel to help you find a way to cope as well as understand how to move on. This was and is the case for me right now. Due to a number of restructuring and reorganizations of the health region I have been forced over the last two years to be uprooted from positions of enjoyed to ones I’ve not found the same satisfaction doing. While I strive to find the right fit for myself these last years before retirement, I often feel alone and lost.

So here I am walking home from my dentist appointment praying to find the strength to return to work the next day and some happiness in what I’m doing. I stop at the mailbox and here’s a video from yourself which relates to how I’m feeling offers some ways to cope. Needless to say Mr. Davison, I was driven to realize if you want something, and you believe in enough, it can happen. I know I am not yet in the space that I want to be but I am trying to make some positive changes toward that goal. Thank you again for completing the CD order. I guess it was meant to be late because now is the time I needed it the most.

Sincerely,

“Maggie”

Q. Has that ever happened to you, a compete goof-up that turned out good? Add you comment or confession below.

Click here to Learn more about the Dreamweaver DVD


Love Your Babyness

April 14, 2009

As a new proud Dad at the ripe age of 49, I may act as if there has only ever been one baby born. But in humble reflection every baby born is, and always has been, the single greatest celebration of the awe and wonder of creation, both spiritually and biologically

Babies represent hope and promise. Their essential goodness and innocence and simple joy at “being baby” glows and inspires poems such as, “I Love Your Babyness” shared below. So what happens? After all, we’re all just baby’s who have moved forward a few years down the path. I invite you to enjoy either versions of the poem below (spoken or read) and reflect on the babies that have touched your life. -Valuing Others

Here’s a loving (literally) challenge. -Valuing Self
Write a poem, letter, etc. that’s entitled:
“I love your (Your Name)ness”
and appreciate your Babyness, regardless of age.
Peter

Click Here To Listen to Peter and his Daughter Read the Poem

I Love Your Babyness
(Hannah 4.5 months old)

I love the way you flail your arms around
pivoting wildly from the shoulder socket
exploring the voids of space
hoping to catch an angel by her wing’s
or a butterfly
as she flutters on by.

I love your little hands,
with their dimpled knuckles.
Stubby little grabbers of all things curious.

I love the way you discover your fist,
as if every time is the first time,
and chomp down with your gum-ption
until a soother appears as a gift from the Gods above
(and I love being a deity at the centre of your universe).
Such determination and gusto.
May you always be so passionate in your pursuits.

I love the way you coo when happy,
murple when laughing,
and let’er rip when you need me.
I love how you flip from content to play to pain
and back again in an instant,
or an hour later as per your whimsy.

I love the way you muckle onto your bottle
with reckless abandon
creating a vivacious vacuum
and resisting to come up for air
like a pearl diver reluctant to leave
her treasures below unadored.

I love the way your nappy holds fast against
your concerted effort to dislodge it from duty.
I love the way you flush intense red,
your neck turtles in, and give it your all
as if conducting a big movement from Beethoven’s 5th
Hannah’s symphony in P major.

I love when we hold each other’s gaze
and time stands still as the world turns without us
and I look deeply into your beautiful brown eyes
until our two souls are content.

I love your little pout
and so sorry about laughing.
I really do take your disgruntlements seriously,
but your pout just turns me inside out
and joy creeps out through my grin.

I love the way you rub your eyes
with a loose fist when tired,
just like in the cartoons.

I love the way you sleep like an Egyptian
in eternal slumber with your beautiful cheek turned to one side
parenthesized by your arms overstretched
like Queen Nefertiti.
Such confluence of the Goddess in one little face.
I am your humble servant, your highness.

I love the way you burp before I count to seven after I sit you up from a good feeding.
I love the way you bop to the tunes, indiscriminately catching the beat.
I love the way you have way more fun than a rubber ducky at bath time.
I love the way you sigh as if you just put in a satisfied day of being you.
I love how your long lashes grace your cheek in slow motion
like a butterfly’s kiss.

I love the way my lips feel when I kiss your tiny ear
then I love the way your head smells like baby.
1 part innocence, 1 part cuteness and 1 part love.

I’d love to write down your stories
but at this point your baby words are a bit hard to spell.

I love your full body yawns and your little kerchoos,
precious miniature memories of my late Grandpy’s grander versions.

In fact, I love every breathe you take and everything you do.
I love your babyness,
because I love you.


My Baby Loves Vegas

April 6, 2009

Have you ever noticed that when you get something new, like a red two door sports car for example (yes you can!), how you start to be more aware of all the others like yours on the road. Common sense tells they were there all along but you see them because you’re tuning in to the “Red and Sporty” wavelength.

This week’s special report (in a snappy new format) is about tuning into the Dreamweavers channel that surround and support our lives. For those of you who are currently enjoying my new Dreamweaver DVD you’ll recognize how this rounds off the story of major life change # 3 that I shared.  Enjoy

I just returned from four days in Las Vegas courtesy of a speaking engagement. When I am able, I like to add a few days onto fun trips and take in the sights. The flight’s already paid for and since I am a huge fan of Cirque du Soleil fan what better place on earth to find 6 resident Cirque shows. Andrea and I saw four Cirque shows in as many days (Chris Angel – Spooky, mind-boggling and a bit contrived; O – absolutely take your breath away awesome; Beatles Love – My heart lifted out of my chest in the first minute and my soul was tickled for the next 1.5 hours and Mystere – classic modern circus celebrating the best of human creativity. We even tucked in a double header evening with America’s Got Talent winner Ventriloquist Terry Fator – We laughed till we cried.

So how’s this a Dreamweaver story? Fasten your seat belt.

I‘ve been to Vegas before. I planned a 24hr stopover on my way to present at a conference in Sacramento in March of 2006. Off the plane at 10 a.m. Saturday morning, snarfed one of the infamous all you can eat buffets, strolled the strip and experienced two back to back Cirque du Soleil shows. The awe-inspiring “O” and the rather raunchy “Zumanity.” While I walked amongst thousands of people that strolled the sidewalks of Las Vegas Boulevard there we lots of conference nametags and thought to myself would be great to be invited to Las Vegas, arguably the convention capital of North America, as a motivational speaker. That was my thought. That was my dream. Back on the plane Sunday at 10am and I presented my Everest Unsung Heroes keynote and Love Your Work breakout session on Monday March 9 in Double Tree Hotel in the room next door to the Northern California Decorative Egg convention. I encounter some interesting subcultures in my travels, but that’s another story.

Fast forward to the summer of 2008 and I answer a call from Shirley in North Dakota. She’s the leader of an organization that coordinates infant adoption training in CO, MT, ND and other States across the Northwest. Believe it or not she had actually saved my handouts from Sacramento two and half years earlier-which in itself is astonishing if you think back to what you do with your conference handouts. She wanted me to boost her team of infant adoption trainers and improve their presentation skills when training professionals who council expectant moms considering the option for adoption.

I confessed that I wasn’t a subject matter expert in this field although my younger sister Sue was adopted at age 2 (She is now 45) so I could relate to some of the issues faced by the team. We agreed and set the date and the location. I wasn’t going to argue why an organization from North Dakota was planning their event in, you guessed it, Las Vegas! But that’s not the half of it. The training took place on Monday March 9th which, if you’ve done the math, was exactly three year to the day that I set my dream intention in motion.

I could stop here with the point about believing in your dreams and what you think about you bring about but there’s more…

The story continues. Sept 9, 2008 we received the call from my sister in law about being the parents chosen for a private adoption by the birth mom and her family for a baby due in late November. Three things to note: 1. We decided to give up the old fashioned way and get a puppy. 2. We had not really considered adoption due to the wait times and 3. The sister in law did all this behind our ever lovin’ backs much to our surprise and delight. Hannah was born Nov 28 and I called Sheila and told her I take my client research seriously so I just doubled my credentials to speak to your team because we adopted a baby!

dad-hannah-twitter-sorpiseThere are many mysteries in this life including how all events align to help us manifest our dreams. Who would have imagined a soon to be dad would be honored by the opportunity to professionally support Infant Adoption Trainers & Recruiters in the good work that they do. I truly believe that somewhere behind Hannah’s 4 month old grin that my baby loves Vegas because without this piece of the dreamweaving puzzle it’s hard to tell where she would be. I can only give thanks we get to tuck her in at night.