Saturday, April 15, 2017

Last but not least - day 7 of the gift bag

That's it. I've opened all the presents I was given in my gift bag from the ladies at mums church. It lasted me a week, as intended. Whilst I'm passing on most of the things in the bag, I know just how blessed I am to receive a gift of kindness like this. 
I was thrilled to have read all of this little book already (took me half an hour). It even had a lovely part in the book about Kindness. So I photographed it to share here. 
So cool. It's lovely how this group of women (who gave me the gift bag) unintentionally shared with me something so close to my heart. They shared, showed and expressed Kindness. 

I also took a photo of all then Little bible verses like I promiesed. If you wanted to use them, to make your own gift bag to give to someone, you can. Or you could come up with quotes that inspire you with kindness and generosity. 
I grew up in the Christian church and as I've gotten older I have met a variety of people from so many religions. I have also met many who don't believe in religion or believe in a god either. All these people have so much to offer me in expanding my horizons and I am learning what means the most to me. Kindness in all its forms to all people.

I've come to the conclusion that whilst I am most comfortable in the Christian faith (Specifically the Anglican Church as I grew up in its churches, & I have worked for the Uniting Church, and volunteered for the Salvation Army too), I find that the words of Dalai Lama most profound "my religion is kindness". 
I just wanted you to know that no matter who you are, where you are, what you believe, or who you pray to, that if you act with kindness and show love towards others ... we share the same values. Often this world is filled with separation, dividing us by colour, faith, country, sexuality, ability and so much more. We are all human. We bleed red blood. We have happiness and sorrow in common. We must breathe air and drink water to survive. We must eat to live. In our basic needs we are all the same. 

My want in this world is to make the world a better place. To bring kindness and understanding, hope and compassion to everyone of this earths occupants. I also know I am human. Sometimes I get it wrong, sometimes I judge people without realising, sometimes I fall short of the expectations I place on myself, or expectations others have of me. But I do and will continue to do my best. 

There is a quote I love: "Do the best you can. When you know better, do better" (Anon). That is what I am working on. Doing the best I can. Then doing better. 

Have a lovely weekend. For those when celebrate it... have a happy and safe Easter. For those who celebrate other religious holidays around this time (many of which have already passed)... may you have love in your heart and be shown great kindness by all you meet. 

Love Daena xx

Friday, April 14, 2017

Gift bag for a week

Another awesome gift was opened today. For those who haven't been following my daily unwrapping event, i had better explain what's been happening. Almost a week ago I was given a small gift bag with 7 presents in it. Each one had a day of the week labeled on them with a corresponding bible verse. 

It was given to me by some of the ladies at my mums church who knew I've been having a rough time lately. Which was such a lovely surprise. I was blessed with such a sweet kindness. It did the trick too. It's made me feel loved and supported. The church ladies have been checking in with mum seeing how I'm doing too. 

I got to open wrapper number 6 today. 
It was a spray bottle of moisturiser. I've never seen anything like it before. I am gathering a theme with the people who made the bag for me though. A lot of the toiletries have come from nutrimetics. I must admit I'm not usually a huge fan of their products. However, I feel so blessed to have received these lovely gifts. 
I want the kindness to continue from my little bag. I hope that I can pass this gift on to someone in the homeless community. I hope that someone who is struggling can enjoy this as a treat because they deserve to feel special too. I will give it to one of the shelters because they know who needs some extra TLC or a pick me up better than I do. 

I really love this kind of generosity. I feel so blessed and happy that someone thought I deserved this little bag of goodies. Kindness speaks louder than works. 

Tomorrow I will photograph the whole collection of quotes so you can use the bible verses (or quotes) for your own 7 day bag of kindness. 

I hope this finds you well. 
Love Daena x

The gift of joy

I didn't post yesterday, because I fell asleep instead. I really needed the sleep too so it was a win!!! What I wanted to share was the days 4&5 of the gift bag I got from the church ladies. If you read the last 3 blog posts you will be able to see the progression of receiving kindness. Love it. 

Day 4 was a gorgeous purple wrapped gift. 
It was the gift of perfume. I don't wear perfume so I will pass this on to someone else (or donate to the charity shop). I am blessed to have received a gift though. One that I have happily received, enjoyed opening and can now bless another with its contents. 

Day 5 was sweet too. 
  The little book and soap were very much appreciated. I will probably keep both, unless I see someone else has a need greater than my own, to which I will pass it on. I am so blessed to be given something so thoughtful. Someone  mwanted to make my day/week better and they have done that. 

Tonight I had the privilege of catching up with the lady who organised the gift bag for me. So I was very profuse in my gratitude because I appreciate all the well wishes and kindness behind the gifts. Sure it might not all be bits I'll use, but the thought behind it was wonderful. The love, kindness and consideration that went into a gift like that was very much appreciated. It makes a person feel very special. 

I hope you are all going well. A lot of people are on holidays as of now (Easter weekend here in Perth) so stay safe. Sending lots of love to you all. 
Love Daena x

Ps. I've gotten rid of 4 more items of stuff to go in the opshop donation bin. I didn't photograph them all but I'm pleased to have gotten more stuff out of my life to make more space for the activities and people I love. Xx

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

The gift that keeps on giving

 I got a week long bag of small gifts from my mums church group because I've been having a rough time lately. I don't talk about the stuff that's been happening in my life but I was having a really rough time when I last saw the ladies from church. They gave me the gift. I went to church with mum and basically spent the whole time sobbing. 

It happens a lot when I'm in churches. When I was living in the UK and was away from my family I literally sobbed my eyes out any time I went to a church including on Christmas Day. Sometimes it still happens when I'm home in Perth, Australia. It's like I feel safe in church to let myself deal with the Grief, sadness and helplessness I feel in my life. Like the church is a sanctuary for my emotions. 

Needless to say the ladies who saw me last time wanted to be supportive and help me put a spring back in my step. So they gave me a goody bag with 7 gifts, with all kinds of things in it, opening a new gift every day. It's been wonderful. 

I wanted to share what I got today for day three. Why? Because it could give you an awesome idea of what you could do to support a friend, family member, coworker, community member or even a stranger (who could use some support). 

I know a lot of the people who support this blog aren't Christians or even religious, which is great. I am so blessed to be supported by people from all over the world, with varying beliefs, customs and challenges. One thing I think we all share in common is the value of kindness. Love makes the world go round and kindness is the tool that moves earth toward a better future. Or so I like to think. 

The reason I even brought up the differences was because this kindness gift bag idea can be adapted for any reason and for anyone. Use an inspirational quote, a memory, a dad joke, or a kindness challenge instead of a bible verse. Coming from a church group the gifts that I've already photographed (that I'm opening daily) have all got lovely bible verses on them to help me keep my mind and my heart focused on the right now instead of the past or future. 

Anyway, here was today's gift. 
By far this is my favourite. 
 Oh my goodness these socks are by far the softest socks I've ever owned. I can't wait for the super cold weather to give them a go. The strawberry jam looks pretty good. Shame I don't eat bread! 

I posted my 10th postcard to my best friend since she's been in the Eastern States. I shared a while ago that I had found a HUGE stack of unused, unsent postcards I've collected from around the globe. I decided that the way to best remind my best friend I haven't forgotten her (and won't), and to show her a measure of kindness, was to send postcards to her. So I thought I'd show you that in action (I even remembered to take a photo! Wooohooo!). 
I miss my gorgeous best friend every day, coz I can't just go over and hang out, or go to bootcamp with her every week. I miss her but I'm also so glad we have our regular Skype dates and with Facebook, messenger and every other form of communication available... she isn't too far away that I can't see her at all. Thankfully! 

Kindness is simple. It could be sending a letter or postcards in the mail or giving 7 small gifts to be opened every day for a week. It can be smiling at a stranger or saying thank you to people who protect you  like police & security officers, firemen, ambos and so many more. It can cost as little or as much as you like. So long as it comes from love.

Kindness is the gift anyone can give...Please give generously today. 

Love Daena x

Monday, April 10, 2017

Seven Day gift bag: a kindness.

Yesterday I talked about the gift bag I received from my mums church group. It was such a lovely kindness because it gives a recipient something to look forward to daily.   

I opened the second gift today on Day 2. And it was just lovely to receiver two little fancy lip balms. 
Even though I won't be using these I will pass on the kindness by donating these to a homeless shelter. 

I just wanted to share this because I thought it was a lovely idea. You could swap out bible verses for inspirational quotes or words of support and encouragement. It wouldn't even matter what you have someone like this because it makes people feel special to receive it. :) I love that I can pass on the kindness too. 

What brilliant kindness ideas have you seen or heard that you have wanted to do? 

Love Daena 

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Lent gifting day 40

It's technically the last day of the 40 days of lent (even though technically Lent isn't over yet). And I have decided to give away 2 toys today. These are more pieces of memorabilia than toys though. 
These two toys were gifts to celebrate two of my three graduations. The left Owl was a hand knitted gift from my mum who gave this little cutie to me for graduating high school and the little professionally made koala (wearing Bachelor of Arts colours) was a gift for my undergraduate graduation. When I got my masters I didn't get one of the toysbecuade I didn't fly to the eastern states for my graduation. I did spend my actual graduation day wandering around in the mortarboard (from my first degree) just because I loved it. 

I am sure these toys will do more for someone else than they are doing for me at the moment. Right now they are dust collectors. They look pretty but they don't do anything for me at all. I love seeing my mums skill in the owl but the blanket that I photographed the toys on is one my mum made for me. I also have hundreds of other little bits and pieces that my mum has made, mended or imagined for me. Saying goodbye to these two toys isn't anything that I am sad about. I am pretty happy actually because I know they will make someone else smile. 

I wanted to share something gorgeous with you all too. Today my mum went to church and one of the church ladies (who have known both mum and I for years) gave mum a package to give to me. It's gorgeous. She knew I had been sick lately. The last time she saw me I was sobbing all the way through the church service. It was a bad day for me physically and emotionally. All kinds of bad crap has hit me all at once. So today she sent me a "care package". 
I love this kindness idea. It's basically 7 gifts, something to open every day,  for a week, to make you feel like you are love and appreciated. I wanted to share because it is such a gorgeous idea for any friend, family member or coworker who is sick or going through a hard time. We could all make little bags like this and give our kindness freely. 
The message you attach could be anything you want. Encouraging the receiver. The first parcel I opened, for Day One, today was the red package. 
 It turned out to be a gorgeous Vanilla Bean candle. I love vanilla so it turned out very well indeed. 
I felt really honoured that the little group of people at the church had thought about me enough that they decided to gift me one of these little care packages. It was beautiful. I feel very special. I felt like I had been seen and heard. I feel like I have friends at the church mum goes to because they knew I needed a reason to be happy and then they did something that makes me happy. They shared their kindness and generosity. 

This quote struck me today and I think it sums up this act of kindness perfectly. 
When you act with Kindness you are a HERO to me. ❤️

I hope this finds you all well. 
Love Daena 

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Lent gifting day 38 & 39

Sometimes we have great plans and sometimes it just doesn't happen. 

I've been working really hard to post daily but it didn't quite go to plan yesterday. Yesterday I took my niece down to the park and when I was there I got the starting of a migraine. My sister thankfully was on her way from work so she was able to swing past and pick us both up and take us home. 

By the time I got home I was nauseous and by the time I had had a chance to fill up my water bottle and make sure I had an ice pack I was vomiting. Great topic of conversation, I know. Hehehe. I then proceeded to sleep from 5pm to 11.30am when I was taken to the doctor and then back to bed until almost 6pm. I had basically spent 24 hours in bed (excluding the time I was at the doctors). 

Needless to say, by this evening I felt much better, although not 100%. But I got sick and tired of being in bed so I got up. I Had dinner with my family, watched some tv (fairly quietly) with the adults in my family and played a game of cards with my brother in law. All with my sun glasses on! 

Even though I was sick I didn't forget I had to do two days worth of blog posts. I'm making it short and sweet today because I need to. 

Yesterday's giving was another toy. 
I've had this "baby" doll for as long as I can remember. But I don't need it anymore and I know there is some little kid out there who will love her like I did when I was younger. So I think she would be in better hands than mine where she can be loved and appreciated. 
Today's act of kindness and gifting is also a toy. A "Big Bang Theory" kitty cat called "soft kitty". When you press its paw it sings the soft kitty song that Sheldon makes Penny sing when he's sick in the TV show "Big Bang Theory". See the clip below. 

I was actually given two of these toys a couple of years ago. My niece loved one so much that she used to use it all the time when I didn't live with her. She would crawl into the guest bed with the Soft Kitty and play it over and over and over and over again. The batteries almost died in it from being played so often. She loved it and it apparently reminded her of me. So when she was feeling bad she would climb into the bed I used and hug my toy. Kind of cute. But since I've been living in the same house she has been hugging me and not the toy so it's time to give it up. 
  I gave one away a few months back. But I thinks it's time I pass this cutie off as well. If my niece got some much out of it when she was younger, someone else will love it too. 

I want to make people's lives better. If by giving away some of my stuff I can do that then I am thrilled to. 

My Lenten gifting is not my only act of kindness in the 40 days of lent (which ends on Palm Sunday) but it is one that I feel comfortable photographing and sharing. Sometimes I do kindnesses anonymously so I can't share them here without giving myself away. Sometimes I do kindnesses that other people know about so I can share them and I do here or on Facebook. Sometimes I don't tell anyone because it's not something that I could share without sharing personal information or share something that isn't mine to tell. Kindness is also shown in my discretion.

But the lent gifting I can share because I is mine. I can show you what I'm giving away because often I don't know who it will end up with. I have no attachment to who gets it or where it goes. It is also something that I am giving up for the benefit of another person, group or community. What better Kindness can I do that giving away something every day in Lent? And tomorrow is the end for this "game". Although technically each Sunday during lent isn't counted so it really ends on the Thursday before Easter. Tomorrow is Palm Sunday and the beginning of what the Christian church calls Holy Week. The beginning of all the events that lead up to the crucifixion on Friday and the resurrection on Sunday. 

Even though lent doesn't end until Thursday most people I know give stuff up until Easter Sunday. So it's really a choice to how far you go. I will see how I go tomorrow I may even continue to give things up for charity until Easter Sunday just to push myself. I still have Heaps of stuff in my home that I Could regift. But if you are playing this gifting game too... please feel free to finish whenever you feel you want to. 

Hope this finds you well. 
Love Daena x