Hey sweets, I was thinking it was time for another What's On My Mind Post seeing as the last one got lots of you thinking.... and trust me, there is lots on my mind.
When you're stuck in bed/on the couch for 3 days straight feeling positively awful, you think a lot. Like... Would it be possible for doctors to take the iron out of my blood so I stopped feeling so bad? Why are kids TV shows so gross these days? How is that dog on Dog With A Blog talking - and why didn't they choose Chanel, she's way cuter?! What can I eat for lunch that's going to take minimal effort and not make me feel any sicker than I already am? When was the last time I took a nausea tablet again - 1 hour ago? 2 hours ago? 3?! Did I just watch this episode yesterday? Why isn't Jesse answering my 501 text messages that I just send two seconds ago? What am I going to do all day? Is it really 9am? It can't be 9am I've been here for hours!? Not really word vomit as it was in my head - I guess you can call it thought vomit?
But I promise you, there was actually some worthy thinking going on there too....
If there's one thing I love in life more than anything else, it's helping others. It brings me so much joy to see a smile on someone else's face - and really, by helping others I'm also helping myself because of that joy.
Lately, I've been asking myself How can I help others more? How can I be more selfless and more giving?
I'm someone who loves to do little things wherever they can. If I see a Mum getting her child into the car at the grocery store, I'll take her shopping trolley for her. If I get to Church early before the older ladies, I'll put together the morning announcement sheets. If there's an opportunity for me to help, I always aim to take it.
Above is one of my favourite quotes from the Diary of Anne Frank which is a quote about kindness, compassion and being charitable. Each day I try to find an opportunity where I can help others.
But I'm human - some days I don't find that way.
Some days I find three ways or five ways or help multiple people at once but some days I don't help anyone at all. It's not about being a saint and I'm not claiming that I'm wonderful - it's about making an effort. Because think about it - if you help one person and make their day, won't they think about doing the same for someone else?
Often, I find myself asking How Can I Help Others More?
I don't have endless resources or time or money, I'm just one person - but I can still make a difference.
Recently I decided to take on a leadership position at our Church's youth group. Tomorrow night is the first night and I'm so excited. Young kids need people that they can trust and look up to. I know my sister had a bad experience with Church youth groups when she was younger and that's part of the reason I made my decision - because I know that I won't make the mistakes one of her youth leaders did - a mistake which actually turned her away from God because her youth leader was overly opinionated and very judgmental. That's not helping - that's hindering.
Whilst I've been sick, I've been thinking up different ways I can help others more - and I'm going to share a little bit of a list with you. I'd love for you to share your own ways to help in the comments below so we can each inspire each other and get out there to put a smile on someone else's face. I promise you - it makes you feel so, so good.
As well as helping - I love to learn. I'm the dorky kid who enjoyed school classes but not the school environment, who thrived off home school courses because she got to set the pace, who wishes she could enrol herself in 101 different courses to learn new skills.
One of the ways to help others that we often don't realise is through sharing our knowledge. I'm not talking about being a tutor or teaching a class, because everyone has different areas of expertise.
It could be something totally simple - say you're a bookworm and you recommend a book to a friend or help someone navigate the library - or maybe you're a baker who can help that person umming and aahing in the baking section of the grocery store.
Take the time to help someone out or teach someone a skill you know.
Like sharing your skills, sharing your passion is so rewarding. I share my passion through this very blog - and also through sharing recipes with family and friends and making things for others.
One thing I've been thinking of lately is sharing my passion with the youth group kids - and thinking up ways that I can maybe share my love of healthy living and cooking with them one evening. We'll see!
Whether it's taking back someone's shopping trolley, picking up something someone dropped in front of you and handing it back to them, letting someone with just a few items go ahead of you in the checkout line, making someone a cup of tea or coffee, refilling the printer with paper because you know your colleague has a huge report to print out, stopping to ask if someone needs help or paying that extra dollar when the person in front of you is freaking out because they don't have enough cash.
Look out for opportunities every day - whether it's inside your home or office or outside. The opportunities may seem minuscule or worthless to you, but you may just make someone's day. It could also be sharing an opportunity with someone else. If you heard of a job position open up that might be perfect for a friend, let them know about it - or maybe you noticed a sale on vacuum cleaners and you know your friend is on the lookout.
Sometimes we just need someone to be there. To listen, to support, to hug. Venting and talking through an issue is a huge help - and we all know that knowing you have someone there when you need them is a huge comfort. We all want to feel loved - so why not give that love to someone.
Most human beings who hear this will jump to one immediate thought - money. But I'm not just talking about sharing your money, I'm talking about sharing resources. That's everything from knowledge and influence to money and tangible things.
When your friends lawn mower breaks, let them use yours. When you're sitting around twiddling your thumbs and your co-worker is cracking under pressure, give them your time. When a friend is looking for a job and you know of a position, give them a recommendation or let them know about it. If you're given more of something than you need, share with others.
Think about what you have, it's so much more than tangible things. It might be a positive attitude, the ability to fix things, an abundance of something - We all have so much more to share than we realise.
How many times have you found yourself grumpy after dealing with a grumpy person. It might have been a coworker, a friend, a salesperson at a store. Grumpy people aren't fun.
How many times have you felt uplifted by someone that was positive or hopeful or just truly joyful? Think about the power of a smile. Sometimes it's just what you need to see to make your day a little bit brighter.
Be friendly to everyone - even if they're not friendly to you. It can be hard, but being a nasty person gets you nowhere.
Volunteering doesn't just have to mean helping out at a soup kitchen. Volunteer to teach a friend how to do something that's been stumping them, volunteer to bring in morning tea at work, help at a local charity store, bake a cake for your child's cake store.
A volunteer is a person who freely offers their time to do something, so the possibilities are endless!
But tell me, how are you going to help others more?
And how have you helped someone lately?
Share your ideas for helping others in the comments below.