Sunday, December 16, 2012

Sticky Note Kindness

I recently attended a positive psychology course with Louisa Jewel of Positive Matters. It was a wonderful two days, and as one might expect at a positive psychology workshop, I met some incredible people, whose stories I hope to share over the next week or so.

To begin, a story that takes place at a school in St. Catharines, Ontario. Perhaps it can remind us, although our hearts are heavy with sorrow, and aching for the families of Sandy Hook Elementary School, of what can be inspiring and transformative about school.

Early, long before the school bell rang, 20 young people set out to encourage their fellow students with 1000 acts of kindness. Although the event was meant to celebrate Random Acts of Kindness Day, there was nothing random about this at all – it was carefully planned, and one might even say in fact that it was a Deliberate Act of Kindness (which is really the best kind!).

In their own words, and pictures, here is their story…..

  1. What inspired you to do this?
Our club, Mosaic, decided to do something for random act of kindness day so we were brainstorming ideas. We were inspired by another school in our area who also had the idea to post anonymous sticky notes with compliments on them. We wanted to do something special because we felt like our school really needed something like that to happen.
  1. What was the reaction of your friends and others at the school?
Of course there were mixed reactions from the people in our school. The majority of people were in awe when they walked into school that day, and they thought it was cute.I saw a lot of people just slowly walking down the hallways, reading each different sticky note as they passed (some even took a few for themselves to keep). We got a lot of positive feedback from all the students and staff. We didn't advertise that we were the ones that did it, so no one thanked our group personally but there were posts on facebook and instagram thanking whomever did it! The only negative feedback that we got was that it was a "waste of paper", but the smiles and the compliments that we got made it all worthwhile. 

  1. Has this little project inspired you to be more aware of kindness, and to do more?

  1. What is the best thing about being kind?
 The best thing about being kind is seeing the smiles and knowing that you made it happen.


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Dak News and Interviews!

What to share first? 
Isn't that a great position to be in? I'm feeling super blessed with kindness today. I struggled with posting yesterday in honour of World Kindness Day and all, but here at Deliberate Acts of Kindness our default position is that everyday is world kindness day, kindness isn't random it is a conscious choice that inspires human flourishing.  

So to begin, we have a school board, yes an entire school board, from Jacksonville, North Carolina - Onslow County Schools - that have just received their first shipment of customized dakbands!
We cannot wait to see the stories, and travels, of all the dakbands that will connect Onslow County School children and teachers to their community and the world. When you receive a blue dakband be sure to share your story on the website!

Another great dakband story deserves some attention and page time. A few months ago I received an order for some bands from an organization called the KarmaKlub. An initiative that a couple of mothers were inspired to launch a few years ago. I thought it would be great to do a little Q & A with Julie, one of the founders. Here it is:
Can you tell us a little about your organization and how it can to be?
The karma club was formed when myself and Tanya decided to turn our kids weekly "play date" into something more meaningful. We decided that instead of playing, the kids could come up with ideas on how we could give back to our community through acts of kindness. That was 7 years ago and we are still going strong!

How did you come up with the name for your project?
I have always believed in Karma, and thought it was important to teach our kids about it. The name just came to me one day and I liked it...Karma Club, kids for kindness.

How does kindness support your philosophy?
Our motto is "kids for kindness" everything we do is based upon how we can spread kindness to others.

How did you learn about the dakbands?
I learned about DAK bands when I received one from my niece in Yellowknife. I immediately realized that it would be a great fit for our club--and so I presented it to them. (did you read that, Yellowknife!!)
Does wearing the dakband contribute to your personal outlook and awareness as far as kindness is concerned?
Wearing the band reminds me to be on the lookout for kindness in action.

Have you given a dakband away yet?
No, I have not given mine away yet--as I still need to register it!

Anything else you would like to add, please do.
We have told the kids that there will be a prize awarded at the end of the year for the person whose band has travelled the farthest. It will be interesting to see what comes up.

Thanks for everything you do. Julie

Julie, thank-you, and everything YOU and KarmaKlub do - you make the difference!                                                                                                     

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Jones Soda Kindness

It is just so encouraging when profit driven companies practice Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR – in the business marketing world). Which, really in simple terms translates as: integrity, community engagement, relationship building, and employee wellbeing. In the past few months I have come across a couple of really inspiring stories that deserve dakbands, and recently I experienced the profound effect of such corporate compassion.

About nine months ago a dear friend, Rick Hill, a member of my home church group was diagnosed with cancer. Last Saturday we celebrated his life at his funeral. He died a pop star – literally.

His beloved wife, Dena, entered a picture of Rick in a contest to appear on the label of Jones Soda. Their picture won. When the company learned that Rick had died, they provided the root beer with Rick’s label for everyone at the reception. Nuff said. Go buy some Jones Soda!

It should be noted that the picture above epitomizes Rick - shoveling snow in a kilt (sporran and all), work boots,  a leather jacket and a cowboy hat (he made that kilt himself!). How we will miss you, and your kindness.         


Monday, September 17, 2012

No More Chemo Kindness

I first met Jason when he was about 14 or 15 years old. He and my son, Kohen, became friends, united by their mutual passion for skateboarding. Jason was quite unlike any of Kohen’s other friends. For one thing, he was about six and half feet tall, had girl-long hair, and a mouth that could rival a sailor. He was also brutally honest, funny, smart, and those big brown eyes had a depth and wisdom beyond his years. He soon became number two son.
 Kohen and Jason

Admittedly, as someone who learns the hard way, he made some poor choices after high-school that derailed him in some ways, but probably accelerated his personal growth and development in other ways. He accepted responsibility, and his punishment, with his usual reflective wisdom (which his mother and I often hoped would become foresight instead of hindsight:). Little did we know how Jason’s experiences would provide him with the strength and endurance needed to face cancer.

Last Christmas, he was diagnosed with Stage 3, Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. He was 21. It had spread to his chest and abdomen. For the next six months he spent every other Wednesday in a chemo chair while a four drug cocktail slowly dripped the equivalent of draino into his veins, scouring away everything in its’ path – we hoped. I was fortunate enough to be his chauffeur on most days. And although I know he dreaded the poking and prodding, the fatigue and sickness, the isolation of sitting in that chemo chair, I looked forward to our time together in the car. We talked about pretty much everything with Jason’s frank and insightful wisdom. I’m not sure who helped who more on those car rides.

On August 15th, we made what we hoped was our last chemo drive to Hamilton. Then the waiting began. Waiting for the results of the six-month Cat scan. I find it difficult to describe in words, that tension of tempering hope with reality. I can’t imagine what it must have been like for Jason. September 5th was Results Day. On the way I asked Jason, on a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being the greatest despair ever, and 1 being the complete opposite) how disappointed he would be if he needed just a couple more treatments – just to be sure what to expect if the news was not what we hoped. Without hesitation he said, “A ten.” I wasn’t looking forward to the appointment.
Last chemo treatment
By the time the doctor came into the room all I could hear was the blood pounding in my head. She began talking about size of the lymph nodes, but ended with, “We can stop the chemo.” I’m pretty sure that’s all Jason heard. Five powerful, hopeful words. The doctor wouldn’t say he was ‘cured’, but definitely in remission! The only thing left to do was decide where to have our celebratory dinner. Jason picked Kelsey’s.
Celebration Dinner

We packed up the car with my six year, Jason’s girlfriend Dana, her son Caleb, and my son’s father, and headed out to celebrate. When our waitress, Danielle, asked us what we were celebrating I almost cried, “As of today, Jason has been declared cancer free.” Then she almost cried. A few moments later she brought out all our appetizers and explained that the manager, Brian Moore, had gifted them in honour of the great news. After dinner he came to shake Jason’s hand and congratulate him. I gave Brian and Danielle dakbands – of course. We took pictures and basked in the glow of kindness. Thank-you Brian. Kelsey’s is now our new favourite restaurant.
Kelsey's kindness

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Wonder and Happiness

A friend recently asked her FB friends to share their secrets of ‘being’ happy. This is an incredibly gifted artist wondering about the essence of happiness. She received 31 replies. I was not one of them, but I’ve been thinking…….

My six and a half year old (who recently, upon seeing a picture of me receiving my Brock Alumni of Distinction Award, remarked, “Mommy, you looked absolutely beautiful. That must have been hard work.” So I’m on fence about his kindness) asks me at least 500 50 times a day, “Don’t you wonder about…..” It could be anything: how he managed to get both legs in one leg of his shorts, how his ALL his lego ended up under the table, how he stayed in the lines while colouring, how all the webkins managed to meet at the bottom of the stairs for their staff meeting. Needless to say, wonder isn’t always the word I’m thinking. But what is amazing is that he always asks about my wonder when he is happy.

Etymologically wonder originates from the 13th century word, wundor, and came to mean the emotion associated with some marvelous, astonishing thing. The dictionary describes the verb as meaning, to be curious about. So Garrett is constantly asking me if I am astonished, curious, even marveling, about his accomplishments – about what makes him happy. And when I take a deep breath after the fiftieth time to remember this perspective, I realize that wonder and happiness are connected.

In a recent article on the Greater Good website, Sonja Lyubomirsky, professor and author of the 2007 book, The How of Happiness, reveals some of her research about happiness. Interestingly, she has found that individuals who express gratitude are likelier to be happy, and she describes gratitude as wonder, among other things. But more perhaps even more importantly, she tested whether or not kindness increased happiness.

Guess what? It does. In fact, individuals who performed different acts of kindness throughout a week experienced a greater increase in happiness than those performing the same act over and over again. I wonder how she might feel about the dakband project :) 

Here is an incredible video that expresses wonder.


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Sunflower kindness

The other morning I was sitting on the patio, reviewing photos from my trip to Scotland when I noticed some commotion amongst the sunflowers in my garden. I picked up my camera and took a few shots without really knowing what exactly I was capturing. Suddenly I saw this:

 No wonder I couldn't see him, he (or she!) was camoflaged. See if you can find him in the next pictures:

It's like Find Waldo!
When I tried to get closer he and his mate flew off contentedly full I'm sure. But then I noticed another sunflower gift:

I'd sure like to try this honey!

Find your blessing and there you will also find kindness.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Nice Hat!

As I was walking my pooché, Mojo, this morning, an elderly gentleman cycled past and shouted out, "Nice hat!" I shouted back, "Thank-you!"

  It changed the course of my day. I felt prettier, more confident, happier, and even considered chasing after him to give him a dakband; although admittedly my hat would have looked a lot less attractive squashed against my head with one hand, while the other dragged my small, white dog down the street simultaneously trying to wave the cyclist down. As I considered my options, I became aware of how difficult it was for me to simply accept the compliment without offering something in return, or even worse, deflecting it in some manner. I love to compliment people, in fact I make a point of complimenting a complete stranger every day. Yet, I struggle to accept the same gestures offered me.

Giving a compliment is certainly a deliberate act of kindness. Graciously receiving a compliment is also a deliberate act of kindness, both to yourself and the person offering the compliment. On an intellectual level I understand this, on an emotional level, well, let's just say I need practice. So I Googled, 'how to take a compliment' and this is what I found - it is great advice. Take four minutes to watch this video!

Practice today. Give someone a compliment, a complete stranger. Tell them you love their perfume, or their shoes, or whatever. Be aware of how they receive the compliment. Be aware of how their face and body language change, lights up. Be aware of how you feel. Now when someone compliments you, consider all these things and let your light shine. Just say, "Thank-you."

Here is a pic of my nice hat, and our beautiful Jaime.


Tuesday, July 31, 2012


I keep a gratitude journal. Every night, before I close my eyes, I acknowledge the moments, and gifts that enriched my life throughout the day. The idea being, that our awareness of what enriches our life is heightened by the commitment to focus on it everyday. Often my perspective shifts as I begin to reflect on what made my day richer: the riot of colour from the garden on the corner that explodes as the sun rises, the shade of grandmotherly maple trees as I run through the oppressive heat, picking sun ripened tomatoes from the garden, the inspiring intellect of individuals committed to problem solving…..finding a twoonie that enables me to buy that second doppio long espresso.

Recently, however, I had an encounter that triggered a deep and meaningful expansion of my understanding of gratitude. A window of lithe, beautifully dressed mannequins lured me into an unfamiliar store (which is saying a lot because I am really not a shopper in any sense!). Lamenting the fact that the dress might reveal a few too many bumps and lumps, the storeowner reassured me that I looked beautiful in the dress, and then graciously added, “ My mother blessed me with huge hips, and I wear that dress proudly.”

I bought the dress, and ever since I’ve been thinking about what it means to be blessed. Imagine, as a woman, feeling blessed with big hips. Blessed means: to bestow good of any kind, glorify, divine favour. Which is to say that this woman recognized her body, whatever the shape and size, as a glorious, divine, gift – and she appreciated it, celebrated it, in fact. Now, this is not a lesson in female body image and self-acceptance (although it never hurts), it is more of an insight into what it might mean to consider, each day, how we have been blessed.

Where gratitude means thankfulness, and it is good to be thankful, blessed implies a gift that we have been given undeservedly, just because we are glorious images of the Divine. All that is required is a tiny shift in consciousness from, I was cursed with big hips, to, I was blessed with big hips. The choice is ours. While I believe that recognizing how we have been blessed each day inspires gratitude, the gratitude is an outcome of the awareness that we do nothing to merit such gifts. It’s a matter of choice and perspective. A lot like deliberate acts of kindness.

In essence what I am suggesting is a reflective practice, in practical terms, of advice we have all heard countless times in our lives: ‘Count your blessings’. I imagine, as I think about it, that it was always meant to be a daily practice, to cultivate gratitude and awareness and compassion. It’s a simple shift, but an important one. I think from now on I’ll keep a Blessed Journal and nurture gratitude from the inside out.

I recently was blessed with some amazing experiences in Scotland, a country of extreme beauty and hospitality!


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Dutch Mammas

I don't usually lead with a photo, but really there isn't any other way to describe Dianne, my crazy, beautiful, sensitive - and need I say, FIT - friend of 34 years ( I might be amiss if I didn't add, Dutch).

She has too many talents to list, and I adore her for all of them. Best of all, she loves her Mama, who is equally tall, beautiful and Dutch.

This is from Dianne for her Mom.........

Like many of us, one of the ways our mothers show us their kindess and their love is through food!!  My mom is certainly one of those moms.

She knows what my favorite Christmas dessert is (her homemade butter tarts....ooooooh, the saliva starts flowing at the mere thought of those labour-intensive culinary treasures!) and she always makes sure there is a batch waiting for me at Christmas.

   Likewise, everyone in the family has a favorite food item that she lovingly prepares for each of us when we go to visit, or when she comes to visit us (cookie tins and coolers arrive packed full!) . It might be her special ribs, or her trifle, or her peach pie, or her lemon poppy seed cake, or her Cornflake cookies, or her shortbread cookies, or her pea soup, or her mincemeat pies, or her special cabbage, or her OLIBALLEN ( a Dutch specialty which used to be our New Year's Day treat) .

And everyone in the family knows that those treats get made for each specific person who particularly adores that food.   She spends hours....days.... in her kitchen in Burlington happily preparing these goodies for us.

She is a master in the kitchen.... she is a pro.  And she is such a loving, selfless mother, grandmother, stepmother, mother-in-law, wife.  I adore her for soooo many reasons, and I could undoubtedly go on, but I was asked to think of how she shows her kindness, and this was the first of many examples that came to mind.

So there you have it.... my first instalment of Betta Hoeve - The Kindness Queen.   In the next instalment, you will hear about how her worrying ways are also manifestations of the loving kindness for those who she holds dear.

Dianne Hoeve (a proud and appreciative daughter)

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Almost Party Kindness

Shortly after we turned 40, a good friend from France, Catherine, expressed (in a manner uniquely french and therefore evocative) how this milestone birthday had triggered waves of self reflection and nostalgia. At the time I was busy getting married (for the second time), moving, blending families, starting a business, and apparently, was not as self reflective as I might have been - sadly for me. However, the intervening ten years have revealed storylines that require some reflection and evaluation. Let me assure you that time flies whether you are having fun or not. Although friends and family were making celebratory plans, I asked them if I could gracefully bow out to take some much needed time for rumination. Their generosity and understanding were the best birthday present ever.

As it turns out one weekend is hardly enough to assimilate the events, loves, losses, and choices of 50 years. So I've decided to take the entire year to celebrate and contemplate. I'll share my discoveries and epiphanies here. To start I'd like to share some of the birthday kindnesses I've experienced so far.

The birthday invite to my Almost Party, made lovingly by the most wonderful, creative genius, Carolin.


 Birthday bonfire hosted by one of my bestest, most intriguing, intellectually inspired friends, Michael, and shared with two of my bestest, forever friends extraordinaire, Brian and Eileen.

Me, trying to contain all the love, adoration and gratitude spilling all over my beautiful daughter, Brennyn. She gave me two incredible pieces of art she created, during her studies at OCAD.

This is one of them.....

  Then Garrett couldn't wait to give me the "splendid" gifts he loving selected. Apparently he tried on every hat in the store before finally settling on this lovely, white number. Please note the "fabulous" colours of the accompanying necklace!

 I spent this past weekend in Vancouver, celebrating with Kohen and Jaime. Every moment was a treasure. We walked, ate, laughed, ate some more, walked some more, and words can't express how I miss them already....


 While in Vancouver I stayed with one of my oldest friends. She has always been, and remains an inspiration to me. She is an artist, a dancer, an entrepreneur, explorer and sage, but to me she is just Ainslie. Thank-you.

And to think, I only have 11 more months to celebrate (and reflect).


Monday, May 21, 2012

Jaime Love

When I invited Jaime, my son's girlfriend, partner, love, to write about her mother I didn't expect this. I was excited about her contribution because I've listened to her share stories about her childhood, and they were rich, and deep, and magical. I wanted to share that experience with you. I also know that Jaime has a relationship with her mother, Cheri, that expresses beautifully, daughter-mother love. I am incredibly moved that she included me.

Cheri, Happy Mother's Day, today and everyday.

“I told my Mom about you.” Kohen said as we walked along Union street on a crisp Autumn day in Kingston, Ontario. I remember my footing as we cleared the intersection as well as the golden sunshine slinking below the tree-line waiting for dusk. I remember everything from that moment because those words are poignant, saturated with meaning, and resonating to this day.

I have always been close to my Mother. I have always heralded her as this beacon of strength, reason, and compassion. She see’s the world in a spectacular and vibrant way and has taught me to breathe, see, listen, and experience with raw and liberated intention. She was, and continues to be, the first one I call for, cry for, smile for, and love.

I adore Kohen for the ways in which he loves his Mom. He knows what love is, and has learnt it from her. I know that we share this unshakable bond with the women that brought us into this world. Sharing this gives us more reason and strength to love ourselves and each other in ways that are amazingly positive and nurturing. The four of us, while maybe not obvious, share this incredible connection. We all call each other for support, for laughter, for consolation, and for affection. We draw inspiration and wisdom from each other. This gives us strength to put our best selves forward and to project kindness, love, and compassion onto our own individual environments.

Kohen and I know what kindness and love is because of our mothers. We are continuously learning and experiencing while practicing this knowledge so that, we too, can grow older sharing this light.
Jaime makes love feel like a beautiful blanket she has unfolded, and wrapped around your shoulders.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


To continue our honouring of Moms throughout the month of May, I have a story that perhaps has already crossed your FB or inbox in one way or another. It is about a mother's love. The other day I saw a card that illustrated how M-O-M spelled upside down is WOW......this is a WOW MOM.

I don't want to canonize Lacey Buchanan, she lives with enough pressure without the rest of us holding her to inscrutable standards, but I do want to honour her creativity, courage and beauty. She is beautiful, very much like her name, delicate and transparent. And she shows us the deep truth of true beauty - how the eye of the beholder can transform how others see.

For me, the most moving part of the video is watching Lacey's expressions. Motherhood could probably be defined through these expressions.

I hope you'll take a few minutes to experience the transformation.

You can find a great article about Lacey here, and join her on FB here.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Ainslie's Mom

My mom has always volunteered her time. As long as I can remember she has been involved with many worthwhile organizations, from church to seniors homes, and women's groups that support communities locally and overseas. Now, at 80 (something) she still volunteers. She is really remarkable that way. She spreads kindness through her service to others, lending a hand wherever it is needed.

I now volunteer because of her example, and I thoroughly love it!

Ainslie xoxo

Thanks  Ainslie for sharing.

For those of you who are not aware, Ainslie and I have been friends since high-school. Best of friends. From her days as a principle dancer at Ballet British Columbia, to her current role as incredibly successful entrepreneur and business woman (see Ainsliewear), she has been an inspiration - much like her mother Selma, whom I adore. Whenever I get the opportunity to connect with Selma, she has some wonderful story about some wonderful, exotic place just visited. These are some of the most precious gifts I think that she has passed on to Ainslie, her curiosity and adventurous spirit. I feel blessed to be part of their lives.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Celebrating My Mother's Kindness

 I don't know how it got to be May already, but the signs are unmistakable: big yellow bags dirt dotting driveways, the sounds of lawn mowers and that intoxicating smell of fresh cut grass, garden centres springing up in parking lots and early morning walkers and runners celebrating sun and warmth after a long, dark winter. And of course, signs and messages everywhere reminding us to celebrate our mothers. So I've decided to do just that, by inviting friends to write a guest post about how their mothers influenced their perception of kindness. Scattered throughout the month we'll share stories and memories celebrating these amazing women.

I'll begin.

When I sat down to consider how my own mother influenced my perception of kindness I realized that the task I'd given so many friends was not as simple as I imagined. Not that I can't think of innumerable ways in which my mother is kind, there are just too many to express easily.  I have many vivid memories of my mother extending herself to the service of others. Yet it is only through hindsight I recognize her selflessness as acts of deliberate kindness. At the time it was just my mother being herself. For example, although she had four children under 5 at home, and we lived out in the boonies, she took a course to help illiterate adults learn to read and write - then she learned to drive so she could go to their homes. She always took care of neighborhood children and families whenever there was a crisis, all the time, cooking, canning, sewing, for her own.

I'll never forget the summer we spent driving to the west coast (and back), camping (in a tent) along the way. Four kids and a car sick Labrador in a station wagon for three long weeks. Somewhere in the prairies we came across a hitch hiker, my mother told my dad to stop and pick him up - how times have changed :) Well, he must have been desperate because he spent the next four days squeezed into the back seat with us. This was my mother, she could spot a stray soul from a distance. She still can. I love that about her. I love everything about her.

And it probably explains why, at sixteen, I showed up at home with two penniless, french guys who were traveling around the world - without even a call to warn my mother that they were with me. They walked into the restaurant where I was working and I could just sense they needed family. They stayed three days (and for years afterward, we received post cards from them, as their adventures continued).

I guess my mother expressed her kindness best through family. She knows that family is not defined by relatedness, but by relationships. Thank-you Mom.

Last year was my parents 50th wedding anniversary - I love this picture of my Mom

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Spaces Between Us

I recently came across a wonderful article at one of my favourite sites, Brain Pickings. It provides an excerpt from David Goslings' book, Science and the Indian Tradition: When Einstein Met Tagore. Most of us know who Einstein is, but if you're like me, you were probably unaware that Tagore was an Indian philosopher and poet, as well as, the first non-European to win the Nobel Peace Prize for Literature. In 1930 Einstein invited the then 69 year old Tagore to his home in Berlin. Gosling calls the conversation between the two great thinkers, "a masterful meditation on the most fundamental questions of human existence".

At one point Tagore is describing how he perceives humanity and the universe as inextricably linked. He compares humanity to matter. Matter is made of tiny particles that have gaps between them, although it appears to be solid. Humanity is made up of individuals, but we are inextricably linked by relationships. Using Tagore's model it stands to reason then, that the quality of the relationships, the energy that unites us, makes us solid, gives us form by teaching us about love, values, morals, and principles of truth, compassion, and kindness, determines how we exist.

While contemplating the magic of this analogy I stumbled upon some research about social capital. Social capital was first described in 1913 like this:

"I do not refer to real estate, or to personal property or to cold cash, but rather to that in life which tends to make these tangible substances count for most in the daily lives of people, namely, goodwill, fellowship, mutual sympathy and social intercourse among a group of individuals and families who make up a social unit… If he may come into contact with his neighbor, and they with other neighbors, there will be an accumulation of social capital, which may immediately satisfy his social needs and which may bear a social potentiality sufficient to the substantial improvement of living conditions in the whole community. The community as a whole will benefit by the cooperation of all its parts, while the individual will find in his associations the advantages of the help, the sympathy, and the fellowship of his neighbors (pp. 130-131)."

Interestingly, research suggests that neighbourhood social capital helps to generate more social capital between individuals and this in turn has a protective effects against depression. Instead of a vicious circle we have a virtuous cycle. I think that social capital is the gap that makes us appear solid, whole, united. I like to think that dakbands help to generate that social capital by reminding us that we are all part of the same Universe, inextricably linked - and how we treat each other matters (pun intended).


Thursday, April 19, 2012


Okay, let me start by saying, "I don't get out much." So when I heard on the radio that Neil Pasricha was going to be signing books and announcing his number one most awesome thing- after four years of blogging and two international best selling books - at Chapters, I immediately thought, 'I can give him some dakbands', followed by, '...and wear my new shoes.' Okay, it might have been the other way around.......when a girl finds a $400 pair of shoes for $50 (yes, this is awesome!), any excuse will do.

However, I didn't consider the ramifications of standing in line for two and half hours in these babies. Let's just say that if my daughter hadn't come to my rescue with a pair of flats, so I could walk to the car, I might have become a permanent fixture at the store, unable to move. As it is, a day later I'm still limping. Taking them off was AWESOME!

And despite the pain, even the wait in line was awesome because I met some great, interesting people. Adam - who went to school with Neil's sister Nina - and I had a wonderful chat about everything from work to Belgian chocolate. I don't know the name of the young woman who in empathy offered me her chair while saying, " your shoes are beautiful"; but, I hope the shoe gods bless her. Yes, I gave her a dakband.

When I finally got to meet Neil, I was a bit delirious. I think it was a combination of the screaming pain in my feet, the fact that I hadn't eaten in about 8 hours and the arrhythmias (probably due to the previous two). I think I babbled. However, it was all worth it. I gave him two dakbands and he seemed genuinely impressed. I think that is what struck me most about him, his ability to sincerely, and generously, take a moment to connect with every person that approached his table. Picture after picture he smiled leaving each fan feeling a little more awesome than when they arrived.

 So what was Neil's 1000th most awesome thing........ check it out here