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Courage to be of Service

Courage to be of Service

It takes great courage to be of service during difficult times. 

The current health, financial and humanitarian crisis we’re experiencing on a global level requires that we tap into that courage to face our own fears, struggles and pain in order to transform those emotions into fuel that empower us to take service-driven action. 

I hope you enjoy today’s special two-part interview and that it helps to shine the light on the great courage it takes to face your fears and be of service during difficult times.

SHOW NOTES:

Click here to learn more about Kemy Joseph & FEARS Advantage

Click here to Join FEARS Advantage Facebook Group

Click here to Watch from Stuck to Serve Facebook LIVE

Click Here to Watch How to Stop Offending People You Care About Facebook LIVE

Click here to Join our new Kind Qrew private Facebook Group

TRANSCRIPTIONS:

Welcome back PARKer! I’m Marly Q and this is Episode #19 with Kemy Joseph, again! If you made time to be kind last week, you already know Kemy, and if you missed it, make sure to listen to Episode #18 because it’s truly an enlightening conversation about how you can use your fears to your advantage.

I invited him back to give us all an update, two months later, on how he’s had to face his own fears again, in light of the racial injustice, and tap into his own courage even deeper in order to rise and be of service during these difficult times.

Some of the highlights of this conversation include talking about

· How we can experience heartbreak and inspiration at the same time

· How we can transform pain into power

· How we can pivot to serve and help heal

· How we can all leverage our struggle & tap into our courage to be of service to others.

I think you’ll be happy you made Time to be Kind for another inspiring conversation with Kemy. Let’s listen!

Welcome, welcome back to the show, my beautiful friend and PARKer, Kemy Joseph, thank you for making the time to be kind again.

[01:26] Kemy: Absolutely. Yeah, I’ll make a lot of time because especially if I get the hang with you.

[01:31] Marly Q: Yeah! And I am so excited to have you back. I mean, it’s been about two months since you joined us in our first interview together and we were both launching, I was launching my podcast, you were launching your F.E.A.R.S Advantage, you remember we both had the jitters?

[01:49] Kemy: Yeah. We were so young back then.

[01:52] Marly Q: It’s crazy to think how much has happened, not just personally, in our own journeys, in our own growth and what we’ve been able to do as a means to be of service during these difficult times, but truly what’s been going on in the world and how we’ve been able to show up. Could you please, just give us an update as to what’s transpired over the last two months for you and how you’ve been able to rise to be of service?

[02:25] Kemy: Hey, Marly, it’s so awesome to be back here again. Just reflecting, the last two months have been nuts and, you know, we’re talking, you and I have been in touch but our whole paradigm, our whole life shifted, as we were coming out of quarantine and we saw the situation with George Floyd and, you know, it just breaks my heart to see that and I think what I experience is a lot of, especially black people, experience is trauma. But it’s not just, you know, black Americans that experience trauma, we saw people of all different skin colors, experience this trauma. And for me, it snaps me back and there’s all these emotions of anger, frustration, you know, depression, like the whole stages of grief, you know, going through that and seeing it and, you know, I believe in these emotions, I can use them to fuel something, I can do something positive. In the past, I used to do very negative and destructive things, which we saw happen and where people erupted in riots because that anger was just being fueled in a negative way, was being channeled in a negative way. And, you know, for me, it was, “What can I do with that?”. And we were talking about the F.E.A.R.S Advantage, I believe in that in every situation, in the best and worst of times …

How can I use my “FEARS” to Fuel Extraordinary Actions, Relationships and Systems?

So, right away, I was like, “Okay, I got to do something.”.

And the wild thing is, before COVID began, I was talking about transcending prejudice, right? That was my jam, and it still is my jam, and then, when COVID came around, we started using the F.E.A.R.S Advantage to help people pivot their business because of the difficulty there. And so, it was– I was ready to go back to this transcend prejudice conversation, I just didn’t think it’s going be like, “Hey, it’s happening right now.”, and it’s happening after death and loss so, you have to, you know, be super careful. And I have been having way more speaking opportunities than I imagined during this time, especially in a short period of time, you know, since I saw you, I’ve been on more podcasts, live streams and webinars and received, you know, thousands of views, in a short period of time that blew my mind. So, it’s been an inspiring time and heart breaking timing where it’s hard to kind of enjoy the rise because it’s coming in loss and, you know, the doing my best to still use that– those emotions to do something productive. So, I think about what you’re saying about serving during difficult times is like, being of service is one of the greatest and hardest things to do, especially when it’s coming out of tragedy.

I love this quote I heard from Mr. Rogers that his mom, when he was looking at the news and seeing the difficulties and tragedies happening, his mom says, “But look there, there’s always helpers.”, like, whenever you see tragedy there are always– you look for the helpers, and it’s just that, that is a reminder to me that I can be one of those helpers.

[05:17] Marly Q: I think it takes a lot of courage to rise, to be of service during difficult times, and I wanted you back on the show to you know, really honor, respect, value, appreciate and celebrate you as a true PARKer, a true superhero because it’s so heart breaking what’s going on, not just for black people, it is heart breaking for mankind, to see how we’re treating each other, and it’s difficult for all of us, I think. And some people react differently, right? During difficult situations. Some people will, you know, stick their head in the sand and say, “I just, I’m overwhelmed with emotion. I just don’t know what to do.”, and then they’re stuck, right? You did a wonderful F.E.A.R.S Advantage Facebook Live on that, right? Going from stuck to serve, right?

[06:07] Kemy: Yeah, that was so wild, did a three hour live. I just needed to get it all out and you know, half of it I was crying, the other half I was teaching and it just like, you know, that one got like 5, 6000 views, like what?

[06:22] Marly Q: I’ll link it, I’ll link it in the show notes here because it was incredibly powerful. For any of our PARKers listening, that do feel stuck, but you have the heart to serve, which all of our PARKers have the heart to serve, how do you move from stuck to serve? How do you serve during difficult times? And I just, you’re the only person that I know, in my immediate circle, that just rose to that challenge, amidst you feeling that trauma and you feeling so much, you know pain and grief. How do you use that fear as fuel, right? To– how? And you did it.

[07:01] Kemy: I think that’s just it, you know, just teaching about it so much, and then just having to demonstrate it, and I think in demonstrating it, is people actually seeing that, one, I’m a man of my word. It’s like, “Hey, I told you, I’m going to do this, right? I told if I have difficulty, I’m not going to hide it.”, I want to be able to share, it doesn’t have to be perfect, these are the reminders, especially in a time, where when you’re looking at that phrase, you know, stuck. It’s like, so many people felt stuck that they didn’t want to do it wrong, and I was like, “Yeah, I’m worried about that too, I’m just going to do something, I’m going to do something that is helpful with the intention to help.”, and you know, you and I focus a lot on communication. So, you know, behind the scenes, I’m still thinking, “Alright, what do I say? What do I not say? Like, what– how do I do this in a way that is structurally supportive to people coming together?”.

And I think in that darkness, you know, people really saw that light that I was just advocating that we come together and I was willing to talk about, at least my experience with these difficult things, as opposed to shaming and blaming, like those are still my philosophies, regardless of what we’re talking about. Because these conversations have already been so divided. So, for me, it’s like, “If I’m going to use this anger, I don’t want to get angry at a person.”, well, I don’t want to get angry at all people, there’s some people I’m definitely angry at. I don’t want to get angry at all people, I want to use that anger to say, “Okay, like, how do I use this aggressiveness just to like, power through the obstacles of going online and being available to people? How do I seek information that I can then share?”.

One of the greatest tools for transforming my pain into power has been the ability to teach, like the ability to be an influencer and to like, share lessons.

Because even in the hardest and most difficult lessons, I’m like, “Okay, there’s something there that I can share, I can leverage my struggle to serve, right? Like, there’s something there that I can take away and even hopefully, save somebody from falling into the same pitfall or get out of the hole that I was just in, and that is my version of service. Like, how do I take what I just learned and give it back to somebody who’s going through the same challenge or a similar challenge that I just went through?

[09:15] Marly Q: Absolutely. I honor that so much. And I also went through, “Do I put out my podcast episodes during this time that are all about kindness and hugs during COVID? And smiles and gratitude and all of my light and positivity, while we’re going through some super dark times?”, I was really struggling with that. I’m like, “Do I keep putting this out right now? Is it the right time? Is it the right thing to say? Is that the right thing to do?”, and I just cannot be one of these people that puts my head in the sand and your three hour Facebook Live on going from stuck to serve just really helped solidify for me or remind me of my mission, is to be of service, is to be the spark of kindness, and I have to put out that light, that little smarts in the dark times and at the risk of maybe offending some people, maybe. You did another Facebook Live on how to stop offending the people that you care about, and I’ve watched them all, there’s so much value in them and I’m really trying to live the cause, and be consistent with the message because the name of this podcast is Time to be Kind, and I believe, with every cell fiber in my body, I believe that the time to be kind is always now and more so than ever right now.

So, I will not be silenced out of fear that I may be saying the “wrong thing” at the wrong time, “Nobody wants to hear you know your kindness and positivity stuff right now.”, OR, right now, is THE TIME to magnify and turn up the volume on kindness and how we all need to treat each other, treat ourselves and treat one another, with more kindness. That is the only way, in my opinion, that we’re really going to get to the root of healing, of uniting mankind. So, thank you so much for what you’re doing. Thank you for pivoting.

I mean, I joined your 30-day micro course accelerator program, thinking that I was going to create a course about planning events, right? COVID crumbled my event planning business. I’m like, “I’m going to create an online course and just start teaching people how to plan events.”, and I’m still going to do that. But I decided to pivot as well, like, “No, I want to be able to help people stress less.”, and I recently launched my course, thanks to you and your wonderful mastermind and the program and your accountability and your support and your coaching.

[11:45] Kemy: They’re super proud of you. It’s awesome to see you rise up there.

[11:49] Marly Q: I had to pivot as well. I’m like, “How can we be going through these difficult times and how can I be of service? I can try and teach people what I’ve learned learned over the past decade since our last financial crisis or last, you know, Great Depression in 2008, where I lost absolutely everything, foreclosure, bankruptcy, that. I mean, it was all gone. How can I be stressing less with everything that’s going on today with this health pandemic, with this financial pandemic, with this social, you know, humanitarian crisis and pandemic? How can I be going through this time with less stress, with less migraines, with less overwhelm, with less anxiety and still care deeply?”. It’s not like, I stopped caring, I care more than I’ve ever cared, how? I’m pregnant, and with a toddler!

[12:40] Kemy: You said, “And I got a baby on the way and a baby in the way.”.

[12:45] Marly Q: And I’m not overwhelmed by stress, I am not because I will no longer use that pattern of behavior, I’ve changed, I’ve transformed in the last decade, and that’s what I was inspired to teach people. So, I pivoted too. You were going to teach a course about Zoom and how to be, you know, engaging–

[13:04] A five-star virtual engagement plan, and that’s the wild part, I’ve been using all the, you know, the things that are in my course, right? The five star virtual engagement plan to then engage people in these conversations and Facebook Live settings and you know, we just did our six hour training and people, yeah, we were a little bit tired after it, but people were like, “Man, this was awesome. This is one of the best training I’ve been to.”, and I was like, “That’s great feedback.”, because we were also talking about prejudice online, right? There’s like, so many layers to, “We can make this happen well.”. So, I’ve just been, you know, pivoted again, we’re about to release the course, as part of our F.E.A.R.S Advantage online program, where people can have access to the Transcend Prejudice, as well as the F.E.A.R.S Advantage, because we are one of the only organizations bringing both the business development and diversity work together.

Because a lot of people will separate those two and I think that’s where the problem has become, where we only talk about diversity when things are bad, and then we’re like, “Okay, can I even talk about kindness when we’re talking about diversity?”, it’s like, why is it one or the other, right? Like, diversity can actually be an enjoyable thing to talk about as we celebrate our uniqueness, celebrate our gifts, we bring in that we use our privilege to actually help people and those are some of the conversations that we’re having and people actually enjoy it. It’s like, what a concept! People can actually enjoy talking about things like diversity, equity and inclusion, that we can make that conversation more approachable and needs to be because, you know, you and I like, we’re here again, talking about communication skills, if we just imagine that most people are at, like a level one or two, like around communication and like, emotional intelligence and self-care and then, we add, like racial issues into it, man, it like blows up the conversation.

Most people they don’t, we don’t have the skill sets to actually have those difficult conversation. So, for me, it’s like, “Let’s actually teach people.”. So, when you’re talking about, you know, the B.E.S.T. Way to Stress Less™, you’re actually teaching people how to do that.

And we don’t really take the same approach to teaching people how to appreciate and celebrate diversity, how to be inclusive, how to acknowledge different cultures, like, we are so, that’s what we’re doing. And through F.E.A.R.S Advantage, that’s exactly what we’re doing to bring this conversation around infinite walk together with Transcending Prejudice so that way people can actually create the impact they want, and the income that they want while, still serving others. And that’s that, we can get that win, win, win, that is our greatest goal, and that’s what fires me up to just think about, “Okay, these are all the difficulties.”, and I still have my guiding light of what I know I’m here to do and how I’m here to help.

[15:37] Marly Q: Yes, having that, “why”, ever so present in your heart as the fire, as the light, that compelling future, being able to see, you know, hope and opportunity, within difficult times, within crisis, within darkness. I mean, I think, that’s not just something that people are like born with, it’s really something that I think you get to teach and instill in people and practice.

[16:08] Kemy: Ooh, a lot practice. And like, when you were talking about this or describing, this is all the seeds of kindness, right? This is like, service is kindness in action, right? When we have to be thinking about how we care for people, if we truly are wanting to serve them. And that’s why even, you refer to the one like, stop offending the people you care about, originally, the title was going to be Stop Offending People, and I was like, “Is there a possibility of like, not offending someone?”, it’s like, “I don’t think so.”. I think we’re going to you know, I think that the phrase I started the video with, “If my existence offends you, then my words are going to offend you.”, right? If just the fact that I’m living my life as me and being of my skin color is offensive to you then, then, and there’s nothing I’m going to say that’s going to help. So, I’m just going to focus on people who actually, who I actually care about, who actually care about me and make sure that I’m not inadvertently hurting them, and that is kindness, where I’m like seeking, “How do I speak to them? How do I support them? How do I be around them in ways that help them feel safe, help them feel appreciated and loved?”, and those messages I’ve been following too. So, I see your posts, I see your pictures and I see the smiles around the world and you know, those things are like, “All right, those things are still possible, those things are still happening in the world.”. So, thank you for sharing your voice in that way because it affects me in a positive way to like, “Okay, that’s the work I’m working to magnify in the world.”.

[17:27] Marly Q: Thank you. Thank you. We are definitely kindred spirits and PARKners on a very similar mission, even if it has different outlets, and I’m just so grateful. I’m so grateful to have had our journeys, you know, kind of coincide, our paths cross so that we can make a great impact together. So, I’m so grateful to have been able to have you back on the show for this special first ever, two-part series here.

[17:56] Kemy: Two-part series? What? I feel honored, thank you all for listening twice. Hey, everybody out there, thank you.

[18:02] Marly Q: And I want you all to listen more so, I will make sure to include your links on the show notes so that people can join the F.E.A.R.S Advantage group, join you on your weekly lives, because they’re always, always powerful, and share them, do watch parties with people. Right now, people don’t need to be consuming negative media, people don’t need to be consuming just venting posts on Facebook. People need to be consuming messages that teach, that inspire, that engage, that unite and that fuel you with purpose to make an impact to PARK, to make a change in this world. So, thank you, again for being that person, that PARKer.

[18:44] Kemy: Get me all fired up, it’s like great, I got more life so, I got another live stream today. So, thank you for helping me getting all fired up, I appreciate you so much Marly.

[18:53] Marly Q: You got it. Talk to you soon.

[18:55] Kemy: Talk soon.

[18:57] Outro: I hope you enjoyed today’s special two-part interview and that it helped to shine the light on the great courage that it takes to face your fears and be of service during difficult times. Just two weeks ago, we started our own Kind Qrew private Facebook group to continue building our community, sharing daily resources and inspiration to ignite kindness worldwide together. We’re so excited to already have well over 100 Kind Qrew members in the group, and we’re waiting for you!

Click here to join our new Kind Qrew Private Facebook group & say hello!

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FEARS Advantage

FEARS Advantage

What if you learned how to use your fears to your advantage?

Today’s guest, Kemy Joseph, is a long time PARKer, international speaker and founder of FEARS Advantage, where he helps entrepreneurs harness their FEARS to generate Infinite Wealth™ in life and business.

Kemy joins us to share a bit of his inspirational story and enlighten us all on how we can use our FEARS as fuel to be kinder to ourselves, each other and be the spark of change we wish to see in the world.

SHOW NOTES:

Learn more about FEARS Advantage

Join FEARS Advantage Facebook Group

Follow Kemy Joseph on Instagram @KemyAwesome

TRANSCRIPTION:

Hi PARKer, I’m Marly Q and welcome to Episode 18 with Kemy Joseph. Kemy is a long time PARKer, international speaker and founder of F.E.A.R.S Advantage, where he helps entrepreneurs harness their fears to generate infinite wealth in life and business.

He was one of the very first people I asked to make time to be kind as I was launching this podcast and learned that he was starting his own weekly live show on Facebook the same day! I thought it was so awesome that we were both starting something new, facing our fears and stepping into the virtual space in order to continue our service-driven missions.

Kemy joins us today to share a bit of his inspirational story and enlighten us on how we can learn to use our fears to our advantage and be kinder to ourselves, each other and to be the spark of change that we wish to see in the world. Sit back, relax and get ready for this super inspiring interview. Let’s listen!

I am so excited to have my dear friend and PARKer, Kemy Joseph, making the time to be kind with me and everyone listening today. Welcome to the show, Kemy.

[01:20] Kemy: Yes, thank you so much for having me, Marly. And again, just congratulations on launching it, I love the first episodes, episode zero where you talk about pursuing your dream is super inspirational. So, thanks for having me on as well.

[01:32] Malry Q: Thank you, you know, not everybody takes the time to listen to Episode 0. So, I really appreciate that you did … and I kept it to five minutes!

[01:40] Kemy: Yeah, you know, we’re talkers, we’re excited; we get so caught up in our message. And so, that was also inspirational that, “Alright, she kept it under there five minutes, I can come on your show and keep it tight.”. So, thanks for the challenge as well.

[01:54] Marly Q: I love it. I love it. So, I’d like to start with just our story of how we connected because it was nine years ago and I think it’s just so awesome and it just shows the power of kindness, to really just spark not just a, you know, a virtual relationship but a friendship and a PARKnership that’s lasted, like I said, now about nine years.

[02:15] Kemy: Yeah.

[02:16] Marly Q: So, we were planning our very first large-scale event, PARK Project and our small little team of volunteers, and my brother in law said, “Hey, have you heard of Mr. U R Awesome?”. I’m like, “Mr. U R Awesome? Who is that?”. Like, “Yeah, I saw this video on Facebook and he goes to the University of Miami and he wears these signs around his neck and all he does is like high five and hug people and give positive messages and I mean, like I think he’s like your brother. You need to reach out and find this person.”. I’m like, “But what’s his name? I can’t just look up Mr. U R Awesome, can I?”. So, I went on this mission, I’m like, “Okay.”, I just put out a notice to my PARK action team, and on my Facebook I’m like, “Alright, somebody find me this person.”. And within like, less than a day, they’re like, “His name is Kemy Joseph. He goes to UM, and here you go, and he has an organization, and you guys need to connect.”.

And I reached out and immediately you were open to connect with me, and not only just have a conversation with me, but you PARKticipated in my very first 5K, on the 10th anniversary of 9/11. And not only did you PARKticipate, you brought in so many awesome volunteers with your red “U R Awesome” shirts, you were my cheer squad, and I mean, I don’t want to tell the whole story, I think I just did!

[03:40] Kemy: Yeah, it’s beautiful. Yeah, I mean, I love it. I mean, it’s been interesting to just go down memory lane and to think about our first phone call and even though we didn’t know each other, it felt like this already where it was, “Oh, my, you know, another kindred spirit.”, and I was actually hearing a call today where somebody was asking about, “Oh, is it okay to have a lot of energy?”, which is pretty much the question. They asked it differently, you know, and I just think about people like yourself, people who say, “You know what? I’m doing it, like, I’m going to be me, and people who love it will instantly be attracted to it.”, and that’s exactly how I felt on the other side of that email when we were messaging. And then, when we got on the phone, I was like, “Yes, this is my kindred spirit. Let’s go for it.”. And being able to just jump into the event and see, not only, I think you were one of the first people that I had met, who was turning kindness into service, into an ability to also give back to other people formally, like, you know, we understand random acts of kindness and doing things and that’s something I really love to do. But this point of saying, “Okay, I want to give back to veterans, I want to actually put together an event that supports other organizations.”, and all with a framework of kindness. You’re the first person I saw doing that, especially doing it successfully and bringing people together. So, I was all in!

[05:01] Marly Q: And I love it, and from that event, I love being able to, like you said go down memory lane and think back on, you know, good times, and that was then, and this is now and so much has happened between then and now in both of our individual and collective journeys in this mission to spread kindness in the world.

[05:21] Kemy: Just thinking about starting a new venture, as you are right now differently than our first venture. I don’t know if that was your first big venture like that, I know you were running your event management company before that. But it’s interesting to, just for me to think, “Oh wow, I’m talking to Marly.”, right before we both launched something at the same time, and in a similar spirit, like almost as we were doing about a decade ago, and so, what are your thoughts about that? Like, sharing these lessons that we’ve learned along the way?

[05:51] Marly Q: Well, that’s where I think is the big gift right? Of taking that initial step of reaching out and wanting to connect with a stranger in kindness, and seeing how, and staying connected after this one event and just being a part of each other’s journeys and having our little spark chats along the way where you to hear my frustrations with, just starting a non-profit and all of the challenges, you know, that come along with non-profit business. Because we both learned that, as much as we’re philanthropists, running a non-profit is a business and you need to think about it that way or it is going to eat you alive.

[06:34] Kemy: I think we could easily talk about kindness and business. I will say something I wish I would have learned back then that one of my mentors told me maybe two years ago was, you know that you can have a mission and have a mission driven business without it being a non-profit. So, some things to consider people, if you’re listening to this, like you could also have an incredible business that’s for profit, that actually gives you a chance to make an incredible impact. You’re welcome to reach out to me if you want to hear the thoughts on that, because I definitely believe in service and kindness in business, and there’s ways to do that without necessarily having to have a non-profit. So, that’s one of the first share one lesson I learned that’s, so…

[07:14] Marly Q: Yes. And I honor your transition from you know, running a non-profit into running your own, in essence, personal brand. And we both went through this journey, which I resisted for many, many years. I’m like, “This is not about me. I don’t want to be Marly Q. LLC. You know, the “Queen of Kindness.”

I’ve always thought to, you know, create events to shine the spotlight on other people, have always tried to help other organizations and other philanthropists that are trying to raise money, do so for their cause, and what I realized and I think we both realized in the journey of doing so much in service of others, is, we need to be willing to also shine that light on ourselves and the work that we’re doing in order to help ourselves grow. And the more that we’re willing to pour that self-love and kindness into ourselves, into our own heart’s desire, to be of service to people, to help others, from that energy, it flows, and it allows you to, what I now you know, call the currency of kindness; be able to give that to other people in abundance.

So, you are 100% absolutely right, I had to take a big break from focusing on my non-profit work, but I never took a break from focusing on the non-profit mission, right? And really had to shift gears and I know you had to shift gears and really focus on our for-profit business, so that we were okay, you know, financially, in order to be able to give more than we were able to from kind of an empty cup, wouldn’t you agree?

[08:47] Kemy: Yeah, and I think it’s like even the difference between a non-profit mindset and a for profit mindset. And, you know, I love what you just said there about, we’re still on mission. And I was hearing from John Gordon and John Maxwell talking about, that our purpose is bigger than our goals. And I would say our mission is bigger than our delivery system, right? So, our mission is like, for me, I’m on the same mission, I wear different shirts now, people don’t know when I used to have “U R Awesome” shirts, I’m wearing one right now. But it’s like, you know, I change the out– the external, but the internal actually has become incredibly strong. So, I think for those who are listening, and again, considering how kindness looks like in the world, it will continue to change.

I mean, I’m talking about things like, fear, vulnerability, prejudice now, but that’s the same thing I was doing in a different way when I was giving people free hugs, you know, just for me to be out there being vulnerable, dealing with things like rejection, but then setting the stage as you described, and giving people an invitation to be a part of it and say, “Hey, you can get a hug or a high five or a peaceful pound, which is like a fist bump and/or smile.”, in a way like that was learning differentiation, that was learning how to serve people in a way that they needed to be– that they want it to be served and felt comfortable being served.

And the more that I started to learn what I was really doing was serving others, I gave myself more permission to change what that look like. And as you were describing the sense of personal brand and the sense of self kindness, it was saying, “Okay, I can step away from the organization, I can step away from a project, and that project could not have been enough that, the thing I was doing, maybe I could have done better but I am enough, I am growing stronger, I am getting better, regardless of what the physical or tangible thing I’m producing in the world.”.

[10:35] Marly Q: Ah, that’s so wonderfully said, and I hope that it’s just as enriching and valuable to those listening because a big thing that held me back from you know, I see this podcast as just another avenue, another way, another event, so to speak, for me to be able to channel my energy and share my message of kindness, but it’s the same exact way mission, just in a way that no longer drains me of energy, right? And being able to be honest, and be real and grateful, while at the same time vulnerable and sharing how scary that is, right?

I mean, I let fear you know, I was dancing, slow dancing with fear for a few years before I gave myself permission to call myself an inspirational speaker, gave myself permission to step on that little red rug and become a TEDx speaker, gave myself permission to sit behind you know this microphone to no live audience and feel my voice, you know, my throat shaking and being like, “No.”, but you know what?

The mission and the purpose is greater than my fear.

[11:42] Kemy: Yeah, it’s like, it’s so funny because I have my headset in and like I mute my voice so, I don’t hear my voice as I’m airing it. So, like, I’ve had to figure out still how to work with my own fear of hearing myself as I’m doing this and I think it was, Trent Sheldon that said, you know, because he’s talking about live streaming, he does one every week, and multiple videos as well. He was saying, you know, thinking about who’s on the other side of the computer in this case, or who’s on the other side of the screen, who needs to hear that, he was saying to think about that more than my hair and whatever I’m wearing and I’m like, “Alright, I’ll balance it out. I’m still going to you know, think about my hair.”, because I still do it even for an interview that’s over the microphone. I’m like, “I still got to look good, I still want to like, feel like I take care of myself.”, and at the same time I love that focus on doing the things that are scary. And I guess that transitions us into what I’m launching on Wednesday is called the F.E.A.R.S Advantage, and I know you love acronyms, I actually texted you, like I got to text the queen of acronyms and see what her thoughts are. But really, as we’re in this world where there’s so much fear, what if we could use our fears to our advantage? Especially given, I want to give people a framework because I think you and I have danced in the space where we understand, when we talk about things like kindness, some people are saying, “Okay, okay, this is what kindness looks like.”. And we can tell people to go out and be kind, but the more specific we can be, the more people actually embrace it and do something.

And so, for me the F.E.A.R.S, they are Fuel for Extraordinary Action, Relationships and Systems. I’ll say that again, fuels extraordinary action, relationships and systems. And I just get fired up every time I think about this because in business, for example, we’re experiencing a non-profit with this conversation of trying to create wealth or just trying to create prosperity for people. And I was thinking, what if we can use fears to create infinite wealth? And I do this whole math equation. So, you have to come and see the show to understand this.

But if we just break down the words, F.E.A.R.S., F for Fuel is saying that all these emotions that we’re feeling, whether it’s when we get excited, we get the same burst of energy as when we’re getting anxious. It’s just our minds have now chosen that anxiety is not good, and excitement is good. It’s like, ‘Wait, what if I use that same anxious energy to do something I would do if I was excited?”. And so, if we tap into these emotions and say every emotion is fuel for something, we can use it to– I’ve used it in the past, you didn’t meet me at this time. But, you know, by the time you and I met, I’d been on a journey of really transforming how I was treating people, I’d been in such a negative place for most of my adolescent life that I then responded in such difficult ways and hurt people. And then, I felt like in a lot of ways I was atoning for that, around the time that I was meeting you and I feel like I’ve tipped the scale. I’ve seen the karma come around in such beautiful ways. I’m like, “I think I tipped the scale, finally, I think I’m on the–“.

[14:45] Marly Q: Oh, your karma bank is full, my friend.

[14:49] Kemy: You know, I think, and also part of that, I stopped that fear that I was feeling of like how much I’d hurt people and the regret, I was starting to use that to go even more so towards helping people and being of service. And I think that brings us to the E which is Extraordinary. And I would find so many like, people like yourselves who were reflections of the light in the world and saying, “Wow, there’s all these amazing people and they’re looking at me and assuming that I’m amazing. So, what are they seeing in me that I’m seeing in them? What is this idea that yes, we can all choose to be ordinary?”. We’re the only creatures on the planet who can choose to be ordinary, by the way, like, you know, on a sunny day, the flowers or plants, they reach for the sun, the birds will fly, we can look at a sunny day, and be like, “Oh, it’s too hot. I don’t want to do that.”. Like, what are you talking about? So, this idea that we can tap into being extraordinary, especially in a time like this with this virus is that, we’re no longer in an ordinary world. So, we need to do things that are extraordinary in order to cope and also thrive, which brings me to Action. I mean, it’s in the word, taking, you know, most fear will inspire us to maybe run away or do action that’s self-destructive. I want to do action that’s again, affirmative action, that’s building action, that’s creating.

And with the Relationships part of the acronym, especially in business, because this is mostly targeted to entrepreneurs and business folks, and because I think those folks are wanting to take more responsibility and tying their purpose to their income and that’s a huge thing.

It’s a huge thing to say, “My purpose is also tied to my income. So, the greater I serve my purpose, the greater my income, the greater I can give back.”.

It’s like, at least when I made that decision, it changed every way that I think about it. And so, now I’m focused on relationships in a way to make sure I honor people, even in time where people were being laid off, I just loved the organizations who were the leaders who are willing to make their own sacrifices to keep their teams on, to communicate beautifully to connect with their families to say, “Hey, if we’re going to be home, let’s make sure our time at home is actually enjoyable, like actually build quality relationships.”.

And finally, Systems. I think it’s on the far end of emotions, right? When we’re emotional, we don’t necessarily think long-term, we don’t necessarily think in logic, where systems can be almost too logical and dry. If we balance them out, we can actually build systems like, I have a budget in place that allows me to stretch my money until August so, I basically paid myself during this time to do what I’m doing right now, which is being of service, I don’t even have to worry about it. So, I just, I feel that I set up systems, I have life insurance, car insurance, you know, phone insurance, I have all the things in my business and in my life that says, “Okay, the systems are taking care of me. So, even if I get irrational with my emotions, I have systems in place.”, including, like, I’m dieting right now. I just lost 30 pounds. Yeah. So, it’s like, I had systems in place and now I actually get to save money because I’m still keeping my diet of intermittent fasting and all that stuff. So, it’s this– it’s saying like personal and business systems allow us to thrive even in uncertain times.

And so, that’s the F.E.A.R.S in a very short term, I can talk about this for days. But this sense of, you know, FEARS as Fuel for Extraordinary Action, Relationships and Systems.

[18:07] Marly Q: Ah and turning that into your advantage. I absolutely love your acronym! Can I add it to my favorite list of top acronyms?

[18:16] Kemy: Please, please.

[18:19] Marly Q: I love it! Alright. So, tell me about your show and your live stream that you’re doing on Wednesdays, how can people see it? How can we connect?

[18:28] Kemy: It’s beautiful to be again, inspired by you and the fact that we’re launching it at the same time. So, it’s like, are you kidding me? It’s awesome. So, you know, one month ago, I was traveling at home and that was going to be my last trip. I mean, it basically became my last trip, and it’s interesting to know that that was March 15th, and without even thinking about it, on April 15th, I’m launching the show and so just, I’ve only been in quarantine for a month and I’m just like, “Wow, this has been a crazy month.”, and so tomorrow and moving forward, people can join us, there’s a Facebook group called F.E.A.R.S advantage. They can go to www.fearsadvantage.com, just as it’s spelled F-E-A-R-S, at fearsadvantage.com or find us on Facebook F.E.A.R.S Advantage is the group name. And so, every Wednesday at 3pm we’ll be doing a live show so, there’s going to be music, you already know I love music and I’m so grateful that Bert has made music for you, I love music to change people’s state. So, it’ll be motivational hip hop, it’ll be– I don’t want to give it away, there’s a lot of remixes, found a great remix to Let it Be and there’s– you got to come and check this out. And then, the content, the bulk of it is around, what can we do to one, manage our own emotions but use our fears in our business to actually grow our business, grow or impact and grow it towards infinite wealth. And that’s, and then we end with more music. And it is, I’m getting excited talking about, it’s tomorrow so, I’m also stressed about it so, I’m using that stress to kind of fuel me for it.

[19:54] Marly Q: Fuel Extraordinary Action Relationships and Systems, go Kemy!

[20:00] Kemy: Yeah, it is. Anybody who comes, I believe we’ll get, I guess that I get to be very real than this like you’re describing here in this podcast, and I get to un-censor myself and be vulnerable but at the same time be very practical, and I think that balance is what is serving me right now to grow faster than I’ve ever grown anything. And I believe it will also serve others to see and receive permission to do the same.

[20:23] QUICK AD

Hey, real quick, now’s a good time to tell you that I’ve created an online course called the B.E.S.T. Way to Stress Less™, to teach you a simple, quick and effective technique to help you manage stress so that you can feel happier, more productive, focused and present every day. I have a special discount code for my Kind Qrew – Click Here. Registration closes August 1 so, now is the time to be kind to YOU because you deserve to stress less and feel your best every day. Now, let’s get back to the episode.

[21:00] Marly Q: As a witness, as an observer, and a fellow, you know, PARKer in this journey, I am so, so proud of you. And I am just in awe of your awesomeness all the time and how you’ve been able to use this time of uncertainty that’s fueled with anxiety, right? How you’re able to like, “Okay, that anxiety can either paralyze me into a state of worry, or stress, or I can ground myself by kind of fueling myself with the love, the kindness, the self-care that I need, in order to be able to tap into that extraordinary ability that you have to be of service, that extraordinary ability that we all have to be of service if we’re able to kind of turn that attention inward and really, really connect with that love and action.”. Because I know we both agree that kindness is love in action.

[21:59] Kemy: Yes, it’s interesting, some people ask me, “Kemy, do you get nervous?”, I’m like, “Yeah, I get nervous when I go on stage.”. I mean, to me it just lets me know that what I’m about to do is important and if I wasn’t nervous then I would be like, “Why am I even doing this? It doesn’t matter to me.”. Again, this is why I think it’s– those are the Genesis, those kinds of questions where people are like, “Aren’t you afraid to give hugs?”, well, right now is a different like, fear of hugs. Because of you know, the quarantine which is a whole other story but the point before was, it’s about, I was focusing more on connection, I was focusing more on what I wanted to say yes to than what I wanted to say no to, and even in this, it’s here. We’ve been literally like, testing equipment, I don’t know if you had to do the same process, but it’s nuts to prepare for something like this, and I think that the stress, when I’m more proud of myself reflecting from 10 years ago is, I used to then power through it more, and I would say– I would kind of get more agitated. And now, “Let me just go take a walk real quick. Let me call a friend like, phone or friend, get a lifeline and somebody to help pull me out.”, and it’s interesting to give myself the permission to rest or get good food, like things that I wasn’t doing before. So, I feel most proud of how the quality of my stress or the amount of time that I have been in stress has decreased. And so, when somebody sees this, whenever time they’re watching this later on, they may catch me in a moment of stress, and I’m more willing to deal with it, to love it and to use it.

[23:35] Marly Q: Yeah, to not let it control you. I absolutely love that. I’ve learned quite a bit of that myself in my own self-care journey, as well. And I think that you know, when people ask, you know, how do you make time, right? To be kind to yourself, when you have so many competing priorities, how do you make time to be kind to others in such a big way and to the world? I love your answer to that. It was very simple. It was like, you know, how you make time for anything, right?

But specifically, how you make time to be kind because I asked that when I was, you know, becoming a new mom, I’m expecting a second baby. I’m like, “How am I going to start this podcast and commit so much time to this? Like, how can I create large scale events when, you know, my focus is on having a baby and raising a baby?”. Like, and I was going through all of this, you know, just stress and not knowing, right? That uncertainty and you’re like, “You know what? I think you need to go back and revisit your purpose and get crystal clear on the purpose and the consequence of not spreading kindness, the consequence of not sharing your voice.”. It’s more of a how my dear friend, Luly B, who will also be on the show very soon, told me one day, she’s like, “How dare you not?”.

How dare you not, you know, be fearful and do it anyway?

Because the consequences of not making time to be kind to yourself and the world is devastating, to your life, to your health, to our culture and to our world. And to an extent, we’re experiencing that, to another extent we’re experiencing, I think, an immense amount of kindness that’s coming to the forefront, that this uncertainty and the situation is tapping into people’s hearts and people’s callings, and if they would just kind of reconnect with that and get really clear on their purpose and ask themselves …

“What’s the consequence of you not making time to be kind?”.

[25:33] Kemy: Yeah, that’s beautiful. I mean, that just allows–

[25:36] Marly Q: That was your answer, yeah, but I agree; it’s beautiful.

[25:39] Kemy: You know, it’s funny, because I’ve just stopped taking so much ownership for what, like, I take ownership for what I say like, you know, I’m going to make sure I only say things that are true, but the idea that, that’s not my idea, I just, it’s awesome. I love it. I mean, because folks were sharing that same type of message today on this call I was on, and just reminding us to take that time for ourselves. And for me, I’ve had the physical journey, we’ve talked about this like being able, almost temporarily handicapped for about a year and that was so difficult. And so, to me that consequence answer is definitely true. And somebody said it in a similar way as you were just reflecting, we were getting off the call yesterday at midnight as we’ve been doing all these things and I texted you or like emailed you at 1 like, “Can we reschedule?”. So, you know, small things, at least asking for what I want so, we’re getting off this call at midnight and Reiko, who’s a co-host of the F.E.A.R.S Advantage live he said, “Kemy, get rest. You’re too important right now man, get rest.”

And what if we told ourselves that, right, like more often, you know that we are more important than this kind of task, like I’m not necessarily putting myself above anybody else, I’m saying I’m more important than the stress of getting this one thing right now.

Like, I personally– because I can get more things right later on if I take some rest right now, like it’s not worth it. I am more important than the actual task that I’m trying to do, and just that moment, I just give that back that reflection there too, of just saying that, you know, we’re more important than our stresses and we are definitely more important than our fears. And if we can remind ourselves that, it allows us to feel that sense of being extraordinary. So, we give ourselves permission to be kind to ourselves, to take a rest because we know we’re going to do something greater with that energy and that renewal.

[27:38] Marly Q: Yes, a thousand times, YES! And with that, Kemy, thank you so much for making the time in your super-duper busy schedule as you’re getting ready to launch this awesome, awesome F.E.A.R.S Advantage live, you know, I really appreciate you making the time to prioritize this and being of service to those listening, thank you Kemy.

[28:02] Kemy: Absolutely. Thank you again for the opportunity and for pursuing your dreams. I’m so excited. Yes, congratulations again.

[28:08] Marly Q: Thank you.

[28:10] Outro: I was so inspired by this conversation with Kemy that I invited him back two months later for an update after I witnessed him having to face his fears again, and tap into his courage in order to rise and be an even greater service during these difficult times. If you enjoyed making time to be kind for today’s episode, then don’t miss next Wednesday’s first-ever back to back interview to inspire you to use your fears to your advantage.

[28:44] Outro: Thank you for listening. If you’re inspired to make a little more time to be kind, please subscribe, leave a kind review and share with a friend who would appreciate this podcast too. Thank you for being the spark of kindness. See you next time. [28:55]

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Be Kind to Your Skin

Be Kind to Your Skin

Are you kind to your skin? 

I’ll be honest, I’ve been (super) unkind to my skin for most of my life. That is, until today’s Featured Guest, Beatriz “Betty” Newborn, inspired me to add skin-care to my self-care practice & taught me some valuable tips like the ones she’s here to share with us.

If you want to achieve healthy glowing skin, then pay close attention & stay till the end for your chance to win free give-a-ways from our awesome PARKner today!

SHOW NOTES:

Betty’s Skin-Care Tips [11:52 -22:06]

Quick Recap of Betty’s Skin-Care Tips at the end of Transcription

Click here to Learn More & Shop Rodan & Fields skin-care products

Connect on Instagram @BeatrizNewborn

BETTY’S FREE GIVE-A-WAYS INCLUDE:

Betty generously gave us several products from Rodan & Fields Essentials Line to give to one lucky Kind Qrew member: This free give-a-way is valued at $115 and will include:

Essentials Body Moisturizer, Lip Balm with SPF 15, Self-tanner and our newly formulated and the brand new and now completely sold out Essentials Body & Face sunscreen with SPF 50!

TRANSCRIPTION:

Welcome back PARKer, this is Episode #17 with Featured Guest, Beatriz Newborn. We’re all friends here so we can call her Betty!

Betty is a self-proclaimed coffee addict, Disney lover, skincare consultant, philanthropy guru, mompreneur and higher education professional too.

Betty is a long time PARKner and one of the first people to listen and reach out to me, offering to support our podcast as a sponsor.

I wasn’t surprised to receive her call to PARK because Betty’s passion is helping people and she’s been an active philanthropist since high school, just like me. Our shared passion for philanthropy and education has led us both to earn a master’s degree in higher education, only she has worked in the higher ed profession for nearly 20 years. Betty currently works at my alma mater, Florida International University, where she focuses on raising funds and awareness for parent and student philanthropy.

Like I mentioned, she’s also a wife, mom of two boys and a small business owner for the last five years as a consultant for Rodan + Fields, you know, the doctors that created the popular Proactiv solution back in the days?

Well, she’s our Featured Guest today to share her unexpected journey into skincare and teach us all a few valuable tips on how to be more kind to our skin. Even if you’ve never had a skincare practice before, like me! You’re going to want to stay to the end of the episode for your chance to win free giveaways from our awesome PARKner today. Let’s listen and learn.

[01:45] Marly Q: Welcome to the show, my beautiful friend and PARKner, Betty Newborn, thank you for making the time to be kind today.

[01:53] Betty: Thank you for having me. I’m so excited and just energized to be here with you. You know, I absolutely am such a fan of you starting this podcast. So, I’m so excited to be one of your guests.

[02:05] Marly Q: Thank you, and not just our guest, but a Featured Guest and a PARKner, one of the very first people who reached out and said, “Hey, I want to support your podcast, I want to be a PARKner. What do I need to do to get on the show?”, and you know, it’s not even about marketing, you’re just such a giver, you’re such a philanthropist. You’re like, “I just want to support you and your mission of inspiring kindness.”, and I just thank you so much for being one of our very first PARKners.

[02:32] Betty: Believe me, it’s my pleasure; I’m very excited for this. I think that you have quite the message, and I like, absolutely adore it. I think that especially, you know, the world that we’re living in right now, we need to be sharing about being kind to each other, to ourselves. So, I’m just very happy to be a part of it.

[02:50] Marly Q: Thank you! Yes, we do need to, not just make time to be kind but turn up the volume on kindness now more than ever, I agree with you. And our story kind of goes back a little more than a decade as a fellow philanthropist, that’s how we initially connected as volunteers, right? With the American Cancer Society and Relay for Life. I was a Volunteer of the Year, I helped to start the Florida International University Relay for Life event which is still going strong, we are both FIU Panthers and big spirited Florida International University fans. So, that’s how, you know we got started just as, through philanthropy, right?

[03:31] Betty: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, it’s so funny, every time that you know, Miami is very big, but it’s very small, and it seems– I moved back down here from New York in 2010, started working at the Cancer Society and you had just left you know, stop kind of really volunteering massively as you were one of the founders of the FIU Relay. And so, then I go to FIU and I’m the consult– like, the manager there and all of a sudden, I see Marly, I’m like, “Our paths crossed again. I love it.”. And of course, we stayed connected and it’s so great, because you’re an event planner. I mean, I’ve called you throughout so many times, needing, kind of event guidance and support and just, you know, kind of seeing your events roll out and seeing how we can involve others. So, we’ve always kind of stayed connected. And then, we started connecting, you know, on a different level, in a way that you can be kind to yourself and something’s different. And so, this is really fun, too.

[04:23] Marly Q: Yes. I love that the journey has morphed and shifted, but it’s always been with the underlying foundation of kindness, right? I definitely always prioritize being kind to others my entire life, and it’s only as of the last, really, six years or so that I’ve been practicing self love and kindness and actually making time to be kind to … me!

And one of the last things that I ever added to my practice of kindness was being kind to my skin. So, when you reached out to me wanting to be a Featured Guest and a PARKner on this show, I’m like, “How perfect is that?”. We’re right, you know, in the heat of summer here in Miami and sunny South Florida, it is just hot. And I know that I have a history of being really, really unkind to my skin and you’re the first person; the only person really that I like confided in to be like, “Hey, can you help me out here? I’ve hit my 30’s and I don’t even like moisturize my skin. What do I do?”, so, thank you for being my kind guide as it comes to skincare, and that’s really what I want to focus our time today on is, first your journey. Because you’re a mom of two, we talked about you being a philanthropist like all your life as well, working in nonprofits and in university settings, but you’re also a small business owner, and you started your own consultancy a couple years ago that I’d love for you to share, just that journey in that shift and how now you’re helping people be kind to their skin.

[05:55] Betty: I think it’s really interesting, you know, as we grow up, maybe you’ve had a mom or a sister or someone tell you like, “Oh, you need to moisturize.”, and that was definitely me. My mom always said like, “Oh, you have to moisturize.”, but that’s the extent of what I did, you know? Moisturize, right before my makeup, I put some moisturizer on.

And about five years ago, you know, because of my work at FIU as a, you know, a fundraiser, I was taking part in our fishing tournament where we have a silent auction. And one of my sorority sisters said, “I would love to support you, I would love to give you one of our regimens from Rodan + Fields, so that you can auction it.”. And we made like $300 off that item and it was so great, because the money supports our scholarships, and we were so excited. And so, I called her, and I wrote her like a little thank you note, “Thanks so much for, you know, your support to our student scholarships, we’re so grateful.”. And she said, “Oh, you know, I would love for you to come, you know, over to my house and so you can see some of the products.”. And then, you kind of felt like, “Okay, now I have to go because she, you know, helped us raise all this money for scholarships, and we’re so grateful.”, aside from the fact that I would love to catch up with her and all that fun stuff, I kind of felt like, “Uh oh, she’s got me. You know, this is a direct marketing.”.

[07:06] Marly Q: She’s going to sell me something

[07:08] Betty: Yes, exactly. And so, I actually went to her house with no wallet, just my license, okay? Because I didn’t want to buy anything, and then I got there and she told me the whole kit and caboodle, and I was like, “I just wanted an eye cream, maybe like, that’s all I wanted.”. But she told me, I’m becoming a consultant, and she basically said to me, “Look, you–“, I gave her every note in the book. I said, “Well, my husband’s a teacher and he’s off for the summer, and you know, he’s not getting his full pay check, right now.”, all these things. And then she asked me like, “Look, we have a 60-day money back guarantee, and you can make money in like, the summertime that you’re waiting for your husband to get his full pay check.”. And I was like, “Well…”, and then she’s like, “If you don’t make the money that you think you can make, you could just return it, empty bottles and all.”. And I was like, “All right.”. So, I called my husband literally and I was like, “Give me your credit card.”, and he’s like, “Oh my God.”. I’m like, “Just don’t ask questions. I just need my black credit card.”. And that’s how I started as a consultant, and that was like, early June, and I did nothing until my birthday weekend, which was at the end of the month, and I had like a little gathering, a little brunch at my house, and I told my family and my friends, like, “Hey, I decided to do this crazy thing, I’m now a Rodan + Fields consultant, and the products are great, I’ve been using them for two weeks, and I actually like them. We have this 60-day money back guarantee, if anybody wants to use them, I’d love to introduce you to them.”, and that’s how I got started. And you know, a lot of people do the events things, I’m really not about it, I go, and I support my teammates and my co-workers that do Rodan + Fields events.

But for me, it’s just been about contacting friends and family and just you know, that personalization of a Facebook message and sometimes, it’s kind of funny because MLM, they’re called multi-level marketing companies, have these really bad stereotypical ideas of like, “Oh, the girl that I talked to from high school is going to call me and ask me for, you know, if I want to start using skincare that she’s selling.”.

But the truth of the matter is that, I might be the only person that’s calling someone. So, if you say no, that’s okay; I’m totally okay with it. But at least I gave it a shot, right? I introduced you to it. And I kind of fell in love with the products, I started doing more research as a consultant like, how I can help people, how I can help my customers, my friends, what they were going through, I have friends who have like super sensitive red skin, “Oh, what do I do?”, “Well, we have a product for that.”. And then we have people that have super oily skin and, “What can I do?”, so, I started doing research and I actually love skincare, and I didn’t really know I liked it until you know I gave it a shot.

So, it’s just been a really fun way to do something different, to connect with people that I haven’t talked to in a long time, some people from high school, some people from grade school. I had a friend, just this weekend that purchased one of our amazing products, our pore cleanser, it’s like a vacuum for your pores; I love it. And literally, she and I know each other since fifth grade and she’s a health coach, she’s super smart, super great. We haven’t connected, we like totally lost touch somewhere around high school and got to, you know, connect and talk and to see what her life is like now and what my life is like now and then she decides to buy one of my products and support me and my family and it’s a great way to support people, to be kind to each other, to kind of– for people to be kind to me. I mean, this supports my family. They say that whenever you support a small business, an actual person does a happy dance. Well, I am the person that does the happy dance over here when you’re buying skincare from me. So, it’s really fun.

[10:28] Marly Q: I could totally picture you doing the happy dance!

[10:31] Betty: Wow. Oh, for sure.

[10:32] Marly Q: I love it. Well, Betty, I really think that your journey of philanthropy has merged you into this small business opportunity with Rodan + Fields on purpose, right? Not all of us have a mom or a role model that has encouraged skincare; I had the complete opposite of that, my mom doesn’t even wear makeup, okay? Like, I didn’t even– I mean zero. She’s an incredible role model for other things. But as far as taking care of yourself and prioritizing you, this was an area that I really needed some guidance and you were that kind friend, really not through, you know, the persistence or like you said the MLM marketing stereotypical spiel it was really more through giving.

You constantly putting out tips and information and just encourage people to remember like, “Hey, you know, your skin is the largest organ in your body. And hey, you’re made up of 70% water, are you hydrating enough? Are you taking care of your skin? Because the more you take care of your physical skin, the more that it glows.”, right? I mean, I’m pregnant now, and people are like, “Oh, your skin is glowing.”. And I’m like, “I’m not sure that it has to do with my pregnancy. Why don’t you talk to my friend Betty because I use Rodan + Fields.”?

[11:49] Betty: Yay! I love that. Absolutely, yes, ma’am.

[11:52] Marly Q: So, I’m just really grateful for you being that kind guide and I’m hoping that today on the podcast, you’d be willing to share, maybe just a couple of your top skincare tips, and maybe for people like me that might be listening, bring some awareness as to ways that we are being unkind to our skin, like things to not do, I think are just as valuable as tips on what to do.

[12:16] Betty: Yes, absolutely. Well, you know, it’s so funny, like I said, when I started as a consultant, I had a six-month-old, I was super crazy busy, I did not think I could do both. But I started like, reading up more about what the company does and how I can help people because what I didn’t want was for someone like you, that like was trying to like, start their skincare journey, and ask me like, “Oh, what do I do for this?”, and then I’d be like, “I don’t know.”, and sometimes that does happen; we don’t know everything. So, I started like, getting to know the doctors more and so these two doctors that started Proactiv way back when, our Stanford educated women who are super smart, and so they have tips. And so, I started kind of adopting them as my own tips because obviously they’re the dermatologist, they know what they’re doing, as a consultant, I’m here to be your helper and your guide. But really, I rely on the super smart doctors that created these amazing products. And so, some of them are very– are things that we’ve all heard like you just said hydration, that’s my number one tip.

[13:16] Marly Q: Many people that are listening may not know that there’s a difference between hydration and moisturizing. Listen, I’m going to be totally real and transparent here as I always am. Ways that I was unkind to my skin, not only did I not drink enough water, I never moisturized. I’m talking about, I didn’t even have a moisturizer for my skin, not just my face but my legs, nothing. I’m pregnant now with my second baby and don’t hate me ladies out there, I’m going to say this now, I don’t have a single stretch mark, not one, and it’s because I moisturize all the time NOW, as of the last six years or so, and I drink water all the time as well. And I never wore sunscreen, I would go to the beach and put like the tanning lotion on like, just make me dark, I don’t want sunblock, never wore sunscreen like on a daily basis. I mean, these are really bad things, right?

[14:07] Betty: Yeah, that was my next tip. I mean SPF is so important, we are in– I mean, we are in Miami but others might be listening from around the nation and here’s one of the things is really important and people say to me all the time, “Well, I’m only going from my house to my car and from my car to my office so, I really don’t need to wear SPF”. You absolutely need to wear SPF every single day! And we were volunteers, we are volunteers you know in some ways for the Cancer Society, we know that skin cancer is the number one cancer that is diagnosed everywhere in the world and it’s the one that’s easiest to prevent. All you have to do is wear your SPF and I do know some cancer survivors who unfortunately have gotten cancer on their arms, why only their left arm? Because when they drive, you know you are driving, it may not be a long distance, but your skin may not be able to tolerate the sun. The other part is also cancer on the face, on the nose, it just happens all the time. And so, that’s something that, when we’re driving people on the left side might get a little bit of reflection, you might get, you know, that’s cancer because we need to wear our SPF. So, definitely my number one tip, it doesn’t matter if you’re going a short distance, a super long distance, you know, definitely use a moisturizer that has SPF already or if you need to go through that extra step of putting it on, definitely take that extra step. And sometimes we don’t do it while we’re young, it’s okay, start now. It’s never too late.

[15:37] Marly Q: That’s exactly what I would say to those listening because I know that, I kind of kicked my butt for a while for starting my skincare journey very late in life. But I am just so grateful that I started when I decided to start because I know that, here we are six years later of me actually prioritizing my skin or taking better care of it, I can be a lot better still. But at least I’m aware of it and I try to just be better the next day, and making sure that I am drinking enough water, wearing the sunscreen, that I’m cleansing my face in the morning and at night, moisturizing.

So, I used to wash my hands with like, I’m talking about scalding hot water, for some reason, I believed that if I wash my hands, and I wash my hands all the time, I’m not a germaphobe but I I wash my hands a lot and now with COVID-19 and all this I’m telling you, I wash my hands a lot! And I would always do it with hot water, not lukewarm, not cold. For some reason, my brain believed that I needed to wash my hands with hot water in order to kill all the germs. Please tell me how, like my poor little hands are still like– they look way older than they should be because I was so unkind to my skin.

[16:45] Betty: Well, that’s so interesting. When I had my first son, I had a lactation specialist come to the house because there was an issue and she came here like a week after he was born on a Friday night, my house was full of people wanting to visit the baby, and that’s the time that she was able to come and we were like, “Okay come over.”, and we were– I was fine with it. And so, we go through our whole consultation and at the end, she’s like, “Oh, let me see like how you bottle prep.”, and all this stuff just to see like how she can help me. And so, she notices the hot water, she’s like, “Why are you using hot water to cleanse the bottles?”, and I was like, “Well, because you know, disinfecting, and I want to make sure.”, and she’s like, “Don’t do that the germs, the germs are leaving with the soap and the water. The important thing is to leave the soap on the bottle for like, at least 20 seconds.”. And it’s the same thing they tell us now with washing our hands, right? 20 seconds of bubbles, 20 seconds of really washing everywhere and that’s the same thing I have been practicing, Thank God she came only a week after my son was born because my hands were already super dry from just one week of washing the bottles. And I have friends that wear the gloves and they’re like, “No, because the hot water disinfects.”, okay, so we boil the water– the bottles if we need to like, sterilize them.

There are different ways, but our face, does not need hot water my friend. And our skin really does not need that at all, we need like, even sometimes they say, you know, right before you leave a shower, do like a spritz of cold water to seal in the moisture, and absolutely I love it, it just reenergizes you. And it just really, I mean to me, I absolutely love it for my hair, but I mean, my skin appreciates that too. I don’t think definitely hot water is the way to go so, don’t do it to your poor skin, it does not need it at all.

[18:22] Marly Q: It’s just an awareness thing. And that’s why I wanted to put it out there, just in case anybody else was being silly like me thinking, you know that hot water was like the way to clean your hands because it’s going to clean them, just stop doing that. Because my hands have completely, you know, really healed themselves, and I felt so bad doing this because I just didn’t have the awareness, I didn’t know any better, right? So, I’m putting myself out there, vulnerably, I did something dumb for many, many, many, many, many years, and now, I don’t. And you know, soap and water are your friends, not hot water.

[18:54] Betty: I love it. And I wanted to go through three really quick ones, I don’t know how we are doing on time. So, I’m going to go quick, quick, quick on three things that the doctors actually said not to do. So, these are fast, okay? Don’t do these. Do not sleep on your face, okay? And I know that this one’s a crazy one. How do you stop– I’m a side sleeper so, this is really difficult. But they say basically, the gravity and the pressure after time is going to definitely add up to you having more wrinkles and fine lines on your face. So, definitely, if you can sleep on your back, I sleep on my side and I try to put the pillow like further back from my face and my face, I guess the gravity is not going to be so good but at least it’s not getting super squished. You know, that’s just me but, a little tip for you, do not sleep on your face.

Number two, and this goes along with one of your amazing podcasts before this one, do not drink from a straw. Straws not only are bad for the environment, but they also cause fine lines and wrinkles around our lips while we’re puckering. So, definitely, if you’re drinking from a straw all day long, you’re going to have those fine lines and you know, more and more surround your lips and, although we have an excellent lip serum that I would love to recommend for anybody that would like it, it leaves your lips super soft and it does work for most fine lines and wrinkles, if you do have them already, you know avoiding the puckering when you’re drinking from a straw is something that will definitely help you.

And the last one that they actually said, well, I have two more actually, I’m not going to lie. If you’re on an airplane, close the window because the sun at the higher altitude is so much stronger and it’s definitely worse for your skin and so you know, definitely, a quick easy one, just close the windows up, don’t leave that window shade up the whole time.

[20:36] Marly Q: It’s also kind to your neighbor, it’s kind to the person next to you that’s trying to sleep, close that thing!

[20:43] Betty: Yeah, absolutely. And it’s so funny, I’m like, “Who thought of putting windows?”, Maybe like claustrophobia or something. But it’s true when you’re high up there, the sun is like so much brighter.

Marly, here’s one that is super important for those that are not really skincare savvy, exfoliation. I didn’t really know about it exfoliation, as much as I should have, but here’s the thing, especially now in summertime, you have a lot of dead skin on the top of your upper, you know the skin that actually is under the dead skin, that’s the one that needs to get the moisturizer, the serum, the actual product that you’re spending money on. And so, you need to take away all the dead skin by exfoliating, we have an amazing exfoliator that is a vitamin C, sugar and salt scrub, it’s amazing. It’s called a micro-dermabrasion paste, and it really exfoliates, it’s a lovely product. I use it on my feet, I use it on my elbows, I use it on my face, I use it on my hands. Why? Because there’s a lot of dead skin in our body, and we need to get rid of it, in order for the products that you’re actually spending money on to actually work, get rid of all that dead skin.

Those are things that I really tell all my customers, that I live by because they’re so important, you know. So, I love the straw one, I thought it was so funny when I was listening to your podcast (Episode 2), I was like, “Yes and it causes wrinkles. Nobody needs that.”. So, totally, you know, some really, really smart things that we talked about today.

[22:06] Marly Q: Thank you so much for those tips. I’m going to make sure to highlight them in our show notes, because I know that they make all the difference. Again, if you’re out there and you’re skin savvy, bless your heart, I hope you still got some value from these tips. But if you’re anything like me, who is like, “What? Oh, yeah, my skin. What do I do with that?”, I’m just so grateful for you and your kind guidance always. And I know that you have some special gifts for our listeners. Don’t you have some really fun giveaways for some PARKers listening?

[22:37] Betty: I do, I’m so excited! You know, one of the things that I absolutely love doing is sharing the products with people and so, we don’t have a ton of samples as Rodan + Fields consultants. And the reason that we don’t do samples is because, generally you need a little bit of time to know that the products work & that you love them. And so, we have a couple of things that you can you know, sample, our serums, you know, I’m happy to send those out to listeners and to friends, that, you know, really want to kind of get started, that are thinking this might be for them and you know, just leave an amazing comment for Marly Q on this podcast & I’m happy to send something out for you.

But then also, I’m also giving away our Essential body line, our Essential Skincare line. So, it has a couple of things, we have an SPF that just rolled out, which is SPF 50 for face and body, it can be used for both. It’s so great because it’s not oily or sticky. I absolutely love it. Our Essential Moisturizer, which is for your full body. You can use it anywhere you want, feet, hands, arms, wherever you want. And then, our essential lip balm, which is SPF 15, I absolutely love that. And then, I also have an Essential Tanner, and it’s fantastic because it won’t leave your legs or your arms orange and like, you know, painty so, definitely you use it with our exfoliator and you use it right after and it’s just fantastic. So, for those of you that don’t, are not like worshipers of the Sun, like me, and you want to have a little bit of a tan when you, you know, you’re wearing a skirt or you know you’re going to a wedding or you’re going to a special event, this is a great product. It’s, you know, fantastic from our Essentials line. So, I’m going to give basically almost all the products from our Essential line to one of your listeners and I cannot wait to share the products with anybody that’s interested.

[24:17] Marly Q: Oh, I love it. So, one of you that are listening that were inspired by this episode and aspire to take– to start taking care of your skin or to just start taking better care of your skin, we encourage you to leave a review on Time to be Kind podcast on iTunes, definitely reference Episode #17 with Betty and you may get randomly selected, for these awesome giveaways and prizes.

Betty, thank you so much again for making the time to be kind, I know you’re a busy mom of two boys, and you’re a full-time higher ed professional, and you also do your skincare consultancy. I mean, you’re just– you’re just such a wealth of kindness and you give that currency of kindness away so generously all the time. Thank you for joining us and making the time to be kind today.

[25:02] Betty: Thank you for having me, Marly, I’m so blessed to be your friend and your supporter. And I’m so excited to really just thank you for the opportunity to share with everyone, this is something that you know we’re all passionate about, you do have to take care of yourself in whatever possible way and this is a nice, easy way to love yourself a little bit more and to love others. So, you can always– if you fall in love with a product, now this is something that you can refer a friend and be kind to others too. So, it’s a super easy thing, you know, you can keep PARKing, and you possibly can. So, thank you for having me.

[25:35] Marly Q: Yes, keep the currency of kindness going. I love it.

[25:38] Outro: I hope you enjoyed this episode and learned a lot from our Featured Guest, because Betty is just the PARKner to help you and me learn how to achieve healthy glowing skin. As a skincare newbie myself, I took down lots of notes of what to do and what not to do. Here’s a quick recap of Betty’s Skin-Care Tips.

Quick Recap of Betty’s Skin-Care Tips [11:52 -22:06]

  1. DO hydrate
  2. DO moisturize
  3. DO use Sunscreen (SPF) every day
  4. DO exfoliate to remove dead skin cells
  5. DON’T use hot water to clean your hands or face
  6. DON’T sleep on your face
  7. DON’T drink from a straw
  8. DON’T leave window shade up the whole airplane ride

Connect with Betty for more great Skin-Care Tips via Instagram @beatriznewborn

Click here to Learn More & Shop Rodan & Fields skin-care products

Betty generously gave us several products from Rodan & Fields Essentials Line to give to one lucky Kind Qrew member:

BETTY’S FREE GIVE-A-WAYS INCLUDE:

Essentials Body Moisturizer, Lip Balm with SPF 15, Self-tanner and our newly formulated and the brand new and now completely sold out Essentials Body & Face sunscreen with SPF 50!

This free give-a-way is valued at $115 and it could be yours if you’re a member of our Kind Qrew AND leave a kind review on Apple iTunes.

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World Youth Skills Day

World Youth Skills Day

I believe KINDNESS is the #1 SKILL we can teach, nurture and celebrate in our youth in order to raise a generation who believes they have the power to create the change we all wish to see in the world. 

In celebration of World Youth Skills Day, today’s podcast episode is extra special because … I didn’t interview anyone! I was the one interviewed by 10-year-old “Kindness Detectives” at SPIRIT Cheer Camp and they asked me some GREAT QUESTIONS. Enjoy!

SHOW NOTES:

Learn more about SPIRIT Cheer Camp

Follow on Instagram @spiritcheercamp

Learn more about the B.E.S.T. Way to Stress Less™

Join our Kind Qrew for B.E.S.T. Way to Stress Less EXCLUSIVE Discount Code & be eligible for free podcast prizes, giveaways and more!

TRANSCRIPTION:

Hi PARKer. I’m Marly Q and welcome to episode #16, celebrating World Youth Skills Day. In case you’re unfamiliar with this global holiday, like me and most people, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution in 2014, declaring today, July 15th, as World Youth Skills Day to highlight the importance of teaching and developing a skilled youth. I believe that kindness is the number one skill that we can teach, nurture and celebrate in our youth in order to raise a generation who believes that they have the power to create the change we all wish to see in the world. Today’s episode is extra special because I’m not interviewing anyone. In fact, I’m the one that was interviewed by elementary school-aged kids.

That’s right, thanks to an act of random kindness I was invited to speak at Spirit Cheer Camp Virtual Club, a Miami based all-girl camp for ages 5 through 12 years old that focuses on teaching valuable life skills based on weekly themes that promote kindness and empowerment.

Last week’s theme empowered the girls to practice being ”Kindness Detectives”, the girls had top-secret

missions that they had to decode like making a card for someone, doing chores around the house without being asked and they even made special binoculars to help them spot kindness in their homes and community in hopes of teaching the skill of looking for the good in the world.

I want to thank Coach Frances Valladarez for giving me the opportunity to be the spark in their Girl Power Speaker series and spotlighting me as a professional kindness detective. Spirit Cheer Camp’s motto is “It’s not the glitz in the uniform but the spirit that shines within.” I couldn’t agree more. So, let’s sit back, relax and get ready to receive a spark of kindness from our youth today. Let’s listen.

[02:07] Coach Frances: There you go. Hi, Marly.

[02:09] Marly Q: Hi.

[02:11] Coach Frances: Hi, Marly. How are you doing?

[02:13] Marly Q: I am so excited and happy to be here. Nice to meet you. Hello ladies.

[02:20] Coach Frances: Wave girls. So, ladies, Marly Q is a philanthropist who believes that kindness is your superpower, right? We talked a little bit about it earlier, we saw part of her TED Talk. She inspires people of all ages to PARK. What did we say PARK was, right girls? It was Perform Acts of Random Kindness.

[02:45] Marly Q: Oh, I love it!

[02:47] Coach Frances: So, she is here to encourage us all to go ahead and to be the spark and to PARK. So, Marly Q, the floor is all yours for a little bit here.

[02:57] Marly Q: Oh, my goodness. Well, thank you so much, Francis, and beautiful ladies, I have you all on gallery view so that I can see you. What a beautiful thing to be grateful for, technology, that we can all be communicating. So, I am taking just a moment to look at each of your beautiful faces and give you each a smile and a hello. Oh, I love it! Because you are all, what I believe to be kindness superheroes. I am so grateful to have been invited today to join you through an act of random kindness. A friend just sent a text and said, “Hey, you would be really great to come and speak at the Spirit Cheer Camp for our Girl Power series.”. And I’m like, “What?”, “And they’re talking about kindness and they’re kindness detectives.”. And I’m like, “Well, these are my kind of people.”, what I call PARKers.

PARKers are people who Perform Acts of Random Kindness, and I truly believe that those are the superheroes that are out to change the world and make an impact. So, I’m honored to meet you all!

[03:54] Coach Frances: Awesome. Okay, so some of our girls have a couple of questions for you. Girls, we’re going to go ahead and get started with Sienna.

[04:00] Sienna: Hi.

[04:01] Marly Q: Hi Sienna.

[04:02] Sienna: So, I have a question. The question is, how old were you when you decided to make a difference by Performing Acts of Random Kindness?

[04:09] Marly Q: Well, how old are you Sienna?

[04:11] Sienna: I’m 10 years old.

[04:12] Marly Q: I was your age; I was 10 years old when I first discovered that I had this superpower within me to change the world. And at 10 years old, I had a beautiful teacher who told me and helped me discover that acts of kindness really make an impact and have the power to change the world. So, from the moment I was 10 years old and forward, throughout my entire life, I have been practicing being a PARKer and performing acts of kindness.

[04:43] Coach Frances: Awesome. Lily, do you have a question for Marly?

[04:47] Lily: Was the field trip story real?

[04:49] Marly Q: Absolutely! Yes, Lily. It’s very real and I remember it honestly, like it was yesterday and I have been telling that story for years and I had the opportunity two years ago to share it on stage at a TEDx event, which is kind of this worldwide platform to share ideas that are worth spreading, and I got to share it for the first time. The field trip story is absolutely true.

[05:16] Coach Frances: That was her question. I said, “Wait a second. That’s a great question for Marly. I’m sure it was, but let’s have her tell you.”. Okay. Next up, we have Alexa.

[05:24] Alexa: Hi!

[05:25] Marly Q: Hi Alexa.

[05:27] Alexa: I have a question. Is there anyone who didn’t want to participate in random acts of kindness and is there a way I could be a superhero too?

[05:35] Marly Q: That’s a great two-part question. I’m going to answer the second part first. Absolutely! I think you already are a kindness superhero, just by being part of this group, by making the time right now to be kind, to tap into your courage and ask me a question like that; I think that that already makes you a superhero. So, all you need to do to be a superhero for the rest of your life is actually practice, not just spying kindness, right? Looking for kindness in the world and others, but being the spark, being the one to perform that act of kindness. So, the answer to that second part of your question is absolutely, that’s what you can do to be a kind of superhero. And the first part of your question is also interesting, I love that. Have I ever had someone who didn’t want to perform acts of kindness? Was that the question?

[06:27] Alexa: Yeah.

[06:28] Marly Q: So, yes, absolutely. You will find in life, sometimes in school, out at the park, at the grocery store, in traffic, in work, when you get to that stage, you will find people that are maybe not willing to, not just perform acts of kindness, but they’re not willing to receive your kindness. So, what I’ve learned is to allow that to be okay. Not everybody has the practice that I have and that you all ladies are working on having, the habit of performing acts of kindness and sometimes for some people, if you don’t have that practice of being kind to others, being kind to yourself, sometimes that’s really difficult to receive kindness from other people. So, I’ve learned to not make that wrong, but rather to just accept it and continue being the spark, right? Because it’s about YOU being the superhero. And I have found that even when other people don’t want to accept my kindness, or are kind of like, “No, I don’t want your hug or I don’t want your high five or I don’t want your compliment.”, for example, if I just continue showing up with kindness and understanding and not making them wrong, sooner or later, they’ll become a PARKer too.

[07:38] Coach Frances: Love it. That’s a wonderful lesson, girls. We’re all unique, we’re all different and it’s nice to also acknowledge that somebody else may not be feeling that way that day, but it’s okay, you continue to be kind. So, next up we have Kate.

[07:52] Kate: My question is, do you like your job so much that you would stay in it forever?

[08:00] Marly Q: Forever and ever more, 1, 2, 3, 4. I would Kate, thank you for that question. I think that I am very blessed and fortunate and grateful to have found my “job”, if you will, when I was your age because I really do see it as a calling, I see it as a passion and something that I, I didn’t know it could be a job. You know, you don’t see that, you know, advertised, “Hey, apply here to be a kindness superhero.”, but I created that job for myself. As a speaker, I decided to become a speaker to share kind of stories, I have my own podcast, which I’d love to feature you ladies on, it’s called Time to be Kind with Marly Q, if you all are open to it, give me a thumbs up. I’m happy to feature you on my podcast. Yes, thumbs up! Because, I made it my job as a speaker, as a teacher and as somebody that creates events to bring people together. I made it my job and I intend to do it forever and ever and ever Kate. Thank you for asking.

[09:02] Coach Frances: Girls, you know how I talk to you about your inner spirit and that inner little light that shines within you that only shines within you because that’s your unique light? Well, that’s what she did, Marly went ahead and used that unique light to make something special for her life, for her job like Kate called it and also to make a difference in the world. So, next up, we have Lucy.

[09:21] Marly Q: Hi Lucy.

[09:22] Lucy: My question is, is it difficult to perform random acts of kindness, if every day the world gets a little harder to do a random act of kindness?

[09:32] Marly Q: Well, what a question! So, I think that that’s a very deep question, and are you also 10 years old Lucy?

[09:39] Lucy: Yes.

[09:41] Marly Q: Wow. So, I think that’s a deep question for a 10-year-old, and I appreciate you asking me that because it is very easy to believe that the world is a difficult and a hard place and that there’s darkness and, you know, it’s hard to be kind when sometimes, a lot that you see is the opposite of kindness, right? We see a lot of unkindness and a lot of violence and a lot of things that make us feel sad and like, “Hey, like, how can I be a superhero and perform acts of kindness when it doesn’t seem that everybody else is on board?”, right? And it doesn’t seem that it’s cool to be kind, and what I would say to that is, what are you focusing on?

Your life and your reality, and how you feel about yourself and your family and your friends and the world that you live in, is determined by what you focus on.

What you focus on is what you feel and you make your decisions based on what you think and what you believe, and how you feel about the world. So, even though it is true that there is a lot of unkindness in the world, it is equally true, if not more true, in my opinion, that there is a tsunami of kindness out there.

There’s kindness all the time if you’re looking for it, if you believe that kindness is stronger than unkindness, and if you commit to being someone that’s always going to look for the kindness and other people, that’s what I would say to that is, just be really careful about what you focus on. Because it is very easy to just focus on the bad or the problems, or how hard it can be, and it’s just as equally challenging to continue the practice and the habit, which is what you’re doing right now, of creating this practice of always looking for the helpers, looking for the kind people, being that spark of kindness because the world is always going to need it.

We’re never going to live in a world where everybody is always hugging and high fiving and loving on each other all the time, there’s always going to be that “dark side”, or that challenging part of life, it’s always there. And at the same exact time, you have the power to be the spark of kindness and bring that light to the world. So, is it hard? Sometimes, but you can do it.

[12:06] Coach Frances: I love that you used the word light, that’s exactly what I was going to say, girls, focus on the light, all of your attention, all of your energy needs to go into that light. There’s going to be that darkness, of course, but focus, because if you look for it, there’s always kind people, there’s always nice things happening, there’s always good in it, and that’s what we need to focus on. Marly Q, we’re so happy that you were able to join us and take some time off. So, if you could go ahead and have a couple of words for the girls, I’m going to go ahead and record you to put it on Instagram. So, you will– your legacy will stay with Spirit Cheer.

[12:37] Marly Q: Great. I love that. You know, making this time to be kind with each of you ladies is to me, the spark of my day. What a beautiful way to start this day, just believing in kindness and being able to witness you young ladies and kindness superheroes in the making. As you are undertaking your kindness challenge and being spies for kindness, that brings me a lot of hope, because I think that’s what we need to be, people that are actively looking, detectives, looking for kindness in everyday life, the more we look for it, the more we see it, and the more we see it, the more we believe in it; and the more that we can act from that place, and really be the spark of kindness that we wish to see in the world.

I’m so grateful to have been invited to be part of your Girl Power series, I really hope to stay connected with you all, you can totally reach out to me and please listen to the podcast, leave a review, comment on any posts that you see me put out because, like you all said, this is my job! My job is to celebrate kindness and bring that light into the world and I’d love to do that to each and every single one of you. Thank you.

[13:47] Coach Frances: Beautiful. Girls, so, I want you all to unmute yourselves now please, and let’s go ahead and give her a big round of applause, thank Marly for being here.

[13:58] Outro: I absolutely loved making time to be kind with all the girls at Spirit Cheer Camp and I hope you enjoyed this special interview as much as I did. I told you today’s episode was extra special because we’re celebrating World Youth Skills Day and I’m also celebrating two other big things while we’re on the topic of teaching valuable life skills.

First, my family and I are celebrating our son’s birthday, Jude Parker turns two years old today. And yes, we named him PARKer because if it’s one skill that we’re teaching him is how to be someone who Performs Acts of Random Kindness for himself, others and the world.

We’re also celebrating the official launch of my new online course called the B.E.S.T. Way to Stress Less™. It goes without saying that COVID-19 has caused a lot of stress for our youth and adults alike worldwide. And so, I’ve made a lot of time to be kind during quarantine in order to create a simple and practical online course that you can complete in under an hour.

I created the B.E.S.T. Way to Stress Less™. in order to teach you my proven four step method for feeling your best and living with less stress, even if you think you’re too busy with no extra time, money or energy to complete another online course.

This course is for you whether you’re young, in age or young at heart, brand new to self-care, or if you have an established practice. The fact is that we’re all experiencing stress and I know that I can help you stress less.

I have a special discount code for members of my Kind Qrew. So, if you haven’t joined yet, now is the time. It’s free and quick to join. So, for direct links to join my Kind Qrew, and to gain access to the B.E.S.T. Way to Stress Less™, plus this episode’s show notes and transcription, visit MarlyQ.com/16. That’s Marlyq.com/16 for this episode number.

[15:47] Thank you for listening. If you’re inspired to make a little more time to be kind, please subscribe, leave a kind review and share with a friend who would appreciate this podcast too. Thank you for being the spark of kindness. See you next time! [15:59]

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Planting Seeds of Kindness

Planting Seeds of Kindness

I believe that one of the most understated forms of power we have is our ability to plant seeds of kindness; at home, at work, in our community and in the world. 

Today we shine the light on Marlon Hill, a long time PARKner who talks about the importance of Performing Acts of Random Kindness and …

  • Building community⁣ & a support system⁣
  • Being civically engaged in local politics⁣
  • Believing in your power to create impact⁣
  • Making the time to be kind & VOTE

SHOW NOTES:

Connect & Learn More at MarlonHill.com,Twitter: @MarlonAHill, Instagram: @MarlonHill, Facebook: @MarlonHillforD9 and hashtags #MarlonforD9 #ItsaNewDay.

You can reach Marlon directly on his cell at 305-244-4456 or email at marlon@marlonhill.com

You can support Marlon Hill’s campaign in the following ways:

1. DONATE to the campaign   2. VOLUNTEER any time through phone banking and other safe engagement activities –  3.  VOTE – recommending that voters choose the safer and convenient method of voting by mail.  You must register to vote (update your address or signature by July 20 and request your vote by mail ballot by August 8 at miamidade.gov/elections or call 305-499-VOTE (8683).

TRANSCRIPTION:

Hi PARKer I’m Marly Q and welcome to episode number 15 with Marlon Hill. Our special guest today is a long time PARKner who’s passionate about Performing Acts of Random Kindness (PARK) and leveraging the power of music, arts and culture. Marlon Hill is a Miami business attorney with the law firm of Hamilton, Miller and Birthisel, LLP. He has served as the vice chair of the Board of Trustees of the Miami Foundation, a board member of the Miami Parking Authority and advisory board member of the Miami Book Fair International and even PARK Project, our own non-profit, among many other community leadership roles. Continuing his legacy of service, Marlon Hill is presently a candidate for the Miami Dade County Commission District 9 representing the residents of Southwest Miami Dade County. And as we near election day here in the US on August 18, I invited Marlon today to talk about one of the most understated forms of power we have. Let’s listen and learn. Welcome to the show Marlon Hill.

[01:15] Marlon: Thank you so much. Thank you for making me the Chief Operating Officer of Awesomeness.

[01:20] Marly Q: Yes, I like that.

[01:21] Marlon: Chief Awesomeness Officer, CAO.

[01:24] Marly Q: There you go. You know how much I like acronyms so don’t even get me started there! Our journey began almost a decade ago, can you believe it? We have been PARKners, in awesome crime, spreading kindness for almost a decade. And I will never forget meeting you, kind of in an informal way at an Action Coach business planning seminar. I was just getting started with my business and you with your law firm, and I got to share a little bit about my non-profit and my mission to spread kindness and you approached me right after that, and you’re like, “Hey, I’m a lawyer and is your non-profit incorporated? Do you need some business advice? I’m happy to help.”. And you gave me your card, I’m like, “Wow, I don’t even know that I have a kind awyer in my rolodex, so to speak”.

[02:14] Marlon: We do exist.

[02:15] Marly Q: Yeah, thank you. And from that day forward, I mean, not only did you help us incorporate PARK Project, our non-profit, you helped us apply for our 501c3 and get that approved, later on our registered trademarks for our foundation and our 5K PARK Fest and you’ve just made so much time to be kind to me, to my husband, to our movement and our cause but I’m just so grateful to you, always.

[02:44] Marlon: You know that day when we met, your spirit was just so transcending, you were PARKing your spirit in the room, and it was infectious and inspiring to me and I know that we share similar values with giving back, you know, and I believe– we both believe, you know, Marly in so much of creating a support system for each other and that’s what it means to be kind and taking time to be kind or taking time to PARK yourself into the space, into spaces where you know, you will not even find yourself right? You know, with the pandemics happening all across the world, pandemics of public health, pandemics of social unrest, and pandemics– all different– pandemics of economic instability, all these things, create room– creates a room for kindness, for us to kind of fill a void for each other. And I’ve always thought, you know, I grew up in a Catholic Church, going to a Jesuit High School in Jamaica, and then when I first came here as an immigrant kid, you know, the Catholic Church taught me so much about servant leadership, and really loving your neighbor and being kind and doing Christ like things. I don’t want to necessarily, you know, mean to PARK Christianity into this space but just in terms of general spirituality, it’s important for us to see each other, see each other’s humanity and to uphold the dignity that each person deserves and that can only happen through kindness.

[04:24] Marly Q: Absolutely. You’re absolutely right. And through everything that we’ve been experiencing, I mean, throughout 2020, like you said, health, financial, social pandemics and unrest, and just so much stress and challenges and these dark times gives birth to a lot of kindness from a lot of people, if we’re looking for it. And I think the first place to look for it is within ourselves, right? How can I PARK? How can we be there for each other and connect in such a way, and for me, I follow you on Instagram and I follow the great work that you do, you’ve been making so much time to PARK and time to be kind for the community. You live in South Miami Dade County, and you’ve been, you know, helping and volunteering with food distribution and literally going to people’s, you know, homes, knocking on their doors and seeing how can we be of service to each other during this time and I just find that so inspiring and such a great example of true servant leadership.

[05:26] Marlon: Every person, irrespective of their stage in life, what they do for a living, I truly believe in the power of one person to PARK, one person to be kind, that one spontaneous random act that’s consistently done, whether it’s spontaneously or deliberately. I really believe that, you know, the power of the trickle effect of that act of kindness and it doesn’t necessarily mean that it happens in a non-profit charitable manner; it could happen in business, it could happen in a place of faith, it could happen where people are in recreational and sporting activities. You know, life happens in its normal flow of things. It’s important for us to just be cognizant to the fact that life and history is going to take you in different places and you just have to be ready to kind of like, passing on that love and kindness to people that you know, people that you don’t know. And being someone who’s a practicing attorney, and now I’m a political candidate for higher office, kindness can happen in politics, kindness can happen in business, kindness can happen, even in social settings, but it’s creating that environment around you, when you are expecting that same type of love that you give, right? And it’s small things and it could be something that’s even transformational.

You know, when we were thinking, you know, the small farmers can’t sell their produce, hotels and the restaurants are closed, why don’t we raise the money to buy their produce, and then to give that produce to families that need it? And let’s call it Adopt a Box. So, each box of produce cost $25. So, you’d PARK $25, you’d buy the produce from the farmers, and then you give it to seniors, veterans and families that need it; that’s what it means kind of like create a cycle, a circle of PARK, PARKnering, right? That’s– you give to receive, and it comes back in different ways and I think that can happen in so many different forms.

[07:49] Marly Q: Absolutely. And looking for that opportunity, not only for you yourself to PARK but how can I encourage other people to, I would call it “PARKticipate” in this ripple effect of kindness and making it easy. Because so many people, I have found, through the more than a decade of doing this civic engagement and volunteer, mobilizing work through events is, so many people want to PARK, so many people want to make time to be kind, they just don’t know how. And there’s so many challenges and there’s so many problems, and there’s so many great causes that we can help, but where do you start? And it all feels so overwhelming. So, when you have leaders such as yourself who say, who take the time to think about how can we help those farmers and you come up with a plan, what I would call, a PARK Project, and reach out to other people and say, “Hey, PARKticipate in this PARK Project, you can give back and make time to be kind in this way. Look how easy it can be.”, right? And sometimes it’s with money but many times, it’s with your time. Many times, it’s with your other resources, maybe with a certain set of knowledge or skills that you have that you can pay forward and give to others.

[09:00] Marlon: Right. And it doesn’t have to be, you don’t have to start your own nonprofit foundation, or start a 10,000 people marathon race, it doesn’t have to be a big Food Festival in a big city. It could just be a group of family members, neighbors, your PARK Project.

You know, for example, I am planning a PARK Project in the community that I grew up in, South Miami Heights, in July, we are going to just gather members of the community and go and pick up the trash on the main streets on the right away, right? Because you must feel good about the place that you live, you know, in order to give kindness and to give love, you have to create an environment where that love and kindness can be nurtured. And it’s not just– it’s aesthetically, it’s a mindset, your mental health, it’s the environment that you are in, to create that space where love and kindness can just really flourish, where families don’t feel that they’re in their own bubble of distress and stress and challenges, but they know that they have a community that is enveloped with compassion and empathy and love and kindness that if something happens, like a hurricane, God forbid, or another pandemic, then I can go across the street and often you go, “Hey, Marly, how are you? You know, do you have brown sugar for my brownies?”, and I’m just using that metaphorically, right? But rarely, in growing up in the Caribbean, everyone on the block in the neighborhood, they know each other, they’re interacting, they’re sharing. They are– the lady down the street can discipline me just as much as my mom, right? But unfortunately, we are not cultivating that type of village, you know, “PARK villages” can have that type of love and kindness that is consistently exchanged between our neighbors and I think we really need to kind of work on that deliberately. Love and kindness is not something that you just, kind of just happen on to, it really takes a deliberate, intentional and purposeful, and it could be spontaneous act, but you must kind of, you have to spark it.

[11:21] Marly Q: And plant that seed, all I hear is you’re planting that seed of kindness in fertile soil, and making sure that soil can nurture that seed, and that it’s being watered regularly, and you talk kindly to the plants so that it grows. And I think that there’s just so much distrust and disconnection from, you know, local citizens and their local governments, let alone national government, that I really admire how you’re running your campaign, and I haven’t, you’re the first, you know, kind of political conversation that, or political candidate that I’ve ever had on the show, and it really wasn’t without intention at all, whether you were running for, you know, Commissioner of District nine or not, I just really honor and admire and respect and value and appreciate your style of leadership because it is inclusive. It is about engaging other people, it is about facilitating conversation and kindness and trust within your neighbors.

[12:26] Marlon: And I really appreciate that, you know, Marly, because, you know, I really see me running to be a Commissioner, not so much about the title and the leadership opportunity, because it’s really just an extension of who I am and what I have been doing, right? And it’s very important for folks to understand that you really shouldn’t be afraid of politics, right? It’s not about getting into an argument over an issue or a topic that you may have a difference of opinion of, right? Because we all have different perspectives. But the truth of the matter is that, you are going to need government and government is going to need you in order to deliver certain services on to a community, in order for there to be some level of order and quality of life for people to prosper, and to be more loving and kind, right? Because if you have a community that is distressed or stressed economically, or conflict within family, or a community that looks grungy and dirty, that’s not creating an environment of love and kindness. And we drive by communities all the time because our communities are not developed equally. Some communities have more nice-looking trees than others, some communities have more community violence than others, some communities have more folks who are in economic distress than others. And it’s not about the type of government, if it’s the type of community that we want, do we want happiness and love and more kindness to be spread? Is the answer to that question yes or no?

And if the answer that question is YES, you want the same level of love, kindness and happiness for your community, then you have to start asking you the question, well, who is your community? Right, and am I welcome in your community? And, what do you expect me to bring to your community? Do you expect me to bring anger and rage and, and discontent? Or do you expect love and kindness and happiness in order to make your community better, right? And when we live in a multicultural community like this, we all have different perspectives on the quality of life that we want and what I’m really saying is that, we can’t afford to be– to marginalize each other or to exclude each other– the same love and kindness that we’re going to give to each other’s humanity, we may have to work hard or harder in order to spread those random acts of kindness.

[15:12] Marly Q: Absolutely. One of the things that I love about your specific campaign is your slogan, I love, “It’s a New Day”. It’s a New Day inspires hope, you know, I approach every day with that mindset, you know, it’s a new day, how can I be of service today? What impact can I make today? And I think that if we instilled that philosophy, those values in our children, then we would be planting that seed and nurturing that soil and growing and watching our youth blossom into our future leaders, which is people that want to run for government for the right reasons, for the servant leadership opportunity, and we can start to create that kind of relationship between community and government that is necessary in order to, not just improve our quality of our communities, but our quality of life or quality of education, our quality of resources that we are giving and receiving to each other. And I know that that’s one of the things that you focus on is youth mentorship quite a bit, right?

[16:16] Marlon: Absolutely. We, you know, you mentioned the whole idea of planting a seed, in South Dade, we have one of the largest agricultural industries in the entire state and farmers will tell you, you can’t have a harvest without planting a seed, right? And if the soil is fertile, and we get enough rain, and it’s ready to go, let’s just plant the right seed because at some point, there’s going to be a harvest, a bountiful harvest of your favorite tropical fru

it that could be in the form of love and kindness, right? If you are not tilling the soil, getting it ready, if you are not caring for it over the time of growth, you won’t get the type of harvest that you want, right? And I firmly believe that what I’m actually doing as a candidate, and as a county commissioner who can’t serve more than eight years now that there are term limits, right? Is that I’m planting seeds that are going to be reaped way after I’m gone, right?

And that could be that young person who is in high school now where12 years from now, he or she decides to come back home from school and wants a leadership opportunity, it could be elective office, it could be serving on a board and it could be just their family PARK Project.

But we must create an environment where every person , Marly, empowered that their PARK Project, no matter how small it is, and it’s not a matter of size, it’s a matter of impact, right?

You have to believe in that personal impact, in that personal power and I’ve always tried to reach my– helping all the young people you know, and the reason why we met that other day is that, as a business lawyer, I believe in helping entrepreneurs, social entrepreneurs or other entrepreneurs, small business owners, to plant their seeds, as part of my part of my farm, and my practice is to watch that harvest at a later date. So, the planting the seed of the trademark, planting the seed of the tax exempt status, planting the seed of incorporation, planting the seed of the public private partnerships that could exist, is an act that could be an harvest, for magnifying what PARK does as a mission, and every person and organization I believe Marly, you have the ability to do that in a community like ours.

You know, so, this election that’s coming up on on August 18th is an opportunity for the citizens and residents to, the residents of Miami Dade County to really evaluate the leaders that they’re going to choose for mayor and county commissioner and judges and state– you know, are these the type of persons that are in sync with my values, that understand my interests, that exhibit a certain level of compassion and empathy for a world of love and kindness that I want to see, right? And if we are in sync with that, then you would go and vote for that person. And voting is also an act of kindness.

[19:23] Marly Q: Yes, I wanted you to touch on that, please, let’s encourage people, why should they make the time to be kind and vote?

[19:30] Marlon:

Voting is one of the most understated forms of personal power, that you are giving your interests, your values, your passions to the feet of a person who has that power that you have given them to make decisions on the things that you care about.

So, if you want to live in a community that is comprised of or sparked with certain things that, you want more public parks, or you want more support for after school programs for kids, or you want a more trusting meaningful relationship with your police officers, or you want better customer service when you go to your public health facilities, these are all things that your government can actually impact. So, these are policies and ideas that you will be giving the power to a county commissioner, or city commissioner to decide, right? And it’s not just a law, or it’s not just money in a budget, it’s actually ideas of things you want to see. So, you’re giving your vote of your values of love and kindness that will be translated into the services that are delivered to you and your neighbors and your community through government in partnership with you, and that’s why your vote is so critical in order to make those things happen, because you don’t want the type of leadership that is going to be pursuing policies and laws or the allocation of monies in a budget that are counter to the type of quality of life that you want, and the quality of life that you need for your families, right? So, this is the reason why you can’t afford to just discount the fact, well, in the last August 18th election, the turnout was only about 18% Marly and that’s unconscionable, right? Because that means over 82% of people decided not to have an impact of creating a community that’s filled with resources and ideas and PARK Projects that could improve the lives of people.

[21:50] Marly Q: Yeah, that’s crazy. I think– I’m so glad that you’re sharing this because I think that most people maybe didn’t just, you know, dismiss the opportunity to vote, maybe they just don’t value, or see the value in their right and their power to vote. I think that this is a very important conversation and we have listeners, not just here from Florida and from Miami Dade County, but from all over the nation and even the world now, we have some international listeners as well as we’re getting this podcast started, and just wherever you are, it’s so important to be, to get educated, not just on the issues that matter to you and be clear on your values and what’s important to you and what you want in your community, but actually make the time to be kind and do your research on the candidates and their values and their platforms and go out there and vote and I think that now with the pandemic and COVID, I hope that that doesn’t reduce our voter turnout.

[22:46] Marlon: We have vote by mail, you can vote through mail. So, vote by mail is a very important option, you can do it safely, you can track your vote by mail, like an express mail package to make sure that it’s actually received and processed, right? You can vote early, which is two weeks before August 18, right? So, wherever you are voting, your vote is really an important statement of you standing in your space and saying, “My voice matters and I want to ensure, collectively with all the voices, that I have my say on where I would like to see the community, the direction and the community go.”, right? Why would you give that up and not have a say? It’s just like being, starting your own PARK project, right? You’re making a decision to stand in your truth and to spark PARKticipation, right?

You are standing in your truth and no matter how you view your project, whatever your random act is, that spark is similar like a vote, right? And then when it has a ripple effect Marly, it’s like a tsunami, after that goes out, right? You know, once you have that random act, voting is just like that, right? So, just think about it like your group of friends and your family. Just, start small and have a conversation about, “Okay guys, you know, I live in Doral or I live in South Dade. You know, or I live in Atlanta, or I live in Bogota, and I want to see this change, right. Just, I want to see this change.”. And then you say, “Okay, what are you going to do to see the change you want? What are you willing to do? Are you willing to start a PARK project? Are you willing to start an advocacy group? Are you willing to have a letter writing campaign to the elected leaders? Are you willing to raise money for a particular issue?”. There are number of things you can do to see the change you want, but it’s not just going to happen just by you wishing it to happen. You must have– you can’t be expected, or you have to step in– when you PARK, again, it’s purposeful.

[25:00] Marly Q: Yeah, it’s action statement, it is very purposeful.

[25:02] Marlon: It’s an action statement. And voting is an action statement, right? And you know, so the deadline to register the vote is July 17th here in Miami Dade County, right? You have to be 18 years old, and a US citizen, you get your voter registration card, you can request your vote by mail online, you can request by phone or fax, the ballot comes to your home, and you do your research, you fill out the ballot, you put it in the sleeve, and you seal it, and you ensure that you sign the envelope and you drop it in the mail, the postage is already paid for, it’s free. You go online, and then you check to see when it’s received and processed and then that your vote is counted. And then, you’ll see on August 18th whether or not the persons that you supported, by yourself or you do it as a group, because each candidate needs as many votes to win, right? So, I need 50% plus one votes to win in my election in district nine, because only if you live in district nine, can you vote for me, but everyone votes for the mayor. And wherever you live in the world or wherever you live in the state, you have to do your homework as a citizen to understand what is the extent of your power and who are your choices, this is very important for you to really have the support you need for your PARK Projects.

[26:27] Marly Q: Absolutely. Where are you placing your trust and your values? Who are you passing that on to help create that ripple effect that you want in your community? Thank you so much for walking us through that process and educating all of us listening. I will make sure to include links in the show notes to help people register to vote and do their research and include the link to your awesome campaign page as well, that has so many resources for people to benefit from.

[26:55] Marlon: And if anyone wants to PARK anything with me, whether as a small business idea or a social entrepreneurship idea or even something related to the community or politics, you know, feel free to give me a call myself, the 305-244-4456. We’re creating a community of support, we’re creating a community of resilience and whether we do that through politics or whether we do that as just PARKners, I think that’s, at the end of the day, that’s what it’s really all about.

[27:26] Marly Q: Absolutely. I hope that you are just proud of the seed that you planted almost 10 years ago and how it’s evolved into this podcast and what we’re doing now. Thank you for offering your cell phone number.

[27:42] Marlon: Extremely proud. No, no, thank you so much.

[27:44] Marly Q: Yeah. And just always being there, always being a PARKner. So, thank you so much for offering that to so many people. We appreciate you.

[27:52] Marlon: Thank you so much and have a blessed summer.

[27:55] Marly Q: Thank you, likewise.

[27:57] Outro: I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to shine the light on a great example of servant leadership and the power of planting seeds of kindness in your life, at home, at work and in your community and the world. To connect with Marlon Hill, learn more about supporting his campaign and registering to vote in the upcoming elections, visit malrlyq.com/15.

[28:21] Thank you for listening. If you’re inspired to make a little more time to be kind, please subscribe, leave a kind review and share with a friend who’d appreciate this podcast too. Thank you for being the spark of kindness. See you next time! [28:32]

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The Currency of Kindness

The Currency of Kindness

What if the world runs out of money?

Could you imagine how vastly different our world would be if we all learned to value the currency of kindness more than the currency of money?  

We believe creating this kind of world is possible, that’s why this podcast exists.

Our vision is to live in a World where Everyone Performs Acts of Random Kindness. #wePARK

SHOW NOTES:

Click here to get your FREE downloadable copy of the book “What if the World Runs Out of Money” in exchange for an honorary pledge to PARK (Perform Acts of Random Kindness).

Click here to LISTEN to “What if the World Runs Out of Money?” 5 minute storytelling video

TRANSCRIPTION:

Hi PARKer, I’m Marly Q and welcome to Episode 14 with Murray Jones. Joining us today all the way from Brisbane, Queensland. Murray Jones is a successful Australian businessman and self-published author who has written a rhyming illustrated book for kids called, “What if the World runs out of Money?”. This book is meant to resonate with eight-year olds to 80-year olds because it’s all about valuing the important things in life, or what I like to call the currency of kindness more than the currency of money. Not only did Murray make this time to be kind and write the book, he made it available for free in exchange for making an honorary pledge to do something kind for someone. And he even donated a signed hard copy of the book to give away to one of you listening. That makes Murray our first Aussie PARKer and superhero in our book. So, let’s listen and welcome him into our Kind Qrew.

So, welcome to the show, thank you so much for making the time to be kind my new friend and PARKer all the way from Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. Murray, welcome to the show.

[01:21] Murray: Thanks Marly, how you doing?

[01:24] Marly Q: I’m so excited that you found me through the beautiful internet and my TED Talk, Kindness is your Superpower, and you took the initiative to look at my website and reach out to me and connect and I’m just so grateful because we have a very aligned mission and aligned cause and this book that you wrote, “What if the World Runs out of Money?”, I know you sent me and one of our PARKers listening a copy; I can’t wait to receive it and give it out. So, please tell me the story, what is this book about and how did you get inspired to write it?

[02:01] Murray: Yeah, thanks, Marly. The inspiration came from my youngest daughter, actually, we were sitting watching the news or the bad news, the usual bad news and this is a few years ago, actually, and then she, asked me, you know, “Dad, what if the world runs out of money?”. So, that’s really, you know, where it started and I’ve always loved writing so I wrote a book, and it’s a simple rhyming book about the– well, you know, the hypothetical question, you know, what if the world runs out of money? It seems eerily you know, it’s a bit weird at the moment, in the weird world we’re in at the moment with so much stress around money and you know, etc. But yeah, that was the inspiration for the book, Marly.

[02:54] Marly Q: What I find interesting is that it’s not just a book, right? With this hypothetical question, but you also have set up a website, right? So, tell us about that.

[03:04] Murray: Yeah. So, I’ve set up a website called worldwithoutmoney.com.au. And the idea there is that people go on to that site, and they make a pledge to do something kind for someone and it then automatically, obviously they enter their email address, etc. and then it’s an honorary pledge, no one sort of checks to make sure that, you know, they’re doing it, but obviously, and then it automatically reverts back with, you know, with a thank you note and a PDF and a flip book so, a soft copy of the book for free.

[03:40] Marly Q: I think that’s so awesome. And how many honorary pledges would you say you’ve been able to gather?

[03:47] Murray: You know, thousands, there are a lot. So, and most of them are with all the simple things, you know, I’ll help a neighbor, I’ll cook for the neighbor, I’ll go and see the old lady down the street, I’ll, you know, one young girl, I remember there was the earthquake in Peru she said, “I’m going to donate my, you know, my pocket money for the year to the you know to the earthquake, you know fund.”. One lady– so, there are a lot of simple pledges but there was one that came straight from a lady who owned some land in the Philippines, 10,000 square meters of land and she donated that to the local community.

[04:30] Marly Q: Wow.

[04:30] Murray: And last time I heard that they’re raising money to build a school there, so, yeah, it did resonate and setting up that website was very much you know, I never wrote the book to, you know, to make money out of it. I just, you know, wrote it and then I got about 100 hard copies, so…

[04:49] Marly Q: I feel so honored to be receiving one and one of our Kind Qrew listeners receiving one too. Because really what sparked interest, you know, in me when you reached out, not just the title of the book is certainly, you know, a good headline, especially in these times, like you said, but really I talk a lot about the currency of kindness, as much or more than we value the currency of money; what a different world we’d live in. So, the pledges that people are making on your website, whether they’re small, smiling at strangers, I mean, I’m sure, you know, there’s a lot of small acts of kindness and big ones, like some of the ones that you shared, I think that what makes the currency of kindness so powerful, and what makes it a superpower is that it’s limitless. It is abundant, and it’s available to everyone, ages, you know, toddler to 100 and just like your book is targeted to a wide demographic and wide age so is kindness is available, and it will never run out.

[05:54] Murray: It will never run out and it is amazing and like, for such a simple act of kindness can do too in someone else’s life, it’s amazing, really. You know, often, you’re far more powerful than giving something of monetary value, you know, as you say, you know, and it can be as simple as, you know, a smile to a stranger, you know, it’s a pretty tough world out there at the moment and it should be more of it. So, I suppose this is my small contribution to try and generate some more kindness in the world.

[06:22] Marly Q: Well, I thank you. I, you know, created this podcast to spotlight and shine the light on PARKers, on people who perform acts of random kindness all over the world in small and in big ways, because it all makes a huge difference, and my friend writing a book and putting together a website, there’s nothing small about that. I can tell you from experience, that is a great big effort, and I’m so grateful to be able to share it with our PARKers listening. This podcast is all about, you know, uniting people who are performing acts of random kindness around the world and really magnifying our voices and generating more of that currency that I think this world is in desperate need of, way more than their need of money.

[07:09] Murray: Absolutely.

[07:12] AD: Hey, PARKer real quick, if you’re someone who needs a website, landing pages, email platform and want it all in one place, then I think you’ll love Kajabi as much as I do. It’s my new favorite all in one business platform to host my online courses and stay engaged with my community. I’ve got a special 28-day free trial offer that you can see for yourself how Kajabi can help you. Visit marlyq.com/14 for a direct link to your 28-day free trial today.

[07:39] Marly Q: Murray, thank you so much for sharing your book with us and sharing your heart and your passion, you sound like someone to me who, maybe perhaps doesn’t normally brag or promote your acts of kindness, is that an accurate assumption?

[07:57] Murray: Oh well, yeah, probably. Yeah, I don’t like to make a big deal.

[08:03] Marly Q: Right. You sound like a very humble person to me, which I honor and I respect dearly and what I love is how you can be that way and also create a book and a website and a platform for others to share their acts of random kindness and I’d love to hear, you know, your thoughts on sharing acts of kindness versus keeping them anonymous.

[08:29] Murray: Yeah, well, look, I think, look, I think, you know, I guess, you know, the more that people do share their acts of kindness through, I mean, the work that you do, I was just absolutely blown away with your talk and, you know, the movement that you’ve created Marly is amazing. And I think, you know, the more people you know, recognize the benefit, as you say that, you know, kindness is a currency and the slogan for world kindness and I’m pretty sure he has ambassadors, you know, for World Kindness, you know, obviously honoree positions but the slogan for World Kindness is “The Courage to be Kind”, which I think really sums it up. You know, I think, sadly, we live in a world that’s, you know, disconnected and you know, we’re all here on the planet together and you know, we’re all, you know, and particularly at the moment where we are, it just makes me realize how vulnerable we all are and, you know, we’re all here, you know, we’re all here together on this planet spinning around, or trying to work out, you know, what the hell we’re here for. And I just think, you know, the more we can connect through kindness, the better the world would be.

[09:37] Marly Q: I so agree. I absolutely agree, since you listened to my TED talk, and that’s what sparked the connection, I’m not sure if you noticed, you’d have to listen pretty carefully right in the beginning with my opening question was, you know, if you could have any superpower in the world, what would it be? And someone from the audience, from the back of the room, said out loud, “Money.”. And I obviously only had, you know, 20 minutes–

[Cross talk]

[10:01] Marly Q: Yes, it’s very subtle and I, you know, kind of went right over it, I smiled though. I smiled because and you know, I only had 20 minutes to deliver this talk so, it wasn’t an interactive conversation with the audience, but I did hear him scream out, you know, as a superpower, money, and I smiled because I truly believe that the currency of kindness is the superpower– is the real superpower. And if we were to value that, we would live in a completely different world, we would truly heal mankind.

[10:35] Murray: Completely different world.

[10:37] Marly Q: Yes. So, I always smile when I hear that, you know, and sometimes I get criticized, you know, for, you know, “bragging” about acts of kindness or encouraging people to share their acts of kindness. And although I was raised to believe that you keep your acts of kindness anonymous, my life has taught me, you absolutely have the power to impact so many more people when you have the courage to be kind, when you have the courage to share that too.

I created BRAG as an acronym to stand for “Be Real And Grateful”.

So, whenever I “brag” about kindness that either I do, that I’ve seen, that other people are doing, this whole podcast is to BRAG about kindness, it really comes from a place of being real and grateful about the power that kindness has to inspire and impact other people. So, with that, I BRAG about you and I BRAG about your book, gladly, because I do believe it has a superpower to change the world.

[11:40] Murray: Thanks, Marly. No, I think there’s definitely some power in the book, and I think it’s really interesting, I’ve been involved in the sales and marketing my whole life and now saying, you know, I’m pretty successful at it but you’re the guru. You know, your kindness, really, you’re doing all the work you’re doing and it’s just, it’s so powerful.

[12:02] Marly Q: Yes, I’m definitely no guru; I am definitely a recipient and a testimony for the power of kindness and the power specifically of small acts of kindness, they really truly have the power to impact, not just your day, how you’re feeling in that moment, but your actions from then on out and ultimately your life. So, I am living proof that no act of kindness is ever wasted and I thank you for your act of kindness of watching my TED talk and being inspired to not just listen to it, but take another action and an initiative to find me, check out my website, reach out, send me a book and be on this podcast today. I think that that right there is the currency of kindness in action and I do hope that our PARKers listening are inspired by this interview, are inspired by the opportunity to win your book and go to your website and make a pledge and receive their soft copy as well.

[13:04] Murray: Oh, thank you, Marly, thank you very much for your time and it’s an absolute pleasure, it’s been fantastic talking to you.

[13:13] Marly Q: Likewise, big, big virtual hugs all the way. My first friend in Brisbane, Australia. Thank you for joining us.

[13:20] Murray: There you go, my first friend from Miami, Florida, so there you go.

[13:24] Marly Q: Yay, awesome.

[13:27] Murray: Thanks, Marly. Thank you very much.

[13:30] Outro:

“The lesson to reach out to each other is clear and if the money runs out, there’ll be nothing to fear.

New thoughts and ideas will replace ways of old and life as we know it will become pure gold.”

That was a piece from the final pages of Murray’s book; I loved reading it and can’t wait to give away a signed hard copy of this precious children’s book to one of you listening.

To win, all you need to do is …

1) Join my Kind Qrew

2) Leave a kind review on iTunes

This will help give our podcast the visibility that it deserves and further our mission to inspire and ignite kindness worldwide.

Thank you for being the spark of kindness. See you next time. [14:32]

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Living in Gratitude

Living in Gratitude

There’s a big difference between having “an attitude of gratitude” & living in gratitude.

Today’s episode shines the light on this distinction thanks to Vismaya Rubin, Founder of Living in GRATITUDE Today. 

This PARKer & “Gratitude Gangsta” is on a mission to strengthen people’s gratitude muscle so we can all experience more love, joy & prosperity in our lives.

SHOW NOTES:

Click here to Join Living in GRATITUDE Today Movement and receive your FREE Gratitude Monthly Calendar. If you’re in the United States, you can also text the word GRATEFUL to 64600 

TRANSCRIPTION:

Hi PARKer, I’m Marly Q and welcome to Episode 13 with Vismaya Rubin. Have you ever met a “gratitude gangsta”? Well, you’re about to! Our guest today is the founder of Living in GRATITUDE Today, and not only is she a PARKer, like us, she’s a gratitude gangsta on a mission to strengthen people’s gratitude muscles so that we could all experience more love, joy, and prosperity in our lives.

Vismaya is a three-time bestselling author who teaches people about the power of gratitude at both live and virtual events worldwide, she also coaches people on the benefits of a gratitude practice, how to start one and most importantly, how to maintain one during difficult times.

So, if you’re wondering if it’s possible to experience the difficult times we’re facing today and gratitude at the same time, let’s listen and find out.

[01:06] Welcome, it’s so nice to have you here virtually, thank you for making the time to be kind.

[01:11] Vismaya: It is my pleasure, my pleasure, I will do anything I can do to support you.

[01:17] Marly Q: You know, you were one of the first people when I shared that I was starting this podcast to say, “Hey, count me in if you’re going to do an interview format, I want to support and be a part of it.”, and here we are. So, thank you.

[01:28] Vismaya: You’re welcome. I absolutely love every post you put out, everything you do, you– I feel from everything you do. You’re just– you’re a ray of sunshine, and your posts are always so positive, and I missed you when you weren’t online. I was looking for you, I’m like, “Where’s my girl?”.

[01:48] Marly Q: Ah, my 100 days of self-care, social media detox.

[01:52] Vismaya: Yeah, I noticed, I was like, “Where is she?”.

[01:55] Marly Q: Oh, thank you for that. Thank you for missing me. I appreciate it. It’s so good to be back with, just kind of renewed and refreshed energy and have been able to redirect my focus and my time and my energy into creating this podcast and launching it. So, here we are and I’m so excited and grateful to have you here today because the topic is gratitude. And I want our PARKers listening to know why gratitude is your message and how you became a gratitude gangsta.

[02:27] Vismaya: So, I think I’ve always had a gratitude practice, I didn’t realize that it was a gratitude practice; I used to say I was lucky, I was really, I was lucky; that was the word I used. My mom is bipolar, and I grew up, you know, with a bipolar mother and my parents got divorced when I was three, but I always had these incredible experiences in my life. And maybe because my mother was bipolar, we had some pretty incredible things that happened and people always wanted to feel sad for, you know, sad for me or pity me or feel sorry for me and I remember, even as a little girl, that was not an option. So, I was like, “Are you kidding? I’m lucky. Look at all these things that happened to me and for me.”. So, I think I’ve always practiced gratitude, it wasn’t until I was much older that I realized that it was a gratitude practice, not that I was just lucky, and that really pushed me to do a lot of amazing things and have a lot of amazing experiences. And when I was teaching, character development was always very important for me and one of my last years teaching, my last few years, they had me teaching a writing class where before I was teaching about the Seven Habits of Highly Effective teens. And the last year I was teaching, we had to do evidence-based writing. So, I was like, “Alright, this is wonderful.”. So, I was teaching, or having my students read about the power of gratitude and the science behind gratitude, and they were keeping gratitude charts. So, if you ever tell a ninth grader, “Hey, you’re going to keep a gratitude chart.”, they’re going to look at you like you’ve lost your mind, and that’s basically what happened. So, the beginning, you know, first day of school, “Hey, we’re going to keep a gratitude chart, come up with 20 things that you’re grateful for by the end of the month, turn it in.”, and they were not happy in the beginning.

But fast forward, and it was probably, maybe February or March, we were having a discussion and I said– we were reading a story about two kids who had gotten into a gang and then they had gotten out and I said, “I don’t understand why people would be in a gang.”. And I’ll never forget, as long as I live, Alex looks at me and he says, “Miss, we’re gangsters. We’re gratitude gangsters.”, and my heart opens and then William chimes in, he goes, “Yeah”, he’s like, “We walk around and say to people, I like your shirt.”, and then they’re back and forth, “I like your shoes and I like your belt.”, and you know those guns, the ones that have the pop out flares? I’m like, “No guns.”, he’s like, “Miss, the ones that say, “Thank You”, because that’s what we carry around.”. So, in that moment, I realized that 15-year olds understood the power of gratitude. So, in the beginning, I got a lot of flak for calling myself a gratitude gangster, people were like, “You can’t say that. That’s not nice.”, but now I proudly say it.

[05:17] Marly Q: Nice. I love that story so much because, you know, ninth grade is such a, such a formative year, right? You’re not a middle schooler, but you’re still kind of like at the, you know, starting off in a high school and, maybe your focus as a ninth grader is, the furthest thing is, you know, gratitude. You’re like, “I’m just trying to exist here and figure out what it means to be in high school.”, and to have been able to create an environment for 15 year olds to be grateful, to practice gratitude, I’m sure was, you know, not just heart opening, you know, for you but for every single one of your students as well. What was the spark that had you, because that’s where– how we first met, as a teacher at my own alma mater. So, long ago, no need to date it. And I just remember ninth grade being a very formative year for me as well, where I started speaking up, I started, you know, leading meetings and being the president of the interact club and started finding my passion and my talent for creating events, and really kind of unifying people, kind of the start of my own journey as well. So, I just think that’s so important.

[06:32] Vismaya: I remember.

[06:33] Marly Q: What was the spark to you, like leaving teaching and starting your own business? Tell me about that.

[06:38] Vismaya: You know, I can’t sit in a classroom and tell kids to go for their dreams, to– that they can do anything they want to do and then not go for mine, and I knew that it was time for me to leave the system. And again, you know, I had to walk the walk, and I had to walk the walk if I was going to talk to talk and that was a big one for me and I did it for them and I did it for myself. Like, it was just kind of, it was time for me to go, and it was also again, you know, if I don’t do it now, when am I going to do it? If I don’t take a chance now, am I going to always look back and say, “I wish, what if, maybe.”? So, I said, you know, I got a jump and I took the jump and three years later, I’m very happy.

[07:25] Marly Q: Beautiful. Tell us about your business, about Living in Gratitude Today.

[07:30] Vismaya: So, Living in Gratitude Today, the idea is that regardless of what’s going on in life, we can find something to be grateful for. And it’s not the idea that everything is perfect every second of every day, because I don’t believe that and I believe that it’s a gratitude practice, not an attitude of gratitude, like you really get to work and you get to consciously look for those things. So, the idea is that, I have an online gratitude movement, and each week, we’re tapping into different ways that we can really look at gratitude or tap into that space of gratitude or practice gratitude. So, there are just different techniques that I read about or learn about. I do a lot of research on gratitude, and then I get to share them with my community. We have an online Facebook group, a private Facebook group, we have some meetings that are happening, where we’re really just building this idea of how do we strengthen that muscle, so that when we’re in different situations, we’re still able to see the juiciness and the deliciousness in it. And again, that doesn’t mean that we don’t experience sadness, or pain or frustration or any of those things, because we do, but how do you pull yourself out much quicker? And that’s through the practice of gratitude.

[08:45] Marly Q: Absolutely. I know that I always say, you know, kindness is your superpower and I believe gratitude is a superpower as well. And I know we’re on the same page about that.

[08:54] Vismaya: Absolutely.

[08:57] Mid-Roll AD:

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[09:27] Marly Q: And let’s get practical here, right? Because we always– we hear, you know, you should be grateful and this should be you know, your attitude of gratitude, like you said, but what I love about your work and your message and your mission is that you’re constantly reminding people it’s a practice, it’s a practice, you’ve got this great, you know, merchandise line with your T shirts, you’re always wearing your gratitude and your grateful shirts, I’m wearing mine today in your honor. What are some of your favorite practices that you share with folks your gratitude practice, if you can share with us?

[09:58] Vismaya: Absolutely. So, I think the first one is to wake up every day and declare that today is going to be a magical day, and what you’re doing is, you’re telling the universe, you’re telling the world, you’re telling yourself, “This is what I’m up to. This is what I’m expecting for today.”. So, that’s the first thing before I even get out of bed, “Today is going to be a magical day!”, even if I don’t believe it, I say it. And then the next thing I would say to somebody, if you have– if you don’t have a gratitude practice, we walk around with our cell phones, turn your cell phone on, have it go off every three to four hours, when the alarm goes off, pause, take a deep breath, and ask yourself, “What are my gratitude wins? Who or what made a difference for me? What did I do for myself? Did I do something new or something nice for somebody and then what made me smile or laugh till my sides hurt?”. And here’s the beauty because it is a gratitude practice, not a gratitude perfect, you’re going to do this every three to four hours. So, if you don’t find something that you’re grateful for in that moment, it’s okay, give yourself a break. And it’s kind of like what you said, like, learning to be kind to yourself and this is also what this practice is about, be kind to yourself, if you don’t find something right now, that’s okay. Because you’re going to do it again.

[11:16] Marly Q: I love that, it’s not a gratitude perfect, it’s a gratitude practice. And sometimes when we hear you know, like, join this practice or join this challenge, we immediately want to perfect it, we want to be great at it and if we, you know, miss our gratitude practice assignment, we’re like, “We’re a failure. We didn’t do it.”, and we’re beating ourselves up, and that’s where the self-love and kindness comes in, right? And even in moments when we’re experiencing dark times or difficult emotions, even there, I mean, you started off by sharing, you know, a bit of your story, your parents divorcing at three, difficult situation, you know, growing up with your mom, you know, being bipolar; I’m sure there were several, you know, difficult situations or reasons to feel sad or feel confused or anxious. And yet, you’re still able to look around and say, “I’m lucky. Look at all this around me. Look at this beauty around me and look.”, but it is something that you need to practice seeing and the more we practice looking for things to be grateful for, the more things we have to be grateful for.

[12:14] Vismaya: Absolutely.

[12:15] Marly Q: And I know for me in any moment, you know, I wake up and I have my own gratitude practice as well. And for me, even in moments when I don’t feel like it, right? And I can’t genuinely find something that I’m like feeling grateful for, not just thinking grateful, right? Like, I’m grateful for my family, I’m grateful for, you know, the new day but really feeling grateful, I could always come back to, I feel really grateful for this breath. I think our breath is on anchor, right? Even when there’s nothing to be grateful for, in this moment, you are breathing and that breath is a gift, and that, if nothing else, is something to be grateful for in every moment. Would you agree?

[12:58] Vismaya: I do and I do love that practice because I think when you’re taking that deep breath, what it does is it brings you back to the present, it brings you back to your consciousness, your present– this present moment where you can start to then again, look. I have to, you know, I think, for me, what happens is that the more we practice gratitude, when times are great, the easier it is to see those magical moments when life is challenging. So, like you said, you take a deep breath, and it brings you back, I think what happens for me is that, what happens is when I’m in my crazy space, or in my mind, and it’s going– and running around, there’s a voice inside of my head that says, “Vismaya, you know, the universe has your back and you know that everything will work out.”, and that’s because that practice has been, it’s just part of who I am right now. It’s part of my being but that’s what makes it super easy for me.

[13:54] Marly Q: Yeah, that’s how it’s your default because it’s a lifestyle, it’s a practice and it might be difficult for some people at first, who don’t have that practice, right? Which is why I love that you’ve created this movement and this program to help people own their own gratitude practice because it looks different for everyone, right? A self-care and self-love and kindness practice looks different for everyone. People ask me for tips and advice on, you know how to be kinder to yourself, and we can give you tips and advice but at the end of the day, you need to know what works for you. The reason that my breath works for me every single time is because I grew up with chronic asthma, and every day as a little kid, I’d wake up and the first thing I’m doing is checking on my breath, am I breathing? And I would smile and say, “Thank you.”. It’s that simple; that’s why my breath always brings me back, you know, but for someone else, it’s looking at, you know, the sky and the sun and the clouds and that makes you realize that you’re part of this planet, right? This part of this huge you know, universe. I mean, whatever it is for you and you only find what gratitude practices work for you by practicing it and developing and strengthening that superpower. So, I really am a fan and a supporter of the work that you do, I think it’s powerful, I think it’s important. And I think that the time to be kind and grateful is now more than ever.

[15:14] Vismaya: Absolutely. We’re always asked the question, you know, “Are happier people grateful, or are grateful people happier?”, and I think what it always comes down to is when you practice gratitude, you’re ultimately happier. And when you’re happier, you’re more productive, you have greater relationships, you’re more connected to the people around you. So, I think that is one of the main reasons why I would absolutely encourage people to start a gratitude practice. There’s also research that shows that when you’re stressed out, your cortisol levels are really high and it’s all over your body and it takes about 24 hours for that cortisol level to go– to subside and when you practice gratitude, it releases the positive, the good feeling chemicals into the brain and that kind of counteracts the levels of cortisol. So, there are definitely scientific reasons, but I think the main reason is that even if you’re not into the science, it makes you feel good, right? People don’t wake up and say, “I want to be grateful.”, but they wake up and say, “I want to feel better. I want to feel happier. I want to feel connected to the people around me. I want to feel more productive. I want to feel excited about life.”, and that’s how you get that.

[16:28] Marly Q: I’m with you. Preach gratitude gangster, I’m with you. So, I know that you have a special gift for, you know, our PARKers listening, and anyone that visits livingingratitudetoday.com, if you need some ideas on how to practice gratitude in your own life, you’ve got a monthly calendar. I love this, right?

[16:51] Vismaya: I do. I put them together each month and it’s filled with– each day, there’s a different gratitude action step that you can take so that if you’re not feeling super grateful or excited you can do the action step and it creates this moment of gratitude for you. Some of them are things that you can do for yourself, some of them are things you could do for other people and if something works for you, continue to do it, if you like everything on the calendar, do them all.

[17:17] Marly Q: Awesome. I love it. Vismaya, thank you so much for making the time to be kind today and also your gifts to help us all practice more gratitude in our lives.

[17:24] Vismaya: It is my pleasure; I will say yes to anything you do.

[17:28] Marly Q: Thank you, big big virtual hugs.

[17:31] Outro: I hope you enjoyed making this time to be kind together today because living in gratitude allows the currency of kindness to flow into our daily lives and opens our hearts to connect with ourselves, each other and the world on a deeper level. Having a daily gratitude practice is key to experiencing more happiness, greater self-esteem, less stress and resilience, giving you the spark of light that you need to see your way through dark times. If you’re ready to start strengthening your gratitude muscle, just visit marlyq.com/13 to join Vismaya’s Living in Gratitude Today movement and get your free gratitude calendar too.

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Hugging the World

Hugging the World

Today’s episode was recorded before COVID-19 and the tragic deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd and although it may not seem like the right time to be promoting hugs …we believe the Time to be Kind to all manKIND is NOW!

This is our humble way of virtually embracing all black lives around the world who – not only matter – but deserve to be seen, heard, understood, valued, respected and have the light shine on them & their stories in positive ways. #wePARK

SHOW NOTES:

Learn more about Big Dave Hugs the World in 80 Days Tour

Follow on Instagram @thehumanhigh5

ThankQ to our Episode PARKner: Chris Colina Realtor

Interested in sponsoring Time to be Kind with Marly Q.? Click here

TRANSCRIPTION:

Hi, PARKer, I’m Marly Q and welcome to Episode 12 with David Sylvester, better known around the world as Big Dave.

This man is awesome, you may think I’m exaggerating, but this PARKer from Philadelphia has personally hugged and high fived over half a million people, from newborns, to 100-year olds, in 50 states and 42 countries since the 9/11 tragedy in 2001. This interview was recorded before the tragic deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd and even though I recognize right now may not seem like the right time to be promoting hugs …

…the Time to be Kind to all mankind is now.

I’m offering this episode as a humble way of collectively wrapping our arms around the world, to embrace all black lives who not only matter, but deserve to be seen, heard, understood, valued, respected, and have the light shine on them in positive ways.

So, today, let’s let the light shine brightly on Big Dave’s story and learn how he was able to turn a tragedy into inspiration to be the spark and hug the world.

[01:25] Marly Q: If you could just give us a brief overview of how this all got started, how did you turn this tragedy that we all experienced into inspiration?

[01:34] Big Dave: You know, it was after I lost my friend, I wanted to do something. I think if anybody that was alive then or really remembers that time, is that I think we all felt powerless. I think we all felt like we were, you know, potential victims, just being an American, just for being in a big city, we all just felt like, you know, something as innocent as a plane that just transports people could be turned against us. And I mean, it was something that I just, I didn’t like that feeling and, you know, and that coupled with the fact that I just lost my friend, I wanted to do something. And what I found is that, you know, when I bicycled across the United States to honor my friend, is that almost everybody I met, regardless of what they wanted to express, whether it was patriotism, camaraderie, whether it was consoling me, they all expressed it with a hug and it was something that, you know, I just, I really didn’t think of at the time, but it was just, I was just out there just honoring my friend by biking across the United States. And, you know, what I found is that, you know, like I said, after it was all over, the one thing that was common in almost everything, in everyone that I met was that they just wanted a hug. So, I really thought about that and I wanted to continue this sort of this very unique view of humanity that I had. So, I next rode my bicycle across Africa from Cairo to Cape Town, and it was the same thing even though we’re a few years removed from September 11th, even though, you know, I was in a different continent, different countries, I mean, people still wanted to connect via a hug. And so, I continued on by biking Asia, North America again, Australia and everywhere I went, you know, once I really opened up my self and told my story, people just wanted to connect and just wanted a hug. And it wasn’t even something that I was overtly asking for, it was just there.

And so, one thing kind of like I said, it just sort of led one thing to another in the first overt Hug and High Five tour was in Australia in 2014, when I just, not only biked from Sydney to Melbourne, I also challenged myself to hug and high five a thousand people in a month, no signs, no preamble, just going up to people and you know, sharing my story and say, “Hey, you want a hug?”, and then taking a picture of it. And when I was able to do that in 22 days, you know, 1000 people in 22 days it was, it really got me thinking about really going after it and just trying to hug and high five as many people as I could. So, you know, and that’s kind of just a brief overview of how it all started. I just wanted to do something to honor a friend and just, you know, I think like anything, when you do something new, you, you know, you stop and you take stock of what happened and, you know, it’s been interesting because that is the one thing that sort of, everybody wants, you know, and especially as we’ve gotten more and more, you know, polarized in terms of politically or gender, this or whatever, I mean, the one thing that really cuts through all that is just hugs and high fives and so, it’s been good.

[04:56] Marly Q: Nothing beats a human touch. Have you ever had an experience where your hug or your high five wasn’t welcome?

[05:06] Big Dave: It’s all the time. I mean, listen, it’s not that deep to me. And so, I get it and if you don’t want it, you don’t want it, and that’s fine.

[05:14] Marly Q: Keep going.

[05:15] Big Dave: Yeah, just keep it moving man.

[05:17] Marly Q: And keep it going because the large majority of people really need almost that persistence of kindness. So, they may not, you know, they see you that first time around, they don’t really trust or you know, see it as a gimmick, like you said, or, “Oh, just trying to get attention”, right? Some people may see it that way.

[05:34] Big Dave: Some people do.

[05:35] Marly Q: But you see it as persistence and you see a consistent behavior, I think the kindness shines through when people see that you’re really just trying to give and be available to people.

[05:45] Big Dave: Well, I will say that one of the nicest texts that I ever got, was from a guy that apologized for not hugging me. I had an event in Virginia Beach, and he wrote to me that he was in a coffee shop where I was and thought that I was selling something and thought that this was some sort of, you know, cheesy event and he said, but you know, he never saw any money exchanged and he said that everybody that walked away from me, he said, he thought it was it was interesting that whatever I was selling, everyone was hugging me after they purchased it.

And so, he said that, you know, he looked into me and into my story after he left, and he said, you know, “I really shouldn’t have just judged you. And, you know, I apologize. I owe you a hug the next time I see you.”.

And so, it’s, you know, sometimes people have their own misconceptions about what things are, about who people are and stuff like that, and that’s cool. You know, it’s, I get it. I mean, I think we all do it from time to time. And, you know, I applaud this guy for just being you know, man enough to admit, “Hey, listen man, I was wrong, you know? I was incorrect in my assumption.”.

[07:02] Marly Q: I think that’s amazing. Thank you so much for sharing that. And I’m sure that in your travels and where you’ve been all over the world, you’ve encountered some of that and that’s why I brought it up. I mean, you’re an African American man, and I’m sure in places that you’ve seen, or that you’ve visited, you’ve been the first black man that people have ever seen and you’re coming up and hugging them, right? So, that experience must be unique.

[07:24] Big Dave: That is, yeah, that is definitely true. There’s a lot of places where, you know, especially throughout Asia, I mean, let’s be real, I mean, there are a lot of places in Africa where they hadn’t experienced, they hadn’t met an African American before so it’s been interesting to hold the flag, so to speak for black Americans around the world, but I mean, that’s why I go in hugging and high fiving, I go in smiling, I go in clear, because I want to make it easier for the next person. You know, I want the next brother that comes behind me to have you know, an even easier time than I have, you know going places and stuff like that.

[08:09] Marly Q: I think that’s awesome and an incredibly powerful way to PARK (Perform Acts of Random Kindness). Let me ask you big Dave, have you ever felt, kind of like burnt out or drained from hugging so many people or hearing so many stories that are you know, kind of emotionally charged? And if you have, how do you recharge yourself? How do you PARK for yourself?

[08:28] Big Dave: You know what? I’m burnt out now, this interview’s over.

[08:31] Marly Q: Oh no! Come back, virtual hug!

[08:37] Big Dave: I am, there are times. I mean, one of the things that really got me, one time I was at a hospital, was in the dementia wing and I talked to this woman who she said, “I know I’m not in my right mind but I’m good now and I think what you’re doing is simply beautiful.”, and she gave me a big hug, and I went back around to see her about 45 minutes later, and she had no idea who I was and that really broke my heart. I mean, it really got to me to the point, I mean, I just, I needed a long moment to get myself together. So, you know, I, you know, I told the people who were organizing the event, I was supposed to go somewhere else, I was like, “Look, we have to cancel this next thing and then I’ll go to the thing after that, but I just, I need to go somewhere and cry for a bit.”. And so, sometimes it’s hard to process some stuff, but, you know, because of that, I’m just, I’m very cognizant, I’m very aware of my feelings and my time, and yeah, I just get out. I just, I get out when I have to.

[09:51] Marly Q: I think that’s so important to share. Thank you for doing so. So, with all of the incredibly memorable and meaningful acts of kindness that I’m sure you have received throughout the world, is there any one in particular that stands out that really impacted you?

[10:08] Big Dave: You know, listen, if you were to ask me this question 10 times, I’d give you 10 different memorable moments. So, I am going to talk about something that happened when the first, the very first ride and we were in Wisconsin, and my friend and I were bicycling across the country, and we saw this woman, she’s jogging, and we’re talking to her and it was in the middle of nowhere, and we just had a nice conversation as she’s jogging, as we’re cycling along. And in the middle of the conversation, she just took off and she, you know, cut through some farmland and it was just, it was weird, because we were having a nice conversation, but it was, there was no goodbye, there was no, “I don’t want to talk to you.”, there was no, there was no nothing. It was just, no egress, it was just, she was just out.

And so, I was like, “That was just really weird.”. So, my friend and I kept cycling for a while, and we biked a little way up the road, we made a right and we’re biking, biking, biking and then all of a sudden, as we are biking down the road, we see two little kids standing on the side of the road with a sign and as we get closer, you know, little kids that you can see, they’re just jumping up and down. We can also see some balloons that are jumping up and down, and they’re waving us on, and we figured that maybe some other cyclists had bypassed them before and so they thought it was a bike race or something like that. So, we were prepared to ride right by him and then all of a sudden, right when we got up on the kids, the kids, you know, “Stop, stop, stop, stop, stop, stop, stop, stop, stop.”, and we stopped and the kids were so excited and were like, “We heard you were coming.”. Like, “What are you talking about?”, and it was just weird talking to two little kids on the side of the road, and it was, I told my boy, Scott, I was like, “Yo, man, this is strange man, it’s time to go man.”. And he said, “Yeah, man, it’s time to go”. So, we were like, “Bye kids!”, and all of a sudden the kids said, “You can’t leave, the cookies aren’t done yet.”.

And we’re like, “What are you talking about?”, and then all of a sudden the woman that we had just talked to who, you know, apparently what she had done, had darted through farmland to get to the back of her house to tell her family, “Hey, look, there’s some cool cyclists that are coming by.”, and she threw some cookies in the oven, and, excuse me, the balloons were left over from her mother’s birthday party the day before. See, you know, the kids made a sign that said, “Go bikers.”, and all of a sudden, like all of this happened just in a relatively short amount of time. And she said, “I knew you were going to be coming right past our house.”.

And so, we ended up staying, you know, sitting on a porch with this woman that we had met and her family and these two little kids, I mean, just for probably about 45 minutes, you know, just and that was just the random act of kindness. Just a random– just random. And it was just something that really let me know that, you know, there really are some very, very, very good people out there and a lot of times, if you just give people the chance, give people the opportunity, good things will happen. And I think that, you know, I think in general, I mean, it’s, you know, it’s all about the energy that you put out, it’s all about what you engender. I mean, if you are constantly looking for the bad side of people, it’s, I mean, there’s, you know, look, if you want trouble, it’s out there. It’s out there, you know, in droves. But at this, you know, conversely, if you want goodness, it’s out there, it’s out there as well. You just have to want it and that’s it and it’s not going to be easy, you know, just like anything, you know, but if you want it, it is out there.

And I think that’s the important thing to tell people. I mean, you know, it’s just with my story, I have hugged a half a million people that means I have easily encountered a million, a million and a half people in 19 years. If I want to really look at it from a really crappy lens, you know, I’ll be like, “Oh my god.”, you know, I’m going to be constantly focused on the people that didn’t hug me and how I choose to look at it is the people that did hug me, how I choose to look at it is, the people where I did have good connections, how I choose to look at it is, you know, all of the smiles that I’ve seen, I’ve now seen, you know, half a million smiles in every color, shape, accent, you know that imaginable, and that’s how I choose to look at it. And I think it’s, you know, I would say that anybody that’s listening to this, in fact, if you’re listening to this podcast, you obviously believe that there’s good things out there, you believe that there’s good people out there and, that’s it, let that be, you know the bedrock of your day, that there are good people out there. And that’s it and so, it’s in belief.

I think it’s important that for anybody that is, you know, on a mission, whatever that mission is, is to really, you know, remember why you’re in this.

You know, I’m in this for good reasons, I’m in here for you know, for happy reasons. So, like I said, if you ask me this question again in an hour, I’ll give you a completely different answer that is just as vivid to me. Because that’s why I got into this. And so, I think there are tough times, you know, it ain’t free, you know, it comes at a cost, it comes at a cost in terms of time, money and everything, you know, it’s a lot. But when it does, when I do think about the mounting costs and stuff like that, I have to remember that woman in Wisconsin, I have to remember the smile on those kids’ faces, I have to remember all the good times and I’ve had so many good times, and I’ve had so many beautiful moments. And that’s what I have to remember in order to continue on and that’s what I focus on all the time, is the good times.

[16:52] Marly Q: Oh, Dave, you are my definition of a superhero. You know, this podcast is really about shining the light on you know, the everyday regular, if you will, person that has this superpower of kindness within them, right? So, you found your bike, you found your why, you turned, you know, a tragic moment into inspiration to go out and pedal the world for 19 years and we’re coming up on the 20th anniversary of 9/11. And you know, for those listening out there that might think like, “Wow, you know, I can’t do you know, what big Dave is doing.”, I just want this conversation to remind everyone listening is, and I think you say it, I’m quoting you is, “Find your own bike.”, what is it for you?

[17:33] Big Dave: I mean, yeah, find your own thing. I mean, you can do it. I mean, listen, it’s great to hear somebody that’s 19 years into a story and then you know, but then you know, sometimes people think, “Oh my god, I can’t do that.”, it hasn’t always been 19 years. You know, I remember when it was five years in and when it was 10 years and when it was two years in and it’s, like I said, it hasn’t been easy, but that’s why I focused in on the good times, I’ve focused in on all those smiles. That’s why I’ve stayed in contact with a lot of those people and with social media now, it’s a lot easier to stay in contact with those people and sort of build your own coalition, build your own platform. But it’s, but stay at it, and it doesn’t and listen, if you listen to my story, it wasn’t always hugs and high fives it was, you know, it sort of grew into that. So, don’t think that, you know, whatever your theme of goodness is today that it has to stay that way, it has to stay good, but it doesn’t always have to stay that way. And then when you are true to yourself, no one can take you under, you know, no one can take you down and you have the freedom to change direction and grow in the way that you want to grow.

And so, I would just say, you know, for anybody that is listening to this podcast, if you find yourself down, if you find yourself doubting, if you find yourself, you know, wondering, “Can you still stay in the game?”, you know, call me and let’s talk about it. My number is 267-252-1974, I only got one frigging phone and that’s it. And so, just call me, you want to talk about it, I’ll listen, I will listen.

There was one time when I was, this is early on, this is probably like the fourth year, the fourth or fifth year when I was like, “I can’t do this anymore. I can’t do it. I can’t afford it. I can’t you know, I’m paying for these trips out of my own pocket, I can do it.”. And so, one of my co workers and good friends was sitting with me while I was in the gym and I had the wanted ads out, and she was like, “What are you doing?”, I said, “I can’t do this man. I got to; I’m done. I got to find a real job, a real job that pays more, this, that, and the other.”, or whatever, and I said, “I’m done.”. And, you know, my friend got angry at me and snatched the wanted ads out of my hand and I was like, you know, “What’s your problem?”, and she’s like, “Dave!”, she said, you know, “You have no idea how many of us live through you. How many of us, you know, are always you know, when you leave the room, we talk about the cool things that you do in the world, the cool things that you say, the cool things that happen.”, she said, “You make us all stronger.”. And she said, “If you can’t hack it, then what about the rest of us?”. And so, she’s like, “You have to hang in this for the rest of us.”. And she started opening up about times that she wanted to quit, but I was just, I was doing my own thing, and she said and was like, “You know what? I’m going to hang in there for a little bit longer.”. So, she was like, “Dave, please, please just hang in there for another week. I’m sure something will come.”. So, that was Sunday, Tuesday, I got a call from a teacher that said she wanted me to speak to her students and she said that she couldn’t pay me but she did read that I joked one time that I will work for food and she said that, “If you will let me buy you lunch that day, anywhere you want, I would love to have you speak to my students.”. And so, I was like, “Wow, all right, well, this is paying off.”. I mean, it’s not paying off in the way that I want but it is paying off in food. And so, I had a nice lunch that day, but it was, you know, wasn’t the lunch it was the fact that something did happen and how I chose to look at it was like, “You know what? Somebody is listening to me out there.”, and I hung in there for another week. And then a few weeks later, something else broke for me.

So, for the people that are out there that are at that point where they’re picking up, you know, picking up those wanted ads, either literally or metaphorically, you know, just call me, I understand what it’s like, you know, to struggle. I understand what it’s like to want to quit a million frigging times over. I understand this, but you know, but if you find yourself down and doubting, really, if you find yourself ready to get out, just call me. Like I said, 267-252-1974, I’m @thehumanhigh5 on Instagram, I’m very easy to spot. You know, and let’s talk about it. And more importantly, let’s talking about it, let’s keep you in the game. Let’s keep you in the game of life, let’s keep you in the game of happiness.

[22:24] Marly Q: Thank you so much for sharing that, I got emotional while you were sharing because I’ve been “in this kindness spreading game” myself since I was 10 years old and as a “business” for about 10 years now. And you know, on the 10th anniversary of 9/11 is when we produced our first big 5K event, our first big fundraising event that with no sponsors, no big email list, I mean, it was totally out of my pocket, my husband’s or my boyfriend at the time, who wasn’t even my husband yet; he married me luckily, even after everything I put him through. And we did this back four or five years all on passion, all on drive, all about the mission and man, did I burn out and I hit “bottom” of, “I can’t do this anymore. I can’t afford this, I cannot keep this engine moving and try and run a business and make you know my bills.”, and it was just one of those really low times which I wish I had your phone number because I would have really needed a talk and a virtual hug and it really is about the people that you surround yourself with that’s so powerful that keep me in the game, keep me focused on the mission, keep me focused on the why we do this, and really starting this podcast was a big journey for me and it’s another way of creating an event, an online virtual event and to keep this movement going, finding a different way, right? That’s not so cost burdensome like a huge event, right?

Find a different way to continue moving the mission and the movement forward because the truth is, the world needs kindness now more than ever, the world needs a hug now more than ever, and I know you agree with that a hundred thousand percent.

For those listening. I want them to follow your journey, to continue following your journey and supporting Big Dave Hugs the World in 80 days. I know that you’re working on this now and for, you know gearing up for the 20th anniversary of 9/11, how can people connect with you virtually online and support Big Dave Hugs the World?

[24:25] Big Dave: You know, support, I’ll just say this, support comes in a lot of different ways. Support can come obviously in the form of $1 but support can be in the form of a like, it can be in the form of a suggestion, it can be in the form of an encouraging word, you know, so, I would just say whoever, whatever it is that you want to support, whether it be me, you, whatever, you know, an artist, any kind of artist, you know, just support them, you know, support them in any way that you can, whatever you like, support it, to keep it going because the person that’s running that, you know, maybe a woman that, like, you know, is just doing this on pure passion and stuff like that. And she needs to know, “Hey, listen, you know, does anybody out there care?”, you know, and, right. And somebody like me who’s just like, you know, “I’m just out there trying to hug people and stuff like that, you know, and it’s just, and, you know, I need to know, does anybody out there care?”. You know, I go to business meetings a lot of times that people are like, you know, “This is silly. You know, this is silly; we’re not going to fund you, we’re not going to sponsor you.”. “All right, that’s okay. That’s a business decision. I get that.”, but then all of a sudden, you know, the, you know, and I could focus on that but what I do focus on is, all of the emails and the texts and stuff that I get from people around the planet, who love what I’m doing. When I went to Time Square on Black Friday to go hug people for the holidays in 1 10 minutes span, I got texts from people in Alaska, London, in Israel who said, “I’m so happy for what you’re doing. You know, I’m so happy.”, you know and that’s it. And that’s enough, that support, you know made me warm on that cold day, that support made me smile a little bit more, that support is what I needed. So, you know for people out there, support your artist.

[26:29] Marly Q: I love it. We could talk forever Big Dave, I know you got a busy day, maybe a plane to catch soon. Thank you so much for making the time to be kind today and joining us in this podcast and just sharing your light, your love, your smiles, your hugs, virtually with all of us.

[26:47] Big Dave: Thank you, bye-bye.

[26:50] Outro:

I told you Big Dave was awesome. He’s got so many uplifting stories to share so, we’ll definitely invite him back to hear all about his adventures hugging the world.

This episode was sponsored by Chris Colina Realtor, one of our founding PARKners who immediately enlisted to serve in the US Armed Forces shortly after 9/11 and now serves as a one of a kind realtor helping people buy or sell their home. Connect with @chriscolinarealtor on Instagram & give him a virtual hug & high5 for supporting Time to be Kind with Marly Q.

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Looking Over the Edge

Looking Over the Edge

We’ve all been experiencing a “Looking Over the Edge” moment having to face fear, find our way & all the lessons in between such as:

  • Why do we feel we’re not doing enough?
  • Why do we feel guilty when we don’t make being kind a priority? 
  • The courage & kindness it takes to put our ego aside to listen to our inner calling.
  • The power of acknowledging & being appreciative of everything that happens.
  • How we’re always in training for something bigger if we choose to find the lesson. 

SHOW NOTES:

Click Here to visit CarolinedePosada.com

Connect on Instagram @CarolinedePosada

Click here for your copy of Looking Over the Edge: A True Story of Fear, Finding Your Way and All The Lessons In Between

Interested in sponsoring Time to be Kind with Marly Q.? Click here for PARKnership Opportunities

TRANSCRIPTION:

Hey, welcome back PARKer. I’m Marly Q and this is Episode #10 with Caroline de Posada. Our guest today is a professional speaker, writer, attorney, wife and mom of three boys. She’s the author of Looking Over the Edge, a true story about facing fear, finding your way and all the lessons in between. Coming from divorced parents and a famous father who traveled the world extensively as a global speaker and best-selling author, Caroline teaches people the art of how to be there, even when you’re not, a lesson she learned firsthand from her dad, Dr. Joachim de Posada, who I had the immense privilege of meeting almost a decade ago. It wasn’t until five years ago, shortly after he passed away, that I got to meet Caroline and be impacted by her kindness. This interview was recorded a few months B.C. (Before Corona) and it’s so relevant to what we’re experiencing today because this global pandemic is a looking over the edge moment, where we’ve all had to face fear, we’ve realized how quickly things can change, how little control we have, and how it’s up to us to choose how we handle crisis and find the lesson. Because, as you’ll hear Caroline say, “life is always training you for something bigger”. Let’s listen.

[01:31] Marly Q: You know, you’re here for several different reasons. First, I really see you as an incredibly kind person, in your own being. But also, I really admire the way that you instill kindness in your children, and how you prioritize kindness in your family and in your own circle, and I just really honor and celebrate that. So, welcome to the show.

[01:55] Caroline: Thank you. Well, I– for me, that’s an honor coming from you because I consider you to be the guru of kindness, and you inspire me to be more kind and I just– for me, it’s an honor that you look at me that way. So, thank you Marly.

[02:11] Marly Q: Oh my goodness, absolutely. Well, you’re very welcome. I remember how we first met, actually a little indirectly. I was producing an event several years ago, and there was a speaker at this event, this world renowned, bilingual, amazing man talking about Don’t Eat the Marshmallow, and he just was this really magnificent energy was coming out of him; his name was Dr. Joachim de Posada.

[02:39] Caroline: I remember the event that you’re speaking about, but I don’t remember noticing you at that event. What I do remember was the event where we did meet, and it was at one of our friend’s houses, and you were– you came in and you were this force of energy, and you were bright and bubbly, and walking around and somehow somebody said to you, “You know who she is? She’s Joachim de Posada’s daughter.”, and you turn to me and you hugged me, you hugged me like if you had known me for years. And my dad had just passed away, and for me, that connection to you was so profound because it was– I could see through that hug how much you cared about him. And that made me so happy and grateful to be around– every time I’m around somebody that loved him, it was like, I have him back for a little while. And that was just, it was wonderful. So, that first impression of yours, for me, was so profound that I became loyal to you after that.

[03:35] Marly Q: Well, it’s mutual, we’re each other’s fans. Well, thank you for sharing that. I know that this interview wasn’t to talk about your dad, but I couldn’t not put him out into the airwaves here and share the great Joachim de Posada. I actually have his little cards, I remember when we had lunch one day and he was talking to me about what he was going to talk about at the event and he pulls out of his like suit pocket these little cards, it was like a little mini–

[04:00] Caroline: A mini book.

[04:01] Marly Q: A little mini book, and I just thought that was the coolest thing, how he walked around with something on his, you know, attire to be able to PARK, to Perform an Act of Random Kindness, and hand off inspiration to other people, and I still have those cards, right here in my home; they’re right here.

[04:16] Caroline: And I still give them out in his honor, and I use his exact wording. So, I– whenever I meet someone, I did it last week, I was at a event in Orlando and there was a cleaning person coming by and he was so nice to me, and I stopped him and I said, “Pick a number from 1 to 31”, and then he picked the number and it was number 9. I said, “Okay, open to page 9 and read your message for the day, that’s the message the universe has to give you.”, and I said, “My dad wrote this book, and if he were here, he would have done that so, I do it in his name.”.

[04:46] Marly Q: There’s always time to be kind, always time to be kind. And isn’t it interesting how sometimes we think that we don’t have time to be kind? Because to be kind, in some people’s minds means, “I have to go and feed the homeless, I have to, you know, put together this big project and collect toys, or produce this event or, you know, spend all weekend and go travel to, you know, Africa and do, you know, a whole retreat.”, when really, there’s always time to be kind in these small ways, and I’m just such a fan of small acts of kindness, I feel are just as powerful as these bigger acts of kindness. And the difference is that sometimes we don’t acknowledge, we don’t see these small acts of kindness like, you stopping to, you know, tell this person, what’s your page and give them that inspiration for the day, that could have changed that person’s day around, they could remember you way down the line, they can use that little book when they’re feeling down and those small acts of kindness make a huge difference and they’re just as valuable, right?

[05:54] Caroline: You know, you’re saying that because of the conversation we had before this podcast started, when I told you that I felt guilty that I wasn’t being kind enough. I am so guilty of feeling that way. I confess– I confess to you that I just, you know, I would not attribute that little story that I just shared with you so organically, I would never have attributed that as an act of kindness at all, and I actually looked at it as, a you know, something to inspire someone but I just wouldn’t label it kindness and when I think about being kind, I think, “God, I wish I could do a toy drive like Marly Q or, I wish I could do– I could go feed the homeless.”, and I really feel guilty when I don’t have– when I don’t make that a priority. I don’t like saying that I don’t have the time to do things because I think we all have the time to do whatever we want to do. So, I don’t– I’m not saying I don’t have the time, what I am saying is, is that, I have not made that a priority because I have so much on my plate that I consider to be my priority right now that haven’t wedged that part of it, and I want to.

[07:08] Marly: So, let’s talk about that. Let’s talk about that because I think that it’s so relevant and a lot of people listening can relate to that, which is why I brought it up. Because I started off by saying that I consider you to be a PARKer and one of the kindest people out there, and it has nothing to do, I have no idea what you do on the weekend, and if you go do beach cleanups, and if you do, you know, feed the homeless, it’s not about that.

It is about the little things. The day to day time that you make to speak kindly to someone, to give a smile, to lend an encouraging word, to drop a compliment and actually seeing the value of those things as really powerful acts of kindness is really one of the things that I hope to achieve with this podcast.

We all have time to be kind, even if in your current situation, in this current moment in your life, doing these, you know, bigger “PARK” projects, you know, whatever, if your current situation doesn’t allow for that, having the self-kindness to be like, “It’s okay, how can we, in every day, share kindness, inspire kindness?”, and those are just as valuable, just as powerful as these bigger acts of kindness and going easier on yourself, right? Not feeling guilty because that’s not a helpful emotion, right? And it’s not even a real one. There’s no reason to feel guilty, you haven’t done anything intentionally wrong in order to feel that way. The problem or the reason why you maybe feel that way is because you’re not seeing the value in your daily, daily, daily, many, many, many acts of kindness that you do.

[08:51] Caroline: And I think the reason we don’t see the value in it is because people take for granted what comes easy to them. So, for example, it is not difficult for me to smile at someone, it’s not difficult for me to share a kind word, or for me to share an inspirational message, that’s– for me, it’s like breathing. So, if it doesn’t come, I think that oftentimes people equate love with suffering, and kindness with sacrifice, right? There has to be some hardship in order for us, to give ourselves credit for it, for us to be able to validate ourselves, like, if it was difficult, or if it was out of our way, or if it was something that we did, despite how busy we are or despite– then, it’s valuable. But if it’s something that is just part of our persona, or a part of our personality, or something that comes naturally to us, and we didn’t “earn it”, then all of a sudden it doesn’t feel as good.

[09:49] Marly Q: I think a lot of people can relate with what you’re saying. And I really just think

it’s a practice of shifting our mindset and starting to see kindness in its true essence, in its true form, the big and the small and everything in between, because the energy of kindness is the same in all of the acts …

… whether they’re in your mind small, insignificant or natural to you, or whether you had to put in, you know, 200 hours in order to, you know, execute that, and I understand and I say this not from any kind of, you know, pedestal or high horse, I just had a baby about a year and a half ago and one of the most challenging things, you know, for me was kind of putting on hold all of my philanthropic desires, all of my big PARK projects, I mean, I love producing events in order to inspire people to come together and be kind and give back to their cause. I love coordinating, you know, our awesome toy drive and the beach clean-ups and all these different philanthropic projects, but for almost two years, I put that on the shelf and I definitely went through that kind of internal, you know, talk of, “You’re not doing enough, you’re not doing enough to spread kindness, you’ve like, abandoned your mission and your message.”, and none of these things are true. I had to become aware of that self-talk, let’s call it negative self-talk, really it’s just disempowering self-talk and see how within those two years where I didn’t produce a large scale event, where I didn’t, you know, produce the clean-ups and see, well, what did I do? I’m raising a family that’s, you know, based and rooted in kindness, and I’m focused on being kinder to myself, these last two years more than I ever have in my entire life. And I’m focused on speaking and creating this podcast in order to be able to leverage my time a little bit better, right? And be able to still share kindness in a way that makes sense with the current chapter that I’m in, in my life.

The current chapter of my life is, I’m a brand new mom, and my time is really stretched and limited, I cannot donate 200 plus hours of my time to produce a large scale event for a little while, that doesn’t mean that I’m failing in my mission to spread kindness worldwide at all. That’s where the self-love and kindness comes in, that’s where acknowledging that me speaking at, you know, schools for Career Day is still me doing my mission and spreading it, right? And me doing a beach clean-up that somebody else produced is still you know, doing the work. So, in your current chapter in your life, I invite you to invite some more self-love and kindness and see that you are spreading kindness in your own life every day and you don’t necessarily need the big project, you don’t– you know, I’m not saying that not making time to feed the homeless isn’t important, of course it is. But if your current chapter in your life is focused on this brand new book that you just launched that we’re about to get into, that your current you know, chapter in your life is focused on your three boys raising them to be kind young men, which this book shares oodles of beautiful, you know, stories of how you are instilling kindness in your kids and in your family and seeing them as powerful and enough, right?

[13:04] Caroline: You’re absolutely right.

[13:06] Marly Q: So, I wasn’t trying to be right, was just trying to, you know, share, because I’ve been through this as well. And I think it’s just a practice, I think it’s just a practice of seeing kindness in its everyday expression, in the small things and seeing that as absolutely beautiful and powerful, and enough. With that, I would love to kind of jump into your book, because I know it’s been quite a journey for you to get this book out into the world. I think it is an act of kindness, it’s all the time that you spent into putting, you know, this beautiful story together and getting it out into the world. So, if you wouldn’t mind sharing a little bit about your book, Looking Over the Edge, what’s it about?

[13:45] Caroline: Looking Over the Edge. Well, so this book, actually, I’ve been in the process of writing for a long time and this book was not the book I intended to write. I started writing a book with my father and it was my goal to finish that book and during that time, I found myself struggling to finish that project, and really, really sitting down and trying to get the words out and feeling like it wasn’t coming together. And it was during that time that my husband called me one day and said, you know, “Why don’t we go on a spontaneous road trip to Asheville, North Carolina, for the winter holidays?”, which it would have been two years this winter, so two years, almost to the day that we’re having this podcast, and I hesitated a little bit, but I ended up caving, and we did go on this road trip. And I had no idea when I jumped in that car, what our life was going to look like and how this trip was going to change our story. And it was because of that decision to get in that car and do something spontaneous and fun and different, that this book was born. So, the cliff hanger, if you will, of the book is that while we were driving in North Carolina, there was black ice on the ground, and my husband lost control of the car as we were driving, and all of a sudden, we found ourselves sliding towards the edge of a cliff. And I looked over and I, honest to God, thought that we were going to fall off that cliff. And we didn’t, spoiler alert, we all lived.

[15:24] Marly Q: Yes, you’re here.

[15:25] Caroline: We’re here. But I honestly thought at that moment, that we were going to die. And that was the turning point and that was kind of the culmination and what led me to write this book. But the story came so much before that, we’d been on that we’ve been on that road trip already for four days, and when I tell you what, and you’ve read the book, so you know, the story, it happened for me, the book wrote itself. I didn’t have to do much, right? I just had to put those stories down on paper because I honestly felt like it happened for me, and as a result of that trip and as a result of that culminating moment and all the lessons that I learned from it, I sat down and I said, “Dad, I love you, and I know that we have a book together and I know that it’s going to come out one day, but today, I have to work on this.”. And, and I felt like I just had to. So, I put the project aside, I shelved it, like you like to say, I put my other book on the shelf, and I really committed to writing the story, and I rode that wave, I rode that energy that had been given to me. And what I learned from doing that, was that, and in my opinion, which is one of the biggest lessons in the book, is that we’re always in training. We’re in training for something bigger, and for me, writing that book was training me for the book that I have to write with my dad.

[16:57] Marly Q: That’s exactly what I was thinking.

[16:59] Caroline: I just– I was wasn’t ready then and it was almost like this happened for me and it put me in a position where, it took me away from that project only to bring me back to it. So, I feel like I am more prepared now, and when I write that book with my dad it’s going to be that much better and that much stronger and that much more powerful because I have this book under my belt.

[17:23] Marly Q: Yeah, I love that you just shared that, you know, you just said that you felt that this book basically like wrote itself, right? That it was calling you, I believe that that’s the currency of kindness, right? That’s the tap on the shoulder like, hey, you know, and it’s up to you. It was up to you to decide, “No, no, no, I committed to you know, writing this book with my dad and I’m going to like force myself to finish. I can’t think about this other you know, thing.”, or listening to that call and deciding to step into that currency or tune in to that currency of kindness and make that time to be kind is what it is. Putting this book together and putting this out into the world is a huge act of kindness and putting your dad’s project, your co-project, on the shelf for a moment is also an act of kindness. It’s of self-love and kindness because you had this desire, this currency, this calling to move in a different direction, to make sure that this “wrote itself”, which I know it didn’t, I’m sure it took a huge amount of work and effort to put this book out and to write it, but it gives you the right energy from which to create your next one.

[18:37] Caroline: Yes. And when you say that, about the currency of kindness, and using those words, I’m a big applier. So, when I understand the concept, I know how to apply it. And when you said that, and the way that you’ve described kindness to me, and I will admit that it did take a lot of self-love and kindness to put that project aside because there’s ego attached to that, right? Because it was something that I had not finished, it was something that I had not completed, I felt in a way that I was maybe betraying my dad for a little bit, that’s how I felt. And it did take a lot of compassion to put that aside and listening to my intuition and my gut, that this was the course that I had to follow right now, this was the process that I had to go through. So, it was– it did take a lot of self-compassion and putting aside ego, and I think when you’re talking about kindness, and I don’t know, correct me if I’m wrong, but when you’re talking about kindness, I think part of it is putting aside that ego and not making it so much about you. Now, even though, it’s funny, even though the story was about me, it wasn’t the story I wanted to tell at the time, interestingly. And it is a true story about my family, but I truly felt like I was like, I had– like, I was called to write that story for someone else.

[20:03] Marly Q: Well, I honor you for answering that call and stepping into that current and trusting that the project that you have on the shelf isn’t a dead project, isn’t something that you’re going to leave there on the shelf, it’s something that you’re going to pick up when you’re ready to answer that one, right? And the energy from what you create is everything. So, the energy wasn’t in tune with it when you were first writing it, and that’s why there was some resistance, why it wasn’t flowing, right? Why that currency wasn’t making it easy for you, you said it, this one kind of wrote itself, it was calling you, right? Because when you’re in that “currency of kindness”, it does feel like it’s flowing. It’s guiding you into like that next step, and it feels effortless even though it’s a huge amount of work and effort to put out any kind of book, there was a sense of flowing to it. And I do understand, you know, how sometimes we have our ego, you know, or even our own like self-guilt inflicted, that guilt that kind of keeps us into thinking that we’ve got to focus on this because it’s what we should do, rather than what’s really real for me in this moment and having that self-love and kindness to answer what you really truly want to be working on in this moment.

And another reason why you’re here today is because one of the only people that was reaching out to me to, in essence, holding me accountable to starting my podcast was YOU. You reminded me like three or four different times, whether it was through Instagram or when we would see each other at an event in person you’re like, “Hey, so how’s your podcast coming along?”, and from the moment that I announced I wanted to start a podcast to the moment that it’s actually launching or that it launched, that was a good year and a half in there, and what was I doing within that year and a half? I was transitioning into becoming a new mom and as much I wanted to hold myself accountable for what I said I was going to do and, this call, this desire that I had to start a podcast and to share my message in a bigger way, as much as I wanted to do that, my current chapter in life, my current responsibilities, what was calling my energy was my brand new baby, and my husband and my family. And I had to honor that first and launch my podcast when I’m ready. And now, you know, the energy from which I’m creating is the right one. It feels like it flows, you’re here in my house, and we’re having this interview, right? So, it wasn’t right when I wanted it or when I said I was going to do it, I had to allow myself to feel uncomfortable, my ego to feel uncomfortable with not following through right away with what I said I was going to do by the end of the year, right? It’s like, “Wait, well, who made up that timeline? Who put that pressure on me?” ME. All by myself. So, I also have the power to put that project on the shelf until I’m ready to pick you up because right now, I’m focused on something else and having the self-love and kindness to allow that to be okay, I think is a really huge lesson that I’ve learned in my life. I hear it in your story as well and I think it’s something that’s really relevant and that everybody can take and apply to their life because I think we all go through that.

[23:21] Caroline: And I think it’s relevant in your podcasts, you come from a place where you can express a time to be kind differently because you know what it’s like to not have time anymore, you know what it’s like to be a mom and have to prioritize other things. So, in essence, that year and a half has been training you so that you can relate to people that need to hear your message more.

[23:43] Marly Q: Look at that, right? And going back to your point about you know, it’s not really that everything happens for a reason, it’s that everything happens in order to train you for the next thing, and we need to start learning how to just be appreciative of all of it, even though on the outside it seems like you’re not doing what you’re supposed to be doing, you’re not doing what you said you were going to do you know, you’re not doing enough. Like, all of that noise, even if it’s there–

[24:09] Caroline: Well, and I actually am not a believer of everything happens for a reason. In the sense that I don’t know everything happens for a reason, but what I do know is that everything that happens, happened. And once it happened, then we need to look for the lesson, right? So, it may not have happened for a reason, necessarily, but the fact that it happened is training you for something bigger and therefore, we decided what that looks like.

[24:34] Marly Q: Absolutely. So, coming back to your book and on that topic, I feel that Looking Over the Edge and the story in this book is so valuable, not just for you and your family, and I don’t think that you’ve learned all the lessons that you guys are going to learn from this story. I think there’s so much more in here to unpack. There’s a lot of really beautiful lessons, there’s kindness weaved into this book from start to finish, what I love is that you can read it in an afternoon. I read it in a day in three different chunks with, you know, a year and a half year old baby interrupting me, but I did get to read it so, if I can read it–

[25:05] Caroline: Which I think is admirable.

[25:08] Marly Q: Right? So can you, if I can read it, right? In little chunks, so can you. But it really is an awesome read, a great story, so many beautiful lessons. Where can people buy your book?

[25:18] Caroline: On Amazon

[25:20] Marly Q: On Amazon? Great and where can they check you out and connect with you further?

[25:24] Caroline: Carolinedeposada.com.

[25:26] Marly Q: Awesome. And I know you’re really active on Instagram and you share a lot, you know, about the events that you speak at, and the things that you teach about, and about your family and the lessons within, you know, your own family on your blogs. So, please, if you’re listening, please connect with Caroline de Posada, follow her on Instagram, check out our website and pick up this book for yourself or someone you love, it truly is an awesome gift. Not just the book, but awesome gift to have had you here today. Thank you for joining.

[25:53] Caroline: Thank you for having me.

[25:55] Outro:

I sure hope this interview was as enriching for you as it was for me. Originally, we were just going to talk about her book and there ended up being so many more gold nuggets of wisdom to take away from this episode, don’t you agree? Caroline generously gave me a copy of her book to give away to one of you listening.

To be eligible to WIN this FREE BOOK Giveaway, just follow these three simple steps.

  1. Make sure you’ve joined my Kind Qrew
  2. Leave a kind review on iTunes
  3. Take a screenshot & share it on Instagram tagging me @MarlyQ

Click Amazon affiliate link below to purchase your copy of Looking Over the Edge: A True Story of Fear, Finding Your Way and All The Lessons In Between

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From Loss to Triumph

From Loss to Triumph

This episode teaches us how to find the light & lesson behind everything we experience & reminds us that we all have the power to rise from Loss to Triumph through the power of kindness. We also talk about: 

  • How (and why) making time to be kind while experiencing loss is so important
  • How forgiveness & kindness are intertwined 
  • How to free yourself from the prison of your mind and find the gift and lesson in loss 
  • How to (really) be productive with your time right now

SHOW NOTES:

Visit www.SheenaEizmendiz.com

Follow on Instagram @sheena.eizmendiz

Buy Sheena’s Book on Amazon

Path of Emergence: From Loss to Triumph

Click here to join my Kind Qrew for your chance to WIN a FREE SIGNED COPY!

Episode PARKner : Chris Colina Realtor

Interested in sponsoring Time to be Kind with Marly Q.? Click here for PARKnership Opportunities

TRANSCRIPTION:

Hi, I’m Marly Q, and you’re listening to Episode #9 with Sheena Eizmendiz.

Before we introduce our guest, I’m so excited to spotlight this Episode’s PARKner who immediately offered to sponsor our podcast after listening to My Abuela in Miami’s bonus episode #8.

You may or may not know this, but a lot of real estate agents out there work on the “Always Be Closing” method of business. But our PARKner, Chris Colina, redefined the ABC model to mean, “Always Be Caring”. As a veteran, dedicated husband and father of two, Chris understands that buying and selling a home are huge life decisions that you shouldn’t have to make alone. Chris is a service driven PARKner who gives clear guidance, trustworthy information, personal communication and most of all KINDNESS to help you sell or find your next home. To learn more and connect with Chris, visit www.chriscolinarealtor.com or follow him on Instagram @chriscolinarealtor.

We’re so grateful to have people, companies and organizations joining our Kind Qrew and supporting our mission to inspire and ignite kindness worldwide. If you’re interested in exploring PARKnership opportunities, visit www.marlyq.com/sponsor

Today’s guest is definitely someone who Performs Acts of Random Kindness (PARK), and she’s an expert in shifting mindsets. I’m talking about Sheena Eizmendiz, she’s a high-performance leader, corporate trainer and keynote speaker on the topics of emotional intelligence, stress, leadership and positive psychology. As the best-selling author of her own memoir titled Path of Emergence: From Loss to Triumph, Sheena uses her experience of being sentenced to 21 months in a federal prison, for a crime she never committed, as a tool that can help people experiencing times of fear, uncertainty and loss, which so many of us are experiencing today.

In this interview, Sheena not only gives us insight into her powerful story, she teaches us how to find the light and lesson behind everything that we experience. And she reminds us that we all have the power to rise from loss to triumph through the power of kindness. Let’s listen.

Sheena, welcome to the show. Thank you so much for making the time to be kind today.

[02:28] Sheena: Marly, thank you. I’m honored.

[02:30] Marly Q: I feel like you’re such a great example of practicing self-love and kindness and kindness towards others and kindness towards the world. So, you’re like a perfect guest to have on the show.

[02:41] Sheena: Aw, thank you.

[02:42] Marly Q: Just kick us off with your story. I know you wrote your book Path of Emergence: From Loss to Triumph, and in this podcast we really like to highlight superheroes, and I totally see you as a superhero who has been able to create your own path from loss and betrayal almost to finding triumph and success again. And I think you did a lot of that through kindness. So, please share your story with us.

[03:11] Sheena: Thank you. So, back in 2012, I was given, I say now, it was an amazing opportunity, you know, I always believe that challenges are gifts and it’s an opportunity for us to take a really hard and deep look at ourselves and being in a situation where I was pretty much stripped from everything as I knew it, and what I mean by that is, at the time, I had already been in business for 14 years. I was in a very stable and very successful place in my career that I had built all on my own, it really took some time and a lot of obviously, like anything else, you know, trials and errors to get there. I experienced a situation where everything shifted, everything was sort of flipped upside down. I was charged with a federal crime that I had not committed; it was a money crime. It gave me an opportunity because everything as I knew it had changed at the moment to, you know, to really go within myself and question a lot of things. I questioned things outside of me, I questioned things about me, about choices I had made in terms of my personal life, being a single mom pretty much my entire life with two young girls at the time, and, you know, questioned the way that I was showing up in the world, and specifically in my business, I think more than anything in my business.

I definitely was not practicing a lot of kindness towards myself at the time, I was working about 10-12 hour days a day, you know, running a practice with multiple employees, a lot of things going on at the time, a lot of community activities, which I absolutely loved and enjoyed, but I was really at a level of exhaustion and depletion that was just, you know, to the outside world, you couldn’t see it. but internally, I was feeling it. I was definitely feeling it. I was 35. At the time, if I– if my clock is correct, it’s been a few years now, and you know, and I was really pretty much removed from everything. I went to prison, I was sentenced to 21 months, and during my time there, I had an opportunity to show up differently and just practice, I think kindness is such an important and valuable thing, and I had to learn that and kind of rewire myself in learning how to be kind to myself, because I felt that I had been practicing kindness to others, but not so much to myself. So, I was able to do a lot of things that I didn’t have time to do, or, I’ll rephrase that, things that I didn’t look for the time to do them such as, you know, I took yoga, I took an art class, something that I had never done before, you know, I used to run seven miles every day in– we had a track and so, I did a lot of little things that added up, and it really gave myself an opportunity to make different decisions when I was, you know, when I had the opportunity to leave that place, and show up differently, more than anything.

[06:25] Marly Q: And did you see, I mean, I think that that’s, wow, first, that’s not a fly past that incredible story, I think that it’s so relevant right now, so many people may feel that their whole world has crumbled, that they’ve lost so much, so many people right now, with the current health crisis and the pandemic feel an immense sense of loss, loss of certainty, loss of financial stability, loss of a job, loss of relationships or human touch. I mean, I think a lot of people may even feel like they are in jail in their home while they’re being quarantined. You know, not to make a direct comparison but I think that a lot of people can relate to your story and finding or, making the time, like you said, making the time to, “How can I incorporate some more self-love and kindness to get me through this, to get me through a dark time to get me through loss?”.

[07:26] Sheena: Yeah, no doubt. You know, I think that every situation is different and it’s not so much as the situations that we go through, it’s more the way that we digest the situation, the way that we process, right? A circumstance. And loss is loss, you know? There’s no such thing, we can never compare and say, “Well, you know, this is a worse loss than this”, I think loss is loss and it weighs and it brings upon a lot of pain, it, you know, it brings a lot of fear. And so, yes, I think this is a time where, I think as a community and as a– just globally, everyone is experiencing in some way or another, and it’s kind of like you said, whether the loss is through their health, or even loved ones who unfortunately are passing because of this virus, you know, financial loss, job loss, career loss, and then for me, I think the biggest loss of all, is the loss of the self. You know, and I mean that in terms of still being alive, and yet losing yourself, where you lose touch with who you are, touch with reality, and kind of hitting that rock bottom.

[08:35] Marly Q: And I know you help individuals and you help corporations and teams with some of this, right? I mean, it can translate into giving, you know, our listeners and our PARKers who are making the time to be kind right now by listening to this podcast, some tips on how to make time to be kind to themselves, how to stay free of the distractions and the noise that’s going on and then the fear that’s being promoted almost, how to remain calm and focused on themselves and their goals, their family or their business. Do you happen to have any tips to share?

[09:08] Sheena: Yeah, certainly, and I agree with you, fear is viral, right? It’s infectious. So, it’s something that spreads and right now, it’s really easy because I think a lot of us are so, whether we’re glued because of our work or profession, or simply because, you know, it’s sort of a means to connect, we’re all socially in all these platforms, a lot of times a lot of the information that’s out there is very scary, right? It’s very fear inducing. And so, what– some of the things that I can probably offer in terms of some tips would be, you know, we have to begin with ourselves. I think that all kindness begins with us, and a way of not just distracting yourself from it, but of also being, coming from a place of productivity, being really productive with our time right now. It’s about turning inward more than anything else.

A lot of evaluation of who we are, you know, that self-evaluation, that assessment, not coming from a place of judgment or critique, because then you’re not being kind, it’s really more about coming to terms where we are, you know, what are the things that we can look at that all of this situation has brought that is challenging, but yet at the same time can propel us in a direction of growth, and so much positivity. You know, I– a lot of the things that I encounter when I’m reading a lot of these articles or just kind of looking at people’s social media platforms is a lot of negativity, when in fact, I think there definitely is some negative, you know, components to this, such as the health, the, you know, the economic crisis, loss of life, but there’s also a lot of really positive things that come from this. I think if we look for the positive, I always say, you look for the light, you’re going to find it, no matter how dark a room may look, you know? No matter how dark your situation may look.

[11:01] Marly Q: And if you don’t find it, you can always be that spark of light for yourself.

[11:05] Sheena: Yeah, absolutely, yeah. So, it’s starting with ourselves more than anything, taking a good hard look at us and seeing, “How can I show up differently?”, you know, “What can I do today?”, because you can’t change overnight. So, it’s a process, you know, and making real commitments and being very loyal to those commitments and committed to making it part of your reality.

[11:28] Marly Q: I think that right now, you know, for some people, they may be struggling with not feeling productive, right? I know, this is something that for me personally, has it been a big challenge. I sent an email today to my Kind Qrew about this specifically, just being real and grateful and honest, you know, weeks in quarantine, with a 21-month old toddler and trying to figure out how to co-parent and tag team with my husband so that we both try and get some work done and be productive while I’m 21 weeks pregnant, while I’m trying to come to terms with the loss of my business. I mean, as an event producer, my entire business was gone in the span of a week, for the whole year, and really allowing myself to not distract myself from that or just focus on what am I going to do and buy into or allow myself to jump on the train of fear, right? Just so easy to do, and I’m not going to lie to you, I did have a little bit of an emotional breakdown when all of my clients cancelled within a week, like, what am I going to do? I’m pregnant, and I have a baby and what, you know, I definitely had that moment.

And this is where I think the self-love and kindness came in, allowing myself to feel that, not making it wrong, not beating myself up for having that “emotional breakdown”, giving myself the space to feel that fear, and that uncertainty and that sense of loss, and then be in a place where I can ask myself, “Now what? How is this serving me? How can this serve me? How can I find a light in this darkness right now?”, right? And making the time to actually ask those questions and self-reflect, which is what you were sharing, right? Is just, making this time to go inward and see where is the light in this opportunity?

And for me, it’s resulted in a great big light, and while it’s a real challenge and difficult and I can acknowledge that it is, I can also choose to focus my energy on what can I control? What can I create now? How is this loss shifting me into a possible triumph, even if I can’t see it yet? Right? I’m now, for the first time ever offering virtual yoga classes, I just finished teaching one right now before jumping on this interview. I started my podcast which has been on a shelf for three plus years. I’m like, “Now’s the time to get it done.”, and feeling you know, uncomfortable and scared all along the way, but allowing myself, the kindness to feel that and move forward at the same time. And that’s how I interpret your tip and what you just shared, and how you created your own path from loss to triumph, right? Is through allowing yourself to sit in that darkness and sit in that cell, literally, in your cell and say, “What can I do for myself to refine myself?”, you take up yoga, you take up reading, you take up, you know other things that are positive and productive to move you forward.

[14:30] Sheena: Absolutely Marly. And, you know, and I think when we speak even of productivity, because a lot of times I know that can bring upon a lot of pressure, especially in times like these where, you know, we’re so emotional and then some days we wake up and we want to conquer the world, right? We have like this to-do list and all these goals and we want to tackle all of them, and we have all this energy and then there’s other days where it’s totally the contrary. We are feeling maybe bummed out, we’re feeling tired, we’re feeling like we have no energy, we’re kind of low in– our moods are low or, you know, all these different things are happening. I think that productivity is very relative, and even, I think everything adds up at the end of the day. So, even if the steps towards being productive are small, or if we pause, and like you said, just pausing is so important. You know, there’s that moment where in order for you to move forward, maybe later on tomorrow, it means you need to just sit and maybe watch TV or do nothing, then by all means, you need to honor that, we all need to honor that. It doesn’t mean that because you did that you have set yourself back, or you’re not being productive, that is a way of you being productive; you’re producing. What is productivity at the end of the day? It’s producing, so you’re producing a state of mind that will ultimately give you a better result. And perhaps the next day when you wake up, you’re going to feel a lot better and now you can tackle other things from a different space and a different energy.

[16:00] Marly Q: Absolutely, 100%. That was the essence of what I was trying to share, you did it so much more succinctly than I did. Thank you, Sheena. Just reminding ourselves we’re doing the best we can, right? And if we start with that acknowledgement, then we stop being so hard on ourselves, we can show ourselves some more compassion, and humility, right? That we don’t have control over many things happening right now. But what we do have control over is how we are showing up for ourselves and for the people we interact with and for the world, and we can always make time to be kind, which is the whole essence of this podcast and what we’re talking about. Now, I think that’s what your book teaches, your book teaches that you don’t really control anything, right?

[16:46] Sheena: We don’t control anything. We think we do. We’d love to control and listen, this is coming from someone who, you know if I give get to–

[16:54] Marly Q: Who loves to control.

[16:56] Sheena: I love to control. My family will, you know, tell you, they will attest to that, they will say that I am a control freak. But in actuality, I know that it’s really just part of the illusion and my ego, trying to control situations, you know, trying to be in the driver’s seat all the time, leading, because I’m such a believer, you know, in leading that I try to control more than I can handle. But, you know, in reality, I know that we don’t control anything and that the more we try to control, the less out of control we actually become.

[17:30] Marly Q: Yes, absolutely. Would you mind, I know you wouldn’t want to give, you know, the book away. I know it’s a memoir, and it’s, you know, your story. But would you like to share any little part of your path of emergence with us?

[17:44] Sheena: Sure. So, I think that as a whole, the intention of writing the book, and I did write the book while I was going through the journey, through the process, meaning, you know, while I was incarcerated, I wrote the core of the book and then, you know, once I was released, I worked on the editing and whatnot, and I will tell you, it was a love and hate relationship, that is the best way to describe it. There was sort of this bitter sweetness to the book, even to the point where I published it and I made bestseller list, I still was kind of struggling with that dynamic and relationship with the book because I do believe we have relationships with everything and anything in life. And so, there was this really profound relationship with the book, the book was really intended, at the time that I was writing it, it was really more documenting a lot of the things that I was seeing within the justice system, a lot of things that I felt were necessary for my readers, my audience to become aware of and sort of awakened, right? Because I think we have all of these sorts of misconceptions about people who go to prison or people who are charged with crimes. And so, I kind of wrote the book at the beginning with that intention, and then found myself in the writing of the book, that it was so much more than my story or even the collection of stories of the people whom I did interview while I was there, because I was trying to collect their stories and, you know what brought them there, what their lives, you know, we’re like, and so forth. It really became more about a tool or sort of a set of tools to not only help, you know, identify how we’re co-creators of everything that happens to us, right? Nothing happens by coincidence, there’s so much purpose, even if at the moment we don’t see it, but also in the power of forgiveness.

You know, and I think forgiveness and kindness is sort of intertwined because you can’t truly be kind if you don’t forgive and I think all forgiveness really begins with ourselves. So, my book really was, if I could kind of just pinpoint more than anything, it really was more about forgiveness, because I did spend my time there with the main person involved in my case, so in sharing time with her, because I had worked prior to actually self-surrendering, which is basically just, you know, turning myself in, and I had to plead guilty because I had no choice, to either plead guilty and serve 21 months, or I was facing 30 years in prison. So, being able to share that space with her, that time, really gave me an incredible, profound, I think, more like realization or almost like an epiphany in how powerful forgiveness is because I had completely forgiven her for kind of what led us to be there in the first place. And I think that, you know, in completing the book, that really was my message, it was about, you know, we– prison isn’t a place that we go to, it’s really a place that we live in, primarily inside our own heads. So, it’s not really a place you go to, it’s a state of mind more than anything.

[21:00] Marly Q: Right. That’s how we started the conversation, right? I feel like so many people might, you know, relate even if they’ve never stepped foot into an actual jail cell, you’re living in a cell and in a prison of your own mind many times and you’re not even aware of it.

[21:15] Sheena: Yeah, that’s really the strongest and most difficult confinement that we can live in. And then really, I wrote the book to help people, you know, it ended up being this sort of an idea that I just unfolded into, you know, this book, “Maybe, I don’t know, even if it just helps one person, it can help someone you know, look at their lives, look at whatever situation they’re going through, this situation for that matter, and even assessing whatever they want to label as a loss, and looking deeper.”, you know, and really coming from a place of forgiveness and acceptance and looking at the purpose. You know, I think even for you, as you just shared earlier, what incredible opportunity, right? That you’ve had that because a good part of your business completely, let’s just say for the sake of it, collapsed on you, right? At the beginning of this pandemic, you had all these maybe cancellations, all these things that happened, gave you an opportunity to now be able to put out, you know, this amazing podcast, and probably attend to other things, even in your own personal life and enjoy your pregnancy even more than when we’re just tied to the hamster wheel and, you know, going from project to project and client to client and goal to goal.

[22:27] Marly Q: Yeah, thank you so much for saying that and bringing that up, because it was not an automatic thing. I had to intentionally go there, it is a practice, right? It’s a practice. So, people think because I, you know, I preach the power of kindness that I just, you know, wake up, you know, with this superpower. No, I exercise it, we get stronger the more we practice it, and the one person that we need to practice it the most with is ourselves, from that place, we have the power to be the spark of kindness for our immediate family, for our– the people that we work with, the people that we interact with on a daily basis, the stranger on the street, and the world, the planet and animals, it’s–everybody benefits if we turn that inward, and you’re just such a such a shining example of that. I really respect and admire you a lot before I even knew–

[23:26] Sheena: Thank you my friend. The feeling is mutual.

[23:30] Marly Q: And it was before I even knew like, the depth of your story and before you came out with your book, I already had that opinion and after, you know, your book, and that vulnerability, and just that courage, it’s just on a whole other level. So, I really wanted to bring you on to the show. I appreciate you offering and always making yourself available to make the time for, not just me, but for others. I’m going to include the link to your website, I know that you coach people and you give out tips, you know, for people to get through these stressful times. Is there anything else that you’d like to share with our PARKers listening on how to connect with you or or how to, you know, how to get some of the Sheena love?

[24:10] Sheena: Definitely appreciate you sharing the website. I’m constantly trying to develop things where people can download, there’s a lot of free audios that they can download, there’s several for stress right now, fear, self-esteem, it’s on my website.

[24:28] Marly Q: www.sheenaeizmendiz.com, and I know it’s a beautifully complicated name so, I will spell that for people.

[24:36] Sheena: You got it, you got it. You know, there’s just a couple of things there that they can definitely, I think if anything just to offer support during these times, also my Instagram. I love coming up with just different challenges, different things, whether it’s a 21-day journaling challenge or gratitude challenge, things that, just try to offer support, I think more than anything and encouragement and help people get through these times because I completely understand where everyone is at because we’re all going through it together. There’s no such thing as, you know, me, myself and I, this is a “we” thing.

[25:11] Marly Q: It is such a “we” thing. Yes.

[25:14] Sheena: It is, which makes it great. I think that’s one of the things that we can check off and say, you know, what’s a really positive thing about this, is that we’ve become we and we’re no longer me. I think that in itself is just so incredible.

[25:26] Marly Q: Absolutely. You know, I’m all about the we, #wePARK folks, #wePARK. It is all about the we, I truly believe it is the only way we’re going to change the world is by coming together and as a collective, being more kind to ourselves, each other and this world. And yes, the current times that we’re living in can be fearful and uncertain and filled with loss and there’s also a lot of hope in what we’re experiencing if you look for it. And your book is just a shining example of that, we will definitely include links for people to check it out and purchase it on Amazon, Path to Emergence: From Lost to Triumph, and I’ll include your website and your Instagram as well for people to connect and just receive some of your wisdom and your kindness because you’ve got a whole lot of it, my friend. Thank you for taking the time to be kind.

[26:19] Sheena: Thank you. My pleasure.

[26:21] Outro:

I hope you enjoyed today’s episode and found it as enlightening as I did. Sheena was so kind and generous to give us a signed copy of her book to give away to one of you listening, and believe me, you want to read this book!

To be eligible to WIN this FREE BOOK Giveaway, just follow these three simple steps.

  1. Make sure you’ve joined my Kind Qrew
  2. Leave a kind review on iTunes
  3. Take a screenshot & share it on Instagram tagging me @MarlyQ