Global Village of Kindness with Dr. Eglee Nunez-Sancristobal

Global Village of Kindness

It takes a village to raise a child”. This famous African proverb rings more true than ever before. That’s why it is a core belief, value and daily labor of love for educators like today’s special guest. Join host, Marly Q and Dr. Egleevelyn Nunez-Sancristobal, Founder and Principal at STARS Global Preparatory, as they discuss the transformative power of educating our youth to be kind global citizens.

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“The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.” ~ Helen Keller

Without a clear and compelling vision driving us forward, there will be no progress for mankind. In order to “be the change we wish to see in the world” we must first be able to envision that new world. A world where all humankind is responsible for upholding a standard of kindness towards ourselves, each other and the world we all share.

Listen to this Episode and be inspired by…

  • One woman’s dream to create a Global Village of Kindness
  • How one small school is changing the world one day, one student at a time
  • The simple power of planting seeds and letting young people take the lead
  • How young children are being empowered to be responsible global citizens 
  • How kind student-teacher relationships changes lives and gives us all hope 
  • How kindness within school should extend out to parents and the community
  • How service learning gives young people a voice, self-esteem and confidence that they can help and do something to fix problems they see in the world.

Tune in to this short episode and let’s create this Global Village of Kindness, together!

About Marly Q:

Kindness Influencer, Leadership Trainer, and Community-Builder on a mission to create a kinder world for over two decades. Through her podcast, she invites listeners to make “Time to Be Kind” each week to receive a spark of kindness, connection and community.

Connect with Marly Q:

LinkedIn: https://linkedin.com/in/MarlyQ
Instagram: https://instagram.com/MarlyQ
Facebook: https://facebook.com/theMarlyQ
YouTube: https://youtube.com/@MarlyQ
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MarlyQ
TikTok: https://tiktok.com/@theMarlyQ

About Our Guest:

Dr. Egleevelyn Nunez-Sancristobal is a visionary leader working to create a kinder world for over a decade. She is the proud founder and principal of STARS Global Preparatory in Miami, FL. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Special Education and Teaching, a Masters in Autism Research, and a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership.

Connect with
STARS Global Preparatory

Instagram: www.instagram.com/starsglobalprep/
Website: www.starsglobalprep.com

Other Links:

Join our Kind QREW Free Private Facebook Group: https://facebook.com/groups/kindqrew
Join our Kind QREW+ Paid Membership: https://marlyq.com/kind-qrew
Programs & Courses: https://marlyq.com/programs
Marly Q Speaking, Training & Retreats: https://sparkcsr.com
Listen to Marly Q TEDx Talk “Kindness is your Superpower”: ​​https://bit.ly/MarlyQTEDxTalk

Other Episodes you’ll enjoy:

EP 16:  Youth World Skills Day with SPIRIT Cheer Camp
EP 14:  The Currency of Kindness with Murray Jones
EP 20: International Youth Day with Coach Cass



00:00 Marly Q

The only thing worse than being blind is having sight, but no vision. I’m inspired to close out women’s history month with these impactful words by Helen Keller and introduce you to a visionary female founder who has a big vision of a global village of kindness. Stay tuned.

00:31 Marly Q

Welcome and thank you for making time to be kind with Marly Q. Help me to welcome our special guest and PARKer today, Dr. Eglee Nunez San Cristobal, a super special PARKer in my world. Welcome. Thanks for making time to be kind.

00.44 Dr. Eglee Nunez San Cristobal

Yes, of course. I love thank you for inviting me. Thank you.

00:47 Marly Q 

Yes. So before we dive in, in case you’re new to my world and you’re listening for the first time, Eglee, please tell folks, what’s a PARKer? 

00:57 Dr. Eglee Nunez San Cristobal

It is a person that performs acts of random kindness.

01:01 Marly Q

That’s right. A PARKer is you, me, and we, everyone that we are uniting through this effort, through this podcast, everyone that makes time to be kind on a weekly basis. Once you are a PARKer, you’re a person that performs acts of random kindness. And together, I believe that we have the power to really shift our culture and shift our world to one that is more kind and of service to each other. And I’m so excited to spend this time with you, Eglee, here today and share you with our PARKers listening because you’re a visionary female founder who has been working towards this greater vision of creating a kinder world for well over a decade that I’ve known you, right? And I before we jump into hearing about your story and your vision, I want to tell those listening that Eglee is the founder and the principal of STAR’s global preparatory school in Miami, Florida. She has a bachelor’s in special needs from Nova Southeastern University. She has a master’s in autism from my alma mater FIU, Florida International University. And recently, even like during pandemic times, this woman went out and got a Ph.D. in educational leadership, right? On top of having a toddler, running a school, you know, just a few things. This is a superhero and her together with her team at STAR’s Global Prep are creating kinder humans each and every day. Eglee, can you share with us your vision for STAR’s Global Prep and really what I see as your vision for creating like this global community, this global village of kindness? 

02:27 Dr. Eglee Nunez San Cristobal

Thank you, Marly. That was a beautiful intro. Thank you so much. STAR’s Global Preparatory really started at my heart and really tugging at the need of a global awareness of kindness, of unity, of love. And I think we’ve all felt that way in the last couple of years. And the vision of the global village, which is an actual area in our school, also took months of planning and looking for details that will really, really send the message, not only to the students but as I like to call it, a double message to the parents. So when the parents and the students come to the Global Village, yes, the Global Village is an area where we have literally duplicated in smaller size areas like an animal shelter, a recycling center, the laboratory. We have a planting station. So these are all areas that the students get to go in and experiment with all these areas. But for the parents looking at it, they totally see the double meaning, which means that, yes, our children need to know about recycling. Yes, our students need to know that shelters exist, not just for animals, but in other ways. So it became almost a fresh air when parents would come and parents come and tour and the students go in there because it reminds us instantly that it’s not about me. It’s about globally, these are issues that are going on in the world and how can we make them better. And how can I teach my child what an animal shelter is and why are these animals there? It’s just created so much more than just an area for them to play in and imagine. And it really becomes something. It’s really become interesting. And even for us as the adults, we do our parent meetings in there. We do our staff meetings there. Everybody wants to hang out in there because it really reminds you of what it is to be a kid. And it reminds you to have fun. And we go down the, we have a bubble, we have a slide that goes into a big ball pit. And that’s like the big ending of a service learning area, you know, lesson. And it’s just a really, really cool space to be in. 

04:29 Marly Q

You know, I, I’ve been there, right? I’ve been there. Personally, my two kids, I think we’re one of the first kids. 

04:34 Dr. Eglee Nunez San Cristobal

They were the first. They were the first.

04:35 Marly Q

The first. Oh, wow. I love being the spark. I love being the first, right? So I had my two-year-old and my four-year-old go down that slide in the ball pit. I had them play, right? So I love what you said that much more than just a play area, it’s really an opportunity to connect and engage with the whole of humanity of what actually makes us mankind, right? Which is being connected to our sense of kindness and responsibility to be of service to one another. So I want you to talk to me about, to talk to us about your service learning component at STAR’s Global Prep, because I really think this is what makes this school so unique, so different. And honestly, one of the main reasons why I for the two past two years or so have served as a chairwoman of the board for STARs, right? And why I’m involved in growing the school and in this awareness is really because of the intentional design of this extended like-day model. Right, that you have. So can you share with us what that’s all about? 

05:34 Dr. Eglee Nunez San Cristobal

So service learning has been something that I’ve always felt is so important, but it wasn’t until high school that I really understood it. And then thinking back on all these community volunteers that always want to volunteer at our school, I said our kids are really not going into the community and also saying thank you for volunteering at my school, but I want to go help and pass it forward. And I mentioned the word responsibility And that is truly the message, is to teach the students that they have a responsibility. We all have a responsibility. It’s as simple as that. It’s about teaching them what it is that they do daily to contribute to the responsibility of better generations to come and the global, the earth that we live on. So the service-learning is something that we infused into their school day. So they’re here between the hour of 205 to 245 almost dismissal, which is three, they go into the global village and there’s big rims of paper and this big you know cart with all this paper on it, they get to roll out, put on the floor, and begin the process of iPart. So iPart is something that we teach the kids, which is to investigate, to prepare, to act on, to reflect. And then we get to celebrate and demonstrate. 

07: 05 Marly Q

We need to pause a moment to let our listeners know this is a non-Marly Q acronym that I want you to learn. 

07:12 Dr. Eglee Nunez San Cristobal

So this is how we were able to explain it because I said how do I explain everything that service learning is to a child and to our parents? So what we do is that the service learning the students pick at the beginning of the school year, it’s a whole year transition, they get to brainstorm as a group and they jot down what they feel are things they want to fix is the keyword that we use at the beginning of the school year. As we evolve, we all get to write down everything we want to fix and they have to as a group agree by about month two because it takes us that long to really go in and say what are the things you want to fix. So we start categorizing in it. And then let’s say they find that recycling is the one that they all agree can be something that they could really impact their community. So then that takes us to the investigating part. Let’s investigate how do people recycle. How do the offices recycle? And then they start to all these questions. It’s teacher-led, but more student based. The teacher kind of plants the seed and lets the students evolve. And then once they investigate and they get all this information, then they start to prepare and come up with a plan. How are we going to have all these offices around this have a recycling bin and have the recycling? How are we going to do that? And then after that once they actually implement the project, they have to reflect what worked, what didn’t work, what can we do more or what can we do next year or next semester because we wanna pick up this project again. So it’s not just a, I’m gonna go today, pick up some garbage at a park and what are we doing tomorrow? No, it’s a whole process, and doing that, what we’re trying to establish is in that person, in that student, that facility, that tool, that ability, that skill set to be able to identify these issues in our community in a kind way, in a graceful way, in a loving way, and working with the resources around them to say, how can we fix this?  What can I do? And I think everybody can agree as adults that our students and our children in the generations coming and growing that we see are having a lot of difficulty problem-solving. They’re having a lot of difficulty communicating for a lot of reasons, right?  That we’re not going brought out, but and this is why it takes us this long, so many skills that we inadvertently are teaching them when my friend doesn’t like my idea, but I really think they should be. Well, let’s talk about it. How would you talk to someone that you don’t agree with? And it’s just brought on so much more than just a project. And that’s why it’s called service learning because there’s a learning component to it. It’s not just a service component.

09:56 Marly Q


09:57 Dr. Eglee Nunez San Cristobal

We’re super excited about it.

09:59 Marly Q 

And that’s why its takes so long. It’s not that it takes so long is that it is a daily practice. What you’re teaching and what you’re planting the seeds are is that this isn’t just like this one-time project that we’re going to work on and we’re in and out of this problem. This is a way of being a socially conscious, a global citizen, someone that thinks about what are the problems that exist in my community, right? And empower children, elementary school kids, right? Little kids, empower them with a sense of responsibility.

10:29 Dr. Eglee Nunez San Cristobal


10:30 Marly Q 

And the way that I break down the word responsibility to me doesn’t mean that I carry the weight of the burden on the world, right? The burden of the world on my shoulders and it is up to me to save the world and solve all the many, many, many problems that I’m passionate about, right? Because if we, if we live in that space, then we are overwhelming our children, right? How can we possibly give and ourselves as adults, how can we possibly take on all the huge burden of all our societal problems? We simply cannot. But what we can do is tap into our ability to respond to the problems that we identify as important to solve. And that’s what I see you’re teaching these kids. And you’re giving them the process and the structure to inquire, right? To think about what questions do we need to ask. Because what’s a problem? A problem is just an unanswered question, right? So what questions?

11:18 Dr. Eglee Nunez San Cristobal


11:19 Marly Q 

Do we need to ask you’re teaching them this skill. It is a skill. And I love that this is an intentional part of your school design of not just your curriculum, but of the culture of the school and it transfers not just for the students like you said, but let’s talk about like the student parent and teacher relationship, right? And how does kindness in education play a role or trickle out, right? In order to engage the parents in this process as well, and not just the parents, the greater community, right? 

11:47 Dr. Eglee Nunez San Cristobal

And that’s the biggest goal. The service learning component has taught us that the parents are very enthusiastic about their children participating in this type of activity. They want their have this ability to do that, to do this.The moment we then now say, okay, parents, we need you to support us. And that’s where we’re at. And you know Also showing the parents and showing the collaboration that it’s not just your student that’s responsible for this and being able to see the issues that may be surround your family that are important to your family. So that’s the next phase. And we have a lot of, we have a big vision for this. We really do. And I know that it has so many different legs and so many different directions that we can continue to expand on.

But for us at the moment, the students don’t even see it, which I think it just organically happened, don’t see it as, oh my gosh, I have to pick, you know, I have to do all these things. They really are excited about, I can actually help. And I speak in these terms because they’re young, they’re elementary students. So these are the terms that they rebuttal to us. I can actually help, I can actually do this. Because as little kids, as you guys know, you sometimes feel that you don’t have a say. You sometimes feel that you’re not heard. You sometimes feel that what’s important to you is not important because you’re not a grown-up. So this activity, this program, you know, this time, whatever you want to call it, has given the students a voice, self-esteem, confidence. We have students that are deficient in certain subject areas and need more help, that are not a student. But yet when they get into the service learning projects, they’re the best artist that the kids are like, whoa, we didn’t know you can draw like that because we’re making the flyers for the bake sale, let’s say. Or, wow, I didn’t know that you can do that. So it has, and that wasn’t planned, that just happened that way. And it has really shown the adults, and that’s the goal. Witnessing this, because it’s happened to me, it’s happened to the teachers, we’re there hearing and watching, there’s hope. You feel such a sense of, okay, you feel rejuvenated, you feel driven, like, okay. So it’s not gonna always be perfect because education is not perfect as we all know, right? The education fields, but there’s hope. Like there’s still hope in these kids. There’s still, we still have the ability to take it back old school and have these students have a teacher-student relationship that matters that you can remember for a lifetime. I mean, these are the things that I’m hopeful for. And I hope that in the interim, you know, I can kind of sprinkle that be the spark, like Marly says, for others that maybe don’t feel it yet, or have never experienced it. We can now say, wow, this is that was pretty cool. 

14:42 Marly Q 

You know, you’re touching on something so special to me. And again, why I’m involved and why I try to volunteer and spread the word about the great work that’s happening over at STAR’s global is because  I was that elementary school kid, like I was that, you know, nine or 10 year old that felt really really  worried and burdened by the problems that I saw in my own home and my community, like on TV and the news, right? When my parents would put this on, rule number one, don’t have your kids watch the news. Please don’t do that. Right? I really felt that as a young girl, I want to do something to fix and to help right? And I felt super helpless. I felt insignificant. I felt unheard. I felt like I needed to grow up. I needed to have money. I needed to, you know, and what can I do? And I had a teacher my fourth-grade teacher, which I share this in my TEDx talk. I’ll link it in the show notes to this episode. If you haven’t watched it yet, please do. Because organically, we’ve been sharing this message of kindness for over well over a decade. Again and I know each other for well over a decade and we’ve been building and planting these seeds one by one, one child by one. And you’re doing the work of creating this global village of kindness, of creating this world where people are kind enough service to each other. This is how you do it by empowering kids, educating them.You have the ability to respond in small ways that make a really big impact. And the more that we teach that not just to our kids, but involve our parents in this process and involve the greater community in like, Hey, this is the most important work that we can be doing. 

16:17  Dr. Eglee Nunez San Cristobal

Exactly. Marly, that’s exactly, exactly how I feel. And I and I’m saying it like that because this is the most important work. You know, as adults, I feel it’s our responsibility to really give back to our kids.We can sit here and talk about, you know, laws and statutes and, you know, all these rules that come up in education. But at the end, the kids still come to school every day. Students still show up. And it’s the ones that need it the most, that never ever miss school. Those are the ones that always show up because they 

16:58 Marly Q 

100% attendance, 100% attendance right here. I needed it the most. And that parent, I’m sorry, that student-teacher relationship that you just emphasized that is what I want to emphasize that I feel along with your student with a service learning model, along with your super high quality up to date curriculum, along with your student support services, right? The STAR’s global prep is an all inclusive campus, right? With children that are, you know, cognitively atypical or on the autism spectrum or have other kind of, you know, learning delays, right? STAR’s global prep is this all-inclusive campus that and can meet students at the level that they’re at with a foundation of kindness. Because that engagement, that connection with your teacher every day that sees you, that hears you, that is empowering you, that says, hey, you can make a difference, right? Every day, because this is a service learning class every single day that we have this conversation. You just, you give me hope. You give hopefully our PARKers listening some inspiration and some hope that there, there are future kind-minded service leaders being, being educated here and I just love that.I want to be able to wrap up our conversation today with this quote that I know is important to you by Helen Keller. The only thing worse than being blind is having sight, but no vision. Right? Like we must be able to first envision the world that we wish to create. We must first be able to have a vision of a world where all humankind is holding that standard of kindness, kindness towards ourselves, kindness towards each other, kindness towards this world that we share. And in moments where we fall and we fail because we do and we’re unkind to ourselves and to each other like kids are, right? Are we teaching our kids and teaching ourselves with kindness and course correcting with like, no, this is the standard, right? This is how we behave as human beings and as leaders and not just how we learn and how we play, but this is how we give back and are involved as active citizens and global citizens in our community.

19:05 Dr. Eglee Nunez San Cristobal

And that’s why our school campuses, we have two, are inclusive. And we do have students that are not maybe cognitively at grade level, because how can we teach kindness and how can we be kind and not include all students? So you know, it’s part of our mission. It’s a big vision. But I always and thanks to you Marly. Always take a deep breath and remind myself it’s one day at a time, one student at a time, and really trying to have that human connection and leave that mark and hopefully have that student just remember that like you do with your teacher and a teacher that I remember and look back and say, wow, you know, I want to be like that, or I remember that. That’s the vision. That’s the hope. 

19:51 Marly Q 

And you’re doing it each and every single day. Eglee, thank you. I know how busy you are. I thank you for making this time to be kind with me and our PARKers listening today.

20:00 Dr. Eglee Nunez San Cristobal

Thank you. Thank you, Marly. I appreciate you. Thank you for what you do. Thank you. 


I hope you enjoyed this short episode and are inspired to elevate your own vision for the kind of world that we can create together. Achieving our world where everyone is kind and of service to one another takes all of us. So I hope that you were inspired by the fact that educating our youth to be kind to themselves and the world is one step in the right direction. To connect with STAR’s Global Prep and access this episode’s show notes and transcriptions. We’ve made it super easy for you. Just visit us at MarlyQ.com forward slash this episode number. So whatever episode number this episode is, MarlyQ.com forward slash that episode number. Thank you so much for making time to be kind with Marly Q. See you next time.

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Seizing Happy with GiGi Diaz

Seizing Happy with GiGi Diaz

Surely you’ve heard the wise advice “seize the day”, right? Well, in this episode, you’ll discover simple ways to seize your happiness on a daily basis thanks to Marly Q and celebrity guest GiGi Diaz, certified mindset and branding coach, media personality and founder of Seizing Happy. Tune in for a spark of happiness and learn practical tips to expand your capacity to receive kindness from yourself, others and the universe.

Join our Kind QREW community – Click here

“Seizing happy is our responsibility as human beings on this planet.” ~ GiGi Diaz

Listen to this Episode and discover…

  • What does seizing happy mean?
  • A refreshing perspective on the word “responsibility” 
  • The importance of considering your own needs and creating kind habits
  • The ONE question to ask yourself every day to seize happy
  • It’s actually NOT better to give than to receive

Can you imagine how different your experience of life could be if Seizing Happy was your measure of success, every day? Tune in to this short episode to spark your happiness today!

About Marly Q:

Kindness Influencer, Leadership Trainer, and Community-Builder on a mission to create a kinder world for over two decades. Through her podcast, she invites listeners to make “Time to Be Kind” each week to receive a spark of kindness, connection and community.

Connect with Marly Q:

LinkedIn: https://linkedin.com/in/MarlyQ
Instagram: https://instagram.com/MarlyQ
Facebook: https://facebook.com/theMarlyQ
YouTube: https://youtube.com/@MarlyQ
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MarlyQ
TikTok: https://tiktok.com/@theMarlyQ

About Our Guest:

GiGi Diaz is a certified mindset and branding coach, media personality and founder of Seizing Happy, a coaching organization focused on nurturing the business and the woman behind the business equally.

Connect with GiGi Diaz:

Instagram: https://instagram.com/gigidiazlive
Register for Move, Breathe, Grow Event: https://seizinghappy.com
Use Code QREW20 for kind discount

Other Links:

Join our Kind QREW Free Private Facebook Group: https://facebook.com/groups/kindqrew
Join our Kind QREW+ Paid Membership: https://marlyq.com/kind-qrew
Programs & Courses: https://marlyq.com/programs
Marly Q Speaking, Training & Retreats: https://sparkcsr.com
Listen to Marly Q TEDx Talk “Kindness is your Superpower”: ​​https://bit.ly/MarlyQTEDxTalk

Other Episodes you’ll enjoy:

EP 34: Don’t Quit on YOU
EP 33: Express Lane to Kinder World with Nedal Ahmad
EP 32: Let’s Start with Why (and How)



Marly Q Seize the day they say, right? Well, what if seizing happiness was your daily measure of success? Stay tuned because, in this episode, we’re going to spark your quest to seizing happy, Today.

Marly Q Hello, Parker. And thank you for making time to be kind with Marly Q and our special guest today, GiGi Diaz. Welcome to the show.

GiGi Diaz I’m so excited to be here. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you so much for having me.

Marly Q Oh, my goodness, PARKers you are in for a treat if you’re brand new to my world. We have to start by defining what a PARKer is, because our special guest today is the embodiment of a Parker.

Marly Q  GiGi, What’s a PARKer?

GiGi Diaz  Somebody who will always, always have or practice random acts of kindness.

Marly Q Yes, doing.

GiGi Diaz And it is in the hugs. I think one of my favorite ways to park right now is just to hug.

Marly Q Yes. Oh, delicious hugs. Oxytocin all over the place. You could do a self hug right now. A little virtual hug. Thank you for making this time to be kind. Yes. If you are listening and you are parking this time out of your life to be with us, I believe that you are a person that performs acts of random kindness. That is my definition for a Parker. That is what we are and what we’re trying to unite and elevate and bring more of, right? And build more of this worldwide community of people of Parkers that are out there being that spark of change that we wish to see. And GiGi does this day in and day out. Let me tell you a little bit about my friend here. We’ve got a celebrity guest here today, people. Yes. GiGi Diaz is a certified mindset and branding coach. She’s a media personality, and she’s the host of chats with GiGi podcast. Like me, she’s a two- time alum of Florida international university. That’s right. A little shout-out there to FIU panthers. She’s also an entrepreneur with 20 years of experience. Yes, she was a teenager when she founded the successful GiGi’s dance academy in Hayalia. Shout out to our roots here. And she’s also the founder of seizing happy, which is a coaching organization dedicated to nurturing the business and the woman behind the business equally, GiGi has led a successful career in broadcast media for over 20 years as a producer and honor talent for big brands like radio, Disney, Telemundo, iHeartRadio, and more. She is an influencer that has worked with major brands, and she is here with us today to share her light, her spark with all of us. And I want to just kind of dive right in and ask you this question, GiGi. What does seizing happy mean to you? 

GiGi Diaz  I love this question. I haven’t been asked this question in so long. Seizing happy is our responsibility as human beings on this planet right now is to be in a state of seizing happy. It doesn’t mean that you have to be happy all the time. It doesn’t mean that happiness is a must. Sometimes it’s okay to not feel happy, but you owe it to yourself to when you are not happy, when you are not well, to find the way to seize that happiness again, to look for it, to find it, to discover it, to create it, to make it, to give it to yourself. And so, for me, that’s the concept behind seizing happy. It’s wherever you are in your life, whether you’re feeling good or not so hot, you have a responsibility to yourself to be seizing happy.

Marly Q Yes, I love that. A responsibility to yourself to be in a state of seizing happy. Can we imagine how different life would be like, your experience of life, if your daily quest, your daily measure of success was that I seize happiness today? Did I grab onto it even in the days when they were tough, even in the days where I didn’t feel like it? Even the days where we might be, like, in the dark or facing a challenge or stress at work or in traffic, right? Like, how can we seize that happiness for ourselves? That is a responsibility. I love that. You know, I like wordplay. I like to word like to play with words. And for me, responsibility is the ability to respond, right? And when I say that I am responsible for my own happiness, it means that I am able to respond to absolutely anything that life throws at me. I am able to respond to this and seize my happiness somewhere in there, right? Find the lesson, find the blessing, find the joy, right? Because you get to grab it, but you also have to let it go, right? Like the importance of seizing it and letting it go. Right. Can we speak to that and really with the women in your community and how that shows up for them, right? How do the women in your community seize happy?

GiGi Diaz  Well, I think that because in seizing happy, our goal is to be able to nurture the business and the woman behind the business equally. There is a dynamic that I find that is so delicious both to practice and to observe the women in my community practice, which is to be able to seize your happiness as the badass entrepreneur, right? Like when you’re in that beautiful, masculine energy of decision making and strategizing and planning and launching and doing, doing, doing and then seeing the fruits and the results of that and then being able to let go of that. For a second and step back and then go and nurture the woman behind the business and to seize your happiness in the softness of community of women speaking with each other about what we’re going through and where we might need some support. And then the softness of being a mom and being the girlfriend to your husband again and being soft and receiving and loving and intuitive and calm and quiet. And I think that in that letting go and picking up process of being the person for the business and the person that’s just the person just the woman. It’s one of those beautiful examples that I see consistently in my seizing happy community. And that is to be able to seize your happiness in the space where you are the person that runs the business. Then let that go for a moment and seize your happiness in the space where you are just the woman behind the business with all these other beautiful soft characteristics that are just as important. So that’s one example that I can give you that I absolutely love.

Marly Q Yes. And I think that being practical. I love being practical and I’d love to know how kindness shows up, right? Like as a practice, right? On our quest to seize happy every day, how important is making time to be kind to yourself? What does that look like on a daily basis?

GiGi Diaz Yeah, that’s such a good question too. I think that we are especially entrepreneurial, women, driven women, the ones that want to change the world and make all the difference, whether it’s as a mom or in your job or we are so tough on ourselves because we know we’re capable of so much. We know we are so able to do and to be and to create that we end up staying so high on that in that space of productivity and doing and doing that we forget how important it is for us to pause and to refuel, right? And so I think in the daily process of seizing happy, whatever space of life you’re in, whether you are in the space of mommying, which is its own challenge, whether you’re in the space of being the great wife or the great partner or the great caretaker, if you’re taking care of your parents or if you’re in the space of being the baddest entrepreneur, bringing in ten more clients this month every single day, I think pausing to ask yourself whether it’s in the beginning of the day or it’s at the end of the day, depending on how you run. We all are magically different. Asking yourself, what do I need right now? Sometimes this is something that I do in the mornings when I have slow starts to my day, which seems to be happening more often lately. And I will ask myself because it takes me a minute to jump-start, right? And I’m not used to that. So I will ask myself, well, what do I need right now before I go take on the world and all the things I have to do or get to do? What do I need? Sometimes it’s just a pause, sometimes it’s a really good breakfast, sometimes it’s to not start for another, like 20 minutes. Sometimes it’s a nap right after I wake up. It’s like I need to sleep a little longer. Ten more minutes. And sometimes when I jump out of bed because I’m so thrilled to, I’m ready for the day. I’m super energetic. I got all the rest I needed and I’ll just jump into it and I’ll just accomplish and accomplish and do and check off all the boxes and I’m like, yay. And then at the end of the day, I’m like, wait a minute. That was a lot of things. That’s the other space when I will pause and ask myself, what do I need right now? Sometimes it’s a walk. Sometimes it’s to turn off all the screens and just turn off my phone and not care about what’s happening. I am not an emergency respondent, so it doesn’t matter if I turn off my phone for 30 minutes. Everyone’s going to be okay, everyone’s going to be fine. Sometimes it’s that, sometimes it’s sitting outside walking my dog. She loves to walk around the neighborhood and pull me through the neighborhood with her. But I think that one of those key elements, like just stopping and asking yourself at whatever time in your day, it feels good, what do I need right now? And give that to yourself. Whatever it is, give it to yourself because you deserve that. You deserve that kindness from you. You deserve kindness from other people also, but you especially deserve it from yourself.

Marly Q Yes, I am like standing ovation. I’m not going to clap so that I don’t make my audio people crazy, but yes, this key question of considering your own needs. Like, what do I need right now? What do you need right now? Like if it was your kid, right? Your daughter, your son, or your best friend, right? What do you need right now, sweetheart? Like kindness, what do you need? And if what you need is that extra rest, what you need is some space to process or to feel or to just be in silence, that’s what you need. Actually giving it to yourself, asking and receiving kindness from yourself. Are you listening, Parker out there? This is key. And it’s such a simple practice, and it really is a practice, and it has to become a habit, right? Because maybe for you and for me, that question now kind of comes natural. I check in with myself every single day. I have two small babies. When I wake up in the morning, they are immediately needing me for something. And I still good morning. What do you need? I need a breath. I just need a moment. I need to drink some water. I need to use a restroom. Whatever I need, actually give that to myself for a moment, and then you can fill your own cup without sacrificing or leaving anybody else thirsty, right? Like you can do it.

GiGi Diaz And I think it’s so important, too, because if you don’t lead by example in giving yourself the kindness that you need and deserve, I think it becomes more difficult to not only expect but request and receive kindness from other people around you. So it has to start with you. It has to start with you giving yourself that kindness first so that you have the strength to request it from others and so that you have the ability to receive it from others. Because sometimes we’re on such a high drive that it’s like, I’m good, I got it, I can do it, I don’t need that. I’m fine, I’m fine, I’m fine, I’m fine, I’m fine. And sometimes most of the time, we’re not. We need a hug. We need some kindness. We need some support.

Marly Q Yes. And even you said something beautiful, right? It’s also about expanding our capacity to receive. US being able to receive our own kindness expands our capacity to receive kindness not just from other people, but get this, friends, from life,  from the universe, from the natural flow of energy that we are all like, partaking in that wants to give and receive. One of the myths that I want to just bust right now is that it is not better to give than to receive. And this is a philosophy, a quote, a mantra, something that service-driven people believe, and I used to believe it, too, right? It’s better to give than to receive. Well, maybe it feels better to give than to receive, but it is not better to give than to receive. It is equally important to give and receive. And we can bring this back all the way to, like, biologically, scientifically proven. If I were to ask you right now to just exhale, just give me the longest exhale. You have to give, right? Ready?

GiGi Diaz  Give.

Marly Q  Because it feels so good to exhale, right?


GiGi Diaz Exhale. Exhale. Exhale.

Marly Q Go ahead, give it to me. Give it. You’re going to have to gasp for air at some point, right? You can’t just give your air. You can’t just exhale because it feels good to sigh and exhale. You have to inhale. You have to receive that breath. The first thing that we did when we entered this life was inhale and receive the breath of life. And the last thing that we’re going to do is give it, right? Give it away. And we kind of live in this disconnection from the natural flow and process of things, where it’s equally important to give and to receive. And when we bring those things into balance first, when you bring your inhale and your exhale into balance, you’re regulating your nervous system, right, and bringing that into balance. But when we learn to give and to receive energy, kindness to one another, you’re, like, enriching your mental health, your wellness, your life, right? In every sense of the word and including your bank account, in my opinion, right? Because if we’re talking about business and entrepreneurship here. You and I have been in business for 20 years. Do you agree that the currency of kindness has driven our business success 100%?

GiGi Diaz Both kindnesses, the giving ,and the receiving kindnesses. Because it is when I am kind to myself and I pause to rest in between my big goals and my big accomplishments and paths that I set out for next levels of success. It is only in that kindness that I can A, rest and replenish that I can refill my cup and B, that I can make space for the creativity and the ideas and the guidance, the intuitive, supreme guidance of maybe what’s next or maybe I’m just going to hang out here for a while. It’s okay if I just stay here for two or three years. I don’t have to necessarily have something next. But it’s in that kindness to myself of pausing that I find what I need next as an entrepreneur. But it’s also in the kindness of giving to others as an entrepreneur, of, hey, I got your back. You know what? That’s something that I can look out for you there. I can support you in that. I can collaborate with you in that this is easy for me. I’ll cover it. And the kindness of being able to receive kindness from others too. When just the other day, and we won’t get into the details, but you and I, when we saw each other recently, you came up to me and you said, hey, I know you have this big event coming up. I got your back if you need anything. And being able to say, yes, I received that. Thank you. If I need your help, I will definitely or to say, you know what? I do need your help. Here’s a list of things. Please pick one. Pick two, Pick three. That kindness as an entrepreneur is also key, has been key to my success, for sure. I agree with you completely. 

Marly Q Yes And you and I are both doing the work of showing up in kindness towards ourselves, but also creating spaces and building community for other people. Right? You focus on women entrepreneurs. So tell me, how do you help your women entrepreneurs achieve success with less stress? How do you help these women that wear so many different hats show more kindness to themselves?

GiGi Diaz  Yeah. So there’s a couple of different ways that we can do that. And the structures and the programs are the fun stuff. So we can do the one-on-one coaching. We have a group, an online community, all that stuff. But most importantly, the way in which I find that seasoning happy can support these women entrepreneurs to achieve success with less stress is to do a couple of things. The first is to tap into yourself. A lot of the time we see other successful entrepreneurs and we think, man, I want to get to that. And then you want to replicate some form of their method into your business. But the problem is that when you do it that way, you’re giving up the power of your uniqueness and your authenticity because you cannot possibly fit your uniqueness into somebody else’s mold because that mold was especially created for their uniqueness. So teaching women how to discover their zone of genius and entrepreneurship and how to really tap into the natural gifts that make them the unique entrepreneur that they are is one of the first steps that we do. One of the second steps is your definition of success truly yours. This is something that I suffered from, from a really long time, right. My parents definition of success was degrees. So I went and I got two and then a bunch of other certifications. The industry’s definition of success was morning shows and either sports or news and I did all of those things. My definition of success was impacting others and feeling really happy while I teach. That’s my zone of genius. And so being able to tap into that and finding what is your true definition of success? For some people, it is the six figures. But for some people you’d be surprised, it’s not the six figures will naturally come when they’re seeking their true definition of success, whatever that might be. And then the last thing that we focus on is being able to create the custom strategies that you deserve. Right? Like we often get caught up in the business plan. We need to have a funnel and a website and a lead generator and all this other stuff and all that stuff is cool. But do those systems, are they sustainable for you, the lifestyle that you want to lead? A mom of two might want to lead a different lifestyle than a woman with no kids, right? A mom of two with support might want to lead a different lifestyle as an entrepreneur than a mom of two without support. And so it’s being able to customize your business so that it serves you, not so that you have to jump into a pre-built system by somebody else that may be effective but won’t be in the long run. Sustainable for you because it doesn’t match or support the lifestyle that you envisioned when you first said, I’m leading corporate. I want to do this entrepreneurial thing for full time because this is the life I want. Right? So I would say that those are three specific ways in which there are a few others. But those are three very specific ways in which we help to be able to achieve that success with less stress.

Marly Q I think that’s amazing that you’ve created this community and I’ve built this container and space and structure also like a method and like a roadmap, if you will, to support women to make sure that we’re on this quest to seizing happy, right? That we have the space and the reminder to check in and how is this feeling and are we in alignment and are we in flow? Right? Because stress, I always say that stress isn’t the enemy. We’re not trying to conquer stress. Right. So I love how you say it’s with less stress because stress is a natural part of being an entrepreneur. There’s just no detaching from the level of stress that entrepreneurs need to have in their daily experience. However, what is the enemy is lack of awareness to stress. Like, when we are not aware of the fact that we are in a state of stress, like chronically, especially as it relates to our business, it’s a direct reflection of you. Your business is a reflection of you. So if your energy is in this chronic state of stress, your business is as well. And we’re not fueling right, that success. We’re not working to enrich all areas of our lives. So I love that your perspective and your model and your community focuses on the business being healthy, which is important. The woman behind the business all by herself makes sure that she’s healthy too because she’s the one driving the business forward. So important. And, you know, we didn’t mention this until this point, but GiGi here is not alone. She did not come here to make time to be kind on her own. She is currently 30, some weeks pregnant with her first baby boy. And I just feel so happy. I’m seizing the happiness right now in this moment. Right? And that we’re capturing this super special time in your life where we are pausing right. Or maybe right now you’re like, gearing up towards closer to the delivery date and trying to check as many boxes as we can, but being forced by your body to slow down and pause. How are you making time to be kind to yourself and to your business during this super special time?

GiGi Diaz  Yes. Thank you for that question because it took some adapting in the beginning, this was an unplanned pregnancy. It totally caught us off guard. And I was actually on an overdrive state where I was like, okay, we’ve got this plan. We’re going to push hard for the next six months to do what we need to do, then we’re going to pause. There was this whole structure to our lifestyle that we were planning, and when we got pregnant, I had to listen to my body. You don’t have a choice. It will be the boss of you. And being able to pause, to connect with myself, and really honor what my body needs and requires to be able to maintain these two lives, because it’s important to remember. And I didn’t realize this at first, even though it’s so obvious my body is keeping me alive the way that it’s always done right, without me asking anything for it to do anything. It’s breathing. It’s pumping all this blood. It’s digesting all my food. It’s moving my legs and my arms and helping my brain think how to answer this question. But now it’s also building a whole another life and nervous system and little toes and organs. And you have to honor the greatness and the magic of the system that we’re in. This bag of bones, right? It’s a brilliant bag of bones that has all of these beautiful abilities and I really had to pause. And the good thing is, and this is why I’m so confident in what we teach, with seizing happy, is that because my systems were already in place in a way that my business works for me, not that I am an employee of my business, because my definition of success is very, very clear, because of the way that I approach. Business is always something that has to feel good for me. It has to feel like it’s in flow. Maybe not necessarily easy, but it does have to feel like it’s in flow. It was a little bit less challenging for me to be able to say I need to pause, I need to restructure and I need to reset what I’m doing, which is one of the things we teach, is the three R system. And I applied that to myself, reevaluate, restructure and reset. And it really helped me to be able to show up on the days when I can. One of those days that I wake up and I’m like, oh, I feel good today. Today we’re going to do all the things and then on those other days when I wake up and I’m like, we’re not getting done today because I’m Sleepy and I just woke up and I’m so tired and I’m just going.To veg out, I’m going to sit outside, I’m going to look at my butterflies. And being able to honor that balance of there’s the business and the woman behind the business, both are equally important. Because if I’m not well, my business can’t be well. And now if I’m not well, my son can’t be well. And so it’s important to be able to just pause and honor that, honor all the parts of you and give yourself what you deserve, what you require.

Marly Q That is kindness. That is the embodiment of kindness. And I know and understand as a high-achieving woman myself, it kind of takes you a little bit off the track. It gives you a little bit of time to get used to. So you’re doing a great job. Very exciting for your next chapter. I am here for all of it and to support you along the way, please tell our Parkers listening or our female Parkers listening in South Florida. Anyway, about this awesome event that you’ve got coming up next week, I will be at it. I can’t wait to be there. Tell us about it.

GiGi Diaz  I’m so excited for this event. So this was my baby before the baby came around. I’ve had this event in my heart for so long and finally, it comes to be so I’m pumped. The event is called Move Breathe Grow a 360 Approach to Entrepreneurial Wellness. And this is a half-day retreat style experience for driven women who are seeking sisterhood and support so that they can achieve their big dreams without the burnout. Right? That part’s not necessary. And so we’re going to have three different experience. We’re going to have Move, where we’re going to use movement. We have a ton of father to be able to ground and connect to our inner feminine essence. We’re going to have a second session called Breathe, where we’re going to use our breath to recalibrate our nervous system, to connect with our intuition, to do some visualization, to see what feels good and what’s coming next for us. And then in the third session, which is called Grow, we’re going to have a really interesting networking experience and a speaker panel to talk about business. Because we can do both. We can nurture the body, nurture the mind, and then nurture the business, right? Money is good. We can keep making it. And so lunch is included. It’s going down on Thursday, March 30, from twelve to four in Coral Gables. And you can definitely join us. And I would love to have all of the ladies, all the lady pikers. That are listening right now at this event. It’s going to be so delicious. And all the other info and ticketing stuff is on seizinghappy.com.

Marly Q Thank you. Thank you for sharing. We will definitely include the link to register for Move Breathe Grow on March 30 in our show notes.

GiGi Diaz And we have a special code, right? QREW20 with a dollar discount on admission for everyone that’s listening right now.

Marly Q Yeah, we will make sure to include that code, hook you up with a discount. Ladies, if you’re in South Florida, please join us. I will be there. This is like my Time to be Kind to myself on my calendar. I can’t wait to be there and see and receive the beautiful experience that you’ve created. And I will also be there to give any support that I can while I am there.


Yes. Thank you so much for making this time to be kind with me today. I hope that you will make time to be kind again sometime in the future so that I can interview you as a mom of a boy. We can share mom a boy stories. That would be so fun. I can’t wait. Awesome. See you next time.

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The King of Kindness – Patrick Morris

The King of Kindness with Marly Q

Have you ever met someone who embodies kindness so effortlessly that you can’t help but feel inspired?

Well today is your lucky day because we get to meet and spend time with Patrick Morris who is often referred to as the King of Kindness!

Tune into this short episode, to be inspired by our friend Pat as he shares his experiences and insights on what it takes to create a kinder world, and how we can all contribute as “PARKers” in this mission together. 

Join our Kind QREW community – Click here

“Kindness is a choice, and our brain is wired to be kind.” ~ Patrick Morris

Listen to this Episode and discover…

  • The power of asking people to help!
  • Why instilling a philanthropic mindset in children from a young age is important. 
  • What’s the main difference between philanthropy and charity? 
  • How to stay passionate about kindness and philanthropy, without burning out! 
  • Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniela Levine Cava’s 4 E’s (and a 5th E) to encourage more civic engagement with local government. 

Marly Q and Pat’s collective passion for kindness and service shines through this episode and you will be left feeling inspired to make a difference as the King or Queen of Kindness in your own home and community. Tune in now to embark on this quest to create a kinder world, together!

About Marly Q:

Kindness Influencer, Leadership Trainer, and Community-Builder on a mission to create a kinder world for over two decades. Through her podcast, she invites listeners to make “Time to Be Kind” each week to receive a spark of kindness, connection and community.

Connect with Marly Q:

LinkedIn: https://linkedin.com/in/MarlyQ
Instagram: https://instagram.com/MarlyQ
Facebook: https://facebook.com/theMarlyQ
YouTube: https://youtube.com/@MarlyQ
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MarlyQ
TikTok: https://tiktok.com/@theMarlyQ

About Our Guest:

Patrick Morris is known as the King of Kindness for his career in philanthropy, civic engagement, and professional volunteerism for over three decades. Pat works as the Director of Civic and Philanthropic Partnerships at Miami Dade County’s Office of the Mayor, inspiring people to collaborate and bring kindness to the table.

Connect with Patrick Morris:

LinkedIn: https://linkedin.com/in/patrickgmorris
Email: patrick.morris2@miamidade.gov
Phone: 786-325-2223

Other Links:

Listen to Marly Q TEDx Talk “Kindness is your Superpower”: ​​https://bit.ly/MarlyQTEDxTalk
Join our Kind QREW Free Private Facebook Group: https://facebook.com/groups/kindqrew
Join our Kind QREW+ Paid Membership: https://marlyq.com/kind-qrew
Programs & Courses: https://marlyq.com/programs
Marly Q Speaking, Training & Retreats: https://sparkcsr.com

Other Episodes you’ll enjoy:

EP 31: Kindness Matters 365 with Laura Reiss

EP 15: Planting Seeds of Kindness with Marlon Hill




Marly Q    Have you ever met or spent time with the King of Kindness? How about the Queen? The truth is, neither have I. But in today’s episode, you’ll get to meet and connect with kindness royalty, from South Florida anyway, and be invited to join our quest to create a kinder world together.


Marly Q    Welcome. Thank you so much for making Time to be Kind with Marly Q and our special guest today, Patrick Morris. Patrick I call Pat. He’s been my friend for many, many years. I can call him Pat and call him the King of Kindness, like so many people do, not just in South Florida, but throughout the nation. Pat is known as the King of Kindness because he has a career in philanthropy, civic engagement, and professional volunteerism for over three decades. So he knows a thing or two about making time to be kind and the impact, especially as he serves as the Director of Civic and Philanthropic Partnerships at Miami Dade County’s Office of the Mayor. Thank you for making time to be kind with us today, Pat. Welcome.


Patrick Morris    Marly, great to see you again. And, yeah, we’ve known each other for a long time. So we’ve been working on this kindness thing together for a long time and super excited to be with you today.


Marly Q    Thank you. Me, too. And for our Parkers that might be listening and connecting just for the first time, a PARKer is a person that Performs Acts of Random Kindness. Every episode I’ve got to let people know that I am a serial acronymist and I have my own lingo, and you will be speaking it very soon. So Pat and I are PARKers, and we’ve also been called like, the King and the Queen of Kindness in our own respects. How do you feel about being called the King of Kindness? Let me ask you.


Patrick Morris    You know, I find it to be exactly who I think I am friendly, generous and considerate. That’s lessons I learned as a young child. And I would like to think that I’ve passed on to my kids. And when my friends write my epitaph, that those will be three words that will be along with kindness maybe King of Kindness will be on my headstone somewhere. Not anytime soon, but when that time comes, I’ll be proud to be known as somebody who was kind.


Marly Q    What a life, right? I have to be honest. I’ve been called the Queen of Kindness, and it always makes me like I haven’t fully opened to receive that. And I guess I still have some healing and look and work to look into that. I’m only the Queen of my home. That’s all I know. I’m the queen of my home and my kingdom, right? But I do like to think I’m the spark of kindness. And that’s what we’re doing here at Time to be Kind with Marly Q is providing a little spark of kindness. And today I’m just so grateful that it gets to be with you, and I want to just hear from you. You’ve been doing this work for over three decades. How did you get started? How did you find your passion for service and philanthropy?


Patrick Morris    Well, it sounds funny, but I literally started as a young child. You know! My grandfather started the Irish American Society in Mineola, Long Island. We used to spend Sunday afternoons holding my mom and dad’s hand, going to the Irish Community Center. And part of what was always a part of that was a social piece, and there was a community piece. So I kind of saw that as a young child. You know, my dad was a member of the Knights of Columbus. We always were going to do projects with him when he was, when I was a young kid. I’m the oldest of six. All of our kids in my family did that at young ages. He was involved in politics on Long Island, and I spent many a Friday night and a Saturday or Sunday going to either a synagogue, black church or a church with an elected official that my father was supporting. And I remember being a young kid sitting in a black church in Glen Cove in Long Island and looking at these beautiful big hats that the ladies were wearing in church. And it’s a memory that stuck with me from the time I was a little kid. So being involved in service and doing things in the community has kind of just been something that’s been kind of who I am from a young kid and you know, continued that in high school. We moved from New York to Pennsylvania when I was in high school, and there was an earth and dam that collapsed in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. Not the first time it happened, which was like, in 1926, but in 1976, I think. And I went as a high school junior with about 20 other kids and shoveled dirt out of people’s basements because the flood, the water had flooded into their basements. And, you know, it’s one of those things, like, many years later now, but I remember that senior citizen, mom and dad, Grandma and Grandpa, you know, basically welling up and crying, saying that if you young people hadn’t come here, I don’t know how we would have got the dirt out of our basement. It wasn’t dirt, it was mud at that point. And so I remember you know, that more clearly than anything about the impact of being a person who, with a shovel and a hand and a wheelbarrow, could make a difference in people’s lives, that’s if we didn’t do it, who was going to do it? And so I think I’ve seen that and talked to friends over the years, like, if you don’t do it, who’s going to do it? And that was always a pretty good reason for me to step in and do whatever it is so.


Marly Q    It really sounds like kindness was your identity, and I think that’s so important. I started a hashtag a couple of years ago, and my first product that I put out was called I am Kindness. Like, we can identify with that is at the core of who you are. That is your identity I am kindness. And it’s very easy to identify when you’re being that and when you’re not being that, right? It’s like a standard of being. So I love hearing that in your story and I’m curious Pat. You know! Because focus on a life of service and always being of service to others and putting that energy out on a consistent basis can be exhausting, right? Like, a life of service could be really kind of tiring and exhausting. Can you speak a little bit to that and how you keep going? What keeps you in this work?


Patrick Morris    Yeah, it’s funny because, Marly, you may know this, you may not know this, but I was involved with the Make A Wish Foundation for a long, long time before I moved to Florida in 1988. I got involved as a wish granter up in New York, granted a bunch of wishes, incredible wishes, to young kids who had terminal illnesses. I moved to South Florida. I got involved here again. I, you know, became a wish granter. The best title, I think that any volunteer can have to be a wish granter. And, you know, I was never asking for me. I was asking for a young girl or boy in their family who was dealing with incredible difficulties with whatever the terminal illness that they had. I was always asking for them. So it got me very early on as a younger person to understand the power of asking people to help. They weren’t helping Pat Morris. They were helping a young boy who was in New York City to meet Mr. T or to become a firefighter for the day, or we did the first glorious Stefan wish here in South Florida. I did the first Marlins wish for the little boy back in 1996 who was the first marlin for a day. Now they’ve done probably 30 or 40 marlin wishes. But to me, I saw the power of volunteerism and what that meant to that family. I didn’t know that family. I didn’t know that young kid. Most of them I never met again, except for those couple of days where they came into my life and I came into their life. But I saw the power of what that did for them and for whatever it did for them, it did for me ten times more. That feeling that you got from helping somebody at that level is something that I never forget and I never have forgotten. And I get it whether I’m at Junior Achievement at a school or I’m with the Data Education Fund at a school or I’m doing Baynanza in Miami. That piece of volunteering is something that I have always felt you get back ten times more than you give.


Marly Q    Absolutely. 100%. I refer to that as kind of enriching your life with the currency of kindness. Right, if we were to have been taught to value the currency of kindness the way that we value monetary currency, we would live in a completely different world, don’t you agree?


Patrick Morris    100%. No doubt about it. Absolutely.


Marly Q    What do you think is the difference between philanthropy and charity?


Patrick Morris    Yeah, I think I don’t ever use the word charity anymore. Charity is a handout. I mean, that’s what it sounds like to me. That’s what I’ve always thought it was, even before I kind of had this philosophical shift. Philanthropy, obvious, is giving to support a cause. Whether it’s your time that you’re giving, it can be philanthropical time that you give, or philanthropical dollars, clearly, that you give. I know one thing that I started when my kids were little. They’re now 18 and 20. We haven’t done it in a while. When we found money on the street, we found a dollar here or a quarter, whatever, we put it in a jar. And after a couple of months and putting that together, we brought it to the public, figured out how much money we had, and then we donated that to a nonprofit. And so teaching my kids that anybody can be a philanthropist, just like Lauren Buffett or Jeff Bezos at Amazon or whoever it is right in our own community that are amazing philanthropists, like Anna Milton or Joe Fernandez, the folks who give big, big dollars. If you’re giving anything that’s yours and you’re giving it away again, whether it’s your time or your money, you’re a philanthropist. And again, I just go back to it always comes back to you ten times more than you ever give out.


Marly Q    Yes, I speak at a lot of schools, right, whether it’s Career Day or just invited to come and speak in classrooms or auditoriums, what have you. And I love being able to tell children, especially elementary school age children, that they can be a philanthropist. You don’t usually get that career option at Career Day. And I come in and say, you know I am actually myself for a living I have a business called Marly Q LLC. But really who I am, I am a kindness influencer. I’m a philanthropist, and so are you. And no matter what you choose to do as a profession or a career in your life. Whether it’s, and I’ll say an entrepreneur, a doctor, a dentist, a teacher, whatever the kids would say to me that they wanted to be, you can be a philanthropist, while doing that. You can be a philanthropist at the core of philanthropy is a genuine love and concern for humanity and being committed to offer your resources, be it time, money, expertise, skills, connections, anything that you have to offer, I think that is philanthropy. So I hope that all of our PARKers listening here today are reminded that you have this superpower. You are the king or queen of kindness in your own kingdom, in your own world. And we all have this power to be the spark of that in our community and ultimately shift our culture and how we treat each other in our homes, in our workplaces, in our schools, in our community, in our churches, out in traffic. Right?


Patrick Morris     Yeah. Right. Yeah. I know you said that you’re a spark. I think you’re 15 years later that we’ve known each other a raging blaze of a fire these days of kindness. Not a spark by any means. But, you know, kindness is a choice, right? I mean, you know, you can be nice, you can be kind, but it’s a choice that someone has to make. And I think the thing that is just a fact is that our brain is wired to be kind. And the more we are kinder, the more the synapses fire in a very positive way to make us happier people. Again it’s not something that Dr. Pat is telling you. It’s actually Harvard based research that is an evidence that you could go find that talks about kindness and the impact it has on you as an individual. To me, kindness is always a ripple effect. You do something for somebody, they see it, they take it, and they pass it on. And I always feel that’s happening all around me all the time when I see just random acts of kindness that happen all the time.


Marly Q    All the time. And you said it. It’s when we see it, when we are aware and present to it and truly when we practice kindness. And that’s why I even brought this podcast back, was to recommit myself to making the Time to be Kind, to putting it on the calendar, scheduling the time to reach out and connect with people that are kindness influencers, that are PARKers, that are kindness superheroes right, out there. Because there’s a lot of us. There’s a lot of us, and we in small ways, in grand ways, but every day, in some way, we have this responsibility to keep this currency of kindness going. And I’m just so grateful for the work that you do every single day. I know that for the past decades, it’s been kind of using your words from the outside in on philanthropy. And now that you’re working for local government and for the office of the mayor, focused on philanthropic partnerships and how can we create more civic engagement in our communities? How can we inspire people to collaborate and work with our local government and bring kindness to the table?


Patrick Morris    Yeah, it’s a great question. Mayor Levine Cava has her four E’s, she calls them, and the bucket is Equity, which goes through everything she does. Economy, which is how do we build a thriving economy that is equitable for all. Environment. She put the first chief Bay officer in place, the first chief heat officer in place. Resiliency is something that she’s enhanced in the office of Resiliency under a guy by the name of Jim Murley. And Engagement is her four E’s. And I say to her that I think she really has a fifth E. It’s called Empathy because everything that she does is with an empathetic heart. And an eye to how can we be equitable about it, how can we engage people, how is it going to help our economy and what’s the environmental ramifications of anything we’re doing? But it’s all through a lens of empathy. And empathy at the end of the day, is, again, it’s that kindness and that night being nice piece of it. And I think that my first time in county government the last two years with the mayor. I’ve known the mayor for over 30 years. So excited to work with her and work under her leadership of the county departments that we work with. But I can tell you that this is a mayor that is open to engaging the community, wants to have the community to everything we do is transparent so the community can see what we’re doing. And there are just a lot of ways, whether it’s on county boards or volunteer opportunities, that are available throughout county government, to get engaged in our community that I think there’s probably no administration that is as open to getting our citizenry into the offices and engaged in our community and super excited. I’m one of the guys on her engagement team who helps make that happen. Whether it’s individuals, whether it’s corporations, again, we’ve got a whole group of philanthropists that are moving to Miami Dade County. They’re business people. They’re philanthropists. How are we helping them get that civic footprint set? Because it’s great to move from another part of the country and make money here and be successful in business. We want you to be equally successful in your civic footprint. And that’s one of the things that I’m engaged in almost on an everyday basis, trying to get folks more engaged in our community.


Marly Q    I love it. And you’re doing that right here with us today. Thank you so much for agreeing to make time to be kind with me. Pat, how can people get in touch with you and learn a little bit more as to how they can connect locally?


Patrick Morris    Absolutely. Very easily. My cell phone is 786-325-2223 or you can reach me by my email at county in the mayor’s office at patrick.morris2@miamidade.gov. And I’m a quick responder to email, so any questions, I’m happy to answer and help anybody get started in their journey and service to our community.


Marly Q    I love that. Are you listening, PARKer’s? Like, we just had the king of kindness give you his cell phone and email address. I mean, really, we have no excuse as to not connect and reach out and get engaged. Because you and I both know the power that exists when local residents and citizens take ownership of the community that they live in and contribute and seek ways to give back, to be of service in some way. And there’s so many different opportunities when you actually become the spark of that engagement, you have the power to do that. Kindness is your superpower, and I hope that this episode has inspired you to reach out and be either the king or queen of kindness in your own way today.


Patrick Morris    Absolutely. Thank you, Marly.


Marly Q    Thank you so much. I hope you found that conversation as inspiring and enlightening as I did. Join me and Pat over in our Kind QREW Facebook group where we engage after each episode. If you haven’t joined our Kind QREW yet, you can find the link in this episode’s show notes. Visit Marlyq.com forward slash this episode number. So whatever number this episode is, Marlyq.com forward slash that number. I’ll see you next time. Thanks for making Time to be Kind with Marly Q.

Join our Kind QREW Free Private Facebook Group:  Click here to Join Now 

Click here to learn more and register: SMARTEST Planning Workshop


Don’t Quit on YOU

Don’t Quit on YOU with Marly Q

Did you know that March is the supposed time of the year when most people either forget or give up on their goals? Have you? No judgment here, only kindness. Tune into this short episode to discover three toxic lies that can prevent you from achieving your goals plus Marly Q will show you how to BRAG, reclaim ownership of your TIME, banish BUSY-ness and extend an invitation to learn the “SMARTEST’ way to achieve to your goals.

Listen to this Episode and Discover….

  • Three Toxic Lies That Will Keep You From Achieving Your Goals
  • You have Permission to “BRAG”
  • How to Stop Being Too “BUSY’
  • A Mindset Shift from Time Management to “TIME” Ownership
  • There’s a “SMARTEST” Way to Achieve Your Goals
Click here to register: SMARTEST Planning Workshop

About Marly Q:

Kindness Influencer, Leadership Trainer, and Community-Builder on a mission to create a kinder world for over two decades. Through her podcast, she invites listeners to make “Time to Be Kind” each week to receive a spark of kindness, connection and community.

Connect with Marly Q:

LinkedIn: https://linkedin.com/in/MarlyQ
Instagram: https://instagram.com/MarlyQ
Facebook: https://facebook.com/theMarlyQ
YouTube: https://youtube.com/@MarlyQ
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MarlyQ
TikTok: https://tiktok.com/@theMarlyQ

Other Links:

Listen to Marly Q TEDx Talk “Kindness is your Superpower”: ​​https://bit.ly/MarlyQTEDxTalk
Join our Kind QREW Free Private Facebook Group: https://facebook.com/groups/kindqrew
Join our Kind QREW+ Paid Membership: https://marlyq.com/kind-qrew
Programs & Courses: https://marlyq.com/programs
Marly Q Speaking, Training & Retreats: https://sparkcsr.com

Other Episodes you’ll enjoy:

EP 32: Let’s Start with Why (and How)

EP 31: Kindness Matters 365 with Laura Reiss

EP 29: Kindness Heals Loss with Dr. Betsy Guerra



March is the month where most people have completely forgotten about their goals or have fallen off the track towards achieving them. And if that’s you don’t worry, you’re listening to the right episode. Because here we’re about to discover the three toxic lies that will keep you from achieving your goals. Stay Tuned!

Welcome. And thank you for making time to be kind with me, Marly Q and you today, just you and I PARKer, person that Performs Acts of Random Kindness listening out there. If this is your first time making Time to be Kind with me just know that you are PARKer and we are parking this time together to exchange this energy of kindness, connection and community. So welcome, thanks for making the time today.

I wanted to record this episode because March is the time of year where so many people have completely forgotten about their New Year’s resolutions if that’s something that they set or they’ve kind of forgotten about the goal that they started. This is the time of the year where most gym floors have started to dwindle down, right? The gym and the yoga memberships have started to dwindle the start of the year and goal getting energy has kind of settled. Right! And if that’s you don’t worry because in this episode, we are going to uncover three toxic lies that will keep you from achieving your goals and many times will inspire you to quit on your goals. And today the message is don’t quit, Don’t Quit on YOU or what’s important to you and your goals. Many times when we’ve fallen off the track on what we set out to do, it’s probably just because we weren’t that emotionally attached to the goal to begin with, right?

I go through a process with my clients called the SMARTEST Planning Framework. And Smartest is an eight step kind of planning framework to help think through what it is that you want to achieve, right? Whether it’s a personal professional goal, whether it’s an event, a book launch, a product launch, a new business, any goal that you are out to crush and achieve this year, my framework can really help to bring some clarity, which is so important, right? The the address that you’re going to put in the GPS, where are we going? Right? Some clarity on exactly what it is that we’re trying to achieve some confidence that we’re able to achieve that thing, right? And also some like calm and focus and presence so that we enjoy the journey along the way towards achieving it, right? Because what fun is it to, you know, work really hard on achieving a goal, you get there and then you just, you didn’t even get to savor it, right? Or all you experienced along the way was like stress and worry and anxiety and, and angst, right?

Rather than like this is the process of achieving a goal, right? So for example, in December, I hosted my Smartest Planning workshop for a small group of people. And at that workshop, I declared my goal was I need to start the gym again. I need to start strength training here. I am a mom of two. It’s been about four, if I’m really honest, five years since I had stepped foot into a gym, like with weights and weight training and I was scared, I mean, I kept up with my yoga practice, right? And my stretches and my meditation and all that. But really strengthening my core, picking up weights running around. I have not done that in quite some time and I had a lot of resistance and I had a lot of lies that I was telling myself, right, that we’re probably all guilty of, right? So before I jump into what those three in particular toxic lies, that’ll keep you from achieving your goals. I want to BRAG for a moment. I want to BRAG, BRAG is an acronym for Be Real And Grateful.

So I want to use this time to BRAG and share that I have been successfully going to the gym 4 to 5 times a week since January 1st of 2023. And the recording of this episode, and I’m wanna continue going because what I’ve done now is moved past the mental resistance. And let me be honest with you, I still have days where I’m like, Oh God! I don’t want to go. But now after I have built a habit, right? My body wants me to go to the gym and move right and feel strong and healthy.

So if that’s you listening, if you had a personal goal, whether it was to get back to the gym or to start yoga or some kind of like physical health related goal. This is not a time for judgment, this is a time for kindness, right? And a kind of nudge and a kind reminder that you can do it and you can start in a small way and don’t quit on you, don’t quit on what’s important to you, don’t quit on your goals, don’t believe this narrative that you know, it’s National Quitting Day. And in March, everybody just like drops their goals. You are not part of this narrative. And actually, I want to invite you to set a date and come with me and spend a half a day planning with me Friday, March 31st of 2023. I will be hosting my next half day virtual workshop for a small group of people who want to crush their goals, want to achieve their goals. The smartest way, right?

Smartest, I’m using air quotes here because I’m not saying it’s the smartest planning framework in the world, right? You may be familiar with smart goals or some other kind of planning framework, right? And those are all great. But for me, the smartest way to achieve your goal involves a particular set of questions that you probably never thought to ask. Not only did you never think to ask them, you probably never stopped long enough to ask them. Sometimes we have a goal in mind and we just jump in, right? And like get into the action of doing without really committing to the goal emotionally, mentally and with a plan that actually supports you to get through it when it’s tough. To get through it, when you don’t want to put on the shoes and go out there, to get through when it’s cold outside or raining and you don’t want to go to the gym. For example, just to use that that as an example, right? So let’s jump into these three toxic lies that will keep you from achieving your goals. And if you are guilty of believing one of these three lies just know, there’s no shame or guilt or judgment here.

The only reason that I know there are three toxic lies is because I believed them. So I am sharing them with you so that we can bring light to these lies and set us free with like the truth, right? The truth that your goals are important, don’t quit on you.

And the first toxic lie that gets us not focused on our goals that that moves us off the track of achieving our goals is this lie that I know what it takes to achieve this goal, right? Believing that, you know, or don’t know what it takes to achieve your goal is a belief or a lie that will keep you from achieving it, right? The belief is it’s good to know and it’s bad to not know. So if you have a goal and you don’t know exactly how you’re going to achieve it immediately, your mind starts putting up roadblocks that you can’t achieve it because you don’t know. And that’s bad that you don’t know what to do or who to go to or how to make progress on this goal, right?

So that’s the first lie that we like, maybe even subconsciously are telling ourselves you’re not even aware of is that you believe that you have to know, how to achieve your goal in order to get started, is that you? Do you believe that you need to know how you’re going to achieve your goal before you get started? If so that might be a toxic lie that is sabotaging you and getting in the way of you actually achieving that goal and getting started in a small way. Right?

So we want to flip that I know mentality or that I know mindset into one that’s all I know is that I know nothing. All I know is that I want to achieve this goal, that I have this desire in my heart to achieve it and that’s enough. That’s a great place to start with the clarity of what you know, you want to achieve, but you don’t know how to get it done, that’s okay. Don’t let that stop you from achieving your goal. Don’t let that be the lie that has you quit on your goals. No way, not today.

The second toxic lie that will keep you from achieving your goals is this lie that we tell people all the time that we tell ourselves this lie of, I’m busy, I’m too busy to pick up that book that I really want to finish or to start or finish that course that I bought. I’m too busy to go back to school or take that class or attend that event that I know is going to propel my career or my business forward. I’m too busy to book that vacation or attend that retreat. Right?

This I’m too busy is a lie that will keep you from making the time that you need to make in order to focus on your goals. And what I’m here to tell you is that if you feel that you’re too busy to make any kind of progress on your most important goals. I’m here to tell you that you are being busy only doing two things. You are Being Unaware and Stressing Yourself. That’s my acronym for BUSY. You are being unaware and stressing yourself.

If you ever feel that you are too busy, you’re too busy to focus on your goals. You’re too busy to make time to be kind to you and focus on making progress on the things that are most important to you. You are probably being really busy, being unaware and stressing yourself. And what I mean by that is that instead of being busy with all this outside flurry of things that we always have to do, need to do, should do, must do. And we continue continuously ignore what we truly want to be doing and achieving for ourselves, what we’re telling ourselves. I’m too busy for you and that gets to a point where your soul yourself is like, hey, what about me? What do you mean you’re too busy for me? And it will find another way to express itself and get your attention, right? So if you feel that you are too busy to focus on your goal, know that you’re being unaware and stressing yourself. Because your mind and your heart still wants to achieve that goal. But you’re not giving it the time and the attention that it is requesting of you, right? So I want to invite you to flip that acronym.

Flip that BUSY acronym and get busy Being Unapologetically Supporting Yourself. Get really busy being unapologetically supporting yourself and watch you not just achieve your goals but watch your whole life and your wellness and even mental health be enriched because now you’re real busy on what’s most important, which is you and what’s important to you and everything else that you can be busy focused on your goals without sacrificing any of your other responsibilities.

The problem is that we have been prioritizing every other goal, everyone else’s goals over our own goals. And that’s when we get busy being unaware and stressing yourself, right? That’s when it doesn’t feel good when we know that we’re not focused on what we truly desire in our life or professionally. Right?

So that’s the second lie that we need to banish, right? Is I’m too busy and get busy being unapologetically supporting yourself. Toxic line number three, that will keep you from achieving your goals is I don’t have time. How many of us, if we are being really honest have said I don’t have time. I don’t have time to pick up that class. I don’t have time to, you know, learn the new language. I don’t have time to read that book. I don’t have time. I don’t have time. I don’t have time. I know I have been incredibly guilty of using this lie. And the truth is that we actually don’t have time. So the lie is believing that you have time. I think the Buddha has a quote that says the problem is we think we have time.

The truth is that time is actually only happening right now in this moment that we’re experiencing together. And my acronym for time that helped me change my mindset and my relationship with time from a place of time and management where I was always just trying to control time and manipulate time and, and, and possess time and, and give time and, and all of that to a place of time ownership where I am clear on the value of my time. And I changed that acronym to be a more empowering one.

To me. The definition of TIME to me is This Is My Experience. When we begin to relate to the time that we’ve been given on this earth as a gift, I receive this time as my experience, this is my experience. You will begin to make different choices about what you do with your time because you will value it more instead of just constantly giving it away, right? To every opportunity, every distraction, right? That comes our way. We get to own our time more and say this is my experience. How do I want to experience my life? Right? Are you on this earth to just exist and try and worry about time and manage time and obsess over time. Or are we here to experience the time that we have on this earth, however short or long we don’t know. That’s what makes it precious, right? So time, this is my experience. And if you find yourself that you’re using time as an excuse or a lie, the other side of that acronym for me is This Is My Excuse.

This is my experience or this is my excuse, which one of those acronyms do you want to own today? One of them has the hat of time management. One of them has the hat of time ownership. This is my experience. And when we begin to relate to time differently, then we begin to make time for the things that are actually most important to us. And you will realize that you actually can make time to do all of the things that you say are most important to you.

I’m wanna to tell you the truth right now. My friends, you and I will never ever have or feel that we have enough time to do all of the things that we want to do, need to do, should do, must do, right? We’re never going to feel that we have enough time, but we know we can feel good about knowing that we always can make time for what is most important in this moment of experience. When you practice making time to be kind and check in with yourself, what are your needs and what is this experience that you wish to have, right? On this given day. You get to create that for yourself, the more that we practice. But first, it starts with changing kind of our mindset and our relationship with time. From time management where you’re trying to control and manipulate time to time ownership where you are in one with it and you’re experiencing it right now, in this moment in time, this is my experience.

So these three toxic lies of, I know or I must know how to achieve my goal, I’m busy and I don’t have time. These three toxic lives will keep you from achieving your goals. And what we want to do is flip those into empowering statements, right? So, all I know is that I want to achieve this goal. I don’t need to know how yet. I’m busy being unapologetically supporting yourself in the direction of the goals that you see. And I make time because this is my experience and I’m making time to focus on the things that are most important to me.

If these three toxic lies resonated with you or the truth that set you free, actually set you free today. I’d love to hear about it. Engage with me over on our private Facebook page if you’re not part of our Kind QREW Facebook group yet, what you’re waiting for? Click the link in this episode’s show notes. It’ll be right there for you to click and request access to join us. And we can have a conversation about which one of these three lies have you believed? Are you ready to toss out the door with the truth? I would really love to hear about it, right? And I would also love to invite you to attend my next Smartest planning workshop. It’s coming up Friday, March 31st, 2023. And if you’re listening to this after this date, please still click the link on the show notes because I’m going to be hosting these workshops on a quarterly basis. And you really want to schedule time to be kind to you and actually plan out your goals.

See, I’ve been planning goals and events and achievements practically all of my life. If it takes 10,000 hours to be a master at anything people, I am a master planner. I have helped myself and dozens of clients achieve their goals over the past two decades, successfully. With clarity, with confidence and with calm and peace of mind that you are on the quest and the right path to get to that goal that you are after, right?

Whether it’s an event, a book launch, a business, what have you. Any goal, personal, professional, philanthropic this system, this framework works. So, I want to teach you my Smartest Planning Framework and not just teach you, but this is an implementation workshop. It’s a small group, virtual event where we get to roll up our sleeves and actually work in a small group setting and one on one with me to laser coach you through any areas that you might be stuck as it relates to your goals, right?

You get to pick my brain, I get to laser focus on you and your goal and you will leave this half day workshop with a plan of action, right? And more importantly than a plan of action with the right energy to get you in motion and keep you going towards your goals. On this month of March, we’re not talking about quitting on our goals.

You will not quit on you and your goals. This is the month where you get even more committed to it. I want to help you do that, join me March 31st. It’s a personal invitation again, I keep it to a small group. So, I am promoting it here on my podcast. You are the first to hear about it. So click the link in the show notes to learn more and sign up today. I would love to have you and I would love to be that kind friend that nudges you on the shoulder and helps to hold you accountable to achieving your goals this year. May it be your year to achieve your goals, the smartest way.


Thank you for making this Time to be Kind with me today. I hope you enjoyed this short episode and found it inspiring. If you did, please feel free to leave us a comment rate and review on your favorite podcast player because it helps us to amplify our message and our movement to spread kindness worldwide. Thank you again for being the spark of kindness visit Marly Q dot com forward slash this episode number for the full transcription and the show notes, plus the links to my planning workshop. Thanks again for making time to be kind with Marly Q. I’ll see you next time.

Click here to learn more and register: SMARTEST Planning Workshop

Join our Kind QREW Free Private Facebook Group:  Click here to Join Now 


Express Lane to a Kinder World with Nedal Ahmad

Express Lane to a Kinder World with Nedal Ahmad

What if there was an express lane to a kinder world?

Turns out, there IS! In this short episode you’ll be inspired and empowered by Marly Q and Nedal Ahmad when you discover the ONE SKILL we must practice on a daily basis in order to create a kinder world, starting now!

Join our Kind QREW community – Click here


“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Dr. Maya Angelou

Listen to this Episode and….

  • Discover the express lane to a kinder world is practicing ONE skill every day
  • Learn how kindness and empathy are different
  • Be reminded how simple it is to make a difference that impacts everyone around you 
  • Use technology to make meaningful connections and elevate wellness
  • Be inspired by origin story of Heal For Us, nonprofit focused on mental health

About Marly Q:

Kindness Influencer, Leadership Trainer, and Community-Builder on a mission to create a kinder world for over two decades. Through her podcast, she invites listeners to make “Time to Be Kind” each week to receive a spark of kindness, connection and community.

About Our Guest:

Nedal Ahmad is a social entrepreneur, food executive, founder of the nonprofit Heal for US, mental health advocate, and father of three. He is passionate about sparking mental health awareness and creating meaningful connections to build a sense of community.

Connect with Nedal Ahmad – Heal for Us:

Instagram: https://instagram.com/nedalaahmad
Instagram: https://instagram.com/healforus/
Website: https://healforus.org/

Connect with Marly Q:

LinkedIn: https://linkedin.com/in/MarlyQ
Instagram: https://instagram.com/MarlyQ
Facebook: https://facebook.com/theMarlyQ
YouTube: https://youtube.com/@MarlyQ
Twitter: https://twitter.com/marlyq
TikTok: https://tiktok.com/@theMarlyQ

Other Links:

Join our Kind QREW Free Private Facebook Group: https://facebook.com/groups/kindqrew
Join our Kind QREW+ Paid Membership: https://marlyq.com/kind-qrew
Programs & Courses: https://marlyq.com/programs
Marly Q Speaking, Training & Retreats: https://sparkcsr.com

Other Episodes you’ll enjoy:

EP: 31 – Kindness Matters 365 with Laura Reiss

EP: 32 – Let’s start with Why (and How)

EP: 04 – Why Smile?



Marly Q    If there was an express lane to create a kinder world, would you join me on that lane? Stay tuned as we answer that question with our guest at Nedal Ahmad.


Marly Q    Welcome. Thank you so much for making time to be kind with me. , Marly Q and our PARKer today, Nedal Ahmad. He is my friend, a social entrepreneur, a food executive, a founder of a nonprofit called Heal for US, which we’ll learn about in this episode. He’s a father of three, and he’s a mental health advocate. I’m so excited that you made Time to Be Kind with us today, Nedal, Thank you.


Nedal Ahmad    Thank you so much for having me on. I really appreciate it.


Marly Q    Yes. So I have to tell our PARKer is listening. This is your first time in my world. Let’s tell them what a PARKer stands for. What’s a PARKer? , Nedal?


Nedal Ahmad    Someone who Performs Acts of Random Kindness. I’ve got this on my laptop at all times.


Marly Q    I love it. This is a podcast for PARKers. You listening us right here and making this Time to Be Kind is what I feel really has the power to shift our culture, to actually create meaningful connections and build a sense of community. And that’s what we’re doing here with our PARKer. So thank you for being that. And I have to be honest, we know each other since high school. We’re high school friends, but we became friends way later, like 20 years after high school.


Nedal Ahmad    Took us a minute.


Marly Q    And the spark of that friendship, I would love to just share a few moments of that, because back in August of 2020, I started a Facebook group with our high school. We should say we went to Hialeah-Miami Lakes Senior High School. And I started a Facebook group and started asking people like, hey, do we want to do this 20 year reunion thing that was coming up in 2022? Mind you, we’re in pandemic. I’m pregnant. I’m like, I got some extra time. I’m home. I got some time. Let me start planning this event. Let’s see if this is something that we want to do. And you were one of the first people to raise your hand and say, yes. Count on my support. Count me in. I’ll be on the committee. Let’s plan this thing. And I want to ask you why?


Nedal Ahmad    That’s a great question. I guess the sense of nostalgia. As being a father myself, I feel that I need for a sense of community. The nostalgia, what my oldest will be in high school in a couple of years. And that kind of road down memory lane was really a great one. And I’m so glad I did. I’ve been reconnecting with everyone. We had a blast at the reunion. I’m so glad I did it.


Marly Q    I am so glad. I am also so proud. And I want to just take a moment to thank you and to thank our small but mighty volunteer planning committee that came together to create not just another reunion or another event, but what I think we did was something truly memorable and impactful and honestly, historic. Something that in the history of our high school had never been done, where alumni come back and say, hey, we want to not just plan our reunion, but we want to do it on campus. We want to come back and actually walk the halls again and be able to bring our families and take pictures, and not just for that, but also raise some money and be able to give back to our school. So you were integral in that happening. I was actually going through my own healing journey. There was many times that you witnessed me crying, experiencing high levels of stress, saying, I’m going to cancel this thing, I’m not going to do it. And you and the committee really kept me focused on the why this was important. You helped me through my event PTSD that I was experiencing, and also really helped me to feel that we can create an event, a three day event at that. It was a Friday night, a Saturday, and even a virtual event. We did a three day series of events, and I would not have been able to do that without your support and that of the committee and you all showing up around that time. My husband was having some health issues and I wasn’t able to get there early and set up. And just the teamwork, the feeling of community and how I felt supported with this event was just so beautiful. And I just wanted to take a moment to thank you and the committee, who I hope is still listening. Love you all.


Nedal Ahmad    I sure hope they are too. And the reality is, it was the same for me for different reasons, where I kind of felt isolated at the time. And those little calls and meetings that we had just gave me something to look forward to at the time, and a time where I felt like I didn’t have a lot to. So it was really great to have those connections. And till today, people who I hadn’t seen in 20 years, we’re still talking on a regular basis, yourself included, and I think that’s been really great. So mission accomplished. With what we were trying to do there and what you really put together, which was beautiful.


Marly Q    Thank you. Mission accomplished. My mission is to simply be the spark of kindness, connection, and community. And in a past life, I really took on the full burden and responsibility without realizing that our true power is in extending an invitation to others to park to others, to contribute, for others to engage. And we met for well over, I think it was eight months, putting this thing together. Right? And I know that I don’t just speak for myself and for you, but the whole committee. I think we really came together like friends do, to support each other, and that was the whole point. So yay. And that wasn’t it. I think that was the spark. We also collaborated on my first three day virtual event last year called the MANkind Summit. It was our inaugural virtual event to spark Mental Awareness Now. MAN in MANkind is an acronym. Surprise, surprise! 

MAN stands for Mental Awareness Now. And the purpose of that event was to spark mental awareness now and to spark some meaningful conversations so that we can break the stigma around mental health, create amplify some voices, and really try and make a difference in our own personal lives, in those that we love, our friends, our community, and ultimately the world. And you participating as a speaker at that event at the MANkind Summit, which is coming up again, by the way, plug May 2023. You’ll be hearing from it soon. And we were also able to do something really, really special, and that was launch your own nonprofit. Can you tell us a little bit about that?


Nedal Ahmad    Yeah, I love that we were able to collaborate on that despite that week being really insane with the school shooting and everything else. But the summit itself was really beautiful. And I had have this idea, must have been about a year prior that I had been working on this, and I wanted a platform where I could help potentially fund people’s mental health treatment. And having gone through my own kind of issues over the last three years and roadblocks and really understanding that I can’t pour from an empty cup, I kind of had to take a step back and say, how do I really want to do this? At the moment,so right now, all I do is about once or twice a week, I just help people find providers that are within their insurance network. It’s just a way to keep momentum going, even though I can’t take the nonprofit to the place where I need it to be just yet.


Marly Q    But you’re starting it, right? You got to get started. So even though this was something that you’ve had in your heart to do for quite some time, what I love is that we were able to insert you into a platform or an event or a container, as I’d like to say, and just share with people, even before you’re ready, share with people. Here’s what is on my heart and mind and plan to create and to build. And it’s okay to start small. It’s okay that you know the first fundraising check that your organization received was only $300. Right. Maybe in some other metrics that’s like, oh, what are you going to do with the launching a nonprofit with $300? But let’s speak to the value of these small acts of kindness, these small opportunities that allow us to create some momentum and move forward, right?


Nedal Ahmad    Absolutely. Everything has to start somewhere, and it’s usually the smallest acts that have the biggest impact. When you think about our smallest interactions in the street, somebody letting you in when you need to change lanes, that feeling alone is just like a “sigh”, especially in this town that are driving.


Marly Q    I think I just “sighed”, as you said, right?


Nedal Ahmad    And it’s those little interactions every day that really have an impact on our lives. Because with strangers, it’s difficult. It’s not like you’re going to do some life changing event, but really just taking that moment, putting yourself in somebody else’s shoes and just being like, let me just make this person’s life just a little easier today. And it helps a lot, especially when you start seeing it in others. And all of a sudden, hopefully one day we’ll see a much kinder world.


Marly Q    That is the mission that is the purpose of creating this podcast, is really to remind people of that, remind people that we have that power to be the spark of kindness, like I say. And for you, I know that you have kind of a fast pass or an express lane to creating a kinder world. What is that express lane? How can we all PARKers listening like get on that fast lane, on that express lane to a kinder world?


Nedal Ahmad    I personally view empathy as the absolute express lane to kindness. Being able to treat people exactly the way you want to be treated, being the person that you need in a moment where you’re stressed or rushed or any other feeling in between, just taking that time, it can be the smallest thing, but have the biggest impact on somebody’s day. And whether it’s an example, I don’t know.

Marly Q   Can you give an example?

Nedal Ahmad An example!! I don’t know, I feel like…

Marly Q    


Marly Q    A recent example. Cause I know it’s a daily practice for you and a daily you know for me. If you were like, oh, can you tell us an act of kindness that really inspired you? I’m like it’s on a daily constant basis, right. Present to it. So for you, what’s maybe the most recent act of empathy that you received or that you observed or that you got to experience?


Nedal Ahmad    I’ll give you one that I’ve actually given recently because it’s actually a fun story. I was It’s about last June. I was flying back from Philadelphia. I like to take myself out on trips every once in a while that way by myself. Jazz club, whole nine yards. Had a blast. When I get back, when I’m coming back, I get on a plane. As soon as I walk into the plane, I hear a child screaming at the top of their lung. Now, of course, that always creates a kind of bottle of pressure in an airplane. And as I’m walking towards my seat, that sound is getting louder. And it’s a mother with a two year old, and I’m sitting right next to her. And so she’s obviously mortified because, of course, it’s a man who sits next to her. But little does she know that the man sitting next to her has a lot of experience with screaming little girls and next thing I know, me and this young lady become best friends and this mom’s just mood towards the flight was changed the entire time we ended up becoming friends and staying in contact. It was such a great little interaction. But I know over time, the impact, that just like talking to the kid rather than just the grunting and all the normal things that people love to do on an airplane when a child is surprisingly being a child. And it’s those examples that I like to give where it’s like, it wasn’t really that much effort, but had a really large impact on most of the plane. There was a couple of hundred people impacted on this one because that screaming stopped pretty abruptly.


Marly Q    Amazing. Yes. It could be that simple. That’s simple. And that had a huge ripple effect, not just for the mom who you showed some empathy to and was probably relieved, like, oh, thank you, I’m not sitting down next to a jerk. Right. But also that empathy, that currency of kindness, like, I call it, like, empathy is kindness in action, right? How that affected everybody. Like you said, everybody on the plane received the effect of that empathy that you expressed, received that currency of kindness. Can you tell me how kindness and empathy are different?


Nedal Ahmad    I think the biggest difference, kindness is usually the act. Empathy is more of the intention. How do you want to make that person feel and kind of looking at it inwards rather than just the action.


Marly Q    Yes, that’s such a great we’re going to emphasize that in our show notes because empathy exactly, it’s a deeper frequency almost, I feel, because it does start with the intention, right. In order for kindness to randomly bubble up in your heart, for you to be inspired or influenced to take the action. I think the deeper emotion there, the deeper energy. Emotion is empathy. If we’re connected to it, we’re connected to the humanity of the person in front of you or next to you or behind you. We’re connected to that. That is empathy, in my opinion. When you’re feeling with people and when you feel with people, when you feel connected to other people, then kindness naturally, naturally comes up for you to take the action to help.


Nedal Ahmad    Right.


Marly Q    Do you agree with that?


Nedal Ahmad    Absolutely. I absolutely agree with that. And the more people we connect with, I mean, that’s one of the biggest things that we’ve lost over the pandemic, is that community gathering and really being able to feed off of people’s energy. It’s very different than when you’re in person rather than any other form of contact.


Marly Q    It’s true. It’s true. I’ve had to learn how to kind of bring that energy and that sense of, like, connection to the virtual space where pre COVID I only did live in person, community building events. So imagine, right, the shift over to Virtual well, we’re going to lose that connection. And what I learned, to my surprise, was, no, we could actually use the virtual realm and all these platforms to amplify our ability to connect with more people if we use it in that way. Right. If we’re not trying to use technology to kind of hide behind it and create this distance with people, we actually use it for what it’s intended to do. Well, if the intention is to connect right meaningfully with others.


Nedal Ahmad    Yeah And you know it is a convenient and tool that can connect people. And so long as, like you said, it’s a tool and not something that we’re just constantly hiding behind, where you just not showing your true self.


Marly Q    Right. I’d like to ask you, how does empathy show up in your daily life? What does it look like? How can we practice being more empathetic?


Nedal Ahmad    You know It really is just an intentional thing. And I cited some of the simpler examples earlier, letting someone in when they’ve got their blinker on, somebody who you can tell is in a rush at the supermarket, like, hey, jump in front, man. What is that real? Those little things that don’t actually have a major inconvenience on our day but can transform somebody’s next few hours or rest of their day. Just thinking about it from that, what do I need and how can I provide? It that’s simple. Just how do you want people to treat you? The old golden rule, right? We’ve heard it since we were in kindergarten. Do unto others as you want others to do unto you. It really is that simple. And I think that we’ve kind of lost that a lot over the years, where it’s become really a me culture way too much.


Marly Q    So what I’m hearing is that we need to just practice being more empathetic. We need to reconnect with our mankind-ness, our humanity. What makes us one mankind is our ability to be empathetic with each other, is our ability to be kind and of service to each other, is our ability to solve problems and innovate and create solutions right. And we can only do that when we’re, I believe, connected to who we are as one mankind. And I love that you spend a lot of your personal time just in your own way, being an advocate for mental health and being a friend to so many people online and using technology in this way to support others in their mental health journey. And from a place that you’re in it, you’re still in the journey, right? Not from this place of like I’m on the mountaintop, having achieved enlightenment. And I don’t suffer from any mental health concerns, but somebody that, while they’re going through their own healing journey, is willing and vulnerable and courageous enough to share a bit of it invites other people in to ask questions, to see you as a friend, to trust you with a referral or recommendation to a therapist or a counselor. Right.


Nedal Ahmad    What I found most effective, and particularly for me, as you pointed out, still going through it myself, still finding my own journey, sharing that and making myself vulnerable and open to people has helped them open up to me and be like, well, this is what I’m going through. And that’s where usually the conversations end up leading to, well, let me help you find someone in your network. And so it’s almost been my superpower that I’m not doing it from an enlightened state, quote unquote, or from some mountaintop. Like, I know better. And it’s like, no, man, I’m going through it, too. Let’s do this together. And little by little over time, it’s just created a little ecosystem of people supporting others. I see it also, I’m part of a kickball league. I see it there all the time with, we are the worst team in the league and yet the most supportive and happiest. And people fight to want to join our team because of how nice we are to each other and how much fun we have. And it’s really just that just being open to being vulnerable that way.


Marly Q    And that’s how we shift our culture, the express lane to a kinder world. People, let’s be more kind, more empathetic, more connected with each other. It can be that simple, and that’s why it’s so profound. And we have podcasts like this and events like that in order to remind each other we’re not even here to teach anything. We’re here to simply remind each other of who we are and hopefully inspire and influence each other to think more about yourself and others and this world and how we’re all connected here. And if we come from a place of empathy, the intention every day is to be empathetic towards one another, be connected with each other. I really do believe and agree with you that that is the express plane to creating a kinder world. Nedal, could you please share with our PARKers listening? How can we connect with Heel for us and learn more.


Nedal Ahmad    So you can Follow Heal for Us on Instagram, the tag is @healforus reach out to me directly on my Instagram. It’s @Nedalaahmad. And any way we can connect, I’m always happy to. And any way I can help, I am always around.


Marly Q    You’re such a good friend. Thank you for being my friend. And to all of our PARKers listening, connect with this man. He’s the coolest. So, Nedal, before we wrap up our time together here today, what is your favorite quote that inspires kindness and empathy for you on a daily basis?


Nedal Ahmad    That’s a very easy one. It’s actually a Maya Angelo quote, and I hope I don’t butcher this off the top of my head here, but she says, people may forget what you did or what you said, but they’ll never forget the way you made them feel. And I try to live by that all the time and that’s trying to make myself and those around me feel as good as they can.


Marly Q    I love it. I definitely try to live my life by that quote as well. And I’m sure our PARKers listening really appreciated that reminder today.


Friends, I know you enjoyed this episode of Time to Be Kind. Now the conversation happens over on our private Facebook page. If you haven’t joined our Kind QREW yet, now’s the time. Click the link in our show notes. You can find that along with the transcriptions and the links to connect with Nedal and Heal for Us over at MarlyQ.com forward slash this episode number. Again. That’s MarlyQ.com forward slash this episode number (33), meaning the number of this episode. See you next time.