Be Kind

My beautiful Baptiste yoga sister, Cara, recently taught a community class, and she focused on the impact of unexpected kindness. Somehow when we least expect it, a display of kindness can pull us out of the worst mental funk.

Her quote was, “Unexpected kindness is the most powerful, least costly, and most underrated agent of human change.”

Being kind to someone else doesn’t cost you a thing, but it might be the most rewarding for both you and the receiver.

In my journaling workshop this week, I shared that quote and had them write from some prompts:

What form of kindness have you recently received that was unexpected?

How did it make you feel?

What kindness have you given without expectation?

How did it affect that person? Do you know if it did? Did it matter?

How did you feel giving kindness?

Answers ranged from someone showing up at work and being thrilled to see that person, to going the extra mile to do something special for a mom’s birthday. On either end it felt wonderful knowing that someone cared and that you could make someone happy.

Lake with fog and Instagram effect

When I have hit rock bottom, it took love to bring me back. We don’t know what someone else is going through and even if we can’t understand what they are feeling, we can empathize. We can show love, support, and kindness. That is mainly why I write and teach journaling, so that others know there is always hope. There is always love.

Kindness comes in all forms. It doesn’t have to be directed only to you. In my yoga class today, the teacher exuded kindness and wrapped us in her cocoon of love. Not only did I get a great yoga workout, but I felt safe and cared for–exactly what I needed in that moment. After class I told her that, because I wanted her to know she made a difference in my day.

What are other ways you can show kindness?

Smiling at someone who looks sad

Holding the door open for another person, male, female, old or young

Paying for the person’s drink who is next in line

Sending a card or to someone you haven’t seen in a long time or giving them a call

Telling people that you love them. It’s a simple gesture that can turn someone’s day around.

Give a hug.

Don’t forget to do something for yourself that makes you feel good. Kindness to yourself keeps your heart open to share kindness with others.

Think about who you have shown kindness to today. If you haven’t, make a point every day to show love, kindness, and give the same to yourself. You’ll attract the love and kindness you want to see in the world.

Thank you Cara for sharing kindness and your bright spirit!


Stephen–Gratitude Day 21

Marisa with Michele and stephen 1997

Stephen was born exactly two years and two weeks after Nick. We barely made it to the hospital or onto a bed before he shot out into the world. He hasn’t stopped since.

1998 November2

Nick always made Stephen laugh and was his best translator. Whenever we couldn’t understand what Stephen was saying Nick could tell us. Stephen never rolled or crawled. At 13 months, he actually walked in Disneyland just like in the commercials.

After that he was always on the run.


Yesterday Luke and I went to see Stephen to celebrate his birthday. I am thankful he still hugs his mom, although not when there are girls around that he wants to meet. That’s all right! I take the hugs when I can get them!




I am grateful Stephen has wonderful friends who are like brothers to him. They have grown up together and have always been there for each other. Stephen is loyal, kind, compassionate, and true to family.


He has a good heart, and I am so happy whenever I get to spend time with him. He is such a pleasure to talk. He has his own mind, opinions, and path. We talk about the world, music, school, philosophy, and dreams. Every milestone in his life has been intriguing as I see the man he is becoming. I am grateful he chose me to be his mom to raise him, instill good values, and allow him to go the way that is best for him.


He will always be my baby. His smile and the love in his eyes warm my heart.

Happy 20th Birthday, Stephen!