Saturday, April 14, 2012

Day 29 - I See You

You are all in for a real treat today.  I have been contemplating the purpose of this blog and know that I am slowly reaching people--but being the impatient person that I am, I find it is not happening fast enough! The blog is not about me.  I receive emails and facebook posts all the time complimenting me on the blog, but my intent was never to draw attention to myself. It's about touching people's life with unexpected kind actions in the hopes that they will be moved enough to be kind to someone else.  Since beginning this blog, I have received so many beautiful emails and touching stories that readers have shared about their own ARKs and it occurred to me that I should include these stories {in their own words} in the hopes that this blog will grow exponentially.  You know, "they'll tell two friends, and they'll tell two friends, and so on, and so on . . . "  (Anyone know where that quote came from?)  So I asked a few people to do a guest blog and share their ARKs.  I am overwhelmed at the responses and how everyone readily agreed!

Today's post comes from my friend Sandi Keene.  I met Sandi through a mutual friend and she was one of those special people that walks into your life and you have an instant connection. She emanated peace and though I didn't know much about her, I knew that I wanted to be around her - to get to know her better. I felt like I was supposed to know her. She is a gentle soul, yet would aggressively protect those she loves. I shamelessly invited myself to a gathering she was having and was fortunate enough to be included in a private retreat she hosts each year. I spent four days with an intimate group of some of the most inspirational and women I have ever met.  It was done.  Sandi and I were meant to be friends and we will stay that way forever.  And did I mention she was an extraordinary artist? I asked Sandi to guest blog because to me, she is the epitome of unsolicited kindness.  She is always there with a little note in the mail, a 'good morning' text, an unexpected gift, and she works tirelessly to make sure everyone around her is content and their needs are fulfilled.  All of this without ever expecting anything in return.  Ever met anyone like that-where you just want to be in their presence?

So I will stop babbling and let you read her ARK:
"I was honored when Lorraine asked me to guest post on her ARK 365 Blog. I remember when she told me about it and I sat and read the whole blog amazed at the touching things she had done to spread kindness throughout her part of the world.  You can't help but be inspired and motivated to do something yourself.

I had been thinking about what I would do to spread a bit of cheer in someone's life.  I considered how easy it is to spread love to your friends and even strangers. That's when it hit me that the lesson was to gift someone I found challenging with an act of kindness that says - I see you. In my case, it is a teenaged girl I have known since infancy.

I knew that I would have to look past the pervasive attitude and less than appealing behavior to see her heart.  I had to see her with compassion and empathy. I had to focus on how painfully awkward those high school years can be when you are struggling so hard to find balance between fitting in and individuality.  I re-lived the feelings of being ordinary while aching to be extraordinary that seem to be widespread throughout those gawky freshman years where you are one part young woman and two parts self-conscious child.

So I pull out my paper and drew a simple sketch.

And then added watercolor.

This became a card that says "hello", I am thinking of you today.

I hope it makes her feel special, even for a moment.  And as always, the irony is, that this changes me."

A little bit about Sandi:

I am an Artist and documenter of life. I am on a mission to become an expert in simplicity. "Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful." William Morris.   This is my guidepost on the journey. Relationships are my passion. I am happiest when there is food and conversation mixed with laughter and love.

I asked Sandi to submit her favorite quote to end the post . . .

"Compassion brings us to a stop and for a moment, we rise above ourselves." ~  Mason Cooley