[ From the Archives of 365 ]
Be courageous. Look at your life, but do not reflect on it. Lean on your experiences, education, spirituality, and conscience to make you decisions, and once made, constantly listen to your self-voice and be strong and humble enough to follow your own inspiration.”
“Be present and mindful. Not an easy thing to do, to not think about the past, or the future, but to live life in the moment. And kindness can come from there. To do it you have to follow your heart and be aware enough to know we are all swayed by the media, politics, and society. Enforce your self-authority over all these outside influences in doing what is right for self and others. It’s all about ethics and morals.”
Not my words, but the words of fellow blogger Dez, the owner of allspunout365* a very cool 365-day blog with one mission, to highlight random acts of kindness, one a day for one year. Now on day 321, Dez is an example to me of commitment.
I met her in a random way, from a kind comment she places on my blog, and after reading it I am strongly prompted to reach out, enquiring if she would be open to becoming one of my 365 friends.
Until we met today, at a little cafe in Sherman Oaks, I knew nothing about Dez, other than her blog. At first meeting I am immediately smitten by her spirit. Dez is angelic and emits the most amazing positive attitude. Her energy is infectious and after having the opportunity to spend almost two hours chatting with her, I am edified in my knowledge of this fact, “There are so many good, kind and caring people in the world,” and Dez is one of the best.
Dez, purely stated, is one of those people that radiate kindness, and because of this, it makes absolute sense as to her motivation for starting her blog. Love for others is obviously in her DNA, it literally emits from her in every word she shares and the way she listens with me this day.
“I moved to Los Angeles to follow an acting career.”
As we talk, I find out that Dez is highly talented and no quitter. She is exquisitely beautiful, articulate, and educated— the kind of person that makes it in Hollywood. So why the change of heart?
“After a while, I realized that my heart was not into it. I wanted to look beyond myself in helping others.”
At that moment of self-realization, she decided to return to academics and has followed a greater path toward helping others. Now, four months from completing her Masters in Clinical Psychology, Dez is on her true course to contribute to the world in helping others.
We talk for the bulk of our conversation about society and self-worth.
“When I started school, I wanted to work with children and trauma. But as I spend time in my internship, working in a community mental health center, I’ve been exposed to many different cases and am learning a lot. I think I’ll stay here for now and hope to work with more families.”
“I moved to Los Angeles to follow an acting career. After a while, I realized that my heart was not into it. I wanted to look beyond myself in helping others.”
Dez is a fighter. “I work at least sixty hours a week—class, my unpaid internship, and my money-making job (administrative assistant).” That does not include the time she puts into her blog and study time.
“Why did you commit to a 365-day project with all you have to do?” I must know, after all, I am a 365-day blogger and it’s rare to commune with another.
“First, I was a little bored and was looking for a challenge”
I think to myself, A little bored? Sixty-plus hours a week and a little bored? Dez is a powerhouse of ability and I’m uplifted by her commitment.
She goes on, “But the more I got into it, the better it felt. It is great to be a part of something positive and I’ve grown from the experience.”
“Would you encourage others to do a 365 blog?” I question.
“Absolutely! All they need to do is find anything they are interested in, to listen to their heart, and go for it. They will learn a lot about themselves and I’m sure grow from doing it.”
That leads me to a more personal question, “You’re almost done with your year, would you do it again!”
Her reply (as I though): “It’s been difficult and challenging and I’ve grown as a person. Creating it has changed my life, and it’s been motivating. I’m already thinking about the next project and am letting it evolve in my mind.”
Dez’s answer strikes hard with me. I’m on day 128 and I too am hooked! We’ll see what happens at the end of mine.
In meeting Dez, seeing other 365 blogs (there are a few out there), I too encourage you to explore the thought of starting one. I promise, even though a daunting commitment, you will be enlightened.
Man! There is so much to say about Dez, and it is impossible to articulate it in a short blog.
Our conversation is deep and her quotes at the beginning of this entry do articulate the basics of her council. I guess the biggest takeaway I can offer, “Be courageous. Look at your life, but do not reflect on it. Lean on your experiences, education, spirituality, and conscience to make you decisions, and once made, constantly listen to your self-voice and be strong and humble enough to follow your own inspiration.”
In speaking of the future, and the world, Dez starts with this (after a big pause of thought), “I can’t comment on the world, that is too big. For me, it’s not really possible to see what it will be.”
For me, it’s not really possible to see what it will be— I know she means it in a very optimistic way. And after hearing so many doom and gloom predictions, Dez’s reply is a breath of fresh air.
Picking it back up, Dez continues, “But I can comment on society and myself. For me… peacefulness in self, for society. Really think about acceptance of self and others, and learn to work hand-in-hand with each other. We all know what it’s like to be human, ‘the human experience,’ and we all know what pain and happiness is.”
Our interview is growing to a close and I’ve forgotten to tell you one thing—my daughter has been patiently sitting with us. Why do I constantly drag her with me on these 365 quests?
A two-part answer: 1) She asks to come, and 2) I’m watching her learn compassion and am proud of her for her sensitivity.”
Dez and my girl hit it off wonderfully, furthering my gratitude for Dez’s outlook on life.
So what about Dez’s act of kindness today, other than the sweetness she has shared with my daughter?
It’s called a “Yarnbomb.” Every once and awhile, Dez painstakingly knits a gift. Her gift? A handcrafted cotton flower carrying a message. A message that she randomly places on a tree, or a street post, or even in a yard. A special little offering of affirmation and hope to whoever the unknown recipient is. Bottom line, a selfless act of random kindness.
Lucky for us, today is a Yarnbomb day, and we are placing the grand marshal of all Yarnbombs, a pass it on challenge.
It works like this: we are placing it on a light pole, it reads this.
This bit of knitting, or “yarnbomb,” was made with love and care with the intention of strengthening community and kindness.
This little yarnbomb has begun its journey in Los Angeles, CA. and hopes to make it all the way to New York, NY.
Please carefully and kindly place this yarnbomb on the next tree or pole, in the next city or state from where you find it, going in the direction of New York.
As a random act of kindness.
Then pull out your smartphone, take a picture of it, and email it to the address below (making sure to indicate who you are, in what city and on what object you kindly left this yarnbomb, and any other info you wish to share).
Then, visit the blog below to update yourself on this yarnbomb’s travels, which (with your help) will be updated daily.
Respect the process.
In closing, we talk of life’s path, and conclude on one unanimous finding, “We will always be evolving and there is much to learn.”
“If I could do it all again, I would study neuroscience. There is so much going on in that field, and it would be exciting to be part of it. What is fascinating is how the study of the brain is linking to the treatment of trauma.”
Dez, I know you will do all that you dream to do.
*The All Spun Out blog is no longer posting and has been removed from the internet.