Monday, September 21, 2009

A Day of Amazing Grace
October 1, 2009

I recently had an experience with a young man named Mike in a parking lot desperately in need of gas to get to his destination and from having been out of work for months. I listened to my guidance that told me to buy him some gas instead of giving him money. It was very important I was told. It was a simple, quick exchange, and as I drove away I found myself crying from a feeling welling up inside of me that I could not name. The feeling was beyond a sense of doing the right thing or 'paying it forward' or even a 'random act of kindness.' It was a feeling of a heart connection between two souls who recognized each other for just a brief moment. Something passed between us in those moments and I knew something within me was changed forever. I did not have a word to describe it at first, but now I do. Grace. A simple act of grace.

Amazing grace. That heart connection that we make when we step outside of our own life for just a moment to honor the divinity in another. Webster's Dictionary defines grace as 'the quality or state of being considerate or thoughtful.' defines it as 'favor or good will.' That is the feeling I had flowing through me, changing me in some way after my brief encounter with Mike that day. Amazing grace.

My experience has inspired me to invite you to join me and others for a 'Day of Amazing Grace.' All around the world--wherever you live. In every country--even in every city. A day for all who choose to perform one act of kindness for another. An act of amazing grace. No strings attached, no expectation of receiving back from the person, no thought except to experience that heart connection for yourself.

Carol Barbeau often reminds us that we are all one and we are all in this life together. The greatest gift you can ever give another is yourself. I invite you to participate in this Day of Amazing Grace by giving some bit of yourself to another. It does not have to cost a cent. You being You out in the world is enough. It can be as simple as making eye contact & smiling at someone on the street. Offering a cheerful greeting to the checker at your grocery store. Helping a mother with young children carry her packages to the car. Paying for coffee for the person standing behind you in Starbucks. Picking up trash off the street. Telling everyone in your family that you love them. Thanking and appreciating a friend. It can be ANY act of amazing grace that you are called to perform.

It is time to re-engage in life and in the greater community. Like Smokey the Bear used to say "Only you can prevent forest fires," I say 'Only you can perform an act of mazing grace.' Just one act; just one day—Thursday, October 1st.

I invite you all to add to this list of possible acts of amazing grace. Let us engage in life rather than retreat from it. Let us make this world a little better because we are here—and because we can. Can you commit to one act of amazing grace on Thursday, October 1st? If you could, what would you do?

There is no official organization and I am not organizing the day. I am inviting you to come join me and have your own experience of amazing grace. Do it for yourself and notice your experience. I invite you to come walk this journey together.

Please add your creative ideas of grace to the list below and then send to everyone you think might be interested in joining us.

Who's day can you change on October 1st? Come and play!!

Bonnie Strehlow

Creative Acts of Grace:
1. Smile at someone walking by.
2. Donate to a food bank--and talk to someone there.
3. Cheerful greeting to a clerk or checker.
4. Pay for the person behind you at Starbucks or another shop.
5. Wish everyone you meet a wonderful day--and mean it.
6. Wear a silly grin on your face all day.
7. Walk around with a clown nose & wave at people.
8. Make animal balloons and give them away randomly.
9. Help someone with their packages back to their car.
10. Visit a grandmother or grandfather just to say hi.
11. Tell every family member you love them while you look into their eyes.
12. Compliment someone.