Kindness Starts With Me

Thanks to the support, Kindness Starts With Me is launched!

The objective couldn’t be more timely when so much attention in the news has been focused on the effects of bullying, teaching a kindness lifestyle reinforces and inspires children to be kinder, more loving and accepting. I realized the importance of involving children directly in the development of the kindness project – and I decided to design and test the program with a group of students at a Sarasota’s Alta Vista Elementary School working with underprivileged youth.

KindnessPostcardLindaCommitoWEB

We now need your help to inspire more children to make the world a more loving, accepting and compassionate place—and to eliminate bullying. Our goal is to spread the Kindness Starts With Me program to children of all ages, their families and additional schools. Visit our website to find out more about the many aspects of the program, which includes a related print book for students, and to learn how to get involved. Participate now! Here are three easy ways to support the program:

Visit the website and SIGN UP for free at kindnessstartswithme.com

“LIKE” us on Facebook & be part of the lifestyle!
facebook.com/kindnessstartswithme

Make DONATIONS of any amount through the website.

* Kindness Starts With Me is a lifestyle and community movement created from Love is The New Currency. 

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Are we connecting in ways that matter?

Global Neighborhood

“To love one’s country is natural, but why must it end at that border?” Pablo Cassals

Have you ever heard these words as a child: “Finish your vegetables, because poor people are starving”? It didn’t mean much to me then because I had never seen someone starving in China or India or anywhere. Today, because of cable television, we regularly see the hungry faces of people in other countries in our living rooms, kitchens, and classrooms. It makes the plight of others more tangible.

Global NeighborhoodGlobal has become local. As our awareness has expanded, we are experiencing a universal connection that can transform everyone into a neighbor with the click of a button.

Is anyone really so far away? Even if people look different than we do, are they really?  Don’t they hurt like we do when they lose a loved one? Don’t they suffer if they lose their homes or businesses? And don’t they feel despair when they’re hungry, sick, lonely, or weary? It’s evident that our neighbors are everywhere and we all need each other’s help.

With each world crisis, we are reminded that in one moment our lives can change. In one moment we could lose all that we love and hold dear. The people living in the Philippines, who share the same moon, sun, and planet as we do, experienced a series of moments when the winds and waters shifted and thousands of lives were lost, while thousands more were changed forever. Our fellow world citizens are hungry, thirsty, injured. Many have lost their loved ones, homes, and even entire villages.

We don’t have to belong to the same family, community, neighborhood, or country to extend a helping hand, to offer financial, physical, or emotional support. In fact, we are all part of one tribe: It’s called the human race. Millions of us throughout the world share a heart connection as we join in prayers for the health, safety and well-being of the victims of cataclysmic disasters around the globe.

Regardless of religious or spiritual beliefs, we have come to realize that what we do for or to each other matters. As our concept of neighborhood expands to global proportions, we express our currency of love by seeing a need and doing our best to meet it. In doing so, we discover and experience the sense of oneness that almost all religions speak about—a connection to the divine source of life itself—and we are all equal participants.

Revised excerpt from Love Is the New Currency by Linda Commito

If you are looking for ways to help, here are a couple of organizations making huge differences:

  • Advancing Compassion Project (www.advancingcompassion.org) is a U.S. based non-profit directing all Philippines-designated donations to several groups providing critical on the ground relief activities, including the Philippine Red Cross, CARE International and Action Against Hunger.
  • ShelterBox USA (www.shelterboxusa.org) is accepting donations toward the purchase of shelter box tents for those in the Philippines.

 

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What Are You Noticing?

What Are You Noticing?

We drop feathers, coins, and other signs upon your path to remind you that you’re loved and never alone.”  –  from Doreen Virtue’s Angel Oracle Cards.

The signs are everywhere!  I’ve found feathers in the most unlikely places – in the ladies room of a local bookstore, in the aisle of the supermarket, or the entry to my home.

Blog by Linda Commito called What are you Noticing?And the coins, along with the feathers, always bring a smile as I look down to find a token of hope and encouragement.  Once a friend and I were walking in the middle of a neighborhood street talking about the things that seem to just show up, when we looked down and each found three coins scattered on the road.  You might have thought that we had discovered pieces of gold, and perhaps they were – golden messages reminding us that we are loved and being watched over.

While I’ve always felt that heart-shaped rocks carry such significance, most recently I have been discovering gigantic heart rocks, a hundred times the size of the ones I used to carry in my pockets.  Strangely, they were found along paths that I have walked many times, but never seen.  I wonder how many other gifts of the heart that I’ve missed while living in my head, consumed with “matters of consequence.”  What could be more valuable than this moment, person, or thing that I often pass without awareness?

Have you been noticing multiple numbers showing up in your life? Sometimes, I will consciously catch myself looking at my clock at certain 11.11times:  4:44, 12:12, 3:33.  Once I purchased a sandwich and a snack and noted the amount on the cash register: $11.11.

Threes have always been important to me.  Whenever I get the same message three times in a short period, I pay attention.  It has prompted major moves in my life – unexpected, uncharacteristic, and always fortuitous.  But the frequency of these multiple numbers has me marveling at what they portray – a more hopeful, connected world.

And most recently, I believe that I‘m in for some big changes.  Although I’m not always thrilled to encounter the messengers, snakes have been showing up to get my attention.  While snakes usually portend healing and transformation, I must admit I feel most grateful once I’m safely out of their way!

What are the signs in your life that remind you that you are loved?  Perhaps you’ll notice some new validating evidence that you are never really alone.

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Love Is the New Currency – What does it take to feel hopeful and inspired in uncertain times?

Linda Commito author of Love is the New Currency

Staff Reports
Redstone Review  
Lyons, Colorado
August 14th/September 18, 2013 edition

No matter where we turn, we hear stories about how bad it is “out there.” Linda Commito’s award winning Love Is the New Currency is a book about how good it is “in here” – inside the circle of love, compassion, and human connection that is created when we open our hearts to each other. The author has been on a passionate quest for the past three years to document stories of people who are making positive changes in simple, yet extraordinary ways.  In this book, she explores what everyday people are finding hopeful in their lives and what they are doing to create it.

Ms. Commito is passionate about her vision to leave this world a kinder, more loving, and interconnected place.  She believes that she can best do that by working with children.  In the past few months, she has met with over 500 children at a Title One elementary school to share ideas about what kindness looks like.  The results were the creation of 500 individual expressions of kindness – to people, to the planet, to animals and to ourselves.  Most of these profiles were mounted onto “Kindness Quilts” and displayed at a library during the month of April. They will soon be adorning the walls of the school’s lab rooms and hallways.

Linda is currently working on a kindness book and web site for children.  To find out more, please visit her website at www.loveisthenewcurrency.com. You are invited to sign up for a monthly uplifting newsletter.

Love Is the New Currency is available for purchase locally at The White Lion in Lyons, Distant Harbors and The Old Gallery in Allenspark, Colorado.

 
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Author Interview with Self Publishing Experts

“It will likely take longer than you think and require more discipline to complete, but the journey itself can be life-changing if you are open to the lessons and willing to let it have its own life.”
Linda Commito

Love is the New CurrencyHow did you get started writing your book? Or what inspired your book?
About three years ago, I was feeling discouraged and disheartened every time I watched or read the news. I wondered, “Is this what the world is all about?”

One day, during my morning meditation, I clearly heard an answer: “Love is the new currency.” I thought, “Wow! That’s so beautiful. But what am I supposed to do with this message?”

That was the beginning of my journey to find what is hopeful and meaningful in people’s lives and what they are doing to create it. Over the next two and a half years, I serendipitously met everyday people who were changing lives through ordinary and extraordinary acts of love and kindness. Love Is the New Currencyis a collection of these inspirational stories, and also includes 111 ways that people are making a difference in the world, all of which will leave you feeling uplifted and hopeful.

What was the hardest part about completing your book?
The hardest part about completing Love Is the New Currency was getting out of my own way, letting go of ego and expectations, and allowing things to flow naturally. I kept setting deadlines and pushing myself to complete the book until the day a friend sat me down and said, “Linda, natural childbirth is a much better way to go than using forceps.” I finally GOT IT!

Did you learn any lessons in the book creation process, if so what were they?
The lessons that I learned in the book creation process were:
1. Everything has its right and perfect timing. In fact, the book launch took an additional eight months, well beyond the 20 month deadline that I had set. And I am so grateful that I waited, because it took my full heart-centered effort to birth this “beautiful baby”!
2. When we stop holding on so tight, there is a much greater opportunity for things to flow more easily and effectively.
3. Letting go of expectations creates the space for synchronicities and magic to happen.

Did you enlist support in getting your book done? If so, what kind of support?
I believe in hiring talented people to share their advice and expertise and to be a part of the creation process. To that end, I enlisted the support of editors, graphic and interior designers who brought their own insights to the book. For example, at one point, I brought my manuscript to one editor, who asked, “Where are you in this book?” I had a wonderful collection of stories, but had not put anything about myself in it. I went back and added stories, anecdotes and reflections from my own life that made the book more personal and relatable. At this same editor’s suggestion, I also added questions at the end of each series of stories that would engage the reader at a deeper level.

What tips or advice do you have for aspiring authors?
The tips that I would have for aspiring authors are:
1. If you have a passion for writing and a deep desire to express your own unique voice and message to the world, then go for it! It will likely take longer than you think and require more discipline to complete, but the journey itself can be life-changing if you are open to the lessons and willing to let it have its own life.
2. Writing is only a small part of the process. You will spend far more time editing and marketing, but it is what will take it from “good to great.”
3. Find the right people to guide the process and help you to bring it to a successful completion.
4. Even if publishing your own book seems like a distant goal, hold onto your dream and passion and don’t let anyone talk you out of it.

If you self-published, what made you self-publish?
I chose to self-publish and didn’t even pursue the alternative. Self-publishing has opened doors for so many people to express their stories, truths, insights and messages to the world. It has been a great equalizer for anyone who has the desire, talent, and commitment to share their unique views and visions.

I also believe that self-publishing offers more artistic freedom and creative direction (i.e. everything from what the cover should look like to where you choose to market your book.) I enjoy being a maverick and a pioneer. What I have learned is that you are ultimately responsible to market your own book, whether you have a publisher or not, and I decided that I could hire talented people along the way to help.

If you had to do your book all over again, would you?
I am very happy with Love Is the New Currency, which is the fulfillment of my dream of writing a book that could make a difference in the lives of others. I have put my heart and soul into this creation. There’s a tremendous amount of love in this book, from those who shared their stories, to the editors, designers, friends and anyone who contributed their suggestions, critiques, and support with such open hearts.

I have met many incredible people who have given me a more positive and hopeful outlook than I have had in years. This life-changing journey has been a rich, heart opening experience that I wouldn’t trade for anything.

Are you writing or planning to write an additional book(s)?
Yes, I am planning on writing more books. I am working on a companion workbook, and am already starting to collect stories about the ripples of kindness that are already taking place as a result of people’s inspired actions after reading the stories in Love Is the New Currency. And I am exploring other ideas for future books.

What else would you like to share about you or your book?
It has been a tremendous gift to be able to write this book and to share it with others. My hope is that it helps to create a kinder, friendlier, more positive and loving world.

www.selfpublishingexperts.com

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