"For all that has been, thanks. For all that will be, yes." - Dag Hammarskjold

Sunday, August 11, 2013

celebrating lives greatly full :: alli hanson

One of the greatest gifts from my recent West Coast Adventure was attending the Your Story Retreat in Gearhart, Oregon.  There, I connected with a group of fiercely brave and creative women who have embraced and inspired me. Women like alli hanson.  Self-described mom. wife. daughter. sister. aunt. cousin. niece. granddaughter. friend. life lover. card maker. cancer fighter.

Just in the short time I have known her, in person and through her blog, I see a woman of light, kindness, love and courage.  You should read her blog: alli's equilibrium.  For real.  Her words as she quietly celebrated her 38th birthday last month are powerful words.

And, as you read her post below, you will see that - like her words - her creative actions are powerful actions.  Simple kindness can be like that.  Thanks so much for being part of *the gratitude project: dare to be grateful* alli!!  Now, s'cuse me while I go make some happy mail. 

what creative outlet are you most grateful for, and why?

my mom and dad taught me from a very young age that being kind to others is an important way to live your life. they have always set a strong example of thinking of others and letting them know you care. my parent's generosity with their time and spirit has always made me so proud to be their daughter. i have happily followed their wonderful lead.
one of my most favorite ways to let others know that i am thinking of them is to send what i call "happy mail." i love to make cards, and sending one of my cards to friends and family is one of my greatest joys. i enjoy the whole process -- making the card, writing my words inside the card, addressing the envelope, and finally sending it on its way when i drop it in the mailbox. i really enjoy sending mail that will let someone know that i was thinking of them, maybe for a specific reason, other times simply because i want them to know i love them. 
when i open my mailbox and see my name handwritten on an envelope it makes me smile, and i don't even know what is in yet. but i know it is meant just for me from someone i love. 
i bet the same is true for you. 
in this world of texts, emails, messages, etc., it can be easy to use electronics to communicate with people in a million others ways than sending snail mail. but that is the exact reason that happy mail means so much. it is a real connection. real connections should be cherished. embraced. savored. say your thanks for them. 
take five minutes out of your week and send someone a piece of happy mail. i guarantee you the person who gets it will be grateful. i bet you will feel a little grateful as well as you think about why they mean so much to you. share the gratitude. that is what life is all about.
just ask my mom and dad.

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