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Today’s Fabulous Friday Females are Samantha Manns and Virginia Booth

FFF Samantha Manns and Virginia BoothTeenagers often get a bad rap these days, so when I see one who is doing amazing inspiring things it warms my heart…and it makes me want to shout it from the rooftops!

So when I heard about the wonderful Facebook page that Samantha Manns set up in memory of her beloved “Jinjey’s life” I just had to share it with you.

Virginia Booth must have been an inspiring woman, because when she died at the age of 89 earlier this year her teenage grandaughter decided she wanted to do something special to honour her memory.

Being a huge fan of random acts of kindness and paying it forward myself I was deeply touched when I saw that Samantha has committed to doing 89 kind acts in honour of Jinjey’s memory and the 89 years she spent sharing kindness with others…and wants to inspire others to do the same.

You can follow Samantha’s journey here through her website, or on the Facebook page here.

A few of highlights from the acts performed so far:

Act 23; Wednesday, June 26, 2013: (It’s a LONG one, but I hope you’ll read it!) What do a sketchpad; pastel chalks; hand sanitizer; a washcloth shaped like a soccer ball; some grow-in-water miniatures of a castle, crown, and wand; a card with a United States Dollar; a wall cling that says, “Once upon a time, there was a princess…”; a necklace; and a bike helmet all have in common? They’re all on their way to Europe! I have been talking back and forth with a young lady from England who has just entered inpatient treatment for Anorexia Nervosa. For anyone who is not familiar with the disorder, those who suffer from Anorexia will characteristically starve themselves to a dangerously low weight. Anorexia effects both men and woman, young and old, rich and poor, traumatized and privileged, across all nations and countries. Anorexia Nervosa has the highest mortality rate of any mental illness; one in five people who suffer the disorder will die, either due to complications from malnutrition or suicide. As we were talking, it came about that she was feeling very lonely and wished someone would send her a card or a letter, so I asked for the address to mail her something. She said, “I’ve never gotten anything from America before,” and gave me the address of the clinic, along with her information on how to get it to her. Attached to each gift is a note, along with huge numbers saying, “OPEN ME FIRST”, “I COME SECOND,” and so one and so forth. The helmet is first. The note on it reads: “Brace yourself! The road to recovery isn’t always smooth sailing! But I know you can do it!” Next, the growing toys: “Sometimes in life, it is perfectly acceptable to imagine your own safe place or fairy tale land. Here are some tools to get you started!” After that is the soccer ball: “Remember, life is all about having a BALL!” Then comes the hand sanitizer: “Being clean on the outside can make you feel better on the inside. That, and it’s good to smell nice!” Fifth is the wall cling: “Because one day, Anorexia will be just once upon a time.” Next is the card with the dollar bill. The dollar is just a momento from America  But in the card, it says that the pastel chalks and the paper pad (specifically for pastel chalks) are to help her express herself. I talked about how art has really helped me in my recovery process, and how it’s important to find beauty in everything we see. I also included instructions for the necklace. The necklace was a gift to me from a lady when I first started 89 Acts of Kindness. It says on it, “I can inspire.” It has a heart pendant on it, too. Her instructions are to wear it as long as she needs it, but I would like for her to one day pass it on to someone who inspires her, and give them the same instructions. She has inspired me with her courage and her strength, and I feel the need to give this to her above all of the silly other things I put in there. It’s good to laugh! But I really hope that this can give her another push in the right direction. I will post a follow up when she receives the package!

 

Act One; Tuesday, February 19, 2012: I went through the McDonald’s drive-through and placed my order, then continued to the first window like normal. I paid for the woman behind me, too  When I watched her reaction upon receiving her paper instead of a receipt with a cost on it; she started to cry and smiled huge! It made me very happy to see her reaction

 

Act 19; Sunday, May 12, 2013: Wow! What a day! I can honestly say that today has been one of the best days of my life!!! Delivering 89 roses to the staff, patients, and visitors at both the OSU Medical Center and the Adena Medical Center was such an uplifting experience! It took nearly three hours (plus one hour of driving), but the time really seemed to fly. One of my favorite patients looked, sounded, and acted exactly like Jinjey. I asked her if she wanted a rose and she said, “Oh, honey, I’d love one, but I don’t have anything to put it in.” I then told her, “I’ll be right back,” and snuck off to the nurses’ station where a nurse gave me a large plastic container to put the rose in with some water in it. The patient was so thrilled! Another woman looked at me and said, “This is the first Mother’s Day rose I’ve gotten in years,” smiling at me, alone in her room. She’d not had any visitors for her stay, either, and said that this act of kindness certainly brightened her day! On another floor, some little children came up to me and wanted to know if they could have a rose for their mom, who was having surgery. Of course I said yes! I didn’t get to see her reaction, but I’m sure she loved it! One nurse asked if she could have four roses: one for her, one for her mom, and two for the Jesus statuette she had in her home to honor her grandmothers. A few people asked me, “Who are you with?” I just responded, “… Myself,” chuckled, and told them about the 89 Acts of Kindness. The reaction was the same all across the board: “Wow! That’s so nice of you to think of other people as a way to remember your great-grandma!” But if there’s one thing the acts thus far have taught me, it’s that I’m really no different than anyone else. I’m a little under 1/4 of the way through the acts, and I’ve got to say that I have already learned so much about myself, humanity, and what it means to be a truly caring person. It’s not about how much money you can give, nor is it about how much time or sympathy you offer. True kindness is recognizing the human in everyone, and offering your humanity, your heart, and your most caring self to them. Whether you are holding the door open for someone or paying for their dinner; helping an old lady cross the street or paying for her groceries; playing with puppies at the local shelter or giving 89 roses away to people stuck in hospitals on Mother’s Day; no matter what you are doing, if you are operating from a position of pure, true kindness, you’ll find that the happiness you provide for them WILL rub off on you, and you will learn more and more about yourself with every act you do 

So today I would like you to join me in acknowledging and celebrating Samantha for her beautiful tribute to Jinjey, and also to acknowledge the incredible example that Virginia Booth lived which inspired Samanthat to honour her in this way.  I hope their example inspires many others….

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As you know, I would love to acknowledge, honour and celebrate the women and men who have inspired you as well. So if there is someone that you believe should feature as a Fabulous Friday Female (or Fellow!), then send me an email (claire@feminine1st.com) with 3 simple details:

  • Who is your Fabulous Friday Female / Fellow? (Her / his name and location in the world)
  • Why is she / he a Fabulous Friday Female / Fellow to YOU? (How do you know her / him? What does she / he do? In what way is she / he inspiring?)
  • A photo or link to a picture of her / him online (if there is a reason that you would prefer not to include a photo, just let me know)

So help me to share with all of our lovely ladies the real women and men who inspire YOU.

…and remember, as always, to Stay Fabulous too!

Claire x

This week’s Thursday Thought Quote: Be kind to unkind people, they need it most

This week’s Thursday Thought:

Be kind to unkind people, they need it most

Be kind to unkind people they need it most

Have you ever been this kind?

Claire Brummell, Feminine 1st, KindI’m curious, how kind are you?  Do you show kindness to others?  Family? Friends?  How about strangers?

I’m someone who tries to be as kind to others as I can be…and I’m someone who believes that the more kindness that a person puts out in the world, the more kindness that comes back.

…and while I was in the states a few weeks ago, I had a situation where I was in desperate need of some kindness…

How kind is the average person?

These days I think that people get a bit of a bad rap.  If you had to say how kind the average person is…what would your response be?  Do you think there are more people who show kindness out there than people who aren’t?  I’m not sure that people realise how many people there are who do….

But then someone comes along who shows how kind a stranger can be…

So today I want to share with you my experience…of a moment when I needed a kindness shown to me more than ever…and how it showed up in the most unexpected way…watch the video now to see more…

This is exactly the reason that I try to show kindness wherever I go…and the reason I encourage others to to….and here it is the card where I got to pay this kindness back…

Paying a kind act back, Claire Brummell, Feminine 1st

Could you be this kind?

So take a moment this week to ask yourself…could you show this sort of kindness to others in your life?  To family, to friends, even to complete strangers…and how would you feel as a result?  How much would it enrich YOUR life from being that kind?

…and if you enjoyed the story then please take a moment share it to inspire others to share kindness with others too, and see how kind you can inspire them to be!

Stay Fabulous!

Claire x

Today’s Fabulous Friday Female is Marie Forleo…

Fabulous Friday Female, Marie Forleo

I’ve long thought that Marie Forleo is a pretty amazing woman.  She’s worked with Tony Robbins, Richard Branson, she has a hilarious weekly TV show (that I highly recommend tuning into) …and most importantly she doesn’t claim to be perfect.  She’s real, she makes mistakes, she’s human.

Now Marie is a pretty high profile woman, so I can imagine that when you saw that she is this week’s Fabulous Friday Female you might have thought “Oh yes, I can so see that…Marie’s awesome…” …and maybe even think that you don’t need to read the post because you already know all about her and why I would choose her.  Well I’ll ask you to think again, because the reason I’ve chosen her this week is not for the reasons that you might think…

Yes, she’s an incredible woman who is doing amazing things in the world.  You just need to take a look at her bio here to see how she’s changing the world and transforming lives:

Marie Forleo is a marketing and lifestyle expert who inspires countless individuals to live Rich, Happy & Hot™. She reaches over 90,000 readers in 188 countries worldwide with her weekly videos and newsletter, and leads dynamic training programs that teach individuals to succeed in business and life.

Marie was recently interviewed by Tony Robbins for his DVD program The New Money Masters and mentored young business owners at Richard Branson’s Center of Entrepreneurship in South Africa. Her bestselling book, Make Every Man Want You: How To Be So Irresistible You’ll Barely Keep from Dating Yourself is published in 11 languages. Through Marie’s Change Your Life, Change The World® initiative, each for profit training program is tied to a non-profit partner who supports women, the environment and entrepreneurship. She’s been featured on Oprah Radio, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Fast Company, Glamour Magazine, Self Magazine and The Rachel Ray Show.

With loving yet wisecracking advice, Marie inspires tens of thousands to take charge of their success and happiness by boosting their business skills, shedding BS excuses and injecting massive amounts of fun into each day.

Read more: http://www.marieforleo.com/about/

So, if this isn’t enough to make her this week’s Fabulous Friday Female…then what is?

Well the simple answer is of course this is enough to make her this week’s Fabulous Friday Female…but this week she put something out that was so powerful, that moved me so much, that I had no choice but to bump her up to the front of the line.

I could try and explain and put it into words…but I encourage you to simply watch this video…it says it all.

I began watching the film on PBS last night, and I’ll be honest, it was difficult to watch.  A part of me didn’t want to see, acknowledge or accept that this is a reality of the world I live in.

…and then I realised that me not acknowledging it wouldn’t make it any less real for the women and girls who are living it…and that to do so would actually be perpetuating the problem.

As my friend Gary King says “If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem”.

Not only that but the women in this film show what real courage is all about…the least I could do was summon up enough of my own to honour them by watching it.

So I ignored my discomfort and watched, horrified at the reality that some women and girls experience as their day to day life…and yet inspired by the people who are doing everything they can to help and support them, against the odds, because it is the right thing to do.  To see where some of these girls have come from, and how they are using their experience to help and inspire others is truly incredible.

I am sure that watching this film will do at least two things for you:

  1. It will make you so very grateful for the life that you get to live…and make most of the problems in your life seem to pale into insignificance.
  2. The injustice of the situations these women and girls find themselves in will resonate with you at a deep level and one thought is likely to come up in some way shape or form “Surely there must be more that can be done about this….”

…and the reason that Marie is this week’s Fabulous Friday Female is that she’s made it really easy for you…she’s given you 3 things you can do immediately to make a difference.

At the very least, please share this message in which ever way you are moved to do so.

Ignorance and apathy are the allies of the monsters who are perpetuating these conditions for these women…it is only through education and action that we can really make a difference and change their world.

…and I would like to ask for you to join me today in honouring, acknowledging and celebrating Marie for her work in transforming this world into a better place, especially for those who don’t feel that they have a voice of their own.  …I hope she inspires you to do the same.

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As you know, I would love to acknowledge, honour and celebrate the women who have inspired you as well. So if there is someone that you believe should feature as a Fabulous Friday Female, then send me an email (claire@feminine1st.com) with 3 simple details:

Who is your Fabulous Friday Female? (Her name and location in the world)
Why is she a Fabulous Friday Female to YOU? (How do you know her? What does she do? In what way is she inspiring?)
A photo or link to a picture of her online (if there is a reason that you would prefer not to include a photo, just let me know)

So help me to share with all of our lovely ladies the real women who inspire YOU.

…and remember, as always, to Stay Fabulous too!

Claire x

Today’s Fabulous Friday Female is the anonymous kind Mum…

Anonymous Kind MumToday’s Fabulous Friday Female is short, sweet and simple….and in being so, is probably one of the most real and powerful that I’ve shared.

There is a beautiful website called “I am a Kind Stranger” that was created by a lovely couple called Sarah and Greg and inspired by their project “American Bear”.

American Bear: An Adventure in the Kindness of Strangers is an adventure road trip film that follows playful couple Sarah and Greg as they travel the country relying on strangers for a home each night (You can check out the trailer for the movie here).

The film is still being completed, but while it is they want to spread some kindness…so they created “I am a Kind Stranger” for people to share little stories of kindness, ideas, suggestions for how to spread even more kindness in the world…and it’s a great place to go to get a little lift and have your faith in the genuine goodness of the human spirit revitalised.

Well, one day a short while ago, I came across this entry on the website:

My Mum

One of the lads in our complex got cancer, a very long time ago, and now his mum has breast cancer. I can’t even begin to imagine how this must feel to the family, the second person with cancer in the family. My mum brought them some dinner, because they don’t have the time to cook it. She didn’t even know them; I reckon that she decided to bring her food as well as her support. The 50 bill on the counter was gone and I haven’t seen it. My parents were planning on going on a 20th anniversary date and we had been pinching pennies to help pay for the date, but I think my mum gave it to this other family.

So I would like to ask for you to join me today in honouring, acknowledging and celebrating this anonymous woman and her simple, selfless act of kindness that touched the heart of another….I hope she inspires you to do the same.

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As you know, I would love to acknowledge, honour and celebrate the women who have inspired you as well. So if there is someone that you believe should feature as a Fabulous Friday Female, then send me an email (claire@feminine1st.com) with 3 simple details:

Who is your Fabulous Friday Female? (Her name and location in the world)
Why is she a Fabulous Friday Female to YOU? (How do you know her? What does she do? In what way is she inspiring?)
A photo or link to a picture of her online (if there is a reason that you would prefer not to include a photo, just let me know)

So help me to share with all of our lovely ladies the real women who inspire YOU.

…and remember, as always, to Stay Fabulous too!

Claire x

Today’s Fabulous Friday Female is the wonderful Madison “Peach” Steiner

Madison "Peach" SteinerToday’s Fabulous Friday Female is the wonderful Madison “Peach” Steiner!

A friend of mine brought Madison to my attention this week and as soon as I heard her story I knew she was going to be this week’s Fabulous Friday Female.

Madison is the founder of “Peach’s Neet Feet” (PNF), which is a grassroots custom shoe donation project. She hand paints and donates canvas shoes for children battling cancer, serious illness, and lifelong disabilities.

Watch this short, incredibly heartwarming and inspiring video to see the amazing work she does and how it transforms the lives of the families that her kindness touches…

Here is the message that Madison shares from her site:

I am the founding artist and I have three other guest artists. We customize each shoe to complement the deserving child’s life, interests, and courageous fight! Most of the art used is original and we are open to all ideas and themes.

As a young girl, I have always been driven to help others, to make a difference in the world some way. I truly enjoy art and what it does for the soul. It can bring joy to those who do it, and to those who look at it. With Peachs’ Neet Feet, something as small as a pair of shoes painted with a child’s name and interests can bring a smile to their face and it gives them something that is theirs and only theirs.

PNF is spreading inspiration, smiles and creativity. My passion is art, and the art of giving. -Peach

Madison has brought together two of my absolute favourite things in life…shoes and kindness to others…so I would like for you to join me today in acknowledging and celebrating her amazing mission, and beautiful heart.

Please take a moment to visit her website and find out more about what she does and how you can support her: http://peachsneetfeet.com/

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As you know, I would love to acknowledge, honour and celebrate the women who have inspired you as well. So if there is someone that you believe should feature as a Fabulous Friday Female, then send me an email (claire@feminine1st.com) with 3 simple details:

  • Who is your Fabulous Friday Female? (Her name and location in the world)
  • Why is she a Fabulous Friday Female to YOU? (How do you know her? What does she do? In what way is she inspiring?)
  • A photo or link to a picture of her online (if there is a reason that you would prefer not to include a photo, just let me know)

So help me to share with all of our lovely ladies the real women who inspire YOU.

…and remember, as always, to Stay Fabulous too!

Claire x

Do you show compassion towards others…even when it’s hard?

Claire Brummell Feminine 1stSo last week I shared a video with you about self-compassion…how to be kind to yourself, forgive yourself and generally be able to give yourself a break!

Today we’re using that as inspiration…to show compassion towards others.  It can be easy to show compassion to others when things are good…but what about when they’re not?  What about when they’ve hurt you?  How do you do it then?

Watch the video now to see how:

I’d love to hear from you about which situation you are going to ‘triple S’ this week so please leave me a comment below to share your thoughts…

Stay Fabulous!

Claire x

Do you practice self-compassion?

A few weeks ago I shared a video encouraging you to take the 7-day Self Worth challenge.  Taking a short time every morning and every evening to acknowledge and appreciate all of the great things about yourself.

When I shared this video one of the messages I received back was that it had reminded someone who watched it about the art of self-compassion, which is also so important.  So today I wanted to share with you a short video about the art of self compassion.

Watch the video now to see how to show yourself compassion:

I’d love to hear from you on about how you are showing yourself compassion and being kind to yourself so please leave me a comment below to share your thoughts…

Stay Fabulous!

Claire x

Thank you to the stranger on the train…

TearsYesterday was not a good day for me.

In fact, being honest, it was really awful.

It’s not very often that you’ll hear me say something like that…but in this case there’s no other way to put it!

I got some news which was very upsetting, and which caught me completely by surprise.

If you want to know the full story, you can find it in today’s newsletter (You can sign up here if you haven’t yet: http://feminine1st.com/free-gift/)

I was in London at a meeting when it happened, and so on my journey home it all started to sink in…and the next thing I know I’m sitting on a South Eastern train with tears streaming down my face.

It was one of those “once the flood gates are open” moments.

Once I started, I just couldn’t stop.

I was very aware of the fact that I was on a public train, surrounded by people, but it didn’t matter. I was feeling very upset, and at that moment I needed to let it out.

The guy with the drinks trolley went past and very kindly handed me a couple of napkins as he went.

But then something interesting happened.

A guy who was sat a little further up the train walked up to me and said “I’m really sorry, I’m not trying to hit on you, but I can’t just sit there and watch you cry….would you like to split a beer? Or I could just sit here and talk random rubbish at you for the rest of your journey?”

Now, a few years ago, if this had happened my instinctive response would be to say “It’s OK, I’m fine”.

Not yesterday.

I looked up at him and said “You know what, that would be really great”.

So he sat down and we started chatting.

Not the stuff of great conversations that will go down in history, just random chat to pass the time.

It was just what I needed…a little random kindness from a stranger.

What was really interesting is that had the situation been reversed and I’d seen someone crying on the train, I’d have done exactly what he did.

When I told him this and said how grateful I was for the random stranger who came and talked random stuff at me to pass the journey…he simply replied, “Ah, but it wasn’t random”.

It was really reassuring to know that what you put out in the world, does come back…sometimes unexpectedly, sometimes randomly…but often when it’s most needed.

I’ve mentioned the concept of paying it forward on here a few times, and my last post about it was on remembering to receive it forward as well.

Well, yesterday I got the chance…and it felt good to receive.

So thank you to the stranger on the train who helped me to dry my tears and made me smile.

The next time you see someone who you think could use cheering up, don’t be afraid to say hello…it doesn’t cost anything and it might just make all the difference to someone’s day.

…and the next time someone offers you a kindness at a time when you really need it…allow yourself to receive it. It might not take away the sadness or whatever it is that you’re feeling…but it certainly does help.

Stay Fabulous,

Claire x

Can YOU Make a difference?

Feminine women are all about nurturing, collaborating and contributing.

It’s in our DNA.

It’s who we are.

So, by doing what comes naturally, what if you could start a ripple which would touch £4.7million people’s lives in just two weeks?

What if this ripple could be started with just 3 simple random acts of kindness?

3 thoughts.

3 simple actions.

That’s it.

I wanted to share this with you today, because as women we tend to feel like we’re constantly doing everything for everyone else…but we don’t necessarily realise the impact that we have on other people’s lives.

We may not always get a thank you.

We may not feel that our efforts are acknowledged.

We may think from time to time ‘why do I bother?’

This is why.

We make a difference to other people’s lives.

…and together we can make an even bigger difference.

You see, I’ve spoken a lot lately about collaboration with regards to how it can help us in business…but collaboration and community is they key to enhancing almost anything we do.

That’s what Pay it Forward is about.

It is about people all over the world coming together to spread the exponential growth of kindness.

If one person does a random act of kindness for 3 people and each of those commit to pay it forward to 3 more people and each of those pay it forward to 3 more people, after 2 weeks, over 4.7 million people will have been impacted by those initial acts of kindness.

In 2006, Charley Johnson created the PIF bracelet as a physical reminder to do good, but also as a baton to pass to others when you do a random act of kindness for them. There are now over a million bracelets in 115 countries. Without it ever having been advertised.

Next week, on  March 28th at 4pm (local time) there is a globally-coordinated flashmob event which I am taking part in.

Currently the flashmob will be taking place in around 70 locations worldwide, including London, Koh Samui, Sao Paulo, Cape Town, Chicago, LA, Belfast, Copenhagen, Brisbane and Auckland)

Check out this video which tells you all about it:

So get involved.

Take Action.

Do something today.

Find your local flashmob to join.

Or just make the decision to start paying it forward.

This is a ripple of kindness that will be felt around the world…do you want to be a part of it?

Stay Fabulous!

Claire x