kindness, ovarian cancer

RAOK – Paying it Forward 

I delivered another Random Act of Kindness today. It is honestly still my favourite thing to do! This one was extra special though as it came from someone else…

Despite the fact that I am meant to be resting I needed to go and order new glasses as I broke mine teaching kids yoga. Yes I know, if I’d been resting they wouldn’t have got broken…blah blah…

Anyway…I used to work in my local opticians so I let them know I’d be popping by. One of the women that works there reads my Facebook (**waves**) and so she dropped me a message to tell me to say hi when I was in.

This I did and I’m so glad! She is without doubt one of the loveliest souls I’ve ever met. No I’m not just saying that because she will read this! She welcomed me with a warm and enthusiastic hug like no other and then surprised me by giving me a ‘random act of kindess’ envelope with money inside and asked me to ‘pass it on’.

I was so touched! I love when other people join in!

Leaving the shop I was still smiling when I went to buy some ‘jeggings’ – I hate that word but basically I need jeans with legging tops now I have a colostomy bag…anyway I’m going off topic (again!)

So I was trying them on and while doing so I could hear two friends chatting through the curtain of the cubicle next to me.

Their utter joy and laughter was infectious! From their ensthusiastic batter I gathered that one was helping the other buy a selection of clothes for various up coming events. What struck me was their passion. The one trying on the clothes was so unashamedly grateful for her friend’s help. Lsughing loudly she kept thanking her and declaring that she had ‘never looked so good’ and ‘couldn’t wait to show people’. The whole dialogue screamed LOVE!

I was really touched and knew straight away that I’d have to give them the envelope I’d just been passed moments before.

As I left I slipped the envelope into one of their hands and was met with the usual look of confusion and a mumbled ‘thankyou’ which, when combined, always translates  as ‘who the f*ck is this crazy woman handing me an envelope’.

As ever, it gave me so much joy and I hope the ladies got as much out of it as I did. I just love being able to pass on acts of kindness in this way.

So, tell your friends you love them;  be unashamedly you; and scatter kindness around wherever you go!

Oh and always remember you are beautiful!

Love and light, Fi xxx

gratitude, kindness, positivity

Love and Kindness – RAOK Envelope

Yesterday I handed out one of my random act of kindness envelopes. It’s been a while I know! – for those of you who aren’t familiar with these cash envelopes I hand out out to strangers you can read more here.
I was out having lunch with my hubby and two friends in a local cafe when I spotted the owner having cuddles with another customer’s dog. Now, I’m never one to miss out on the chance for any kind of animal encounter so, of course, I made my way over to join the fun.

I was met by a huge dog full of affection – a result of a clearly loving owner! As I was walking back to my table the owner of the cafe explained that the women and the dog were regulars and that the dog is provided with a tuna sandwich all of its own when they visit. Yes you read that right!

Well I was so touched by this clear act of love. As many of you know my dog was a huge support to me during my treatment and so it’s always a joy for me to see similar relationships. So, without hesitation I got out an envelop and asked the owner to pass it on to them without telling them it was from me. This was a new approach as ordinarily I pass it on myself.

The feeling was just as wonderful as always – knowing that through a simple act of passing on the kindness that had been giving to me I was brightening a stranger’s day. I LOVE it! I hope that it will have brought joy and love to this person in an, all too often, sad world. 

More importantly I hope it will have reminded them (and you reading this post) that kindness is a wonderful and powerful thing that can really change the world.

I love being able to pass on this kindness to otherrs and I’m so grateful to each and every one of you who has ever donated to my ‘kindness’ pot.

Remember, kindness doesn’t have to be the ‘gift’ of cash. It can be a smile; holding open a door; forgiving someone; listening; hugging…the list is endless. What act of kindness will you do today?

With love and light, Fi xxx 

EDIT: I received this beautiful response from the recipient…

Hello Fi. Yes I had to investigate and discover the kind person who chose me as the recipient of your gift. What a surprise it was. I’m still getting my head round what turned out to be a memorable Saturday. I was taken with your joy when meeting Mia and the look on your husband’s face when you were leaving was also notable – now I know. You have been through the wars and I am pleased to learn that you are surviving and making the most of life. I hope that I may encounter you in the future but meantime your kindness is much appreciated. Keep well 💜

kindness, ovarian cancer

Kindness Ripples for Maggies

As I’m sure you already know, I hand out Random Act of Kindness envelopes to strangers in a bid to make the world a happier place whilst also raising awareness for Ovarian Cancer….If you don’t know this already then please check out my dedicated kindness page!

Well…just before Christmas I left an envelop on a parked car at the hospital where I get my cancer treatment. The woman who received it got in touch and let me know that she was ‘paying it forward’ as so many wonderful recipients have decided to do.

This is her message to you all.

I received one of Fi’s wonderful teal, random act of kindness envelopes on my car in December, along with the money was the card. When I looked into what it was, I was amazed to read Fi’s story and her journey. I was inspired to put this gift to good use. I made up a medical tv drama anagram quiz using the £10 gift from Fi as the prize and I am pleased to say it raised £67 for Maggies Dundee. Fi continues to inspire me and also some of my friends who are also carrying out RAOK of their own.

Love and light, Fi xxx

kindness

kindness, positivity

RAOK Christmas – Days 11 – 15

Where has the time gone?…

I pledged to hand out one of my kindness envelopes every day between 1st and 24th December but it simply hasn’t happened for many reasons including a lot of resting and also some much needed time with my nearest and dearest!

I’m still, of course, handing out 24 envelopes in December (I don’t break promises) but now I’m just handing out multiple on the days I do venture out.

So, this is a wee update on 5 envelopes I handed out over a week ago. I hope these short stories inspire you to do good and to be kind.

Christmas Envelope  11

Many of you now know that I recently did a shark dive for Maggies’s Centres. It was an incredible experience that I’ve wanted to do for over nine years but had been putting off. If it hadn’t been for the support of my incredible oncologist and Macmillan nurse it would have remained a dream as my health conditions would have prevented it becoming a reality. However, with their support I was able to do it and I’m so so grateful! It was absolutely mind blowing.

Yup that’s me with a tiger shark!

Anyway, as usual, I digress. The dive took place at Deep Sea World in Scotland. It’s one of my favourite places as I love the sea more than anything else – a result of growing up on Guernsey. We’d been there the week before for my original date for diving and I’d handed out a couple of envelopes but my dive had been postponed for medical reasons so we were back again. Now, what you may not know is that we’d also been there the week before my surgery. It was one of the special things I did with my hubby to celebrate life that week.

That was back in May but a chance meeting with a wonderful woman who worked there had stuck with me and I was so glad to see her again that I gave her an envelope.

You see, back in May I was in the middle of chemotherapy treatment and, a combination of extreme weight lose, muscle wastage and no hair meant that, despite my best efforts, I had the look of a typical cancer patient.

When we were in the cafe at Deep Sea World a member of staff asked if she could give me a hug. I must have looked confused because she had quickly explained that she had had cancer in the past and that so had her mum. We began talking and she explained that her mum had had ovarian cancer. The same as me! She’d also had a big operation and was now doing grand! It was such a blessing to hear and exactly what I needed to calm my nerves so close to my own operation. The woman gave me the peace of mind that nothing else would and over the coming weeks and months I thought of her often.

So, a few weeks ago, following my shark dive my family and I sat down for lunch in the cafe again and here she was working (oddly she hadn’t been working the week before so if my dive hadn’t been postponed then I wouldn’t have seen her). We chatted and hugged again and this time she told me how well her mum was doing. Again, she left me inspired and filled with hope.

This woman is an angel to me and so deserving of an envelope. In fact, it was one of my favourite to hand over. I only wish I could have done more for this beautiful soul.

Christmas Envelope 12

One of my other favourite things to do is go to the cinema. I have no idea why but for me it is one of the most exciting nights out. Perhaps it’s because you can loose all sense of reality whilst emerced in a movie. I don’t know but I love everything from the massive screen to the surround sound and dark room. I especially love the trailers which I call ‘mini movies’. If it was a choice between going to a bar or going to the cinema, I’d pick the cinema every time! So, hubby and I go on a regular basis.

Last week was no exception and we found ourselves in the queue with me buzzing as always at the thought of seeing a new film. In the queue behind us was a man and his wee boy. Just the two of them. It got me thinking…you don’t often see men out with their kids on their own. Well, not that often anyway. I remembered that every second Monday on my train journey to work I used to see a man and his wee boy having to say goodbye to each other. I watched this relationship for two years during which the wee boy grew from about two to four. Every goodbye was as heartbreaking to watch as the previous. The wee boy would be crying and telling his daddy how much he loved him. The dad would be smiling and telling the boy that he’d see him in two weeks. They’d talk about the fun they’d had and the adventures they’d have the next time. Every time the dad was wiping his own eyes whenever the boy wasn’t looking. It was one of my favourite moments, seeing this connection between two souls who unconditionally loved each other but couldn’t be together. It was both heartbreaking and life affirming to witness.

The man and his child in the cinema got me thinking about this and, for some reason, I knew I had to give them an envelope. The man looked somewhat bemused as people often do when I approach them but, moments later, I saw them laughing together at the sweet counter and I knew I’d chosen well.

Christmas Envelope 13, 14 and 15

A few months ago I was honoured to be asked to speak at two Macmillan lunches for Team McKeown. It was a real privaledge to work with such amazing people.


Following the events, Caroline McKeown who leads this team with her hubby Des, very kindly offered me free tickets to see Michelle MacManus perform in Glasgow with an incredible Indian meal before hand at Ashoka Regent Brasserie in Kirkintilloch. It was such an amazing gift and a wonderful act of kindness that meant I could take out some great friends who have supported me this year.

Everything was perfect from the meal – which was so incredibly tasty! – to Michelle’s performance.


Whilst at the show I had decided to hand out three of my kindness envelope but(!) instead of handing them all out myself I gave one to each of my friends (aka Christmas helpers) to hand out too.


I gave mine to a young couple looking very much in love standing beside me in the never ending queue at the bar.

One of my friends gave hers to a woman walking behind us as we left – sadly I didn’t get a look at her.

My other friend, however, gave hers to a woman that not only ended up sitting beside me but who had also seen me present at the Macmillan lunches and what a blessing this woman was to me…

Seriously! She was like meeting an angel. This woman spoke from her soul about how my presentation had touched her and inspired her to ‘no longer sit back as an observer‘ but to ‘take action‘ and ‘make a change‘. She spoke with such passion and love as she told me her story and loses she’d experienced. We held each other, we sang together, we laughed and we cried and, I can honestly say, that despite our brief encounter, this woman touch my soul.

I said to her, “you know I think we needed to meet.” She replied telling me that “yes” she’d needed the inspiration. “No” I laughed “I think we needed to meet for me”.

And you know what? I truely meant it too. I’m a firm believer that you never meet anyone by chance, that everyone you meet has a lesson to teach you or a story that you need to hear. Just with the woman in the cafe mentioned above, this woman came into my life with her story at the right time and I was listening. Thank you beautiful soul.

So, what my message to you all? Listen carefully to what the world is trying to tell you. You never know where the story could lead you.

Love and light, Fi xxx

Ps. On Christmas Eve I handed out an incredible 10 Kindness envelopes!!…I’ll post an update soon!xxx 

gratitude, kindness, motivation, positivity

Merry Christmas

At this time of year as we spend time with our loved ones, take a moment to remind yourself how blessed you are to have them beside you.


Raise your glass to those whose only wish this Christmas is for a healthy new year and for the wonderful medical teams working throughout the holidays to ensure loved ones are with their families this Christmas.

Take a second to give a nod and a wink to those who have passed this year – those you knew and those who touched your life.

As you read this remind yourself that you are blessed…

You are here, you are alive and you have so much joy and love still to live.

Make it happen. Make today count.

Hug a little tighter. Laugh a little louder. Love a little deeper.

Merry Christmas everyone! Thank you so so much for you love and support this year and for your messages of hope, love and kindness.

Sláinte*

Love and light, Fi xxx

*SLAHN-chə is a word literally translating as “health” in several Gaelic languages and is commonly used as a drinking toast in Ireland and Scotland.

#MerryChristmas #PleaseShare #Blessed #Grateful #Positivity #Love #CountYourBlessings

kindness

Random Act of Kindness – No 15

Today I delivered my 15th Random Act of Kindness! This one made me smile loads as it was my largest one to date – a whopping £50!


New to the blog?

When my loved ones raised £500 for my husband and I to treat ourselves following my operation we made the decision to use the money to do random acts of kindness for complete strangers…
We didn’t want to profit from my diagnosis and the idea of sharing the love and kindness given to us filled us with so much more happiness than spending it on something ever could.

So since then we’ve been handing out envelopes with either a £10 or £20 note inside and the impact has been incredible!! Just read some of the amazing ripples that have started happening…including a bungee jump, press articles and people handing out their own envelopes across the UK!

The number of envelopes I have to hand out continues to grow  thanks to a number of amazing donations!

  •  £30 anonymous donation from the ‘lace maker’.
  •  £40 anonymous donation from ‘D&L’.
  • £60 donation from AngieB Photography.
  • £10 donation from a lady who watched me present.
  • £90 donation from Love Fusion following the auction of two of their paintings.
  • £10 donation from a reader of my blog xxx

I am extremely grateful and blessed to have received these donations which I will pass on to others.


I was listening to our local radio station this morning – the same one that gave me loads of random acts of kindness for me! – and heard that they were launching an appeal to raise money to buy coats for local children after identifying over 600 children who would otherwise be feeling the cold this winter!

As many as 1 in 4 children in parts of Tayside & North East Fife go without the most basic of essentials. That’s hundreds of children on our own doorstep.

Coats for Kids will run throughout October – we have four weeks to raise £30,000 to ensure these kids don’t go cold this winter.

Funds raised will be used to provide a £50 clothing voucher to every qualifying child (as verified by a professional childcare worker), and your support will be acknowledged on our Facebook page.

Can you pledge £50 to keep one of these kids cosy?

I wanted to do something and knew that one of my ‘random acts of kindness’ was the answer.

Recently a friend of mine and local photographer, Angie B, had donated £60 to my pot of funds and so I knew that was exactly what I was going to use to donate to the ‘coats for kids’ campaign.

Screen Shot 2016-09-30 at 14.22.15.png

If you would like to donate to this amazing cause, you can do so by simply texting COSY to 70808 to donate £5 or visit their webpage.

Together we can make a difference for local children and show them the love and kindness they deserve.

Love and light, Fi xxx

kindness

Random Act of Kindness – No 14

Last week I delivered my 14th Random Act of Kindness!

kindness


New to the blog?

When my loved ones raised £500 for my husband and I to treat ourselves following my operation we made the decision to use the money to do random acts of kindness for complete strangers…
We didn’t want to profit from my diagnosis and the idea of sharing the love and kindness given to us filled us with so much more happiness than spending it on something ever could.

So since then we’ve been handing out envelopes with either a £10 or £20 note inside and the impact has been incredible!! Just read some of the amazing ripples that have started happening…including a bungee jump, press articles and people handing out their own envelopes across the UK!

The number of envelopes I have to hand out continues to grow  thanks to a number of amazing donations!

  •  £30 anonymous donation from the ‘lace maker’.
  •  £40 anonymous donation from ‘D&L’.
  • £60 donation from AngieB Photography.
  • £10 donation from a lady who watched me present.
  • £90 donation from Love Fusion following the auction of two of their paintings.
  • £10 donation from a reader of my blog xxx

I am extremely grateful and blessed to have received these donations which I will pass on to others.


I was out for dinner with my husband – surprise surprise! (I do love to eat!) – and there was a large group of ladies celebrating a retirement at the table next to us.

I noticed that one member of the group had her daughter with her. The woman’s face said she’d ‘had one of those days’ and so when her child spilled something and she continued to ‘show face’through cleaning up herself and her seat I knew that an envelope would bring her a smile.

As we left the restaurant she was up from her seat taking photos of the others in the group so I took the opportunity to slip an envelope under her side plate.

 

Everyone deserves a little kindness to brighten up their day. Here’s to you awesome lady!

Love and light, Fi xxx