For years when doing seminars, I shared a story about the Sand Dollar with those in attendance. Today I want to share that simple story with you. Before bringing that story forth for you, I must explain why there has been such a long time since I did my blog on November 15th and then took a break.
What happened? First, we prepared for round number one of seeing multiple children. Round One, Savannahnnah, Shawn, and grandchildren, Stone (7) and Leaf(3). They were coming from Wyoming to have Thanksgiving with us, and they planned to stay in our art studio for three weeks before seeing the next grandparents. Our studio needed cleaning and preparation for a family of four to stay there. Chemical smells required in oil painting also had to be removed. With help, it all got done. This time together allowed us to know the grandchildren we had not seen for the past three years. They left and we had only one week until Christmas, to catch up on our own daily business and send out Christmas presents. Next, we left for Bonham, Texas, to have Christmas with John and Myrna and grandchildren John Pearce(16) and Daniel(13). We returned Christmas night after a great Christmas day. Every minute was filled with the Christmas spirit, good food, and fun. That takes us up to December 25th. Dawn and Zave and grandchildren Ari(22) and Evi(16) arrived from California two days later. They left after five days of discussions and fun on January 3rd.
These visits brought smiles and fun to our lives. Believe me when I say that we cherish every minute with our children and grandchildren. Boston was the only child we did not share Christmas with. I think he had enough of us, since he spent six months during covid with us and we talk to him regularly. He is the one that encouraged me to do this blog and can help any of you do the same. Since January 4th, we have had multiple doctor appointments. We also recovered from all of the visiting. And we know that we would not change anything about our Christmas and New Years’ events. We do both, at times, feel frustrated because we cannot do what we used to do, but we are so happy that we can still do all that we find ourselves doing.
Now I am back to my blog. This last year was an odd year due to covid ups and downs and ups again, and then suddenly Omicron made itself known. I know 2021 has been a challenging year for many. Let’s see what we can do about 2022 and return to my sand dollar story I want to share with you. Have you ever seen a sand dollar? I say God is everywhere and in every situation and item made, including us individually. If one ever doubts a God, look at a sand dollar. I had not thought about a sand dollar for a long time. Then last week, while sitting in the bathtub watching the water run, a thought came to me about finding my first sand dollar. I had learned about gifts within the sand dollar. Looking at the sand dollar, one sees five leaf-like images outside. I learned five tiny sculpted birds would drop out of the sand dollar when broken open. I found my first sand dollar while visiting children at Stinson Beach and was so happy to find my second one so that I could now break the second one open and see what people said was within the sand dollar. Yes, five bird-like sculptures dropped out one at a time when I broke my second sand dollar open. I looked at the five leaves on the outside and counted the five perfectly sculpted little birds that fell to the outside. My amazement felt at that moment is why I said to many others during my lifetime, “if you ever doubt God, study a sand dollar. It still amazes me.”
We all come from God or a Divine Source. Scripture In the Bible, Matthew 10:29 talks about the sparrow. It says that each of us is even more valued than the sparrow and that every hair is counted that is on our head. Look at the design on birds. Every feather is placed in such a way for perfect designs. We are each unique and also as carefully designed. These little bird-like sculptures are gifts within the sand dollar. Break open a sand dollar and see. Five small sculpture-like birds will fall out. I later learned that some people say “those birds in a sand dollar represent the white doves. The sand dollar is spiritual.
One never knows when they will have an “aha” moment. This “aha” moment came while sitting in the bathtub! While thinking about the sand dollar, I began asking questions myself questions. How is the sand dollar like me or others? We both have gifts within, right? Do I have another gift within that needs to come forth? What if we each set a goal to open and allow a gift within Self to come forward in this coming year? Do I have a gift that has not come forth yet that could help the year be better? Do other people have gifts within that are now ready to come forward? If many of us raised our awareness of what is around us at all times, could we bring more peace to this earth by opening a gift we have held within? First, the gift needs to be shared locally. It may be as simple as “be kind to my neighbor or be kind to the lady struggling with groceries at the grocery store, or the one you meet on the street or the cranky person next to you in line. Or it may be as simple as smiling at people as we walk down the street or saying something to a person you got on the elevator with or opening a door for someone. There may be a person with not enough change to pay for groceries or perhaps we can pay for a person that wants a cup of coffee behind us when we payout. Maybe go to Braum’s and buy a person behind you in line their ice cream or malt.
Another gift opportunity might even be more simple. We never know when a smile for a person struggling might brighten someone’s day. These simple gifts may require us to become conscious of our surroundings and be more aware of what is happening. It is fun to have a chance to do something anonymously for someone that you know needs a hand up. When we do something that touches a person’s life, it helps the receiving person smile and feels better inside. Perhaps hope is restored. Sometimes just a little hope and inspiration can create a small ripple of good to begin, but sometimes that just small gesture will bring a big change! Hope returns and stays! The person no longer feels invisible. Someone noticed. Life returns. Yes, someone saw me. Someone paid attention. The person feels like they can hold their head up and go further in life. It does not seem to be as much of a struggle during the next hour or the next day. When the other person receives this gift many times does something within the receiver of your gift that creates the desire to do something for someone else or pay your gift forward. When a person changes within, it will eventually affect the lives of 250 more people. Perhaps those 250 can help and 250 more will receive the result of your gift for one person.
As we open our gifts and use our gifts, peace comes within. We remove fears of being kind or being taken advantage of when perhaps someone else is not being kind. When we release a gift within ourselves, we are like the doves within the sand dollar. A smile lights up in another’s heart. The peace that comes over us when we do something good for someone else continually increases within ourselves. Our peace within can affect the peace in others. Peaceful energy as we step forward will be put on the paths beneath our feet. This conscious action bringing more peace to Self and others will then help those that might walk that same path we just made on this earth. Yes, peace within brings peace without just as the doves falling out of a sand dollar touch lives when they are released and people see them.
LESSON: There are opportunities every day to touch someone’s life. We must be the ones to raise our own awareness and “consciously” take steps to touch someone’s life each day.
GIFT: I know what I want to do this year. I have an increased desire to see what I can do in 2022 to touch lives in simple ways and maybe even some big ways. I will work on keeping “Peace Within and draw “Peace Without” as I do this.
GIFT: I am setting an intention to raise awareness of my surroundings and make attempts to bring light into another’s life each day.
GIFT: When I have consciously done these things in the past, giving these gifts becomes automatic and a part of me. We have been in the house so long these past two years, I have not been so aware and conscious. I hurry in and hurry out everywhere I go. I am learning that I can do these simple things and still be safe. I see how amazing some of my friends are that continually give gifts to others in spite of our covid problems. It makes me smile to watch them. They brighten my light within without even knowing it.