Donna modeling one of the coats from Above and Beyond Boutique, 75 East Main St, Cambridge, NY 518-260-3757
A new consignment shop opened up in Cambridge and as I drove past last week, what caught my eye was a velvet jacket blowing in the breeze so I stopped in to see what the shop was like. As I opened the door, I was greeted by a lovely woman, Donna, who welcomed me and told me that the shop “emphasized plus sizes” As she showed me around, I was impressed by not only the really nice clothes, scarves, and jewelry but by the owner’s attitude. She said that it was her intention to make everyone feel welcome, and that feeling was certainly there. I know that I will be back…it is so nice to be welcomed, anyplace, with a smile!
“A good disposition, a smile, often opens the secret door; the Chinese say, ‘A man without a smiling face, must not open a shop.’ The success of a smile was brought out in a French moving-picture in which Chevalier took the lead, the picture was called, ‘With a Smile.’ One of the characters had become poor, dreary and almost a derelict; He said to Chevalier ‘What good has my honesty done me?’ Chevalier replied, ‘Even honesty won’t help you, without a smile:’ so the man changes on the spot, cheers up, and becomes very successful”. From The Secret Door to Success by Florence Shovel Shinn (published in 1941)
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Years ago, I was on vacation in Florida, walking up the beach thinking that I needed a hat. I don’t like wearing hats, so I didn’t bring one with me on the trip, but the sun was intense and after several days in it, my face had started to feel burned. At that moment, I looked down and there was a baseball cap just sitting on top of a pile of seaweed. It had obviously been in the ocean for a while because it had several pieces of the seaweed attached to it. The logo on the front was from the University of Virginia; the place where my son Tom was, at the time, attending law school. I picked it up with a smile and said a silent thank you. After washing it, I happily wore it for the rest of my vacation…..A gift from Spirit in response to a silent need.
One of the reasons that I believe small things show up so easily and quickly, is that I don’t have any fear or negative beliefs that the thing that I want can’t happen. I’m not sure that doubt makes our dreams come true slower, but it sure makes for a rough ride.
“To give thanks in solitude is enough. Thanksgiving has wings and goes where it must go. Your prayer knows much more about it than you do”. ~Victor Hugo
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Noah and Bodhi playing
After we had Noah for about 3 months, the thought came to me that he needed a friend to play with. The next day, Jack and I took a ride to Second Chance shelter in Shaftsbury, VT and started looking. I noticed a beautiful grey, long-haired cat in one of the cages and asked if I could take him out. The name on his cage said, “Buster”.
As soon as I picked him up, he started purring. He looked petrified but didn’t stop purring. He had the feel of a very friendly being.
We adopted him and renamed him Bodhi. Within a week of getting him home, he and Noah were playing, like i’ve never seen adult cats do before. They are the only cats that we have, that we have ever had, that do actually play together, and they’ve done it for seven years.
When I think back on this, I am amazed by a couple of things. First, I had never even had the thought before that a cat of mine needed a play-mate. Second, we found a cat (or he found us?) that actually played. Third, neither of these cats plays with any of the other cats in our home.
When I have doubts about being guided, think that I am generating all of my own “good ideas”, all I have to do is think about Noah and Bodhi. What a friendly Universe this is!
“Most of us don’t need a psychiatric therapist as much as a friend to be silly with“. Robert Brault
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Luke: friendly and trusting!
I started going to the Manchester Thrift store 10 years ago. Oddly enough, I was somewhat intimidated by the volunteers…most were older women who lived in Manchester (a wealthy town) and wanted something to do with their free time. One woman in particular, Barbara, made me quite uncomfortable. I would try to be friendly with her, always saying something like, “Hi, or Good morning” but she rarely even acknowledged me. It seemed like she almost scowled when I entered the store.
I started imagining that she was thinking negative things about me like, “Why does she shop at the thrift store? This is for people who need help.” As time went by, I began thinking that I just wouldn’t go back there. Then one day, when a woman ahead of me was checking out, I noticed that Barbara was not acknowledging her either. The woman assisting at the checkout said, “You need to speak up. Barbara is almost completely deaf.”
Everything changed in that moment. It was my perception of the situation that was completely wrong and all I needed to do, literally, was speak up. Barbara has become one of my most favorite volunteers. She is 90 and funny and sweet and always saves me good books, after she reads them (the last one was The Help). I believe that we live in a friendly universe but we have to drop our unfriendly, fearful, insecure thoughts to access it.
“It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so”. Mark Twain
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