The story of the Grinch keeps coming into my head as a result of our experiment this season. Karen urged me to share it because it inspired her and she said someone else needed to be inspired too :)
2 things happened that expanded my heart and changed the way I feel daily.
Many of you know that I resisted living full time in Central Oregon. I am a California girl and hadn’t quite felt fully a part of this community over the years. I love the people we know but honestly never felt an integral part of it… until now.
FIRST, Jeff made 20 loaves of bread on Christmas day. Yes, he loves baking this bread!
He has been baking bread regularly and sharing with with friends for months now. When it’s warm he texts a bunch of people and offers it up so a few times we have had a small party in the kitchen as people came to pick up loaves.
Then on Christmas he baked those 20 loaves and told me we were going door to door to deliver them. Some to neighbors we knew and some not. I had to get over my discomfort of sharing something so full of love… like what if someone didn’t want the bread! But out we went, even giving one to a chronically grumpy neighbor. It was SO GREAT! People were happy to receive and the grumpy guy was obviously pleasantly surprised. HEART ONE SIZE BIGGER.
SECOND, we ran the beta test for The Change Militia, our new program. It has a big focus on community and connection, and how to BE the people we want to be and some of our friends in town signed up. And then, since we were locally sharing bread and offering it to them, they started coming over to hang out, get the bread and talk about what was growing for them in the program. And then over the month they loved it and want to help spread the word about it! So while we planned an online community we also got to connect with people in town! HEART GREW TWO SIZES BIGGER.
I felt fantastic. Things started feeling like we were BEing the people we want to be and it was starting to affect others!!!
AND THEN … when it snowed this past week THAT guy – the grumpy one – moved the snow from our front area, on his own, just to be nice!!!! HEART GREW THREE SIZES BIGGER!!!!
Yippee awesome people in our lives! Yippee ripple effect!
Here are two elements YOU can replicate:
1. It started with bread. Jeff made it with love and loved sharing. SO SIMPLE.
2. We have connected with strangers. With people who voted differently. People who were mean to us. People who may have different values. People who we wanted to be closer to but weren’t.
**This has changed me. I have always been “nice” but now I feel increasingly kind and connected because I can see where I was not being that, RATHER THAN where others were not.
YOU can have your heart grow three sizes too :) It’s simple. Make some bread, buy some treats, some flowers, some veggies from your garden, pick up the mail, pick up a shovel, walk someone’s dog. Go meet your neighbors. If you know 10 neighbors, go meet 3 more. If that guy down the street is angry or grouchy, be intentionally kind to him.
We need this right now. Our communities, businesses, neighborhoods, families and country needs love, kindness and connection. We need commonality and people willing to step together rather than apart.