Using Gratitude & Kindness To Weather Life's Storms

Today I'm thinking about the weather, in part because
it's not feeling like Christmas here weather-wise. At all.
In fact, we were sweating as we hung the outdoor lights yesterday.
Meanwhile, my friend Laurel sends me winter pictures like this:

Am I really sure I want to go there next month? Brrrrrrrrr.
In any event, it has me thinking about something insightful
that my friend Jet Stream Jax once said about the weather:

Bad weather days are kind of like how we have bad days in life and
 good weather days are kind of like how we have good days in life.

It was in a getting-to-know-yourself growth session in Indiana that the presenters asked us to draw our weather for that day. On a natural high having just finished my keynote and workshop, this is what I drew.

Can't you just hear the Sesame Street jingle from days gone by?

Caught up in my sunny day, however, I wasn't ready for what came next, during share time with the counselors sitting next to me. Despite being at a conference where they could revitalize and energize, they were not sketching good weather days. In fact, they drew tsunamis, hurricanes, and tornadoes. I get it; school counseling is super challenging, but I'd forgotten. What a strong dose of empathy. 

Imagine the power of this activity as a kindness tool, to know what kind of weather day your students are having, not only for the instructor but also for each other, student to student, so that they might they use their good-weather days to positively uplift someone out of their storm.

I had a bit of a storm last week, a tsunami day actually, and faced with the decision of how to not sink and be swallowed up, I decided that gratitude can really help us weather life's storms.

People may reject you; be grateful they considered you.
People may forget about you; be thankful that some remember.
People may shove to get in front; be grateful to be in line at all.
People may exclude you; be thankful for your new circle.
People may let you down; be grateful for those who don't.
People may be unkind; be thankful for your caring connections.
Choose gratitude and joy to pull you through the storm.

This morning, I had the blessing of returning to my former school, to Mrs. Dixon's fifth-grade morning meeting. I took along two books and we took a voice vote; whichever book they chose, the other one I would leave for their class.

Which one do you think they selected?

Almost unanimously they wanted to read I Am Human;
maybe it's because they wanted the other one to stay?
{They especially loved the wings of hope on the last page.}
All I know is it was AmAzInG to be reunited with my friends,
a super sunny weather day, for sure.

Then I chatted with my friend Laura, who asked if she could use an old Connections Calendar I'd made, the perfect chance
for me to update and share. Click the link if you want to download it for your class, your family, or your own personal kindness connections.

More sunshine.
But that doesn't guarantee a storm isn't coming.
Because the weather is like that.
It changes almost every day.
And so is life.
It's when we embrace the challenging weather, invite it in even,
and make it our friend, that it gets a little less severe,
and can even serve as a catalyst for gratitude.
That's the gift that is embedded in the storm.

Kindness does that, too; tune in tomorrow to Character Speaks,
 to hear how Kindness Advocate, Tamara Letter, used kindness
to lift herself out of the grief of losing her mom while she inspired
her class to use kindness to comfort and lift spirits as well.

Here's to kindness, the real global warming.


  1. Love how you related weather to the kind of day we are having! I have put in for "sunny and warm temps" for your trip to Iowa!

  2. Your posts are always uplifting and timely! Appreciate your thoughtful insights and encouraging words.

  3. What a great analogy! I can see this being a helpful activity in the classroom.


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