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Capturing A Child’s True Beauty

It’s no secret that I spend a lot of time on the internet, as bloggers do. Because of that, I sometimes feel like I have seen everything the internet has to offer. Yesterday, however, I was reminded that there are still amazing things happening that deserve to be talked about and I want to share one of those with you today.

A friend shared a link to an online magazine yesterday (linked above) and mentioned that it was a powerful read. It took me about a half a page before that stinging feeling started and I was wiping tears away. By the time I got to the end, I had already typed out an email to the creator of the magazine to ask if I could share it with all of you. The magazine, entitled “Kids – All About Love”, mostly features photographs and stories of children who are battling some form of illness. The pictures are incredibly done, really bringing out the personality in all the children, and the stories are so well written that I felt invested in all of them from the opening paragraphs.

The creator’s name is Lisa Kelly and she runs a website called, Salt and Light Studio. I was so touched by the stories that I arranged a phone interview with Lisa that day to talk about them and her inspiration for them. I love and agree with Lisa when she says that “Our life stories are a gift we give to the world“. I hope these stories move you the way they have moved me and please feel free to share them if you see fit. We need more stories of love in the world and these kids have helped me remember that we need to make the most of every second on this planet!

You can find more of Lisa’s work on her website, Salt and Light Studio, or on her Facebook Page.

Introducing Kindness Canada!

I’m excited and proud to announce a project that we have been working on for a few months now, that is finally coming to fruition. The new website is called, Kindness Canada, and is hopefully going to be a place that will inspire the kindness in everyone.

The initial goal is to start off small by asking you all to submit your stories of kindness, either in written or video form. I don’t know if you are like me but I know that every time I read an uplifting story, I get inspired to want to get out there and do something kind for someone else. And that is the goal of Kindness Canada. It is to take the every day kind acts that we see and hear about and turn them into an inspirational and interactive storybook for all to read.

We have also created The Big List of Random Acts but need your help in filling it out. You are invited to submit your random acts of kindness and each week we will add a new random act to the list.

There is much more in the works for the site, including events, random act blitzes and finding a way to start giving back. In the meantime, I hope you will consider submitting your kindness stories, posts about what kindness means to you and your random acts, so that we can turn this into something inspirational and spectacular!

I would like to give a quick shout out to the people who made this vision a reality. Our Kindness Ambassadors are Rebecca Stanisic from A Little Bit of Momsense, Amber Rehman from Fatekeep and Patricia Oliver from Positively Pampered Patty. Finally, a very special Thank You goes out to the man behind the web design of both this page and the Kindness Canada page, Mr. Shawn Merrikin of Shawn Merrikin Web Design & Hosting. Without him, I would completely lost and that is not just lip service, as I would be quite literally lost…

All that’s left to do is to let the Kindness Revolution begin! You can check out the Kindness Canada Website and also follow us on Twitter @KindCanada and our KC Facebook Page. I hope you enjoy the new project as much as I have enjoyed putting it together!

Share and Inspire With #GoodNewsMonday – 1st Edition

Monday

There is a new feature on the blog this week and it’s one I am very excited about. I ran an impromtu “Good News Friday” thread on Facebook and Twitter last week and it was really inspiring to see everyone sharing their good news for the week. Considering Friday is usually already a good day, I decided to move the “Good News” event to Monday, where more people could usually use a pick me up.

The concept is easy. Every Monday, pop on over here and share your good news stories. I’m sure we’ll start off with a small crew but my hopes are that it will catch on and then we can use this tiny space to inspire each other to chase after all the good things we want in our lives. I know that it has already affected me a great deal and I’m excited to see where this thing goes.

Before we get to the sharing, I’ll kick things off with my good news stories for ther week. First, after living in my house for 4 years, we finally have a beautiful deck for our backyard and my house suddenly feels like a home. Also, I had the opportunity to do my first TV segment as Canadian Dad and the feedback has been overwhelming and extremely humbling, so, thank you. Finally, we spent Saturday afternoon at our community BBQ, where I got to pretend I was a superhero with my son.

Okay, now it’s your turn! Please take a moment to share your Good News stories in the comments section below and let’s get inspired together. If you feel so inclined, take to social media and use the hashtag #GoodNewsMonday to spread the good word!

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Today Is Mental Health Awareness Day; And So Is Tomorrow; And The Next Day

Baby Hands

I decided to take part in Bell Canada’s Let’s Talk day, yesterday. As part of my contribution, I shared something about myself that not very many people know about and had a very hard time hitting the “Publish” button. The response to that post has been overwhelming to say the least and I appreciated all the kind messages I received, both publicly and privately.

I went into the day not knowing how I felt about the corporate tag being attached to the concept of speaking out about mental health and I wasn’t alone. I saw a lot of discussion surrounding the issue, some reasonable and some just bashing for the sake of bashing, but I wanted to add my thoughts to the discussion. The reason I decided to share my story on this particular day was because I knew that I would be able to generate more discussion than if I posted it on any other day. It wasn’t about the page views; it was about starting a dialogue. And it worked.

For me, the day changed from a corporate marketing event to the real deal when I received this comment from a complete stranger, “After reading your story I now feel that there may be light at the end of this and it’s as easy as talking to your family doctor. Thank you again”. It may not be as easy as going to a family doctor but it’s a better start than doing nothing. Either way, the thought of someone reacting to something I had written in that way, was eye opening.

That comment made me realize that there are so many people suffering in silence and that inspired me to reach out even further. So, I put out an offer for people to email me if they needed to talk, not thinking anyone would actually do it, and to my surprise I received two emails during the day. I read the emails, without judgment, and welcomed them to write me anytime they wanted. I don’t know if it helped them to send me their story but it certainly couldn’t have hurt. I also made sure to point out that I am not even close to “professional” help.

I want to stop here for a minute because as I write this, I can’t help but feel like this is sounding a lot like a “Look at me!” post, and I want to assure you that it is not. A lot of things have changed about me since I have been blogging and the biggest one is the realization that this voice I have created is useless if it is not used to do some good. It also means that if there needs to be a corporate tag attached to an event to get people talking, then so be it. If we’re being completely honest, fear of failure and crickets is why I wouldn’t have started a movement like this by myself, so I’m glad a corporation took the initiative. Maybe I’ll get there someday.

All that said; my offer still stands. If you are having a rough go and need to just share your story with anybody, please feel free to email me at chris@canadiandad.com and I will gladly lend an ear. I am no counselor, so I can’t offer anything but an ear but maybe it’s a start. You don’t have to suffer alone, please remember that.

I guess the main thing I learned by participating yesterday is that we need to be supportive of each other. Everybody has a story to tell and it’s not always easy for them to share it. Yesterday was a great start. I saw so many posts on blogs, Facebook and Twitter, of people sharing their struggles with anxiety and depression, and I hope we can keep the conversation going outside of just that one day. It’s an important discussion and one that deserves a high amount of attention.

Until we meet again, thanks for listening!