The Gift of Salad
Can something as simple as a salad be a gift?
The answer is, yes, when it is given completely out of generosity and when you need to eat but can’t access a meal.
Recently I was at a summit where I was speaking with a panel of presenters. The group of us sat at the front of the theatre, where we could quickly jump on stage when it was our turn. The room was filled with attendees, eager to fill up on the wellness subjects each speaker was to present. The line up of speakers was so good, you could feel the electricity in the room. I was buzzing too. Speaking does that to me.
My turn was coming. My breakfast of oats and seeds had burned up long ago and I was beginning to wonder if I would have the energy to give the riveting speech I wanted to. That is my goal every time.
Suddenly, I heard the words signalling my turn to speak: “May we now present, New York Times best-selling author, Tosca Reno, founder of the Eat Clean® revolution!”
It was show time.
I enjoy public speaking. I work hard at it. I try to entertain as well as inform. I strive to provoke thought and action. My goal is to make everyone in the room feel something! When I am finished giving a speech, I am always sweating and on a high. This day was no different. Even the guy in the front row put his cellphone down to listen. I knew I had done my best.
Arriving back at the table, I noticed a salad. It was sitting at my spot, complete with fork and knife and a steaming cup of tea. It was an ordinary salad, but it was clean and green, just the way I like it. The person who gave it to me, knew this. She did it out of kindness but she also went to the trouble of giving me the kind of food she knew I would eat, rather than a burger. She thought about it!
It was the best salad I ever had because it was given out of love and filled a need.
You may have experienced this in your own life. Someone has extended a small but powerful kindness that transformed your day, in the same way the salad changed mine. What if we approached the festive season with a goal to anticipate someone’s need and deliver a much needed kindness to them.
Simple Pleasures Simple Treasures is all about that. Here are several small ways to deliver the same kindness.
Offer your cuddling skills to new mothers in shelters. There are hundreds of thousands of moms who need the loving arms of experienced moms and grandmas. This costs nothing and impacts the life of both mother and baby in a powerful way. Find a local shelter and offer your loving arms. You can learn more here.
Find the busiest person you know, usually working moms, and give them the gift of “I made you dinner!” Simply double up on a meal you are making and deliver it. Soup looks beautiful in Mason jars with a bow or ornament. Place a loaf of bread on a new (or very clean) tea towel and deliver with love.
Spend time in a nursing home with the elderly and those who are shut in. Many elderly people do not have visitors. This time of year is difficult for the lonely and alone. Bob and I used to go to Amica and visit his father there. It aways turned into a tea party with his friends (almost all of them, women), for whom Bill (Bob’s dad) would dress up in his smartest blazer. I also make a point of including my mother in the season’s events, as she too, lives alone.
Do someone’s decorating for them. I know a family who has no home – it burned down this past summer. There are many children in that family who want Christmas, despite the circumstances. I have a tree and lights ready to decorate for them. Giving love like this makes any space warmer and more festive.
Make peace. If there are old hurts that have gone unaddressed, find a way to extend your love. Practice forgiveness. Practice gratitude. Practice love. Staying in pain, keeps you imprisoned in it. Freedom comes with forgiveness.
Take a friend, who needs your motivation, on a training session with you. I recently went to 9Rounds with my sister-in-law, Tammy McCullough. She is an endurance athlete extraordinaire. We both wanted to kick our training up a notch. Together we tackled the 9 rounds of boxing focused exercises, with more determination than alone. I loved it! We both did.
Break with tradition or start one by inviting a friend or loved one who is alone, to join you for the big feast. I have been in this position after Braden passed and again when Bob passed. Sitting home alone feels like a small death. Being invited into a warm and loving home is balm for the heart.
Visit a pet shelter and offer to walk the dogs living there. Even animals need love. They are the sweetest, kindest most generous beings. Love them too.
Any little thing you can do, out of the goodness of your heart, is the greatest gift you can give.
Remember, I am always listening.
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