Step it up


“A kind gesture can reach a wound that only compassion can heal.”

Steve Maraboli


Stair photo copy 2Last week an elderly woman stood before me struggling to find the money in her wallet to purchase stamps. She was trying to mail thank you cards for the sympathy expressed to her at her husband’s recent funeral.

When she learned the price of stamps she told the postal clerk she could not afford to pay. She was going to run back to her to car to see if she could find some extra money there. The woman also confided that she had not bought stamps before. Her husband always took care of those types of tasks.

Listening to the exchange, I knew the woman’s overwhelm extended beyond money. She was learning to stand on her own for the first time since her husband died.

I went over to the postal clerk, handed her my debit card and paid for the woman’s stamps. With tears in her eyes, the woman came over and asked if she could give me a hug. We held each other a long time, and I whispered in her ear, “Please know you are never alone. You are loved.”

My gift to her was not the money; it was the level of presence I provided during a vulnerable time in this woman’s life. I could “hear” her struggles.

I have been blessed through my transitions in creating anew of people who heard my struggles and supported me in a variety of ways.

Paying it forward felt great.

In helping clients create a new mindset for living based on a greater sense of self-love and worthiness, I believe stepping it up, with generosity of heart, is crucial.

  • Step it up by moving out of your comfort zone of the familiar, and try something new and different.
  • Step it up by shifting the focus from self to service, and extend a random act of kindness to another.
  • Step it up by choosing to be loving and forgiving even when it feels easier (or warranted) to be angry.

Can you step it up by choosing to be present in your unique way to someone in need this week?

To soaring generously together,


Thanks to my friend, Chris Young, of Beverly, Mass., for providing this gorgeous photo of stairs, which he shot in Gandria, on Lake Lugano, Switzerland.


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  • Dick Joseph says:

    I would have expected nothing less of you. Knowing you, you probably have given her your number and taken her to lunch…

    You’re the best!!

    Hugs to you!

    • Gail Kauranen Jones says:

      Dick: You’re so sweet…that’s what YOU would have done. I just felt a tug at my heart (and it was Valentine’s Day), which I knew must have exacerbated the loneliness for this newly widowed woman. I could see the fear and terror in her eyes, AND the strength it took her to get to the post office. Money should have been the last thing on her list to worry about…that’s what my soul told me. I wanted her to feel cared for, and seen in her vulnerability. I got so much more back than I gave:) Blessings, Gail

  • Linda says:

    My favorite kind of story!
    Beautiful, Gail! You were put in that spot, in that moment, for that Soul purpose. Keep up all the wonderful work you do in the world!


  • Linda says:

    My favorite kind of story!
    Beautiful, Gail! You were put in that spot, in that moment, for that Soul purpose.

    Keep up the wonderful work you are doing! It matters to so many people.


  • MaryAnn Holak says:

    Gail, Beautiful. Your “step up” message reminds me of goal setting with my staff. I give them three questions: what are you doing that you need to “keep up” what can you do to “step up” and what do you want to set as your “reach for the stars” goal?

    I appreciate your generosity and kindness to the woman you encountered on Valentine’s Day. I know it made a difference.

    Love, MaryAnn

    • Gail Kauranen Jones says:

      Thanks, MaryAnn: I’m sure as director of Elder Services you have many other keen insights on what the older generation needs. I always try to make a point to just notice them, and to say something nice, realizing I may be the only person they see in a day. The world needs all our love and random acts of kindness more than ever…love overrides fear. Imagine if everyone did one random act of kindness a day..or just stopped to be fully present to the people placed in front of us, and looked into their eyes with kindness and love! I’m committed to living from heals mind, body, spirit…and our planet:) Love, Gail

  • Wayne Benenson says:

    What a terrific story of sharing one’s humanity in a vulnerable and immediate exchange. What attracts my attention is the random acts of kindness which weaves through her story (stamps to send out acknowledgment of sympathy cards from others) and yours. I am continually amazed at the power such a simple act of kindness can have. Thank you for sharing this story. Who woulda thought that the post office was a site of spiritual connections?

    • Gail Kauranen Jones says:

      Wayne: I love that connection you made, that the woman I assisted was initiating her own act of kindness. And to do so, it took so much courage for her to step out of her comfort zone and “show up” even while overwhelmed and still grieving. I’m so grateful I got to witness her heroic act and give her a moment of comfort. Feeling very blessed, Gail

  • Shani Fox says:

    Inspired – thank you for sharing!

    • Gail Kauranen Jones says:

      You’re welcome, Shani. Love, in all its forms, inspires. So glad this encounter I shared touched you:) Blessings, Gail

  • G. Jill Cook says:

    Beautiful…..simply beautiful

  • Marj says:

    Indeed! How sweet. Our insight and compassion for others is needed even more today with all the horrible changes in our country.

    I have been more diligent in acknowledging ALL of my neighbors and customers at work. Perhaps our single act of kindness may heal or at least lessen the pain so many are feeling. Make the invisible visible.

    Thanks for the reminder, Gail. You have always been a very kind and loving friend.

    • Gail Kauranen Jones says:

      Ditto, Marj: Your loving and kind energy has touched many lives. Glad you enjoyed the blog post:) Love, Gail

  • Lyndra Hearn Antonson says:

    A very touching real-life story! Thanks for sharing your love with the woman in need & with us! Lyndra

  • Sharon hildebrandt says:

    Definitely not enough compassion in our world today. Our young people have seen so much violence that they are becoming “numb.” Good for you, Gail. Doesn’t surprise me that you would step up and do such a wonderful thing. YOU will be paid back!!

    Thanks for sharing. Sharon…

    • Gail Kauranen Jones says:

      You’re welcome, Sharon: I still believe there is love everywhere and we just need to keep our radars focused on it. And, be willing to ACT, when we see someone in need or find a way we can make a loving contribution to the world. I had an inspiring conversation with a millennial yesterday, a young man who had just become a father. His insights on his parenting style and how he is “present” to his son gave me much faith in the younger generation. Thanks for noting my character…many have given back to me, you among them. I am most grateful. Blessings, Gail

  • John Dodge says:

    Nice story, Gail.

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