Never underestimate the smallest acts of kindness.

“Never underestimate the smallest acts of kindness.”

We received this email and couldn't wait to post it to share with you.  We are all about Good News, Great Ideas & Amazing People.  If you have a story you'd like to share, please email us The Brighter Side Blog.  

© Christina Rowsell
While grocery shopping on the Friday prior to the long weekend, I had numerous items to pick up.  As I queued up in the line, a young mom came behind me with her young daughter in a stroller and a small basket of groceries.  

I said to her, “Please feel free to go ahead of me.  I have a lot of groceries and you only have a few.” 

Her response was, “No I am fine, but thanks anyways.”

I said, “Well with your little one, I thought you might like to goahead, but she seems quite content and in good spirits.”  

At that moment, the little baby girl beamed a huge smile.  The mom said, “Well she is normally quite good.”

I replied, “Well, when she isn’t, it is just to make you realize how good she is when she is happy!”

The mom smiled.  

As my groceries were being checked out, I continued to chat with the baby girl and get lots of smiles back in return.  As I checked out, I smiled back at the mom and said “Have a wonderful long weekend.”  

She replied, “You too.”

Now, here is where the story really starts.  I unpacked the groceries into the trunk of my car and went to return my shopping cart.  That same mother went by me, stopped and said,“Thank you for being so nice.  I was having a bit of a tough day, and you just changed it.”

I looked at her and smiled and said, Thank you so much for sharing.  Now you have just made my day.  Can I please give you a hug?”  

She agreed.  We hugged, and I said “Enjoy the rest of the day.”  

She said, “I will.”

As I turned, I noticed that a man had watched and heard our encounter and conversation and had a huge smile on his face.  What a ripple effect from such a very simple thing.

I immediately thought of The Brighter Side Blog and the wonderful stories that this blog had shared "Everyone has a story so pay attention".

I am so full of gratitude right now for the little things, for they are truly what make a difference.  Thank you The Brighter Side for sharing Good News, Great Ideas and Amazing People.  

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Important Lessons at 30

by Billie Jo Ross

I’m in my 30’s and tend to lie about my age.  Okay…I lie about my age ALL the time!! It started as a joke and it’s continued through the years.  Why lie about it? At 30 you hit your stride, you’re sure of yourself, and more comfortable in your own skin. Right?  

To help embrace my 30+ years here’s a list of important lessons I’ve learned:

Love your family & all the flaws. Just love them. It’s your only job.

Motherhood is the hardest job you’ll ever love. 

Spend less than you earn, go without until you have the money. Possessions are harmful and they add no value to your life! 

Find a few recipes you are really good at. Pull them out when you have company over for dinner. Save the NEW recipes for testing on family. 

You are never, ever ready for kids! If you wait…you’ll never have them. 

No one keeps secrets. Remember this when you’re telling people all of your business. 

It is okay to say NO!

Ask people questions. People feel loved when you listen.

Only shop in store’s with flattering lights and slimming mirrors. Life is too short to look like shit when shopping for a swimsuit. 

Tell your kids how much they are loved. 

Be a good friend. Be the kind of friend you want to have. 

Invest in a pair of Spanx. Trust me, they really do even out the lumps and bumps. 

Pretending to be perfect, doesn’t make us perfect. 

Change makes you smarter. If things never changed, you’d never learn anything. Change reminds us that anything is possible. 

Chips and dip, pizza and french fries don’t taste near as good with a diet coke.

Practice shaking hands…there’s nothing worse than a limp hand shake. 

Things end. Even those things you could never imagine your life without. 

Health is more important than most of us treat it. 

When you feel like you are on the verge of an epic meltdown, call a faraway friend. She will lift your spirit.  

Invest in experiences not stuff. Focus on people and memories; you can always buy more stuff. 

Open a nice bottle of wine, burn the candles and use the nice sheets. Don’t save things for a special occasion. 

My mom says ‘I move every time I need to clean my house…”  I believe moving helped to broaden my circle of friends. 

Anger. Let it go. Anger is a cover-up for fear, hurt or disappointment.    

When you can’t decide which one to go for, pick chocolate.

© Billie Jo Ross
You don’t NEED everyone to like you. 

Dress to impress. Always over dress... unless it’s heels in a park…that doesn’t work. Dress for the job you want, not the one you have.  

Don’t settle!  Don’t settle for less in work, in love, in life. 

Believe in yourself. There’s nobody else in the entire world like you. 

About Billie Jo Ross:  Billie Jo is the morning co-host on Lite 95.9.  She's also the host of Chatelaine Radio Sunday Mornings from 8-10am.  

She's a daughter, a sister, a niece, a friend and a mother.  
Follow Billie Jo on twitter @BillieJoLite959 
Read Life Lessons ~ at 50 with Wanda Love, ~ at 40 with Christina Rowsell ~ at 30 with Billie Jo Ross. ~ at 20 with Megan Robinson.

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A Letter From Fred

The Brighter Side

There are a handful of shows that take my breath away.  I mean shows that really touch my heart and tug at my heart strings.  And then I saw this.  Add it to my list of stories that touch my heart.  This is what life is all about.  It's a beautiful love story.  A story about a man who loved his wife and misses her.  Grab a tissue this is a beautiful story about an Amazing Man and his Beautiful Wife and the memories they created.

You can purchase Fred's song on itunes HERE!

Thank you Fred for sharing your beautiful story.  Bless you!

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Lessons learned at 40

by Christina Rowsell
The Brighter Side

© Christina Rowsell
This year I turned 40.  The first thing that came to my mind was, "Wow, when did that happen?" In the blink of an eye life passes us by.  I've learned to stop and smell the roses along the way. I've learned to accept the path that was given to me and the ones I have chosen.  I have no regrets.  I truly believe that every life experience makes up to who we are today.  Here are some of the things I've learned along the way.  (In no particular order).

When one door closes, another one REALLY does open! 

A journal is a great way to validate your own feelings.

The world IS full of wonderful people, you just need to learn their story.

My dad told me this one when I was little... and he was right... Smile and the world smiles with you!

© Christina Rowsell
If you ever wonder which path to take, follow the one full of passion.

Just because someone told you you can't, it doesn't mean you shouldn't.

Just because someone says you should, doesn't mean you HAVE to.

People ALWAYS tell you who they really are in the first conversation.  Listen carefully!

If you want something done, do it yourself.

People don't always return the favor, so don't always expect it.

Family comes first.

It's easier to ask forgiveness than it is for permission. 

Losing a loved one is NEVER easy. 

© Christina Rowsell
My big brother was my super hero, I just never stopped to just appreciate it.  

Everyday my children come running to the door, and everyday I'm surprised by their unconditional love.

Keeping your calm takes practice... a lot of practice!!  I'm still trying to master that one!

When you find a friend who laughs at your jokes you know you've found a friend for life!

Trust your FIRST gut feelings.

Commitment means staying loyal to what you said you were going to do long after the mood you said it in has left you.

And attitude of gratitude creates blessings.

Give a stranger a smile, it may be the only sunshine they see all day.  

Never judge a book by it's cover, you just never know what stories are within.

© Christina Rowsell
Wherever the road in life takes you, trust that it's steering you towards your purpose.

At the end of the day, reflect on the past and look forward to the future. 

You can't take care of others until you take care of yourself.

Falling down is a part of life, it's how you get up is what counts.

And most importantly 
~ Life Lessons About Being A Mother ~
If ever you've wondered if you've found your soul mate, have a child.
If ever you've wondered if you've been blessed in your life, have a child.
If ever you've wondered if you've made a difference in the world, 
look through the eyes of a child.
If ever you wondered if you are loved, be a mother.
~ Christina Rowsell

© Christina Rowsell
About Christina Rowsell ~ Christina is the founder of The Brighter Side YYC.  She wanted to have a place people could go to find Good News, Great Ideas and meet Amazing People.  She's also a recognized broadcast professional, having been on the airwaves for over 20 years.  Currently, Christina is on the air from 10am - 3pm at Lite 95.9 in Calgary.  You will also find her behind the lens of her camera taking photos of "LIFE"!

Christina also loves having creative influence and expression with a company she co-founded with Sheri Bruneau called Brighter Business Empower Inc.  BBE is the place small business owners learn BIG ideas.  Empowering individuals to succeed in business.  

She is a mother, a wife, a sister, a niece, a daughter and a friend.  Follow Christina on Twitter @BrighterSideyyc, @RadioChristina, and @BBEmpower

Read Life Lessons ~ at 50 with Wanda Love, ~ at 40 with Christina Rowsell ~ at 30 with Billie Jo Ross. ~ at 20 with Megan Robinson.

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50 Years of Living

Inspired by Wanda Love

© Wanda Love
It wasn't that long ago I had the chance to work with Wanda Love while working at "Christina At Night" for Corus Entertainment.  At that time Wanda was working at Sante Spa.  Her life in the world of spas started after years of working in broadcast media.  Once she broke free of that, she discovered an exiting, fulfilling world in the spa industry.  She eventually became CEO of Canada's national spa industry association, Leading Spas of Canada.  And now... she lives in Moscow, writing spa articles and conducting spa reviews for a number of publications and web portals.  You can follow her here.

Wanda recently posted "50 Random Thoughts & Things I've Learned As I Turn 50".  Here are a few of my favorites: 

 Letting go is tough. But hanging on may be even more difficult.

 Take pictures. Doesn’t matter if they’re crappy. They’ll still remind you of something wonderful.

Wearing beautiful shoes can instantly elevate your mood.

© The Brighter Side YYC

Hearing the words “I love you” from anyone is pretty great. But from a little kid, it brings me to tears every time. They are just so genuine.

A good book and a glass of wine can offer a great escape.  

(Wanda, can I throw in a GREAT BLOG The Brighter Side!?)

Wanda I LOVE your random thoughts!  You can read the full 50 HERE!  Here's to "People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime!"  Follow Wanda on Twitter! And subscribe to her Blog!


Everyone has a story so pay attention

by Lacey Slater

A friend of mine recently shared this story with me and I asked her if we could share it with The Brighter Side.  I told her it was exactly what we're all about - sharing 
Good News, Great Ideas and Amazing People.  
Here is her inspirational story.

My husband and I set out on our weekly “Date Night” this past Wednesday off to our local IHOP for a light-hearted meal of “breakfast for dinner”.  It seemed like a fairly normal evening of laughs, when I noticed an elderly lady sitting alone at a table just down from ours.  She was well dressed, looked very nice (wearing a gorgeous animal print sweater) and reminded me of my own grandma.  I should mention that I currently live 3 hours away from my grandma, so my heart was feeling a little more empty and a little more open to this woman than usual.   I mentioned to my husband that it made my heart hurt seeing her sitting there alone with her senior omelet and decaf coffee.  He looked at me like I was crazy! I explained that under no circumstance would my grandma EVER have to eat dinner in a restaurant alone – there are just too many of us that care about her!  There was something that made my poor heart hurt so bad seeing her sitting there alone on a Wednesday night at IHOP.  Realistically, I know that maybe this woman just wanted a night out alone – I don’t know her! Maybe she is independent and enjoys evenings of quiet, stress free dining….but something in my gut told me that wasn’t the case.

My husband and I chatted about her for a while, the whole time myself convinced that this woman had a very sad story. I said to him, what if one day that is me sitting alone in an IHOP because you are not around.  He just laughed and called me a softy, but then agreed with me that we would pay for her meal.  I mean, I have more change on the floor of my car than her meal cost.  When our server came over (which I should add – she was a fantastic server – great service from this young girl), we asked for her to add the woman’s food to our bill.  Even the young server seemed surprised.  Is our world really in such a state that a stranger paying someone’s $10 bill is a shock? She had her manager add the women’s meal to our bill and off we went to pay at the front.

We didn’t want to be noticed or praised for this, we just wanted to put a smile on someone’s face and get outta there quietly.  While we were paying, I heard the woman ask her server for her bill.  The server told her, “Your bill has been taken care of.” I could hear the woman asking her server, “Why? I don’t understand?! By who?”  The server kindly told her that the young couple at the table a few down had offered to pay her bill. The women proceeded to be in awe, saying “ I just don’t understand why they would do that!”  The server left her with -  “I guess it’s your lucky day.”  

In the meantime, there was a rush of patrons entering the restaurant (who knew it was such a busy place for dinner on a Wednesday night?), and our effort to pay and get out of there quickly and unnoticed was slowly disappearing!  We didn’t want anything from this woman, not even a thank you. We just wanted her to leave feeling like someone out there cares!  Well, to no luck (in hindsight it WAS luck and you will see why soon), we went out into the parking lot where the woman stopped us.  She had tears in her eyes as she asked us why we did that for her.  We just said “because we wanted you to have a good night”.  Tears streaming, she proceeded to tell us that her husband was in the hospital for the last 4 weeks with major heart problems (and not doing well at all), and that, that was the reason she eating alone. She then proceeded to thank us multiple times. It took every ounce of strength in me to hold my tears back until we got in the car.

I shared our experience on my Facebook page later that evening and it managed to BLOW up my page.  We got over 100 likes from friends and family and a plethora of notes and comments on how we are “great”, “kind”, “full of love” – I didn’t post it for praise.  I just wanted people to know my heart was happy and show how easy it is to do something simple that changed this woman’s day (maybe even week or month). I hope that someone that read that post saw how simple it was to change someone day with very little required on our part.  My husband and I have now made a deal as part of our weekly “Date Night” to each week do something nice for a stranger.  It might be as simple as carrying a pregnant woman’s groceries to her car, pumping gas for an elderly person in the rain or just giving a gesture of kindness to a random person.

The world needs to take a step back and be kind to one another.  We are too self involved, self pitying and self righteous.  My grandfather said it wisely as a comment to our evening – “***** and ****'s kindness is infectious and spreads to all who their message reaches. The number of "likes" and comments on Facebook is testimony to that. Facebook is also a winner, instead of people's petty vanities and arrogance being posted for once there is a message worth reading. It perhaps requires now that more of us do a kind act.”  I couldn’t agree with this message more and encourage everyone to “liked” or “commented” to just do one kind thing for another person.

We didn’t know a single thing about this woman as we sat eating pancakes.  Like I said in the beginning, she could have very well just enjoyed dining solo.  But in an instant and a very small $10 later, I saw a glimmer of hope in a very sad woman’s eyes.  I'm glad there was a delay in paying our bill, as I was able to be a part of a moment in time where someone who was in major need of love and kindness received that.  And seriously for $10?!  You never know by looking at someone what they are going through. Whether someone they love has left them or been lost, they are fighting an illness or that they just lost their job. That money meant nothing to us! I spend that on Slurpee's on a Saturday!  But she got to leave feeling full of love – and that makes my heart smile!


 ©Lacey & Ellen
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