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Kindndess

How to make magic happen anywhere...

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How to make magic happen anywhere...

Over the past few months, we've been experimenting with a new idea -- a brunch adventure series called Serenflipity Saturdays. While getting out of your comfort zone is fun solo, we think it can be more fun together. 

Our most recent event was themed around March Magic, and our thirty attendees had 30 minutes to make magic happen for someone. So out we went, in groups of three, onto the streets of Venice to connect with each other and strangers and to see what we could create. 

One group started a game of "Trade Up" with a measuring tape they found on the ground; they met a group of women who had just come from an eating disorder walk and traded their measuring tape for affirmation cards. This group of women definitely took note of the symbolism of the trade, and the power of personal affirmation and positive self-work to trump physical measurement metrics. (A serenflipitous encounter indeed!) The trading up continued, and the artifacts that the team returned (Gjusta jam for one!) which were definitely envy-inducing! 

Another group treated a child to ice cream, and shared back that even more than the act of purchasing a gift for someone, the connection that was created with the boy and his father was most impactful. "I felt like I showed this little boy something positive -- and hopefully he'll remember that and want to do that for others. Small acts can lead to big, positive impacts," Tara shared. 

And yet another group spent time in the homeless encampment a block down. They received a note that says "stay positive," a stone that represents the magic of nature, a dollar, and a special, legal-in-LA surprise. "The big lesson for me today is that the magic I received from real connection from acknowledging others as humans and the power of love and acknowledgement," Aviva shared. 

Another group shared about the simple power of a smile in creating magic for another. "We walked by a cafe filled with people eating together and see this guy sitting all alone with his phone in front of him — and I knew I had to make magic for him. I decided I had to make him smile — so I walked straight up to him and did it! He was so grateful and mentioned how simple it can be to brighten someone up. So I asked him, 'are you gonna do it for someone else?' and he said, 'yes, of course!'" 

There are so many more stories, and the impact that compounds after these experiences continues to remind me that at the end of the day, we all want to connect and meet each other on a real level — beyond titles and formalities, but down to the human essence of who we are. And it can be as simple as a smile, words of acknowledgement, or purchasing a treat for someone. 

As we discovered together, kindness is magic. 

Enjoy some of the photos below! 

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How 7 Strangers Got SERENFLIPITY Into Beyonce's Hands

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How 7 Strangers Got SERENFLIPITY Into Beyonce's Hands

Last week, 850 SERENFLIPITIES got shipped to some serious A-list galas. A few challenges ensued -- to say the least! But with the help of strangers on platforms like Facebook, Uber and SHYP, it takes a little resilience, vulnerability and creativity to make almost anything happen. (And some good snacks!)

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How I Serenflipped My Way Out of a Brush With the Law

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How I Serenflipped My Way Out of a Brush With the Law

Tonight, SERENFLIPITY got me out of a ticket.

I was driving home from a long session shooting videos, and may have crossed over a divider a few seconds too late. Before I knew it, blaring lights and sirens were following me, shouting to get off at the next exit.

Crap. My first moving violation. Ever.

I pulled over, shaking and a bit nervous. Was I to play the tearful and helpless girl? Pretend I didn’t know what happened? I’m not a fan of using my femininity to get out of situations, so I decided to just be straight-forward and apologize.

I rolled down the window, and two cops towered over me, demanding the usual protocol that I’ve seen in movies.

“What do you do?” the cop asked me, as he looked at my license.

“I’m an entrepreneur,” I responded, figuring that was pretty safe.

“What do you create? Is it secret?” the other cop asked snidely.

“Well, I created these adventure cards that help you have more fun and serendipity in your life.” I responded, a little wary of how that would go over with two serious cops about to smack a fine on me. After all, fun and adventure aren’t the things you want to bring up with a cop who’s just pulled you over…

“No way…” the first cop lit up, as he responded. “Like what kind of adventures?”

“Here, I’ll show you… You guys can even pick a card to do.” I held out the deck to the two towering gentleman standing over me on a random exit in downtown LA.

They leafed through and started smiling.

“You better get on Shark Tank with this!” the first officer exclaimed. “Look, I have to find the oldest person I can and do something nice for them. It won’t be hard to find old guys back at the office!”

“Yeah, I wish people were nicer and did nice things for us. We’re not bad people,” the second officer joked as he flipped his card. “Hey — I have to buy the person behind me in line a coffee…”

“Well, you better stand behind him when you go get coffee,” I suggested to the first officer, and we all laughed.

“Listen,” the first cop got serious again. “You get yourself on TV with these cards and we’ll call this a warning. But I better see you on Shark Tank – deal? I’m gonna hold onto this card!”

Deal. Thank you, LAPD for the vote of confidence in my start up, and reminding me that simple acts of human connection and kindness can make even the most annoying situations into something serendipitous and positive. And for giving me a whole new edition to build: SERENFLIPITY for the glove compartment!

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Dude Looks Like A Lama: Getting A Mantra From An Unexpected Rockstar

Elizabeth Real challenged me to ask a stranger for a mantra, and what better stranger than an inspiring rock-n-roll hero.

In my hotel lobby, I saw a familiar face, long tousled hair and layers of distressed denim that only a famous rocker could wear as effortlessly as I wear my Lululemons. Unflanked by guards or an air of celebrity, he was perusing the shop windows, admiring sumptuous fabrics and sparkling gems just like any other well-heeled tourist. With my challenge in my wallet, I knew he would be the ideal person to ask. I back-and-forthed over whether to approach a lime-lighter clearly enjoying an off-stage moment, and how to acknowledge his celebrity, as I admired the showcases just a few feet away.

I overheard his familiar rasp, and figured he was put in my path for a reason.

“That’s a familiar voice!” I exclaimed, just as I might have to any other American thousands of miles from home. He smiled and turned and we began to chat about where each of us had lived.

“You lived in Aspen? Well, how’s your ass been?” He joked.

“Well it’s been great,” I responded with an exaggerated hip slap. “I’m on sabbatical for three months traveling the world.”

We chatted and laughed about travel and my three months off as we sauntered down the hall admiring jewelry, and picking up a few onlooking Americans in conversation.

“I have a strange request for you.” I summoned, after a deep breath. He looked at me, perhaps expecting an ask for an autograph or a large donation. “My friends are giving me challenges to do over my 90 days away, and today I have to ask a stranger for a mantra… Would you be up for giving me one?”

He smiled and crossed his arms in thought. “Wow, that’s a good challenge.” More pauses, an elbow to the wall and hand to the back of his head, and through his tousled hair. He paced and furrowed his brow.

“I’m sorry to ask you such a difficult question on your vacation,” I backtracked. “It’s completely fine if you can’t think of one.”

“No, no… This is good.” More pausing and thinking. “A mantra… Just one word?”

“Well, it can be a phrase, a word of advice, a flash of inspiration… Whatever comes to mind.” I was feeling like I had overstepped my bounds.

As he kept thinking and pacing, his friend assured me that I had indeed asked the right person. A few other hotel guests started to look on. More pauses. My brain quickly sidled up to gawk at the scene of one of the world’s most famous rockers pacing and thinking, and a trepidatious American fumbling and glancing around the marble hall: I can’t believe you asked this man for a mantra… And then, he had it.

The only way to get to the other shore is to lose sight of the one you’re on.

“This is amazing,” I beamed. “It’s perfect and so applicable to where I am right now.”

“Me too,” he smiled. “Me too.” Status and circumstance washed away, and we continued to chat as we walked down the hall, a small group of us connected by the desire to look to new shores. The type of shore we were each aiming for, fancy and famous or small and simple, seemed superfluous. Just knowing others, even the most celebrated, sought new shores and a little inspiration for the swim was a strong enough current to push me farther away from the fears of that familiar, footprinted sand I’ve treaded for so long.

Much of my travel has been about letting go of old ideas, whether my need to control and plan or my ability to turn a simple decision into a detailed drama. Over the past few months, I’ve had to let the current pull me farther from the plans I’ve pre-meditated and closer to the possibilities I can’t yet fathom. And what a laughably-perfect way to practice floating with the flow than to be presented with the need for a mantra and a superstar stranger.

I still hadn’t given nod to the fact that I knew how famous he was, and at this point in the conversation, it seemed odd to throw in how much I admired his work, how enthralled I was at age 9 by “Janie’s Got A Gun,” or to call him by name.

As we parted ways, we wished each other well on our respective shore-hopping journeys. I was reminded that lamas come in many forms and that we all can teach from our experiences. Anyone can be a lama, often unintentionally and sometimes just for a moment. You just have to ask.

Originally published on yestoexcess.com.

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