Spreading Gratitude with Friends & Family

2 Aug

A good friend of mine, Monica Watson tagged me in a 5 day Gratitude – Happiness Challenge on Face Book last week and it seems to be taking off in a very positive way.

What a simple exercise to spread positive vibes and a spiritual awareness of the many blessings we have in life. The nomination is simple. Write , post pictures or share a video with three things you’re Grateful for each day for five days and tag a friend to do the same. Sit back and enjoy the Happiness you receive from reading and viewing the many gifts your friends and or complete strangers share. Be the Change. Pay It Forward.

Give it a try!

Expressions of Gratitude from New Brunswick

27 Jul

Dad, “this was the second best vacation we’ve ever taken” was a comment from my oldest daughter, referring to the week spent touring some of the most beautiful places in our picture Province. Of course her best vacation was in reference to Disney a couple years back.

Our week started off with a couple nights on the Belleissle Bay. Swimming, golf, beach combing, camp fires and family made for a great time. So grateful to be able to use my sisters trailer with the girls. Reading on the beach and by the pool is truly a gift in summer. A steady supply of ice cream helps the soul too.

Next, we drove to the Miramichi to experience Tree House Camping and Tubing in beautiful surroundings. There’s something about camping in a tree house that makes you feel like a kid again. Telling scary stories and being completely present with my girls was a wonderful feeling. Stewarts Tubing is a great family run business that offers river tubing for people of all ages. If you’re really brave, try the 1000 foot repelling adventure over the river.
Another major highlight of the trip included seeing a black bear, numerous deer, a bunny rabbit and gophers.


Finally, we spent three fun filled days at Fundy National Park at Highlands Cabins. Another gem of a destination in New Brunswick. So much to do at Fundy and around the Alma area. Some of out highlights included a round of golf at Fundy, hiking and waterfalls, horseback riding at Broadleaf Ranch, swimming in a salt water pool and experiencing a gorgeous sunset Cape Enrage. The pictures I’ve included are expressions of Gratitude and the Serenity I experienced with my daughters.

Thank you Lauryn and Madison for making memories that will surely last a lifetime. 20140727-084732-31652356.jpg





















The Kindess Project & Your School

26 Jul

Pay It Forward has a new Kindness project that has gone live and it’s name is “Ripil”!

We believe this platform will be great for schools and influential with students and their overall behavior towards each other. Not only can students sign up for their own individual accounts but teachers, grades and even schools themselves will have the ability to sign up for group accounts.

This is where the fun comes in as these different groups can compete against each other in Kindness competitions, Grade vs grade, school vs school, we can even do custom Competitions for your district, city or State. These Kind acts are spread throughout the school, make their way home to friends and family and then out into the surrounding communities, all beginning with the students of your school.

This platform/app is now available via iPhone/iPad (Android coming in August) and can be downloaded for FREE at the Link below. Let me know what you think and if you have any questions.


Michael on Behalf of Charley Johnson and Pay It Forward.


Ripil is a free app that lets you connect with people on a human level, express your kindness toward the world around you, and allows you to keep track of the continued good that happens after your deed is accomplished.

Earn badges and increase your kindness score by logging everyday deeds, recruiting new people to Ripil, and by getting your deeds passed on. The interactive Ripil map will allow you to follow the next step in your deeds journey.

Your deed could be passed on to a friend, someone you’ve never met, maybe even a popular celebrity or athlete, even the President of the United States. Who knows, your “ripil” could lead to a world change.

Become the kindest person in your city via the Ripil Leaderboard that keeps track of the Top 10 kindest people in the Top 10 kindest cities around the world.

Compete in “head to head” kindness challenges with your friends, have your city go up against another city to see who is kinder, or have a local school challenge another school to see who’s students can hit a certain amount of deeds first. Companies small and large can compete with each other as well as we find out who the kindest companies in the world are.

Ripil can be your own personal kindness journal or a way to share more kindness throughout the world.

Gratitude has become my new Attitude

13 Jul

Some people would say that when life is going well, gratitude comes easy, but what about when life goes badly?
Personally, I have found that under crisis conditions is when I have the most to gain by a grateful perspective in life. In the face of brokenness and despair gratitude has helped me to energize, heal, and bring hope for the future.

Don’t get me wrong, gratitude does come easier when things in life are running smoothly. Most people don’t feel grateful when they’ve lost their job, spouse, home or health for example. Personally, I’ve taken a different perspective. I’ve made a distinction between feeling grateful and being grateful. I recognize that my feelings are aligned with how I look at the world, thoughts I have about the way things are in the world and my expectations of how things should be.

For me, being grateful has become a daily choice and an attitude about how things are just as God wants them to be at this very moment. This perspective has helped me accept things on life’s terms and not to be completely overwhelmed by temporary circumstances. In these ways, remembering the bad has helped me appreciate the good.

I have so many reasons to be Grateful, but here are 10 things I’m grateful for today. I’m grateful for:

1. My parents- for giving birth to me. If there was no them, there would be no me.
2. My two Daughters- for loving me unconditionally.
3. My Family- for being my closest and most supportive kin in the world.
4. My good health- for enabling me to do what I want and for what I’m about to do in the future.
5. Fears- so I know the opportunities for my growth.
6. Disappointments- so I know the things that matter most.
7. Pain- for me to become a stronger person.
8. Happiness- for me to soak in the beauty if life.
9. My mistakes- for helping me to improve and become a better person.
10. Life- for giving me the chance to experience all that I’m experiencing, and will be experiencing in time to come.


Putting up a Parking Lot City

9 Jul

Did you know that the Saint John Parking Commission has applied to turn the site of former Paramount Theatre into a 72 space parking lot?

As a former member of the City of Saint John’s Planning Advisory Committee, I hope the current membership will take a close look at this application and take into consideration the current state of temporary parking lots popping up around our city not to mention the mostly empty NEW parking garage at Peel Plaza that is only a couple blocks away from the proposed site.

My experience with temporary parking lot applications is a that they become mostly permanent fixtures in an urban environment. The proposed site at King Square is located in one of the most historic and beautiful locations in our Renaissance City.

If there was ever a time for Mayor Norton to get involved in policy decision, this is perfect timing. I’m confident that Mayor Mel will have something to say about this proposal. This parking lot proposal is ridiculous on so many levels. There is currently a parking lot on our historic King Square and adding a second should not be an option.

During the course of this Mayor and Council’s mandate, Mayor Mel and others have worked hard to brand our community as a #RenaisanceCity . This proposal completely contradicts our City’s mission to make this a #PeopleCity and not a #ParkingCity.
Further, huge parking lots in desirable development districts mean that huge parcels of land are required for commercial development. This means that residential, single-family development is farther away and more difficult to serve with public transportation. This creates a self-perpetuating cycle of sprawl.
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