Good Afternoon from Napa, California! #Gratitude to all!
Today's Best You Daily Inspiration and Journal Prompt is about helping others.
Best You Daily will help guide you and your lifestyle to be the very best they can be. Following a few of my thoughts you'll find a journal prompt closer to the end of this blog. I hope you'll follow with me, as each day, I intend to give us all something to think about and/or write about through Best You Daily. We’re here to talk about your best life in 2017 and beyond. We’re here to learn to make some lasting changes in our lives.
I haven't written for a few days now. My husband, son and I have been traveling in Northern California. We moved to Maine from here in 2004 and decided to add on a few extra days to a business conference we are both speaking at for my husband's company, Ascendant Compliance. I got so caught up in the beauty of Walnut Creek, the mountains surrounding Tahoe, San Francisco and then Truckee that I thought I would just take pictures and post to social media with small updates and just be at the loss for words for a while.
But then on Monday, as it came time for us to head to the conference in Napa at the Meritage, I had a real loss for words as we received notice that Sonoma, Napa and surrounding areas were on fire. We were supposed to arrive on Monday night and while The Meritage was safe and a spot people were actually evacuating to, we learned that many had lost their lives, homes, and most of the area was covered in ash and the air was thick smoke.
We decided, since the conference didn't start until Tuesday that we would remain in Truckee for the night and go the next day or wait to see if the conference was cancelled.
The conference wasn't cancelled and the fire still wasn't having a direct impact on the resort, so we made our way to The Meritage. Yesterday for us was mostly about getting settled in, hearing the opening speaker of the conference and a reception - all which kept current events around us sharply in mind. In the afternoon, the smoke even cleared for a bit, but then in the evening the fire on the hill became very visible.
Yesterday the conference manager and I decided that we would sell Percolate and all the proceeds would go to the Red Cross. The conference also had other fundraisers.
I intended to be at a loss for words and not write anything until this morning. However, I was still gathering my thoughts and wasn't ready to write.
The whole time we've been here we chatted intentionally with each employee we've encountered because we know they are personally impacted in one way or another. Whether it's the valet standing outside in the smoke with his mask on to help people and not leave his post or the gentleman this morning who gave us our tea who was worried about his house being there when he got home from work because the winds had shifted again.
I don't know how much you can tell from this photo, today is much much worse. There is a very thick smoke and everything is covered in ash. You can see the worry in the faces of the employees who live near here. What stuns me the most however, is they are, despite pain and worry, opening doors for us. Even if we say, "No, please, let me get the door for you, " they decline and it's clear the people who work here are still catering to us to ensure we have the most pleasant stay possible. For me, it's not necessary. I'm a pretty hearty mom of four boys. So today, Quaid and I decided to turn it around and help and reach out to as many people as we could. We've smiled at people, chatted with people to hear their stories and what is happening in their lives and we've just flat out asked a lot of questions (already suspecting the answers) and just listened. We've been a shoulder to cry on twice.
I still didn't really want to write about it all, until about 30 minutes ago. I rode down in the elevator with a couple, their children and their dog. They had a bellman and bell cart with them in the elevator. The cart had like maybe 4-5 things on it. Nothing I could recognize as being needed for a hotel stay. I learned it was all they were able to grab before they evacuated. Their house is gone.
Stunned, I proceeded down to lunch to meet my husband and his colleagues or clients. I told him what had just happened and he shared with me that he had just chatted with another couple who had the same devastation.
Despite forcing myself to write this, I'm still really feeling at a loss for words. I'm not positive I've done much but merely scratch the surface.
I keep thinking of this: Be kind to all you meet for you don't know what is going on in the background of their lives.
BEST YOU DAILY JOURNAL PROMPT:
What does the kindness of strangers and listening to each other mean to you? (Feel free to reword that question so it applies to you.)
About Elizabeth Hamilton-Guarino
Elizabeth Hamilton-Guarino is a 19-year veteran of the financial services and regulatory compliance training industry. Now, a recognized leader in personal development, Elizabeth is the founder and CEO of The Best Ever You Network, a brand with more than one million followers in social media and over two million radio downloads on The Best Ever You Show.
With a mixture of humor and grace, Elizabeth helps people root in gratitude, discover motivation and implement positive, lasting change. An expert in mentoring people to market their strengths and achieve brand excellence, she works with clients worldwide to illuminate their light within, develop their best life and become their Best Ever You with gratitude-based behavior and belief systems.
Elizabeth’s book PERCOLATE – Let Your Best Self Filter Through (Hay House, 2014) has been called “charming” by Publisher’s Weekly, with “an ingenious extended coffee metaphor.” Guarino also ranks consistently as one of the top 40 social CEOs on Twitter and was just named a favorite by Oxford Said Business School. Her hashtags #BestEverYou and #TipstoBeYourBest are widely circulated.
Follow Elizabeth on Twitter @BestEverYou