Kindness, Cookies and Cooking

Submitted by Community Animator on February 11, 2015 - 12:35pm
Diane Yeo Meditation

I just finished making a big pot of chili and cookies for my neighbour Fraser who has been plowing my driveway after every snowfall…and it feels good! It feels good that someone would be so kind and it feels good to give back.

This good feeling brings me back to the neighbourhood that I grew up in. I lived on a street  with about 70 kids, so needless to say, I had a lot of playmates. And not only that, the parents on our block supported each other. We had a community. 

As sense of community is common in many places around the world, particularly in countries where they rely on each other for survival - but am I wrong to say that here we have moved away from community and connection?

In a time when technology provides more ways for people to connect instantly, we find ourselves living in a world with people who are very disconnected from themselves and one another.

The truth is it takes work to communicate and cultivate relationships. Sometimes it is sweet and sometimes it is challenging, but it can be so very rewarding when we take time to be kind, to listen, to give and to receive. This is how we grow as people and as a community.

How often do we get so caught up in our thoughts and in our life that we don’t even notice the people around us? As humans one of our basic needs of survival is to be connected. To feel a sense of love and belonging. Without it we don’t thrive. Without it we may feel empty or lack meaning and purpose in our life.
Let’s take the time to reflect on the simple ways that we can spread kindness and strengthen our sense of connection and community. Remember, we’re all in this together!

With loving kindness,


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Mindfulness in the Workplace

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Food for the Soul
Vegetarian Chili (or you can add meat)
There is nothing better on a cold winter's day!
6-8 servings

6 ¼ cups cooked kidney beans (2 ½ cups raw)
1 cup bulghar wheat (I used ‘ground round' vegetarian or ground beef)
3 cups canned tomatoes
4 cloves crushed garlic
1 ½ cups chopped onion
1 cup each chopped: celery, carrots, red pepper
juice of ½ lemon
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp basil
1 tsp chili powder
salt and pepper
3 Tbsp tomato paste
dash of cayenne
olive oil to sauté veg (3 Tbsp)

Saute onions and garlic in olive oil. Add carrots, celery and spices. When vegetables are almost done add peppers. Cook until tender. Combine all ingredients and simmer on low heat. It's even better the next day!

Simple ways to spread kindness
What could you do today to connect with someone?
Smile at the cashier, make eye contact and say ‘Thank you!’
Open the door for a complete stranger
Pay someone a compliment
Do something for someone without them even asking
Give just for the sake of giving

Cool community projects

My amazing niece Christie works for Tamarack and her focus is strengthening communities.
Check out all of their online resources and

Family Matters
Is created by my good friend John Cotton. It is a community initiative to empower
and equip families to talk about what matters to them.
Check them out on Facebook

'Happy'..a great movie to watch  (It's on Netflix)
I LOVE this movie! I have watched it so many times. It takes you on a compelling journey to different parts of the world to explore what actually makes us happy...(a little and spirituality are a part of it)

Words of Wisdom

"Simple kindness to one's self and all that lives is
the most powerful transformational force of all."   
David R. Hawkins

Diane Yeo