Have you ever met someone briefly and thought, “This is someone I will never forget?”
Last week was incredibly memorable. I was in three cities (Boston, Chicago, and St. Louis) within 5 days time, and it was all such a whirlwind! I feel sort of like there might never be another week in my life where so many heartbeeps come at me sooooo quickly.
I went to my favorite city, Chicago for an epic 24 hours of food, friends, and seeing Hamilton (someday I will blog about the words in this show, but I need more think time on that one) for the first time. Then, I traveled to St. Louis where I visited two schools in the Lindbergh District, Crestwood and Dressel. At both schools, there was so much LivBit spirit! Kids were soooo excited to hear my message AND learn how to make their own Bits. At one of the schools, the assistant principal dressed up as Helen the Shark, and the principal wore a ginormous shark head that he later gave me! I ended my time in St. Louis at the METC conference, where I was the closing keynote speaker. I saw old friends AND I made new friends everywhere I went.
But, heartbeeps find you at just the right times. You only need an open heart to feel them.
On our way from the STL airport to our hotel, we hopped in an Uber. Our driver, Michael was chatty and kind. I’m sure it doesn’t surprise anyone to hear, I usually talk a lot whenever I’m in a taxi or an Uber. My mum and me make friends wherever we go. So, it was no different when we were in STL. I told Michael all about what I was looking forward to, including getting to share my story with METC as the closing keynote speaker.
Michael shared a lot of beautiful ideas with us as we chatted. He talked about his path to peace, loving other people, and having a heart for the world. He also shared about how a lot of this came from feeling disappointed by others, but finding faith in ideas bigger than people. I don’t think it’s an accident Michael found us that day. If you’ve read any of my other blogs (check out #ForGood here: http://www.thelivbits.com/blog/previous/2), you know about my mum and me having incredible taxi and Uber karma.
I think good people find each other. I also believe the universe gives you gifts bigger than any material gifts you can ever be given. So, hearing Michael’s words that day were a reminder for my heart about how beautiful the world is. And, how loving through a hard time is so important. I thought about Holly McGhee’s words in my podcast, where she said Pascal Lemaître, her illustrator friend, sent her a message after 9/11 that touched her heart so much, she held onto it for years, until eventually they wrote a book together. Come With Me commemorates their friendship, and it also tells a story about love and light.
Michael dropped us off at the hotel for the conference that day, and, if I’m completely honest, I said goodbye, thanked him, and didn’t think I’d ever see him again. But, it’s ok, because when people share beautiful ideas, the heartbeeps they give you, stay with you forever. I carried around those heartbeeps from Michael for the entire conference.
My mum and I were sooooo busy at the conference! We presented together and we presented individually. Then, the big day was here before I knew it. As we were walking to the huge ballroom where I was going to speak, my mum gave me the same words she always gives me before I share my LivBit work: Be present, give love, listen to my heart and let it carry me through my speech.
As soon as I arrived in the room, I quickly mic’d up, tried out my step stool at the podium, and did a sound check. Then, the doors were opened and people began to stream in.
Minutes before I was going to step on the stage, someone tapped on my shoulder. When I turned around, I immediately grabbed my mum’s hand to get her attention. It was Michael, our Uber driver! He said he volunteered for the day at the conference, so that he could come to hear me speak. He was even wearing his BEST message shirt! I was stunned. I was honored. I let Michael’s surprise carry me onto the stage.
As I was speaking that day, I felt the kind of love for the world that comes when you realize strangers can quickly become people you will never forget. Strangers can be the people who teach your heart the kind of lessons that last for a lifetime. Strangers can give you the kind of heartbeeps that never fade away. Strangers can become friends.
Michael brought us back to the airport at the end of the conference. It was the best Uber ride ever. He couldn’t wait to talk to me about my speech, and he gave me a new word to think about. He said I was refulgent. I had no idea what that word meant. Then, he told it means to shine brightly.
So, think about the people you might see today, but not know. Take a minute, give them a smile, ask them a question, listen as they speak. In a world filled with strangers, think about how every, single person has the potential to be your Michael. Everyone has a Michael waiting for them. And, just like my Michael, you’ll be changed forever by knowing each other. Your light together creates heartbeeps for the world. Find that light and share it. The world needs more refulgence, and you have the power to make that happen, just like Michael made it happen for me.
A stranger is only unknown to you, until you ask them a question. As soon as you hear them answer, they have the potential to become a friend.
Share your light with the world. Share your light to change the world.
Keep reading! Keep thinking! And, thank you for following LivBits.
Have you reflected on the people who have made 2017 memorable?
This year I could buy my own Christmas gifts for a lot of really important people in my life. It’s not that I haven’t bought gifts for people with my own money in the past, but this year was a little different. LivBits has given me A LOT of incredible opportunities, and with every job I have, I donate a percent of the money I earn. I did research to find an organization (https://gifts.rescue.org/product/education/year-school-girl) I thought reflected the spirit of my LivBit work. I feel so proud that I was able to make donations in the names of people who have helped me grow my own reading, writing, and thinking, and together, we are sending girls in Afghanistan to school.
I am not sharing any of this in a bragging sort of way. I am sharing this because my LivBit work has made me understand the world more. I am not sure I would have thought much about girls in other parts of the world, and whether they had opportunities to learn and grow before I started LivBits. Now, I wish a lot for girls everywhere and I want to help them. When my friend Cris got her gift from me, she told me that educating girls means a more peaceful world. Cris’s words made me realize LivBits helps me put a tiny bit of peace into the universe.
Can you imagine if all kids had this opportunity? Peace on earth wouldn’t be a dream; it would be a reality!
So, as the New Year approaches, and the 2nd anniversary of LivBits gets closer (it’s in February), I’ve been thinking about all the incredible people I’ve met in the last year because of my work. The most beautiful realization is many of these people have moved from digital spaces, into real life spaces with me. Recently, my friend Heather remarked that it feels impossible that we’ve only known each other for one year. Yes, impossible because when your heart meets people you were meant to know, you get heartbeeps so deep that you are changed forever.
So, thank you to everyone who made 2017 the best LivBit year ever! Thank you for the small things, like posting, liking, and sharing my work because those are like virtual hugs! I hope I have hugged you in return! And, thank you for the BIG things, like helping me write my very first keynote (Muma and Pana); throwing me the best 10th birthday party ever (Elly, Heather, and Victoria – remember we have a date for my 20th birthday too); meeting me for breakfast at my favorite place in my favorite city (Sarah); coming to my final ballet performance in NYC (Victoria); taking me to my first (I say first because I know I will dissect many more) shark dissection (Heather); taking time at a conference to have dinner and talk and laugh and love around a big table (Cris, Deb, Heather, Sarah, Bridget, Lynda, Elly, Victoria). All of these memories have made my life so much sweeter! All of these memories mean that you gave me the gift of your time! I'm so lucky!
Kids appreciate grown ups who understand who we are, understand the people we are becoming, and respect the people in our family. It’s because of my Mum LivBits exists, so I’m really grateful that she puts things on pause so I can chase my dreams. And, I am even more grateful when my people become her people or, her people become my people! Me and Muma have sooooo much people love!
So this last blog post of 2017 is one that is filled with gratitude. I’ve changed this year because people have stood by me; accepted my annoying parts; listened and assured me when I had worries; sometimes read lots and lots of texts and/or messages from me, and, loved me anyway. I am not special in very many ways, but it is special that so many people have cared about me this year all because of LivBits. I’m so thankful!
Whose changed your life this year? Whose made your year sweeter? Who has changed you in ways you’ve never imagined possible? Who makes time for you even when it seems like time might not exist? Who do you imagine will be with you for eternity? Those are the people I hope you reach out to RIGHT NOW and let them know they give you heartbeeps.
So, what are you waiting for? The clock is ticking! Before 2018 is here, let your people know they’ve made a difference in your life. I promise, if you do, you’ll start the New Year with so much love, you’ll have to pass it onto others. Thank you for all the times you’ve done that for me.
Keep reading! Keep thinking! And, thank you for following LivBits!
Special shout out to my 2017 people:
Peter and Paul Reynolds; Pana Astavavatana; Alan November; Heather Lang; Cris Tovani; Victoria Coe; Elly Swartz; Booki Vivat; Hannah Cope; Holly McGhee; Cynthia Levinson; Helen MY Shark; Susan Bunch; Lindsay and Ella Currie; Susan Verde; Matt Soeth; Anne Collier; Senator Maggie Hassen (NH); Pam Allyn; Stephanie Madlinger; Jennifer Casa-Todd; Bobbi Hopkins; Jordan Matter; Meenoo Rami; Kristen Mattson; Nancy Watson; Kathy Buckley; Sarah Aronson; Marialice Curran; Jennifer Williams; Inge Wassmann; my Wonderopolis and Eduro people, and of course, Kristin Ziemke ❤️
Have you thought about words you’ve been gifted in 2017 and what you’re meant to learn from them?
When I first learned how to play the violin, my mum couldn’t wait for me to learn her favorite song, ‘Tis a Gift to be Simple.” She’d hum it all the time and when we were on our way to activities, she’d play it in the car. Sometimes, in the evening, she’d play the song while daddy was cooking dinner. I know this song by heart, so it made me happy when I finally learned to play it.
‘Tis the gift to be simple, ‘tis the gift to be free,
'Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be…
‘Tis the gift to be loved and that love to return,
'Tis the gift to be taught and a richer gift to learn…
This song has beautiful words about learning, love, and life.
LivBits is my simple gift for the world and it’s taught me many things. Maybe simple life words mean more to me now because of my LivBit work; words like giving, loving, fleeting, and blessings. I am so thankful for these words because they truly define my 2017.
Giving is such a beautiful word. In the last year, I’ve learned how giving the world can be. In so many instances, I’ve been the receiver of so many gifts, like encouraging words, books from authors, and opportunities that have helped me understand myself as a learner, and I’ve worked hard to be giving too! I want to give the world happy thoughts, smiles, and things to think about. I am grateful so many people care enough to be a part of my LivBt journey. Giving is definitely a defining 2017 word for me!
I’ve written before about how my mum says I love BIG. And, the best part about loving BIG is when you get love back! One of the things my LivBit work has shown me is how powerful putting love into the world FEELS. Love is like a boomerang, put it out there and it comes right back to you! I believe all people need more love, and I’m happy to give it! Loving is definitely a defining 2017 word for me!
I think when you chose to love; you have to accept some people you love aren’t meant to stay forever. This is probably the HARDEST lesson I’ve learned this year. In fact, I didn’t even know this word until this morning when I was talking about this blog post with a friend. This year, I’ve learned that some people I’ve loved BIG are just fleeting relationships. I am still unsure why that has to happen because it makes MORE sense to me when you love someone sooooo much, they should stay forever. But, I’ve learned people come and go, and I have to learn to be OK with it. I’m not going to lie; it’s not OK yet. I’m loyal and true, and fleeting seems sad and shallow. Fleeting is definitely a defining (grown up) 2017 word for me.
My biggest wish for the world is that people have blessings that help them feel connected, care for, and loved. This year, I’ve felt so many blessings, it’s hard to count them, but I hope I’ve blessed people too! Blessings are a two-way street, the more you bless, the more you’re blessed in return. I think there’s a reason this word is connected to people’s faith, it’s because feeling blessed is probably one of the most humbling feelings a person can feel; you feel like you are connected to something much, much bigger than yourself. I am so grateful I’ve felt blessings this year that these words seem too simple. But, I go back to ‘Tis a Gift’s lyrics, and I know that simple is actually really powerful. Blessing is definitely a defining 2017 word for me!
I challenge you to think about this post and decide what your defining words are for 2017. Share those words in the comments; I promise your words will seem bigger if you share them! Maybe you’ll even ask the people you love about their words, and we’ll start a 2017 word avalanche! I can’t think of a better way to end this year than with a word avalanche!
Thank you for sticking with me, encouraging me, and helping me share my thinking with the world! It’s because of all of you LivBits matters, and I promise I will keep trying to put good in the world forever and ever in my own simple ways.
Keep reading! Keep thinking! And, thank you for following LivBits!
Have you ever wondered what you can do to help people who feel left out?
Today is “twin day” at my school. As you can probably guess, it’s a day when kids get together and coordinate outfits to look like twins. It’s also a way to show some school spirit. I’ve been looking forward to this day for weeks because it means I can connect with my friends in a fun and cute way!
All weekend long, I bugged everyone with my excitement! I talk about what I’d be wearing with my friends; I talked about what other people said they would be wearing; I talked about how funny it would be if my two teachers decided to be twins too! Basically, I talked about this idea until people rolled their eyes when I brought up.
Here’s the thing, mostly, I was thinking about this day from MY perspective. This is important because my dad had ideas about twin day, but he didn’t say much to me when I was bugging him with my excitement.
This weekend, I also went to see the movie Wonder. The movie was INCREDIBLE and inspiring in so many ways. Sometimes when books get made into movies, you leave feeling disappointed. I promise, this one won’t disappoint you!
At the end of the movie, my heart was feeling a little ache that’s hard to describe. I left the theater thinking lots of things about life. I thought about kids at my school other people don’t pay much attention to or who aren’t included in ways that help them feel like part of the school community. I talked about it with my dad. He asked me an important question: “Liv, who's your Auggie?”
I can’t tell you how this simple question made me think about many things; my school, my life, and most importantly, my family. My dad talked to me the whole way home. He asked me to consider Twin Day. He asked me to think about the kid at school who might not have a friend to twin with. He asked me to think about Quinn.
My brother, Quinn doesn’t have a physical deformity like Auggie. His struggles are more on the inside. Sometimes he can hide his struggles, and no one notices. And, other times, hiding his struggles is really hard and exhausting.
Quinn doesn’t have anyone to twin with today; the heartache I felt after I saw Wonder is with me again. I think it’s the ache that comes when you love someone sooooo much you wish you could make things better. I asked Quinn to twin with me, but he wasn’t really into doing that. It sort of screams, “I HAVE NO FRIENDS SO I AM TWINNING WITH MY SISTER!!!!” Yeah, that’s not cool. But, I got him to agree to twin in a very subtle way. Today we are wearing the same shark bracelets. It’s my way of including Quinn.
I hope everyone reading this thinks about the underdog. Sometimes your Auggie is right in front of you. RJ Palacio made Auggie’s disability something really dramatic, so that we would stop and think deeply about how we treat others. Auggie’s face is something we can’t miss. But, here’s the thing, maybe we miss A LOT of people’s differences because we have to look deeper; their difference isn’t something right on their face.
Think about how you include others. Think beyond the obvious differences and look deeper. Think about your behavior and whether or not you truly reach out to those in need. Think about how being kind is more than a hashtag; it’s thinking beyond your own perspective.
If I get to see RJ again, I’m going hug her soooooo hard for all the ways she made me think about my life. It’s true that books can change you. Wonder made me realize what’s right in front of me.
Today I dressed like my friends for Twin Day. But, I also brought a bag full of shark bracelets for all the kids in my class. That way, we are ALL connected, and we are also connected back to Quinn, my Auggie and my heart.
Keep Reading! Keep Thinking! And, thank you for following LivBits.
Have you ever visited a place and felt like your heart was meant to be there?
This week I was in Miami for the ShiftinEDU conference. I feel really lucky that my Building Learning Communities (BLC) friend, Inge invited me to be a speaker. Before the conference began, I got to visit the school responsible for creating and hosting ShiftinEDU.
St. Stephen’s Episcopal Day School sits in the middle of Coconut Grove, surrounded by yummy places to eat and shops that have loads of interesting Florida-y clothes. The first feeling I got in my heart for St. Stephen's was that it hummed happy.
The minute I walked through the front gate it was like the school hugged me. At the morning ceremony, I got my first glimpse of the students and teachers at St. Stephen's. It was almost as if they decided to dress with LivBit in mind. Normally they wear uniforms, but today they dressed as their favorite book characters. There were loads of kids in Harry Potter garb, several Pinkalicious fans, some Piggy and Elephants, but NOTHING topped the kindergartner dressed as Captain Underpants! I just knew the day was going to be incredibly special with such an EPIC beginning!
St. Stephen’s has a very inspiring motto: think, love, grow. As I visited and worked with the kids, I thought about how much MY love for learning and understanding the world was growing. It’s like my time at St. Stephen's perfectly reflected the school’s motto.
The kids at St. Stephen’s are encouraged to take risks in their thinking and learning; support each other’s ideas; use technology in interesting and innovative ways; and value each other’s differences. I noticed older kids supporting younger students with compassion. I saw so much happy at this school it made me want to stay forever.
My time in Miami made me wishful for ALL kids.
Kids need teachers who encourage them to grow interests and passions. Kids deserve time to use technology to create and connect with people who can help them think deeply about their interests. Kids depend on grown ups who understand the power of digital spaces and encourage them to be connected. Kids need to know they are safe to be who they are meant to be and every bit of who they are as a person is valued. Most of all, kids deserve to learn in spaces that are safe, joyful, and welcoming.
Kids can’t think, love, grow in joyless places. ALL schools should hum happy.
So, think about your school community. Does it hum happy? What do people feel when they enter your building? Is it a joyful learning place?
I hope this blog inspires you to take action and become an agent of happiness! Kids NEED you to hum happy! I hope you join me in this happiness campaign! Let’s help ALL kids think, love, grow.
Thank you to my friends at St. Stephen's Episcopal Day School in Miami, FL for helping my heart see how powerful happiness is to the world. If I could have stayed with you forever, I would have! And, a very special danke je to #MyDutchTeacher, Inge for believing in my LivBit work. Ik heb je lief!
Keep reading! Keep thinking! And, thank you for following LivBits!
Have you ever thought about the power of your digital patterns?
Digital patterns are the story you tell in your posts, the kind of support you give to others, and the way others understand you online. Digital patterns are powerful and important when we think about identity. This year I’ve done a lot of thinking about my digital patterns and the story I tell through my work online.
I’m a dreamer. My heart carries big ideas about the world I hope come true. It’s the reason LivBits started. I dreamed about sharing my story with the world, and I hoped the world would care.
I’ve learned that sometimes when you’re a dreamer, you meet people who don’t believe in dreams. Sometimes they say things to discourage you. Sometimes they act in disappointing ways. Sometimes they work against you by doing things that are confusing.
At a recent conference presentation, someone asked me if kids are jealous of my work. It was a question I had never been asked before, so it really made me think. The truth is, most kids don’t care about my work unless grown ups share it with them in a positive way. It’s sort of like kids are busy doing their own thing. With the exception of a few mean kids at my school, (and they’d be mean even if I didn’t do LivBits), most kids have no idea what LivBits is or how much it means to me. I don’t share much about my LivBit life at school because I never want people to think I am bragging.
But, grown ups are another story. When the person asked me the question about kids and jealousy, I answered honestly. I shared that kids are mostly fine, but grown ups are weird. I’ve had grown ups stop following me, stop encouraging me, and say terrible things about me, and sometimes my mum. I think my mum is a target because she believes in me no matter what. After my session, several people from the audience came up to me to say I MUST be misunderstanding the grown ups. It was like they had to convince themselves that grown ups could never mistreat a kid.
But, guess what? It’s true. Grown ups have mistreated, taken advantage, and disregarded me. I think if people knew who some of these grown ups are, it would shock them. Sometimes grown ups spend a lot of time excusing the behavior of other grown ups when they would never allow this behavior from kids. It’s sort of like people saying grown ups can’t learn anything from kids.
It’s Media Literacy Week and in lots of places people are gathering to talk about important things related to online work. I hope those big thinkers remember there are dreamers like me who understand the power of being connected. We also understand the power of our behavior.
It doesn’t take a lot to show someone you care on social media. It can be as small as liking, sharing, or commenting on their posts. I’m learning how to stop looking at other people’s feed and noticing how some of my former encouragers are now promoting other people. It’s hard on my heart, but an important heart lesson to learn. I’m also learning to focus on the people who don’t mind my texts, take time to answer questions, and truly share the joy of my LivBit work. Those people haven’t stopped liking or sharing my work. They’ve stayed consistent in their support, and I’m incredibly grateful for them.
Truthfully, none of these things are social media lessons, they’re life lessons. People move on. Sometimes people you love move on without you. I’ve learned some people are better at loving than others.
The best part of my LivBit story is there are MORE people who encourage than discourage; MORE heartbeeps than heartache; and MANY digital connections that have turned into real friendships.
So, I hope you take some time this week to think about your digital patterns. I hope you reach out to people in positive ways, and reconnect with people you may have left behind. I hope you’re brave when things get tough, and help others find their brave when they need it. I hope you shine so much awesome that the world can’t help but notice because, after all, the world can never have too much awesome!
Keep reading! Keep thinking! And, thank you for following LivBits!
Have you ever thought about the power of kids taking action for justice in their school communities?
Lately, I’ve been calling myself a book activist. I thought it was important to start sharing this title after hearing people talk about me at a conference. They said, “Oh, that’s Liv, the kid who loves books.” There’s nothing wrong with being called a kid who loves books, but I just felt like that wasn’t the best way to describe me. I feel like there is more to my work on LivBits than just showing book love. I am a creator, wisher, hoper, difference maker, an activist.
Being an activist seems to encompass everything that I hope for in my LivBit work. I got excited about the idea of being an activist after my mum described my obsession with words as activism for the dictionary. I thought if I could be an activist for the dictionary or words, I can be an activist for books. And, that’s an important job for the world.
As a book activist, I have to show the power stories have to make people’s lives better. Lots of times when it comes to justice, people have lots of opinions, but not a lot of action. I always hope my LivBit videos inspire people to take action around an idea they have or a passion they want to share with the world. Taking action can be as simple as re-tweeting, commenting, or liking a post to raise awareness to a cause that’s important to you. That's a great first step before you think about taking bigger action around your cause.
I first started thinking about the idea of justice when one of my Twitter followers commented how my LivBit videos showed my commitment to social justice. I didn’t even know what that was. But, the comment made me curious and I began researching the idea, and I felt so proud that a follower thought of my work this way.
Now, I know LivBits IS about justice. Lots of the Bits I make are about things I hope will get better or change. Sometimes the things I think about are so big inside my brain, the only way for me to begin to understand them more is to read, wonder, talk, think, and write. It’s true the more you wonder, the more you question, and the more you question, the more you wonder all over again! Making LivBits helps me take action with my wonders.
The best thing about LivBits is learning from the people I meet. I have another idea about kids and justice now, thanks to a little school in the Berkshires of Massachusetts.
Last week I met a small group of kids from the Kittredge School who call themselves the Justice League. Their goal is to make their school a better place. Each of them identified a super power they have to encourage more justice in their school community. With super powers like, the power of heartbeat, acceptance, perseverance, and love, I am certain they will be a powerful influence at Kittredge. But, the most important thing I learned from this group is how incredible kids can be for our future. The Justice League loved their school enough to take a risk, join together, and share their powers with all Kittredge kids. These kids understand the power of justice AND action. I feel so proud they made me an honorary member. Can you guess what my super power is? Of course, it’s the power of words! I'm Word Girl!
Can you imagine if we had Justice Leagues in every single school in the world? Can you imagine if we thought about the power of sharing hope, kindness, and love like the Justice League at Kittredge School?
Think about the power of justice in your life; the power of taking action; and the power of learning from others. Then, be your own Justice League, take action, and do something good for the world. I promise, your heart will beep so hard, you’ll never be the same!
Keep reading! Keep thinking! And, thank you for following LivBits!
Have you thought about the power a song can have in your life?
If you do one thing after reading this blog post, I hope you download Pink’s song, What About Us. It’s THE perfect #DigCit week anthem for loads of reasons, but it is also just an INCREDIBLE life song. I want to share some thoughts on digital citizenship, and using Pink’s lyrics is the perfect way to inspire my thinking.
We are searchlights, we can see in the dark…
Much of what I do online is a search for meaning. I look for people to connect with who will grow my thinking, causes, and my ideas. I’m a searchlight thinking about how I can shine light on other people’s causes, and I hope they will shine light on my work too. Every retweet, like, and comment adds a bright spark to someone’s work, so get out there and add sparks to someone you know and admire!
We are rockets, pointed up at the stars…
In some ways, my online life has been like a rocket in the last year. I’ve met so many incredible people and had experiences I never imagined possible. Without being a connected learner none of these things would have ever happened. I’ve met hundreds of authors online who have grown my book activism, but more importantly they’ve grown my heart for words and the world! Being a connected learner opens a universe of opportunities, so get out there and connect your stars!
We are billions of beautiful hearts...
It’s true that there is more GOOD online, than bad. Yes, there are trolls and haters, but you can block those people and bloom in so many ways, even after a bad experience. The hardest lesson I’ve learned this year is realizing people you thought were your supporters for life can move on. It’s the most difficult thing for me to understand because I see my online life as REAL. What I mean is when I see your beautiful heart, I want to hold onto it forever. I wish when people saw my heart, they felt the same kind of forever. Sometimes digital connectors don’t define forever in the same way. So, be the kind of beautiful heart who holds onto someone forever! Forever is sooooo amazing!
Many fooled us…enough is enough…
This song gives us a mission about thinking deeply about relationships. It can be hard to understand who is real, and who isn’t; who is supportive and who is lurking; who feels jealousy and who feels genuine happiness when you’ve accomplished something big. Social media puts a magnifying glass on all these things. One word my mum and I have talked about A LOT is authenticity. Think about the authentic voices you know and LISTEN. Don’t be fooled by the people who try to knock you off your game. Be real and feel the joy with people who are ready to love you BIG!
We are problems that want to be solved…we are children that need to be loved…
There NEEDS to be space for kid voices in this big world. Kids can do amazing things; all they need is a grown up who believes in them. Last weekend, I met Magic Johnson (yes, THE Magic Johnson) at the National Families Learning Conference in Tucson, AZ. He said some words in his keynote that made me think hard. Magic shared how he NEEDED people to see his worth. Even though he is successful, he STILL needs people to affirm and reassure him. I think we ALL need reassurance. On social media, you can affirm people by simply liking or retweeting. It’s that simple. You can SHOW your love and support with a click. So I challenge you to reach out and connect with someone you know might need an extra lift. Look beyond your obvious people and find someone new!
It's the start of us, waking up…are you ready? I'll be ready…
Sometimes I worry about my people. If you are my people, you already know about my worries. Sorry! Mostly, I worry about people leaving. This worry is because of an accident I saw happen where I almost lost someone I love very much. My worries made me wake up to BIG ideas about love and life. EVERYONE needs to know that they have a place in a person’s heart that has some permanence. I have a word for this: HEARTBEEPS. If you follow me you probably see me use it a lot. When I feel heartbeeps for someone, it’s the best feeling ever! It’s a feeling I hope never leaves. Think about the people you know and wake up to the power of heartbeeps! It’s the best kind of love you can feel and can carry you into your forever!
So, what about you? What about us? Let’s make a difference together. Let’s change the world. Let’s BE more. DO more. CARE more. HUG more. Let’s hug as hard as Magic Johnson! Believe me, he hugs HARD! I felt it for DAYS! Let’s LOVE more! If we do all that, the whole world will have soooooo many heartbeeps, it will never be the same.
Keep Reading! Keep Thinking! And, thank you for following LivBits!
Have you ever thought about the power of NOW in your life?
This weekend I was at my favorite bookstore, The Blue Bunny in Dedham, MA for an event celebrating International Dot Day. High up on a shelf, I saw a book display and one book stood out to me from the rest. Its read lettered title Now and cover with one eye peeking from behind a leaf, made me curious and eager to hold the book in my hands. Since it was too high for me to reach, I asked my mum to get it down for me.
As soon as it was in my hands, it was like the book hummed its message into my heart. Thank you Antoinette Portis for giving the world these words.
I’ve learned A LOT of things this year from my LivBit work. One of the most important lessons is about appreciating people who matter. I’m lucky because there are so many people who have helped make my LivBit work successful. Some of those people, like my mum, I see a lot, but others, like my Taiwan teacher, Pana live super far away, and I don’t get to see them very often.
But, here’s the thing, when you understand time a little better, you realize it’s super important to let people know how important they are to you. In an earlier blog post #HeartFamily (http://www.thelivbits.com/blog/previous/2), I talked about how I sent someone I loved #hearttags every morning. My #hearttags were words I hoped would make her heartbeep. I did this for weeks because I wanted to show her how much I cared about her. I’m not sure if those words really mattered to her, she never really said, but I know that doing those #hearttags helped my heart understand NOW a little better.
One of the things I did at the beginning of this year was write poems. I am not really a poet though, so they were sort of sad and rambling. I wrote them as a way to work through something that was super hard for my brain to understand and sometimes words make me feel better. I didn’t write any poems that were spectacular, but there was one part of a poem I still think about. The poem was called “Your Somebody.”
I’m not a decade
but I know,
you can rush to your
and not find
You can swim in
an ocean of words
and still not find
You can stand on
the shoulders of others
and still be blind to
The point of my poem was to remind people to appreciate others. If you are very lucky, you have people in your family who believe in you, but if you are INCREDIBLY lucky, you have people OUTSIDE of your family who believe in you. Lots of time people say, “Liv, how do you know these things? You’re only 10.” Well, that’s sort of like saying kids can’t have wisdom.
I know about the power of NOW because I understand how to love people. I know love is important. I know people are important. And, it really is that simple.
So, I wish you LOTS of NOW. I wish you moments that make your heartbeep. I wish you people that make you feel special and important. I hope that today you find someone who needs love and you give it to them.
I know the power of yet is super popular right now, but I wish you the power of NOW. Take a minute to step away from being busy and appreciate the people around you. Take a minute and send a text, write a comment, give a hug. Just do it. It will make right NOW so much sweeter.
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Have you ever thought about the power of your wishes for the world?
Two summers ago, I visited NYC for the very first time. The first night we were there, my mum and I went to the top of the Empire State Building. It was hot and crowded, but the view was INCREDIBLE! It was like being on top of a world I never knew existed, and it gave me so many heartbeeps for the city.
While we were on the observation deck, a group of teenagers was fooling around shouting things about planes hitting buildings. They annoyed me and made everyone tense, sad, and some angry. Security came and took them away.
Later, while we were in the taxi going back to our hotel, I asked my mum why so many people seemed so sad after the teenagers were taken away. I thought it was because they were rude and wild and being disrespectful. But, the story my mum shared made my heartbeep in a way I have never felt before.
I wasn’t born when 9/11 happened. And, until that night on the observation deck, I didn’t know planes could hit buildings. I was eight. I didn’t REALLY know that people could be so bad. I asked my mum a lot of questions. I asked her so many that she cried. And, I cried. It seemed like the world I thought I lived in wasn’t really the world I was in.
In some ways my heart for the world grew bigger that summer. I started wishing harder for love. And, it’s funny because when you wish for love, you find it in so many places. I found it all over NYC. When I was walking down the street, I saw love everywhere. It’s like NYC hummed so much love that I couldn’t help but feel it!
Since that first time in the city, I’ve been back many times and when I am there, I feel a little like it’s my home. The city reminds me of the potential of people. Maybe it’s because I feel like a little piece of my kid heart grew up there. Now when I am there, I feel wiser, like I can do something that matters for the world.
I am not exactly sure what it is I can do, but I do know I can love more, I can give more, and I can be more for other people.
Last week, I was feeling incredible sadness about a grown up in my life. I was wishing I had the right words to let her know how important she is to my heart. I thought having the right words might make her understand me a little better. Then, I thought about what I know about love, and I decided to just love more. Sometimes, love is all I have.
So, on this 9/11 anniversary, I wish you love. I wish you the kind of love that gives you heartbeeps. I wish you loads of people who make you feel important.
Be a wisher of love. Take a minute today to send some love wishes. Tell someone how important they are to you. Hug someone hard and make a memory. Be the kind of person that lifts someone for no reason other than it feels good to put love in the world. Then, tomorrow, I hope you are a wisher of love all over again.
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Hi, I'm Liv and I am super excited to share my thinking with you!