It was a privilege to speak with Michael Chase, founder of The Kindness Center and author of am i being kind: how asking one simple question can change your life . . . and your world. Michael gave up a successful career in photography to devote his life to encouraging people all over the world to adopt kindness as a way of life. Click here to read more of Michael’s inspiring story.
Check out the one-year-later update from Michael at the bottom of this post.
INTERVIEW WITH MICHAEL CHASE (1 OF 3)
INTERVIEW WITH MICHAEL CHASE (2 OF 3)
INTERVIEW WITH MICHAEL CHASE (3 OF 3)
As a bonus, here is a Maine TV news segment on Michael’s “24 Hours of Kindness” project. On April 15-16, 2008, Michael and his kindness crew spent 24 straight hours on the streets of southern Maine performing more than 200 spontaneous acts of kindness. Their kindnesses included buying coffee for strangers, paying for people’s movie tickets, visiting schools and nursing homes, working in soup kitchens, helping the homeless, and handing out balloons, flowers and cookies.
UPDATE FROM MICHAEL CHASE
On August 12, 2010, a year after our video interview, Michael sent out this e-mail:
FROM TOLL HOUSE TO HAY HOUSE . . . AND THE POWER OF YES
When I began The Kindness Center, I knew kindness was a universal messagethat every person could relate to regardless of age, race, or religion. One of my earliest presentations was to an adorable group of about six or seven “Daisy Scouts.” Each one of them possessed the gifts of all great spiritual masters; they were joyful, curious, simple, and most of all, lived in the present moment. Watching them was like a meditation in itself. And although I wanted to share this philosophical observation with them (along with the secrets to the universe), I decided goody bags filled with stickers and candy might be a better way to keep these tiny gurus happy.
At the end of my talk, each of the girls looked exhausted and it was obvious they had had enough of “The Kindness Guy.” And to be perfectly honest, I was ready to go home, too. Mentally and physically, I was completely drained. Don’t get me wrong; the girls were sweet and the parents were wonderful . . . but this just wasn’t me. I truly love kids, but in my heart I know I am more authentic when speaking to middle-aged spiritual seekers like myself. And as I leaned against a wall of Crayola canvasses, staring at the pile of pink backpacks at my feet, I finally began to realize something: this was probably not the ideal audience for an inspirational speaker.
Hay House is the leader when it comes to life-changing events and self-improvement products. It is also home to some of the world’s most acclaimed authors and inspirational speakers, such as Dr. Wayne Dyer, Dr. Joan Borysenko, Cheryl Richardson, Dr. Christiane Northrup, and of course, the amazing founder, Louise Hay. But Hay House is much more than simply a premier company of world-renowned authors and speakers. Their events and products have literally changed millions of lives and elevated the consciousness of our planet. I can honestly say that their books have not only changed my life, but at one time . . . saved it.
Becoming a part of the Hay House family has been my greatest dream. For any author who writes personal development or metaphysical books, being published by Hay House is the highest honor. For years I have fantasized about sharing a stage with Dr. Wayne Dyer, traveling, speaking to thousands of people, and changing lives all over the world.
But let’s get real for a moment here. Working as an author and speaker with the world’s best is something that would obviously take years of hard work, the right connections, and perhaps a lifetime of good karma to accomplish. Especially for someone like me, who barely passed high school, has never taken a writing class in his life, and just two years ago, was deathly allergic to public speaking. To think that anyone could make the big leagues with such disadvantages is, of course, totally unrealistic. Right?
THE POWER OF YES . . .
I’ve learned that the power of “yes” is perhaps the most important step to manifesting any goal or dream. When we say, “yes” we are telling the universe that we are curious, courageous . . . and willing to take a risk. This openness also allows us to experience different paths, which ultimately can lead us to our heart’s desire.
Saying “yes” to a few crazy jobs, has without a doubt, brought me to where I am today. I now see how every talk I’ve delivered has strengthened my skills and allowed my speaking fee to be considerably more “cookie dough.” If it were not for those early, less-than-lucrative presentations, I would not have been ready when a golden opportunity knocked on my door . . .
This past spring, I signed my first publishing contract with, yes, you guessed it . . . Hay House. It’s been three months and I have yet to come down from the high. And although I fully recognize the vast amount of time and energy I’ve put into achieving this dream, I also believe that moments when I thought, “Cookies for a talk…that sounds interesting” or “Hmmm…a speech at a block party? Sure, what the hell.” are a major reason for my success today. Had I rejected the smaller jobs in the beginning of my career, I simply would not have been ready for the magic I am currently experiencing.
I encourage you to look at your own dreams with an open heart and mind. It is often the things we do not try (or say “no” to) which halt the process of manifesting. Consider any opportunities, even crazy ones, that may lead you closer to your goal. Be creative. Think outside the box. Say, “yes” to something that normally scares you. And always remember, sometimes a good chocolate chip cookie can be worth it’s weight in sugar, butter . . . and gold.
Peace & Love,
MY POSTS ON THE TRANSCENDENT POWER OF KINDNESS:
ABOUT PHIL BOLSTA
Phil is the author of Through God’s Eyes: Finding Peace and Purpose in a Troubled World, a comprehensive guide to living a spiritual life. Who will benefit from reading it?
Anyone who is on a spiritual path, or wants to start one
Anyone who loves life, or wants to learn how to
Anyone who is happy, or wants to be happier
Here is a two-minute video introduction to Through God’s Eyes.
• an overview of the book
• the complete table of contents
• the Foreword by Caroline Myss
• my Introduction
• chapter excerpts
• a sample end-of-chapter story
• endorsements from authors and thought leaders
Just click on the link below to download your free PDF sampler!
THROUGH GOD’S EYES PDF SAMPLER
Schedule a Mastery Mentoring phone session with Phil to learn how to apply principles of spiritual living more effortlessly and effectively. Priced affordably! Click here to e-mail Phil for details.
Phil is also the author of Sixty Seconds: One Moment Changes Everything, a collection of 45 inspiring, life-changing stories from prominent people he interviewed, including Joan Borysenko, Deepak Chopra, geneticist Dr. Francis Collins, acclaimed sportswriter Frank Deford, Dr. Larry Dossey, Wayne Dyer, Dan Millman, Caroline Myss, Dr. Christiane Northrup, Dr. Dean Ornish, Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen, Dr. Bernie Siegel, James Van Praagh, singer Billy Vera, Doreen Virtue, Neale Donald Walsch, and bassist Victor Wooten.
Reading this book is like spending a few minutes face to face with each of the contributors and listening to their personal stories. Click here to read unsolicited testimonials from readers. Learn more by visiting the official Sixty Seconds website.
Sixty Seconds was one of three finalists in the General Interest/How-To category at the 12th annual Visionary Awards presented by COVR (Coalition of Visionary Resources) in Denver on June 27, 2009.