Thursday, April 29, 2010

UOWHO: The Random Acts of Kindness Bracelet

April 29, 2010 is Pay It Forward Day

© 2010
by Joyce Mason

I am a great proponent of acts of kindness, random or otherwise. I discovered UOWHO (You Owe Who?) on Twitter. I knew you’d want to hear about this unique idea for fundraising, fun raising, and raising your KQ—Kindness Quotient. Anyone who has ever seen the movie, Pay It Forward, knows the gist of doing kind things for no good reason other than it’s a great way to live. The consequences can be amazing, what I call a divine domino effect. The Good Samaritan in the Bible is another great example of someone with a high KQ. I was raised by parents whose KQs were off the charts.

How Kindness Bracelets Work

The UOWHO bracelet acts as a physical, tangible reminder for people to “pay it forward.” Its creator, Lloyd DeShane, sees it as an encouragement and an inspiration to physically get out there and commit an act of kindness.

According to Lloyd, there a quite a few kindness initiatives out there and many aim to inspire people to “pay it forward.” But with our busy lives and with so many daily distractions, it’s not always easy to remember to be on the lookout constantly for someone who might be in need of some help. On the other hand:

If you are wearing a UOWHO bracelet on your wrist, you not only have that reminder but, in passing your bracelet on, there is a much higher likelihood that the recipient will actually pay forward your act of kindness.

When you help someone out, you pull out one of the ten little tabs from the bracelet, tell the recipient what the concept of the UOWHO bracelet is all about and ask them to pay it forward to someone else. When you see from the number of tabs removed that others have paid forward acts of kindness done for them, it acts as a further encouragement for the latest recipient to keep the chain of giving active.

It’s very hard for someone to receive a bracelet that represents six other people's acts of kindness and then not carry that on. In that way, each bracelet has the potential to reach ten people in all. If you didn't have that reminder, that physical encouragement, it would be all too easy not to follow through. That is the power of these “giving” bracelets. They are a physical, tangible and very proactive way to spread a very positive message. Couple that with the ability for groups to brand the bracelets for fundraising and awareness creation and you have a very powerful and positive tool at your command.

User Feedback

A number of people that have used the UOWHO bracelets agree it‘s an emotional high.

The power of kindness works in reverse and brings happiness to the giver of the kindness as well as the receiver.

Lloyd mentions a reaction I share: being a bit apprehensive about talking to or helping strangers even when seeing a need. The bracelet can act as an icebreaker, an excuse to help. “The bracelet made me do it!”

Where the Idea Came From

“The idea came to me in church,” Lloyd says, “but I really don’t want people to think this is a faith-based only concept. I believe it is applicable to everyone. Our church talks a lot about being bold and living by example. Ideas come to me all the time as a mechanical design engineer. My family and I often get involved in community projects and we enjoy giving. The challenge for this was to come up with something simple that would spark others to join in and continue the giving.”

“UOWHO came to me simply by thinking about all the people I owe, who have done kind things for me and my family. UOWHO (You-Owe-Who?) is also a question I ask myself every day, if I see someone in need. Don’t I owe it to them to help or at least try?”

One of a Kindness

"Pay it Forward, the sponsor of Pay It Forward Day, is a fantastic organization and I am very impressed when people reference us as similar.” Lloyd also told me that Pay it Forward primarily deals with big projects in time and money, all wonderful contributions. UOWHO, by contrast, is designed on a small, more personal scale to be just as important. It encourages taking time every day as opportunities present themselves to help people. These windows to help can run the gamut from the obvious—helping someone with directions or lifting something heavy— to the not so obvious. An example of the latter is checking with a neighbor to be sure everything is OK, if you notice their car hasn’t been moved in a few days or the grass hasn’t been cut in several weeks.

Kindness Bracelet Stories

Lloyd shared two of his favorite examples:

• A schoolteacher bought bracelets for all her students. Two weeks later, she had car trouble on a major freeway and a man stopped to help her. He presented a UOWHO bracelet to her and explained the concept. He turned out to be the father of one of her students.

• A youth group leader in a small town in Illinois bought bracelets for her youth group to pass out to the entire church. She has seen the bracelets all over her community, in businesses and at the market; she has heard stories of spreading kindness. She is beaming with excitement as the person that instigated the chain reaction of kind deeds.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Hugs to Mother Earth on the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day

© 2010 by Joyce Mason

There’s a popular chant from the earth religions, one I really love. Read it with a drum beat in your mind:

Earth my body,
Fire my blood,
Air my breath, and
Fire my spirit!

As the 40th anniversary of Earth Day on April 22 approached, I realized more than ever that the earth element reflects our own bodies—that we are made up of the same four elements as this lush planet we’re lucky to call home. What we do to Mother Earth, we do to ourselves.

I also wanted to share my poem on my other blog with you on this auspicious occasion, Touching Earth.

I thought it would also be a good time to revisit some previous posts about Earth and the earth element:

• April 2008, The Vast Lane to Elementary School

• From Earth Day 2008, Gettin’ Earthy

• November 2009, The Four Elements: I Dig Earth!

Enjoy this “other” Mother’s Day. Make a small commitment to treat her tenderly, whether it’s bringing your own bags to the grocery store or giving up bottled water and all its plastic waste. Instead, use refillable containers. These small changes may be a little hard to start, but they’re a piece of cake once you’ve changed your habit. And speaking of sweets, here’s yet another reason to be good to your Mother:

Save the's the only planet with chocolate.

Want to know the History of Earth Day?

How ‘bout some Earth Day Fun Facts?

How ‘bout a visit to the official Earth Day 40th anniversary web site?

As our planet endures natural disasters and other growing pains, it’s time to rekindle our sense of oneness and resolve to create a peaceful planet for all. In some channeled material by Steve Rother that wowed me in this video, Birth Pangs of Mother, I resonate to the idea that the earth is giving rebirth to herself.

Blessings to Earth and Everyone on It!


Photo Credit: © Tommy Schultz -

Friday, April 16, 2010

Don’t Paint Yourself into a Corner

In my post, Don’t Undervalue Overdo, I freely admit I have a compulsive personality. One of my favorite compulsions is playing my electronic game, Scrabble Journey. It was a birthday present from my BFF. My best forever friend knows and shares my love of language. For me there’s no greater relaxation than turning around some e-tiles and connecting words. Supposedly, these kinds of mental gymnastics are going to help my boomer brain stay sharp as a tack … or at least sharper than a dull knife.

Scrabble Journey has more than the normal, straightforward playing surface of a traditional Scrabble game; it has mazes and obstacles, paths to the only squares you must play on to end the round and continue its theme, a trip around the world. The paths are often circuitous, treacherous, and tricky.

Sometimes I don’t pay good attention to how I box myself in or paint myself into a corner. Usually, I’m having so much fun trying to score as many points as possible along the way; I lose track of the path and the goal—to end the round and get onto the next destination.

This pattern is so illustrative of my life as a person who sometimes get caught in the details and won’t let them go for the greater goal. It was an eye-opener to me, recently, when Scrabble Journey gave me only two difficult paths to the “end zone,” and I had created a high score that left me with words I couldn’t build on in order to finish. It also happened to be on the very last leg of the entire globe trot.

Looking at it further, I saw the lesson even more clearly when I observed my stuck word and how I built on it. The word was poon, an East Indian hardwood used for masts and durable structures. (Only a Scrabble buff learns words like this—and all the two-letter words in the dictionary like xi, the 14th letter of the Greek alphabet, and other oddities that are Get Out of a Jam Free Cards.)

I built poon to spoon. Then I saw I needed four more letters to get across to a point where I could pass a barrier that would enable me to build upwards toward the finish line. Scrabble Journey allows up to eight letter exchanges, where you can trade in some or all of your letter tiles. It took me six trades to build to spooning. I had to get an S in order to have the path to the finish line.

But no spoonings were to be had in my eight attempts. I had to abandon the round unfinished, pouting.

I contemplated the message. Do I have to be hit upside the head with the East Indian equivalent of a hickory stick to learn? Did I have to go back to the one-room schoolhouse and the early days of corporal punishment to “get it?”

Spooning is also a name for a #3-wood in golf, perhaps another wooden implement the universe was using to pound some sense in me. Or was it was trying to spoon-feed me what I refused to act on? And there would be no spoonings (kiss fests) for reaching my goals until I learned to keep my eye on the ball and the target in sight.

I exited the game, but it saves automatically. What good luck when I reopened the game! I got back a new set of eight tile exchanges. I used them till I got the coveted S, only for the cartoon game monitor to tell me there’s no such word as spoonings. (What, you can’t pluralize gerunds?) I couldn’t get myself out of the jam I created, even with a break from the Goddess of Eight Extra Chances.

Thank heaven for my open eye to the teachings of spirit in everyday life. My stymied game comes at a time when I have to lower my blog frequency to meet my writing and publishing goals of producing at least two books this year.

For whose of you who may ask why I’m blogging less in months to come, I hope this post punctuates what is clear. I have to keep the goal in sight … and I hope you’ll keep reading and enjoying every post, maybe even more because there will be fewer for now ... till there's a book full.


Photo Credit: Scrabble Game © Aimee Eisaman |

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Meet Dänna Wilberg, Make a "Paranormal Connection"

How big is your worldview? For Dänna Wilberg, host of the cable TV show, Paranormal Connection, it’s far bigger than the world as many people know it!

On Hot Flashbacks, Cool Insights, the connection to spirit goes without saying. I talk all the time about the guiding symbols all around us in dreams, the sky, meaningful coincidences and other “signs” from Higher Intelligence.

Dänna blazes a trail to help people learn more about topics like psychics, past lives, intuitive healing, and your invisible energy centers or chakras. (To make this more real for you when you hear the interview below in your mind, Dänna’s name is pronounced the same as Donna.)


[par-uh-nawr-muh l]–adjective
Of or pertaining to the claimed occurrence of an event or perception without scientific explanation, as psychokinesis, extrasensory perception, or other purportedly supernatural phenomena.

Joyce: Dänna, let’s start out with the most obvious question. How on earth did you get into all this otherworldly stuff—enough to spark an ongoing TV show?

Dänna: My innate curiosity mostly! I’ve always wanted to explore the possibility of otherworldly things and I wanted to know the “truth” about where my soul was really going to end up if I did!

Joyce: I think the audience on this blog is open-minded to these concepts. Since many of them are everyday occurrences to me, I talk about them openly. People who read this blog more than once are open to them, or they wouldn’t keep reading.

But there’s one issue people who believe in the paranormal all share “in the real world.” How much do you let on about your beliefs, especially when you are among others who subscribe to the consensus reality? These same people may think we’re a little crazy—those of us who “see more.” I’m sure we could all use some tips.

Dänna: That’s a great question, Joyce. At first it wasn’t easy to be open about what I believed in. In fact, in the beginning of my show, I have a disclaimer, written by Buddha. In essence he says, if the information presented doesn’t ring true, don’t believe it!

Like most, I, too, feared being labeled a “lunatic,” but the more research I did on the topics I was presenting, the more I realized that science is finally catching up with what the paranormal-minded community already knew. Now, the more open I am about my beliefs, the more people open up to me about theirs. As we forge ahead, we will find the attitude towards the unknown has changed. That’s huge!

Joyce: I agree. My interviews last year of Janet Walden focused on her active participation in the Institute of Noetic Sciences—IONS—the organization mentioned by name in Dan Brown’s latest book, The Lost Symbol. IONS is on the leading edge of the science-meets-spirituality equation.

Now that we’ve established this conversation is leading-edge rather than crazy: Using some examples from your programs, how do you think your broadcasts help other seekers?

Dänna: I have been fortunate to interview so many amazing people, including you, Joyce. Your program on dreams was very informative! By providing awareness, we tap into universal consciousness, and it seems with each new episode, I connect with more like-minded individuals who want to share their knowledge. We have discussed everything from extra-terrestrials to hemispheric synchronizations in the brain. Psychics, astrologers, tarot readers discuss their areas of expertise. Psychologists, massage therapists, and lightworkers discuss using positive intention and love, like an instrument, to heal ourselves and others with energy. We have talked about past lives with authors Linda Potter and Tina Coleman, whose upcoming book aims to help people overcome fears and phobias. An aura photographer came on the show and gave readings. An iridologist explained how our eyes are not only the windows to our soul; they are one of our most significant diagnostic tools.

Joyce: Tell us about your most unusual interview to date.

Dänna: Hmmm. One of my guests demonstrated “mind over matter” by walking on chunks of broken glass. His son proceeded to move a pendulum with his mind. I was impressed!

Joyce: Tell us about your personal favorite—and/or one where you felt you learned the most.

Dänna: One of my favorite topics to talk about is vibration. Michael Bayard, a master percussionist, has demonstrated the effects music has on our chakra systems, how the very words we choose can be healthy or damaging to the molecular structure of our bodies. His live performance proved how music or tones transform our brainwaves. It’s a topic that ties in with nature and all that is. I love it! (See a clip of Michael’s Shamanic Healing interview on this YouTube link and end Note for more resources about him.)

Joyce: As part of the global internet community, Hot Flashbacks, Cool Insights has readers from around the world. Your show is on a local cable network in Sacramento. Tell us how people who aren’t from California’s capital can listen to your programs. Thanks for giving us the dates, times, and links for your shows.

Dänna: “Paranormal Connection” airs the 1st and 3rd Mondays of every month at 9pm (PST) on Comcast 17. It is also available to everyone around the world by going to and clicking on “Watch 17”. There is also an encore performance of the show the following Tuesday at 1pm (PST) and Wednesday at 5am (PST)

Joyce: I remember well my early days of first dabbling into paranormal subjects. It would have been wonderful, back then, to have had a program like yours to lead the way. I’m sure, too, that doing this program has given you some of those personal, “cool insights” we talk about on this blog. I’m sure it’s been a part of your personal journey. What is your biggest take-away?

Dänna: I have learned that everything and everybody is relevant. There are no coincidences, and we are limited only by what we think and believe. We are all students and we are all teachers when we give voice to our experiences.

Joyce: Your conclusion is the punch line of all my spiritual explorations, too. We are so interconnected—and who we are and what we know contributes to our quality of life on Planet Earth. The bigger our worldview, the better our experiences here.

Thank you so much visiting Hot Flashbacks, Cool Insights and to expand our concept of “normal.”
Any final thoughts?

Dänna: Is this where I thank my fabulous crew? Everyone involved with the “Paranormal Connection” volunteers their time to make the show happen. I am truly blessed.

To those who are searching for answers I would like to say, we all have an opportunity to tap into the power within. It’s our divine right. We are meant to use our gifts to learn, grow and help each other on this earthly plane. And finally, I would like to thank you for providing this wonderful platform, Joyce!


Photo: Dänna interviews Kelly LaSha, author of Liquid Mirror. Kelly’s interview on Paranormal Connection is on her website, a great place to get a glimpse and example of Dänna’s fabulous shows.

Note: To see Michael Bayard’s extreme musical versatility, here is his beautiful accompaniment of Ann Roach singing “All I Ask of You” from Phantom of the Opera in this YouTube video. Michael’s website is Rhythm Magic.

Dänna Wilberg was born in Chicago, IL. She currently resides in Northern California with her family. Besides learning about the paranormal, her passions include writing romantic suspense, writing/producing short films and dancing to the music in her head. Visit her links to learn more about Dänna’s creative projects: The Paranormal Connection, The Push Film, and The Red Chair by Danna Blog.