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One Step

Afternoon walk on Tugun Beach

A dear friend of mine – Denis Hernon – used to say to me,

“Damien, can you leave that which is essential and attend to what is important?”

In the midst of life’s challenges – can we choose small ‘one steps’ that make a difference? Can we choose small ‘one steps’ that leave this world a better place, that invite another to smile, that build up, that create, that build bridges, that break down walls, that calm racing hearts, the en-courage, that ally fears, that build trust …..and all without expecting anything in return? Can we? Why not?

What would happen to me and within me if I managed to do half of the litany I have written below? Here’s my 100+! What would be in yours?


Gift someone with a smile – no strings attached

Smile when you stuff up – who cares!

Plant a tree

Tend a garden

Walk in the woods

Stop and really listen to that bird song

Admire a flower

Check in with a fragile friend

More importantly – spend time with that friend

Really look at the beauty of a flower

Go walking with a friend

Plant a flower garden

Phone a long lost friend

Write a letter to someone you need to say ‘sorry’ to

Write a letter to someone you need to thank

Express your love in the smallest of things

Set the alarm and rise early – greet the first glimpse of the new day

Look up at the stars

Write a poem – who cares if no one ever reads it – write from your heart

Dance when no one is watching you

Dance when someone is watching you – just dance


Forgive self (one tiny little step at a time)

Forgive another (one tiny little step at a time)

Let go of hurt (one tiny little step at a time)

Let go of anger (one tiny little step at a time)

Listen – really listen to the heart of another

Listen – and expect nothing in return

Listen to the sound of rain on the roof

Listen for the sound of birds in the dawn

Re-watch your favourite movie

Bake your favourite cake

Bake a cake

Greet a stranger – the response does not matter

Snuggle up tight to a loved one

Say thank you – you don’t need a reason

Look at the name tag – call the shop assistant by name

Pick up that litter

Deliberately notice the small things – look and look again at the people around you, gift them and honour them as your eyes Namaste

The morning raindrops on our roses!

Take the phone off the hook – or put the mobile on silent

Waste time with another

Visit an elderly family member

Sit in silence with another

Share a joke

Record an elderly family member’s story

Just do that Random Act of Kindness – RAK

Take a risk with love

Reach out

Go within


Spoil yourself

Spoil another

Tick off a bucket list item

Cook a creative meal

Bake scones

Be lovingly silly


Teach someone to truly hug

Tickle someone you love

Hold hands

Brush off the cobwebs on the dancing shoes

Savour a glass of wine – do it with a friend

Host a meal with friends

Go walking at sunset – enjoy a twilight

Read THAT book

Listen to your favourite sonata

Go out on a date – your age does not matter

Be romantic

Be spontaneous


Tell the people of your heart that you love them – and if necessary – use words

Teach yourself a new skill – learn a new skill

Volunteer your time

Be kind to the Earth

Slow down – take your time doing something you love

Take a bath – enjoy a leisurely shower

Sit in silence

Text a friend your favourite line from your favourite movie or poem

“Tell me what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

Mary Olive

I just did it!!!!

Gift that special book that you no longer need to another – no reason, just do it

Be kind to yourself

Dress up when you next ‘hit the town’

Be kind to your body

Accept a hug

Challenge injustice

Spend time with a baby or the elderly – enjoy the presence of both

Wander in nature

Build a sandcastle

Write a letter to the editor in defence of the powerless

Take a random photo that shows the beauty of nature

Attend a rally for a cause close to your heart

Attend a vigil – light a candle

Begin a new family ritual

Begin a tradition of story telling

Spoil yourself with the long lost art of saying ‘no’ when you really need to

Do a crossword with an elderly neighbour

Give a shoulder a squeeze or ruffle some hair

Face a fear

Do something that scares you but whispers ‘yes’ to your crazy spirit

Be grateful

Make a list of all the things you are grateful for – stop when your heart has got the message

Look closely at the beauty around you – appreciate your eyes

Listen deeply to the sounds of life – appreciate your hearing

Touch gently the face of a loved one

Walk tall

Walk with courage

Attend to what is important

March to your own drum

Break bread

Take this journey – like all journeys – one step at a time

Make your own list! Set out on the adventure of doing some of them if not many of them and write a book about your journey to a better world for all!

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