May I Be Kind?

Together we change the world, just one random act of kindness at a time.

– Ron Hall

Welcome back!  I hope you enjoyed my blog on Family! This post was originally meant to be published for the month of April but as things happen in life that were beyond my control, my thoughts had to be placed on a slight pause thereby delaying my post by a bit. As they say: C’est la vie! April sprung, May is now here and I thought what should I write about?  Depending on where you live, you might be entering into warmer weather, a little more sunshine bringing with it warm smiles and happy times ahead.  Why is that? Why do we wait for good weather to become kinder humans, more approachable human-beings? There are studies on how weather affects our mood, the benefits of sunshine, the downside of grey weather, and dampness that dampen our mood. A variety of metaphors may be applied when discussing weather and the effects to our ever changing moods vs. our changeable minds. Does your blood boil when temperatures reach an ultimate high during heat waves showing the aggressive you? Do grey skies cloud your mind? See what I mean…sorry don’t mean to make you cringe at the writing –just wanted to get my message across! Haha!  My message is simple: be the human being you were meant to be regardless of your circumstance, regardless of weather, regardless of…(you fill in the blank). How about we make a better effort to just be? To be kinder, be more soulful, be more joyful, and perhaps be more peaceful. It really is all about the type of experience you wish to have here on earth. Only you have full control of how that will unfold in your life over the years.

The trick to materializing the experience you wish is what you are willing to put emphasis on. Either we choose to make ourselves miserable or we choose to make ourselves happy. Simple? Not really depending on your perspective. I feel that a lot of our hurts, how hard we are on ourselves, have a lot to do with our disappointments in life, our endless search for our purpose, our fear of being left behind. Listen, life will throw a few curve balls every now and again and for some of you, you might feel that you have gotten more than your share, I get it. After you have processed the hurts, the painful experiences, connect with your soul, it will feed your mind the right message that in turn will have your body moving in the right direction that will ultimately have you reclaiming your power. Everyone is on their individual journey – no one is left out. This is the one guarantee in life!  If you have not yet found your purpose in life then help your fellow friends on theirs – be a constant cheerleader! Perhaps that is your journey, your path, to cheer for those that need cheering, to lift those who need lifting. Measure your success not by income but by how many you helped along the way in achieving their goals, their dreams, and you too shall realize yours. An important key – surround yourself with good people, people that lift you not tear you down.  Who have you made smile today?

As I write this blog, the sun is peering through my window calling me to go out and perhaps do a little damage on the credit card, to buy things I more than likely do not need. Instead, I choose to stay indoors typing away in my lovely kitchen hoping to reach to as many people that will take interest in my little blog just so that I perhaps make their day. Even if I only reach one reader, it may be someone who may be feeling alone today, someone who just received terrible news and needs a little pick me up, someone who has been in a slump for some time and today is the day I make an impact with my words, my cheer, spreading a little motivation, a little love. This is my wish – this is my journey. Some time ago, I created my LinkedIn account; being in the legal field, to better network with business professionals in my field. To be honest, I did not really mind the account, as initially intended, due to my extremely busy schedule at the time. I did visit my account not too long ago however, only to notice my profile byline that read: “a consummate professional dedicated to making the lives of busy executives easier.”  In life, this too is my endeavor: always to making the lives of others easier. Give of yourself so you may lessen the burdens of others – this is who I aspire to be everyday . This could be a simple smile that could go a long way, a kind word, a small gesture – that is all that is needed to help someone achieve their goal, their purpose, to hopefully assist that individual on their journey perhaps.

If you are having a hard time finding the silver lining in your own life then do your best to offer kind words or support to those you encounter during your daily interactions. Rain or shine, sunny or gloomy, whether performing a simple transaction at your local food store, or picking up your favorite cup of java at the corner coffee house, by always offering your best and leaving someone better than you found them –this in itself is a purpose!  While writing this blog, I came across a quote from actor, Denzel Washington: ”At the end of the day it’s not about what you have or even what you’ve accomplished…it’s about what you’ve given back.” Excellent words to live by.

As you reach for the umbrella to take cover from rain or sun for that matter, look beyond your discomfort, look beyond the physiological effects weather, climate, environment, circumstance may have on your mood. Rather than allowing gloomy weather or your circumstance affect your mood in a negative way, why not choose to be happy instead; choose to be kind, perhaps the person standing beside you might need that smile, that kind word, kind gesture more than you. You never know, that kind small gesture in whatever form, might just be paid forward to someone’s else 10x fold making an immense impact that you may never know and how nicer will our planet be for it?

May has arrived, bringing with it, new life, blooming flowers, perhaps a new you; a you, that will commit to being thoughtful, kind, appreciative of the little things, making room for opportunities yet to come. As you sit in traffic remember to be courteous, it will only move along if you are kind enough to let it. If you are too busy blocking everyone from getting into your lane, you are only causing yourself more aggravation and if you take the time to notice (by law of attraction) others are only doing the same to you, so let it flow. If you are waiting in line to cash out, be patient look around everyone else has schedules to meet as well, be smooth, don’t be the problem, the delay – be appreciative of the poor cashier who is only trying to do his or her best. If everyone would just take a moment to be courteous to the people around them, and be a little more understanding and compassionate, life would flow so much easier – trust the universe. Let May be the month you take notice of the little things. Although, our friend winter, seems to be stubbornly sticking around a bit longer in some parts of the world, it will soon pass, and as you begin to peel away the extra layers of clothing, look up and notice how beautiful this planet truly is and ask yourself: How may I serve? What can I do today to make this planet a little better? Who can I help today? Who can I offer a simple smile to? Who might need that cheer or that support today?

As you immerse yourself into your spring cleaning and start purging items you no longer need, de-cluttering areas in your home of items that have piled up from holiday seasons past, you must also turn your attention inward, to old habits, routines that no longer serve you. I find that when juggling marriage, parenthood, careers, we fall into automaticity simply to ensure that our ‘its’ get done, but as the years pass us by, we forget to purge some of the activities that no longer serve us, including our affected moods, leaving no room to explore new ones. This can be daunting often draining and perhaps the reason why nasty grouch peeps its ugly green head every now and again. In order to ease the task of decluttering your home, it is imperative to go to the root of why you have accumulated some items and why you insist on hanging on to them. I have observed that the longer an item ( ladies that includes clothing items, handbags and / or shoes) stays with you, the harder it becomes in letting it go even if it serves no purpose in your life other than to take up space in your already congested closet. Once you identify the root of how it remained in your closet all those years and why it would be detrimental for it to remain in your closet indefinitely, this will enable you to purge the items a little easier. It is equally necessary to do the same when decluttering your mind or doing inner-work. By identifying the root of what is currently burdening or clouding your mind that generally is the cause of stress and aggravation that in turn affects your mood, this will certainly help lighten your mood, purge old thoughts, old patterns that no longer serve you and will no longer weigh you down. Instead, put a spring in your step by changing your approach to life which starts with offering a simple smile; a gesture so small yet infectious, the benefits of which are immense to both giver and receiver.

We hope that May brings more sunshine perhaps warmer weather, although it is my perspective for this blog that we start making a conscious effort to making a shift in our mood and change our current outlook in order to have more pleasant and happy days regardless of the environment around us that includes weather and/or climate to simply be more pleasant human beings. I know, easier said than done. Do you find that you have to put a lot more effort at being kind rather than be miserable? What is more natural to you? It’s a little sad to think that greater effort is needed in spreading kindness. Studies show that the sun is an excellent source of Vitamin ‘D’ very much needed to combat a slew of diseases and symptoms including fatigue and depression. Although the sun may contribute to the reason why most of us show our smiles allowing others to see our beautiful shiny, hopefully well-kept teeth, it should however, not be the only source for our good nature or the reason to be kind to one another n’or should rain or cloudy days for that matter, be the reason why most of us walk around grumpy barking at everyone in our path. Let the freshness of the month of May be the month to not only do a little spring cleaning around the house; giving your space an uplift, but perhaps introduce the exercise of also conducting inner work thus making some adjustments on how you view yourself and those around you. Introduce a new outlook, allow good vibes fill you by spreading more kindness and more cheer to those you encounter as a daily practice, offer a smile whenever possible, and simply be kind it will only be returned to you 10x fold and the results – exponential, I promise!

As I give this blog its final tweak and decide to post, it is raining here in Toronto and I sit again in my lovely kitchen once again, blinds drawn up, deep in thought about what my purpose is today. I hear my doggy’s little paws on my wood floor as she curiously strolls around every corner of my home looking for someone to play, looking for some love, looking for some cuddles. The world in its diversity too, is in need of some love, in need of some kindness. There are parts of the world suffering from scarcity, violence, and just all sorts of ugly and I don’t think it’s important that I name the source of their suffering but it is sad that in today’s age – this is still a thing. We live in the age of technology, such advancement has led us to accessibility of all sorts of information at lighting speed and you would think that together we would be able to conquer these deficiencies (for lack of a better word) and be able to progress to a more prosperous planet, a united planet, instead there are communities falling even farther behind. No, instead, our planet has a surplus of political drama; political parties lacking vision, a surplus and rise in health related concerns quite possibly brought on from the stress and worry we see around the world that very much affect home. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if there were a surplus in kindness instead? Let’s visualize what that planet might be like. Let’s work towards taking that vision to the next level through our technologies that are so accessible, so part of our daily routine. Let’s teach leaders that this is possible. This vision begins with the tone you set for yourself and those you encounter the minute you walk out your front door by offering that hello, that smile.

The title for my Blog may not have been my most creative work, but hey it fit the message. Maybe it will serve to stick in your mind every time the month of May rolls around prompting you of such changes, if you need a little reminding. May could be the month you apply that ‘checklist’ I wrote about back in ‘My First Blog‘ post. There are certain months that have an ‘awareness’ attached to it, why not make the month of May, the month you remember to declutter, purge negative moods that have set up camp within you for some time and allow the goodness of the spring air, the blossoming of new flowers bring with it positive shifts in your mood, that help grow an awareness to nourishing a kinder you. There are many things that may be beyond our control but the one thing we as humans actually have a handle on is: being kind. What a better planet this would be if we all chose to be kind – why not a surplus of kindness?

I could write all day on this topic of kindness, but I want you to visit me again. So off I go to cuddle with my furry friend and spread some love as I run some errands. How May I serve the planet today?  How will you? May I be kind?   

Stay humble, be kind always,

Ana Spano

If you enjoyed this post, I’d be very grateful if you’d help it spread by emailing to a friend, or sharing it on Twitter or LinkedIn. Thank you!

A farewell to an Angel

Angels sail back to God on the sea of joy.

– Terri Guillemets

I would like to dedicate this blog to my beautiful sister-in-law, Lisa (aka my little sis), who recently passed away at age 39, too young, too soon.

A few short months ago my husband and I visited, my sister-in-law, at the hospital. I recall we had a rough drive back, thinking the worst was to come. My husband shared with me at that moment that God needed Lisa up above, to keep things in check. If you had the opportunity to meet Lisa, you know she was tough; tough at work, tough at home always keeping everyone in-check. Lisa must now be looking down at us from above, guarding us all  being a light always to her precious sons, and of course to her loving husband.

I met Lisa 18 years ago, she and my brother-in-law had just started dating. My brother-in-law brought her to the hospital; an hour after I gave birth to my youngest daughter on this very day; April 14th, back in 2001. It would be the first time she and I would meet. I recall thinking what an awkward way to meet someone for the first time; feeling so tired after a 17 hour labor. She sat near the foot of my hospital bed and flashed me that cute shy smile. I remember thinking she is someone special to remember.

Lisa had extremely large hands – often the joke whenever we got together. She was always conscious about how large her hands were, always making fun claiming they were manly compared to my tiny bony hands (size 5 finger). Her hands were a representation of her personality – she was so strong; a warrior.  Her hands often herding her loved ones to where they needed to be, protecting, and loving.

Naturally, the home she would pick for her family would be in the country where she would enjoy the openness; a place to express her creativity; a place where she would enjoy riding her horses. A home she actually took on as a project, having it custom built to her taste, her personality, being involved in picking every detail of that beautiful ranch.  It was wonderful to watch her ride, she seemed so free. Her hands were meant for farming and for tackling the roughness and toughness of life.

Everything about Lisa was unique, her sense of style, the way she tackled life in general -she was truly special. Here I was now, sitting at the foot of her hospital bed one October evening sitting in awkward silence not knowing what to say or do to comfort her. There was a moment when we locked eyes for what seemed like an eternity, I was at a loss for words, as I stared into her beautiful deep green eyes and watched a tear roll down her cheek, as she expressed how she had done all she could in the slightest whisper. As they wheeled her away for a CT Scan I kissed her on the forehead and we both whispered: “I love you”.

On April 1st, 2018, my uncle passed away; Lisa would have already received her medical report a few months earlier and a few weeks after his passing, would now receive devastating news that would forever alter her life and the lives of her loved ones. I must say, this one is definitely leaving a big hole in my heart.

We said our final goodbyes on April 11th, 2019, when she was laid to her final resting place.  We shed tears for her feeling it was too soon, but our hearts will be forever filled with the warmth of our eternal love for her. 

I would always address Lisa as my little sister in greeting cards and in text messages. So, little sis: “you came into our lives for a brief moment and we thank you for blessing us with the gift of compassion and love. You fought a tough fight like a warrior leaving two beautiful boys as your legacy and we shall return that love eternally. Your departure has brought a special bond between two families that share a common love – you.  You are now another angel we can call upon to protect us and keep us safe because in the end that was always your purpose to stand like a warrior; protecting, fighting for a cause, as on earth you now fulfill your purpose up above.

God bless you little sis, may you rest in peace.

FAMILY

Family is not an important thing. It’s everything.

– Michael J. Fox

Welcome back! I hope you enjoyed my first blog. I am having fun embracing this writing venture – truly, a long-time passion of mine.  This Blog is a tribute to family and the importance of family values. Today, we are celebrating Family Day, here in Canada, we are given an opportunity to enjoy Family Day; a statutory holiday recognized by our government, created to spend more time with family – precious loved ones in our lives.

When we think of family, hopefully we all visualize harmony, love, bonding, and all the beautiful loving feelings that are deep rooted within us that fill us when we have the opportunity of getting together with our immediate families and our extended families as well.

Today, it seems that we have lost the value of what family signifies.  Gone are the days of getting together with grandparents for Sunday lunch or brunch, now being replaced with dance, soccer, hockey and whatever sport is up for the season. We no longer connect with our families in a way that is meaningful, through conversation, through touch, that makes us feel the inevitable- love. Instead, we spend most of our free time being plugged into our devices, always distracted, distancing ourselves from the ones we love.

Where have our traditions gone?  Life today has us on such a whirlwind with all the toys and whistles that we have forgotten the true meaning of what being a family is truly about.  Have you ever heard the expression: “a family that eats together, stays together? Or is it a family that prays together stays together,” whatever the phrase is, the operative word is together.  What happened to sit down dinners?  Are the tables in our kitchens and dining rooms just space fillers? 

As society gives in to the ever growing technological day-to-day demands, we have simply forgotten to make family time.  Sure, there has been a rise in family vacations. Families are now working harder to be able to afford that family trip at the end of the year.  But are you really bonding as a family when you get to your sunny destinations?  Or are you simply taking a trip because it is the trendy thing to do all the while fulfilling your thirst for envy by those around you? While you are out there working on your tan and shopping for that expensive bag or jewelry are you truly bonding with your children and partner?

Reading today’s media, we read articles filled with these young larger than life idols but where have they gone wrong?   What is truly keeping these young idols from achieving their true dream of family, and staying grounded, after all isn’t that what we all dream of achieving anyway?  Fame is wonderful as long as you have your family supporting you every step of the way.  It is your family that will catch you when you fall, not the paparazzi or the box office.

Putting it in perspective, a family is the bonding of a group of people whether blood related or not who will go to bat for you when things are just not going well.  A family will hold you when you need to be held, they will, more often than not, get on your nerves, but that is what makes us grow closer together once we have ironed out our differences.   They will make you laugh when you need a little cheering and they make you shed tears when things are said and done that are close to the heart—that is what makes family so sacred and truly special.   Therefore, don’t families need celebration?  Perhaps, some gratitude for all that they put forth as a unit?  So why not celebrate by spending some time together to really truly bond and show the respect it deserves.

Some few years back, pop idols: the “Jonas Brothers”, created a media frenzy with their innovative sound and talent, writing and producing their own music and lyrics, this was a band composed of three brothers all with a talent that had girls as young as 4 to age 20 and their mothers, enjoying their talents on stage and off.  Their secret: a strong family bond.  They are in fact, four brothers, one of which was too young to join the band at the time, but either way, received some recognition in many interviews—this shows a great value for all members in this particular family.  They show a tremendous amount of respect for one another, each holding an important role in the band and this is truly what sets them apart; in my opinion, from other performers.  What really stood out in this particular group were their family values.  In the end when the mania wears off, these young men will continue to be brothers sharing the same bond they always shared on and off stage. That’s how dated this paragraph is as this was some time ago, back in 2008. My husband and I joined our girls during their fan frenzy era if this boy-band, attending concerts, watching them on the Disney Channel, but that’s what you do, you enjoy, you support, you create memories together. My girls are now age 21 and 17, their flavor for this year, Rock Band: Greta Van Fleet; a talented Rock Bank composed of a family bond: three brothers and a childhood friend – here we go again!

It is the family values having been instilled in us from a tender age; the unbreakable bond, that is going to make a difference on how our children will raise their families and commit to long term marriage.    It is the families that truly enjoy each other’s company, quirks and all, that can talk about everything from daily events, politics, music to what’s on the Disney /Family or Netflix channel, or sometimes just chilling together, that will succeed in achieving a true harmonious family bond.

My immediate family, consist of my husband of 28 years, my two beautiful daughters, and my dog – because yes, she participates in family occasions, she gives the most awesome cuddles and loves us unconditionally, so of course she is very much a part of this family unit. Like my children, my dog knows when she has done something wrong; she will do anything to get our attention, to make us laugh. She understands I like to keep a clean house, so she will try very hard to keep her area clean although at time fails, just like my girls and that’s ok – she adds a certain element of responsibility to this very tight family unit, we cannot remember a day when she was not part of our lives!

Regardless of how you choose to define your family unit, when an opportunity for a get together with your loved one arises, whether it be for a summer barbecue, or a quaint popcorn and a movie for 4 or 5, maybe 10 on the comfy couch, just remember that aside from creating memories, it is these moments that make an impression for the younger generation and help mold their values, set a solid foundation on what a true family should be and that is: a sense of closeness, love, compassion, empathy, respect and lots and lots of good times. Set your technological devices aside, enjoy the outdoors or cozy up by the fireplace and enjoy family time, perhaps play a game board – too back in time? Then, just do what your family does best and enjoy making memories together!

Being part of a family is the ultimate gift in life because it is to experience love, to be a part of something truly wonderful, to be love and forever be loved. You can do anything and be anything knowing your family has your back!

Enjoy your family today and every day, enjoy your OHANA!  Cherish your family, it is truly the greatest blessing in life!

Life can be challenging, people are most definitely challenging, how can we learn to look at these challenges as positives, it all depends on your perspective! I hope you join me on my next blog as it will give you a sneak peek to my almost finished book on perspectives that I hope will serve as a tool teaching us that we grow in times of adversity, to embrace your failures and be the light after a moment of darkness.

Until then, be kind and true to yourself.

To the powerful you,

Ana Spano


If you enjoyed this post, I’d be very grateful if you’d help it spread by emailing it to a friend, or sharing it on Twitter or LinkedIn. Thank you!

Welcome to my first Blog post

Hello everyone, I finally made some time from being busy to dabble at writing. I am currently working on a book and I hope to share some of my thoughts, experiences, opinions through my Blog and hope some of these pieces will make it on my book. Coming from a legal background I am embracing this literary world which is totally new and foreign to me.

Law is very black and white I have learned, but it all heavily relies on interpretation – a perspective, if you will. This is how I view life. It is all about perspective isn’t it? A medical perspective, a legal perspective, an artistic perspective, a political perspective – the list is endless. When  an opinion is asked of me on a legal matter or case, I cannot just give you a superficial response one that is on the surface only – I must go deep. My colleagues are fully aware that there is no quick answer or simple question. When they come into my office for a consultation – they must have many facts on hand before they can even approach me for an opinion. You see, when contemplating the facts of a case and before I can even begin to process an opinion or an assessment of a case – there is a checklist that must be satisfied. I will require to know, details of the accident, damage to vehicle, injuries reported from the outset, occupation of the victim, family life, medical history, etc.Why you ask is this so important? It allows me to have a better understanding of the victim involved.I will have a better understanding of the damages already visible and the damages that might arise in the future based on past case analysis and just simple experience in the field.

I have the same approach to life. Whether I am meeting someone new or going through new phases in life – I apply a checklist.  I will always ask myself a series of questions that might go something like this:

  1. Why am I meeting this person?
  2. Why is my meeting this individual imperative in my life right now?
  3. Why is this happening to me right now?
  4. What am I learning from this experience or from this person?
  5. Why might I have attracted this person or experience in my life right now?
  6. If I think with my heart, what might my next step be? Is knowing this person good for me? Is this experience good for me?

The above are samples of some of the questions. You might say – well Ana that is quite annoying if you have to analyze everything but I assure you the experience is so much more pleasant for me when I go through this analytical process, rather than just going through the motions, an experience that might leave you unsatisfied or uninterested in that someone you just encountered simply because of lack of understanding or an unwillingness to want to understand the experience, the person or whatever the situation is.When meeting someone new, I always embrace the experience knowing that we are interacting with so many different people with different backgrounds and from so many different walks of life on a daily basis – which is why every day should be different and beautiful! As soon as you step outside your front door you must be ready to embrace whatever the day holds for you. Keep in mind that everything has a cause and effect. Just like you want to be understood, so does the individual you just met.

This is just a small taste of the type of blog conversations I hope to hold with my readers. Listen, life is already complicated and quite frankly it shouldn’t be – we make it complicated. If life has thrown something at you that you currently don’t understand, sit down and apply the questions I shared in the paragraph above. We all need to understand that life is a series of adjustments. It’s the recipe to keeping alive! Without these adjustments – life is dormant, no growth – slowly dying. If you feel that perhaps the people you have surrounded yourself are bringing you down, you must as Robin Sharma puts it: “Let go of the relationships in your inner-circle that steal your joy. Your highest life depends on this one winning move.”

I have a library of books that are my absolute treasure. I will share with you what I have learned from these beautiful brilliant minds. If there is a topic you wish to discuss it could be work related or simply your view on any given topic, I definitely would like to hear about it. It will give me material to future posts and we can certainly tackle together what might be troubling you or if it is simply a positive thought that everyone should hear about – I am most certainly open to that.

Listen, you get one chance at life. Whether it be short or a long life – make it count. Fill your mind with the richness of beautiful words, your days with positive experiences, filled with adventure, be the type of person you would want to meet – create the ultimate you! Make all this possible, while keeping true to yourself!


With Family Day around the corner, I hope to share my thoughts on the importance of showing up when it comes to family, setting differences aside, or at least learn to look past your differences, to simply enjoy precious moments with those who count in your life. No compromise just simple compassion and empathy.

Until then, be kind and true to yourself.

To the powerful you,

Ana Spano

If you enjoyed this post, I’d be very grateful if you’d help it spread by emailing it to a friend, or sharing it on Twitter or LinkedIn. Thank you!