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“Pandemic of Love” Connects 150,000 People In Need To Those Who Can Help

“Love is a two-way street. Remember the giver and receiver can benefit from its gifts.”

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  • Shelly Tygielski, a mindfulness teacher from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, started a local online grassroot initiative known as the Pandemic of Love.
  • They had gained $13 million in funds and 150,000 in connections.
  • As of press time, the Pandemic of Love has spread to 16 countries, all with the same purpose of bridging the needy and the ones who can help.

Mindfulness teacher Shelly Tygielski and her local online grassroot initiative, Fort Lauderdale’s Pandemic of Love, has published good numbers for their projects: $13 million in funds and 150,000 connections.

To address the subsequent problems resulting from the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Shelly sensed an opportunity and used her social media influence to do some good.

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Need your participation below! 👇🏼My son turned 18 years old yesterday and is officially an “adult.” My husband and I stayed up until midnight to read him our written wishes and bless him on this milestone birthday. My son expressed that he wishes he didn’t have to grow up, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t in some way have the same longing for him to stay a small child forever, clinging to the innocence of youth, especially in times like these. • • Here are just a few words of advice I offered him – things I would go back and tell my 18 year old self: • • * We belong to a family where everyone says “what will people say?” It’s better not to see who says what about you; it’s you who makes yourself better. * Protect what makes you different at all costs – therein lies your power! * Failure is inevitable. Don’t be ashamed by it – embrace it, learn from it. * Do the things you would do if you weren’t afraid. * Read a lot. Meditate daily. Keep skating. 🤙🏼 * Follow your curiosity and ask a lot of questions. Questions don’t mean you don’t know something – it means that you seek to know. * Speak up for people who aren’t able to speak for themselves. * You’re in charge of your happiness, but you can’t control your life. • • ➡️What advice would you give to your 18 year old self if you could go back and offer it? I’d love to share your thoughts, lessons and wisdom with my son! #eighteenyearsold #happybirthday #wisdom #love #advice #mindfulness #meditation #pandemicbirthday #lessons #presence #now #mindful #meditation #parenthood #adulthood #skaterboy #skatergirl

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“I wanted to turn from this environment of fear to an opportunity for us to create connection, community, and strengthen the bonds of love between us,” she said.

This connection-building initiative started after Shelly posted a video via Instagram. In the video, she told everyone about her new program and its goal: to connect those in need with those who can help.

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One interesting thing about life is that if we try too hard to change, it actually makes it harder to change. Here’s a quick story that illustrates that: There was once a man who wanted to become the finest swordsman in Japan, so he went to seek out a recluse who was reputed to be the best teacher. After a long search, the seeker found the recluse deep in the mountains and asked how long it would take him to become a great sword master. The hermit looked him up and down and said, “Maybe five years.” The seeker thought this sounded like a long time, so he asked, “How long would it take if I tried really hard?” The recluse stroked his beard and thought about it. After a while he said, “Maybe ten years.” 🤷🏻‍♀️ To sum: Desiring change is okay, but longing for change actually hinders growth. An important aspect of developing acceptance is learning to avoid craving and defining how things “must be.” Cravings are intense desires that are fixated on a particular object or experience. There is a tightness, rigidity, stereotypy, or “must-ness” about them — like the addict craving a fix; the overeater, a binge; the miser, more wealth. Satisfying a craving leads to transitory pleasure, but as the pleasure fades, more craving ensues. Cravings have a way of taking over our lives and enslaving us. Cravings can lead us to attach to all kinds of beliefs about how life is supposed to be. “Life is supposed to be easy!” “Life is supposed to be fair!” “Bad things are not supposed to happen to me!” “I should be further ahead in life!” “I’m not supposed to be ill, sick, handicapped, or dependent!” “Raising children (or working for a living, or marriage) shouldn’t be this hard!” “Other people should appreciate me more!” “I should be better, smarter, braver, more loving, more perfect!” Psychologist Albert Ellis used to jest that whenever we placed demands on how life “must” be, we were engaging in “must-erbation.” We are happier when we let go of our demands on life, and accept life as it is, and ourselves as we are. That doesn’t mean we cease making efforts to improve ourselves and our circumstances; we understand that there is no such thing as perfection. There is just life as it is.

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The initiative was so well-accepted that the morning after the first post, Shelly has received 400 requests for help and 500 offers of support. The initiative also inspired others so much that several other communities cropped up under the same banner of Pandemic of Love.

According to Shelly, the requests were mostly food and supply assistance averaging at $150 each.

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A seed is a gorgeous thing in and of itself, isn’t it? The hard outer shell can take a myriad of shapes, from the gentle curling of a calendula seed to the hard husk of a black walnut. Inside that exterior covering is a dense nutrient core. A seed is kind of like a spaceship: everything needed to survive in a hostile environment is contained within. 🌱 When a tree releases its seeds, it sends them far and wide. A seed is a valiant thing, a strong thing. It’s a pioneer and ground-breaker. It is nurturance and protection. 🌱 Being a seed is a noble calling… but it is not the greatest expression—it is only the beginning of becoming. And to become…it must come completely undone. 🌱 “Undone” is a word I associate with romance novels, with the unraveling of the heart, with the breaking open of the spirit. And this seed, this wanderer, doesn’t need to unravel just a little. No. It must be Completely. Un. Done. 🌱 My heart rises in my throat and tears come to my eyes just writing these words. I have come completely undone and I’m guessing you have, too. And oh, my, how it aches because…the shell cracks. 🌱 It is a rending, a tearing, a sharp jagged edge. And it exposes what is soft, what is precious, what needs protecting. But there is no protection when our insides come out. This is the moment of pure exposure, when that little seed can perish or push through to the point where everything changes. 🌱 And, here’s the thing, everything always changes. So it’s not about changing or not changing, it’s about noticing or not noticing. It’s about choosing to engage the change and revel in it, or turn a blind eye. To bloom, you must first be a seed. [Quote Credit: Cynthia Occelli] #growth #seed #journey #happiness #love #wisdom #inspirationalquote #vision #skatergirl #mindfulness #meditation #women

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Reflecting on the project, Shelly shared that she originally meant for it to be a community project. However, she is not opposed to the idea of increasing its scope. In fact, she wished that the project will go ‘viral’ because she believes an outbreak of kindness can make a lot of difference and being ‘viral’ is not necessarily bad.

“A lot of positive things can go viral like hope and faith and love. And love can be the cure.”

Shelly shared.

As of press time, the initiative has spread to 16 different countries including Mexico, Chile, Iceland, and Australia.

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