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Jewel Fries

Saskatchewan, Canada

Eclectic

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Overwhelmed by the negativity she saw reflected in her daily newspapers, Jewel Fries, Life Vest Inside’s wise and gentle Blog Guru, decided to try a different approach to life, a kinder approach.

Several years ago, Jewel’s eyes opened up to a whole other lifestyle when a friend of hers unexpectedly took his life. She realized how important and life changing acts of kindness could be if we were completely present and took part in the little things.

She then made up her mind to switch off from the angst she saw in the news and instead focus on what she could actively do to leave this world a little better.

“Just the knowledge of what was happening around the world wasn’t good enough. I needed to get myself away from the big picture and make the small changes. I needed to make the head and heart connection. It was like a second wind for me, the one that pushes you forward when you slow down in a race.”

Over a short period, several things snowballed leading to the creation of her inspirational blog, Rise Like Air, and becoming actively involved with organizations such as Life Vest Inside and See Beautiful which work to bring out the light in people.

quote-openKindness to me is watching out for the little opportunities; to be willing and able to not only help others, but receive help from them as well. Only then does it become a full circle.quote-close

Being as compassionate hasn’t always been easy in her life, though. Jewel recounts an experience she had a couple of years ago where she encountered an unexpected end to her forever caring nature. She was welcoming guests on a blustery, cold day at an event in her children’s school as she saw an acquaintance at the entrance on a wheelchair. She offered to lead him to his seat as she did with all the previous guests, but in return she noticed a black look in his eyes as he told her off with a curt, “I can do it myself.”

“Sometimes we need to look at things by how they are perceived, and not how it was intended. This experience reminded me of that. I don’t know the whole story but for some reason maybe what I was trying to do wasn’t what he needed and I had to learn to accept that.”

quote-openI had to turn that feeling into a lesson of not letting negative experiences harden my heart.quote-close

Adopting a kindness lifestyle in it’s entirety, to Jewel, is best seen as a drop in a glass. She believes that we all have our kindness glasses and we get drips in every once in awhile.

quote-openKindness becomes a lifestyle when the glass overflows, even when you have negative experiences you are not willing to give up a lifestyle. For some people it just takes longer for the drops to hit the glass.quote-close

While most of her family and peers have been supportive of her kindness lifestyle, she recounts that there are a few who don’t understand it. However, she views this obstacle as an opportunity to gently leave the door open for them to eventually get there, understanding that we each have to be at the right place in our own journey to do so.

Some of Jewel’s favorite random acts of kindness include paying it forward at drive-thrus, giving spare change to people in queues who need it and letter writing.

Jewel believes that random acts of kindness are important as when you do things anonymously, you are not attached to the outcome and simply believe that whatever you have done is for the best.

Speaking of her biggest inspiration for kindness, Jewel dates its origins in her life to when she was a child. The Mcintyre family was a warm, inviting home near hers who have always led by example in being good to others. She was friends with one of their eight children, and while they weren’t extremely wealthy and had their own share of troubles, their doors were always open to her.

“They treated me as one of their own. Whether I needed a shoulder to cry on or advice. They showed me that you didn’t have to have something to give something.”

Check out Jewel’s Wish and see how you may be able to contribute advice or guidance to help make her wish a reality!

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– Interviewed by Soumya John

Soumya describes herself is as a writer. She writes for love, for healing, and for hope, which also happens to be what she would call the central theme of her life! As a Blog Guru at Life Vest Inside, she hopes to give words to the magic of kindness that is slowly, but most certainly, taking over the world!

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MY PERSONAL GOAL:

Jewel’s personal goal is to become a life skills coach. She hopes to someday make a livelihood as a motivational speaker, writer and coach and is looking for contacts, advice, mentoring or courses to help her with it!

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FUN FACTS:

Favorite Song:
Better by The Cat and The Menagerie

Dream Vacation Spot:
A private, tropical beach with with white sands, not too many people and no cruise ships!

Unexpected Talent:
Poet