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The Stories

  • Ryan Cummins, Founder & CEO Of Omaze On The Power Of Gratitude

    Can you remember a time in your life that where you were overcome with gratitude? 

    Absolutely, it was the birth of our child. My wife is a remarkable woman, and I’m beyond fortunate to have her as a best friend and true partner in life. We weren’t initially certain we could have kids so getting pregnant was a welcome joy. While we were discussing the delivery plan she agreed to let me co-deliver with our doctor at Cedar Sinai. This basically meant that Dr. Lee (massive shout out to another incredible woman) set the birth course for success, before stepping aside to allow me to finish the job of catching our son Alden and passing him into Lisa’s waiting arms. Taking part in that process, witnessing birth and being afforded the opportunity to hold our son as he first came into this world, well that’s as close as I’ve ever come to experiencing a miracle. Beautiful and surreal. We have an audio recording of the experience, and every so often Lisa and I pause whatever we’re doing just to remember the moment. It was a special time in our lives when we were both filled with gratitude, a feeling we enjoy reliving time and time again. 

    (Additional notes of gratitude: I’d be remiss if I did not thank our dear friend, Clark, for tipping us off to the fact that being able to co-deliver a baby is even a thing that’s allowed. Also, to Desiree and all the rest of the unbelievably kind and talented Cedar Sinai maternity ward staff. Thank you!)

      What are some practices we can use to nurture our capacity for gratitude?

      There’s a practice that I call “Wins, Wisdom, Gratitude” which I do everyone morning for 30 minutes. It’s very simple. First, spend 10 minutes writing down a few wins from the previous day. Next, spend 10 minutes reading something inspiring. (This can be select passages from a book, motivational articles, inspiring poetry, whatever does it for you.) Finally, I have a shortlist of people who are closest in my life. My immediate family and friends. I’ll take that last 10 minutes and select one or two of them to send a short text of gratitude to. I try and be specific around something I appreciate about them, and send it off with zero expectation of anything back. 

      There’s a lovely saying that anxiety and gratitude can’t share the same space. I’ve found that this practice of gratitude definitely help me reduce anxiety. Just the act itself inspires joy.

    • Respect & Empathy Without Judgement

      A Conversation With Karla Tafra on Empathy

      We had a quick conversation with one of our favorite Yoga Teachers, Karla Tafra, to find inspiration for our Pay It Forward theme of the week- Empathy.


      Question: How would you define empathy?

      Empathy to me is being respectful of other people's lives, without any never know what another person is going through. 


      Question: How does empathy help move you forward in life? 

      It helps us move forward in life as we bring no judgment into our world, and we create and maintain better relationships with people.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         
      Karla Tafra
      Yoga Teacher and Nutritionist | @KarlaTafra
    • Go There. Be There.

      This is one of our favorite times of year here at The Giving Keys. In celebration of International Pay It Forward Day on April 28th, we are making it really easy for you to Pay It Forward to people in your world with our all-new classic key sets featuring a key for yourself and one for FREE to give away. In 2017 and 2018 we generated more than 3,000 pay it forward moments each year (yes, that’s for real!) and, with your help, in 2017 we spread 26,000 letters of kindness and encouragement all over Los Angeles. This is the third year we’re celebrating with a month-long campaign this time called “Go There. Be There.” and we are inviting you to join us in Paying It Forward with our vintage-inspired Patina Classic Key necklace distressed in black, white and turquoise and featuring four words that just might change your life.
      There are internal and external boundaries that hold us back from unlocking the full potential we have to make a difference in the lives of everyone from those close to us, to people from our past, to the strangers we encounter. “Go There. Be There.” takes us on the path to realizing the things inside of us that impact the relationships around us. The themes we are inviting you into this April are Forgiveness, Empathy, Gratitude, and Courage, and The Giving Keys’ challenge is to go there – to that person or that part of yourself that you have put on the backburner, that person or that part that is going to transform you and be there – show up for yourself or someone else, stay there, see it all the way through! This could be a reset with the ones you might be estranged from or challenging yourself to understand the difficult situations of others to expand your ability to love or communicating gratitude for someone who has loved you and finally – it may be the courageous journey of finally tackling your fears.
      We will be sharing inspiring stories from founders, actors, executives, mamas, creatives, students, philanthropists, and thought leaders to give you real-world ideas on how to receive and give all four of these qualities in your life. We will offer insights and suggestions on ways to strengthen our shared human connections in our emails, on our social channels and through our website. Start the journey with us now by watching the video below to see how are themes resonate with some of our favorite people.  Then get your own 2-for-1 Patina Classic Key set in your theme, pay it forward and join the conversation by sharing your stories with us by using #GoThereBeThere.
      The Giving Keys invites you to take on the challenge and join our campaign to create another 3,000 Pay It Forward moments this April. We invite you to Go There AND Be There!


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