Our blog is an invitation, a celebration and a conversation. We invite you to travel behind the scenes as we share stories about our hopes and dreams, our products and passions, and our everyday lives. Celebrate and affirm the best parts of the human spirit. Help us discover what it means to live an inspired life-to learn, laugh, love, grow and make a difference for the world. Join in the conversation. Open the book of your life and share the kinds of things that inspire you.

Entries Tagged as encouragement

Start Something Good

by Meredith · 11.08.2013

When the people who work at Compendium think about what it means to do something good in the world--whether it's a kind word, a small favor, or a selfless act--we believe it creates a ripple. It's an image we're all familiar with--a stone dropped into a still pond that sends out ripples far and wide. But have you ever thought of yourself as the pebble? As the single point of impact that changes everything?

That's what we started thinking about last week when we read this wonderful article at the New York Times. It's all about the phenomenon of people "paying it forward" at coffee shops and fast-food restaurants--an example, one woman says, of "goodness gone viral." All over North America, people at drive-up windows are paying for the people behind them. And the most amazing part is that the recipients of that initial act of kindness often end up paying for the people behind them. Sometimes, a chain gets going that can last for hours. One string of cars lasted for over 200 people. 200. Can you imagine? Each of those people drove away knowing they had done something simple and kind and completely unexpected for a total stranger. That's at least 200 people whose days were made brighter and fuller, just because one person decided to start something good.

So today, or next week, or any time inspiration strikes, why not take this story as a little challenge? As a reminder to do something truly good and utterly out-of-the-blue for a perfect stranger? Then, come back here or join us on Facebook and tell us what happened. You'll feel good and someone else will feel good, but the best part? That's just the beginning!

» 4 Comment s   Tags: inspirational products · encouragement

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Inspiration When it's Needed Most

by Carrie · 03.12.2013

Today's blog post comes to us from Carrie Schmitt, an artist and friend of Compendium, who has such a wonderful story to share about her experience with the She book that we wanted her to tell you all about it herself. Visit Carrie's site at carrieschmittdesign.com to find out more about her art. Here's Carrie with her story:

When I first read the She book, I was struck by how powerful the words were. I felt that every woman should read them over and over until these thoughts became the way she lived her life.

Perhaps single mothers need to hear these words more than anyone else. The challenges they face can be overwhelming. I know because I was one.

Today, I am no longer a single mother struggling with all the demands--financial and otherwise--that raising children brings. Not a day goes by that I don't sit in my art studio and think of that time in my life when I had no hope, when my future seemed so daunting.

Every flower I paint represents hope for another woman struggling--hope that one day she will find her way. That compassion and a helping hand will reach out to her.

Ever since I read the She book, I've wanted to incorporate these words into my artwork. One day, I tore out some pages and wove the words into mixed media collages.

When I learned about the Vision House, a local organization that provides transitional housing for women and children, I knew it was where these pieces were meant to be.

There is a (free) store where the families can pick out items to decorate and personalize their new home at the shelter.

I hope that the She book will remind them not to give up their dreams. That it will remind them to take one day at a time. That they matter. That they are doing the hardest and most important job in the world. That it will show them how truly amazing they are.

How do you spread messages of positivity and love? Feel free to post your comment here or to leave us a message on Facebook at facebook.com/liveinspiredeveryday.

» Comments   Tags: compassion · the she book · gift books · encouragement

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Introducing a feel-good experiment!

by Meredith · 01.20.2012

By now you probably know that we're fanatics about spreading inspiration to people through kind words, uplifting statements, and thought-provoking questions. And we love to hear from our worldwide community when they write to us and say that we made a difference in their day, their life, or the lives of people they know.

We're always on the lookout for other people who are inspiring the world through kind actions, no matter how large or small. And as we head into the weekend, we thought you might like to hear about other people creating a web of kindness by giving small amounts of money to perfect strangers. Just a few dollars here and there can create some wonderful momentum.

Here's a beautiful article from the writers of good.is:

http://www.good.is/post/creative-microphilanthropy-good-staff-edition-30daysofgood

and here's a blog from a small-time philanthropist who's paying it forward every day:

http://ifoundmoneytoday.wordpress.com

(Image courtesy of ifoundmoneytoday.wordpress.com)

Have you ever done anything like this? Would you ever? If you have a few extra dollars to spare, this weekend might be a good time to start! Share your stories with us right here, or leave us a comment on our Facebook wall.

» Comments   Tags: compassion · encouragement

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Reverse Trick-or-Treating

by Meredith · 11.08.2011

Most of us think of Halloween as a holiday for little ones--a day for kids to be enchanted with costumes and flickering candlelight and the prospect of free candy. But here at Compendium, we like to think of it a little differently. We think adults can get in on the fun. And since we're always on the lookout for ways to make each day more festive, we showed up to work last Monday looking like this:

After a morning of work and a potluck lunch, we set out to spread a little seasonal cheer by reverse trick-or-treating--giving away our books and journals to local businesses, pedestrians, neighbors, and passersby. We split up into four groups and headed out with baskets full of bright and inspiring treats to give away. We visited doctors' offices and cafes, retail stores, and banks...

and passed out goodies to cyclists, bus drivers, and people in their cars, waiting for the light to change.

We even tracked down a parking enforcement officer to share a little holiday joy.

Some people giggled and gave us high-fives. Lots of people needed to be convinced that we weren't selling anything. "No," we said, "we're reverse trick-or-treating. These surprises are for you." We got hugs from a stranger who was delighted to be given a gift with no strings attached. One woman from a dentist's office came out to thank us a second time and to tell us how much we'd touched her heart. Two women who had just spent their morning volunteering told us this was proof that the good you give to the world really does come back to you.

We returned to the office with empty baskets and stories to share. And in the spirit of sharing, we're passing this story on to you, along with a challenge to add a little unexpected joy to the world today. Your gesture can be a small one or something more extravagant. We'd love it if you'd share your ideas here. How will you add some joy and unexpected delight to someone's day? What can you do to pass it on?

 

» 2 Comment s   Tags: compassion · gift books · inspirational products · encouragement · friendship · friends and family

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Celebrating Compendium Friends & Family

by Dan Zadra · 08.24.2011

A good friend of mine had a dream in which he saw himself as a gently glowing beam of light moving endlessly through a huge crowd. Wherever he went, the light made life brighter and happier for those he happened to touch. It was such a hopeful dream that he eventually decided to adopt that vision as his philosophy of life, and he was never the same again.

What a world this would be if you and I, and the people who live or work down the street, and across the hall, and around the world, suddenly decided to reach out more often and brighten our little corners of the world for friends and family.


That's what Compendium's annual Friends & Family event is all about. First, it's our way of saying a sincere thank you for being an active part of our online community. But it's also our way of inspiring you to reach out and inspire someone else, who in turn will reach out and inspire someone else, and so on down the line from heart to heart.

Think for a moment. Right now, there's a certain someone (or several certain someones) in your circle of friends and family who would welcome a little beam of inspiration, appreciation, or celebration in their world. The right card, book, or message from you--out of the blue--would make their day and light up their life.


What's the "right" card, book, or message for the person you have in mind? Don't worry; you'll know it when you see it. Spend some time on our website and let your heart make the choice. While you're there, enjoy our 30% Friends & Family discount with our compliments, including free ground shipping on orders that total $50 or more with the discount applied. Simply use code thankyou30 during step 2 of the checkout process. You can verify that your code has been applied during step 4.

From all of us here at Compendium, thank you so much for being our customer and friend--and for lighting up your corner of the world.

» 3 Comment s   Tags: love · relationships · inspirational products · encouragement · friendship · friends and family

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Sharing Joy

by Meredith · 06.29.2011

Here at Compendium, the arrival of a new book is always a reason to celebrate. After weeks of meetings and conversations, planning and writing, drawing and designing, revision and proofreading, we send our book off to be printed. And we wait. And then, one day we receive an unassuming brown package in the mail. Inside? We find something like this:

Joy is a book we've been wanting to make for a long time. It's vibrant and buoyant and full of life. And it's impossible to read from cover to cover without feeling a little brighter and a little more excited about the possibilities in each day. As Joy says on the jacket, if we want joy to be the story of our years, joy must be the story of our days. Joy must be a daily choice, a habit, a promise we make to ourselves. Joy must be the way we travel.

And now, we want to share Joy with you! We're giving away ten copies of Joy to ten readers who share with us something they do to find joy in the everyday. Post a comment to our Facebook page, or post a comment here.

We'll choose 10 winners at random from those who respond by Friday, July 8 at 11:59 pm PST. So join us in spreading joy everyday. Tell us where you find joy, happiness, and spark in your life, and we'll enter you to win!

» 21 Comment s   Tags: gift books · inspirational products · encouragement · friendship

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The things that make our day

by Meredith · 05.24.2011

At Compendium, we're like the rest of you: there are days when we could use a little reminder that the work we do makes a difference in the world. That's why, one rainy Friday, we were so thrilled to receive this email from Kalene, who works at a drug and alcohol treatment program. Her words reminded us exactly why we love the work we do, and we wanted to share her story with you.

Kalene wrote:

I wanted to take a minute to once again say thank you so much for your products, services, and support. I bought some inspirational window cards a couple of years ago, and I give them weekly to the women in our drug and alcohol treatment program. These cards have made such a difference in these women's lives. For many, they have entered treatment with no hope, no sense of self-worth, and have extensive traumas that have perpetuated their addictions. The majority have extremely strained relationships with their families due to their use and abuse of drugs and alcohol and the behaviors that accompany their usage.

Every week, I rotate between the cards To Your Success, I Believe in You, Believe, Success, and Never Quit. The women read their card out loud and take a moment to share how it applies to them in their lives.

Since we started in September 2009, we have had 6 women graduate our program, with 8 set to graduate in June, and an additional 10 by the end of this year. At their graduation, I give each one of them a journal from Compendium, signed by the treatment team, along with a box of window cards. These women then journal about the first 30 days of their new life, using tools they learned in treatment to support their recovery, and share their journal writings with the women in treatment.

I want everyone at Compendium to know that you have had a major impact on several lives--not only those who are currently working to change their lives, but also many kids who have their moms back, parents who have their daughters back, and siblings able to re-unite. What you do really does matter!

 

» 1 Comment   Tags: relationships · window cards · inspirational products · encouragement

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Words Have Wings

by Meredith · 09.07.2010

As a writer, I've always believed wholeheartedly in the power of words. Words to express gratitude, words to express love, words to apologize, to build relationships, share joys, process the world around us. In the few months that I've worked at Compendium, it's become even more apparent to me how the right words at the right time can change someone's day.

One of my jobs here is to find a daily quote to post to our Facebook account. I choose quotes from books we publish, or quotes that people share with me, or quotes from our gigantic quote database, which is filled with thousands of statements from all kinds of people, on all kinds of topics. An hour in the quote database is like a whirlwind trip through the ages. There are thoughts from Roman statesmen, movie stars, saints, poets, philosophers, and football players. Most days, a quote hits me hard right between the ribs, and I know that's the one to use.

But the best part of the whole process is hearing from all of you, and knowing that those words hit close to home for someone else. I love watching the responses come in from our Facebook fans, especially when they're along the lines of "this is exactly what I needed to hear today."

A few weeks ago, I came up with the idea of sending our quotes out to a broader population--not just to those who purchase our books, or those who've added us to their Facebook network. I wanted to make it possible for our words to find people at home, in the world. Serendipitously.

So Dan Zadra and I asked our warehouse staff to stockpile some Window Cards for us--cards that arrived at the distribution center in dented or damaged boxes, but whose contents were still perfect. Now, we're giving those cards away. In a big way. We want to send thousands of Window Cards out into the world, and we want you to be involved.

How? Send me your mailing address, and we'll send you an envelope full of Window Cards. Each one will carry its own message of inspiration. They'll be assorted. And they won't be for you. They'll be for you to give to friends, or leave in mailboxes, or place on a park bench or in between the covers of a library book. They're for brightening the bus driver's day, or the waitress', or the parking attendant's. And with any luck, they'll hit close to home in just the right way.

A note from Compendium, April 2011:

Thank you to everyone who participated in the Words Have Wings project! We received inquiries from all around the United States and the world, and sent thousands of Window Cards off to meet people in surprising and unexpected ways. The project is closed for now, but please check our blog regularly for updates--we hope to create similar events in the future, and look forward to your participation!

» 23 Comment s   Tags: relationships · window cards · inspirational products · encouragement

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Living on Purpose

by Layla · 08.11.2010

A note from Compendium: We're thrilled to offer you a post by our very first guest blogger--Layla from The Lettered Cottage. Keep reading, and you'll discover exactly why we feel so lucky to have her here.

***

I'll never forget the day my husband, Kevin, and I discovered Live-Inspired.com.

It was around 1 o'clock in the morning, and we were both working on our computers in our home office. The room was dimly lit and quiet, except for the sound of our clicking keys. We were both pretty tired, but we were on a mission to finish up some internet business before we turned in for the night.

One item on Kevin's to-do list was "find the website that makes the cool metal postcards."

Earlier that day, I had received one in the mail from someone who reads my blog.

There was no return address on the package it came in.

It was a completely random act of kindness, and I was not only blown away by the sweet anonymous gesture, I was also intrigued by the super-cool metal postcard she sent me.

So as we sat at our computers that night, Kevin did a bit of surfing and eventually landed at Live-Inspired.com. He invited me to pull up a chair next to him, and we spent the next hour scouring the entire site together. We sat there, side by side, just taking it all in. With each click of his mouse, we found ourselves smiling. We read phrase after phrase aloud to each other, and we became filled to the brim with a fresh sense of focus and passion.

As we made our way from one Live-Inspired webpage to the next, we were re-inspired to be dreamers, do-gooders, and romantics.

We were encouraged to share our abilities, energies and talents.

We were motivated to stay hungry and foolish.

And we were reminded to preserve and protect the things that can't be replaced.

At one point, we clicked on a link that took us to a video about the "5" book. If you've never watched it, I encourage you to check it out. It has the ability to both fill you up and take your breath away, simultaneously. It's amazing.

We watched it three times in a row that night. We even paused it a few times so that we could talk about some of the thoughts it sent rushing through our heads.

The phrase, "live your life on purpose" initiated a conversation about the importance of our 'invisi-goals'--the kind of goals that concern your spirit. The kind of goals that make you feel the most alive--like being a better friend or family member, giving back more often, and thinking more positively.

The question/answer, "What is life for? Life is for YOU" sparked a discussion about the importance of seizing every one of our days. We made a pact to be more observant, and to seize even the most common of occasions and treat them all like extraordinary opportunities.

We talked and talked, and we must have smiled for an hour straight. Needless to say, it was a truly inspiring day from start to finish, and by the time we finally decided to head to bed I swear we could've floated there.

» 12 Comment s   Tags: relationships · tin can · inspirational products · encouragement · friendship

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The Stationery Show Top Ten

by Liz · 06.01.2010

 

 “Start spreadin’ the news

I’m leaving today…

I want to beeee a part of it,

New York – New York…” 

 

This is what I hummed  from Seattle to New York City last weekend on our way to the New York Stationery Show.  My seat neighbor was probably less than thrilled on round 27 of my tune.  In thinking of how I could re-tell our stories to you with some New York flair, I landed on David Letterman’s “Top Ten List”.  So without further ado, here are the:

 

Top Ten Things from Compendium in the City:

 

10.    Since we already covered the humming, you should know that I am always happy.  I high-five coworkers, hug strangers, sing in traffic, etc.  Working at Compendium means we are surrounded by inspiration on a daily basis, and this inspiration rubs off.  This was evident when my cab driver looked in his rearview mirror and said, “You sure smile a lot.”

 

9.    New York City has the best slice of pizza for $1.00 at 9th and 41st.  I will buy you a slice if you can find a better one.

 

8.   We debuted our new boxed card sets and had outstanding feedback!  It’s so fun to hear people get excited about new products!

 

7.    We met an extraordinary woman with a touching story.  She came to the show to window shop and while shuffling through all of the busy booths, she discovered us.  She couldn’t help but stop.  She told us that she had stage 3 cancer, and is now living her life to the fullest.  She was touched by our products.  We were touched by her courage.

 

6.    Have you ever seen a cuter face?  Okay, maybe I’m biased, since this is my child.

 

 

Side note: Our new kids products are SO fun!!  I can’t wait to get the new World of Thanks kit out!

  

5.    Note to self/tip to travelers:  Always carry an umbrella in New York City.  Sudden DOWNPOUR and a nine-block walk in the rain make Liz a very soaked girl. 

4.    Our designers went to see the Letterman show and brought a Tickle Monster Laughter Kit for Dave’s son Harry.  The show’s producer had much fun with the mitts, I’m wondering if we have an adult demographic we are overlooking…

 

3.    We stocked our booth with One books to give away.  Three days and dozens of “Are you the ones giving away that cool blue book?”, and we inspired 1000 new Compendium friends and fans. 

 

2.    The Louie Awards are like the Oscars of our industry.  Last year we won Greeting Card of the Year with a Positively Green card and this year, WE BROUGHT HOME TWO AWARDS for Friendship and Sympathy cards!  Such a great honor!

 

And LASTLY:

 

1.    At the Louies we were introduced to a young man named Ian Meier.  Ian is a 5th grader who makes incredible handcrafted greeting cards out of his bedroom, sells them at local stores, and loves inspiring other people. Ian’s passion and innocence warmed my heart.  In the age of video games, Facebook hellos, and twitter thank-yous, Ian is bringing his generation back to gratitude.  He reminded me to think of how thankful I am for the people in my life who make me smile.  Then he encouraged me to slow down.  And tell them.

» 2 Comment s   Tags: relationships · tickle monster · positively green · gift books · inspirational products · encouragement · friendship

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