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 love

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

Share:

Mapping Your Dreams

by Meredith · 06.16.2011

All of us who work at Compendium love to receive emails and messages from people who tell us how our books have encouraged them to try something new, think more positively, or live a more inspired life. Sometimes, we're so caught up in reading our mail that we forget about the similar stories we have right in our own office. Today, we're bringing you a guest blog post from Carin, our sales director, whose story about the 5 book is one we knew we had to share.

***

Carin writes:

Goal-setting is powerful. We all know that to be true. But two years ago, my husband and I sat down, independently of each other, and worked through Compendium's 5 book to map our values and dreams in addition to our goals. What came from this was more life-changing than we could have imagined.

When we compared notes, my husband and I realized that we both had a passionate desire to live and work abroad. It had never seemed practical to pack up our family and embark on a journey overseas. Recent changes in the economy had put the brakes on Rod's real-estate practice, though, and we soon realized that this was the perfect time to explore our dreams. Why not have a 40-something married couple and three kids under 13 go to a third-world country?

Two months later, we had lined up teaching jobs at an international school in Baguio City, Philippines; we sold our non-essentials, put the rest in storage, and made plans to say goodbye to friends and family for a year, or perhaps longer...

Living in the Philippines was always an adventure. We learned how to turn a two-lane road into a five-lane one and how to drive in a place where people stop in the middle of the street to change their oil. Our children were immersed in a school of many cultures and learned that kids don't act the same everywhere in the world. Our blond-haired, blue-eyed child adopted a stronger Filipino accent than her native peers and cheerfully accepted cheek pinching from strangers on the street.

We learned that we bonded as a family (and with new precious friends) through the wacky and the challenging. We found that our assimilation and adaptation to new cultures wasn't as flexible as we once thought. We tried new things every day (though sometimes only once--fish head soup, for example). These experiences provided a chance for our family to rise above circumstances.

We observed a culture that is resilient and understands that hard times happen, and learned to stay calm even when things don't go as planned. We saw an entire neighborhood washed away by a landslide from one of the worst typhoons in decades, and we realized that you don't have to rely on electricity or the predictability of your favorite things to bring you joy. Above all, we witnessed the simplicity and beauty of a culture that is fueled by relationships.

I feel humbled that we were able to live this dream. I am grateful for the 5 book that magnified our dream and gave us the courage to check off quite a few boxes on our bucket list while impacting and being impacted by so many lives along the way.

» 3 Comment s   Tags: love · the 5 book · inspirational products · friendship

Share:

Celebrating the "2" Book

by Dan Zadra · 03.17.2011

The "2" book is the latest addition to our best-selling 'life by the numbers' series. The first book, entitled "5," is a book about life's adventures and asks the question, 'Where will you be five years from today?" The second book, entitled "1," is about life's purpose and asks the question, 'How many people does it take to make a difference?' Both books were instant best-sellers.

 

Now, we're pleased to introduce the "2" book--an inspiring celebration of couplehood. If you have found love, you have been given one of life's greatest gifts. Treasure it. Savor it. Celebrate it. Pick a time to sit side by side--just you, your partner, and the "2" book--and look out at the future together. Dream together. Laugh together. Plan together. Fall in love with life all over again.

Remember, it's not what you have in your life, but who you have in your life that really counts.

» 1 Comment   Tags: love · wedding · anniversary · relationships · inspirational products

Share:

A Celebration of Fireworks

by Steve · 07.09.2010

This past weekend, I was given the gift of participating in my son's engagement here on the roof of the Compendium offices. I've worked here at Compendium for over 16 years. When I first started, my oldest son was only 8 years old; he's now 24. Early on, Kobi, our president, would come over and give me direction in my home office. When I turned back to work, he would play with my three children until they were sent off to bed. That's just to say that we're all kinda family here. So not only was it a treasure for me to be a part of this engagement, but it has touched several others here as well.

While the engagement has been in the making for quite some time, the decision to "pop the question" on the 4th of July was a surprise, especially for his fiancee. Over the past few years, several Compendium employees and their families have used our rooftop vantage point to watch the Lake Union fireworks display. This year, my son told his fiancee that she and some co-workers of mine were invited to watch the fireworks together. My entire family came early to the office and transformed the rooftop deck into a romantic bistro for two. We set out flowers, champagne, lights, tiki torches, her favorite "chocolate fondue," and Compendium's own Love window cards. As expected for Seattle, it rained and rained right up until an hour or so before they arrived, adding just enough anxiety to our already stressed excitement. Off to the side and out of sight was a camera capturing the entire event to remember forever. When everything was perfect, we all hid and waited.

When my son entered the deck from the stairwell, the surprise was over. In an instant, she knew. She turned around to see her "knight" on one knee. Her reaction to this posture was completely and overwhelmingly filled with joy. I had forgotten how exciting true love is at its inception. They hugged and cried and soaked up the moment for as long as they could. It was truly inspiring. He called us out of hiding along with some special friends and we watched the fireworks together, both theirs and those in the sky.

Love is amazing.

» 6 Comment s   Tags: love · wedding · relationships · window cards

Share:

When I Was with My Father...

by Dan Zadra · 06.07.2010

 

Here’s a great reminder from our best-selling Dad, My Hero book:  “Those who say that we live in a time when there are no heroes just don’t know where to look. To find a real hero, sometimes all we have to do is look closer to home."  Joseph Campbell once wrote that a hero is not necessarily a legendary figure; more often he’s an everyday person who has given his heart to something bigger than himself. That’s a perfect way to describe a great dad.

 

 

It’s true. Few things in life are more powerful or heroic than a father’s positive presence throughout the years. It doesn’t have to be fancy. Think back on some of the simple, loving things he did that made you feel happy and secure. Was it the sound of his footsteps on the stairs, as he hurried home early from work? Was it his laughter at the dinner table? His cheers from the sidelines?  His words of encouragement and hope?  His hand on your shoulder and a “you can do it” when the going got tough?

 

Years from now, when you look back on all the times you had with your Dad, chances are you won’t be able to remember all the things he did or said. What you will surely remember, however, is how he made you feel---and that feeling will always be with you.

 

There’s a little poem by Marsha Jeffrey Hendrickson that expresses what I’m trying to say. I once had this poem typeset and framed for my own dad at Father’s Day. He kept it on a shelf with his favorite family pictures for years, and we included it in his memorial service when he died:

 

When I was with my father,

when I was just a child,

the world was filled with wonder

and every place was wild.

And every day was magic,

and Santa Claus was true,

and all the things that mattered

were things my father knew.

We often went exploring. . .

and I learned to love the land,

but the greatest thing I ever learned

was how to understand---

That the finest gifts are often

things we may not always see;

when I wasn’t with my father,

my father was with me.

 

A great dad is someone we look up to, no matter how old we are. He may not be perfect, but he has given his heart to his kids, over and over, especially when it counted.

» 1 Comment   Tags: love · relationships · father's day · gift books · inspirational products

Share:

To the Best Friends We've Never Met

by Dan Zadra · 05.14.2010

 

Who can explain the magical sets of circumstances that conspire to create a lasting friendship or bond between people?

 

Here at Compendium some of our most cherished relationships are with people we’ve never even seen face-to-face. Sure, we may have talked with each other by telephone, communicated online, or even collaborated from a distance on mutually important projects. But we’ve never actually sat down and looked each other in the eye, or shared a handshake or a hug.

 

And yet, we know in our heart of hearts that these people who we’ve only known from afar have come into our lives for some important reason, large or small. We count them among our friends and kindred spirits. Over the years I’ve adopted a special name for them—a term of endearment that you are welcome to use if you, too, are lucky enough to have similar people in your life. I call these people “the best friends I’ve never met.”

 

Let me introduce you to one. Back in the 1990’s Compendium received a phone call from an elderly woman who lived on a small pension in a trailer park in Lacy, Washington. Her name was Betty Kieler, and though she spoke in a gentle, wavering, grandmotherly voice, we quickly discovered that she could be very tough and determined when it came to fighting for her causes.

 

Betty proudly informed us that she was the newly-elected President of the Northwest Senior chapter of Random Acts of Kindness. Their goal was to somehow feed and clothe hundreds of disadvantaged children in the Pacific Northwest, and also teach them to read. Betty wanted Compendium to help by donating our Gift of Inspiration books and our window cards to their causes.

 

 

 

 

Over the next decade, Betty became one of the very best friends we never met, staying connected across the miles by phone or email. We marveled as she overcame recurring heart attacks and cancer on the way to recruiting dozens of senior citizens to her organization. Over time, Betty and her elderly volunteers fed and clothed thousands of students, and created a wonderful student reading program that became a national model.

 

We didn’t have to meet her face-to-face to know who she was, or what she stood for. It was clear. To all of us at Compendium, Betty Kieler was a kindred spirit, a familiar and reassuring soul, a beautiful example of what we like to call the “inspired community”—and one of the best friends we never met.

 

There have been lots of others along the way—people of all ages and walks of life with whom we share something special, hopeful and affirming. And now, thanks to Facebook, Twitter, and other far-flung ways of connecting across the miles, there are more of us getting connected than ever before. Here's to the inspired community, and to the best friends we never met. People like Betty. People like you.

 

» 3 Comment s   Tags: love · relationships · volunteers · compassion · window cards · inspirational products · friendship

Share:

To Mom, For All the Wonderful Things You Do

by Dan Zadra · 05.03.2010

 According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are 82.5 million moms in the U.S. (including yours), but more than three times that many Mother's Day cards and gifts will be given out this year. Why? Because Mom has been a lot busier than most of us realize.

For starters, it turns out that she is not just your mom, she is also someone’s sweetheart, wife, or best friend---and that definitely deserves a couple more cards or gifts.

 

If you have brothers and sisters, you’ll probably run into them at the card or gift shop this year, because your mom is their special Mom, too.

 

Now consider that your mom may also be someone’s cherished stepmother, adoptive mother, godmother and/or grandmother. I can remember that my big sister Lynne’s house used to look like a jam-packed Hallmark store on Mother’s Day. A single mom, Lynne somehow held down a full-time job, raised seven great kids of her own, and still found time to nurture several beloved grandchildren and godchildren---and they all made the pilgrimage to her house each year with a special card or gift in hand.

 

 

 

Today, our mothers are not only managing the home, they are also leading the House and the Senate. These days your mother may still be running the PTA, but chances are she may also be leading her company, community, church, hospital or volunteer organization.

 

"We mothered this nation," wrote former White House correspondent Liz Carpenter, "and we have no intention of abandoning our roles as nurturer or wife, mother, loving daughter, tax-paying citizen, homemaker, breadwinner."

 

How does Mom do it?  I’m not sure. Just be glad she does. And on Mother’s Day, be sure to celebrate, honor, love and affirm her.

 

Note: Continue our Mother's Day conversation; tell us about your Mom and the special ways she cares for you.

» 2 Comment s   Tags: love · relationships · mothers · gift books

Share:

Priceless Gifts for Mother's Day

by Meredith · 04.20.2010

Of all the gifts she gave us, please

The greatest of these

Were the memories.

---Isabella Graham

 

She nurtured you, encouraged you, believed in you, and gave you time and space to find your own place in the world. She gave you her hand to hold, her heart to call home, and the gift of laughter to keep and to share. What can you give her in return?

 

Through the years, your mother made a treasure out of every finger-painting, home-made present, and photograph that reminds her of you. This year, for mother’s day, show her once again that some of the best gifts in life cost the least but mean the most.  For example:

 

-Frame a photo of the two of you, and write her a note describing your memories of that shared moment.

-Buy a small flowering tree like a cherry, dogwood, or crabapple, and plant it in her yard. She’ll think of you as she watches it grow and bloom.

-Buy two matching teacups; give her one, and keep the other. Tell her to think of you sharing tea together whenever she uses hers.

-Write a letter describing some of your fondest and most beautiful childhood memories together.

-Give her a set of stationery or a box of cards, pre-stamped and hand-written with your address. Promise her a response to every letter she writes.

 

Here at Compendium, almost all of our most popular Mother’s Day gifts cost under $15.  One of the best examples is a little hardcover book entitled, “My Mom—Her Story, Her Words.”

 

This book is filled with questions that only your Mom can answer—questions such as, “Mom, when you were a child, what was your neighborhood like?  What is the best memory of your own Mom and Dad?”  You’ll spark conversation, cherish old memories and create new ones as she answers these questions, and end up with a family heirloom in your mother’s own handwriting.  This book costs only $9.95, but creates a priceless keepsake—something that will be treasured for generations to come.

 

No matter how you decide to remember your Mom this Mother’s Day, remember this: in the end, the true value of a gift is not its price, but its significance.

 

As we at Compendium get ready for Mother’s Day, we’d love to hear from you about special memories of your Mom.  Is there a meal she always made, a flower she always grew, a saying that makes you think of her?  Post your memories here. Join our community and share the love.

 

 

» 6 Comment s   Tags: love · relationships · mothers · gift books · inspirational products

Share:

How Do Couples Make Life More Beautiful for Each Other?

by Dan Zadra · 02.25.2010

Kobi Yamada and I are working on a new Compendium book, and we are looking to you for inspiration. All you have to do is respond to the following question by writing your answer in the reply section below.

The question is: How do couples make life more beautiful or meaningful for each other?

[Read more »]

» 32 Comment s   Tags: love · wedding · anniversary · boyfriend · relationships · friendship

Share: