Catch Michelle Harwood Lange on the #PirateBroadcast
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Welcome to the #PirateBroadcast, where we interview #interestingpeople doing #interestingthings. Where you can expand your connections, your community, #kindnessiscool and #smilesarefree. Let’s get this party started.
Russ Johns 0:21
It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood for a podcast, a broadcast and becoming a pirate, actually. I just want to remind everybody, thank you so much, all the gratitude in the world for you being here. Joining us, making comments, letting us know where you're from, or asking questions and just interacting with the conversation here. We love the fact that you're here. If you're not able to join us on LinkedIn, there's always YouTube and Facebook. Good morning, we got a special guest. So Michelle, how are you doing?
Michelle Harwood Lange 0:58
I'm good. How are you, john? I mean, Russ. Sorry. (laughs)
Russ Johns 1:01
Fabulous. I'm fabulous. It looks like a wonderful, kind morning this morning for you. We're getting things rolling here and I know we were talking before the show about some of the things you have going on. We were talking about kindness and how generosity and giving back always plays out in the best possible scenario. It looks like you know exactly what that's all about. So tell us a little backstory in and how you developed your intent for creating and creativity and the positive nature that you're at right now.
Michelle Harwood Lange 1:40
I think the big story comes from many years ago, when life happens, you know, we have challenges to deal with. We have to find a way to get through that negative place and state in our lives. For me, back then, many years ago, over 20 years ago, it was at...so that was my my therapy. And through many life experiences. One, I think the greatest shift for me about kindness was when my son passed away. It was a very dark time and I literally decided that the only way I could get through that was create soul heart intent, where that self sacrifice of being kind to myself and kind to others were in giving back, providing service every day, to people I meet, to what I did in my job, to what I was going to do with my career and my life. That was the most important choice that I could make for myself and the world. So I went about just connecting with myself from a heart centered place in just giving in. It felt right, it felt good. I think I had always known that most of my life, that by giving service and helping each other and championing and finding kindness and respect and honor in that activity. Because I think that the world sees kindness as a weakness, and it's not, there's nothing greater than giving yourself kindly to somebody else. It takes a lot of internal strength and personal empowerment to do that, especially in a moment where it's challenging. Ssomebody could be screaming at you, I've had that one of my jobs, where you're on the phone, you're being a call center operator, and somebody is pushing back because their life experiences are right where they are in that moment. It's not about you, it's about where they're at. And when you approach that those events or anything that you're having with kindness, let me tell you, it's like Dr. Diocese, be kind, your life and what you do is so much more beautiful, then being negative.
Russ Johns 4:21
Yeah, it fills you up with...you have an opportunity to have empathy and have some ideas of what others are going through. It's really important. First and foremost, I'm sorry about your loss and having lost a son, I appreciate the journey that we have to go through in order to understand that life has to go on, life is going along and it's not always comfortable. However, that's the same thing that others are feeling there. You don't know what other people are going through. You don't know what the other person on the phone or reading the blog or acquiring information, you don't know what they're going through in their personal situation. So if the rule of thumb is always the default is kindness, then it makes life so much easier because you can understand and appreciate where they might be coming from and add to that.
Michelle Harwood Lange 5:25
I agree, you don't understand what other people are going through, and you don't know the effects of what you do have on them. But the default truly is being kind. Kindness comes in many ways, it's opening a door, it's smiling, it's saying, hello, it's getting centered with the place that you intuitively know that your actions are a representation of who you are and what you believe to be true. We're not filling in space just because we want that like or we want that share. We want that mutual approbation in those accolades. Kindness is really at the core of hand in hand with gratitude and forgiveness and grace. So, when we feel those things, we action them, it's not just words and lip service. I think it's very much what we do. We choose, we have to choose it.
Russ Johns 6:27
Also, Michelle, I think it comes out in the way we create. And I think that what your project is, and what you're looking for, looking to achieve in this world is a powerful tool that we can all consider. So how do you inspire kindness in a blog post or a piece of art or some creative venture? How do you see that process evolving and expanding on that idea?
Michelle Harwood Lange 7:02
Well, I think in a blog, for me, I'm saying I'm showing you here, I started with Michael Ray and his smile project. And writing, I think it's the funniest there is showing appreciation, gratitude in the way that you speak about somebody's event or life. You have to be a really good, well crafted wordsmith we use intuitively feel what that person's experiences and listen to the words that they say, and hear the impactfully in kindness is about when you engage you celebrate what other people are doing. It's not about what you get out of it. It's what you can do for the other person. And I think Michael Smith, Michael, excuse me, Michael Ray's smile project was a great way for me to say, take a look at this man, and what he's doing. And this is who he is, talk about from a emotive soulful place, with kindness in an artistic way. For me, it was creating art, that she is a beautiful space where people can look at it with a have an art experience. And that what I mean by that is an art experience for me is, you look at a piece of art and you feel something, there's something in you that creates a place in a moment where you're like, wow, that inspires me, I want to go do that, like one of my pieces I created recently, is have a hand stretched out in the universe with the world. above it, like you know, our hand is, is connected to the world. Our hand is a representation of what we do is people and what we think and we have the world in the palm of our hand and how do we treat it? How do we embrace it? How do we live into what we believe kindnesses about creating a beautiful event that inspires somebody else and gets them soulfully connected with themselves or something that inspires them to to go out and say I want to go be that I want to live into that.
Russ Johns 9:20
When you can inspire others to take some action and activity and pursue or be present in what you're doing that that's an amazing event. Especially what a piece of art that you've poured everything into all your kindness and love and, and generosity. There's a really an opportunity to actually talk.
Michelle Harwood Lange 9:42
I have props behind me people and this is the painting. My daughter's giving me props. I have to love her.
Russ Johns 9:50
Michelle Harwood Lange 9:51
Yeah. So that's an inspiration for peace. It's actually going out to a good friend. I'm,I created that piece that was for my business logo and sent it in partial, not finished, the story behind this and to inspire somebody because they were having a rough day and I say, take a look at this, this might lift you up. They fell in love with the painting and I said, okay, it's original...no, this is for my business logo. And he goes, well, I...Michael Paderanu, good morning. He said, I really love this painting and I said, okay, it's yours. I will gift it to you. That's the story. Art is anything we create, if we put our heart and soul into it in a loving way. People can feel that sense of what you bring to the table and I love my daughter. She's so passionate about what I'm doing. She's such a great cheerleader. I I'm grateful for her.
Russ Johns 11:07
Yes, yes. Michael Baker says, good morning Russ and Michelle. Guess who's here in the house? Gabriel. Good morning, Gabriel.
Michelle Harwood Lange 11:17
Good morning, Thank you, Gabriel.
Russ Johns 11:21
Hiett Ives says, I'm late here. Good morning pirates. That is Sheri Lally. Good morning, Russ and Michelle. You're a priate now
Michelle Harwood Lange 11:31
I am? Yay!
Russ Johns 11:32
Yes. So excited to see Michelle become a pirate. This is awesome. Fantastic.
Michelle Harwood Lange 11:38
I'm a down under pirate so south seas, here I come.
Russ Johns 11:42
Yeah. I have to tell you, some of my favorite music comes from your neck of the woods, New Zealand.
Michelle Harwood Lange 11:54
From New Zealand.
Russ Johns 11:55
Yeah. I've got some musician people down there that I enjoy.
Michelle Harwood Lange 12:01
Russ Johns 12:02
Hiett says, is Michelle a Brit. Maybe an Aussie? No New Zealand
Michelle Harwood Lange 12:07
Kiwi, all the way. And don't worry, I'm not offended. I I grew out of that, if I was really like that.
Russ Johns 12:17
Good morning, fellow pirates. So Hiett says, good morning. Happy Tursday morning. Love Michelle and Maddie Moo.
Michelle Harwood Lange 12:28
Yep. Love them.
Russ Johns 12:30
Yes, yes. They're always out there doing great things. Gabriel says kindness is contagious. It is so wonderful to live it and express it. I had Michael Ray on last night and the amount of kindness and love he shares is incredible. It is. I'm sorry, Gabriel, I have to go back and watch the replay. You do some amazing work. I really love that you're doing...
Michelle Harwood Lange 12:54
Russ Johns 12:55
Hey guys, you both are amazing. Appreciate you, Mike, I love that you're here. Thanks for joining us. You know, Michelle, I believe in creating something every day. I love the creative process. I thrive in it. It's not always the same. There's some things that I'd like to do...this show is an example of something that I can put out into the world and shine the light on someone like yourself and hopefully that translates to other people thinking about how they can actually pursue and generate kindness around their lives. I think it's really important, it goes back to the same principle. You don't know what other peopleare going through. You don't know what their life story is, or what their experiences are or what challenges they have. Like last night, I was really feeling...I broke my hip this year and it's been really challenging. I was out riding my bike because I enjoy that, it was late at night. The weather here in Arizona is starting to cool off and it's almost perfect weather. it's just enjoyable. However, my leg was like oh, because I'd gone shopping for some Plumbing Supplies earlier in the day and it's just like walking and all this stuff and I was kind of feeling sorry for myself and...not sorry for myself but a little down about not being 100%. not feeling 100% and then I just let the air on my face and it's just like, I am really fortunate. I am blessed. It's like beyond recognition. I have everything. I have everything in my life; my family, my friends and activities that I can produce results with and you just have to think about how you fit into the world and what good you can produce. Then you sit through a different lens that happened to you where you've kind of gone on this journey and with Michael RAy and seeing some of the things and the unsung, extra, extraordinary hero blog, how it's evolved for you, and where do you see it going?
Michelle Harwood Lange 15:25
As far as the unsung hero blog, there's more to that story. I mean, I understand where you're coming from, as far as getting to that space where we have a little doubt, things feel a little bit uncomfortable and we get into our mindset where our ego and our opinion about what we're doing is involved instead of intuitively heartfelt connectivity. I had that when I initially started the unsung extraordinary hero blog. It took me two months to write that blog. Why? Because I got into that headspace that I felt like I wasn't enough. I wasn't a good enough writer that I didn't have the gift that I was just shooting for the stars that was beyond my reach. One day, I just sat and thought what is holding me back? I'm holding me back. I have to figure out how to get through this because I know that what I'm about to do is something that needs to be seed. There's a story to tell here and I know how to craft it. In those few short moments of having that conversation in that thought process with myself and truly believing in what it was I was about to venture on. It was like the wind in the face moment that you had. I just started writing. I thought, I'm just going to write and see what happens. I'm going to remember the conversation because I didn't record it back then. I just had a phone conversation with Michael Ray, took down some notes, I checked my notes. I'm like, okay, just go and do it. Just follow your heart and go do it and see what happens. I sent it to Michael Ray and said, here you go, I finished. I've crafted it. He was so heartfelt, touched. When I posted it, some of the comments from that were....doubt creeped in again, because like oh, no, I wasn't understanding. I was new to LinkedIn, very, very new and wasn't understanding the process. So I'm going, how's this gonna work for me? What am I going to do? What do I really want to achieve here? I really honestly got caught up into the likes and all of that stuff. Viewership and all of that. Then I'm like, no, wait a second. Wait a second, I'm not being very authentic with myself because this project was never about how much I could get out of it. It was about giving it to somebody else. So the future of unsung extraordinary Heroes is about finding people and telling their story and championing them. It's never about me, even when I posted, my post is all about...you have to connect with this person. You have to understand the story. Even when people say no, great job, it's like no, this is about them. Point the compass back to these people, because it's never about me. Certainly I'm gifted to craft a story that is soul filled and it's heart centered. Yes, I appreciate and I give gratitude to that gift, but in the end, it's about championing other people and what they do. The future of it is creating a giveback brand of unsung heroes with a possibility of creating t shirts with the unsung hero logo where my vision for it is a giveback project in my company is to create t shirts with the logo on it. Where all profits profits of selling the T shirts are only going to go to people like Michael Ray who we give back money to him and what he's doing. The production of the T shirts, that's the only part that I will keep. The rest literally are going to go back to the unsung extraordinary heroes themselves. If they have something, a project or a charity or something that they want to give back to...that is my vision of that blog and what's going to happen with that because we have to find a way to give back and that's the only monetizing part of that, but it's not coming in my pocket. It's totally gonna go back to those. I see video creations and a podcast where we talk to the unsung extraordinary heroes and check in with them. What's up with you now? What are you doing now? Let's go see what's happening with them. Lots of innovative ways in my thinking, as far as that's concerned, doing voiceovers of me reading the unsung hero blogs, and attaching that to the blog. Celebrating as many people as I can, to what they're doing in this story.
Russ Johns 20:35
I love that. I love the idea that you don't win. That's kind of what the pirate community is about. It's not about me, it's about highlighting other people that are doing incredible work like yourself. I've been thinking and reflecting on, how does it evolve into a bigger thing? How can I reach more people? How can I help more people see that? Your kindness is the answer. I always feel that there are times where the ego gets in the way of the heart.
Michelle Harwood Lange 21:19
Russ Johns 21:21
What I hear you saying is very similar. It's one of those things, you just have to keep it in check and say, is this my ego talking? Or is this the gift I want to share? Yeah, I'm always coming back to the fact that you have to share what is really the source of your desire, and that's not your ego, at least that's not my ego.
Michelle Harwood Lange 21:45
No, it's not mine, either and I get what you're saying. We have to get back to the source of really being true. I mean, it really boils down to cold, hard, and hate to use those words, but yeah, choice. It's our choice. We choose every day to get up, to get dressed to greet the day. When you greet your day, what do you choose to do? Do you choose to be kind? Do you choose to connect with your soul heart way of being an intuitively say, I'm going to be kind...for some people, depending on the life experiences for them, they have to battle through what kindness means to them. But for me, I think it really is a choice. When we do things like celebrate other people and the gifts and their talents, which is when we connected it was like, wow we've got so much in common to celebrate. Even when I talked about that I'm going to be on your show, for me, in my post about that it wasn't about me, yay, great, woohoo, I made it to #RussJohns show. It was, no, you need to connect with this guy because he does amazing things you need to connect with his content. Why? Because he's got a special message. It's not about me, it's about other people. Life is not about me. It's about every one else. Shout out to Stephen De Sede. He teaches some phenomenal content and one of the things he always talks about is life is not about you. And he's right. It's not about me, it's about everybody else and how do we connect with them? How do we give soul heartt to them and be genuine about it? You have to choose you have to make a choice. How do you want to live your life?
Russ Johns 23:32
And it's an unselfish effort to have to really feel that the more I give away, the more...I sent my son a message. It's like I'm releasing everything that no longer serves me or provides any benefit and then give it away. You release it and let it go. I want to get back to Hiett Ives says, your country's on my bucket list hopefully soon. It's kind of shut down right now. Cathi Spooner says, good morning pirates. Cathi's wonderful, she was on the the show the other day. She's helping a lot of people in the mental health arena. Gabriel again, it's always good to see so many wonderful people come together. Hello to Mike Padurano. Sheri Lally and Michael Baker. I love these people and D is here, from Chanakya Foundation, India, a leading mobile think, hiriing Motive Leaders, NLP practioners the world over. He's saying hi to everybody in here and I just really thank you so much for being here. Awesome program. It's an awesome program. Thank you so much. He's saying, namaste. Gabriel, namaste. Global Leadership Academy. So, thank you so much for being here. I appreciate that. Then Kenyatta here in Arizona is good morning, piratey people #piratebroadcast. I'm just thinking that there's so many people Slaptagz. Sheri Lally, you help by highlighting good deeds, and the audience finds ways that they can support. Sheri Lally is another example of someone that's out in the wings, doing some great work. She's been supporting Gabriel in the past, she's always been so supportive of the #piratebroadcast and myself, she has sent some secret pirate treasure that I'm working on a project for so I'm super excited about it and so look forward to that. Then intuition over ego and emotions, from Michael Baker . Absolutely, Michael, that's a great point. I love that. I'll be circling back, Sheri says, on to the broadcast with Michael and Gabriel. So yes, Michael Ray, I had him on the #piratebroadcast, oh, heck, it's been a while. He's been on there, have to take out a replay on that one. Ask him back. You have to give to receive, Michael Baker. Yes, you do. Also Michael says, we get the help we need by seeking to help others be kind. Always show others you actually care. That's true.
Michelle Harwood Lange 26:33
It is. It's very true.
Russ Johns 26:36
There's a saying that people don't care until you know how much you care about them? But the point is you'll care about people. It's that difficult. It's not that challenging. So it's really about putting the effort into just opening up and saying, how can I help? How can I add value to your day?
Michelle Harwood Lange 27:02
Exactly. When you begin your day and you put your feet on the ground, open your day with grace and gratitude. But then the next step is to say, how can I give back today? Who can I approach today, to give them a sense of kindness in giving. And when you put that out there, you find that in the smallest, it doesn't have to be big that you give to others, you find yourself giving without even thinking. It's automatic. It's a way of being, it's a way of living and the abundance comes back, not that you're deliberately looking to do something to get abundance, you just know that your heart and your soul gets filled when you give, and when you're kind. I would rather have that sense of vibration in my life then, arrrrgh.
Russ Johns 28:07
Yeah, well, 2020 has been a year that is full of challenging moments for a lot of people and the more we can put out there in ways of kindness and gratitude, I think it It allows the challenging moments to kind of level out and not be as impacting to our life because some people. I think they get upset over things that don't matter. In my opinion, this is my opinion, you know, like traffic or something along those lines. It's like, I'm late. Well, you know, you're late. There's some things that happen in your life, or you spill something or something happens, I don't know, whatever it happens to be. It's like, will it matter six months from now? Will it matter a year from now. Most times, the answer is no.
Michelle Harwood Lange 29:01
It won't and sometimes we let those little things get in the way about day, and shift down type vibrations in our mindset, that we haven't like, just a really ugly, bad day. For me every day's a great day, every day in how you speak and interact. No, I was talking with a friend recently, Andrea, and she said, you know, Michelle, when you speak and when you interact with others, it's like a pocketful of sunshine. I say, well, I think it's because it's a choice for me. I chose to be a pocketful of sunshine. Why? Because again, back to you don't know what somebody else has experienced and if they come along to you, you can be their pocket full of sunshine, that kindness they're giving even your voice your interaction the please and thank you The how's your day going? What's happening for you? You know how that matters because we honestly don't know what somebody else is going through and if you took a moment to check in say, hi, how's it going? What are you doing? I mean, it's not just in our personal life, it's in our professions, in my current position, every day, I do the best I can to remember to think about the people that I work with and what they're going through with this new COVID experience that we're having, and what can I do for them. The one choice I made was every day send out a positive daily connection where they get to feel uplifted and embrace that somebody is out there cheering them on. I don't know the results of that all the time. Periodically, they'll get back to me, they'll say, hey, Michelle, you know what? I was having a rough day and if it wasn't for your thought that you sent out, it made all the difference, not that I'm sharing it to get accolades. I'm just saying that's an example of how we in the workplace can build a culture of kindness of caring. Because there's always this image that we socialized ourselves to that we are stoic, we are professional, who said that being professional wasn't being kind and courteous and giving? Who made up that rule?
Russ Johns 31:10
Yeah, who made up that rule? I want to break that rule?
Michelle Harwood Lange 31:13
Me, I break it every day.
Russ Johns 31:16
Michael says it's simple, yet not easy. The more you do it, Michael, the easier it gets. I'm a positive person; however, we all have our moments, not always rainbows and unicorns, but I love this conversation, Kenyatta says. Gabriel says, this has been a great conversation I have been lucky to watch. What is your daughter's name?
Michelle Harwood Lange 31:45
This is Peyton.
Russ Johns 31:47
Hey, Peyton, how are you? How are you? Kathy says, great inspiration for my day. Thank you so much. I know we're all busy and, Michelle, I think that it's really important for us to continue to share this value and inspiration for others. Thank you so much for being here today.
Michelle Harwood Lange 32:23
Russ Johns 32:24
Appreciate it. I hope and encourage others to take a moment and just reflect on what you're grateful for, what you have gratitude for and make sure that you can appreciate all of the things that you have, instead of looking at what you don't have, and then sharing that inspiration with others and maybe just drop a few kind words to somebody and and touch base with somebody and do an outreach. Because it's so easy for us to to be a little kinder in these days. So thank you so much, Michelle, for being here on the show. I really appreciate you and I'm glad we got this moment together.
Michelle Harwood Lange 33:01
Me too. I'm really deeply grateful and honored. I I can't tell you how how grateful I am for you for your time. Gabriel, shout out to you. Thank you for creating this moment. I really do appreciate it. To everyone on my LinkedIn family and network, I truly am grateful for you and what you bring to my life. This moment isn't about me. It's about the unsung extraordinary heroes who live ordinary lives. Kindness grows kindness, you know. Thank you.
Russ Johns 33:33
Let's go out and expand it.
Michelle Harwood Lange 33:35
Yes. Let's get out there.
Russ Johns 33:38
Much love everyone and as always, #kindnessiscool. #smilesarefree, so you #enjoytheday. Thanks, Michelle. Stick around.
Michelle Harwood Lange 33:49
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