My wife was out shopping recently and called me at work to tell me that the car in front of her had paid for her drink in the Starbucks drive thru.  She was grateful.  But the part of her story that she seemed more excited about was that she had decided to pay it forward and take care of the car behind her.  It was only as a sidebar that she noted that paying for the car behind her actually cost less than paying for her own drink, as it turned out.  The most poignant moment in the whole scenario, it seemed, was how she felt about paying it forward.

She could have easily been the end of the chain -- (who even knows when the chain began?!) -- but she wanted to keep it going, and the decision to extend goodwill as it had been extended to her, filled her with such positive energy that that, more than anything else, was her instant karma.

We hit Walmart last week and as we walked in we went by the Salvation Army bell ringers -- some local firemen.  I always feel guilty walking by and not putting anything in the can, but, I rarely have cash.  I felt even more guilty because, of all people, I walked by firefighters -- individuals that already put their lives on the line for me and everyone else on a daily basis, were now giving even more of their time to help the community.  It occurred to me only after we were inside the store that I actually did have some cash on me.  I spent the entire trip looking forward to dropping that cash into the can on our way out of the store.  I actually became concerned as we were checking out, thinking to myself, 'what if they've already left?'   Fortunately, they hadn't, and I got my instant karma.  It was a mix of accomplishment, because hadn't missed out on the chance to give, and the actual act of being part of something so selfless.  A small, but important, part.

We're days away from Christmas and you might be feeling the pressure to get things done.  "The stress of the holidays," etc...

If you want an instant stress reliever as you're out in the hustle and bustle, try giving.  Give something.  Anything.  A coin in the can, a coffee in the drive thru; you will be instantly changed.  Your mood will be changed.  It helps re-focus your mind on the things that are truly important, so that while you're out getting your holiday business done, you can soak in your surroundings and the beauty of being alive, and you might even find it hard not to smile at people, another instant karma producer.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from our family to yours.

This mindful moment is brought to you by Molina Healthcare. Molina Healthcare reminds you that good health includes having a calm, clear mind. Stress may be the source of all ailments so focus on right now. Sleep more, and sleep better. Love more and be better. Be mindful. And find out more ways to get there at