Sunday, February 24, 2019

Sunday Sunshine: Speak Your Truth

How many times have you said yes when you wanted to say no? There are times when it's hard to find your true voice, the voice that represents your deepest-held values. Perhaps you don't want to be seen as contrary or difficult or, heaven forbid, to stand alone in your opinion.

Yes, there's risk when you say what you believe. But there is also risk if you keep those thoughts to yourself.

Be strong. Be brave. Be true to yourself and your values. Speak your truth. 

Do so respectfully. 

Do so quietly. 

Live your values through your carefully considered words and respectful actions.

The words you have to say are important. Give voice to them.

Today, this week: Be true to you. Have the courage to speak your truth.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Sunday Sunshine: Smile!

It's been said that when you smile, your brain registers happiness. Your heart rate and blood pressure lower. You automatically feel more optimistic and positive. Smiling is like a magic pill!

How often do you smile during the day? As children, we smile and laugh often. As adults, with our myriad distractions and concerns, most of us likely don't smile and laugh as often as our younger selves once did.

You can change that!

Smile! Bring the gifts of joy and laughter to each of your days. There is so much to enjoy.

Today, this week: Smile! Cultivate your own happiness!

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Sunday Sunshine: Draw from a Place of Love

It's easy in this age of 24/7 news and polarizing perspectives to believe that we can do nothing to positively affect the world. We can easily forget that one of the most powerful things we can do every single day is to spread love. What better way to build a bridge during a time of so many great divides?

When we step back a moment from the things that appear to separate us and focus instead on how we might be kind, respectful, compassionate and loving, we take positive action that sends ripples of positivity in all directions. 

We benefit when we live with our whole hearts -- hearts of love, kindness and decency.

Today, this week: Draw from a place of love in all you think, say and do.

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Paper Boxes, Paper Hearts

The lovely, old elementary school I attended

As an elementary school student, I rode the school bus to a lovely, old two-story, brick school with a belfry. Children from throughout our rural neighborhood, as well as those from within walking distance, formed the small student body in that lovely old building. 

The school stood on a lot the size of a city block. There was a big field for running, a playground for swinging, an asphalt area for jump roping or playing hopscotch, and a big sledding hill. The grounds were plentiful with trees, ideal for incorporating into our imaginative recess games or for scooping up autumn leaves to make into leaf forts or houses.

Among my favorite elementary school memories from those simpler times was the making of Valentines for our parents and the decorating of shoe boxes to hold the Valentines we would receive from our classmates. 

Valentines for our mommies and daddies were usually fashioned of red construction paper carefully traced and cut into heart shapes with little scissors. A heart-shaped paper doily would often be glued to the construction paper as the next step. Then, we would select small squares of tissue paper in various pastel hues and, using the blunt eraser end of our pencils, carefully wrap the tissue squares around the end of the pencil to form little flowers. The flowers would be glued into place with a spreader dipped into school paste. Sometimes, those little tissue flowers would form yet another heart on top of the doily. A "Happy Valentine's Day" message spelled to the best of our abilities in crayon would finish off our creations. 

Decorating a shoe box to hold the Valentines from our classmates was another enjoyable and much-anticipated classroom art project. Using wrapping paper and construction paper, along with more doilies and tissue paper flowers, we created vessels to hold those precious Valentines selected for us by our little friends. Sometimes, the Valentines would be handmade, while at other times they were purchased in a store. The handmade ones were always a favorite.

When was the last time you made a Valentine? Might this be the year to make such a gift from the heart?

Sunday Sunshine: Connect with Your Heart

There are times when the path seems shrouded in fog, a needed decision just out of reach. What to do? What direction is the right direction?

Take a moment to grow silent, to grow still. When you intentionally empty the din from your head and allow yourself to relax, the answers come. The more you apply pressure and add to your stress by hearing only the chatter in your head, the harder it is to hear the answer that is right for you, the one that is based on possibility instead of fear.

Short-circuit that judgmental, fear-based chatter in your head and listen more deeply to the wisdom of your heart. 

Today, this week: When the way seems unclear, grow silent and still, and connect with the messages from the heart.