Sunday, December 27, 2020

Sunday Sunshine: Be the Light.

At this time of darkness,

Light a candle of peace.
Light a candle of joy.
Light a candle of love.
Light a candle of hope.
Light a candle of respect.
Light a candle of compassion.
Light a candle to illuminate the way.
Light a candle.
Be the light.

Today, this week: Be the Light.

Friday, December 25, 2020

Season's Greetings! Merry Christmas!

It's been years since I minored in French, but I continue to think of it as the most beautiful language in the world. The traditional French carol, "Il est Ne" (He is Born), has been going through my head since early November. Today's the day to sing it! Merry Christmas! 

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Sunday Sunshine: Winter Solstice

Winter arrives tomorrow. It's time for the Winter Solstice.

Snowy, blowy, white and crisp. 

There’s a hush to the landscape now, but there’s great energy underneath the surface, moving us forward with incremental increases in daylight into the new year and then into spring. 

As the daylight begins to slowly return, consider how will you use your own bright energy this season and beyond.

Today, tomorrow, this week, this season: Think about how you will welcome winter and the possibilities that the new season brings.

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Sunday Sunshine: Experience the Wonder

When you think back to your childhood, do you remember how you viewed the world? I would dare say that everything felt new to you back then. It was easier to see things through the eyes of wonder and amazement. Each moment was precious. It was all you knew.

There was only Now to think about. Just Now.

As you found yourself growing older, however, your so-called adult priorities likely found a way to creep in. Perhaps those grown-up priorities clouded your childlike vision. 

As the years pile up, there's an easy tendency to pile up your worries, fears, plans and stresses, as well. Often, you have so much on your mind that the precious moments in front of you go ignored. 'Now' gets lost in the midst of reflections about yesterday and plans for tomorrow.

Take a moment to pause this holiday week and drop the scales from your adult eyes. Allow yourself to be a bit of a child again. That little person is still inside of you and has lessons to teach you. Return to seeing the world with wonder. See the beauty in each precious moment. Be in a place of Now -- not yesterday, not tomorrow, but today.

Today, this week: Draw from the child inside of you to view the world. See each experience through the eyes of wonder, adventure and amazement.

Sunday, December 6, 2020

Sunday Sunshine: Angels Among Us

There are angels among us everywhere. They don’t all have wings and halos or play harps or wear white robes. Angels come in the form of those who don’t make a lot of fanfare but whose actions demonstrate love. Angels can be found in our everyday encounters:

The person who sits with an elderly woman, holding her hand in times of fear
The person who patiently sits with a young child, encouraging him to read aloud when reading comes difficult
The person who delivers a hot meal to a homebound neighbor
The person who extends a hand in welcome to a stranger
The person who knits a prayer shawl for a hospital patient

Be one of those angels among us. Be an angel in someone’s life.

Be kind, be loving, be inclusive, be generous, be patient.

Today, this week: Watch for the angels around you. Take their cue and be one, too.

Sunday, November 29, 2020

Sunday Sunshine: Hope Over Fear

We hang onto them as if they were among our most prized possessions. We keep a firm grip on them so we can draw upon them throughout our waking—and especially our nighttime—hours. They are our worries and fears.

When we give them our attention and energy, our fears and worries become bigger, darker and more foreboding, especially in those middle-of-the-night hours when all seems darker, bigger and scarier. Don’t let them consume you.

Do not be afraid. Look fears and worries straight in the eye. Turn them around and scoot them out the door. Let them float away with the wind.

Fill those empty spaces instead with hope and gratitude. Focus on the blessings of this moment, and your worries and fears won’t find room to come back. Face the light.

Today, this week:  Focus on your blessings, not your worries or fears.

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Sunday Sunshine: Cast Your Bright Starlight

Where are you being called to serve? 

Listen carefully for the answer. You have many gifts and talents to make the world a better place.

Do you have time -- just a little bit of time -- to give to something greater than yourself, a cause that resonates with your interests and values, something that could use your abundant talents? If you say yes, you will feel the richness of the experience, and others will benefit from your generosity

So, cast your bright starlight out to your family, your neighborhood, your community and beyond. Be the light of goodness that will attract others to their goodness.

Today, this week: Where are you being called to serve?

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Sunday Sunshine: Everyday Miracles

The days fly by. We focus on our phones, our to-do lists, our daily demands. It’s easy to miss the important things when you’re focused on the distractions.

Slow down a moment and open your eyes. Open your eyes to miracle:

The miracle of the magnificence of a brilliant sunrise
The miracle of the jubilant sound of birds singing
The miracle of the gentle snow forming a blanket of white
The miracle of the beauty of a sunset
The miracle of a maple tree wearing its autumn colors
The miracle of the power of a hug
The miracle of a kind smile or word to make your day
The miracle of our senses – to be able to see, hear, smell, taste, feel

You get my drift. Everywhere around you are miracles. Everywhere around you are blessings.

Today, this week: Keep your eyes open for the everyday miracles.

Sunday, November 8, 2020

Sunday Sunshine: Seeking Joy? Start by Being Grateful.

It’s November. Thanksgiving will soon be upon us.

When you think about Thanksgiving—both the holiday and the state of being—what can you name right now that you’re thankful for?

When you’re grateful and you see abundance in your life, have you found that your perspective changes and it’s easier to see more and more abundance, that your abundance grows? Do you also notice that your level of joy increases, too?

When your heart is filled with thanksgiving, it will also be filled with joy. Being grateful and being joyful are closely linked. One feeds the other: Gratitude feeds joy and joy feeds gratitude.

Today, this week: Be grateful and watch your joy grow.

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Sunday Sunshine: I'm Thankful for All I Have

We have officially entered November today -- that lovely month of Thanksgiving. 

Rather than confine that sense of gratitude to only one day, consider counting your blessings every single day this month.

Reportedly, it takes around 30 days to re-wire your brain to adopt a new habit or shed an old, less-desirable one. Use this month's 30 days to name your blessings every day -- perhaps upon awakening, at meal time or before falling asleep at night.

Name just one blessing in your life each day this month and realize just how very rich you are.

Today, this week: Remember that your life is rich and abundant. Name your blessings. Be grateful for all that you have.

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Sunday Sunshine: Slow Down

When the commitments on your calendar seem to increase and overwhelm, slow yourself down.

When the pace feels hectic and the demands fierce, slow yourself down.

Leave the hectic pace for just a while.

Slow. Down.

Slow down enough to pay attention. See the details. Slow down enough to take some deep breaths. Open your eyes – really open them -- and observe the beauty around you.

Each day is a blessing. Don't race through it. Be in a state of thanksgiving every day. Enjoy the joy of being.

Today, this week: Learn the art of slowing down. Enjoy the joy of being.

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Sunday Sunshine: In Common

I read about something called the Three Sisters, meaning corn, beans and squash. When the Three Sisters are planted together, they provide support to each other's growth. 

Instead of competing and crowding each other out, they use their diversity and their differences wisely so that all three can flourish.

What a lesson! We spend so much time focusing on our differences these days. We humans could learn from the Three Sisters and from nature, in general.

When we first seek to find common ground, we can then appreciate our diversity and wisely address our differences.

So, be present. Reach out. Listen respectfully. Engage in conversation. Learn. Grow.

Where might you benefit from finding common ground?

Today, this week: Look for the similarities before the differences. 

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Sunday Sunshine: Positive Energy

The chatter can feel deafening. We are constantly bombarded by messages, both positive and negative. But it seems that we dwell most on the negative messages, the disturbing stuff that has become equated with the word news. 

Now is a perfect time to clean your internal house. Remove the gossip, the mean-spirited words and the stressful news from your life as much as possible. 

Fill that newly cleaned space with kindness, love, joy, and positive energy and activities. When you choose to think positive thoughts, your days will blossom with happiness and opportunity.

Don’t keep those good energies to yourself, however. Share that love, kindness and joy with others around you. Cast them far and wide.

Let the good energy flow out of you like the blossoming of a flower or the brilliant transformation of a tree as it turns color in the fall. You have the power to bring light and beauty to yourself and to the world.

Today, this week: Rise above the fray in this world. Bloom with love and kindness to everyone around you.

Sunday, October 4, 2020

Sunday Sunshine: Embrace Impermanence

Things are constantly changing and evolving. They may seem to remain constant, but they’re not. Change can happen so slowly that we scarcely recognize it, but change is there all the same.

When we understand that change is happening around us and inside of us all of the time, we can more easily come to a place of acceptance and even anticipation for it. Change can appear more exciting and fun. Change can present new adventures, new perspectives and new ways of being.

When we accept impermanence in our lives, we start to see that now -- this very moment -- is what we have. Each day is filled with “now” moments worthy of our attention.

Rather than being afraid of change, fully embrace it. See the beauty and potential growth in it. Change can be a gift and an opportunity, rather than a crisis to be feared. It’s all in how we choose to see it.

Today, this week: Embrace impermanence and live in the moment.

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Sunday Sunshine: Learn, Grow, Become

The new school year provides the perfect time to remind ourselves that learning can take place every day and at every stage of our lives, whether or not we’re in the formal setting of a classroom.

What new thought is calling to you? What would you like to learn?

When you’re curious and you choose to see everything as a teachable moment, you learn new information and expand your perspectives.

How do you plan to stretch your horizons?

Today, this week: Spend time each day learning something new.

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Sunday Sunshine: Look to the Rainbows

There are days when it seems as if the old adage of “when it rains, it pours” is so true that there aren’t enough umbrellas and galoshes to protect you from the deluge.

Don’t allow yourself to get swallowed up by the storms in your life. Redirect your focus to rise above the rain. Reach for the rainbows.

When you dedicate energy to seeking the good and seeing the possibilities in each difficult situation, the hold that those sorrows and fears have over you is lessened. It’s easier to flow through the experience until you can see the sunshine again.

Life will have its way of giving us rain every now and again, but don’t dwell there. Seek the light. Be the light. Look to the rainbows.

Today, this week: Reach for the rainbows and they will be there for you.

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Sunday Sunshine: Live Joyfully. Live Peacefully. Live Lovingly.

Look in the mirror—not just to brush your teeth or comb your hair. Really look at your reflection. What do you see? Do you see the face of peace? Of love? Of joy?

Smile, for you are all of those good things!

When you reach into the depths of your being to find that eternal fountain of joy, peace and love, they can’t help but radiate from you so that they’re visible on your face.

Love, peace and joy are always there to tap into, even when things feel difficult or challenging.

So, use the gift of today to be loving, joyful and peaceful. Make it your intention to be a reflection to the world of all that is good. Reflect the light.

Today, this week: Live joyfully. Live peacefully. Live lovingly.

Sunday, September 6, 2020

Sunday Sunshine: Be a Blessing

As human beings, our wants are often greater than our needs. When we pause and reflect on our blessings, both large and small, grand and everyday, immediate and evergreen, everything changes.

When we're grateful, we often find that what we have is enough. There is peace in knowing that it is all enough. There is no need for more. What we have is already blessing.

And when we feel blessed, we often find that there is enough blessing inside of us to share them with others. That sharing of blessing doesn’t have to be big or grandiose. It can be small, everyday and ordinary, such as purchasing a few extra nonperishable foods for your local food bank, calling a homebound friend for some conversation, opening the door for someone as you both enter a building or writing a note of thanks for a kindness expressed to you.

Those small acts reflect good in the world. That goodness will have a ripple effect, extending goodness again and again and again.

Today, this week: Look for ways each day to be a blessing to others. Reflect all that is good.

Sunday, August 30, 2020

Sunday Sunshine: Plain and Simple: Be Kind

Each day, we encounter those who are hurting. When you do, offer a balm to them. Offer kindness. 

When you choose to be kind, you bring sunshine through your words, thoughts and actions.

Kindness changes things. It heals. It promotes hope. It brightens the day for others and for you. And it shines an example to others to be kind, too.

Today, this week: Plain and simple, be kind.

Sunday, August 23, 2020

Sunday Sunshine: Be Authentic

It's hard to try to be like someone else. At certain times in our lives, especially when we’re young, we may try to mirror the actions of others, often just so we can fit in. Elements of our true selves come out, however. We can’t be exactly like someone else because we’ve been gifted with our own uniqueness.

Even as we mature, it’s easy to get caught up in the expectations and trappings of life and, consequently, lose sight of who we really are and what we really value and want in life.

Always be true to yourself, even when forces may try to sway you otherwise. When you're your real self, you don’t have to worry about adopting others’ ways of being. You will always honor the sacredness of you when you allow yourself to genuinely be you.

Be authentic. You’ll be content and the world will be blessed with your uniqueness.

Today, this week: Be the real you.

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Sunday Sunshine: Bring Beauty to Your Day

I used to work with someone who frequently brought flowers from her summer garden to place in a pretty vase on her desk or display a beautiful orchid in an attractive container to decorate her office window during the long winter days.

What I learned from my friend was that we each have the opportunity to bring beauty to our day.

Perhaps it’s placing a vase of flowers on your desk. Perhaps it’s writing a note on pretty notepaper. Perhaps it’s knitting a sweater. Perhaps it’s piecing together an intricate quilt. Perhaps it’s creating an attractively garnished, healthy meal.

What it all comes down to is doing what makes your heart sing, what brings a smile to your face, what lifts your spirits, what brings you joy and beauty and meaning.

Today, this week: Bring beauty to your day.

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Sunday Sunshine: Forgive

When I say something that I wish I hadn’t or do something that I would rather not repeat, I tend to play it over and over again in my head. I’d like to think it’s that I hold myself to a certain standard, but it may be more that I just have difficulty forgiving myself.

Reconsider carrying around those unnecessary burdens. Forgive yourself. Forgive others.

The weight of those things that you carry in your “can’t forgive” bag is unnecessarily heavy. Forgiveness lightens the load. When you forgive, you make room for peace. And when you carry peace around, it’s as light as a feather.

Today, this week: Forgive yourself and forgive others. Replace your burdens with peace.

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Sunday Sunshine: Soar!

If you were to say in a sentence what you want for your life, what would it be? Put a name to those desires, those aspirations, those values, those dreams. When you name them, they become more real to you.

Perhaps this is the year you want to explore a new hobby or visit a new place (even if it's only virtually). Perhaps this is the year to learn how to play the piano or bake a fancy cake or write poetry. Perhaps this is the year to adopt a pet or adopt a new healthy habit.

What first steps might you take in order to make your dreams come true?

Take flight! Let your heart be swept away on the wings of your dreams!

Today, this week: Set your sights on your dreams. Soar!

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Sunday Sunshine: Unexpected Places

The day is new, the air is fresh and there are opportunities just waiting for you!

We often find our hearts in unexpected places. There are signs all around you. Look for them. Listen for them. Remain open to the possibilities.

Be positive!

Anticipate good things and they will come—perhaps not as you planned—but even better!

Today, this week:  Be open to the possibilities for wonderful things to come into your life.

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Sunday Sunshine: Choose Wisely

How you view the world and what it does to you, for you and through you is up to you.

Choose wisely.

When you choose to embrace happiness in your life, it's as if you invite the sun to shine on you and to warm your soul.

When you go one step further and share your happiness with others, it's magic! You transfer that sunshine to others and brighten their world and yours.

As you intentionally choose happiness and then generously share it with others, those recipients have the opportunity to share happiness, too.

Today, this week: You choose how you will view this day. Choose wisely.

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Sunday Sunshine: Sweet Moments

You are a magnet. You have the power to use your positive energy to attract positive energy back into your life. 

In other words, what you cast out into the world has a way of coming back to you.

Think about when you smile to someone. You often receive a smile back.

When you are kind, kindness is returned to you--often in unexpected and bountiful ways.

When you are grateful, the reasons to be grateful seem to multiply. 

Trust that the good, positive, sunny energy that you put forth will come back to you in even greater measure.

Measure your days by the sweet moments -- those times when you smile, when you feel loved, when you've received kindnesses, when you've been in awe.

Today, this week: Be a magnet. Be sunshine. Look to the sweet moments.

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Sunday Sunshine: Be a Lifelong Learner

Just as the grass grows, the trees leaf out, and the flowers lift their heads out of the soil, we, too, have opportunities to rise and shine during this glorious season of summer growth.

Today is a new day. Today marks a new week. Look for opportunities for your creative energies and ideas to form. Look for ways to grow as a person. Be a lifelong learner. Be an every-single-day learner!

Today, this week: Be a lifelong learner. Make time to grow each and every day.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Sunday Sunshine: Pay Attention

You have the capacity to be a peacemaker. We need peacemakers in our world.

You are a peacemaker when you seek to better understand another person’s perspective, listen with your full attention, consider your response carefully, measure your words and show respect.

It doesn’t mean that you have to be in full agreement with the other person, but it does mean that you honor the light in that individual and you give him or her the respect to hold his or her own opinions, even if they are different from yours.

Doing so can help you look through the clutter and distraction of differences in order to find the light of common ground. That light will help you forge a path through differences to a place of compromise and respect.

Listen carefully and openly to hear another perspective. Respect a way of thinking that is different from yours. Be slow to judge. Seek to understand.

Today, this week: Pay attention. Listen. Be a peacemaker.

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Sunday Sunshine: Don't Worry. Don't Stress. Go With the Flow.

We are at the longest days of the year. Yet, there is darkness all around us. The storms of grief, the shadows of worry, the clouds of concern can prevent us from seeing the light that is also all around us--and the light that is beaming brightly within us.

Instead of focusing on your cares and worries, redirect your view to your blessings, to the sources of your joy and gratitude. Move your boat into a place of flow where stresses and worries splash away from you. Move your boat toward the light and calmer waters.

When you redirect your focus, the weight and intensity of the storms, shadows and clouds lessen.

Today, this week: Don't worry. Don't stress. Go with the flow.

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Sunday Sunshine: Nudges

We all have seasons in our lives—not the seasons of the year necessarily, but those times when we can feel that a shift is happening, a change is needed and a time of newness is calling to us.

Those nudges you feel are real. We would be wise to listen to them. They are the language of your wise inner self.

Is it time for you to consider new experiences, new places, new insights, new people, new opportunities?

As spring gives way to summer, in what direction is your heart calling you? Even a slight change can reinvigorate your life.

Today, this week: Always listen carefully to those nudges.

Sunday, June 7, 2020

Sunday Sunshine: Light Thoughts

An optimistic, positive mindset can get you through some of the dreariest and darkest moments. When you infuse some light into your challenges and irritations, the entire picture of your life becomes brighter and lighter. It's then when solutions become obvious and the ways forward easier to navigate.

You have the choice every moment of every day whether you want to be optimistic, positive and hopeful or give in to your woes and allow them to cloud your precious days.

Today, this week: Look for the light. The more you see it, the more you become it.

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Sunday Sunshine: Sow Seeds of Love, Abundance and Joy

As farm fields become dense with growth and gardens yield summer produce and flowers, consider the seeds that you plant.

Do you sow seeds of love, abundance and joy? Do you create an atmosphere that is fertile for kindness, encouragement and goodwill? Do you care and feed your own internal "garden" to maximize personal growth and enrichment?

Plant the seeds today that will produce bright tomorrows.

Today, this week: Sow seeds of love, abundance and joy wherever you go.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Sunday Sunshine: Go Outside. Grow Silent. Let Nature Speak to Your Heart.

Our calendars and date books are normally packed with back-to-back commitments, obligations and have-to-dos. Everything becomes a blur as we run from one thing to the next.

We tend to reach out so much in our lives. The only way to balance it is with time when we reach within.

Become still and silent for a while each day. Allow the silence to fill your spiritual well and give you the answers you seek.

A perfect place for growing silent is when you immerse yourself in nature. The awe of the experience from being in the middle of the natural world has the power to move you beyond words. Nature has the opportunity, then, to speak, to give you its wisdom – a message sent directly to your heart. Nature can draw out your own natural wisdom, too.

Today, this week: Go outside. Become silent. Let nature speak to you.

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Sunday Sunshine: Seek Joy on Your Journey

When you think about the word “Journey,” what do you see? 

When you look at it carefully, you see that “Joy” bookends the word: JOurneY.

It’s easy to look for the outcomes, the results and the end in sight. But, if we only focus our energies there, we miss out on something vital—the journey itself.

Joy is there to be found on the journey. Reframe your perspective. Soak up every moment of every day.

Today, this week: Find joy in the journey, not just in the destination.

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Sunday Sunshine: Happiness Comes from Within

Human beings hold much more power than we sometimes like to admit. We look to outside activities, purchases, places and relationships to make us feel complete, whole and happy.

But you hold your happiness inside of you. It's there for you all of the time. 

Often your happiness becomes real when you are grateful. When you name your blessings, it's hard to feel fearful, unhappy or incomplete.

Today, this week: Count your blessings. Focus on those aspects of your life that truly make you feel grateful.  You are rich already without having to acquire more.

Sunday, May 3, 2020

Sunday Sunshine: Desires and Dreams

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? What activities could you do for hours and lose track of time and space? What did you daydream about? 

As a child, we encourage dreaming, for it often leads to becoming. The same can be said in our adulthood. Just because you're grown up doesn't mean that you can't dream and become the person you wish to be. 

Think about this: What do you dream about? What are your wishes and your desires? What are you doing to fulfill them? What first steps might you take today?

Today, this week:  Reflect on your desires and dreams and what steps you might take to make them come true. It's not too late to dream and become.

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Sunday Sunshine: You Can Do It!

The glass is half full or it's half empty. Which is it? It's all in your perspective.

The same is true with what you can or can't do. It's all in your perspective. 

We hear story after story of people who have exceeded their limitations, gone against all odds to accomplish great things.

You are "wired" to do great things, too. When you direct your energies toward accomplishing something and do so with a can-do spirit, you may surprise yourself and find that you can do far more than you ever thought imaginable.

Today, this week: Remember that you are filled with energy to manifest the things you desire. Believe in yourself. You can do it!

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Sunday Sunshine: Keep Going

While out on my daily walk one day this spring, I came across a cheery, hopeful message written in various colors of chalk on the sidewalk ahead of me. "Just keep going," it said. Over it was a bright chalk rainbow.

During this strange and often frightening time of COVID-19 where all that has been normal seems to have been upended, I felt as if I needed that encouragement to just keep going. And likely, so do you.

The road isn’t always clear. A sudden detour can take us on an unfamiliar route. It’s okay to check your surroundings and get your bearings. 

But, don’t let the detours of life stop you. Just keep going.

Even if the horizon feels far away, just keep going. 

Keep pursuing your dreams, keep spreading your light, keep taking good care of you, keep taking good care of others. Whatever you do, it’ll be worth every step. Good things will be waiting for you. 

But you have to keep going.

Stay strong, stay focused, stay hopeful. Look for the rainbows after the rain. 

When the way ahead is unclear, rely on your faith, hang onto hope and have confidence that the path will reveal itself -- exactly when the time is right. Just keep going.

Today, this week: Stay strong. Stay focused. Stay hopeful. Stay centered. Just keep going.

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Sunday Sunshine: Bloom and Grow

Spring is the season of tilling and planting, greening and growing, blossoming and flourishing.

Take a cue from nature and bloom where you’re planted. Rise and shine! 

Your gifts are needed in this world. Make that place where you are right now better through the beauty of your talents, generosity and kindness.

Be your best self, your very best self. Think about what you think, say and do. Is it your best self? If not, make adjustments. As you grow and become, you will bloom and grow. You will rise and shine.

Today, this week: Rise, shine! Bloom where you are. Be your best self.

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Sunday Sunshine: Release Your Burdens

The load can be heavy at times. Your head and heart can become weighted by fears, concerns, worries and challenges, especially during these uncertain days of Coronavirus. 

It's no wonder that when we feel down, our shoulders slump and our eyes are downcast.

Take a deep breath, shake the tension out of your body, lift your arms outward and smile. 

You are loved. Feel the energy of that love as if it is a big hug enveloping you. Feel the rays of hope warming every aspect of your being. Feel assured that better days will come.

Today, this week: Release your burdens. Lift those things that no longer serve you from your shoulders. Allow them to float away. Know that you are loved. Know that better days will come.