Sharing the lessons along the way…

Discovering Bridges


We are fortunate to live in a day and time where the internet has served to bridge the vast expanses of our world, and where sharing with one another is possible.

As social creatures, humans need to feel that they are a part of a community.  When we share, and others share in return, we find common ground.  We find togetherness; we find a community.

There are many such communities on the web.  There are many such communities right here that require no Wi-Fi connection.

How connected we feel has very little to do with our cable/internet provider, however.  Our level of connection is directly proportionate to how much we put out there of ourselves for others.  How much we share and give of ourselves, is often related to how connected we feel to those around us.

The more freely we share, the more intimate the level of connections we feel.  The more openly we listen and hear, the more intimate the level of connections we feel.

In all honesty, I believe we are all connected.  There is more common about us than not, no matter how unique we each are and no matter how unique each of our life circumstances has been up to this point.

We miss making connections because we have a tendency to make snap judgments or perceive others in terms of black and white, good or bad.  We all have good in us, just as we all have the capacity for bad.  That doesn’t change the basic premise that there is always common ground, there is always a connection waiting to be discovered.

Part of my challenge for the last several days has been to see those opportunities for common ground, to see positives where I may not otherwise look for them.  Not everyone “gets” just how much I believe it is possible to find them, but I have yet to be wrong about this particular thing.

It has actually been an honor to take the time and to be present enough to find those positives.  I have seen them in every arena of my life, and in doing so, feel even more connected to the people in my world.

Day 27 and still very grateful for each of you.


Thanks to You Day!


Today, I sincerely wish each and every one of you and heart genuinely overflowing with gratitude!




Day 26


May we all feel loved


It is the eve of the day set aside to give thanks.  It is day 25 of the writing challenge.  It is my sister friend’s birthday.  It is a beautiful full moon.  It is day 2 of my positive experimentation.

It is the second day in a row that I have seen one of my favorite toddler sisters.  It is the day that will go down in history as having had the best-prepared collard greens EVER.

My experiment is going well so far and I have only had one instance where I struggled to find something positive about someone.  I haven’t done that well in sharing the positives that I see, so I will work on that tomorrow.  It is quite amazing how much good and how much common ground we can find when we are looking for it.

Today didn’t exactly go how my work calendar said it should, but it was a day to be grateful for just the same.

As the moon sets tomorrow morning, the sun rises, and we all prepare to spend time with family and friends, it is my hope that we can all celebrate one another for all the good we recognize in each other.

And that such love and gratitude can ripple out to those who will be struggling during this holiday because.  May we all feel love and appreciated tomorrow (and every day).





No Mystery Here


When I hear, “Look how far you’ve come…” sometimes I hesitate to own it for some irrational fear of jinxing it.  Sometimes, I think “Hell yeah, I have!”  The rest of the time, I have a hard time wrapping my own mind around such a comparison, so I tend to dismiss it and redirect the focus to something else.

Because of the detour I had to take to make it to here, I often feel behind in what I intended to do here in this life.  I feel a strange sense of urgency to hurry up to put new programs in place to make a bigger difference in the lives of others.  Of course, I wouldn’t have a direction to do any of it were it not for the detour.

It is an interesting turn of events, really, and I am not sure I could fully explain just how passionately I feel about it.  It has a life of its own, and I am not sure I could put the fire behind it out if I tried really hard.

So while I have difficulty wrapping my own mind around where I am now in comparison to where I was eleven years ago, I am also grateful on so many levels to have lost everything.  Losing everything put the rest of the world around me into a perspective that I don’t know that I would have found otherwise.  It reminded me that we don’t have an unlimited amount of time in this life to get busy doing something worthwhile.

Starting over, in retrospect, became an opportunity to create a life that I wanted, rather than one spent playing the hand I was dealt.  The proverbial deck of cards was shuffled and I realized I was the dealer in this life.  No matter what level of uncertainty or insecurity came with each day, I was the dealer, dammit, and this was my table.  And I haven’t stopped because it really isn’t about how far I have come in the big picture.

It is more about each literal step I took to get here and the very many people who believed it could happen—and some of the ones who didn’t believe it because those were just as helpful each step of the way.  Each step comes flashing back into memory each time someone says, “Look how far you’ve come…”

It didn’t happen magically.  There is no mystery to how I got from there to here—not for me anyway.  Did I have any clue just how well it would turn out?  No, nor did it matter along the way.  My persistence mattered, and I was simply determined to have a better quality of life than the day before.  Each small change, each day-to-day choice, was made with only that in mind.

And today, I still make choices with that in mind.  I know the more quality my life has, the better I can help others to make choices to do the same.

Today is day 24 of the writing challenge and this is my 401st post in the blog world!





Positive Experimentation


look when you see

I have decided to do an experiment this week.

No matter what the situation, no matter who the individual, I am going to find one positive thing about it/them first.

Seriously, first.  Not after I have already noticed quirks or potential red flags.  I am going to try to throw out a fair part of what I have already surmised about situations or people and start over.  Then I am going to share (out loud) what I see with the person or people involved in the situation at that moment.

In my experiment, I hypothesize that I will not only see more than one positive quality, but that I will inadvertently  be able to help the situation/individual build upon those strengths that I see.

To be quite honest, I do this a fair portion of the time anyway without really having to make an effort.  What makes my experiment different for this week is that it will be a conscious decision and one that makes me more aware of where I am focusing my energies when I am involved in a situation or with other humans.

Sometimes the quirks or negative traits or behaviors are the most obvious in our interactions.  Sometimes the problems not being addressed are more visible to us than those that are.  We often forget to point out what is good about whatever or whoever it is and I propose seeking that out and sharing it right away.

Every single human and every single situation has a positive somewhere within it—even if it is the thing we learned after the situation or after the interaction with the human.  So, maybe the question we ask even when we meet someone whose negative qualities jump into our faces is just that, “I wonder what I have to learn from meeting him/her?”

It is already a week where we are seeking out our blessings and sharing what we are grateful for, so this is me taking it one step further.  Anyone want to play along with my experiment?

Let me start now:  You are interested in doing things that better help you in your life or you wouldn’t be reading my blog.  Because you are reading my blog, I know that you are interested in making choices that will improve your life, so good for you!

It is day 23!  May as well have a scientific final seven days of the writing challenge.



Grateful for you

misery is optional

So far, during this writing challenge, I have miscounted which day of the challenge it was—twice– and completely forgot to title a post once.  Just the same, I am pleased with myself that I have been able to keep up with the blogging daily!

It is almost the time of the year where I spend many moments amid the whirlwind of holidays reflecting on the year to see what I want to do differently in the upcoming year.  It is nice to feel more grounded heading into that because of daily writing.

And it is nice to feel grounded heading into the first holiday, which happens to be my favorite one.  No matter how I feel about the original reason for celebrating this week’s holiday, or the commercialization since, it is still my favorite day to celebrate.

It is one day of the year where we are counting our blessings and giving thanks.  I often wonder what would happen if we did this every single day of our lives instead of just setting aside one day to share with each other why we are thankful.

When we are only focused on what we feel we deserve or what we don’t have in this life, we completely cannot see all that is in front of us for which we could be grateful.  Gratitude for me is one of my greatest allies against fear and negativity.

My hope is that Thursday (or perhaps the entire week) all of us focusing on our blessings just might shift the tide of fear, anger or sadness.  Being grateful doesn’t mean we aren’t aware of the ills, it just means we are choosing not to allow those to rob us from our present.

Today, I am grateful for a Team of Tiny Peppers out there that I haven’t even met outside of the blogosphere.  I am grateful for a writing challenge that has served to help me stay focused and rooted in the mission.  Today I am grateful for you.

Happy Day 22 (I am pretty sure) and Happy Be Thankful Week!




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