Choose to Defeat the Darkness Inside

A couple weeks ago I was sitting in a room with my 13 year old daughter, my 10 year old nephew, and a group of my daughter’s friends.  My daughter was in a foul mood, sulking like an angry cat. She said her cousin called her fat, and this made her very upset.

Like a big woman, her 13 year old friend decided she needed a serious talking to. She said something like:

“You’re not fat. Look at you, tall, with your nice flowing hair. You should be flicking that hair and showing everyone how good you look, instead of listening to baldy [my nephew just got a short hair cut]. Get rid of that sulk! I wanna see a smile.”

My daughter smiled, and I laughed. Everyone laughed, even my nephew.

The point is, life is too short for us to be making ourselves ugly because of an unkind or silly comment from someone else. We all should be focused on letting the world see the light in us (both our physical appearance and our spirit). That is how we bless the people around us.

Each day, we can choose to keep or to give away the goodness inside of us.  How are you choosing?

Say a Prayer for Cecilia

ceciliaCecilia has been fighting for her life for the last couple weeks, as a result of a horrible hit and run accident.

Anyone who has had a disability as well as constant health challenges, yet at the same time is an uplifting beacon of love and friendship for others, deserves a great blessing. Cecilia, a gifted young lady who is visually impaired and a brain cancer survivor, is such a person.

I met Cecilia at the gym about 5 years ago. She was an arts and crafts volunteer, working with children at the gym where I workout. I admired her general love for my daughter and other children, including her gift for making creative little paper toys to put smiles on people’s faces (as shown above) . We became good friends, and shared about our personal health challenges. I admired the fact that she never used this as an excuse to complain or stop contributing to life.

We had been sending a text to each other every Saturday morning, just before we met up at the gym. If either of us couldn’t be there, we’d let the other know. So two weeks ago when she didn’t respond to my text and I didn’t see her at the gym, I was a bit concerned. The same thing happened the week after. I was so concerned that I tried to contact her this past Monday. No success. I knew something was wrong. I feared it was a return of her brain cancer.

On Tuesday I got the call from her dad. He told me about the horrible car accident, and the search for the driver who caused the accident and ran away from the scene. Cecilia was so badly hurt that she was on life support and in a coma for a while.  She just recently came out of the coma, and though she is unable to communicate with me, she told her dad to call me and tell me what happened.

Though she is pretty broken up, I thank God that she is alive and is stable now. She is still facing a great battle. Her dad is asking for much prayers.

I have no idea what God has planned for Cecilia or any of us. I can only hope and pray that His plans includes a healing miracle for this inspiring young lady. Please pray with me.

Will you accept me as I am?

I woke up this morning, picked up my cell phone and using the microphone began to dictate an email to a  leadership group to which I belong. I was aware that the dictation can make some ridiculous mistakes; for example ‘an ungodly hour‘ turned out to be ‘an un-call ugly hour.‘ I thought I would correct the transcription when I was complete with the draft. However, as life would have it, my hand slipped, hit the send button, and the email went off.

Ahhhhhh! At first I panicked, for I believed I needed to change what would surely make me look seriously brain damaged. Then my spirit gave me this message I now give to you:

“NO. The mistakes and seeming nonsensical communication stand. Your worst or your best, it’s all a part of you. You must accept both to accept you. The world needs to accept both to know, accept and love you.”

Can you accept the worst part of you as much as you accept the best, knowing both the good and not-so-good is what makes you authentically and beautifully you?

Loving Hard

If I work hard so that I may live well, when do I stop working hard and start living well?

I finally found the answer to this question, which has haunted me for what seems like forever. That is:

Living well is not about working hard, it’s about loving hard.

When I love hard or deeply, I can overcome whatever limitations I see in myself, my family and my world. When I love the people around me deeply, work is a privilege, and I get more done than I can ever do by working hard.

I needed to have a crisis to see what it is to love hard, and to have amazing results in my life. What about you, is your life about working hard or loving hard?

Never Give Up

Many of you may be old enough to have witnessed the story of Olympic gold medal hopeful,  Derrick Redmond, who tore his hamstring during the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, and destroyed his dreams of winning a medal. He did, nonetheless, do what many of us only dream of. He brought the Olympic stadium, all those who watched on television, and millions who watched since then, to their feet, as he did what was probably the most courageous act of his life.

Even if you have already seen this live or seen the video, it’s worth watching; if only to remind us of the miraculous power that drives us and causes extraordinary results.

 

Good News

Our days, our lives , and our spirits flourish the more we surround our selves with good news. Below I lift you up with two inspiring stories, both of which are strangely linked to the Iraq war.

james with studentFor the first, we celebrate two  educators from Toronto, who came home from New York City with a 2015 Digital Book Award, leading the way to the creation of paperless schools.  Both men, James and Jamie are part of the Connect School for Languages, which James was inspired to create as a result of the Iraq war. Check out the article I wrote in Good News Toronto, about these ordinary guys and their really cool paperless textbooks.

The other even more evocative piece of good news relates to a man, who lost his leg and arm in the Iraq war, wowing the world on Dancing With the Stars.  A horrible situation enables him to inspire the world, as he displays like never before, the awesome beauty, courage and spirit he possesses. He is my greatest dancer.

Below I share a video of Noah Galloway’s inspiring story and performance.

International Day of Happiness

whdToday, March 20, is the International Day of Happiness.

Enjoy the World Happiness Playlist created by John Legend, Ed Sheeran, Cody Simpson, David Guetta, James Blunt and Charlize Theron in collaboration with the United Nations. Watch the video they created below, and share it with your world. Take a moment to dance, laugh, or just connect with another.

Happy International Happiness Day to all.

Soaring for Mental Health & Spiritual Well-Being