Fad to be a Clone?

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This world needs some difference makers – some hope creators and people who stand out.  It seems that all too often today people are obsessed with blending in, with all being the same, with looking like clones.  It’s growing a bit ridiculous, in my opinion.  Take the latest fad of using some type of at home hair removal system, for example – everyone is obsessed with ridding their bodies with every last hair – except for the ones on their heads.

As a result, sleek is in, and hair is not.  People are made fun of when they don’t have access to the latest and greatest products that make them look just like everyone else.  And people are left out, sad, depressed because they just can’t keep up.

I always find it amazing how quickly humans work to be just like each other.  We are so quick to adapt to the latest fad, or what is popular, even if that means we start to look more the same and less unique and different.

Some people will go to enormous lengths in order to match, or “fit in,” with others around them.  They are willing to sacrifice money, time, and even their body in order to match the rest of society.  With that comes the great sacrifice of their individuality.

I just wanted to encourage you today to dare to be different.  Maybe by you standing up and standing out, you will give the courage to someone else to do the same thing.  Maybe you will brighten up someone’s day by letting them know they are not alone or the oddball out.  We need people to be the best self they can be, not the best whatever everyone else is doing.

Put down your hair removal system of silk flash and go, or whatever it may be.

Don’t fight hate with hate, but instead let love bloom and watch how a little change can spark great things.  Stand out from the crowd and bring hope to those who aren’t brave enough to stand by themselves.  You could be the catalyst for change, and heaven knows the world needs some change.

Stand up for what’s right and true and fair.  Be a little quirky.  Spread some smiles and joy.  Be the beginning of hope in your own little circle, and watch it spread.  Diversity should be celebrated – and it can originate with you.

Let the world celebrate beautiful you.  If it never gets the chance to see how you are unique, it will just be celebrating another clone.  It’s time to stand out!

Elements of Hope



At times it seems that my email inbox can be completely overwhelming.  Sometimes I do not even know where to begin to sort through it all.  It is so tempting to declare  email bankruptcy, and just delete everything that I have in my inbox.

What other option do I really have when I have so many emails trying to promote and sale me a product.  Do I really need to be reminded of my need to lose weight, or my credit score every time that I open my email.  Between the email headlines shouting to improve my sexual performance, and the ones advertising Venapro, the “best cream for hemorrhoids” on the market that isn’t even a cream, it is easy to get lost and discouraged.

However, on occasion there is a glimmer of hope tucked in there somewhere.  A quick message of encouragement, a letter from a friend, a thank you for sharing stories of their loved ones – and how easily these can get thrown out with the trash.  I have to take my time to comb carefully through each Subject line to make sure I’m not throwing out the good with the junk.

As I was practicing this little exercise in diligence the other day, it struck me how much like life this is.  There are often little nuggets of truth and goodness tucked in an otherwise uneventful or even drudgery filled day.  If we don’t take the time to observe life around us, to be fully present – we’re going to miss these little gifts tucked in each day.

It may be tempting to   but in doing so, you can miss out on those emails that brighten your day.  In the same way, it might be tempting to block out the rest of the world and just be determined that there isn’t anything good happening, but why miss the sunshine when you don’t have to?

The sun shines every day, regardless if it’s cloudy or rainy or we choose to ignore it.  It’s faithfully doing its job to provide warmth and encourage growth.  In the same way, this world is full of goodness.  There are still good people, doing good things, for the good of humanity.  While it may not be obvious at first glance, if we take the time to notice and focus on the positive, not only will you be a happier person, but you will begin to see the hope blossoming all around you.

This is the type of email, and really perspective on life, that I want to hold onto.  This is the  little element that I want to identify in my day, and to hold onto for days to come.  I find that moments like this are in everyday, but other I am not looking for it with the right eyes.  Perhaps it is “not being about forest for the trees.”

While I may not be interested in Venapro as a homeopathic supplement to provide me relief from hemorrhoids, I am so grateful for the kind of emails that forced me to open my eyes and embrace the good in each day.

And better yet- if you can’t see the good around you – BE the good.  Make the change.  Start the first step in that direction, and watch as hope shoots forth and continues to grow.  Be the world changer you know you are, and stop being stuck in a pit of hopelessness.  Ignite the spark that others around you will thank you for.

Go and be hope!

Love Crosses Oceans

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It seems like we could all use a little more love these days.  The world seems like a pretty dark, hopeless, scary place.  We all feel alone some times.  History seems to continue to repeat itself, with wars and oppression and prejudices and anger.  It seems like we are stuck on repeat in a vicious, ugly cycle that we will never break.

It all started when I was reading a review of an inflatable sup review the other day.  Paddle boarding has always been something I’m interested in, and I was looking for my next purchase.  However, I made it to the comments of this review and all I saw was hurt.   Name calling, insults, invalidation, making people feel small and petty and insignificant.   People were cutting each other deep, all over an isup board.  While it sounds ridiculous, it’s true.  We are all a little hurt on the inside, and you know the saying that hurt people hurt people.

I want to challenge you to turn that around today.  You might be hurt by someone, but don’t return the hurt to someone else.  Change the trajectory.  You have the power to alter the course of history – for good!  Use the opportunity to bless someone instead.  Practice spreading random acts of kindness freely, and without any expectations.  Be a smile, a ray of sunshine, in someone’s life that desperately needs some light.

Be the love that crosses oceans.  No matter where you are.  Leave an encouraging message instead of one filled with criticism, even for a stranger.  Mail a note to a long lost friend and tell them all the things you appreciate about them.  Buy someone a coffee just because.  Give up the best seat in the house for someone who just needs a little grace.

Pour out hope, and it will return to you.  It may not be today, but it will find its way back to you.  All the awesome people in the world already trying this – thank you.  The world needs more of you.  And to the rest of you, what are you waiting for.  There’s no better time than the present to spread the love around.

And if your work goes unnoticed, that’s ok too.  If no one ever says thank you to your face, know that I’m saying it to you here.  You are the difference maker that this world needs.  You are valuable.  You are treasured.  Thank you for your gift of you to the world, and the happiness that this spreads.

Something Real to Care About

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This world seems to have lost its mind.

We focus on the bad, the things we hate, the things we wish were different.

Wars, rumors of wars, senseless killings across oceans and in our own backyards.

Too much weight, a smaller size, meal replacement shakes like IdealShape instead of real food.  Meanwhile, people go hungry from malnutrition.

Wasting water to avoid a donation to a cause, fighting causes and not diseases, fighting brothers instead of waging war against the cancer itself.

There is a lot of bad in the world.  But the problem comes when we focus on these bad things, instead of all the good that is still in the world today.

People get stuck on themselves.  Selfishness rules in the midst of these bad circumstances.  But the world is so full of glorious displays of unselfishness that deserve our focus.

When we focus on others unselfishness, we will usually find ourselves being unselfish as well.  And when we are unselfish towards others, that frees them to be unselfish as well.

Focus on the good today.  Start a chain reaction of human kindness everywhere you go.  I know I can use a reality check that pulls me out of my depressive thinking and gloom and doom worldview – the world really isn’t ALL bad.

And that’s cause to celebrate.

It’s time to start caring about something real in this world.  Positive energy put out there will return to you.  Let’s smile and focus on the good.

If you need some help getting started with this mind shift, check out the BuzzFeed below to restore your faith in humanity.

Yes, there is bad in the world.  But it doesn’t negate the good.  I would argue it’s quite the opposite- that we’re tipping the balance for the good.  Don’t you want to be a part of that?

Let’s start a positivity movement.  Pay it forward.  Random acts of kindness.  Whatever you want to call it – be the catalyst for change in your home.  Community.  Workplace.

And then smile and watch what happens!




Walk Forward in Hope



I had a chance to sit down over a cup of tea with the daughter of a survivor of the Norwich Blitz the other day. I won’t soon forget this encounter. I haven’t had time to process all the wisdom and hope she shared, but as we parted ways, my heart was full to overflowing. How one person could exude such grace, understanding, and forgiveness is beyond me. I’ll share more soon, but I wanted to give you a glimpse into her heart with this short excerpt of our time together.

She reached into her tote to pull out a scrap of paper and a pencil – anything to scribble her number on that we might chat again. Out tumbled much of the contents of her bag, and she apologized, scrambling to contain the mess.

I saw her eyes change for just a second as they rested on one of the objects. It looked to be a mouth guard of some sort. She paused as her hand rested on it, and then picked it up with a laugh. “He said I snored. I searched and searched for the best anti snoring mouthpiece out there and finally found this – the Good Morning Snore Solution. After so much loss in your life, you don’t want a silly thing like snoring to build walls between you.”

She went on to share how with much of the same sentiment, her husband of 30 years went to buy earplugs. They had a good laugh as each of them presented their gifts to the other. No resentments, a promise they both shared. They realize the brevity of life, and how things can change in an instant, passed down from this generation of hope.

It struck me deeply, this cherishing of life, this keeping walls from building in relationships. It is quite intentional and involves a great deal of sacrifice of self. But this sweet lady, who has lived so much life, and with so much more to live, knows it is worth it.

I left with a desire to tear down some walls I built a long time ago, and the determination to keep them from being built. To walk forward in hope.

Won’t you join me?




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