Beauty that Restores Peace

When life is overwhelming, we are stretched beyond ourselves, and we become more stressed and anxious, it is time to go to a quiet, peaceful, place and bring some calm into the chaos. Colors bring peace to me, along with scenes of nature that I can focus on, imagine myself in the midst of, and restore my soul through the magnificence of beauty.

This past year has been one of the most overwhelming of my life. I need to make a conscious effort each day to find peace and rest for my soul. This photo, with the stunning hue of the bluebonnets, strength of the forest, refreshing of the foggy mist, and symbolism of the gently winding path, spoke  great peace to me.

I have a thing for forests. When I lived in Switzerland, there was a trail I would walk that would give me great peace and tranquility. I would hike up to a large fallen tree, lay on its strong trunk and look up at the sky, watching the high above branches sway in the breeze and the clouds pass through the rays of sunshine. When I saw this photo of the stunning floral landscape in my favorite color, amidst the gentle forest, I sighed, a deep, anxiety-releasing, relaxing sigh. I share it with you here, and hope you will click through to the photographer’s site to refresh your soul with more of his amazing photography.

The creator of this lovely forest in Hallerbos, Belgium, is no other than Our Lord God. The photographer, Kilian Schonberger, provides additional photos of this lovely scene at My Modern Met


Kilian Schonberger

Do You Have a Sense of Purpose?

Long LifeHaving a sense of purpose in life gives you focus and direction. It is tremendously fulfilling to awaken each morning knowing where you are headed. Especially rewarding is when that purpose helps others, right?

Now there is research that shows that fulfilling your purpose can help you live longer!

Feeling that you have a sense of purpose in life may help you live longer, no matter what your age, according to research published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science. [Read more…]

I Sing and Sing and Sing and Sing!

The other day my heart was heavy thinking about a family that had come to my hospital, and my mind was consumed with personal worry. I just felt like a cloud was hanging over  my head, ready to break into a downpour. Do you ever have days like that? I’m glad they don’t come often but when they do, I always search for music to lift my spirits.

On this day, I wanted to hear something magnificent and beautiful, which made me think of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. The choir is huge, and they always perform with a large symphony orchestra, harps, pipe organ and on occasion, handbells. I searched online for a recording of melodies and came across this song that I had never heard before. It was so light, and lifted my spirits immensely. As I played it over and over again while I dressed for work, before long, it was solidly in my mind to be replayed over and over in my head throughout the day. I felt so much better, and because it is a children’s song, so simple and sweet, it brought my thoughts to how simple life is to a child. It’s a happy, carefree song.

little girl dancing [Read more…]

Such an Enjoyable Evening I Will Always Cherish With My Kids

Last night, I “opened” an incredibly wonderful and meaningful present from my grown children – an evening together listening to one of my favorite music artists, Michael McDonald. We had such a lovely time together, for me enjoying a bit of nostalgia of music from my youth, for them the comedy of observing an music hall filled with old people rockin’ out, singing along down memory lane, while completely letting all inhibitions go.


Here’s the grand finale Michael performed as an encore to our standing ovation – it’s a beautiful piano solo of Amazing Grace that goes into one of my all time favorites “Takin’ it to the Streets.” Simply wonderful evening of delight for me to be with my children and enjoying a great concert (which included “I heard it through the grapevine”!!).

The Giving Spirit

Merry Christmas to all!

I share one of my favorite songs with you:

God Bless Us Everyone!
Come together one and all
In the giving spirit
Gifts abound here great and small
Joyously we feel it

Blessings sent us from above
Guide us on our way
We raise our voice as we rejoice
Bow our head and pray

A miracle has just begun
God bless us everyone

To the voices no one hears
We have come to find you
With your laughter and your tears
Goodness, hope and virtue

Father, mother, daughter, son
Each a treasure be
One candle’s light dispels the night
Now our eyes can see

Burning brighter than the sun
God bless us everyone
A miracle has just begun
God bless us everyone

Come together one and all
In the giving spirit
Gifts abound here great and small
Joyously we feel it

Father, mother, daughter, son
Each a treasure be
One candle’s light dispels the night
Now our eyes can see

Burning brighter than the sun
God bless us everyone
A miracle has just begun
God bless us everyone!

(Andrea Bocelli – God Bless Us Everyone Lyrics | MetroLyrics)

Practicing Affirmation

Ever stop and think, “I wish someone would say something nice to me”, or “I would like to know that I’m appreciated”?
Well, just about every person you come in contact with has an invisible sign written on their forehead that says “please tell me how much you appreciate me!”

postive affirmations

There are stories of that one little compliment received by a child, which once received, started a fire of passion and confidence that propelled them to grow up and do something amazingly successful.

Here are a few ways to affirm someone each day: [Read more…]

Feeling Good About Who You Are

Feeling good about what you look like can help you feel better about who you are. But feeling good about who you are, independent of what you look like, is a far more powerful way to have and keep high self-esteem“, says Josh Klapow, Ph.D., associate professor in the UAB School of Public Health and a psychologist, in “Anti-Aging Strategies Can Improve More Than Looks”

Feeling Good About Yourself

How do you go about feeling good about yourself? [Read more…]


There are so many, many ways to give. It’s what makes life meaningful. It’s what brings great joy to the giver, and delight…or great the receiver.

You can give a little, or you can give a lot. You can give of your time, your talents, your self, your “things” or your money.

Whether giving individually or giving together, giving benefits everyone. It’s also the best way to prevent and overcome depression, taking your thoughts off of yourself or your problems, thinking of and helping someone else. Today, I had the most meaningful day of giving to support children’s health, and I was blessed to do so with my beautiful daughter.CHOC Walk 3 [Read more…]

Want Less Stress? Be Optimistic!

The way you manage stress can be evident by the way you see “the cup”. What? Well it turns out that if you are a cup half full, or optimistic, type of person, you are better at managing your stress than your cup half empty neighbors. You could have guessed that, right?

Remember Elle Woods classic line in Legally Blonde:  “Exercise gives you endorphins–endorphins make people happy and happy people just don’t shoot their husbands… they just don’t.”

Elle Woods

Same thinking here – if you’re happy, you don’t flip under stress. Now there is research to back this observation up. A new study published in the American Psychological Associations Health Journal and shares:

Results show that indeed the “stress hormone” cortisol tends to be more stable in those with more positive personalities…. that pessimists tended to have a higher stress baseline than optimists, … also had trouble regulating their system when they go through particularly stressful situations. “On days where they experience higher than average stress, that’s when we see that the pessimists’ stress response is much elevated, and they have trouble bringing their cortisol levels back down. Optimists, by contrast, were protected in these circumstances,” says Dr. Jobin.

While the study generally confirmed the researchers’ hypotheses about the relation between optimism and stress, one surprising finding was that optimists who generally had more stressful lives secreted higher cortisol levels than expected shortly after they awoke (cortisol peaks just after waking and declines through the day). Jobin says there are several possible explanations, but also notes that the finding points to the difficulty of classifying these complex hormones as good or bad. “The problem with cortisol is that we call it “the stress hormone,” but it’s also our ‘get up and do things’ hormone, so we may secrete more if engaged and focused on what’s happening.

So if you are not a natural optimist, there’s hope. You can change your thought habits with much discipline and persistence. Let me tell you a secret to changing your outlook. It’s gratitude. Expressions of gratitude, in your thoughts, and out loud, throughout each day change the way you see life.

The bottom line is that YOU make the choice, each moment of every day to be grateful or stressed, negative or energetic.

Job, Skilled Expert or Artist?

I’ve been thinking about the difference each person makes in how they do their job. Thinking about it because I mentor senior college students ready to enter the professional job market, and because I want to do my own job(s) in a way that no one else does, so that people seek me out, and stay with me because of how I take care of them.

It’s the difference between basically showing up and doing the job you are paid to do:

A Small Cup of Coffee

A Small Cup of Coffee

[Read more…]

What’s Signature Piece Do You Wear for Success?

Russian Sable Mink CoatHave you ever noticed that every time you seem to wear that “something” in particular, everything goes your way? I am always on the lookout for something that makes my life more enjoyable, helps me feel more confident and happy. So when I noticed my days seem much more successful when I have my “signature piece” on, I intentionally wear it on days I need that extra boost!

Someone else just wrote about her Signature Piece that she intentionally purchased with her first taste of success: [Read more…]

Stressful day? Find Your “Mindful Spot”!

You have more meetings than time to produce and your phone is going crazy with calls, emails and text messages. Pretty soon your head is spinning, your eating whatever is handy, and you’re getting a little snippy at the smallest inconvenience. Sound familiar?

What can you do to maintain your calm, get everything organized to continue being productive, and stay focused while your phone is ringing away? Find your mindful spot.

Your mindful spot is the place you can go to disengage yourself from the overwhelm, and put you into your peaceful calm.

Focus on things around you where you are right now, and breathe. Take a little stroll in the fresh air.

Ladies Power Walking

Sing a happy song.

Do some positive self talk like:
“I am fully able to handle everything that comes my way with a positive attitude and successful outcome”.

young woman

Organize, prioritize and make lists in the order of importance and when things need to be accomplished.

Think happy thoughts and …


Most of all, Keep SMILING!

Mindfulness Reduces Stress

summer fruitsWhen your doctor tells you to make lifestyle changes, what does that mean? By now I think everyone knows the big changes to make:

  • Stop smoking,
  • cut out alcohol,
  • start exercising regularly,
  • eat a healthy diet of vegetables, fruits, lean meats and nuts.

One could do all of the above, and without working on reducing stress – or learning how to change your perception of things that cause you stress – your risk for stress related health issues will remain the same.

How do we get a handle on stress so that it no longer influences our health in a negative way? [Read more…]


Don’t you think showing some spunk makes you look younger and fabulous? I do! How many women, or men, do you know who have a vibrant energy that defies their age? They look and act young, they energize a the whole room like rays of sunshine on a cloudy day. What does it take to be spunky, or whatever way you describe someone who is makes a positive difference in the lives of others each day?


Here’s what I think:

  • Good Health – there’s e
    nergy in moving around with agility, having a “Spring in your step”!
  • Clear Eyes – so they twinkle with your smile, and can share your joy when you catch someone’s glance. [Read more…]

If You Want to Be Happy, Give It Away!

Be HappyFeeling down? Thinking a lot about your own problems? Take some time each day to give something away and you will be a LOT Happier! That’s what recent research says according to Marla Jo Fisher, author of “Helping others will make you happy”, in the OC Register.

A 2007 study published by Science magazine found that people felt happier when they gave money to others than when they spent it on themselves. Researchers at Harvard University gave participants money and told half the subjects to spend it on themselves, the other half were to give it away to others. The people who gave their money away felt happier than those who bought something for themselves.

I love that giving it away caused them to feel HAPPIER!! As in they feel “more” happy than if they received something themselves. Amazing! [Read more…]

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