In the news we are once again being bombarded with who shot whom, craziness in government, people going nuts, more and more #Me Too revelations, a lot of people spewing hate, and a lot of people being hurt. But how directly does that affect you? Is it occurring in the state in which you live? In the city you’re in?
This affects all of us, but it’s how we react that counts. For me, it makes me look at my life and all of the incredible blessings I have in my life. I have a beautiful son, 3 awesome cats, a safe home, a job, a body that’s healthy and serves me well. I have friends. I have a wonderful family, and I have nature and open space nearby. So I count my blessings when things like this happen. I look at what good I can do in the world, I look at the good others are doing in the world, and I look at the things I am grateful for.
Today I went for a short walk out along a stream. It’s November. It’s cold. There was a single dandelion here and a cornflower there, as if they were placed there just to brighten my day. I was struck by the beautiful patterns in the bark of a young black willow tree. There is so much beauty around us. Even if you’re in a city, you can find beauty.
Last week I was driving along a road that descends down a hill, and I could see the traffic spread out before me with what looked like glittering Christmas lights; the sun was glinting off of metal as it set; people had their brake lights on, oncoming traffic had their headlights on, and there was a beauty in that. There is beauty all around us. There is goodness all around us. There is love all around us if that is what we are looking for.
What are you focusing on in your life?
How do you feel when you think about your life? Do you feel stuck, or feel you are moving in a direction that feels good?
Do you wake up in the morning wanting to pull the covers over your head, or anticipating the exciting possibilities the new day has to offer?
How we think and what we believe colors our perception of the world – we in fact create an external world based on our beliefs, thoughts, and focus. A wise woman said that if you want to change your life, you must make decisions you’ve never made before, and take actions you have never taken before.
We all have desires that are not yet realized; that is part of life. But do you believe that you can attain those desires? That is where your focus comes in; focus on at what is wrong in your life, and you will see what is wrong in the outside world. Focus on what is good in your life and you will see the good outside in the world.
Looking at the good around me and in my life is exactly what I was encouraged to do when I was invited to be an author in the collaborative book called Goodness Abounds.
We were asked two questions: What have others done for you? What kindnesses have you witnessed between others?
Think about that for a moment. How many people in your lifetime have assisted you in some way – helped you through a rough spot; said something that changed how you view life, or in some manner made your life better for a moment, a day, or forever?
When you look around, what have you seen others do? Have you witnessed the selfless work of those in animal rescue groups? How about communities banding together after a weather catastrophe? Have you watched neighbors helping one another after a fire; assisting in finding a lost relative, a lost pet, a lost friend? What about the small kindnesses of a child presenting his mother with a hand-picked bouquet of wildflowers? Have you noticed someone stopping to assist a stranded motorist, or contributing a couple dollars when the person in front of them doesn’t have quite enough to pay for their purchase? These are all acts of kindness that we notice when we’re looking for them.
This is what I, and over 260 other authors, were asked to consider, and to write about.
The result is a book with 365 uplifting stories that present a small sample of the infinite good that exists on this planet.
My stories are about family, friends and nature. People have done so many wonderful things for me in my life and I have witnessed so many wonderful kindnesses that people do for each other, or for the other beings with which we share this planet.
Being a part of this book helps me – and all of us involved – share a little of the good in our lives with all of you. It was beautiful to feel into the stories that wanted to be told. It has been amazing to work with some of these other authors and read their stories as well. I have made new friends and celebrated with those I already knew, and it has brought me joy to participate in the creation of this book. Our collective intention with this book is to bring happiness to others. There is so much negative news; so much division, hatred and anger, and it doesn’t have to be that way.
Goodness Abounds: 365 True Stories of Loving Kindness will be available this coming Tuesday, November 14th and we’re celebrating with a fun Facebook launch party. Join us here from 10 am – 4 pm PST where you can read or listen to excerpts from the book, check out the interviews with authors and view the many door prizes.
I’m hoping that you’ll choose to brighten your life and the lives of others around you by purchasing the book.