Blogging on The Brightside

"I think I can. I think I can. I think I can." -The Little Engine That Could

“Some people believe holding on and hanging in there are signs of great strength. However, there are times when it takes much more strength to know when to let go and then do it.”

— Ann Landers

I’ve noticed recently that I can be stubborn.

(Anyone who knows me understands that this is both a blessing and a curse and in no way a “new” realization, but purely a statement of fact.)

When carrying something heavy (physically, emotionally, etc), it is impossible to realize just how much strain is being placed upon me. It’s only after I set it down for a break or finally make it to my destination that I feel the toll it’s taken. It’s only after some time that I regain feeling, where my blood starts pumping again, filling me up, reminding me that those parts that fought through the pain are still there, still working, ready for the next task.

In those moments, rather than strain and fight through the unnecessary pain, I could just as easily ask for help or allow myself to be helped by those around me. It would be the best thing to do, right? Then why do I insist on doing it all by myself? Why won’t I just let it go?

Why do any of us when faced with something that burdens us, that weighs us down, that hurts us, resist the urge to simply let it go?

We’ve all got something of which we are afraid to let go.

We struggle to decide if, in that moment, letting it be is better than letting it go.

Open your hands, your head, and your heart to something that will better serve you. That will bring you closer to where you really want to be and what you really want to feel. If it helps and if you can, let others ease the burden, lift the weight, and support you in the process.

Remind yourself that if you have the strength to “hang on” and “hang in” that you also possess the immense and incomparable strength that is regained when you loosen your grip. 

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“In the end, though, maybe we must all give up trying to pay back the people in this world who sustain our lives. In the end, maybe it’s wiser to surrender before the miraculous scope of human generosity and to just keep saying thank you, forever and sincerely, for as long as we have voices.”

— Elizabeth Gilbert

As more people find their way to our blog, I think it is important to say thank you.

I do everything I can to thank the people in my life who make my life good in every sense of the world.

Please know how inspiring and motivating it is to see readers, new and seasoned vets, come by our blog and share in our optimism.

In the beginning, middle, and end, just think of many people are grateful for your presence in their lives.

For the miraculous scope of human generosity, thank you, thank you, thank you…

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“Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you.”

— Princess Diana

A reader recently sent an email to Ray and me presenting a simple and meaningful idea.

Can we ask fellow bright-siders did to brighten the day of those they came across today? Like a warm ray of sunshine, we do touch others… hopefully in an equally encouraging and welcomed way.”

I open this question up to all of you. Share these moments with us and the fellow bright-siders. This community is about so much more than borrowed words. It is about shared inspiration and optimism. So SHARE AWAY!

What have you done to show others “the bright side”?

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“Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.”

— Eckhart Tolle

On days where we feel that we are not enough, in moments when we focus on only what is missing and not what we have gained, from the very moment you notice that you’re “noticing” all wrong…

…remind yourself of the good all around you. From there, anything is possible. You are building a wonderful, abundant life one step at a time.

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Instructions for a Bad Day

Shane Koyczan is an amazing spoken word poet whose work has been featured all over, including a TED Talk he led about being bullied. This poem in its entirety is being written in my planner as we speak. I find it so refreshing, humbling, and centering. I hope that this poem will bring you to a better place if by chance you stumble across a bad day.

There will be bad days.

Be calm.

Loosen your grip, opening each palm slowly now.

Let go.

Be confident.

Know that now is only a moment, and that if today is as bad as it gets, understand that by tomorrow, today will have ended.

Be gracious.

Accept each extended hand offered, to pull you back from the somewhere you cannot escape.

Be diligent.

Scrape the gray sky clean.

Realize every dark cloud is a smoke screen meant to blind us from the truth, and the truth is whether we see them or not – the sun and moon are still there and always there is light.

Be forthright.

Despite your instinct to say “it’s alright, I’m okay” – be honest.

Say how you feel without fear or guilt, without remorse or complexity.

Be lucid in your explanation, be sterling in your oppose. If you think for one second no one knows what you’ve been going through; be accepting of the fact that you are wrong, that the long drawn and heavy breaths of despair have at times been felt by everyone – that pain is part of the human condition and that alone makes you a legion.

We hungry underdogs, we risers with dawn, we dissmisser’s of odds, we blesser’s of on – we will station ourselves to the calm.

We will hold ourselves to the steady, be ready player one.

Life is going to come at you armed with hard times and tough choices, your voice is your weapon, your thoughts ammunition – there are no free extra men, be aware that as the instant now passes, it exists now as then.

So be a mirror reflecting yourself back, and remembering the times when you thought all of this was too hard and you’d never make it through. Remember the times you could have pressed quit – but you hit continue.

Be forgiving.

Living with the burden of anger, is not living.

Giving your focus to wrath will leave your entire self absent of what you need.

Love and hate are beasts and the one that grows is the one you feed.

Be persistent.

Be the weed growing through the cracks in the cement, beautiful – because it doesn’t know it’s not supposed to grow there.

Be resolute.

Declare what you accept as true in a way that envisions the resolve with which you accept it.

If you are having a good day, be considerate.

A simple smile could be the first-aid kit that someone has been looking for.

If you believe with absolute honesty that you are doing everything you can – do more.

There will be bad days, Times when the world weighs on you for so long it leaves you looking for an easy way out.

There will be moments when the drought of joy seems unending. Instances spent pretending that everything is alright when it clearly is not, check your blind spot.

See that love is still there, be patient.

Every nightmare has a beginning, but every bad day has an end.

Ignore what others have called you. I am calling you friend.

Make us comprehend the urgency of your crisis.

Silence left to its own devices, breed’s silence. So speak and be heard.

One word after the next, express yourself and put your life in the context – if you find that no one is listening, be loud.

Make noise.

Stand in poise and be open.

Hope in these situations is not enough and you will need someone to lean on.

In the unlikely event that you have no one, look again.

Everyone is blessed with the ability to listen: the deaf will hear you with their eyes; the blind will see you with their hands.

 Let your heart fill their news-stands; let them read all about it.

Admit to the bad days, the impossible nights.

Listen to the insights of those who have been there, but come back.

They will tell you; you can stack misery, you can pack despair, you can even wear your sorrow – but come tomorrow you must change your clothes.

Everyone knows pain.

We are not meant to carry it forever.

We were never meant to hold it so closely, so be certain in the belief that what pain belongs to now will belong soon to then.

That when someone asks you how was your day, realize that for some of us – it’s the only way we know how to say, be calm.

Loosen your grip, opening each palm, slowly now – let go.”

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“You are in the perfect position to get there from here.”

— Abraham Hicks

On the heels of the second week of 2014 coming to an end, remind yourself that whatever you resolved to do this year is not lost. Even if you are still thinking of ways to make this your best year yet, remind yourself that any place can be your starting line. Decide which direction you’re going and get on your way.

Right here, right now is the best place.

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But there’s still no cure more heaven-sent as the chance to raise some hell!

When you are as old as I, my dear
And I hope that you never are
You will woefully wonder why, my dear
Through your cataracts and catarrh
You could squander away or sequester
A drop of a precious year
For when your best days are yester
The rest’er twice as dear….

What good is a field on a fine summer night
When you sit all alone with the weeds?
Or a succulent pear if with each juicy bite
You spit out your teeth with the seeds?
Before it’s too late stop trying to wait
For fortune and fame you’re secure of
For there’s one thing to be sure of, mate:
There’s nothing to be sure of!

Oh, it’s time to start livin’
Time to take a little from this world we’re given
Time to take time, cause spring will turn to fall
In just no time at all….

I’ve never wondered if I was afraid
When there was a challenge to take
I never thought about how much I weighed
When there was still one piece of cake
Maybe it’s meant the hours I’ve spent
Feeling broken and bent and unwell
But there’s still no cure more heaven-sent
As the chance to raise some hell

Everybody….

Oh, it’s time to start livin’
Time to take a little from this world we’re given
Time to take time, cause spring will turn to fall
In just no time at all….

Now when the drearies do attack
And a siege of the sads begins
I just throw these noble shoulders back
And lift these noble chins
Give me a man who is handsome and strong
Someone who’s stalwart and steady
Give me a night that’s romantic and long
And give me a month to get ready
Now I could waylay some aging roue
And persuade him to play in some cranny
But it’s hard to believe I’m being led astray
By a man who calls me granny

Oh, it’s time to start livin’
Time to take a little from this world we’re given
Time to take time, cause spring will turn to fall
In just no time at all….

Sages tweet that age is sweet
Good deeds and good work earns you laurels
But what could make you feel more obsolete
Than being noted for your morals?

Here is a secret I never have told
Maybe you’ll understand why
I believe if I refuse to grow old
I can stay young till I die
Now, I’ve known the fears of sixty-six years
I’ve had troubles and tears by the score
But the only thing I’d trade them for
Is sixty-seven more….

Oh, it’s time to keep livin’
Time to keep takin’ from this world we’re given
You are my time, so I’ll throw off my shawl
And watching your flings be flung all over
Makes me feel young all over

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Change your stars.

–A Knight’s Tale

You might be knocked off your horse or take a lance to the face.  Some days you might feel like a blind thatcher’s son, and some days you might think you’re living in the dark-ages.  Pick yourself up off the ground.  Let the lance roll off your armor.  Embrace your father, and be inspired by your contemporaries.

a_knights_tale_Heath_Ledger

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“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language, And next year’s words await another voice. And to make an end is to make a beginning.”

— T.S. Eliot

All the posts that have been written in the past remain there, ready to be looked back on longingly. (I must say I am extremely proud of each and every post Ray and I have shared and the beautiful thoughts you have shared.)All the words we have yet to type remain hidden from view. But right now this moment unfolds before us all. We are standing at the starting line of this new year with eager eyes, open minds, and hopeful hearts.

With the end of 2013 comes the beginning of 2014.

Allow the words you found last year to remain with you, bringing you comfort and fond memories.

Allow the mystery of your future ignite a passion and excitement in your soul that drives you to it.

In this moment, be here now. It sounds simple, and it sounds incredibly obvious, but at this moment, each one of us can live too much in the moments of the past year or spend too much time anxious over the year ahead.

Start the year off well. Start where you are. Start here and stay here. Here is where the best year of your life begins.

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