Blogging on The Brightside

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

“We all owe everyone for everything that happens in our lives. But it’s not owing like a debt to one person–it’s really that we owe everyone for everything. Our whole lives can change in an instant–so each person that keeps that from happening, no matter how small a role they play, is also responsible for all of it. Just by giving friendship and love, you keep the people around you from giving up–and each expression of friendship or love may be the one that makes all the difference.”

— Mary Anne Schwalbe

This quote, stolen from The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe, seemed an excellent reminder of how much we depend upon other people.

Before any of you get bent out of shape as I know I might have a couple years ago, I remind you that needing people is part of the human experience. It is not a weakness to depend upon others, nor is it something you can escape. Just shy of being a hermit or a recluse, you interact with people everyday and what they do for the world will impact you. They may bring you your coffee. They may drive the bus you ride to work or gather your trash each week. You may do more for them than they could for you. Similar to the author’s relationship to our quoted speaker, this woman had given him life. (Not the easiest thank-you card to right…) They have brought you to this point in your life. They helped get you HERE. That’s a pretty astounding task when you stop to think about it.

In a season of gratitude and joy, I would remind all of us to share some of that gratitude with the people who deserve it most– the people around us daily. These are the people who light the fire in our souls. These are the people who may carpool with us to work or simply let us merge in traffic. Make gratitude something you practice constantly, no matter how big or small the act may be.

It is also in this spirit that I thank each of you. It is because of you that we do this and we hope that we can help bring you to a better place just for having read this post. We are connected by what we read, but we are also connected by so much more.

Love and light,


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“Deep grief sometimes is almost like a specific location, a coordinate on a map of time. When you are standing in that forest of sorrow, you cannot imagine that you could ever find your way to a better place. But if someone can assure you that they themselves have stood in that same place, and now have moved on, sometimes this will bring hope.”

— Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love

This one goes out to a close friend who is having a tough time. I can tell you that I have been there and you will make it through. It may seem like that forest you’re in is beyond disorienting and you’re having a trouble determining which way is up. Just know that others know the map and can help you through it. It might take a couple different paths than we took, but we’re here if you need us.

It will be okay. You have plenty of people ready to hold your hand and walk you through it. I’ve said it before, and I love to repeat it– moving on and moving forward does not take big steps. It’s all about that forward progress– just don’t stop. Keep going until it feels better…

… And if you need more than one pint to fix it, no guilt. Heal how you have to. 🙂

Love and Light,



“Strange as it may seem, I still hope for the best, even though the best, like an interesting piece of mail, so rarely arrives, and even when it does it can be lost so easily.”

— Lemony Snicket, The Beatrice Letters

This particular quote reminded me of so many things, the least of which was a track from the movie based upon this series’ first book. Before you continue reading, I invite you to turn on the track by clicking here and listen as you read along. 

Music has a way of expressing feelings for which we can never seem to find words. While I believe the word “hope” expresses so much in so few letters, this song always moves me closer to thoughts of hope and optimism. It is why this particular piece is so beautifully written and placed to match the emotions of the film. After waiting and waiting, expecting that the “best” they had hoped for would never arrive, the Baudelaire children return to their lowest point and find what they’ve been waiting for all along… concrete evidence that hope survives all.

We, like these children, need those moments more than anything at times. We need to know that hope survives, perseveres, and thrives, even when we do not give it the best conditions in which to do so.

Even though it may get lost, even if it only arrives every once in a while…wait for the best. It, like so many things, is worth the wait.

Love and Light,



“Most people have come to prefer certain of life’s experiences and deny and reject others, unaware of the value of the hidden things that may come wrapped in plain and even ugly paper. In avoiding all pain and seeking comfort at all costs, we may be left without intimacy or compassion; in rejecting change and risk we often cheat ourselves of the quest; in denying our suffering we may never know our strength or our greatness.”

— Rachel Naomi Remen

Read this book. This woman is wonderful. And she reminds me of all the good in the world.

That’s it. READ IT.


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If You’re Reading This…

“If you’re reading this… Congratulations, you’re alive. If that’s not something to smile about, then I don’t know what is.”  

Chad Sugg, Monsters Under Your Head

I hope Ray doesn’t mind me taking a stab at the Monday Morning Message.

I thought I would start with something seemingly simple. Living.

It’s a good thing to realize… being alive. But there are so many people who merely exist. Philosophers have forever made a point of pointing out the obvious. Why do think they STILL have to say it in so many different ways. Realize that this day has been given to you while so many others have not made it this far. You were chosen for this day and the day after that and the day after that.

So LIVE. Make the most of it. Take this week and make it spectacular. Dazzle yourself. Notice something you haven’t noticed before. Make it your mission to make the place you are in better than when you arrived.

You are lucky. You get TWO quotes today. The second is from one of my favorite books, The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. It reminds us that existing is not enough. Take notice and be grateful. “The real heroes anyway aren’t the people doing things; the real heroes are the people NOTICING things, paying attention.” While I can leave the defining of heroes for another post, be that different kind of hero. Notice. Pay attention. Soak it all in, and give it all you’ve got. Tie on that cape, you’ve got some work to do.

Happy Monday, everyone. Thanks for stopping by on your way to being active in your own life. Now, get out there and LIVE!


“Just when you think it can’t get any worse, it can. And just when you think it can’t get any better, it can.”

— Nicholas Sparks

As the official sponsor of weep-a-thons, this guy knows what he’s talking about. Above all that, though, he has a very valid point.

When you’re at a low point, it can always get worse. Cherish the moment regardless. When you think you can’t possibly be any happier, you can be. Cherish the moment regardless. When you’re having an average day, it can take a turn either way. Be present in every moment of your life and be thankful you have it, good or bad, ecstatic or unbearably miserable. It is yours to make. Make up your mind and live your life that way.

Keep a good thought. It can only get better from here… and that’s MY opinion.

Love and Light,


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“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.”

Douglas Adams, The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul

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