Blogging on The Brightside

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

The most radical act anyone can commit is to be happy.

–Robin Williams, Patch AdamsBuzLaVyCYAAgy1v


While the loss of Robin Williams is tragic, we must remember the innumerable lessons in happiness, cheer, comedy, and laughter that he taught to us, sometimes, as in Dead Poets Society, quite literally.  He played some of the most iconic characters to ever have touched our hearts, like Peter Pan who taught us to never grow up, and Patch Adams, for whom laughter was the best medicine.  Mrs. Doubtfire exemplified that our parents will always be there for us, but even Genie couldn’t bring people back from the dead.

“The most radical act anyone can commit is to be happy.”  And I hope that you delight in stirring glee in someone else’s heart by making them smile, and laugh, and roll their eyes because, in his words,  “you’re only given a little of madness.  You must not lose it.”




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“Smile, breathe, and go slowly.”

— Thich Nhat Hanh

While I anxiously await good news (or any news at all), I thought it was important to remind myself (and YOU) how great life can be if we just smile, breathe, and go slowly. Regardless of what happens next, a deep breath, a grin, and a calm pace can make all the difference.

Love and Light,


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“The two hardest tests on the spiritual road are the patience to wait for the right moment and the courage not to be disappointed with what we encounter.”

— Paulo Coehlo

Expectation is the thief of all joy.

Let today’s blessings, big and small, obvious and otherwise, be recognized and celebrated for what they are.

Just because things don’t turn out the way we want doesn’t mean they’re not turning out the way they are supposed to.

Expect to be surprised. Expect to be challenged. Expect the unexpected and smile at the cards you’re dealt.

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“I just like to smile. Smiling’s my favorite.”

-Buddy the Elf


Maybe it’s his charming optimism and bubbly personality.  Maybe it’s just that he is a cotton-headed ninny muggins.  Maybe it’s because he is oblivious to the world around him.  Whatever the reason, we can’t help but love Buddy the Elf.

Buddy knows know how to spread joy during the stressful holiday season.  Even if you’re not comfortable singing loud for all to hear, you can put on a big contagious smile to help get your coworkers, friends, and family in the holiday spirit.



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“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”

— Leo F. Buscaglia

A very important concept to understand– no act of kindness is ever wasted.

Find something small that will turn a life around.

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“What sunshine is to flowers, smiles are to humanity. These are but trifles, to be sure; but scattered along life’s pathway, the good they do is inconceivable.”

— Joseph Addision

In a couple days, I will head back to my life as a third grade teacher with some pretty stellar kids. It will take all year to help them grow and succeed. Yes, there will be bumps along the way. But one thing that no person, especially teachers, should forget is this– a smile can make all the difference in a child’s life.

To the rest of you, I must remind you: you were all children once. Never lose that spark of happiness. Never lose the light that catches in your eye when you are happy. Share that light with someone today. The good from that one grin will continue on like ripples on the water. I am smiling at all of you. I hope you feel the joy you bring to us while we try to return the favor. Have a great week!

Love and Light,


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“Through humor, you can soften some of the worst blows that life delivers. And once you find laughter, no matter how painful your situation might be, you can survive it.”

— Bill Cosby

While I was tempted to make a good Jell-O pudding or ugly sweater reference, this is one of my favorite quotes when it comes to dealing with a particularly difficult situation.

When we are faced with something difficult, we all go through a tough time. Sometimes it’s five stages, and sometimes it is just one day at a time, taking life as it comes unsure of the stage or time of day. We need to remember that even in those moments when it feels like being sad is the only good idea we have, a smile or a laugh can be the difference between healing and irreparable damage.

Be sad. Cry. Scream. And then, realize that smiling or laughing until you cry can help more than you’ll ever know. Be there for yourself.

As I try to end this post, I can’t help but think of a favorite song…

Smile though your heart is aching. Smile even though it’s breaking. When there are clouds in the sky you’ll get by. If you smile with  your fear and sorrow. Smile and maybe tomorrow, you’ll find that life is still worthwhile if you just smile.

Love and light,


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“We need people in our lives who bring a smile to our hearts and brighten our worlds. This is the kind of person you are, and I’m so thankful for you.”

Donna Fargo, I Prayed for You Today

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“I’ve got nothing to do today but smile.”

— Simon and Garfunkel

Your to-do list today…

  • Smile at a stranger.
  • Eat ice cream (cup or cone– doesn’t matter)
  • Puddle jump
  • See a friend and hug them (a good hug, NOT a peababy hug)
  • Leave a nice note for someone to find.
  • Go on a hunt for something you’ve been meaning to find. (Shopping, Missing Object, etc)
  • Make a t0-do list with easy things just to feel the satisfaction of crossing things off.
  • Find a quiet space and breathe there for at least 10 minutes.
  • Start a notebook of nothing but good quotes and happy thoughts.
  • Give yourself time to simply to smile.

It may seem silly, but think of how happy you would be if you devoted a day (or two) to doing what you love and making yourself smile. Pick and choose some of your favorite things (big or small) and make them happen just to make yourself happier.

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