Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Living after the Manner of Happiness

Living after the Manner of Happiness

There is not a person on this earth that doesn't crave happiness, yet as we wander and try to chase it, it flits out of our grasp like an illusive butterfly.  Much to our dismay, we find that...
"Happiness is not given to us in a package that we can just open up and consume." -James E. Faust
Given the tests, trials and learning experiences this earth life is intended to provide, I do not believe that God intended to make us happy 24 hours a day

Happiness is not so much a destination as
 it is the manner in which we choose to live.

How do we live after the manner of happiness when so many unhappy things surround us?

"In God's plan we can do very much to find the happiness we desire and we can be happy so very much of the time." We can take certain steps, we can form certain habits that follow what God has shown us in history lead to happiness.  We can have confidence that if we live in such a manner, that our chances to find happiness will improve exponentially as we, "find joy in unexpected moments, and peace is unexpected places... find the help of angels when we didn't even know that they existed or that they knew that we existed."- Jeffery R. Holland

"Ultimate happiness, true peace, anything remotely resembling scriptural joy are found first and foremost in living the gospel of Jesus Christ."- Jeffery R. Holland

This is the key then... actually living the gospel, not just knowing about it.  Christ said, "I am the way, the truth and the life... and whatsoever you shall ask in my name, that will I do... and if ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it." (John 14:6, 13-14)

He is saying to his disciples in essence 'live my way and my truth... live my life... live in this manner that I am teaching you and  then what you ask will be right and true and it will come.'  It may not come immediately and it may not come until Heaven, but we are promised that it will come.
"Unlike gratification or pleasure or some kind of thrill true happiness if found only along that well beaten gospel track." - David O McKay.   
Love God, love each other and be true to the gospel.
We need to learn that so much of our happiness is in our hands...
"it is not in events or circumstances or fortune or misfortune... We can choose, if not happiness per say, we can choose to live after the manner of happiness."- Holland

Four Key Aspects to Living After the Manner of Happiness

1. Think and speak and act positively. 

This is what happy people do!  It is a simple truth that...
"Folks are usually as happy as they make up their minds to be."- Abraham Lincoln
Happiness starts first with what comes into our heads a long time before it it is realized in our hands. So we start with the thoughts that we choose. The things that we desire and choose to think about will become what shapes us and our lives.
"God expects a willing mind in the quest for happiness as well.  Put your head into this.  All of this takes effort.  It is a battle, a battle for happiness that is worth waging."- Jeffery R. Holland
Our determined effort to manage and choose the thoughts and feelings to act on makes a huge different in the happiness that we see in our lives.
"Happiness is the consequence of personal effort, you fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and look for it.  You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestation of your own blessings and once you have sustained a state of happiness never become lax in maintaining it.  You must make a might effort to keep swimming up into that happiness... to stay afloat un top of it."  -Elizabeth Gilbert

2. Happy people are never unkind or unpleasant to be with

"You can NEVER build your happiness on someones else's unhappiness." Tearing other people down will never build us up. "Happy people are NOT negative or cynical or mean, so don't plan on that being part of the manner of happiness."-Jeffery R. Holland
"Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God's kindness.  Let it be in your face, in your eyes and in your smile." -Mother Theresa
3. Avoid animosity, anger and contention in your life.

Satan is the perpetrator of all negative feelings. "He that hath the spirit of contention is not of me, but is of the devil... and he stirreth up the hearts of men to contend with anger, one with another.(3 Nephi 11:29)  
"That verb stir sound like a recipes for disaster. Put tempers on medium heat stir in a few choice words, bring to a boil. Continue Stirring until thick, cool off and let feelings chill for several days.  Serve cold.  Lots of leftovers' -Lynn G. Robins
"Lots of leftovers indeed! Sometimes the damage goes on and on and on"..as "anger damages or destroys almost everything it touches."
"To harbor anger is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.  It is a vicious acid that will destroy the container long before it does damage to the intended object."- unknown
"I do not think that anger can exist or at least can be foster and entertained and indulged in in a life that is being lived after the manner of happiness."

4.  If you want to be happy.., then work at it!  

As we learn to work and serve others diligently, satisfaction flows into our lives.  As we improve ourselves our self-esteem improves.
"A homespun definition of Christlike character might be: "The integrity to do the right thing at the right time and in the right way." Don't be idol and wasteful of the opportunities before you.. "including laboring for and serving others... one of the truly great keys to happiness."

How can we change our thoughts, our feelings and our actions to more fully change us and live after the manner of happiness?

I invite you to ask God this question and begin to study and act on those traits that will help you be a better person and live after the manner of happiness.

Additional Resource:

Robbins, Lynn G. "Agency and Anger," April 1998 - This is a great short talk about our ability to not choose anger and how that affects our family relationship

Unmarked quotes are from Jeffery R Holland given in a BYUI Devotional "Living After the Manner of Happiness," Sept 2014

Monday, September 22, 2014

Prayer: the Power of Opening up the Windows of Heaven

Prayer: the Power of Opening up the Windows of Heaven

Lately I have really come to enjoy and depend on the power of prayer in my life, yet before my husband's death I often struggled to open the widows of heaven.  How do you take your prayers from simple pleadings, or rote recitations to powerful entreaties that call down blessing?  How do you deal with prayers that do not bring the results you desire, that make you wonder if God is really there?   

I wanted to share some of the things that I have learned on this journey with the hopes that others who are struggling might be able to learn from my experiences, experience less frustration, and better find their own direction.

What is prayer and Why do we pray?
I can tell you what I have learned prayer is not...
Prayer is not the mechanism to tell God how to do things. 
We do not pray to convince God that our way or plan is a better than His.
We do not pray to try to change his mind.

Perhaps this is why so many people loose their faith in prayer.  If we pray for what we want, and our desires are not immediately granted, we may conclude that God isn't there or doesn't care.  However, this problem lies not in God, but in our understanding of the purpose of prayer.  

Prayer is not the same as rubbing a magic lamp,
 and God is not a genie.  

God is not a wish-granter.  He is our Heavenly Father... someone who loves us and in His infinite wisdom wants what is best for us in the long run.  This change of how we view God lets us have a different perspective on the purpose of prayer.

  • God wants a relationship with us.  A parent/child relationship.

If you had a child away at school who called with a list of demands, many of which you did not think were in his or her best interest, and then promptly hung up would you grant them?  Even if you were a perfect parent and you didn't get mad about the lack of ingratitude and selfishness, would would drop everything to give them what they wanted?  

This senerio gives us an interesting insight into prayer and how God might feel on the other side of the phone call.  Maybe that is something we haven't even considered, that God can feel...

I remember the first time as a teenager that I said something hurtful to my mom, and instead of getting mad at me, she started to cry.  Up to that point, I had not ever considered that my mom's feelings could be injured like that.  It changed me and how I viewed her. She became a person to me.
  • Do we hurt our Heavenly Father some times?
  • Is He sad when we don't seem to learn a lesson and we have to try again?
  • Does it hurt when we are rebellious and choose 'things' and "pleasure' over Him?  
  • Does He feel compassion when we are suffering?
Would a loving parent ever grant a desire that was not in the child's best interest?  Even if the child desperately wanted it and pleaded and pleaded and threw a temper tantrum?  

I have had children do this to me.  in fact, I wrote a post earlier about my son who desperately wanted to try out his new wings but jumping off the roof.( Why would a loving God let us suffer).  

A loving parent doesn't give in, but instead tries to help the child understand.

The True Purpose of Prayer

We pray to...
  • Align ourselves with God's will.  
  • Know what He was us to do, 
  • Understand what we are to learn from trials 
  • Learn to want what He wants.
  • Express gratitude to Him 
  • Procure the blessings He wants to bestow upon us and others

As we do that, we open the door of communication with him.  The more in tune and aligned with Him we are the more we can open the windows of heaven to receive of His love, peace and help.

Being 'in tune' takes practice.

If our desires are selfish then there is a lot of static and the door is only open a crack.  As we humble ourselves and are willing to submit to the Lord in all things then that door opens wider and wider.  As we ask him to help us change desires and behaviors that are not inline with Him, and as we work on those things, His help and grace is allowed to flow more freely into our lives.

  • We find it easier to do good and to become better.
  • We feel more happiness.
  • Our minds are enlightened and our understanding is increased. 

These things do not happen immediately just like when we knock at a door someone does not instantaneously greet us.  We have to knock with patient persistence. In time, as our hearts begin to change those answers will come.

Matt 7: Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
As we take the time to ask what He would have us do, to really seek the Lord's will, and to patiently wait while we knock, we find the power of prayer.  As we look back at our life it will become apparent to us the many times that the windows of heaven were opened for us and that we did receive blessings. We can use that pattern to help us get through the waiting as we go through current trials.

I want to share some comments from a friend who is working on his prayers.  Notice how he makes connections with the past and how he is coming to understand what to pray for...

"Reading the Psalms helps me feel grounded and know that things are the way they are and that God is always here for us.  Like kids we need to go through certain lessons -- painful -- yet for whatever reason important. 
My thinking became so negative over the past few years after things fell apart -all from an entitlement mentality.  I had it so good for so long and many people never have it as good.   I feel like a spoiled kid whose toys got taken away. 
For whatever reason it isn't easy to know what to say in prayers.  Sounds silly perhaps though finding the words doesn't come so naturally.  Especially when I know it's more about peace than about stuff.  And I too need to pray for strength and wisdom and guidance to let go of my negative and bad thoughts, to replace them with kind and loving ones, for forgiveness for what I've done wrong, and to see people the way God sees them and love them and to understand. 
I pray a lot for gratitude as it seems like somewhere along the way I stopped being grateful for the gift of life.  I read the part in the book about the Psalms that talks about how many things we simply don't even know that He was there to save us from what would/could have happened.  I used to think that way.   Though I stopped being grateful when my  "toys' were taken away ... "

I encourage you to spend time in your prayers thinking back on those patterns in your life.  Talk to God like he is your Father, express the feelings you have, and as you do, you will find your heart began to change and those windows will be open again.

Please share with us how praying this way has helped you. 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

If I Only Had Today

If I Only Had Today

There is a song by Hillary Weeks called, If I Only Had Today, that I heard this weekend at women's motivational retreat. Quite honestly, it was really hard for me to hear.  I struggled to fight back the tears and stay composed.  I even thought of bolting from the room, but I didn't want to make a scene so I stayed and just listened. It couldn't get over fast enough...

So why am I writing a post about it, in the dark at 5:00 am on Sunday morning?

Honestly, I would rather not... but I woke up this morning so compelled that I needed to share this message, so I am following what I call a prompting from the Spirit.  I believe someone out there needs this message, and that is more important than the pain that it causes me.

The song is about all of the things you would do if you knew you only had today left to live.  Although I have many more days of my own, I do not have those days with my husband anymore.  She sings of all of my regrets....
The time my husband came home and I had my hands in the chicken and I didn't wash them and go to him with a hug and a kiss... 
The time when he wanted to talk me into staying in bed on a Saturday morning, but I wiggled away because I just had to go running... 
How he always said I love you first, and I rarely ever initiated that sentiment...
I know these are not big things.

We had an amazing marriage and were in a really good place when the accident happened, and for that I am very grateful. I know so many other people who have lost spouses that have far bigger demons to deal with, and if these little things still bring back so much pain for me almost 2 years later, I can only imagine how much pain they feel.

So what is the point of dredging up all of these feelings of loss again?

Yesterday I couldn't see one...
but today, this morning, I see something new.
I see that I still have children, parents and siblings to love.
Even though I cannot go back and change the past, I can change today for them.

This is about reflecting on my priorities every morning in my prayers.  It is about putting people before tasks and relationships above mortal accomplishments.

So I invite you to listen to this song and not reflect on mistakes that you have made in the past, but to think forward and to think of what you could do with those relationships today to build and strengthen them.  I invite you to pick out one thing to work on this week to help your priorities be in a better place.

  • Maybe it is to forgive someone who was close to you, and to work on rebuilding that relationship
  • Maybe it is to drop what you want to do and spend time with someone doing what they want to do
  • Maybe it is to work on how you speak to a loved one, or to say I love you more often.
Whatever it is, I invite you to write it down you plan somewhere where you will see it everyday.  Make it part of your prayers and part of your daily planning,  and then thank God for those experiences at the end of the day. I would love to hear back about the changes you have made and how this has strengthened you home and family.

My goal is to tell my children that I love them everyday.  I will be posting back on this in two weeks to let you know the change that I have experienced in my life.   

"If I Only Had Today"
by Hillary Weeks

It seems like I've watched a million sunsets
And stared at a thousand full moons.
Sometimes it feels like I've been here forever
And sometimes it all feels brand new.
I could never count the heartbeats
From the day I was born until now.
But not a single one goes unnoticed
By Him who breathes life in me somehow.
But if there were no more tomorrows
If I knew that I could not stay.
I know how I'd spend every moment
If only I had today.
I'd hold you and listen
And I'd let the dishes sit in the sink.
I'd tell you I loved you over and over
And for once I'd just let the phone ring.
The I'd remind you of forever
And how our love would never change.
If I only had today.
I'd wake up before the sun did
And I'd watch as you quietly sleep.
I'd pray for time to move slowly
Knowing the moment won't keep.
All the gifts that Heaven has given
Every blessing that's come my way.
Wouldn't mean anything without you
So if I only had today.
I'd hold you and listen
I'd memorize every detail of you face.
I'd tell you I loved you over and over
I wouldn't let excuses get in the way.
Then I'd remind you of forever
And how our love would never change.
If I only had today.
There's no time like the present.
Life doesn't come with any guarantees.
The sun will set and time won't wait
So while I have today:
I'll hold you and listen
And I'd let the dishes sit in the sink.
I'll tell you I loved you over and over
And for once I'll just let the phone ring.
The I'll remind you of forever
And how our love would never change.
If I only had today.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Greater Peace and Direction through More Powerful Prayer

Greater Peace and Direction through

More Powerful Prayer

We all see powerful inspirational pictures about prayer, like this one above, that in the moment give us a feeling of peace and a boost to tackle the day, but then later when we actually get around to praying we struggle to find any real spiritual direction.  Intrinsically, we know there is power in this simple act, but on a day to day basis we rarely feel like we tap into any of that.

Does this sound familiar? 

Well, this was me before the death of my husband.  

Personal prayer was more of obligation that I knew I should be doing... and I did, most of the time, even if it was in my bed as I drifted off to sleep, or in the car on the way to go running in the morning.  Honestly, prayer wasn't a huge priority.  If everything was going well, it was something I didn't really feel a need for.  It wasn't until I had a big problem that I would spend the time to have consistent heart-felt prayers.  Those prayers were mostly for help, and after the problem was solved,  I quickly faded back into my old routine of abbreviated and rushed prayers.

Then a problem happened that couldn't just be solved....  
My husband died.
All of the sudden my whole life was a problem that I couldn't solve.  Because there were no quick answers, my heart-felt prayers continued and I learned something I had never discovered before...

Prayer isn't just for solving big problems.
Prayer can give you guidance and direction everyday. 
I had a lot of pride and lack of humility to break down before God could get me to discover that... to get me to realize that I really did need His help and direction, and not only did I need it, but that I was a better person when I had it... to discover that I could do more things with His help than I could alone.

Through this process, I have completely change the purpose and how I format my morning and evening prayers.

 This change has given me the ability to get the direction 
that leads to greater peace in my life.

This is what I want to share with you. 
My hope is that you can discover this principle in an easier way than I did.

Morning Prayers:

Purpose: This is my "report for duty" time. I let the Lord know that I want to be of service to Him today.  I ask to know how to best use my time so that I can accomplish the tasks that 'He' thinks are most urgent.  (This is a huge change for me.  I used to ask for help to do what 'I' wanted to do.  I never bothered to find out if my desires were inline with what 'He' wanted me to do. This simple change of verbiage gives the Lord my will and lets Him direct me.) 

Things I always include:
  1. I ask that Satan will have no power over me. (I put on my protective gear)
  2. I express gratitude (This helps me feel love for God and lets me feel the spirit better, it opens my spiritual ears)
  3. I express my desire to serve Him and ask for direction and help to do that. ("Here am I, send me" Isaiah 6:8)
  4. I ask for the ability to prioritize correctly. (Good, Better, Best- I know I need to do the Best things first and not just get stuck on the Good)
  5. I think over the people I will come in contact with and the people that I could reach out to.  (I actually have a list that I keep on a sticky note on my computer.)  
    1. As I think of those people, I jot down anything that comes to mind. (I keep paper or my phone next to me when I pray, and yes, I stop to write things down.  I know it's a bit unconventional, but it works! Just try it. God always will give you more specific directions if you are going to write them down.  He knows our memories are just not as good as His!)
    2. I always do people before tasks because in the end, relationships matter more than things. Helping people, not accomplishing tasks brings me greater peace and joy.
  6. I think of the tasks I need to do and ask for the help and time to do them in addition to the things He wants me to do.
  7. I ask for help making the improvements I noted the previous night (see below.)
Now that I have my 'to do list' I am ready to get to work.  

Throughout the day, I will say little prayers in my mind to ask for the spirit as I am helping someone, to have clarity and guidance, to find an answer in my scriptures, for help for someone else that comes to my mind, or to thank Him immediately for help given, etc.  This kind of prayer, a prayer in my heart (1 Kings 8:38), keeps me 'in-tune' all day long and lets me feel the spirit.  Sometimes I get little course changes when I do this, and I have learned it is very important to either write those down or to do them immediately.  Acting on those directions shows God that He can trust me and has caused Him to give me more and more directions.  

At first I thought of one or two things to do in the day.  If this happens to you, don't feel frustrated.  This is your apprenticeship.  God is seeing if you will actually do the job you just volunteered to do.  Once He sees that you are consistent in following those directions, He will give you a great number of directions and the magnitude of those directions will increase.  We work our way up in responsibility as we prove ourselves trustworthy.

NOTE: (Super Important)  I have to keep the spirit will me to hear those directions!  If I put myself in places or do things that distract from the spirit, then I loose the power and direction it brings me.

  The spirit will always speak by putting thoughts in 
your mind or feelings in your heart.
If it is a good thought or feeling, then it is from God. Have faith and act on it no matter what!  

Evening Prayers: 

Purpose: This is my "return and report" session. I let the Lord know how the day went and I accept His suggestions for improvement.  I ask for forgiveness and commit to improvement the next day.  (This actually helps to put my mind at ease and helps me to sleep more peacefully.  I put my spirit to rest before I put my body to rest.)

Things I always include:
  1. I express gratitude as I think over the events of the day and I recall the specific ways that I received help, guidance and direction. I thank Him for the opportunity of being His servant. (Again this helps me feel love for God and lets me feel the spirit better, it opens my spiritual ears)
  2. I ask Him to help me know the specific ways I need to change and how to be better. 
    1. I think back over my day again and I make mental note of the things I need to do differently.  (Warning: This is a very humbling experience.  It can be very brutal to see all of your flaws!)
    2. I ask forgiveness for those things that I did wrong and for the mistakes that I made.  I commit to the Lord to be better tomorrow. (Depending on the problem, I may discuss my plan for improvement)
  3. I pray specifically for people that I know need extra help.
  4. I take time to listen and to absorb the feeling of peace that comes from a day well spent and good things done.
Since I starting praying in this way,
 my prayers have taken on new depth. 
I feel to fall to my knees more often to thank God for the many blessings He has given me.  My relationship with Him has deepened and I find greater peace and powerful direction as I turn to Him in prayer.

P.S.  This is a lot to remember.  Printing this out to review before your prayers, may help you develop the habit.  In a few weeks, it will become easier to remember to pray this way.  Hope this helps you.  Please come back and share how praying this way helped you.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Faith is a choice

Faith is a choice. 

Specifically, faith is a choice to believe and then to act upon that belief in the face of uncertainty without the perfect knowledge of the outcome.  Faith is TRUSTING that even though I don’t know the outcome, that God does and that HIS PLAN is BETTER than MY CURRENT PLAN.
“Be aware that faith is not a free gift given without thought, desire, or effort. It does not come as the dew falls from heaven. The Savior said, “Come unto me” (Matthew 11:28) and “Knock, and it shall be [given] you” (Matthew 7:7). These are action verbs—come, knock. They are choices. So I say, choose faith. Choose faith over doubt, choose faith over fear, choose faith over the unknown and the unseen, and choose faith over pessimism.”- Richard Edgley
If I know this to be true…

Why do I still have problems with being fearful at times? 
I believe it is because it is easier for me to believe more strongly in the things I physically see and hear and am currently experiencing than it is to trust in things that are not seen by physical eyes.
In Hebrews 11:1 it defines faith,Now faith is the substance (foundation) of things hoped for, the evidence (proof) of things not seen.’ 
To trust in things that I cannot see is very hard to do.

Even the prophets have struggled with this…  In Matt 14:31 Peter when he was walking on the water began to sink. 
31 And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?
 So even Peter let fear creep in because of present circumstances...
In Luke 17:5  the apostles said unto the Lord, “Increase our faith.” 
This is a great example to me because it show me that when I feel fear, it is appropriate to pray and ask the Lord to increase my faith.  

I do not have to do it alone.  

If I will humble myself and turn to Him in meekness and ASK it will be given me. 
o   It is important to remember that Faith is a principle of action. The answers to prayer and the solutions to our problems generally come as we begin to act, not while we are on our knees praying.
Increased faith is a spiritual gift that can be given to us through the Grace of Christ if we will ASK and ACT 

So this is what the process looks like… 

Everyday, and sometimes every moment of the day, I must consciously choose again and again to believe, to REMEMBER, to hope, to have faith and to ACT on that faith,  living the commandments and following the Holy Spirit. 

I have to remind myself constantly to choose faith and keep choosing faith in the face of realities that seem to contradict it and to do that for as long as it takes. 

THIS IS what is meant by ..THE TRIAL OF OUR FAITH 


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Insights from Waiting in Line at the Post Office

Insights from Waiting in Line at the Post Office

Some lessons we learn from doing good, others we learn from our mistakes.  This morning was one of the latter.

I was waiting in line at the post office today with only one cashier at the desk.  My phone battery died so I was left with nothing to do but observe the people around me.  I noticed a man 4 people behind me with a baby in a carrier by his feet.  I watched as he anxiously glanced from counter to baby to his watch.  I could see by the expression on his face that he was fighting back feelings of frustration.  I felt sorry for the man and thought for a moment about asking him if he would like to cut in front of me.  Worried about what the people between us might say, I dismissed the thought.  Instead, I  rationalized that we had all had to wait, and that he needed to learn to be more patient.

When I was paying for my postage, the lady behind him spoke up.  She said,
"Would you all mind if this man went next?  He has a baby and is obviously in a hurry."  
Her pleas were not eagerly accepted by the people who were ahead of him in line.  He graciously explained that he was fine and that the gesture was not necessary.  I saw relief flood into the faces of the people ahead of him, no one really wanted their place in line bumped back.  She continued to plead his cause, but no one jumped at the opportunity to help him.

I was saddened by that, but I remembered my own reluctance.  I wished that I had spoken up earlier.

However, as I continued to watch their interaction, I saw the countenance of this man change, and a conversation ensued between the man and the woman who had tried to help him.  As I finished my business at the counter and moved out of the way for the next customer, I realized how that simple act of kindness had affect that man's day.  Even though he had not been accelerated in the line, someone had cared about him and he had felt love from that interaction.  He was going to leave that post office lifted and with good thoughts in his mind instead of negative feelings of frustration.  I thought how that might change his interactions with other people.

I learned a valuable lesson today watching a lady in line at the post office...

A little caring goes a long way.  

We don't have to change things,
 we just have to let people know we care about them.

As I walked to my car and thought back on the situation, I evaluated my own actions and how I could have acted differently.  When the spirit prompted me to reach out to someone, I had failed in that charge.  Fortunately, God cared enough about the troubled man to give the lady behind him the same prompting that I had failed to act on.  My worry had been offending other people and of my own time.  As I pondered on this, I realized that I could have traded places with him without offending the people between us.  If I had been willing to give up my place in line,  going back 4 people instead of just one, I could have offered assistance.  I vowed that the next time I have the opportunity to act in that way, that I will be less concerned about myself and my wait time and more concerned about showing love.

I also realized that I need to take the time to put my phone down in situations like more often so that I can be more observant, and so that I can notice people who need my help.  Sometimes, I rationalize being 'productive' on my phone because I just don't want to put forth the energy to have a conversation with a stranger or to have to deal with a thought prompting me to help someone.  Sometimes it is easier to just be introverted.  As hard as it is to be brave and reach out, I have learned that those simple actions not only make a difference in other people's day, but they make a difference in mine.  The lifting is mutual.

So here is the challenge I offer to you and to myself.  Next time you are in a public place waiting, put down your phone and observe the people around you.  Listen for those thoughts to help and then act on them.  Post back.  I would love to hear how you are sharing goodness in the world. #sharegoodness