"Even in the mud and scum of things, something always, always sings."  
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

I've been given many reminders lately to live. Sure, there are days when life feels like a never ending list of to-dos or, even worse, have-tos. Or, it feels like your kids will never get it. Or, _________________.

But, even on those days, we are here. We have people who love us. We have the ability to go outside and breathe fresh air. And, those things matter. A lot.

So, remember to live. Remember to breathe in the promise of the day. And, know that just having this moment is something to be extremely grateful for.


Just act!

The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. --Amelia Earhart

I know, I know. You just can't right now. You can't quit your job. You can't move to a tropical island. Or a farm. Or [fill in the blank]. You can't write. You can't create. You can't take up guitar. You can't start a business. I get it. Truly!

But, for one moment, how about if you focus on what you can do? You can decide where you would ideally live. You can dream up your perfect job (even if it doesn't exist). You can imagine that you have a booming business. Or a fit body. Or the financial means to travel more.

And, after that, you can take one teeny tiny step toward what you want. We aren't talking a leap, we're talking a baby step. Bonus points if you let me know what you've done.


It's the moments, really

"The best way to pay for a lovely moment is to enjoy it." Richard Bach


Enjoy at least one lovely moment today. Notice a tree in bloom. Feel the warmth of the sun on your face. Listen to the lyrics of a favorite song. Eat a piece of dark chocolate while doing only that. Connect with a friend.  


We let so many lovely moments slip by because we're in a hurry or because our minds are somewhere else. Make a point of paying a bit more attention and see if you notice a difference in how you feel at the end of the day.  



The past

"Don't stumble over something behind you." --Unknown

And, this is just what we sometimes do, isn't it? We let the past have too much control over our future. We tell ourselves that we are limited in some way because of something that happened to us. Or a choice that we think cemented our future.

What's true, though, is that every day is full of possibilities. Each and every day presents us with the chance to choose something new, something different, something better. Our thoughts. Our actions. Our reactions. Those are fresh choices every single day.



Choices based on hope

"May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears." --Nelson Mandela

This one can be quite revolutionary, actually. I'll give you an example from my own life. I've always wanted to have a book published. Always. I've also been told countless times that it's really, really, really difficult to have a book published.


First, of course, you have to be willing and ready to write a book. And, if you were wondering, that is a lot of work. Then, you have to attract an agent. And, agents get thousands of submissions a year so it's a big challenge to stand out--especially as an unknown first-time author. Then, the agent sets out to find you a publisher and guess what publishers get? Thousands upon thousands of pitches from both agents and writers. They choose the pitches that interest them the most and ask for the full proposal which, by the way, is about 40 pages long and acts as a sales document for the book. If you are lucky enough to get a deal with a publisher, you then have to deliver the manuscript knowing that the publisher now owns your idea and could decide to cancel at any moment. Yep, they can pretty much dash your dreams if they end up deciding it's not worth the financial risk.


So, why would anyone even try to navigate this risky and perilous journey? Why would anyone set out to conquer any risky and perilous journey? Because the final result is worth it. Because when you reach the end, it feels mighty fine.


And, how do you continue to move forward? Luckily, that part is pretty easy. You simply make your choices based not on the fear that could easily stop you at any given moment but on your hopes.