The best they can

Everyone is always doing the best they can.

I learned this from my Aunt Emily.

She is the kind of person who is always there when you need her, never expects anything in return, and always knows how to have fun even when life stinks. 

Everyone is always doing the best they can.

This one way of thinking has the potential for greater understanding, compassion, acceptance, forgiveness, love, and a whole lot of appreciation for the other person.

If only I could remember this – in the moment when I’m arguing with someone, or feeling confused or hurt by something someone did. Perhaps I wouldn’t take things so personally, which often gets me into trouble.

If I can remind myself…

Everyone is always doing the BEST they can. 

Perhaps I would allow others to be themselves without assuming they are being inconsiderate or are out to get me.

Perhaps I would be able to let things go more easily, realizing that maybe it isn’t necessarily about me.

Perhaps I would be more understanding of myself, remembering that sometimes when I am struggling and things are just not working out, that I too am simply doing the best I can.

Today I make a promise to myself to remember this statement each time I feel unhappy in a situation with another person, or unhappy with myself. I promise to go the extra mile to understand why the other person is acting a certain way, without judging them or getting defensive.

Because maybe they didn’t get enough sleep last night, or they are awaiting the results of biopsy, or their cat just died.

We never know what people are going through but if we can consider the possibility that given any situation, everyone is always doing the best they can, then we can make it a rule to give that person, whether it’s your Mom, husband, child, boss, or that jerk on the road that cut you off, the benefit of the doubt. And then just maybe, kindness will have a chance in this world.

Thank you, Aunt Emily, for teaching me this beautiful approach to life, and people, and love.

Everyone is ALWAYS doing the best they can (including me!). Tweet this!

If this resonates with you, please leave a comment below –  it’s ok, just do the best you can. 🙂

Love you,

Photo by Rémi Walle on Unsplash

Be the kindness

It was a long time ago.

Seventh grade homeroom class. Or was it eighth?

I don’t remember exactly why she was so mad at me, but I do remember my heart sinking into my stomach as my best friend since first grade publicly bawled me out in front of twenty classmates.

She and I had been drifting apart for the last two years and somehow I had done something to piss her off.

The details are fuzzy as to what actually happened to provoke her to humiliate me, but the feelings I felt that lonely morning are as clear as day: Helplessness. Embarrassment. Pain. Sadness.

I remember doing my best to swallow my tears.

And I remember WHO helped me through it.

Kathy B.

She sat with me. She comforted me. She told me I did nothing wrong.

She sat with me.

That’s what I remember.

She sat with me.

Kathy B. and I were friendly, but we weren’t super close. She was a really nice girl I knew at school who had the courage to sit with me.

Thank you Kathy B. for making a horrible moment feel so much better.

All these years later I am still grateful. Grateful that someone — YOU — stood by me to help me get through those ten minutes of homeroom class that felt like an eternity, and to go about my school day as best I could. Grateful there was no Instagram or Facebook to destroy my world a gazillion times more than it had been destroyed that day.

I wish that every kid who was ever shamed or bullied had a Kathy B.

Kids are so stressed these days. Too much schoolwork. Too much technology. Too little down time. And the bullying.

As a culture we are so caught up with DOING more so we can HAVE more that we are forgetting to take time out to appreciate what we have, and to appreciate ourselves and others.

Perhaps if more of us slowed down and focused on what WE are grateful for, we could set a better example for our children.

Please take a moment today to reflect on this idea.

By making a commitment to live our lives with an attitude of gratitude, each and every day, we can make a difference.

We can be a Kathy B.

Thanks for reading. Please share your comments below.

What your grief is telling you

Last Saturday I spoke at the Congregational Church of Manhasset’s Center for Wellbeing and presented my workshop, “Gratitude is the New Calm.”

The program was very interactive, there was wonderful group participation, and everyone left feeling good–especially me!

During Q&A at the end of the workshop, a beautiful woman in the back of the room asked me to explain how gratitude can help us during times of deep grief.

I love this question because I have experienced firsthand how gratitude helps us heal from loss.

Gratitude is an amazing tool that allows us to find greater joy in everyday things, yet also helps us build resilience so we can handle life’s challenges with strength, grace and ease.

But being grateful does not mean we don’t feel pain, or that we shouldn’t feel sadness.

In fact, gratitude helps us appreciate these feelings, as one workshop participant pointed out.

When we lose someone we love, being able to FEEL our feelings, as painful as they may be, reveals just how much we have loved, and how much we feel loved by others. Tweet this!

By appreciating these feelings, instead of pushing them away, we are better able to move through our grief so it doesn’t get stuck in our bodies, wreaking havoc on our health, or take over our lives.

When my Mom passed away suddenly at the age of 67, I was devastated. But once I was able to move through the shock, with the help of my husband, siblings, family, and friends, I was able to feel blessed to have had my Mom for as long as I did.

At her wake, many, many people came up to me and shared their stories of things my Mom had done for them. People she worked with, people in the community, and distant family members all had their version of how my Mom had been an inspiration and support to them in their personal lives.

I was grateful for these stories because they helped me appreciate my Mom in ways I had never known. While she was a very nurturing and caring mother to me and my siblings, I had no idea how much mothering she was doing for the rest of the world, and it made me happy.

My gratitude practice enhanced my appreciation of these stories, and helped me feel lucky to be her daughter, instead of focusing on self-pity for having lost her too soon.

So whether you are grieving the loss of a loved one, a pet, a relationship, a job, a home or any other loss that is causing you pain, remember to feel your feelings, and give yourself permission to grieve.

Trust that one day, eventually, you will find something to be grateful for. Vitamin G can certainly help.

If this resonates with you, please share your questions and comments below and let’s help each other through grief and loss. Your input matters.

Gratefully yours,


Beware of Compare

Your new year is off to a great start. You’ve reflected on what makes you happy and blissful and you’ve set your intention for what you want to make happen in 2018.

You get started and things are going really well.

Then it happens.

Your best friend just announces she got engaged, or is buying a new house, or having a baby, signing a super awesome book deal, planning an exotic vacation, or just got promoted, and you start to feel small.

My friend Erena calls this “compare and despair.”

Turns out it’s a real thing, and we now have social media to thank for Obsessive Comparison Disorder.

If only we realized:

Comparison is the thief of joy.
–Theodore Roosevelt

That’s where gratitude comes in.

Whenever you feel yourself stuck in the comparison trap, shift your thoughts to something positive, something you’re grateful for, or something you’ve worked hard at achieving and are now enjoying.

It’s so easy to dismiss how much we do have, when we are focused on what everyone else has.

But don’t ever let comparison derail your joy!

Let Vitamin G be your reminder that you too, are blessed. 

You too, are on your journey to joy.

Only by focusing on what you already have, and what already gives you joy, will you actually have real joy.

Because things by themselves won’t give you joy; enjoying and appreciating things will. Tweet this!

I love you and am so excited for you this year.

To joy!

It’s good to feel good

One of the reasons practicing gratitude is so incredibly powerful is this:

It’s good to feel good.

When you focus on what you are grateful for, you create a positive mindset.

And if you practice what I call Vitamin G, and also focus on the feeling you get when you think about what you are grateful for, then you are not only thinking in a positive way, you are creating a positive energy field within and around yourself.

How cool is that?

Thinking positive thoughts, and feeling positive emotions, raises your vibration.

The higher your vibration, the more easily life flows and the lighter you feel mentally, emotionally and physically. When you are in a high vibration (or positive state), you experience more clarity, power, ease, balance and healing.

When you are in a low, or negative state, the heavier you feel mentally, emotionally and physically, which over time can lead to “dis”-ease.

The more you make choices that feel good, the more you raise your vibration.

It’s a new year. It’s time to feel good. Tweet this!

What are some things you can do today that feel good?

Here are some of mine: 

  • Meditation
  • Remembering to drink plenty of water
  • Going to bed early so I can feel rested
  • Going for a walk
  • Making time to be with friends
  • Yoga
  • Hugging my son, even when he is being difficult
  • Thanking my husband for helping me get us out the door in the morning
  • Taking time off to just be

Now I want to hear from YOU! Please share some of yours in the comments below.


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