Have you ever been at the healthiest place in your life—but slip away from your habits and routines—only to eventually get back to your healthy place again, thinking: “I’m so fulfilled and happy when I’m healthy, how do I allow myself to slip?”

Slowly, day by day, we get wrapped up in life’s demands until we just can’t operate on low-fuel anymore. Then we look back to our happy-healthy place and long to be in our centered place that feels like “home”.

We’ve all done it. Whether your healthy place is mental health, physical health, spiritual health or all of the above. We all get busy, overwhelmed, have unexpected or tragic life circumstances rip the carpet right out from beneath us.

Embrace – Grow – Honor

I want to invite you to embrace those cycles of life. Sure it would be fabulous to always be happy and healthy, but where would your growth come from? Where would your appreciation for the broken, the poor, your neighbors or elders come from?

Through life’s lessons we learn more clearly that everyone has a story. And, everyone’s story should be honored, no matter how different.

We recognize grace that was bestowed upon us in our time of challenge or troubles, is equally impacting when we also give that grace to others. We realize that a smile, a hug, an act of service, an unexpected note in the mail, a gift or a listening ear can change a person’s entire outlook. It doesn’t end there, though. Remember, the ripple effect? When you give of yourself to others, your simple gesture spreads positive energy throughout the community. It’s equivalent to “paying It forward.”

Mindfulness in action

Be mindful of your steps, the words you speak and the people who come across your path throughout the day. It’s no mistake they are there. My hope is that you’re inspired to reach out, give, support and love more in your daily walk.

I like to think I’ve always been someone with an extra smile to give away or an extra warm complement to share. My heart for others has always been open and without judgement. I learned in my early twenties about the abundance of grace, forgiveness and pure joy. My life was transformed and I was forever changed. Thank you, God!!

I also learned that none of us are perfect and everyone has a story. I learned that filling myself up with joy will naturally cause my cup to overflow and spill joy from within, onto others. Giving of myself, in whatever way I felt led, was actually fueling my own joy up, tremendously, day after day. I found true peace and life was darn good!!!

At the heart of giving is joy, peace and love. It’s not only what we’re extending to others, but it’s what we’re filling ourselves up with, at the same time. Arguably, greater is our reward when we give. As it’s been said…giving is living.