We are, each and every one of us, complex.


Imagine if you were known only by the single worst decision you ever made.


You know you are so much better than that one decision, and for everything you’ve done wrong in this life, you’ve done countless other better, meaningful, and inspiring things. And, yet, if people were to judge you by that one thing alone, they may not want to be with you or worse.

We live in a judgmental world, quick to condemn, quick to label, quick to stigmatize. But, deep down, we know we are all worthy of being treated as individuals, full of complexity.

How can you see beyond the quick judgments today?

Spotlight on Home

homeswithinSomething there is in each of us that yearns for home.  Sometimes we confuse that yearning with a physical place. We travel back to that place and wonder why it feels different. What has changed? Why doesn’t it still feel like home? Sometimes we confuse that yearning with a particular time, a past perhaps that wasn’t complicated with today’s troubles, and lose ourselves in nostalgia. Sometimes we confuse that yearning with a particular person and, if we lose that person, wonder if we will ever feel at home again.

But what if home is not a particular place in time but a feeling we can take steps to cultivate? Here are some suggestions that might bring that feeling of home into your life:

Embrace the Now

Think about those times when you felt a deep sense of belonging and contentedness. Chances are, it was when you were lost in some sort of activity, maybe with people you love, and you lost all sense of time. No checklists, no to-dos, no schedule. Just falling into the moment and letting it lift you out of the day into something bigger.

Welcome Others

Remember that old TV show, Cheers, when everyone shouted “Norm” when he came in? A place where “everyone knows your name?” That sense of welcome is something we can offer others. Greeting them, smiling, welcoming them into the conversation or community. That is a profound thing we can do, and that sense of home that we give to them will undoubtedly rebound to us and make that place in time feel more homey for everybody.

Lay Down Your Weapons

It is hard to enjoy someone else’s company when you’re disagreeing with them. Sure, some conflict is necessary and even healthy to life together, but set aside time to come together in harmony with people. Search for the common elements you agree on. Abandon the judgment and criticism. Enjoy a game or activity that deemphasizes competition. Savor the time together.

Use Your Own Definitions

It’s easy in a social media culture to look at other people’s homey pictures and events and think you need to duplicate those exact things if you want to feel the sense of home they’re experiencing. In fact, that’s one of the strategies behind advertising: “Look at these happy people. Don’t you want to be just like them? If you buy our product, you will be!’ But that comparative decision-making is a set up for disappointment. Instead, look at your people and experiences and find ways to enjoy them that are uniquely your own. And then maybe consider holding those moments a bit sacred, away from the instinct to share. Savoring your home life beats bragging about it every day.

Realize Life is Difficult

For many people, that feeling of home doesn’t include suffering or loss or heartbreak, but is this the way it should be? Isn’t that comforting of each other through the ups and downs of life exactly what home should feel like? We don’t need to run from the hardships in life, we just need to be there with each other through them. Everyone’s life has bumps and bruises. We are all vulnerable.  Pretending we aren’t and that we have the perfect home life is just a set-up for disappointment. For those of us who have weathered storms, having a friend or family member down in the trenches with us has made all the difference and made even the horrible experience feel like home.

Make Time for Your People

Who are the people you love and make you feel at home? Are you finding time to spend with them? Sometimes, even when we love people and hold them close to our hearts, we need to schedule time to spend together. It’s a fast-paced world, finding an opportunity to slow it down to spend time with your loved ones is important, even if you have to pencil it in on your schedule.

Your Roots are Global

The connections between you and anyone else in this world exist, no matter how far removed. For an eye-opening experiment into just this theory exactly, take a look at this DNA experiment.  That knowledge of connection to others, even those seemingly nothing like you or even those you hate, can ground you to see others as yourself, to greet others, to befriend others, to join into a global community where you can feel at home wherever you go.

Today, come home.

Carrot, stick, or something better?


Falling in love is one of the most powerful things we will ever do. It’s all consuming. We lose our boundaries and dive deep into exploration, spending hours learning about this “other”–person, sport, activity, place, hobby, whatever it may be. As time goes on, maybe we put our boundaries back up, or take things for granted, or revel in our own accomplishments or prowess. If so, remember back to when everything was new and startling. Remember back to when that love was young. How did it feel to drop your boundaries and protections and artifices and fall into the astonishment of discovering an all-consuming joy. That child lives in you still. Fall in love anew.



How lovely it is to stand still in the enormity of your questions. To realize that what you know is minuscule in relation to all there is to know. To let your curious mind take you on a journey of discovery. How liberating it is to lay down the facade of expertise and acknowledge that, in this world, we are all students.

An unfailing love.



How many kids these days are seen by their parents as just another way to show off? Look at my honor student, or my beauty, or my accomplished someone. It’s a way of vicarious puffing–if my kid is so smart, beautiful, wonderful, popular, surely the parent must be, too. But that’s not love; it’s pride. Love loves without having to be earned. It is steady and true. The parent who truly loves their child delights in their essence, in their idiosyncrasies, in all the ways they are their own person. That kind of love sustains a child and lets them lay down the shackles of constant performance anxiety and welcomes them home.

Consider Thomas Edison. We think of him as one of our most brilliant inventors, a shining star. Would it surprise you to know his teachers gave up on him and sent him home to be educated by his mother? She, needless to say, did not give up on him but helped him thrive. We all could use a love like that!

Your love canvas.


The artist creates something from nothing.  Being artistic requires a commitment to keep working, to keep seeing with fresh eyes, to keep trying. Each individual creation may or may not be beautiful, but the artist keeps creating, for it is how they express their love.

Love creates something from nothing. Where once there were strangers, now people are joined by an invisible bond that has substance if not weight. Maintaining that love requires constant effort. Like the artist, the lovers keep creating, keep striving for something more perfect, keep expressing their love.

Both art and love are expressed in the doing.

Be an encourager.


It’s remarkable to realize how much power is in a put-down, how those words stay with us and make us small and afraid, hesitant to speak or step out, content to be less than. But, too, there is much power in a compliment, in noticing someone’s strengths and kindness, in pointing out someone’s promise and achievement. We wield this power every day, with our children, co-workers, family, friends. What are we choosing to do with our words?

In this remarkable video, Lisa Nichols tells of the impact her teacher’s negative words had on her a child, but don’t worry her “story didn’t end there”!


Lisa Nichols is remarkable. She realized that other people’s perceptions of her shouldn’t hold her back, but not everyone is so resilient. We must be careful with our words, to encourage rather than criticize, so that the world can be a brighter place all around!

Happiness around the world.


Don’t worry. Be happy. There is so much good still left in the world to be grateful for. For a delightful around-the-world look at the secrets to what makes people happy, check out this wonderful compilation put together by Hometogo.com.



From listening to birds sing in the morning to a shared meal and conversation with friends, these secrets to happiness are shared the world over.

What makes you happy?

Facing fear.


Standing up to fear changes a person. It helps you to put matters in perspective. Where once fear loomed over you, insurmountable, now you can honor the courage it took to move past it into unfamiliar territory.

Eleanor Roosevelt was a courageous woman. Despite her husband’s attempts to placate the South, she regularly bucked segregation and was a vocal proponent of civil rights. She was able to call out racism and force others to see it for what it was:

By 1939, ER decided to attack the hypocritical way in which the nation dealt with racial injustice. She wanted her fellow citizens to understand how their guilt in “writing and speaking about democracy and the American way without consideration of the imperfections within our system with regard to its treatment . . . of the Negro” encouraged racism. Americans, she told Ralph Bunche in an interview for Gunnar Myrdal’s American Dilemma, wanted to talk “only about the good features of American life and to hide our problems like skeletons in the closet.” Such withdrawal only fueled violent responses; Americans must therefore recognize “the real intensity of feeling” and “the amount of intimidation and terrorization” racism promotes and act against such “ridiculous” behavior.

You can’t clearly see a problem before you if you are too scared to look at it and call it out for what it is.