"Positive thinking is the notion that if you will think good thoughts, things will work out well. Optimism is the feeling of thinking things will be well and be hopeful." ~ Martin Seligman

In recent months, with all that's going on in the universe, it somehow seems as if we cannot get away from the discussion of COVID-19 and/or politics. These weighty subjects occupy news coverage, conversations, and our minds. Sometimes it's a struggle to get away from these topics. However, as we head into the final month of summer, perhaps it's a good time to practice the art of mindshift, or thinking positive thoughts, and to consider all that we have to be grateful for.

August is the month when we're reminded that summer is coming to an end. Many of us feel an intensity about this time as we scramble to grab all the gusto we can. We might squeeze in last-minute trips or phone calls. Much of this might be connected to the start of a new school year. Although most schools will be virtual in the coming months, the start of school still marks a new beginning. We're all beginning to accept "the new norm." By thinking positively and appreciating all that is good, we can help one another make the shift from despair to acceptance.

One way to make this shift is to initiate positive and meaningful conversations and dialogues. This can be done in a number of ways, such as using conversation cards (see below), and reading inspiring books, like Siegel's and Angelou's, recommended below.

In spite of everything, let's join together and try to live life to the fullest. Maybe in spite of it all, or perhaps because of it all, we shall rise!
Creatively Yours,

  • Write down some positive thoughts you want to bring into your life.
  • Write about your favorite way to spend the day.
  • Write about a person who is more often positive than negative.
  • Write down some words you'd like to live by.

“Being a Monk on Big Sur for a Month” (poem). The Poet Magazine: On the Road. Summer 2020.

“Life Journey” (poem). Enclave Magazine . June 30, 2020.

“Unfolding,” “Stillness,” “What Life Reminds Us” (poem). The Mindful Word . July 2, 2020.

“Pandemic Musings: From Despair to Acceptance” (article). Thrive Global. July 7, 2020. 

“Pandemic Musings: From Despair to Acceptance” (article). The Good Men Project. July 9, 2020.

“The Importance of Meaningful Conversation at Any Age" (article). Sixty and Me . July 9, 2020.

“A Day of Filling Empty Spaces" (short story). Minute Magazine. July 15, 2020.

“All We Need Is Love” (article). Psychology Today. July 18, 2020.

“Finding Our Higher Purpose during the Pandemic” (article). Wisdom Daily. July 21, 2020.


I've created this box of 28 hand-designed cards to facilitate engaging and fun connections with family and friends . . . and for use on group video calls!

The cards are based on my award-winning book, Writing for Bliss: A Seven-Step Plan for Telling Your Story and Transforming Your Life.

Sample Questions;

• What historical event has shaped your life?
• What's the most adventurous thing you've done?
• What did you imagine the year 2020 to be like?

To order on Etsy:

Commercial orders :
New Leaf Distributors
or call 1-800-326-2665

No Endings, Only Beginnings (nonfiction) by Bernie S. Siegel, M.D., with Cynthia J. Hurn

This book arrived just at a time when many of us have begun to be more and more hungry for words of wisdom. Siegel is one of the wisest contemporary thinkers and healers around. He touches on profound subjects such as who we are, what we're doing here, what life's mysteries are, living and loving authentically, and how endings are always beginnings . . . meaning new chapters in our lives.

The overarching theme of the book has to do with focusing on our connection with God, spirit, Buddha, love, or whoever our higher power is as a key to happiness. Siegel also reminds us of the importance of balancing grieving, loving, and laughing.

The pandemic is reminding many of us of the importance of living in the moment and focusing on the positive. As Siegel says, "Until we transform our negative thoughts and beliefs, we will repel positive emotions, relationships, and opportunities"
(p. 110).

Letter to My Daughter (nonfiction) by Maya Angelou

This is such a powerful and inspiring book, written by an American treasure. The author doesn't have a daughter, only a son, but in the last years of her life, she wrote this book of inspiring essays, advice, and words of wisdom for all of us. She shares the poignant lessons she herself learned over the course of her life.

Angelou describes the experience of being raised by her grandmother, as well as what it was like being a six-foot-tall teenager. She shares how Martin Luther King was assassinated on her birthday, and how on that day each year she and King's wife send flowers to each other.

Angelous poses many questions and acknowledges that we don't have to know all the answers. One question she asks in the chapter about King is: Why do good people die? She never truly finds an answer to this and other questions; however, she finds comfort in knowing what we've all gained from knowing our loved ones who have passed.
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