I am honored to be good friends with Rich Dutra and Yvonne Saint John—the founders of Challenge Day. They are two of the most generous people I know, and most years I have been an active fundraiser with them for their global teen violence prevention program: Challenge Day.
Stuff happens--all the time--in life, in relationships, and in business.
Just the other day, I was on top of the world. I was in New York City having some amazing business meetings and heading to a lunch meeting with one of my spiritual mentors, Marianne Williamson, when I received an unexpected phone call. BAM! I was stopped in my tracks.
This morning I woke up to the most vibrant sunrise. Pinks and oranges amidst lavender filled the early morning sky—and I thought to myself: That’s what living vibrantly looks and feels like: A breathtaking sunrise bursting in beauty to light up the morning—to light up LIFE.
Kahil Gibran says in his tome The Prophet, “Your greatest joy is your sorrow unmasked.”
These seven words spoke to me and whispered hope in my ear as I weathered the tsunami of grief that came after my husband Richard’s transition. I died a death when he did. According to my angel guides, my human transition has taken quite awhile.
Culturally, we are conditioned to think that “no” is a bad word. We somehow feel our value is tied to an ability to say “yes” to bake sales and book clubs, carpools and cookouts, and heaven forbid we miss a school event or skip out on running for the PTA. But here’s a little secret pulled from Don’t Sweat wisdom---one that is guaranteed to change your life.
We all know that feeling. You know—the one that creeps in when the line at the grocery store is extra long, when someone puts you on hold, or even when it takes the barista a little longer than you’d like to brew your latte.
I am now a “seasoned” widow. What I mean by this is I am accustomed to living on my own and making decisions by myself that I would have made coupled in partnership with my husband. With this solo path has come some lessons I’m not sure I would have learned otherwise.
If you watch children, you’ll see them experience a range of emotions, seemingly bouncing like a ball—within mere moments they experience sadness, frustration, confusion, and even rage, then return to a mental state of peace and contentment before starting the cycle again.
Ten years ago, a few days before he left this Earth, Richard stood in our kitchen talking about how he couldn’t believe it had already been ten years since he had written Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff. He said, “Kris, the beauty of this book series is that every ten years there’s a new generation of readers--people who need these books.”
I was recently out to dinner with one of my favorite friends, Christina Rasmussen, and we were talking about our businesses. She was asking me what I love to do in my business and then she asked a really fun question: If you had $30 million in the bank—how would you live?
Richard’s father, Don W. Carlson, exemplified how to live a celebratory life, one that was well-lived and loved. For his memorial, his daughter's desire was an intimate gathering because there would have been 1,000 people in attendance, otherwise.
The act of cleansing is so gratifying, isn’t it? When you finally get the urge to clean out that closet or you’ve just had it with that extra inch or two of a muffin top spilling over your jeans—it’s time to clean out the kitchen and clean the house.
Kristine Carlson, New York Times bestselling author and world-renowned speaker, is passionate about spreading her message of waking up to life with joy and gratitude amidst the ups and downs of this earthly existence.