Celebrate Color Your Life Happy Day


Color Your Life Happy Day celebrates my mom’s birthday. Here she is genuinely surprised when I picked her up in a limo for a Mother’s Day Brunch one year.


Did you make New Year’s resolutions?

If you stuck to them, congratulations. If you’re like most of us, however, those resolutions evaporated from your consciousness in a few weeks (or was that days?)

Regardless of how you fared in this annual practice, here’s an opportunity to start anew, but with just one resolution: make happiness a habit.

What is Color Your Life Happy Day?

August 9th “Color Your Life Happy Day”, is a day to participate in something you enjoy, some activity that will make you happy and others too. Then make a decision to make it a habit to continue finding joy, pleasure, and a way to help others for the rest of the year (make that the rest of your life.)

Happiness is not a destination, but the things we do along the way as we live our lives. At the end of their lives, many wish they had slowed down, worked less, and spent more time enjoying family, friends and fun activities. Don’t let this be you.

Regrets are a waste. Do the things that bring you and others joy and happiness every day.

The Origin of Color Your Life Happy Day

This special celebration was inspired by the memory of my mother, Mildred S. Morris, who was born on August 9, 1910.  She passed at age 92 in 2002. She was a hairstylist by trade but spent her life making people happy with her music. She played piano and organ from childhood through her mid-80’s for many churches, organizations, and events. Everyone who ever heard her play was touched by her lively and fervent style.

How to Participate

Please join me in starting to make happiness a habit on Color Your Life Happy Day, August 9th through August 12th.

      • You may choose to

      • take time off to read a book you’ve longed to finish
      • join the courageous who decide to get control of the clutter that has been making them very unhappy
      • rent a Harley or Segway to go for a fun ride
      • become a tourist in your own town and visit a museum or other local treasure you’ve never seen
      • visit a local convalescent home to spend some time with a resident who never gets visitors.

Color Your Life Happy Day is not just for today, but every day.

Take a picture showing your happiness habit and post it on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest or Facebook using the  hashtag #coloryourlifehappy.

Remember, it doesn’t have to be grand or spectacular by anyone else’s standards. It just has to be something that makes you and/or others happy.

I’m looking forward to the wonderful array of photos. Don’t forget the hashtag #coloryourlifehappy


Want help coming up with happiness habits?

Here are a few from my book, Color Your Life Happy:
Create Your Unique Path and Claim the Joy You Deserve

      • dance or sing to music you enjoy
      • volunteer for a cause you believe in
      • connect with a pet
      • savor the moment you’re in
      • say “yes” to yourself

For more detailed guidance on handling change and adversity, 
harmonizing family and work, and creating the life you want and deserve, go to Amazon and get the paperback,
ebook or audiobook at http://amzn.to/2aAZH8D

Reduce stress and relax by coloring creative activities 

Coloring is now socially acceptable for adults. You no longer have to sneak into the kids’ section or “borrow” your kids’ coloring books. Best of all, slowing your mind and engaging in the repetitive motion of coloring helps you unplug from daily stress, increase mindfulness, foster relaxation,  stimulate creativity, and increase self-esteem.

There are three types of activities in this book: 30 patterns, drawings, and mandalas of varying complexity, seven coloring pages with motivational phrases, and finally, seven open-ended activities with space for you to write, doodle, or draw in response to a prompt.

Complete the activities in any order you wish. There are no page numbers or right or wrong. Don’t feel pressured to finish an activity. Stop whenever you want, and move on to another one or not. Most of all, let this book transport you to childlike pleasure and guilt-free fun. Get your copy and one for a loved one on Amazon here.

Express gratitude daily

“Thank you.”

It is one of the first things many children are taught to say. Sometimes we say it in response to receiving a gift. Other times we express gratitude when someone is kind or helps us with a task.

Expressing gratitude is not just a childhood courtesy but when done regularly can improve your satisfaction with life. Showing gratitude is easy and doesn’t cost anything and has tremendous benefits.

Researchers have discovered that expressing gratitude not just occasionally, but daily, improves your health, promotes better sleep, and strengthens relationships, among many other benefits. This journal gives you space to reflect on what you have to be grateful for, and make a daily list. Enjoy
the benefits.

There is space in this journal for you to enter your thoughts and a list of things you’re grateful for every day of the year. Peek inside the Look Inside feature to discover what awaits you at the bottom of the first day of each month.

 Get your copy or a gift for a loved one on Amazon here.

How to Promote the Happiness Habit

In 2015 I rolled out the awesome Color Your Life Happy custom t-shirt.  If you missed the launch, no worries. You can still order the beautiful t-shirt at http://teespring.com/color-your-life-happy-t-shirt 

It’s available in sizes small through 5XL and three
other colors: gold, lime and white.

What a great way to support the right to happiness
we all deserve.

This is a Limited Edition custom shirt. The original campaign has ended, but you can still get one. Just go to http://teespring.com/color-your-life-happy-t-shirt and click Buy it now!

The suggested retail price is $29.99, but I’ve discounted it when you buy it now at http://teespring.com/color-your-life-happy-t-shirt

Consider buying an extra one for a gift and be sure to tell your friends, family and colleagues on social media to join us. Again, the link is http://teespring.com/color-your-life-happy-t-shirt

Happiness is a habit. Tell us in the comments how you will cultivate yours, starting today. 

Writing Letters Brings Double Happiness

Showing gratitude consistently appears as a major factor of happiness.

When you show appreciation for the good in your life or thank someone for what they mean to you, it not only makes you happier,  but the recipient as well.

A Harvard Medical School article reports that  “gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.”

While you can express gratitude through a phone call or a gift, the easiest, quickest and most powerful way to bring happiness to your life is to write personal letters.

In my experience, even people who don’t make time to send letters, admit that they love receiving them.

Handwritten personal letters build relationships in a way no other communication can.

When my children were young they grumbled as I insisted that they send handwritten thank you notes for every Christmas and birthday gift they received. From the way they moaned and whined, you’d think they’d grow up hating to send thank you notes. On the contrary, they even send thank you’s to each member of the interview committee following job interviews.

The greatest thing about letters, especially personal handwritten ones, is they create double happiness, touching the sender and the receiver.

Get encouragement and guidance from three heart-warming letter-writing projects.

Heartfelt letters create enduring bonds of appreciation

Lynette M. Smith, copyeditor and owner of All My Best, is on a mission to restore the art of showing our feelings of appreciation through letter writing.

She believes that even simple expressions of appreciation can return our world to joy and hope, one relationship at a time.

Lynette’s personal story illustrates how her book,
How to Write Heartfelt Letters to Treasure: For Special Occasions and Occasions Made Special came about.

On November 21, 2008, my husband and I attended the wedding rehearsal dinner of our son, Byron, and his fiancée, Rachael. That evening, they surprised us when the two of them each made a special presentation to their respective parents–a beautifully framed, one-page heartfelt letter. Their best man and maid of honor read the letters aloud as Byron and Rachael each stood beside their own parents.

Each letter described what they had treasured about growing up in their family, what they had especially appreciated about each parent, and what values they had learned and planned to bring to their marriage.

We were deeply moved–all of us: four parents, bride and groom, and the rest of the guests. And I can tell you, those framed letters will always hold a place of honor in our homes. To this day, whenever I tell someone about that night and our treasured letters, my hand automatically moves to my heart. That’s where I still feel the experience. And my love and appreciation for our son who expressed his love and appreciation for my husband and me so beautifully has truly strengthened the bonds we already felt.

In her book, Smith covers planning, writing, packaging and presenting your letters.

One of the reviews points out

There’s a little bit of etiquette that goes along with writing a letter. For example, when someone dies in the line of duty, one of the last things you want to write is “I know what you must be going through.” No you don’t and hopefully you never will. Lynette Smith helps guide you through those tricky situations, even if you are going to simply write a note on a card. Letter preferred. You’ll learn how to write that special letter and even how to present it. In some instances, you may be encouraged to present a letter in person, and if possible, in private.~D.Fowler

Her three-part reference book Smith addresses  milestone birthdays; special occasions for school, military, romance, family, rites of passage and career; and professional and personal relationships, aging, eulogies and mending relationships. A special bonus is her selections of positive words, inspirational quotes and sentence jumpstarts.

Your letters are powerful even when written to strangers.

Handwritten love letters to strangers can bring you and them back from despair

Hannah Brechner, a copywriter and creative consultant, was fortunate to have a mother who communicated via handwritten letters rather than the more efficient, but less touching, email and text messaging.

Here’s Hannah’s story in her own words of how she got into

the business of broken hearts.

i began leaving love letters all over New York City back in October 2010 as a way to try to fight off my own loneliness and depression. the callouses still have not faded from the following year as i spent nine months mailing over 400 love letters to strangers in need around the world. today i run The World Needs More Love Letters, a global love letter writing organization that harnesses the power behind social media to write and mail love letters to individuals across the globe. i’m like a proud mama when i tell people it’s spread across 6 continents and all 50 states. she is my labor of love. where i spend my days

Watch the video to hear Hannah’s story in her own voice. If you feel so inclined join her global letter writing campaign at The World Needs More Love Letters.

Handwritten letters and cards can start a conversation

When Tea Silvestre, marketing coach at storybistro.com, signed up for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) that takes place in November every year, she considered writing short stories. But then she remembered how much she once loved writing letters. Next she remembered how much stationery she has neglected since she turned her back on it in favor of email, Facebook and all the cyber rest.


Letter writing is always on time and always in season.

Whether you join in the letter-writing missions of Lynette, Hannah or Tea, you can be sure that your handwritten letters will not only make your recipient happier, but you too.

How excited are you about sending and receiving handwritten letters and cards? Tell us in Speak Your Mind below.

Make It an Extraordinary Day


When one man, for whatever reason, has the
opportunity to lead an extraordinary life, he has
no right to keep it to himself.

– Jacques Cousteau

In March 2008, my eyes were opened to a new perspective
and life took on a whole new meaning. In that month, I was
diagnosed with Stage 3 Lung Cancer. Once the reality of this
news settled in, my first emotion was to cry. Then I woke up
from my first reaction to begin an entirely new and uncharted

This is how Randy Broad, author, speaker and cancer survivor begins his book “It’s an Extraordinary Life.”

Like so many cancer survivors Randy found that plunging himself into penning the life lessons he wanted to share with his children gave him a fresh perspective on life that made each day truly a gift. The one thing he feared more than death was the prospect of “missing” another precious moment enjoying his children and the wonders of everyday life. His focused shifted from thinking always in the future to focusing on moment to moment.

When I interviewed Randy recently on my radio show, Color Your Life Happy, he shared what living an extraordinary life means to him and gave tips we can all use. Enjoy the interview here Make Each Day Extraordinary–Randy Broad then share your thoughts about how you can make each of your remaining days extraordinary.

Forget Your Own Happiness, You Owe Me

Today I received the latest newsletter from Barbara Sher, author of Refuse to Choose!: Use All of Your Interests, Passions, and Hobbies to Create the Life and Career of Your Dreams and other inspiring books on living the life you were meant to live. In her newsletter she points us to the video above where she stresses the importance of doing what we were put here on this Earth to do.

In preparing us for the video Barbara points out, “You won’t hear one word about how you should treat yourself well, make yourself happy, put yourself first. It’s not about that. It’s about a debt you owe to the rest of us. ”

Even though I do talk a lot about making yourself happy, I remembered that I ended my book, Color Your Life Happy, on a point similar to the one Barbara is making in her video.

Happiness is the state of mind that enables you to reach within your reservoir of strength, joy, love, and peace to find purpose and meaning. Carrying out your purpose will help you and others. Being grateful will give meaning to your life and to the lives of those you help.

A bit of fragrance always clings to the hand that gives you roses. ~ Chinese Proverb

I challenge you to suspend your skepticism; open your mind to the possibility of happiness and incorporate some of the ideas I’ve shared into your own life. Commit to balancing your family and work, finding your spiritual path, insisting on a job you love, releasing your leader within and leaving a worthy legacy.

I believe that each of us is born with a gift to share. Life is not just about finding ways to give yourself pleasure while neglecting to share your talents and brilliance with the world. Embracing happiness and doing what you were meant to do are one in the same.

How dare you neglect your gift to write beautiful poetry and deprive us of the inspiration it would give us?

How dare you have within you a deep love for scientific research that could lead to a cure for cancer but bury it under a 9 to 5 job you hate?

Wayne Dyer urges us not to die with our songs still inside of us.

You owe it to me, to us, to do what you love, for by sharing your gift, your purpose, and your passion, you fulfill your life mission and leave the world a better place for it.

What is your take on this? Speak up.

"I want to be like you when I grow up."

dressup-resizedI hear this a lot, and until I read Tim Miles response to a similar question, I didn’t have a good comeback.

Now I do.

So you want to be like me when you grow up?

Okay, here goes in no particular order.

  • Get up at 5:30 AM every morning whether you have to go to work or not. (Yes, weekends too.)

  • Each day if you are able to get out of bed under your own power, or you are still alive,  say “This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalms 118: 24

  • Write in your journal, morning pages, reflect on your day, go for a walk, meditate or other activity that sets your intention for the day.

  • Stop watching the news. It’s designed to scare and distract you. Someone will tell you if you need to evacuate your neighborhood.

  • Stop waiting for the right time to do what you want. I couldn’t figure out the order in which I should have a teaching career, a family, return to graduate school and be an entrepreneur. So, I did it all along at the same time. (Try giving birth to your 3rd child on the first day of school in the second year of your doctoral studies and returning to classes the next week.)
  • Strive for harmony in your life by making time for work, health, fun, family, friends and spiritual needs.

  • Be willing to do things that make sense to you even if  not to other people, even your family and friends.
  • Learn to enjoy your alone time. Major projects require blocks of thinking and working alone.

  • When you have a burning desire to travel or go to some  event, don’t postpone it waiting for a willing companion. Go by yourself.
  • Risk making a fool of yourself or failing miserably at something.
  • Face frequent bouts with  self-doubt, knowing that you’ll regain your self-confidence and forge ahead.
  • Follow your dream for years even if you aren’t making any money from it.
  • Admit you don’t know everything. Take classes and read constantly.
  • Always be open to learning, especially from your kids.

  • When you figure something out, be willing to share it with others even when they won’t pay you a cent for it.
  • Accept the fact that when you open your heart to love someone (even your kids) they may not love you back in the way that you would like. Love people anyway.
  • Adapt to change. It’s the only constant.
  • Make a plan.
  • Abandon your plan and be spontaneous sometimes.
  • Show gratitude for all your life experiences, even the ones you that didn’t seem so great at first.
  • Then, when you are about to enter your 7th decade, share your life tips with someone who says to you “I want to be like you when I grow up.”