Consider this image of us woven into one lace-like fabric.

The fabric that we are “consists of holes, but also of threads that tie us together, said Kayla Severson. “The more we embrace our fragility and shared sufferings, the more boundaries we overcome, until the light can’t help but pour on in.” 

Let’s recognize our common threads, embrace our shared sufferings, and acknowledge how basic human needs are woven within us.

Surely you’ve noticed at one time or another what happens when you are kind to a stranger.

I’ve noticed that feelings of connection happen whenever I treat a so-called “stranger” with respect, interest, and caring. I feel uplifted and the other person looks lifted. We smile at each other. Occasionally we hug. Sometimes we tear.

Can you imagine what would happen if millions of us acted kindly toward all the people with whom we share life on earth now?

Amazing changes would come about. Light and love will pour in. 

What are we waiting for?

Choosing love,


“One of the first conditions of happiness is that the link between man and nature shall not be broken.” – Leo Tolstoy

Last month my husband, Frank, and I spent several weeks on Florida’s Sanibel Island. It’s a place where nature is respected and protected. In fact, nature preserves make up more than half of the tropical territory and buildings can be no taller than the tallest native tree.
We love that about Sanibel.

Besides feeling refreshed and nurtured by the island’s lush foliage, my joy was stirred by the sight of pelicans skimming over the sea, dolphins breaching, schools of tiny fish in tide-pools, and hundreds of live sand dollars nestled just below the surface in the sand bar.  While there, I took many nature photos and used them in my daily Today’s Touchstone messages. *

When our stay ended, Frank and I both felt reluctant to leave the low-key little island where nature dominates and return to central Florida where development is king.

But upon pulling into our driveway, we were welcomed by a few of the magestic sandhill cranes who visit us daily. These long legged birds always stir our joy and sometimes, our laughter. And I was reminded to focus on the positive, look for beauty, notice nature everywhere, and be grateful for the gifts that are always present. As I was writing this, a lovely female cardinal landed on the window sill right before my eyes and stayed awhile.

Wherever you are, take time to appreciate the beauty and wonder of some aspect of nature. Let the song of a bird or the sight of a butterfly or the scent of a flower nurture the joy in you. You know what stirs your joy.  Choose to focus on that. 

For health and happiness, let’s keep our link strong.

With love,

* If you wish to receive an inspirational message each morning to remind you about The Twelve Gifts in You, sign up for Today’s Touchstone in the box located at the upper right side of your screen, on my home page. Thank you for joining The Twelve Gifts Community!


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“A good garden may have some weeds.” ~ Thomas Fuller

What are weeds anyway?

They are “flowers too, once you get to know them,” said A.A. Milne.

According to Ralph Waldo Emerson, a weed is “a plant whose virtues have never been discovered.” 

Doug Larson said that, “a weed is a plant that has mastered every survival skill except for learning how to grow in rows.”

Sometimes, like so-called weeds, there are things in our lives we don’t yet appreciate or love. 

And maybe some of those things have virtues and values we need to uncover. 

With love,


“O God, help me to believe the truth about myself – no matter how beautiful it is!” ~ Macrina Wiederkehr 


Were you surprised when you got to the word beautiful? I was. But maybe you were present and tuned in as you read today’s quote. So you tapped right in to the truth. We’re more likely to sense positive words ahead in sentences like this one when we’re reading mindfully. But, without mindfulness, old default words can spring up automatically, like a leg’s reflexive kick to a kneecap tap.

Please read it again:“O God, help me to believe the truth about myself – no matter how ___________ it is! How might your mind fill in the blank automatically? How does your heart’s wisdom fill it in? Repeat this little prayer several times throughout this day. Keep in it the word beautiful. 

As part of my new self-care plan, I will be saying this prayer once every day until February 14th. Please join me. We’ll check in with each other here on Valentine’s Day to see what we experienced.  Are you in? I hope so.    

Someday the truth of our beauty will seep into every thread of our knowing and fill every fiber of our being. Someday we’ll not only believe we have the gift of beauty, we’ll live it. And our deeds will indeed reflect the depth of the beauty in us.

With love and joy,