3. Laugh heartily. Even in sad times, there are moments when we just have to laugh, whether it's with a small child, at a funny story or at ourselves.
During the darkest days after Terry died, I remember thinking that if someone saw me laugh, I was being disrespectful to his memory. No, no, no! Life is both sunshine and thunder. Go ahead and laugh — the deeper and richer the better.
4. Say "yes." Look for opportunities to say "yes" when it will bring you joy. You will know what to say yes to and what to put on hold. It's all about staying connected to life in the most choosy way possible.
If a commitment gives you a gentle stretch and leaves you energized, that is a "yes" If a friend weighs you down with this and that tale of his or her woe, you have my high-five to put them off for another day.
5. Appreciate yourself. Revel in all the ways that you are a gift to the world.
Not too long ago, I was listening to an NPR story about Teddy Roosevelt and his legacy of land preservation. Apparently, he found solace in the mountains when he needed to heal from a time of great personal loss. He was so aware of the healing power of the natural world that he used his presidential influence to save as much of it as he could.
Of course, we're not presidents, but we do have strengths and gifts to share. Think of all the unique ways you give balance, perspective and wisdom to the world. Going through crushing times will bring that information to the surface. Knowing your unique gifts is amazingly powerful and important.
Tonight, when you are ready for sleep, think about your day. Where did you offer love, dream about doing something new, laugh at yourself or with a child, say yes to an opportunity or appreciate how fabulous you really are? As you fall asleep, those memories will comfort you, and when you wake up the next morning, you will have a whole new day to be surprised by what you will discover.
Crushing blows, tragic news and painful discoveries take us down, but at the same time, they give us perspective and make even the smallest bits of joy incredibly sweet.