This post originally appeared in The Huffington Post -- see original article here

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The world seems to be filled with so much devastation, depravity, evil and hate. There are days when our news feeds are filled with such tragic events, it’s hard to hold our heads up and face another day. Furthermore, our culture seems to have taken a cue — people in our Networks easily and carelessly make snap judgements, rude accusations, and hate-filled commentary against us without much cause, or pause, for consideration of our viewpoints, or our perspective. Social Media channels have created this beast, but there’s no question it exist even within private conversations and live interchanges between people. I’ve thought much about this  — not so much evaluating how others participate in this phenomenon, but rather where my own actions fall. It’s caused me to ask this simple question:

If I am the sum of all my Facebook Likes, Posts, Shares, and Comments, would they equal the character I wish to be?  And furthermore, would others want to be measured this same way?

Our society is at a crossroads — we shall either continue to participate in the Judgement, or look deeper and see people for who they really are, beyond their latest public profile image. We are all complicated, interesting, humanly-flawed individuals. We are creatures filled with ideas and emotions, a history of mistakes, and a future filled with possibilities. Isn’t it high time we go back to seeing one another as we care to be seen ourselves? Remember the Golden Rule of Do Unto Others as You Would Have Them Do Unto You.
Let’s stop highlighting everyone’s wrongs and start celebrating their rights.
We are not perfect!  We are going to say things that come out all wrong. We are going to have opinions that sometimes don’t make sense to others. We are going to make decisions based on where we are in our own lives, not where others wish us to be.  We’ve become so engrossed and invested in other people’s beliefs and habits that we have somehow lost sight of our own; we’re too busy worrying about other people’s moral compass to figure out if our own is out of whack. The time has come ― we must put the brakes on being hyper critical.

When I dreamed of LIGHTbeamers,  I envisioned it as a vehicle for us all to shine for one another, support one another, inspire and motivate, lift each other up! However, my own shortcomings often leave me feeling unworthy of leading such a charge for I also make mistakes, say things I don’t mean, have polarizing opinions, and fail miserably at times in shining the LIGHT. Sometimes when this has happened, people have quickly pointed out my flaws. But mostly they have soldiered on for me — shining for me when my own darkness is too deep, lifting me up instead of stomping me down. For the latter, I am immensely grateful.


Can we all agree to shine a kind LIGHT for others? Give them a little Grace when they need it?
Social Media has created this platform for us to announce and denounce 24-hours a day. While posting selfies is fun, and sharing pics from my awesome vacation is great ― this is status update I really want to say, and what I imagine we all want to say to the world—
“Thank you for seeing me for who I really am. I am grateful for your open eyes, your widespread arms, and your loving heart. You don’t question my heart and you don’t waiver in your friendship, despite all the many ways in which you and I differ. You see me for more than just my profile picture, my status update, my likes and comments, and my political views. You see me for the beautiful, God-created soul I am. You see the smiles I give, the laughs we share, the goals I achieve. You see through all my fears, even when I do my best to mask them in a defiant state of self-confidence. You relate to me on a human level — as a mom, friend, wife, concerned citizen, sister, daughter, just someone who’s trying to find her footing in this big-bad-wolf of a world.  You see me sharing my kindness in the world, and give me credit for doing more than is necessary.”
Our means of communication needs to be filled with love, compassion, faith and understanding... and especially, grace. There is no room for hatred, bigotry, and insults. When we share our kind words and supportive hands, we shine our LIGHT. When we do this, we remind each other of the best versions of ourselves.

We are all fumbling our way through life together.  After all, we all want the same things — love, hope, peace, safety, compassion, a brighter future. At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter how we get there… as long as we stay true to our own unique course, and accept others along their way.

#ShineYourLIGHT
#BeGrateful
#CelebrateOthers
#BuildOthersUp
#DontTearThemDown


XOXO
APRIL


 
 
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The world seems to be getting crazier, meaner, harder, and darker by the day. From global reports of bombings to cop killings in our own backyard, the negativity and fear is rampant. It's so easy to throw our hands in the air and say, "I give up. The world is too far gone. There is nothing I can do to fix it."

That is exactly what Fear does. It strips you of being able to see any possibilities for greatness. It blinds you from the opportunities to dip your hands and hearts into the waters and cleanse the grim away. It freezes you from taking action. 

Inaction is a guaranteed fast pass to the front of the line of never-ending despair
I don't know about you, but I don't want to go there. 

I wrote these words on the LIGHTbeamers Facebook fan page this week and they apparently struck a cord. 

There is much work to be done, and now more than ever being a LIGHT in this world truly does mean something. It means you must TAKE ACTION. You must open your heart and do things that make a difference. Maybe that means finally stepping out of the shadows of who you dream to be, and actually doing something that will bring you closer to your goal. Maybe it means refusing to stay stuck in a negative mindset that only seems to produce more drama and heartache in your life. Maybe it means you will finally take control, and admit that YOU HAVE THE POWER to change things in your own life for the better. When you do this, you will find your LIGHT. And you will shine. And when you shine, the light will illuminate the way for others. Being a LIGHT is not a superficial word, as I said. It means something pretty damn important. Too many people in this world hide in the safety of darkness, fearful of being seen, remaining comfortable in their refusal to be vulnerable. 

Living is about setting big bold goals. Shining is having the courage to speak out loud your dreams. You will light your heart on fire when you tap into that "thing" that is your own personal light. And when your heart is on fire, it burns for others. It lifts others up. It comforts the weak and broken. 

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An Invitation for you to join "Opportunity Goodness"
My journal entries look like a bomb of emotions and creative ideas have exploded. Re-reading some of my personal thoughts recently, I stumbled upon something I wrote months ago -- in a burst of creativity, I scribbled out a 7 step strategy for de-cluttering your mind & energy so you can step forward into your LIGHT and shine brighter for yourself, and others.

My ideas were so simple. So doable. Cheap & easy in fact. So much so that at the time I wrote them, I easily dismissed them as too mundane. Too simple. Too easy. Not worth sharing. But looking back on that journal entry, it struck me "That's all it really freaking takes!... Others need this. What an impact we could make if we just did these 7 simple things."

Do you want to Take Action and have an Impact? Or do you plan to continue to watch Fox News and CNN nonstop to further feed your fears? Be in the camp of folks who feed the world some goodness. Join me in the #shinebright movement. 

The 7-day Opportunity Goodness challenge will be released on Monday, July 18th -- only subscribers to my blog and members of the Private FB Community will have access. So join in either place! We'll see you on the other side of Goodness. I can't wait to hear what a difference 7 days will make in your life, and in the lives of others! 

Cheers!
APRIL


 
 
If you’re going by the calendar, I am a little late for this post. After all, aren’t we supposed to have all of last year’s business tied up with a nice neat bow by December 31, and your road map for the New Year all laid out by January 1? Well, if that is you — then way to go! You are on the ball. That is not me. This has never been me. I rarely operate my life by what the Hallmark calendar says. For me, the New Year officially begins when my kids go back to school, the house is once again quiet, and I have a little “me time” to think. Everyone is different. Some of you are out there working a 9-5 jobs, returning to work when the kids go back to school. My point is, it doesn’t matter what the date on the calendar says — you simply start when you’re ready! No guilt. No shame. No ticking time watch telling you you’re late! 

So here it is January 4 and I am sitting down to reflect on what I learned, what I did well, where I missed the mark in 2015. And, I am looking forward and considering where it is exactly I want to go in the New Year. 

Natalia Levey of Healthy Intent inspired me to take time to consider my 2015 Reflections after posting her own on social media. It seems so simple, really, to first sit and take stock of all that transpired this past year before forging ahead into the new one. But how many times have you just sprinted into the new calendar year without first giving much consideration to all the lessons you learned over the past 12 months? If you’re like me — a bull ready to go! — you may have been too focused on the future to give much credence to the past. (This is SO me! Nostalgia is just not my thing). Inspired — I sat down to really consider what all I had accomplished this past year and, much to my surprise, realized I had checked off quiet a few amazing boxes. 
This was an amazing “energizer” for me. It really forced me to focus, seek clarity, and listen to my heart about what resonates within me — what matters to me. This is an amazing place to start when considering where you want to go from here — what goals and dreams do you want to put in place for the months ahead? Almost instantly, after completing this exercise, a flood of fresh, new ideas and visions rushed into my head — things I’d never considered before but suddenly made so much sense to me “Of course that’s what I should aim for in 2016. Duh!!” 

My challenge to you, if you have not already done something similar to this, is to sit down and really reflect back on your wins from 2015. It is not too late to give yourself a little credit, a pat on the back, for all you accomplished. It’s not so much about the recognition as it is the revelation. I can almost guarantee you it will fuel you and feed your soul for new opportunities, new paths, new directions in 2016. 

I’d love to hear your 2015 Reflections. Sharing is so powerful. It’s a release into the Universe that has undeniable affects. I wish you all nothing but positivity, opportunity, health, happiness, and LIGHT in 2016.  If you haven’t yet joined the LIGHTbeamers Community, please do so! There are such amazing souls with us over there, offering up great support, exuding electric energy, and shining lots and lots of LIGHT. I look forward to chatting with you in our group! 

Make 2016 Big & Bold. Remember, Intention is Everything! I believe in you! 

Cheers,
APRIL



 
 
Picture
The world seems to be filled with so much devastation, depravity, evil and hate. There are days when our news feeds are filled with such tragic events, it’s hard to hold our heads up and face another day. Furthermore, our culture seems to have taken a cue — people in our Networks easily and carelessly make snap judgements, rude accusations, and hate-filled commentary against us without much cause, or pause, for consideration. Social Media channels have created this beast, but there’s no question it exist even within private conversations and live interchanges between people. I’ve thought much about this in the past week — not so much evaluating how others participate in this phenomenon, but rather where my own actions fall.  If I am the sum of all my Facebook Likes, Posts, Shares, and Comments, would they equal the character I wish to be?  Would others want to be measured this same way?

I feel we’ve come to a crossroads — we shall either continue to participate in the Judgement, or look deeper and see people for who they really are, beyond their latest public profile image. We are all complicated, interesting, humanly-flawed individuals. We are creatures filled with ideas and emotions, a history of mistakes, and a future filled with possibilities. Isn’t it high time we go back to seeing one another as we care to be seen ourselves? Remember the Golden Rule of Do Unto Others as You Would Have Them Do Unto You.

We are not perfect! We are going to make mistakes. We are going to say things that come out all wrong. We are going to have opinions that sometimes don’t make sense to others. We are going to make decisions based on where we are in our own lives, not where others wish us to be.  We've become so engrossed and invested in other people's beliefs and habits, that we have somehow lost sight of our own; we're too busy worrying about other people's moral compass to figure out if our own is in check. Is that what we truly want for ourselves and for one another? The time has come -- we must put the brakes on being hyper critical. Stop highlighting everyone's wrongs and start celebrating their rights.

When I dreamed of LIGHTbeamers,  I envisioned it as a vehicle for us all to shine for one another, support one another, inspire and motivate, lift each other up! However, my own shortcomings often leave me feeling unworthy of leading such a charge for I also make mistakes, say things I don’t mean, have polarizing opinions, and fail miserably at times in shining the LIGHT. Sometimes, when this has happened, people have quickly pointed out my flaws. But other times, they have soldiered on for me — shining for me when my own darkness is too deep, lifting me up instead of stomping me down. For the latter, I am immensely grateful.

So, can we all agree to shine a kind LIGHT for others? Give them a little Grace when they need it?
If so, then this is what I want to say, and what I imagine we all would want to say to our supporters, and even more so to our detractors — and I want you to hear these words the next time you find yourself rolling your eyes, shaking your head, and impulsively responding to someone’s seemingly off-the-wall social media post  —

“Thank you for seeing me for who I really am. I am grateful for your open eyes, your widespread arms, and your loving heart. You don’t question my heart and you don’t waiver in your friendship, despite all the many ways in which you and I differ. You see me for more than just my profile picture, my status update, my likes and comments, and my political views. You see me for the beautiful, God-created soul I am. You see the smiles I give, the laughs we share, the goals I achieve. You see through all my fears, even when I do my best to mask them in a defiant state of self-confidence. You relate to me on a human level — as a mom, friend, wife, concerned citizen, sister, daughter, just someone who’s trying to find her footing in this big-bad-wolf of a world.  You see me sharing my kindness in the world, and give me credit for doing more than is necessary."

Picture
Our means of communication needs to be filled with love, compassion, faith and understanding... and especially, grace. There is no room for hatred, bigotry, and insults. When we share our kind words and supportive hands, we shine our LIGHT. When we do this, we remind each other of the best versions of ourselves. We are not selfish creatures. Oh sure, there are days we slip, we go backwards, we hog the spotlight. On these days, we need to recall all the other days when we are out there fighting the good fight — shining our LIGHT and being a beacon for others.

Yes, you do it your way, and I do it mine… but there we are, nonetheless, working toward the common goal.  After all, we all want the same things — love, hope, peace, safety, compassion, a brighter future. At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter how we get there… as long as we stay true to our own unique course, and accept others along their way.

#ShineYourLIGHT
#BeGrateful
#CelebrateOthers
#BuildOthersUp
#DontTearThemDown

Cheering for YOU,
APRIL

 

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    Hi, I'm April and I'm glad you're here. 

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