The Thoughtfulness Project

Be all you can be!

And so, we begin! 

Today is August 19th, 2019- This project just like the others will ask you to look inside, to grow, to reach out and yes, to be thoughtful. I believe with my whole heart that I am at my best when I take a moment to slow down and have a few introspective moments, challenge and change, reach higher than before, and pay it forward. 

There will be seven weeks in total. Each week is specifically paced with the idea that we all live crazy lives. I genuinely believe that when I slow down, I speed up! So, please give this your all! The more you give yourself, the more you will have to give to others, I promise!

Each week you will receive a lovely set of prompts, all based on a theme. They are action items to inspire your week! You are given the directives; it is up to you if you wish to complete them or not. I hope that you will share with me some of your discoveries, or perhaps share with the group on Facebook. Either way I hope you SHARE!

The things and the stuff!

Materials Needed:

  • a journal or notebook to record thoughts and ideas for these activities.
  • Find a favorite pen for writing, perhaps colored pencils or ink pens for drawing 
  • card stock/scrapbook paper for “love” notes
  • Whatever else makes you feel like you are taking a moment for you. For me, it is often a cup of tea and a lit candle. 
  • a great attitude and open heart

The Action:

  1. Meditative: You will receive a key phrase for the week. You might use it to reflect on your life until now, your hopes, or even what you dare to dream.
    1. You should meditate on this, either in silence, with your journal, or even on a quiet walk ( I often do this sitting by water- I am blessed to live very near Lake Ontario- it makes me delightfully happy!)
    2. After your mediation (especially if it is during a walk or silent mediation), record your thoughts!
  2. Creative: NO talent required. You may complete this task however you wish. Creativity is an opportunity. When we are creative, we think differently, we problem solve more easily. Do not allow ascetics to suppress your courage and tenacity. Go forth and Create!
  3. Thoughtful: Along with each prompt you will be asked to pay it forward in some way. These prompts will cost very little (or nothing) you are encouraged to spread the love! That is what thoughtfulness is all about. As with each section of this journey, each directive is based on the theme of the week. 

Questions? NO worries! I am here for you- contact me: Susan Carmen-Duffy at – I will happily answer any of your questions. 

The other stuff: You are welcome to share this journey with any one you wish. For me, this is a mission. If we feel more whole, more at peace, more loving towards ourselves, I believe we are very likely to be light in the world. The world can be a very sad, dark place. Be the light, the love, the peace. 

And of course, it goes without saying this is copyrighted content. Sharing is okay, printing is not. 

“Be” –

The Thoughtfulness project © 2019 Susan Carmen-Duffy All Rights Reserved


All of that said! Let’s get to work!

Week #1

Today I challenge you to shed a little of the doubt we all feel and TRUST yourself. From the time we are small children there is something within us that helps us sense danger or safety, joy or sorrow. Why then, I ask, do we doubt ourselves so profoundly? Why do we second guess ourselves constantly? I know without doubt that this is a very personal journey. It has been for me. I also know that when I trust my own instincts, I often prevent myself from difficulty, or take the risk to gain great successes. 

It all begins with you.

So the theme for this week is simply that- Trust yourself. 

MeditationTake a moment to think about the quote:

 “As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live.”

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, (born August 28, 1749, Frankfurt am Main [Germany]—died March 22, 1832, Weimar, Saxe-Weimar), German poet, playwright, novelist, scientist, statesman, theatre director, critic, and amateur artist, considered the greatest German literary figure of the modern era


(in other words, a really smart guy!)

von Goethe has a valid point. Our lives are lived with much more conviction and courage when we indeed believe in ourselves and trust our instincts.  The journey is not always easy and often we get so beaten up that we begin to doubt ourselves. Once trust is a fixture in our lives we learn very quickly to live with courage. 

Live your fingerprint. I have postcards in my gallery with this printed on it. For me, the biggest detriment to my own well being is when I dare to compare myself to others. For the record, I am not them, nor are they me. We are each built uniquely yet ironically the same. The perfect reminder, is that our fingerprints are uniquely ours. That said, when we trust ourselves, we WILL know the next step, we will appeciate our talents and gifts, we will use them for good. 

let me know your thoughts….

Creative: I have a thing for trees. In the art of mandala ( we will get to that later) trees symbolize family, stability, roots. Trees have purpose and presence. 

Your task? Draw a tree. On the tree (either symbolically or written) place your strengths, things you absolutely know that you are good at.

Your strengths should be what you do well, have talent with, not things like, “I have great hair!”

Be honest, be generous, be kind. 

Fill this with your strengths!


It seems to me we get into the most trouble when we do not trust ourselves. When we compare ourselves to others, when we do not live with courage. It can be frightening to put yourself out there! 

So encourage someone. Write a little note, to a friend, family member, or complete stranger. Mail it, hide it, or leave it in a library book. Whatever works for you. You should write at least one, but as many as you wish. You may use the one below, or create something you want to share. 

Thank you for your kindness!

I believe in you!

That is week #1. I hope you take some time to explore this. You have many reasons to trust yourself and the opportunity to change what you do not. 

Be good to yourself. Love yourself and others. 



Checking in:

Trust yourself

I hope today is a particularly good and empowering day! You deserve it! Don’t allow any doubts to creep in. Remember the theme! TRUST YOURSELF!

Checking in:

Trust, such an interesting concept. In my life, I have definitely given trust to people who did not deserve it. (I suppose we all have)
I am not certain if it is age, or just I have been blessed, but these days I feel like the vision is a bit clearer. Why on earth would I trust nearly everyone BUT myself?
It occurred to me that if this was the case, then I had work to do. Trusting one’s instincts, one’s heart, one’s ideals seems to be foundational to my successful life.
Take a moment today. Think about the word trust and what it means to you. Celebrate the trust you have in yourself. Lean into that trust and with deliberate intention, let go of any doubt! You know what is right for you at all times! TRUST yourself.

Trust yourself. The first important step to the bloom




Welcome to week #2!

How was your first week? I hope it was full of good things and you have opened the door with intention to trust yourself. It is not an easy process. But it is an important one. My experience is that if you do the work, it will change your path.

Now that you trust yourself, (YAY!) Let’s talk about another challenge: Patience. I believe I could wear a crown of impatience I am so darn good at it. I tend to be more patient with others, but sometime not even then. My mother used to quote, “patience is a virtue!”, to me on a regular basis. I do not think I fully appreciated that sentiment until recently. 

Patience IS a virtue, and the mere phrase should remind us at just how difficult it is. Understanding that everything has its own time and my anxiety or urgency to control it will not hurry any process along. As I grow and age, I appreciate that timing sometimes IS the thing I appreciate most about the journey. A flower shouldn’t bloom immediately after I plant the seed, why would I have cause to celebrate the bloom?

With this in mind a quote I keep seeing by Emerson really struck me as pure wisdom. 

Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience. Ralph Waldo Emerson

AMAZING! It is so simple, but also so true. 

we do not bloom overnight, nor should we!

Do you know how sometimes an idea seems remarkable, yet takes a bit of time to perk? For me that seems too often be the case. Patience is a lesson I have needed to relearn and continue to learn in order to fully understand the power of it in my life.

As much of a challenge as patience has been when I was younger, I believe our current climate seems to have exacerbated the hope of success with this virtue. While technology has enhanced our lives in may ways, it has also crippled us. We do not have as many meaningful face to face conversations because we text or send a quick email. Because of this we expect immediate responses. We hold our mini computers (phones) in our hands like a life support system. We are lost if we should forget them at work or home. The speed of life and the urgency of us robs us of the opportunity to actually savor the journey.


Be patient with yourself and your life. Take a moment to appreciate and be grateful for this very moment. We miss so much when we hurry our lives. When the seed breaks through the earth, it is exciting! Victorious! If we missed witnessing that, we would miss an important step in the journey. Lack of patience warps our perspective and gives way the darkness. Expect that regardless of our own timing, things arrive in the perfect time. While this is a difficult concept at times, you know that it is the truth!


Meditation: Journal about this quote:

Take a moment to personalize this for yourself. Reframe the idea of patience as not so much being a failed virtue, but perhaps a gift that will enhance your wonderful life.

“Patience is the ornament of the brave. Patience is the real badge of courage; it is equally the mark of love.” — Eknath Easwaran

Creative: In your journal, or somewhere else, create the word, “Breathe” in bubble letters. Fill in some of the ways you need to learn to be patient with your life. You are welcome to leave those exposed as a reminder, or perhaps to create something over them so that it is private to you. Do what is right for you!

Thoughtful: Pay it forward! Slow down this week. Let someone in front of you on the expressway, hold the door for someone and wish them a good day, ask someone who might be having a difficult time to go for a walk with you, bring a cup of something (coffee, tea, smoothie, whatever) to someone who doesn’t do that for themselves… just slow down a bit.

I implore you to be gentle with yourself. This world can be such a challenge, our lives can be just as complicated. Rest, restore, take a moment, take patience with yourself. Be you. Wonderful you.

With so much love,


And of course, it goes without saying this is copyrighted content. Sharing is okay, printing is not. 

“Be” –

The Thoughtfulness project © 2019 Susan Carmen-Duffy All Rights Reserved

Checking in 8.30.19

Good morning, I spent a good deal of time thinking about my own patience last night. (it was filled with middle of the night leg cramps) I was not terribly patient with my body, that is for certain!
It has given me cause to reflect, however. When I was in mid panic, the cramps got much worse, when I was too tired to panic, and took time to breathe, they seemed to subside, at least a bit. See where I am going?
Today, I wish you the courage to step back from the moment and reflect on what is really needed. For me, it was deep breaths and relaxing the rest of my body. Sometimes when I am in the midst of something it is hard to see that by not having patience, I actually prolong what I want to come to a quick conclusion.
How is your journey? I’d love to hear about anything you’d like to share.
Much love to you. Have a beautiful Friday.
with so much love, 

September 2, 2019 – Week #3

I remember as a young child being very meek. I was a follower. I didn’t rock the boat for any reason. I didn’t question authority. I was “good”. Rules were set for a reason, and I followed them. Period.

Life seemed big and scary. I was the child who craved attention, but was equally afraid of it. I wanted to be seen and not seen all at once. I am certain for my family, this was no doubt confusing, maybe even a giant pain to contend with. I suppose there are many reasons for this, but I will leave that for another day. It is safe to say that life seemed like a big challenge for me, from the very beginning.

There are a few things in my life, I knew from the beginning that I NEEDED. (art/writing/being a mom- not necessarily in that order) This was non-negotiable; however, I did not have the tools in which to reach these goals. I remember school being a challenge, mostly because I didn’t feel like I fit in. It wasn’t that I was a bad student, it was that my motivation was more in not rocking the boat than in gaining knowledge. Wisdom comes in retrospect; I believe that I didn’t fit in because my brain was in a different place. It wasn’t barbies and recess; it was more ethereal.  Learning spelling words seemed trivial, however I did LOVE to write them out in cursive. (that art thing) Again, my brain probably wasn’t where it was supposed to be.

I remember my mother coaching me through what I perceived has horrific situations. (you know, normal everyday life) They were likely the standard struggles every child encounters, however for me they felt like giant mountains. One day I came home to a book on my bed. It was called “Call it Courage” written by Armstrong Sperry. My mom suggested this might help me. (interesting choice for a motivational book for an eight-year-old) The book is about a young boy who lives in the Pacific Islands with his father. As I recall, (it’s been quite a few years) the young boy is afraid of most everything, yet finds himself in some very difficult situations that he somehow is able to conquer. Most of his fears stem from losing his mother in a tragic way. In the end, he faces incredible odds, deals with his fears and is the personification of courage.

It was a lovely book. I believe my teacher was excited that I wrote it up for a book report, but that is probably where the big charm ended.

My mom had the best of intentions. However, for me, while this young boy showed tremendous courage, REPEATEDLY in the book, it was unrelatable to me. His encounters seemed so huge and actually unrealistic, yet, as we know the book needed a hero and the young boy was the chosen one!  My wimpy fears and not fitting in did not compare to living on an island where cannibals were too near for anyone’s comfort. (there were mean little humans but no cannibals as far as I knew) Our issues were clearly not the same. I honestly felt even more like a whiner after reading that book.  Unfortunately, that compounded the idea that I WAS a coward and destined to live that way.

you have it in you! Be bold and brave!

Now cut to 2019. I am sitting here writing this to you reflecting on the years I have lived. As I recall, my life before that time, it all makes so much sense. God bless my mother for trying to encourage me to be bold and brave. However, I realize, the lesson I learned best is to be a follower.  Because of the afore mentioned issues which as I suggested, I will save for another time, I realize that what I have learned BEST about myself, is to not rock the boat, that other’s needs are more important, that I in fact should NOT face life with courage but get a really good antacid to counter act the acid that churns in my stomach each and every time I choose to swallow desire, instead of move forward with it. BAM.

Here’s the thing. For most of my life I have perceived the act of courage as someone who rushes into a burning building to save a seven-year old’s cat. Or someone who cures a horrible disease, or someone who faces cancer with a smile, lipstick and tenacity. What I did not see, what I could not see, is that courage comes in many forms. It is not always loud and showy. Sometimes it is meek and quiet. Sometimes it is just having the guts to go to a school/work where you didn’t fit in, or go to a party when you feel crippled by social anxiety, or write a blog, bearing your soul just on the off chance it may help someone else. Or, well… you get it, right?

Oh, also, before I forget, just like the fireman pulling the kitten or grandma out of a burning building, our courage does not look the same. So do not buy into that silly comparison thing. Onward, to the Be part of this.

Courage is about living with resilience, courage is about being undeniably who you are (who you REALLY are, not the photoshopped version). Courage is about riding out the storm, courage is about doing what is right, not what it is easy. Courage is about standing tall when you’d much rather hide in a corner. Courage is about being seen, being heard, being aware, being strong. Courage is about the next step and the next. Courage does not have to rent a billboard; it just has to hold tight. Courage is about being willing to risk everything to flourish and find what speaks to my very heart and soul.

So, now that you trust yourself, AND you are being patient too, I encourage you, to live with courage. Identify what you need, whatever that is, and go for it. It could be a new job, a new challenge, or even a vacation. It could be to stop being friends with Cindy because as cute as Cindy is, she is a life sucker (my apologies to all the non-life sucking Cindys out there). Have courage to move past your fear, and breathe in the fresh air that awaits you. It is joy that is waiting. I promise.

Meditation: Meditate on this, how can I live my life more true to my fingerprint, more true to who I really am? What is it that I walk through in a brave way that will lead me to my goals, my peace, my happiness?

Creative: What have you told yourself that you cannot or should not do? Have you convinced yourself you are bad at _____ (fill in the blank) but have a burning desire to do so? This week- DO IT! Try. Have you always wanted to make a soufflé but are afraid it will fail? Who cares? It is a bunch of eggs and cheese- go for it. Have you always wanted to write a poem? DO IT! It doesn’t have to rhyme, have fun with this. Whatever it is, live bravely, live with courage and try.

Thoughtful: With rare exception we each have our demons. (if we don’t likely there is some denial there somewhere) No one is perfect, no one complete, we are each a work in progress. So encourage someone, however you wish to. Tell Sally you were impressed (if you really were) that she was brave enough to climb that mountain. Send a note to Jon about the fact that he went back to school at 45 to finish his degree. Slip a note into a child’s lunchbox this week, telling them how brave they are, going into sixth grade, encourage them to have a great year.

Whoever needs a boost of courage, help them out a bit. Share some of yours.

I leave you with the following wisdom… brilliantly said.
(you’ve got this, I promise.)

“Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.” 
― Nora Ephron

With so much love, I encourage you to “BE”,


And of course, it goes without saying this is copyrighted content. Sharing is okay, printing is not. 

“Be” –

The Thoughtfulness project © 2019 Susan Carmen-Duffy All Rights Reserved

September 9, 2019- Week #4

Now that we are over half way in this journey, I think it is important to take a moment to evaluate how things are going for you. This is a very individual journey. No two people are ever in the same exact place. How are YOU doing? Is this comfortable? uncomfortable? Are you ready to recommit to the process? 

I believe that sometimes we have a difficult time putting ourselves as a priority. That said, I also believe that what we willingly put into any personal work, is what we will directly receive back. Will you continue with the same vigor as week one? The work is getting more difficult, the ideas perhaps dive deeper. But this is attainable. It is a process worthy of your attention.

YOU are worthy of the opportunity to bloom into all you were meant to be.

Let’s get back to work. 

I wonder, if you have taken the time to consider the power of gratitude. Did your mother make you write thank you notes? (Mine did not, but I made my children do so.) Do you use the language? Please, thank you? etc? What are you grateful for in your life?

Most of us would find gratitude for health, family, friends and such. These are most assuredly something to be grateful for. However, I want you to look deeper.

I was raised in a home where gratitude was a constant theme. My mother was a “gratitude goddess” questioning me every time I complained about an avalanche of a day,

“But what are you grateful for?”

Sometimes I didn’t want to be grateful. Sometimes I just wanted a hug and the reassurance that the next day would be better.

One such question came after I called my mom from Pennsylvania after what I considered a day from hell. I explained that in the span of about six hours I had two car accidents (the roads were horrible and Pennsylvania uses cinders not salt – which is useless), I destroyed a neighbor’s mailbox (coming down from a hill on the afore mentioned icy streets), ran over a squirrel (trying to avoid the squirrel I destroyed the mailbox and unfortunately the squirrel too) AND once I finally made my way home, the water heater had broken and the basement was flooded.

My mom… you guessed it.

“What are you grateful for?”

She also mentioned I was lucky I had killed a squirrel and not a child. (to which I was horrified)

Mom further explained that it cold have been so much worse. I could have been in a more serious accident. Both Dylan, my son and I walked away from the car. It was dented, for sure, but still drivable. The mailbox could be fixed, the basement could be cleaned, the water heater could be replaced. Nothing was permanent (except for poor Mr. Squirrel).

So, keep this story in mind. Cut to another experience where I am watching television, which I rarely do, but clearly was meant to that night. I was watching a documentary on PBS and the subject was gratitude. The reporter interviewed people all over the world about their ideas about gratitude. Some were grateful for family, some friends, some health. Some of the ideas were predictable, I sort of expected that.

However, one of the gentlemen that was interviewed completely changed my life. This man had the most incredible gleam in his eye. His smile shared that dental care was probably not a priority in his third world country. When the reporter asked him what he was grateful for, he responded with incredible enthusiasm.

“I am a RICH man!”, he said.

The reporter clearly questioned the authenticity of his response.

He continued, “I am a very blessed and rich man. I have a wonderful home. I have two walls and a roof. Some do not even have that.”

I will wait, while this sinks in for you the way it did for me.

WHAT? He was RICH? LUCKY? BLESSED? You have got to be kidding me! He had hardly any clothes on, about 7 teeth left, TWO WALLS and a tiny bit of a roof over his head. His neighbor was so close they could feel each other exhale and he lived in a country where poverty was extreme and normal.

I couldn’t sleep that night. I was riveted by the interview. I was blown away about the different perspectives of what gratitude is for each of us.

I started to think about all the things I have to be grateful for. I had four walls and a complete roof. I had air conditioning. I had plenty of food. I had healthy children. I had …. Well, you get the idea. I had (have) so much.

To this day I am overwhelmed by that interview. It was truly a game changer.

Now one more detail, before I give you your fun for the week. I have endured/fought/suffered from (however you wish to call it) depression for most of my life. Some times the challenge is much worse than others. However, I am blessed to say that I have picked up many tools in my half century of life to deal with this.

That said, I have found the Achilles heel of depression. Yes, I am completely serious.

It is gratitude.

Gratitude changes your brain chemistry. Science backs me up on this. If I am grateful for my life, my _______ I have a more difficult time being depressed. I am not in any way suggesting that depression is not a real thing and all you have to do to cure it is to say “thank you” once in a while. I am suggesting that the darker it gets for me, the more I practice gratitude, the more successful I am.

I try diligently to be grateful for everything. The lights in my home, the sound of crickets, the butterfly that flits across the yard, the rain, the sun, the roof over my head, my car, the ability to pay for things I believe I need, my family, my friends, and…. On and on. I am also grateful for my failures; they have taught me a lesson. I am grateful for those I miss; I am blessed to have them and their love in my life. I am grateful for asthma, it helps me to appreciate oxygen, the ability to breathe and to not take that for granted. I am grateful on a micro and a macro level. No, I am certainly not perfect. But yes, with practice, I am getting much better at it.

Gratitude is not a magic pill, but practiced, it is incredibly effective. Are you going through a rough time? Barb Carmen would ask you what you are grateful for. Dig deep. The list is there.

Meditate: “He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.” Epictetus

There are many versions of this same idea. Essentially, like my friend in the documentary, find gratitude for all that you have and you will likely find joy along with your gratitude. He certainly did.  What do you have to be grateful for?

CreativeMy personal theme of the year has been to use what I have and not want for any fancy new art supplies. I haven’t been perfect in this endeavor. But I have found that I have had many opportunities I would not have had if I did not trim back a bit and really utilize what I have. So, your challenge is to create something with what you have. It could be anything. It could be permanent or temporary. Use leaves from the park that are changing, or paint something to express your thoughts, use sharpies on a piece of mat board, upcycle a piece of _______! Whatever you wish!

ThoughtfulnessThis week, write a thank you note. It would be wonderful if you created the thank you note, but I will leave that part up to you. Thank someone for their presence in your life. Thank them for being there when you needed something. Celebrate their presence in your blessed life.

Gratitude is a noun AND a very (and even an adjective) – the action of gratitude will inspire your joy. It will remind you of the countless blessings you already have. Embrace these moments, these wonders… be filled.

Know that you are loved,


And of course, it goes without saying this is copyrighted content. Sharing is okay, printing is not. 

“Be” –

The Thoughtfulness project © 2019 Susan Carmen-Duffy All Rights Reserved

September 16- Week #5 – 

I believe that we spend a great deal of time swimming in our own heads. Thoughts unsaid, yet wildly turning inside. Sometimes the water is that amazing blue green that you see on travel channels, or if you are blessed with the travel bug, your own view of tropical beaches. Unfortunately, sometimes the water is quite murky like a polluted and muddy day on one of the finger lakes.

Those are the days I wish to discuss this week.

I am probably not unique as I admit to you, I definitely have an inner critic. This very opinionated part of me can actually be a good thing! That voice often keeps me motivated toward achieving my goals, seemingly keeps me from danger (when I listen), and often helps me reach a bit higher.

 However, there are other times that the inner critic can be a bit brutal. You know, when something isn’t perfect – in my mind or reality. I focus on what went wrong and how I should have done better rather than the positive and you guessed what I have to be grateful for. Those are the times negative self-talk is an issue for me. I find that when I allow negativity to enter, it is easy for that feeling to grow.

Negative self-talk can be very damaging. A common issue for many, research suggests that this can increase stress, lower self-esteem as well as motivation. It can lead to depression and dysfunction. It is like putting a purposeful dragon of a roadblock right in front of your door to progress. Why on EARTH would we do that? This can ripple through every part of our lives. Work, relationships, spirituality, all of it. Negativity is just that. Who has time for it?

When we engage in this way of thinking, we damage our truest potential. We invite limits on becoming our greatest selves. I would assume most of us are challenged by at least an occasional negative thought, some endure this more often than not.

Personally, I am crippled by self-sabotage at times. When I allow (and don’t kid yourself, you give permission for negative thoughts to swirl in your brain) negative thoughts to take first place in my brain, I purposely defeat myself. I am well aware that I am not perfect in any way. That is a given. However, sometimes my personal expectations would not share that understanding. Reframed in a different way: if I spoke to you, the way I speak to myself (sometimes) I am reasonably certain we would not be friends. That said, why do I allow that in me?

It has been my experience that the positive attributes we have discussed in previous weeks will help with this. Patience and gratitude being chief among them. I am definitely more negative when I am overtired, or not taking care of my physical self. Self-care is a real thing. This includes thoughts. You would never expect your body to function well on junk food, why would you expect your mind to?

This week, I ask you to try to slay that dragon a bit. At least cage him up! Employ some patience, when you are not perfect. Seek gratitude in less than perfect situations. See the good, instead of the awful. Take a deep breath. Above all else, try to be gentle with yourself. We are not perfect beings. When we make a mistake, we have the opportunity to learn from it. When we are not perfect, perhaps appreciate what went right, instead of focusing on what went wrong.

Meditate: Take some time to meditate, journal, or take a walk. Think about this quote from Helen Keller: “Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see a shadow.”

Create: Create a touch stone. This could be as simple as picking up a pebble on a walk. You can brush it off or paint it, add textures or whatever you like. Put this in your pocket. When a negative thought reaches in, take a moment to touch the stone as a reminder to think more positively, problem solve instead of allowing that dragon back in. Reframe the negative thought.

Thoughtfulness: We all have someone in our lives struggling with something. It is difficult to remember to be positive sometimes. Hardships get in the way at times. Do something nice for this person. Deliver flowers, homemade something or other, make them a positive rock reminder, or even just a note. Whatever you do, know that it will make a difference!

Thank you for taking the time…. For being here… for slaying dragons.

With so much love,


“Be” –

Reproduction of any kind is not permitted

The Thoughtfulness project © 2019 Susan Carmen-Duffy All Rights Reserved

September 23, 2019- Week six

This journey is so interesting to me. I find myself taking time each week to listen with intent on where this all should go. I planned each of the seven weeks out initially, but you know how that goes. We make plans, God/the universe laughs. So, with courage I proceed. This week I had a very different topic planned, but feel that I should put that on the shelf for now.

I often lead a meditation before beginning the art portion of my spiritual art workshops. One of my favorite mediations has participants taking a walk in their mind’s eye. I suggest to them that they are carrying a backpack. Inside the backpack are their worries, cares, and concerns. Each of these is like a rock. Multiple rocks tend to weigh us down. The weight is heavier than we think, and gets heavier as time goes by.  Those rocks prevent us from being and doing all we are meant to. As we work through the meditation, I invite them to unpack the backpack, and leave the cares and concerns by the side of the road. Often participants feel a heaviness has lifted and they are able to see past some of the things that have burdened them.

This analogy also applies to other things. This week, I’d like to speak about forgiveness. I accept the fact intellectually that I am not perfect. However, I don’t often put that into practice. I have extremely high expectations of myself at times. When I perceive myself as failing to meet those expectations it compounds the disappointment. Those disappointments often translate to things we have been discussing the last few weeks, negative self-talk, lack of patience and courage, and… well, you probably get the idea.

In thinking about all of this, one of the things I realize is there is a cumulative effect here. If I cannot forgive myself for mistakes and short comings, that compounds. It adds rocks to my own backpack. The load weighs heavily. The balance is precarious and I am likely to be set off for some silly reason.

It also adds to the potential inability to forgive others. If self-forgiveness is not possible, how can I truly forgive others? Indeed, the transgressions of others cuts deeper when I am not in a place of balance.

This is deep work. The layers and the 3 am thoughts all seem to stem from the need for forgiveness. Accepting imperfection. Growing and learning from it. Upon deeper reflection I can say that there are things I can think of that I still feel shame for from my childhood. I am a grandmother for goodness sake, it might be time to let go of this stuff.

I am not perfect. But sometimes the journey is just so challenging, is it not?

Meditate: I encourage you to take a walk. Take a break from life. Embrace the season. Take a bit from the last six weeks and confront your own disappointments. Then LET GO OF THEM. With courage. Love yourself a little deeper this week.

Ponder these profound words by Joseph Addison : “It is only imperfection that complains of what is imperfect. The more perfect we are, the more gentle and quiet we become towards the defects of others.”

Create: Forgiveness is difficult. Refer back to you touch stone that you made last week. This might be of help. This week I’d like it if you would create in your journal. Think of something that you harbor ill feelings about. Then think about the lesson you might of a lesson learned, what you might have to be grateful for and explore that in your journal. You are welcome to do this for as many of those nagging imperfections as you wish. It is time to clear the deck!

Thoughtfulness: Is there someone you know going through a rough time? Maybe you could share the rock analogy with them and share your process for letting go a bit. We are in this together. Lighten the load of a friend…

All of this is meant to be tools that help you live your best life. Life is so very short and we need to live to our fullest. When we allow the rocks in our life to weigh us down and prevent our joy, we have squandered so much that is precious. Be kind to yourself, please. 

with love, 



And of course, it goes without saying this is copyrighted content. Sharing is okay, printing is not. 

“Be” –

The Thoughtfulness project © 2019 Susan Carmen-Duffy All Rights Reserved

Be all you can be!

Week 7- 9.30.19

Trust yourself. You are unique. Your brain, your heart, your fingerprint. Remember that. Believe that. You are here for a purpose. You are vibrant and alive. Trust yourself.

Have patience. Not just with yourself, or with others, with life. The way the world works is rarely on our timing. Patience allows you to see the little miracles in between or most urgent expectations. Patience.

Courage-sometimes courage is running a marathon, sometimes it is getting out of bed. Either way, life can be one heck of a challenge. You don’t need to be a superhero, just remember that tenacity and courage are a tool in which we can be more authentically ourselves.

Gratitude. Be. Grateful. Always. In every moment, there is something to be grateful for. Every single one. When we are grateful in each moment it is darn difficult to become consumed with what others have that we don’t. BE GRATEFUL

Positive Self talk. NO one has time to listen to an inner negative Nellie. Why would you rent space in your head to anyone else except for your own powerful self?

Forgiveness. This is a tricky one. It takes a lot of work, there are more layers than an onion. Once you do the work, the layers are peeled, tears are shed, let it go. Forgive you, forgive them, let it go. No one needs to carry all of that. Wounds keep us from our fullest potential. Forgive.


BE YOU. Be the person that you know you are deep inside. Honor your precious life. Awaken the wonder, the greatness… it lies within.

Bloom. I dare you.

Meditate: Take a walk this week. Walk for a little longer than normal. Notice the colors. The crisp air, the cool breeze. Meditate and journal this  “We are constantly invited to be who we are.” Henry David Thoreau, Henry was a smart guy-






Create: This is the big one! Create a mandala. How do you do that? See directions below. Mandalas are used in many spiritual practices as a prayer, a mediation. Take the time to do that this week. I hope it will be a reflection of everything you have accomplished in the last few weeks.

Creating a mandala:

It’s simple really. A mandala is a often a drawing or other work inside a circle. To start gather the following:

  • sheet of paper (even copy paper will do)
  • pencil
  • drawing compass
  • ruler
  • protractor
  • fine line/thin marker/pigment ink pen (any color you like)
  • (optionally) thicker marker
  • Colored pencils

Here are instructions: (Thanks to Art is Fun


Pay it forward. How would you like to pay it forward? This one is on you. You know how you give best. Do that. 

When I began these seven weeks, I began knowing that this journey would be work for me too. Not just words on your computer screen, but personal work. Important work. Work that I had to take the time and the effort to really embrace. I am grateful for this opportunity to walk with you. Thank you for being there.

With great big love,


P.S. If you are so inclined, I’d love your honest critique of this experience. Tell me what was good, needs improvement, or anything else you want to share. Please email these thoughts to:

I appreciate you!

“Be” –

Reproduction of any kind is not permitted

The Thoughtfulness project © 2019 Susan Carmen-Duffy All Rights Reserved


March 2019: Pay it Forward challenge

We are in the midst of winter. It seems overwhelming at times. Depending on where you live, you might experience difficult weather at times. This can make travel challenging and make us feel almost shut in.

What if we balanced that forced solitude with an act of kindness? You are challenged for 31 days to pay it a bit forward. I have 31 ideas, but maybe you have different ones? Share them by commenting on this blog, the facebook page “The Thoughtfulness Project”, in social media (#thethoughtfulnessproject) and let us light up the darkness! 

March Madness– Share the love!

1. Share a word of encouragement with the first person you speak with today. 

2. Text a cheery “good morning” to three people who could use a smile

3. Clean out a closet – give away gently used clothing to someone in need

4. Address the person that waits on you, the grocery store clerk, doorman, security officer, or whoever you meet by name. Take a moment to make them feel just a little important. 

5. Send a thank you note to someone who has been good to you. 

6. Take a walk- greet those you might meet, take a moment to thank the universe for the beauty around you.

7. Have extra towels that are in good shape? Donate them to an animal shelter. They come in handy!

8. ONLY be positive today. No negative Nellie. Have a random unkind thought? Double down with TWO kind and positive thoughts to balance!

9. Pay a toll, or buy a coffee for the person behind you. 

10. Send an encouraging email to a co-worker, friend, or relative. Pep talks are always a good thing!

11. Send a card, for no reason whatsoever. 

12. Leave an encouraging post-it note on a desk, in a library book, on a bulletin board. 

13. Smile at a stranger

14. Call up an older person and see if you can run an errand or two for them. 

15. Forgive someone. Don’t carry that burden any longer. 

16. Today, say YES

17. Hold the door open for a person or two

18. Check on a friend who is having a difficult time. 

19. Take a moment to play (yes, really)

20. Be extra kind on the highway today. Let people cut in, wave, smile!

21. Buy your mom, her mom, his mom, a friend’s mom, ANY mom, some flowers. Just because. 

22. Send a postcard to a college student. 

23. Be generous, with words and deeds today. 

24. If you see trash outside, or something is untidy, pick it up, put it away. 

25. Ask someone how they REALLY are. Listen. 

26. Have you hurt or offended someone? Apologize with love and humility. 

27. Bake cookies- SHARE (if you don’t bake, buy cookies and share!)

28. Donate some time to an organization you believe in. 

29. Shovel your neighbor’s sidewalk, or do something to help them. 

30. Inspire a family meal where everyone is there! (of a “Friendsgiving!)

31. Celebrate your kind heart, You shared your love all month!

February 2019- Send a little love month

February 28

How is it possible that an entire month has zipped by? First, thank you for checking in every day. For doing the work. For extending yourself beyond what fits easily in your routine. I appreciate that you not only tried to do this crazy project but YOU DID. You stuck with me.

Thank you.

So where do we go from here? Well, in theory, this has become more of a habit. (and a darn good one) You have reached out to so many people this month. It hasn’t cost a ton of time or money. I believe the personal rewards have been immeasurable. We took the time to slow down and reach out. 

One of the original motivations for me personally was to reach out and love people, not roses or new jewelry. The traditions that surround the holiday of Saint Valentine’s seem to suggest that it is only remarkable if your beloved sent you something magnanimous. I am here to thank YOU for sending the most precious of gifts, your heart. Those who were blessed by your cards, letters, and notes have a piece of you that no doubt is a reminder to them that they are special, they are treasured. It doesn’t get better than that. 

I encourage you to keep this project going. I certainly do not expect you to send mail to someone each of the 303 potential mail days of the year, however, I DO hope that sending a thoughtful card or note is more common. I hope that regardless of the feedback you may have received that you feel the joy inside of you. Let that be your motivation. It has been my experience that you never really know how someone reacts to an act of kindness. Ultimately their reaction is not my responsibility, however loving and sharing my gifts certainly is. 

Today, I am overwhelmed by the idea of opportunity. My meditation this morning focused on the plethora of opportunities in my current world. It ranges from personal to professional and everywhere possible in between. I recognize more and more how many doors are open to me. It is exciting and perhaps a bit scary to realize. 

For me, gratitude plays a huge part of this. For instance, I was blessed to realize my dream of having an art gallery about 5.25 years ago. It was on the business plan (yes, I actually wrote a business plan!) for Create Art 4 Good to have in 5 years, I was able to have one in two. That was astounding to me. It was such a precious miracle. I won’t pretend everything has been perfect because of course, nothing is. BUT, it’s amazing and such an opportunity to me.

I have worked hard. I AM okay with working hard. I have been blessed to hold countless workshops, community events, art exhibits and more as a result of having this space. My dream has paid it forward to many local charities. This opportunity has been a game changer. I try to remember that when I am a bit weary. Or even when I am writing the check to my landlord. This is an incredible opportunity. So. With my rent check, I always write a thank you note. I am certain they think I am an odd duck, but that is okay. I am so grateful.

Who has given you an opportunity that might have led to a game changer for you? Who inspires you? Who reminds you of your fullest potential? Who is your cheerleader? Send them some love today. 

sending you flowers, love & precious peace

This might wrap up the month of love, however, I pray that the gift of love continues in your life. Keep lighting another’s path, I promise it will never diminish your own light but actually make it shine brighter. 


Thank you. I wish you deepest peace and love, 




February 27

Just like a raindrop in a pond, the gift of your light ripples in the universe. This month you have taken such care to reach out to other human beings. I hope that you feel successful. 

Hmm, success. What does that mean exactly? As I age, hopefully, wisdom is at my utility. I am keenly aware that success is a very different thing from having a large paycheck or bank account. 

The more I travel this life, the more I feel that my success today was the fact that I had a very heartfelt conversation with another human. She needed to feel valued, she needed to know that her ideas, thoughts, and feelings were important. I was able to provide that in a humble way for her. It was good for us both. We both felt honored. That my friends was my success. 

I am frustrated by the fact that other than this above-referenced conversation along with a few others, I have not had a very successful day. My to-do list is WICKEDLY long, I am behind and heck… this blog that is usually completed and posted before 9 am is still being worked on at 7:01 pm. While technology has also been a challenge, I cannot blame it for everything. 

As I have shared with you at the beginning of this month, there has been a great deal going on in my little life. Today seems to be a day where I was thinking hard (maybe overthinking) and feeling all the emotions and challenges of what life, success, and the next step should/could be. I feel like I am at a crossroads in my life. I would very much like the roadmap to be pretty and laid out for me with directions or a recipe for the next beautiful adventure.

Funny though, isn’t it? I think that insecurity makes us need “a plan”.  If I REALLY look at my day, no, I did not get my to-do list completed. BUT I DID reach out to at least another human who needed to work through her own stuff. The sun will rise tomorrow and while my list might be a smidgen longer, but, if my goal is to love (and it is) I am guessing I have been successful today. 

All of this said. My request is very simple. Reach out- by card, note, text or email to someone who is in need of confirmation, or encouragement. Maybe you could share with them what is obvious to you and they just need reminding of. It can be short and sweet. I promise though, just like that raindrop in the pond. It will ripple your goodness. 

Thank you for being the most beautiful ripples in my world. 



February 26

I feel a sense of urgency to make these last few posts amazingly inspiring. I am not certain I have anything that will inspire you more than the actions each of you has taken toward the effort and intention of this group. This month truly has been about love. Love of self, love of a partner, a child, an elder, a friend, even quite a few strangers. Love.

It has helped me power through some days. You know the ones, the difficult dark days where everything seems to have piled high with stress and strain. It has helped me to be sensitive to another person’s challenges. It has helped me to celebrate even the tiny moments. 

I will not let this go. I might not write a prompt every day, however, the person I have become will continue to consciously seek to spread love and kindness to another. I believe I have done this in the past, however, this month has certainly been with more intent. 

Taking care of our neighbors (Thank you, Fred Rogers) seems to be part of the mission in living the best life. We begin at home (thank you, Jodie & Nicole, for the reminder) and then spread the love outside of ourselves. One candle lights another and soon the whole dark room is beautifully illuminated. 

So today, take care of a neighbor. According to Fred, that could be literally anyone. I am sure you are completely aware of someone who might need some love today. 

Thank you for the wonder you are to me. 

with so much love, 



February 25

I can hardly believe that this month is almost over. How has this gone for you? How do you feel when you place a stamp on some love and send it out into the world? I hope the glow of goodness is upon you. 

I cannot decide if life is an incredible challenge these days or just life. I do know that the approach in which I face my challenges makes all the difference. There are days I utterly fail and allow my view to be heavy and beaten. There are other days I recognize that my attitude makes a difference AND I am grateful as I know others have many, many more challenges. 

I have a friend who keeps suggesting that I surrender. I find this to be so difficult. I am better at  “give me the plan and I can do that”. But she is right. We don’t always choose our circumstances. We certainly don’t consciously choose the challenges.  My best days are the days I take things as they arrive. Process them, find something to be grateful for and move along.  Some days I need reminding. 

“Some people are always grumbling because roses have thorns; I am thankful that thorns have roses.” – Alphonse Karr

Today my hope is that you will send a note, card or something else cheerful and grateful to that person who reminds you that there is a beautiful bloom even if there are a few thorns. I am so grateful for these cheerleaders! Sometimes they are the very difference between my focus on the thorns or more appropriately the bloom!

Stay safe and warm. 




February 23

Today is a little bit different. I am even going to save you a little postage. I believe in the power of affirmations. They come in many forms and sometimes we are in so deep we cannot even see what is obvious in front of us.

I have experienced many moments where a positive affirmation was literally right in front of me and the most needed time. It always surprises me as if it were the very first time. It is always exactly what I need. I have to believe that there is a higher power at work. Someone was inspired for whatever reason to send me a note, or to say something I needed to hear. There is a white feather in my path (I have a thing about white feathers, I can share that with you another time) or some other confirming action.

Also, I have been moved to send a note, a card, make a call, send a text or whatever, and told that it was needed. I don’t take credit for these things, only that I have been able to listen to the spirit that moved me to do so. I think making an effort to care about another human being isn’t anything special, but sometimes we get so busy we forget that another person has trials too.

I am reminded of the love letters that we spoke about earlier this month. I love that someone recognizes a friend in need and organizes this for them. But, what if no one recognizes the need? What if we are so good at hiding pain or need, or conflict or confusion that no one sees it?

So today, I ask you to take a piece of paper and cut it up into 6-8 shapes. Write a simple note of encouragement on each. Hide them as you go through your next day or two. It could be at the grocery store, at the library, at church, anywhere you feel moved to do so. Then let go.

I have to believe that someone needed to hear exactly what you wanted to say. I believe your message will find the person that needed it most.

Go forth and spread goodness, my friends.

thank you for being so wonderfully you-

big giant love,


February 22

One of the things I appreciate most about this project is the balance it gives to me. It reminds me that even on some tough days, there is a candle of light- when I join that candle to another the light gets even brighter. Your dedication has made a brilliant light. You are amazing. Thank you.

When my mother was dying, I wanted to take some time to thank her for all she had done for me. There were lessons I didn’t understand until much later in my life, but I wanted to let her know that regardless of some of the difficult times, I had such deep gratitude for her. I knew that I could not speak the words. I knew it would be more effective to send them in a letter. So that is exactly what I did. In writing this letter I was able to take some time to reflect and put into perspective our relationship. As a mother myself, I understood some of the choices she had made even though I didn’t appreciate them as a child.

I am not certain how she felt after reading the letter, however, I felt very convicted to write it. For me, it healed many things and gave wings to others. I hope it was good for her as well.

Here is a brief Ted Talk that perfectly illustrates my thoughts today.

All of that said, please take a moment.. or fifteen and share your thoughts with someone who might need to hear from you, or be appreciated, or just be touched by your love.

with great big love,


February 21

The thoughtfulness project. From a business point of view, this actually makes no sense. It is not influencing my bank account, it isn’t helping my business in any way. BUT, it helps me as a human being.

I remember as a child not being willing to discard my birthday cards as they were too precious to part with. I remember making cards for my sick great grandmother and watching her face light up with love and gratitude even when she was near death, signing cute little valentines excited to exchange them with my classmates, and watching my mother lovingly sign each Christmas card with a personal message.

The precious art of the written word is an effective method of reaching beyond ourselves to another human, to celebrate them, support them, and send them evidence of our love. I refuse to let this art die. It is simple, fairly inexpensive, and wholly effective.

Do you remember the last encouraging text you received? How about a card for the most unexpected reason? How did that feel? You ARE loved. Right?

How much more than would you feel if you received a letter or a card from a stranger? I know we have spoken about this before, but reaching out to someone in need seems to give to both parties. Sometimes we are in a place in life that seems horribly dark. Love from a stranger lights the way.

When my mom was living through breast cancer, I could help her with the fight. I could drive her to treatment, I could be encouraging, I could be a cheerleader. But the fight was for both of us. She did not share all the details, because she knew how much I loved her and she wanted to protect me. Her fight was complex.

What if a stranger reached out to her. Someone who didn’t know her. What a delight it would have been for her to receive love from a stranger!

Well, I found an organization that does exactly that! is an organization that collects and sends out letters to women being treated for breast cancer. As you can imagine, it can be a very dark time.

So, here is an opportunity for you- The guidelines, all the stuff! They even have pretty stationery to download!

Go forth lovely humans- share your love!

February 20

Happy Wednesday! I hope your week is going very well.

There are several intentions for this project and how I have asked you to do it. First, it takes much more to create some sort of missive or card than it does to plop down your credit card at Hallmark. Now don’t get me wrong. I believe the act of thoughtfulness that is wrapped in an envelope and mailed (hand created or not) is important. Frankly, owning a greeting card business, I HOPE YOU DO support card businesses, however, homemade could not be more intimate. It is indeed a lost art. But you my friends are sharing yourself. Your handwriting, your spirit is translated through that moment of thoughtfulness.

I couldn’t sleep last night. I started thinking about how life has changed so much in the last few years. There has been a great deal of loss for me and for my family. Sure, I have pictures, even objects that belonged to the people I miss, but that certainly isn’t the same as having them.

This morning, I sluggishly walked into my kitchen to be greeted a gentle reminder of the past. Before my aunt passed away, I spoke with her about one of my grandmother’s recipes. I asked her if she had it. She did! She said she would send it to me. These days it seems we send most things like this via the computer. It is neat and tidy. I am so grateful my aunt sent it to me the “old fashioned way”.

So often it seems my family translated love, an act of love into food. If someone was sick, we cook, if someone was celebrating we cook, if someone was mourning, We COOK! This recipe was a cookie recipe my grandmother used to make on holidays. It has been on my refrigerator for about two years now. My aunt passed away very suddenly a little over a year ago and it is a gentle reminder for me that both she and my grandmother were so full of love.

So today! Continue to send your love. Has someone asked for a recipe recently? Send it in your handwriting! Do you write poetry? Send it in the written form to someone who might appreciate it. Today can be simple or sassy! It is all up to you.

Thanks for sharing this journey with me! Off to the post office!



February 19

Good day, I hope your weekend was wonderful. Did you have a moment to reflect on the light you are putting out into the world? I hope so. I am in awe of your efforts. I appreciate you sharing your hearts so dearly. The month is moving quickly, but you have already shared so much of you!

The other day, my granddaughter called me. She shared with me how delighted she was in receiving my valentine for her. I was thrilled that it mattered to her. She is nine, I suppose we just never know what will excite our young. I was personally quite thrilled that she was pleased. It was certainly confirmation that that effort mattered.

I hope you have received some sort of feedback as well. It was motivating to me.

Today, I think it is a good time to reach out to that friend of ours who always lights up a room. I have several friends who have never EVER uttered an unkind word. They seek only to love and support others. They often have humor as a gift or just plain sweetness. One way to encourage sweetness? is with a little sweetness in return!

February 16

hello, beautiful people

I am feeling extraordinarily grateful for you today. At times I am easily overwhelmed and yesterday was definitely a challenging day. However, I maintain that in the darkness, even the smallest light looks brilliant. Thank you for being that light.

Today, I have a simple request. Reach out to someone who perhaps has been ill, is elderly and not out much, or someone battling depression. Send a card, a note, call them (leave a message if they do not answer) – just reach out. Be the beautiful light for them.

Thank you.

my dearest love to you.


February 15

Good day! How might you be?

Today, let us take a moment for reflection. It seems that our lives are influenced by so many people, many of whom we have never actually personally encountered. Yet, the actions or paths these people have taken have directly influenced our opportunities and quality of life.

Today we celebrate the birth of Susan B. Anthony. Such a tenacious woman. I wish I possessed 1/10th of her spirit. Here are some details about this incredible woman. (she seems to look too serious or maybe even grumpy in this picture- but Susan was so cool!

Today, take a moment to thank someone who has impacted your life. It could be someone you know, a mentor, someone you have never met, someone alive or dead. How you do this is your choice.

Have a beautiful day!



February 14

Well, here it is, the big day! Happy Valentine’s Day! I must say, I am in awe of the love you have shared throughout this month. It is an incredible gift to witness. Thank you for being “all in” with this crazy idea of mine.

Today, I want to thank you for being ambassadors of love. You have given love to strangers, to those near and far, to those who just might need a hug, and to those who are probably unsuspecting. You have spread little bits of your heart to many. I hope it thrills you. I hope it validates your heart. I hope you get as giddy as I do mailing cards to a variety of destinations.

The history of this lovely occasion is interesting. I found this information on the History Channel website. (My father would be so proud!) Click the link if you are interested.

Today, my encouragement is for you to let someone know on a deep level what they mean to you.

I am motivated to do so for my husband. I created a card for him and then created an insert. On the insert are 39 reasons why I love him. (the 39 reasons represent that we will be married for 39 years this year) Through the strife of life as we know it, there seem to be plenty of reasons to celebrate what we have today. Regardless if it is Valentine’s day or November 1. I don’t believe in waiting. I am not promised tomorrow. So today, I will celebrate and lucky me, it just happens to be Valentine’s day too!

I hope your day is as beautiful as you are.

So much love…


February 13

I confess I do not watch television much. It all seems like nothing I want to participate in, to be honest. However, rumor has it that today is “Galentine day”. This is based on a sitcom I believe. I know that is silly, but, who doesn’t love a reason to celebrate!?

While I do not believe in the whole idea of a “best friend” (does that make all the other friends less than awesome?), I do believe in celebrating our friends. One of the reasons I wanted to do a month of love instead of a day is that I believe we have much love in our lives that seems to get missed, or not treasured enough.

So today, my dears, send some love to a friend. Perhaps share what you treasure most about him/her. (I know technically it is “gal”intine’s day- but friendship is not restricted, is it?)  Remind them of the wonder they bring to your life. It can be silly or sweet, just do it!

thank you- that is all! Go forth and spread the love!

February 12

They say it takes twenty-one days to create a habit, however, it seems that you have adopted the idea of spreading your love so easily and with great dedication. I LOVE how you have shared your hearts and your talents. It is so beautiful to witness.

Inspired by Nicole’s love note to her child, my thoughts have turned to the young. I remember Valentine’s day being exciting and somewhat stressful as a child. Even then, I was well aware that these were silly cards that our parents purchased for us to exchange at school. However, what I remember distinctly was my father, who worked two jobs when I was young bringing home a tiny box of candy for each of us and a giant one for my mom. (it wasn’t actually giant, but for a little one it seemed so)

I remember as a young mother, writing love notes for my children in their lunches or leaving them on their dressers. It thrilled me to do so and until a certain age, it seemed to delight my children as well. I remember cleaning their rooms (when I couldn’t stand it anymore) and finding stacks of notes kept in the corner of a drawer. It DID mean something to them.

So today, I encourage you to send a note, card or otherwise fun item to your favorite young person. It does not have to be Valentine themed. Just send something positive and wonderful.

thank you for all you do- for your love, for your imagination!

Love and blessings to you,


Share with your someone wonderful!

February 11

How exciting it has been to see your wonderful work! I am so happy to be working with you. I hope you feel good about your efforts. The idea is not perfection, but just to consciously be showing another human being a bit of love. We spend a great deal of time on “the day”.  Whether it is a birthday, Valentine’s day or another holiday, life is to be celebrated EVERY day, not just the date that Hallmark suggests.

That said, what are you thinking today? Another thank you note? Celebrating a 1/2 birthday? Just a note of encouragement? Perhaps begin this week with a note you would like to receive and send it to someone you think would be delighted to receive it.

“Do unto others….” and all that.

Blessings to you always,


Spread a little sunshine!

February 9-

It seems to me that so many people in this world are struggling. Depression is more common than uncommon, there is disease, poverty, homelessness, and disparity. We cannot drive down the street without seeing someone in deep need.

So many people I love are in need as well. People fighting diseases, personal challenges, the horrors of the unexpected- accidents, unemployment, as well as other challenges.

These are those that I wish to address today. I encourage you to be a light, a flicker in the darkness. Sometimes what we need most is just to have someone care. It is easy to isolate when you don’t feel well or are discouraged. So, my friends- light up the darkness, please!

As always, you are welcome to use this graphic for this project.

Wishing you hope

Sending you love always,


February 8-

Good day! Thank you to those of you who are sharing your thoughtfulness. Personally, I am inspired! You have certainly demonstrated that your hearts are huge and you have so much love to give. I appreciate you.

I also want to take a moment to share how much a card means when it arrives unexpectedly. Yesterday I received a beautiful hand made card. Nope, you did not miss my birthday or some other special occasion. It was just a simple sweet gesture from a kind heart. I will spare you the details, but I want you to know how much this touched me. It was just a rough day. I wasn’t feeling well yet had many obligations that couldn’t be avoided. A dear friend was laying in ICU after a horrible car accident and that was heavy on my mind. There were a few dozen other things weighing on me, yet opening my mailbox to see a beautiful card was such a ray of sunshine to me. The card was hand made, the envelope was embellished, it was just lovely. The sender couldn’t have known it would be a difficult day, but she shared her love freely and frankly, the timing was perfectly perfect!

I share this so you know that your cards, your letters, your efforts really do mean so much to the receiver. Go you! You make a difference. A HUGE difference. It is amazing to me how the smallest gesture means so much. So, keep lighting up the darkness, my friends!

So today! It is thank you note day! People do so many good things for us. It doesn’t have to be anything big, sometimes it is the little things that mean the absolute most! Sometimes it is a physical gift, other times it is just an incredible presence and support system. Has someone made you laugh when you were having a gloomy day? Did someone reach out randomly? Has someone surprised you with flowers? Whatever you are grateful for- SHARE IT! When we are appreciated we certainly want to do even more!

Thank YOU for being here!

Love to you,


February 7-

Life can be short. This was illustrated to me yet again when a dear friend of mine was in a horrible accident yesterday. This woman is one of the most unselfish humans I have had the honor to love. She has given organs to those in need. She is largely responsible for taking care of her elderly mother who has many challenges as well as caring for her grandchildren. No daycare or nursing homes for this family. She is the rock to many, she is unassuming, kind, and an advocate to those most would not give a second thought to. She is strength. She is honor. She is love embodied.

When I heard of her accident, terror struck through me. While I believe that there is more than this life, I cannot imagine losing her. I cannot imagine her family without her. I cannot imagine her strength and grace being quieted.

The phrase “life is short” can be such a cliche’. But yesterday it was all too clear.

Is there someone in your life that you have not clearly shared your gratitude with? Or maybe you have, just not lately. Life gets busy, you both go your own way and well, suddenly it has been two years since you have spoken. I have friends like that. So today, I have sent them a card. For no reason at all. Just to appreciate them, just to share some love.

Lots of happy mail today!

Slow down today- reach out to that person you cannot imagine leaving this world. I think you will both be glad you did.

Blessings and love,


February 6-

One of the things about sending a card to someone you know is that often there is feedback. Often we receive at least a nod or a thank you. Often we receive something much larger, great buckets of gratitude!

“Your card was perfect, I needed it so much.”

That, of course, is an easy reason to feel good about that simple gesture. But what if you don’t hear anything back? Are you hurt? Or did you send that letter or card “for free”? What I mean by this is that often our human nature gets in the way and we, even subconsciously, expect something in return, an acknowledgment, a nod, SOMETHING.

I had a friend once, who used to tell me, “I love you for free”. I was young and honestly did not understand the depth of what he meant by that. The sentiment seemed obvious. Yet in my fifty something years, I have learned the deeper meaning behind those words. I have the opportunity to practice this daily. It motivates much of what I do. Being a very sensitive soul, sometimes this is easier than others. However, I find “loving for free” to be very empowering and downright wonderful.

So today- I suggest that very thing for you. Love someone for free.

Not long ago, I ran across an organization that honestly I fell in love with. I was doing research for another challenge. The organization is called More love letters.

They are amazing! They encourage strangers to send love to strangers. Often people nominate someone they are concerned about and they collect letters for them. HOW AMAZING IS THAT?

So today- Check out the site- and write a letter, card, anything you feel is right and get it in the mail.  The world needs your love!

Illustration from Susan’s Book, “Be Still & Listen”

Thank you… for doing this. My love to you.


February 5-

As I write this, the gloom of the weather seems to inspire my gray mood. All the more reason I think to send some love to someone else. If I am feeling blue, maybe someone else is too. So today, send encouragement to someone in your life that you haven’t spoken to in a while, or who may be a quiet friend. When we are aware of another’s challenge and we choose to be sensitive to them, the smallest kindness can make a difference.

My dearest thanks to those of you who have been so great at sharing your work. I love seeing it and I am so inspired by it!

Here is today’s goodie! You are welcome to use it for this challenge.

Sending you love!

My love and blessings to you <3


February 4-

Happy Monday! I was so excited to see that you didn’t think I was bonkers for embellishing envelopes. I LOVE doing this, it adds an impact I suppose, but also, I like it because it is completely unexpected and I also find it is something I can do without a great deal of concentration.

Today is just a simple note to someone who needs a little sunshine. Winter seems to be a time of challenge for many. Also, some days are just more difficult than others. Today- Spread a little sunshine! You are welcome to use the graphic I have created, or create one of your own!

Wishing you love and sunshine today!


Wishing you sunshine!

February 3– create ahead! – No special requirements today- feel free to get ahead a bit.

February 2- Happy Saturday! 

They say the “devil is in the details”- which I find sort of an odd phrase, but in general, I take it to mean that details count. I heartily agree. I have lived all of my life (certainly the married part) in a rather frugal way. I know that you can make something special without spending a lot of money.

So for today’s inspiration, I want you to pay attention to the details. Regardless of who will receive your missive this fine day, add unexpected detail to the envelope. This could be inside or outside. I have seen people add scrapbook paper to line the inside of an envelope or even draw on it. Or add an embellishment to the outside. When I am at the gallery and it is slow, often I will draw on envelopes I intend to use for cards or even bills. I hope it is more than a boredom buster for me, but also a thoughtful something for someone else.  It’s fun! It is unexpected.

Be sure if you use water-soluble materials that you seal them before mailing them.

You have a day before you need to send anything else out. But think of this for Monday. Do you know someone who is struggling a bit? Someone who would love a card or note for no reason. Be clever- go in the back door. Sometimes we get weary of people supporting the “hot spot” and we just want to be seen as a person. So. Think of something to do that might fit that. Get a bit ahead on creating your thoughtfulness. Six is a LOT to send in one week.

That said- have a beautiful day! Thank you for joining me on this journey.



February 1:

I will be completely transparent, it has been a rough year for me. Two weeks ago, I had my fourth surgery of the year. My husband is about to have his second. In many ways, I feel blessed. We are so lucky, it all could be so much worse, but sometimes the spirit is disheartened.

I tell you this not to inspire sympathy but for the true foundation of this project. I believe that  I am a better person when I 1. begin by being grateful in whatever situation I am in, particularly the difficult ones. 2. Pay it forward. Because of the foundation of the belief that someone ALWAYS has it worse, I thrive by coming out of my own doldrums and doing my best to share my love with another. I believe that even the smallest light makes a difference in the darkness. With your help, I want to illuminate the good in the world.

I know how I feel when I receive kindness from someone, so why wouldn’t I want to do that for someone else!?

TA DA! The month of love is born!

So here is the project. 

Beginning on February 1 and every day that mail is delivered, you are encouraged to send a card, note, drawing, doodle, whatever to someone! While it could be a birthday, thank you note, anniversary, whatever- the idea is to send a little unexpected love to someone.

I will post an image that you are free to use or an idea, but ultimately whatever you want to do is just fine! PLEASE post in the group what you send. I think it is fun and inspiring to see what others do. You are free to purchase a card if you run out of time but then maybe doodle on the envelope. The idea is not to cost you a ton of month but to encourage your mindful caring and taking a moment to slow down and extend love to another.

Make sense?

Please contact me with any questions you may have (

Thank you for sharing your light in a very concentrated way this month!

February 1. 

I like to begin ALWAYS with gratitude. When times are difficult it becomes really clear who your friends really are. Cherish them, give them a little love and send them a note of gratitude!

Here is a graphic I have created for you! You are welcome to use it for this project.

gratitude for your friend <3

Have a beautiful day and shine on!



The Thoughtfulness Project: In my studio at home, I have a box. Inside the box are little gifts, cards, etc. I have literally labeled “thoughtful”. If I come across something I like but don’t know who it is supposed to be for, I put it in that box. It is rather helpful when I know someone needs a little love-

So, that sort of thought is why I wanted to start the thoughtfulness project. As I shared the other night- I get excited when someone sends me a thoughtful text. If it is an email for no reason, I am thrilled. If it is a card in the mail for no reason at all, I have a mini party!

I began the thoughtfulness project to offer an opportunity for communication or a sincere moment of kindness. You could send a card, write a note, buy someone coffee, pre-pay a toll for someone- it matters not.

The whole Idea is that we just consciously spread a little love in the world.

when you do so- please if you wish, post on social media! #thethoughtefulnessproject

let’s light up the world with love, and dispel the darkness and division.

Wishing you love & peace