Everyone has a reason to live

Jacques Lusseyran went blind at age 8. When he was twice as old, in 1941, he founded one of the key organizations of the French Resistance. His memoir, And There Was Light, has been on my wish list for years! (Kathy Brown mentioned it in a Brain Gym course, Vision Circles, and I finally ordered New World Library’s beautiful new edition. Bless you all for bringing me this book.)

I fell in love with this book from the first paragraph: “When you said to me: ‘Tell me the story of your life,’ I was not eager to begin. But when you added, ‘What I care most about is learning your reasons for loving life,’ then I became eager, for that was a real subject.”

I knew I would tell you about this book, and encourage you to write about loving life, especially if you have ever found that difficult. I came to my computer and found two of you offering the same message.

Josie Thompson battles bipolar symptoms to get out of bed, and she has traveled the US and Italy to ask people what gets them out of bed, what brings them joy. Now she is going to the Philippines with the goal of bringing joy through humanitarian service. She says she discovered long ago that she does not have to be healed to help, and she wants everyone to know, “Everyone has a reason to live.”

Josie Thompson, the 444 Project
Josie Thompson, the 444 Project

Exuberant performer Shaun Parry founded Promethean Spark to teach life skills through dance in developing nations, including the leprosy colonies of India. Did you know we could eradicate leprosy in one generation by overcoming the cultural stigma, seeing it as a treatable disease instead of a curse? I was especially touched to see beautiful young dancers from these colonies represent, in one of their dances, their loved ones’ experience with leprosy.

LIFEDANCE performance
LIFEDANCE performance

There’s your assignment. Love your life, write it, film it, dance it. Share your light.


Gwyn Nichols, WritersResort.com 2015

Well Manicured Writing


Well manicured hand and pen
©Anyka, iStockphoto® #8072944

What is it about a torn fingernail that demands to be torn, bitten, or sanded smooth? Why can’t a loose tooth or burned palate be ignored?


We seem to have an instinct to worry imperfections to death. Sometimes I awaken fussing with the previous day’s tricky punctuation or second-guessing an awkward phrase. I sleep-edit. Or I’m driving when the plot lines intersect, listening to something unrelated when my answer calls to me, showering as the logical solution precipitates.

If you’re worked something and struggled over it, and now you’re stuck, it’s time to make like Bo Peep and her sheep: “Leave them alone and they’ll come home.”

Do some Brain Gym®–of course. Prayer, always. Then let go. Just try to leave that ragged nail alone. If the problem needs solving, and you’re the one for the job, it won’t leave you alone.


Text © Gwyn Nichols 2011, All Rights Reserved.

Photo © Anyka, iStockphoto® #8072944.


Favorite Resolution: Breathe

Yawning Newborn
Photo © Vivid Pixels, iStockPhoto #00000382919


Cheap goal, right? You breathe or you die. Try not to and your brain stem pulls out the override.

Just because you’re alive, doesn’t mean you know how to breathe. Under stress (and when are you not under stress?), you go around holding your breath. Once I noticed I’d been holding my breath on the freeway–and wasn’t sure I had breathed for miles. This cannot be good for driver consciousness.

Einstein’s definition of insanity was “doing the same thing and expecting different results.” If you couldn’t write (or think, or plan, or communicate) when you weren’t breathing consciously, try breathing and see what happens. It’s remarkable how much smarter you are in a brain with oxygen. Even better, being still and breathing deeply makes divine inspiration more likely. Inspire literally means to breathe.

And yes, yawning is a good thing. I actually welcome it in my classroom as a sign that students are processing and that we need get up and move.

So this year, instead of focusing on all I hope to accomplish and experience this year, I’m keeping it simple. First, I breathe. Then I see what I’m supposed to do next.

In case you need breathing lessons as much as I do, here are a few resources:

Brain Gym®: Take even one class, Brain Gym 101, and be amazed.

Yoga. My Yoga Online has a series of free videos. You Can Do It Yoga is a gentle version designed for MS patients, so it’s also great for anyone else who needs to be careful.

Guided meditations. Davidji at the Chopra Center has a wonderful series for free.

So catch your breath, and let me know what happens.

Text © Gwyn Nichols 2010

Photo © Vivid Pixels, iStockPhoto #00000382919