Giant oak and maple trees lined the vertical street that led to the shore. Magenta roses in full bloom were sprawled over the freshly painted, white picket fences, and friendly daisies seem to wave in the gentle breeze as I drove up the street. Then, I took a right over the wooden, narrow bridge that led to our town beach, and I was reminded of quote from St. Francis of Assisi, “A single sunbeam is enough to drive away many shadows.”

It is all on how we view our situations ... for our life’s journey is the path we make for ourselves.

Optimism is a choice. And we can create our happiness, thought by thought, action by action, deed by deed.

Regardless of who you are, no matter what you have been through, with optimism you can transform life’s temporary obstacles into gifts. This is a new day — and it’s your day.

So together, let’s turn the joy-filled corner and enter a path filled with opportunities, greater blessings, love and success. Get a new perspective of what you’re facing, embrace new experiences and, soon, you’ll find the extraordinary in the ordinary.

There is a great message in the old folktale that I read called “The House of a Thousand Mirrors.” It is a tale of two puppies who visited the large, mirrored house. When the first little, fluffy dog arrived at the house, he enthusiastically leaped through the door. Full of expectation, the dog’s tail was wagging merrily, as he jumped up and down with pure delight. Next, with amazement, he found himself staring at a thousand other joy-filled puppies. The other dogs looked just like him, happily jumping up and down, with wagging tails and full of life. “This is a wonderful house, I can’t wait to return!” he said to himself.

Thereafter, another puppy came to the mirrored house. This dog was unhappy, hung his head in gloom and scowled, as he slowly made his way through the front door. Growling, he looked ahead, and then backed away, when he saw a thousand sad, unfriendly-looking dogs staring back at him. Leaving, the puppy thought, “This house is terrible, I don’t never want to come back!”

This narrative demonstrates that life gives back to us our reflection.

The mind is a world of its own. But remember, we have the final choice of how we choose to view our circumstances, how we will react, treat others, and thus, what we choose to see in the mirror.

I like the quote from Henry Ward Beecher who said, “There are persons so radiant, so genial, so kind, and so pleasure-bearing, that you instinctively feel in their presence that they do you good; whose coming into a room is like the bringing of a lamp there.”

For those who have real joy in their hearts are not unnerved by events and difficulties. In their place, with a positive mindset, they concentrate on pleasantries that erase the unpleasant.

Thus, forget the hurts of long ago. Your past does not dictate your future. Accept, approve of yourself and refuse to carry the burdens acquired in past years. There is only one of you. Ponder upon all your strengths, your wisdom and abilities. Let your light shine, so you can shine it on someone else. Pass along the treasure of love and kindness. Love has unequaled power. Give a smile, a compliment, and a helping hand to others. Scripture says in Luke 6:38, “The same measure that you use will be measured back to you.” What you give always comes back.

I recognize how easy it is to get burdened down with life’s problems. Then, we get sidetracked by focusing completely on our mounting problems. And as our struggles both large and small, emerge, they tend to block out the ability for us to see all the blessings that God has for us now and in the future.

When certain things don’t come to us exactly when we want them, don’t get discouraged. Stand firm in faith and know that something better is on the way, and it will appear at the perfect time. If one door closes, let it be. Don’t be defined by your mistakes. Focus on a meaningful purpose. Pray. And relax. There are abundant blessings to come, for there is no limit to what God can do for you. There are new doors forthcoming that will open all the way for you. Think big. Expand your expectation and vision. Unexpectedly, God is going to bring something great your way.

Every hour, each day, is a divine gift. Let us go outdoors and gaze at the numerous gifts the good Lord gave us to savor in nature. Let’s think about our dear friends, family, neighbors and the wonderful people with whom we share our lives. Recently, while shopping at a department store, I bought two off white pillows with the word “Grateful” embroidered on them. For it is when we are grateful and recall our blessings, we realize that with God all things are possible, and He can do all things.

Regular exercise, with your doctor’s approval, can help to defuse worry and clear your mind. I find that even 10 minutes of exercise here and there throughout a busy day, can be beneficial, leaving me in a calmer state. A gentleman that I know says that he takes early morning walks outdoors to melt away stress. With each step he takes, he visualizes that he is walking “past” each of his difficulties; step by step, onward to victory. After that, he affirms to himself, “I will not be defeated” “I am strong in the Lord and in the power of His might,” “God is with me,” and “I’m more than a conqueror.”

God calls you for a special mission, a purpose, something extraordinary. Look in the mirror and smile, for you are God’s masterpiece. He made you in His own image to accomplish incredible things.

Look to success, look to happiness and look ahead to your bright future.

Email Catherine Galasso-Vigorito at To order a copy of her new book, “The Open Window, 8 Weeks to Creating an Extraordinary Life,” visit or bookstores nationwide. Like me on Facebook!