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Welcome to Day 17 of the IN AWE 21-Day Challenge! Today we spark inspiration, meaning and joy by FOCUSING ON THE GOOD STUFF..

CHALLENGE: Choose to see the possibility + beauty before you.

INSPIRATION: In 2018, the Carr Fire swept through Northern CA burning 200,000+ acres of forest, destroying more than 1,100 homes, causing more than $1.5 billion in damages and claiming eight lives.

Instead of letting this fire, the sixth most destructive fire in California’s history, break them down, residents in the hard-hit community of Redding came together to rebuild an even brighter future.

While speaking in Redding months after the fire, a young 14-year-old woman shared this beautiful poem:

Mr. O’Leary by Rudy LaFrance

This hope that you bring,
This wisdom you carry.
Pushing through everything,
Even when scary.

Through smoke and through flame,
Your spirit burns brighter.
A faith no one can tame,
Making light, even lighter.

Sky full of stars,
Each one its own.
Stronger from scars,
Reaping every seed sown.

Strong in a way,
That one rarely sees.
Joy day by day,
By the way you believe.

Letters shaped with gentle touch,
Words stacked into towers.
Weaving paragraphs, from little to much,
A single page lasting hours.

So Redding does thank you,
For all that you do.
The words you have shared,
Bringing broken to whole, and old to new.

ACTION: What can happen when we view life through the lens of possibility? How can you be like my friend Rudy who made the choice to not simply focus on the devastation and negativity but on the opportunities and beauty within it? Today, focus on at least three positive things in your life.

Share those positive things in the comments below or on social, tagging me + using #InAwe.

My friends, today is your day! Live IN AWE.
John O’Leary

Did you know?
The 21-Day IN AWE Challenge is inspired by John’s book IN AWE. Order your copy + see all the fun behind the scenes at ReadInAwe.com.


17 replies on “In Awe 21-Day Challenge – Day 17”

3 positive things (usually taken for granted before 2020):
My precious family
A new apt I enjoy coming home to
Working with amazing people every day

I always had God in my life and with God everything is possible.
I have a family that stands behind me all the time.
Feed the positive and focus on being better today than you were yesterday and belief my best days are ahead of me.

I have so many blessings! Here are 3:

1. I just moved into a nicer apartment. It is renovated, so has a washer and dryer. Also, because it has a dishwasher, I will have more counter space in the kitchen. Yeah!
2. All of the people who helped me move (except the professional movers) were friends/neighbors whom I did not even have to ask. They volunteered to help! I didn’t even have to clean the bathroom in the old place, because a friend did it for me. I am blessed with wonderful relationships.
3. I am thankful for the way technology has allowed us to remain connected during quarantine. If this had happened 10 years ago, we would not have had the resources we do today to reach out to one another.

1) I have no job. I get money from university, parents and several lessons I provide.
I think, it is not only bad fact. It is good because I have opportunities to study, realize my potential in blogging. I can do sport regularly and build good future. I believe soon I’ll have job.

2) I hurt my leg. Bad news, yeah? Not really. I started resting more and valuing my health.

3) I have not good final grades in university. I released myself of this burden – being always A-student. So now I can invest my resources into better spheres.

As long as I am breathing there is more right with me then wrong.
I am able to enjoy this beautiful world of nature that God has given to me.
I am blessed to have friends checking in on me.

Thank you John O’Leary – had a tough night of sleep last night and my mind was jumping. It’s not about getting it perfect or never feeling down, lonely or afraid. Rather, being aware of how we are designed and how we make sense and moving through limiting beliefs and thought patterns that are no longer servicing us. I am learning to grow and let go. I am grateful for:
(1) My wife who is a living example that joy and fun are the most important pieces of life. It reminds my serious and judgmental side to lighten up and enjoy all we have.
(2) I am grateful for my family – all 4 of our amazing kids, now young adults (18,17,15,14) – we have created such an amazing home. I honor each of them for the beautiful humans they are.
(3) I am grateful for you, John O’Leary for the reminder that we all go through things in life and the real question is how we grow through what we go through and the lense we are looking through. Again, not about getting it perfect or always feeling perfect, but learning how we are designed and bringing it back to awareness, expansion and growth…from the inside out.

1. I have the best job in the world (firefighting). It’s rewarding mentally and affords me and my family a decent living.
2. Went through a divorce- God sent me a 2nd wife who is truly a God send. So very thankful for her (and she’s from Webster Groves :))
3. My daughters are 14 and 16 years old and they are awesome.. They both have big hearts and are full of love for everyone. Truly blessed to have them in my life.

I normally travel every week. I am blessed to be working from home and enjoying my grandchildren.I am feeling fulfilled as I can help my son during these times with the children and any any other needs he may have.
I have been able to reach out and connect with people that I have not been able to talk to live in a long time. It has been great catching up and sharing our experiences.
I have been calling members of our church family to let them know that I care and the church cares for them. Checking to see if they need anything including providing just an ear to listen, a shoulder to cry on or just a big virtual hug!
I pray that as we come through this people will continue to stay connected and realize that those little touches mean a lot to people.
I am staying positive and learning through this journey!

Thank you John for keeping me inspired!

I love spring with the flowering trees and blooming flowers, it occurred to me this morning while driving to work and again now while looking out my office window that though our lives have been changed beauty is still all around us. COVID-19 has not kept trees/flowers from blooming and I am grateful for that.

1 – I am able to help out with my grandkids schooling during the shelter requirement.
2 – It’s finally getting warmer in Minnesota so am enjoying time outside.
3 – I’m thankful for family.

The possibilities are endless for me
I get to let people see a more caring side of me and in a more helpful way also! I have more free time and get to do some cleaning I wouldn’t normally do, this in turn is a more stress free living environment. I get to facetime my family and friends which was on my list of goals for the new year. It is providing new challenges to stay fit while gyms are closed, this was right in line with life needing a new challenge to keep me occupied. I get to spend more time with my dogs, they need me as I have a super senior and a puppy. I get to listen more closely and effectively. I get to feel like I’m not so rushed. At work I get to talk to the clients since they’re all home. I get to hear their stories and check in with their families and the health. This is the best day! I’m absolutely enjoying this the best way I know how.

This is a pretty easy one for me John…
1) I have a loving wife who believes in me, understands me when others don’t, supports my decisions (and doesn’t hold the bad ones against me), and it devoted to us and our family.
2) I have my health and my strength.
3) I believe in God and know that Jesus died and rose for me.

I am also positively sure that this current COVID crisis will pass, and there will be new opportunities everywhere, once this is behind us.

My bonus family offered to us through the adoption process with birth mom, birth grandma and extended family as we adopted our only child 30 years ago and continuing to this day.

The two beautiful grandchildren our son has given to our family.

The wonderful doctors who provided knowledge and skill in the surgery that removed cancer 26 years ago.

In my life, identifying only three is tough; I could go on and on…

It’s definitely hard to focus on positives right now. However, spending more time with my son is definitely number 1. I normally work full time, but with the social distancing I am able to work from home and be with my son all the time. We have had some amazing talks and have bonded even more than ever. Number 2) my laundry is completely caught up. For over a week now, I’ve been able to keep the laundry complete and even folded and put away. That is very unusual for me. 3) my dogs! My small family of 3 is normally gone for at least 8 hours a day. My poor dogs are home alone for that long. It breaks my heart. They have loved us being here all the time and all the extra love they get!!! <3

I was just talking to my husband about this a little while ago. Irrespective of the disaster this time has been on the health and economic fronts for many people, there is a growing sense of community that I don’t know if our country as seen since WWII. There have been many silver linings to this uncertain time and I am choosing to focus on them. Here are three examples:

1. I am loving the Bear Walks that people are creating for children out for walks in their neighborhoods. There is nothing the people in the homes are getting for themselves, except the satisfaction of knowing they are making children smile.

2. Several elementary schools in our area have organized parades along bus routes so that teachers and staff, in decorated vehicles, can let their students know they are loved and not forgotten during this time of separation.

3. How fun has it been that musicians of all genres — from symphony orchestras, country music, worship music and others — are sharing their talents online and interacting with fans? People who could not afford to attend concerts by their favorite artists are able to watch for free.

Here’s a fourth one for free. Ha!

I’ve also enjoyed seeing how many churches that never tried streaming their services before now are sharing their messages on the internet. And while it’s sad that thousands of restaurant servers and retail employees have lost their jobs, now that they don’t have to work on Sunday they’re able to enjoy the broadcasts from these churches. Or even people who would not, for whatever reason, want to go to a church in person, now can watch in the comfort and privacy of home and hear the Word of God.

I hope we don’t forget these positive accomplishments when we get back to whatever the new normal looks like.

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