Twenty years ago, I had just broken up with my boyfriend after a recent move to San Francisco. I was broken hearted and grappling with a depression that had been nipping at my heels for years. I couldn’t kick it off this time. I fell into what I called the “pit” — a dark hole without any sign of light.

By luck, a good friend of mine gifted me with a book by Zen teacher, Cheri Huber. This book led me to take a meditation class. I still remember how I felt walking into that first class. I was in such a place of pain and darkness that it felt like an iron wall closing in on me. There was no relief. The instructor had us focus on our breath, breathing in. Breathing out. Breathing in. Breathing out.

And a tiny miracle happened. I will never forget this. I was breathing in and I realized in that full breath, there was no pain. It all came rushing back right away, of course. But in that single moment, I saw a crack in the iron all around me. The next day I had a moment in which I saw a wide blue sky. I had a moment in which I lay in the sun and held my cat, feeling her purr. I tasted the blueberry jam on my toast. And I realized that I could consciously turn my attention to these moments of joy.

I realized that maybe I could even create moments of joy. And perhaps, these moments would multiply, creating a life that felt colorful, alive, and free. 

Looking back now, twenty years later, I see that it is true: each moment of joy adds up — in fact I’m willing to say that they add up exponentially— and the sum of those moments is an extraordinary life.

My business partner, Tricia, and I have been looking at all the different areas in our lives in which we strive to create moments of joy, peacefulness, love and connection. For both of us, there seemed to be similar places that were of key importance: relationships, health, spirituality, livelihood, and creativity. Each of these places has a profound effect on a sense of overall well being. We started referring to these areas as “Extraordinary Life Centers.”

The next time you visit the Simply celebrate website, you’ll see you’ll see our star logo expanded —with each point on the star representing one of these “life centers.”  Click on any one of the star points, and you’ll be able to visit a corresponding page with some really simple suggestions for small actions that might create your own “chinks in the iron.”

Maybe you’re feeling low-energy and need a little light in the arena of health? Maybe you’re feeling disconnected from loved ones and need a little relationship boost? We encourage you to visit these pages and see what happens. Even if you don’t try any of the simple suggestions, we have short slide shows on each page, that might inspire a new way of thinking about a place you might feel stuck.   

In the coming months, we'll be adding more and more resources for you to explore, and expanding our community of women supporting one other in living extraordinary lives.  So come visit us again soon.