Have A Great Day

That’s usually how I sign my emails, end my phone calls.

But the other day I paused before I hit send.

Because I knew the person wasn’t having a great day.  Not even a great week, or month or year.  Not even a good one if you took the time to ask them, more importantly if you took the time to listen, and to maybe read between the “I’m ok thank you’s”.

Words. Those dang pesky things. Those letters we put together to try to convey our thoughts, ideas, beliefs and feelings.

I contemplated, what do I really mean when I say “Have a great day!”?

The dictionary defines great as remarkable in magnitude, degree, or effectiveness. I’ve come to realize that life is mainly about how we choose to perceive things, and that includes how we interpret “great” in our own reality.

For a new mom with her second baby a great day might be 2 children napping at the same time and an adult conversation.

When a loved one is hospitalized with a stroke a great day might be when they recognize you and can say your name again.

A parent with an autistic child may tell you it was a great day because their child hugged them for the first time in six months.

Someone grieving the loss of a loved one might say it was a great day the first time they woke up and didn’t burst into tears.

Someone living with cancer and undergoing chemotherapy has a great day when they don’t feel nauseous, have an appetite and feel strong enough to go out.

An unexpected visit can change a miserable day into a great day for a someone experiencing loneliness.

When losing someone to Alzheimer’s a great day is realizing today they remember you.

For someone struggling with depression, a great day is the day you feel hope again.

Great days.

They don’t have to be big.

There doesn’t have to be fanfare.

Sometimes to anyone else they can even be inconspicuous. Great days are a very personal thing. Great days are made up of tiny little special moments. We just have to see them.

No matter how you feel. Find your great. No matter how big, how obvious, unexpected or elusive. Find it. Make it if you must. Embrace it. So have a GREEEAAATTT day.

Because it’s all good.  It’s really just how you choose to look at it.


©2017 J Fries/Rise Like Air


Winter  – it’s coming. It’s almost here. Long nights, short days, cold, snow, ice. Did I mention cold? Like really cold? But where I live at least it’s a dry cold, which, as everyone knows, is so much better than a wet cold. In my opinion winter is just plain old fashioned cold for the most part. I’m not a big fan of winter.

Bears hibernate. Bats hibernate. Dwarf lemurs in Madagascar hibernate. Even pygmy slow loris in Vietnam hibernate. These mammals have evolved to take the smart, loving, self care approach to winter. Hunker down and avoid it at all costs. Sleep it away – relax, rebuild, rejuvenate.

Humans, on the other hand, humans do not hibernate. I checked. Google is my friend. We are apparently considered highly intelligent. Given all the things that have been going on all over the world for the last while I’m beginning to wonder. This little bit about not hibernating, well that’s sort of clinching it for me.

I mean think about it. Hibernating humans would give the world a break from our constant onslaught of abuse on mother nature and each other. That just might be a good thing don’t you think? How many of us feel overwhelmed, overworked and definitely overtired? Sleeping soundly for a few months all cozy sounds pretty refreshing to me. I’m not seeing the downside here.

Let’s see, eating large and healthy (ish) in preparation, sounds rather mouth watering. Getting into my favourite fuzzy pjs, with an elastic waist, even better. Waking up with no evidence of the feast, an added bonus!

Yep definitely beginning to wonder about the evolution of humans. In the meantime there’s always a good book, glass of wine and a roaring fire to keep the feel of winter at bay. After all, I’ve heard that imagination unlocks the universe. Maybe hibernating isn’t the solution after all.

Because really, it’s all good. It’s just how you choose to look at things.


©2017 J Fries/Rise Like Air


On October 23rd I opened my new copy of The Kindness Boomerang. It felt so good to have a copy of my own again. You see I tend to gift a lot of them, and I was without one for myself for weeks.

The Kindness Boomerang is a book by Life Vest Inside founder Orly Wahba who inspires us to change the world with kindness. It’s all about everyday people doing everyday things a little more consciously.

I’ve learned through these daily kindness exercises it’s true, the little things really are the big things.

So I opened the book and the act for that day was

Eat and shop locally today.


Excerpt from The Kindness Boomerang by Orly Wahba

It just so happened that I was about to buy some sticky sweet honey from our local apiarist, commonly known as a beekeeper, who is just down the road at Zee-Bee Honey. I had to smile as I made the arrangements with the owner (and my friend) Michelle.

Saskatchewan produced honey courtesy of the bees from Zee-Bee Honey

The Steve Maraboli quote accompanying the act fit perfectly,

Every single time you help somebody stand up you are helping humanity rise.

It was another one of those “rise like air” feeling occasions. Everyday people doing everyday things a little more consciously everyday. I like it when things come together with that peaceful sweet serendipity.  Just another reminder that really, “it’s all good”. It’s all in how you look at it.

©2017 Jewel Fries/Rise Like Air

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With brave wings she soars

Take flight 

Be you 

Be beautiful 

Be a hummingbird 

Live with grace and hope and grit

 Monday wisdom

Sometimes I trip up. Let’s be real, we all do.

On occasion I trip over my feet.

Other times I trip over my tongue.

But more often, I recently realized, I trip over my brain.

It quite literally gets in the way.

I overthink.

I miss “the obvious”…

the simple…

the quick and easy…

I trip over my brain when I give in to my fears…



I trip over my brain when I accept, without question…



When I trip over my brain, I flounder. Nothing makes sense. Life feels harder and much less fun.  And since I seem to have had a substantial amount of experience tripping in my lifetime I’ve learned a few things.

It’s ok if I trip over my feet, it’s part of my dance.

It’s ok if I trip over my tongue, it’s part of my story.

It’s ok if I trip over my brain, it’s an opportunity to learn and grow.

I was struggling to answer a question when it finally dawned on me that I already had the solution! The solution was to locate the person who actually had the answer and document it for the next time I needed it. It was so easy to trip, to take responsibility for the answer when I needed to take responsibility for the solution. All I had to do was ask.

I learned, I grew.

It really is all about how we choose to look at things.



Norman Cousins got it right when he said

Death is not the greatest loss. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live. 

How many people are walking shells. They’ve already died. As a friend once said. 

“I feel like I’ve died. I’m just waiting for my body to catch up.” 

Watch what you wish for my friends. 

Watch what prize you keep your eye on. You might just win it. 

Everyday we choose whether we live a little more or die a little more. We are a complex mess of cells and energy and somehow we get to choose what we do with it. 

Don’t get me wrong. I get it. I wake up every morning with that same choice in front of me. Do I die a little more today? Or… do I choose to live a little more today. 

It doesn’t matter what our health is. What anything is. The choice everyday is the same. 

I’ve had plenty of days where I’ve chosen to die a little more. I’m grateful I’ve chosen to live a little more, more often. 

Wanna know a secret?

I can’t remember ever regretting choosing the live more option. It’s not always been an easy path but it’s always been worth it. Sometimes you get cuts,bumps and bruises while you’re living. And that’s ok.  Just don’t pick the scabs while you’re healing.

So today and everyday I hope we all choose living a little more than dying a little more. 

But I won’t stand in your way. As tempting as that might be. Because in the end, it’s your choice and yours alone. 

Sending light and love to all.

So many of us are in desperate need of healing. The entire world is in need. Whether it’s physical, mental, spiritual or all of the above we have moments or maybe lifetimes where we need healing. Too many of us see that as a weakness and try to hide. Let’s stop hiding. Let’s stop feeling less than. Let’s stop judging. Instead let’s start helping, hoping and healing. I hope you enjoy this heartfelt edition of The Kindness Flash
Life Vest Inside is committed to help heal the world through kindness it starts with you and me. Let’s start now.  Let’s Rise Like Air. 

Happy healing. 

Lately I’ve been working diligently at finding balance. Again. 

It’s a dance. It’s a work in progress. Just like me. 

I am not who I was. I am not who I will be. I am all of that and more. I am; right now. Right here. 

And I believe. 

I hope

You do too
Today believe with me

Believe life will change in good ways

Believe you will feel lighter

Believe you matter 

Believe you will feel better

Believe there is kindness

Believe in the power of a smile 

Believe in the power of words 

Believe in your own power 

Believe you make a difference


What mask did you choose to wear today? 
Are you the “real you” with everyone all the time? Sometimes? Most of the time?
Be you today. Be-you-tiful you!



Lara Heller is a multi talented screen actress for films including The Cut, Ben Hur and The Odyssey. All these films are natured based-shooting in beautiful majestic locations like the hills of the Badlands in Canada, Snowdonia in the mountains and the jungles of Thailand. Nature is a sanctuary for this family throughout all aspects of their life.

And here’s the really exciting part… (sssshhhhhh….) In May I was honoured to be able to tell Lara’s story of her father’s perseverance and kindness towards their community in Life Vest Inside’s The Kindness Flash.  I discovered what started out as a simple act of planting a few flowers turned into a statement of kindness that would last season after season.


I hope you enjoy Lara’s Everyday Kindness Story, Sowing The Seeds Of Happiness

Lara remembers how how her father always loved nature. Lara and her siblings grew up in the tiny mountain village in Germany that had a grand total of 100 people. Upon moving to Brighton her father missed the wild flowers he’d enjoyed so much in his homeland. He was sad that little children passed on the street every day and the trees were bare. He decided to take it upon himself to make a change and proceeded to plant daffodils under one tree.

The children all looked at the pretty little bed of bright yellow. The tree stood out. Elderly people smiled walking past. Children stopped and showed their parents. It was amazing and beautiful how a single tree decorated with flowers could attract so much attention!

Sadly, one morning the Town Council put out wood shavings on all the trees including the one with daffodils crushing all the little flowers. Devastated, the family ran out and asked why. The reply was also devastating,  ‘Council orders-it looks different to the others. They need to be the same.’

Lara’s father chose not to become angry. Instead he proceeded to plant daffodils under all the trees! The next spring the whole street looked the same, each tree an explosion of yellow flowers. Children laughed again and neighbours sent Lara’s family letters as a thank you.

Lara reminds us beautifully that,

quote-openDaffodils like kind deeds multiple. Every year there are more little yellow trumpets waving in the wind. And our neighbours have planted more flowers under their trees. Kindness isn’t always encouraged but that doesn’t mean we give up. As my father taught me-plant enough seeds and suddenly they’ll all blossom.quote-close

reprinted from The Kindness Flash #14 May edition ©2017 Life Vest Inside

Where there is a will, there is likely a way. If there is not a way there is a lesson.

What a beautiful reward, the ongoing multiplication of kindness and blossoms. Bloom and grow. Remember you can check out Lara’s work here.


©2017 JFries/Rise Like Air

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