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"In West Philadelphia born and raised, on the playground is where I spent most of my days." I smile every time I think about the neighborhood where I grew up. Although it was not always a happy place to be, there are so many memories. Memories, both good and bad, of the those things that shaped the person I am today. I'm reminded that no matter what path we choose in life, we can not forsake the humble beginnings.

One of the happiest memories I have is going around to my friend's house on a regular basis. Let me know tell you why. Her mom made the BEST pitcher of Kool-Aid. EVER. Yes, there is definitely a right way and a wrong way to make Kool-Aid. This particular person knew the right way. She used the right number of packets and the perfect amount of sugar. She knew just how to get that Kool-Aid smile to show up every time someone took a sip.

Do you remember that Kool-Aid smile?

It's the kind of smile that is big and bright. It is  magnetizing. When you see that smile, it makes you smile...just because.

Can't you feel it? Aren't you just a little energized? Mr. Kool-Aid is fun and free. Unrestrained. Unbothered. Uninhibited. Unhindered.

This reminds me of my oldest daughter. She earned this nickname years ago during her tee-ball season. No matter what ball was tossed her way, she always had a smile on her face. And yes, I do mean always. Even as she watched the ball roll past her.

And believe it or not, she still has that same engaging smile today.

Her bright, shining smile reminds me of three things:

- Choose the see the glass half full. Your perspective can definitely make a difference on your reality. So make a conscious decision to find the benefits of your situation. Do not focus on the obstacles. They can be overcome with the right mindset.

- Embrace a growth mindset. Every experience we have is an opportunity to grow. Things will only remain the same when we fail to accept the fact that things can change if we allow them to. Change comes first with a decision to do something different.

- Walk in forgiveness. Forgiveness is an affirmative action. It releases pain. It releases shame. It releases guilt. It releases disappointment. It releases anger. It mends. It strengthens. It restores.   

Drop a comment below letting me know which of these three things you will do to get your Kool-Aid smile back?


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