Finding gratitude in plants

Not just “don’t sweat the small stuff,” but treasure the small stuff!

In the recent rainy days of San Francisco, I particularly enjoy seeing the flowers and trees – they are extremely lush, colorful, and useful.

Beautiful peach blossoms in front of the Ferry Building in San Francisco


Trees lining the pavement acting as rain shelter!


Lovely idea for your balcony – taken from a page in a book (sorry can’t remember the title)


Random Act of Kindness

Courtesy of
Courtesy of

I have walked through my apartment entrance with my briefcase (which carries my laptop) and my handbag in the morning many times, and never have anyone run in front of me and opened the door and let me go through effortlessly.  This happened to me this morning by my African American neighbour or visitor.  What a nice, random act of kindness.  I immediately started my day with a good mood and thought about the other acts of kindness I could do to others:

for example:

  • gave a discount coupon code for a concert to a friend
  • bought flowers for my colleague to celebrate his becoming a U.S. citizen
  • told someone I was grateful for their acts which they could not remember
  • smiled at strangers and wished them a great day
  • held the elevator and prompted the person to get in even though the elevator was pretty full


  • be kind to yourself – write down 3 things you are grateful for everyday
Courtesy of
Courtesy of

For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others;

for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness;

and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.

~ Audrey Hepburn


My Favourite Maya Angelou Quotes

It is rare for an individual (who is not a statesman, a country’s president, a religious leader) to receive such out-pour of gratitude, respect, and admiration from all walks of life – young girls, politicians, business people, sportsmen, media, poets, writers, actors/actresses, academia, etc.  She was Maya Angelou, a poet, writer, night-club dancer, singer, honorable doctors, and a true inspiration for many; she died on May 28, 2014.  Maya was invited to write a poem in honour of the 2008 Beijing Olympics – “Amazement Awaits”:

…We are here at the portal of the world we had wished for
At the lintel of the world we most need.
We are here roaring and singing.
We prove that we can not only make peace, we can bring it with us.
With respect for the world and its people,
We can compete passionately without hatred.
With respect for the world and its people,
We can take pride in the achievement of strangers.
With respect for the world and its people,
We can share openly in the success of friends.
Here then is the Amazement
Against the odds of impending war
In the mouth of bloody greed
Human grace and human spirit can still conquer.
Ah … We discover, we ourselves
Are the Amazement which awaits
We are ourselves Amazement.

Do rest in peace.

Here are a celebration of a few of my favourite quotes of hers:








Want to Know More about the Science of Happiness

I have been on the emailing list of the UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Centre, which combines science and practice to explore the science of a happy and meaningful life –  the roots of happy and compassionate individuals, strong social bonds, and altruistic behavior.

Even better, they are offering a free online course in September to learn about the roots of happiness.  Research suggests that up to 40 percent of happiness depends on our habits and activities, and so happiness is not purely due to genetics. Each week, students in this course will learn a new research-tested practice that fosters social and emotional well-being—and the course will help them track their progress along the way.  What an enlightening course!

If you are interested, you can find more information here.  I am all for it.  Radiate happiness!