While it might seem normal to you that I would meet someone in the sauna and learn her life story in five minutes, I’m still constantly in awe of the people that come into my life.

When she was in her last few weeks of pregnancy with her second son, she found out her husband was cheating on her (turns out I know him).  She confronted him and the day he brought her and the new baby home, he turned around, got on a plane and left her for the “other woman.”  She raised her two (now 30-something) boys herself.  She almost lost her house in the divorce, but her wonderful neighbor co-signed on a loan so she could stay.  When her son graduated from school, the “other” woman confided in her that she knew what it was like to be cheated on by her husband (of course he did it to her too).  She later met and married a wonderful man, who recently passed away.  She’s now alone again and wondering what’s next.  Her story took my breath away.

One thing I noticed immediately about her was that she had no complaints.  In fact, she literally said  – “I have the most amazing children and I got to raise them myself – I wouldn’t trade that for all the hurt that came with it.”  Her energy felt light and bright.

In our everyday life we are surrounded by a variety of people. Some of them are a joy to be with, and their loving presence nurtures and encourages us. Others have the opposite effect: draining us of our energy, making us feel tired and exhausted. We have to work hard to refuse that energy.

There is no question that our well-being is influenced by those around us.  And, if we can keep this in the fore of our minds, it will increase the quality of our life and give us energy.

Of course, we affect others – even at a subtle level. Think about how you use your energy with others.  Is it creating a safe and open space for people to share or is it one where you are just taking from others?  Obviously it is not possible to be happy all the time and sometimes we do need energy from others.  But are you a bright light for those in your life?

This woman – she survived.  She found a way to live her life with a half-full (maybe totally full) heart.  To thrive rather than not – and in the face of some horrible situations.  And I must tell you – it felt empowering and beautiful to be in her presence.

Choose wisely my friends – “People are like dirt. They can either nourish you and help you grow as a person, or they can stunt your growth and make you wilt and die.” ~ Plato

Have an amazing week!