Sunshine Quotient is a term that refers to lighting gradients in photography and radiology—and we each have one, too.

You can see it in yourself, in others, it can be cultivated, and it can be adjusted. I want to give you a tool that can give you a brighter outlook on life!

By seeing yourself as being bright, developing a mindfulness mindset, and treating yourself as your own best friend (I started out as treating myself as my own best client, which is something that I can absolutely recommend!) can help you create a more optimistic and hopeful view on life.

Every situation is like a balance scale—there’s an up and a down to everything. An opportunity or a barrier. Perspective is the key.

How do you want to look at it? I have found that the brighter I feel, the more centered I feel, the more opportunities I see. I would like that for you, too.

Just look at or think of the people around you—each of us has our own unique level of brightness. And, we each have a visual perception in which a source appears to be radiating or reflecting “light.”

That radiance can be very strong. Or not. It’s the inside energy of it is that’s so powerful.

I landed on the Sunshine Quotient initially when I was recovering from Lyme Disease.

I had no idea that I had been bitten by a tick and that I was developing a very severe reaction to that bite. I reached down one day to pick up my backpack and it felt like all of the muscles in my arm were shredding. It was creepy and I had no explanation.

Within another few days I could barely get out of bed. My knees had swollen to the point I could hardly walk. I felt as if my strength was being siphoned off.

Two weeks later, on Thanksgiving Day, I started a two and half month course of Doxycycline.

Even with the Doxy, my knees were huge and stiff. The body ache was excruciating. I woke up one morning to find that my right hand had blown up to about half again the normal size of it. The ring that I hadn’t been able to get off was so tight that it was cutting into my finger that was turning purple and it was bleeding.

I knew that I had to find someone to cut the ring off. I managed to get myself to a jeweler. After the jeweler had finished cutting the ring off, I looked down into the jewelry case and was drawn to a ring that caused me fill up with a keen interest and to say right out loud, “That looks just like sunshine to me.”

A yellow topaz. The size was too big for me, perfect at the time, and the jeweler added a ring guard adjuster. I bought it.

My dance with Lyme Disease lasted another four to five months. It included a PICC line that I used to give myself an IV antibiotic infusion every day for two months. By the end of that, I was 20 pounds or so lighter, weighing in at about a hundred pounds, and my muscle tone was nothing to be admired. It didn’t matter. I was starting to feel better.

I worked with a coach who took me through guided meditations and a physical trainer to get my strength back. However, the most meaningful times that I spent were with that yellow topaz.

I had started the habit of using it as a focal point so I could envision and feel the warmth of the sunlight filling me up. It got to be a regular physical sensation. I could allow it or fend it off. I came to understand that if I wanted to feel light and warm, I could allow that to be anytime that I focused on it.

The simplicity of it was astonishing to me. I had no idea at the time that using that yellow topaz as a point of interest for mini mindfulness meditations would lead me to this, to be here talking to you.

So I want to show you how to do these three things…a really simple way to:

• Focus on your attention and your breath
• Learn to evaluate your own brightness and adjust it
• Treat yourself as your own best friend…

And, take a breath!!  This is so simple! I don’t know why we have to remind ourselves about this sometimes.

Take a big breath right now…it feels good, doesn’t it?!

Conscious breathing stimulates your vagus nerve, also known as Cranial Nerve #10. It regulates a large portion of how your body operates. Among other things, this stimulation lowers your blood pressure and your heart rate and improves rhythms of the heart. It can improve your vagal tone, a measure of vagal response, the baseline parasympathetic action that your vagus nerve exerts—a behind the scenes activity that you can influence.

I believe that we have more influence within ourselves than we are often aware of…

Mindfulness is a kind of meditation, focusing on the present. Activities can become mindfulness exercises.

Meditation is a mental exercise that trains attention and awareness.

They both complement each other and cause the other to come more easily. They enhance the body/mind connection. This is another conversation for another day, though being open to new information and different points of view for consideration is a large part of mindfulness. It’s about expansion of vision and experience.

Sunlight is essential—it’s the powerhouse of energy and energy that we use.

Sunshine, real or imagined, just makes you feel good. I say let the sunshine open your mind. We can visualize situations with more positivity than we typically take or make the time to do.

VISUALIZATION AND IMAGINATION are part of how we operate.

There have been numerous studies that show that the brain does not differentiate between a real experience and an imagined experience, so why don’t most of us use our imagination more?

And how about that Thomas Edison…the harnessing of the electrical energy to cause it to be light…he directed that energy.

It’s no wonder…Thomas grew up with a real advantage—his mother.

It’s my understanding that Nancy Matthews Elliott received a letter from the school telling her that her son, Thomas, was ‘addled’ and to no longer send him to the school. She never told Thomas that. She turned that unkind letter into an opportunity and told him that the school thought that he was a genius and the school could no longer serve him…he learned at home and pursued what he was interested in, what he was good at.

Nancy Matthews Elliot innately knew what energy and momentum could do.

She provided the bright side, she created a positive mindset. That is exactly what I am talking about.

You can be your own Thomas Edison. You can focus your own energy, your own light.

As Albert Einstein said:

“Everything is energy and that is all there is to it. Match the frequency of the reality you want and you cannot help but get that reality. It can be no other way. This is not philosophy, this is physics.”


You might not think that you do, but you do!


Introduction to the Sunshine Quotient


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