A Positive Mind - d. smugala



Almost every morning, the first thing I do is look at my calendar. By design, I find my "Attitude of Gratitude" list with three blank spots for me to complete with what I appreciate in my life. I describe myself as the eternal, grossly, optimistic person. I just feel better being an optimist.






My friend, Jane Ramos, who has a B.S.B.A. in Human Resources, told me years ago that my job is considered a Glamour Job. My job is far from glamorous, but 99.9% of the time, it's gratifying and fun. Today was the .01% of the time that the work just felt draining and unrewarding. And today I was fired up, my list was in my head, and I didn't even glance at my calendar. Big mistake! Deadline days are always long and hard, but today, I have been feeling frustrated and panicked with the long list of things to do and problems to solve.

But fortunately, when I opened the mail, we received this beautiful, handmade book that is the kindest note of appreciation that we at the 573 Magazine have ever received. It brought tears to my eyes. You see, at the start of our careers, we made the big bucks playing with the big boys, but unfortunately, we never really received any feedback other than to receive the check in the mail and be awarded another project. I guess we were pretty good at what we were doing, but I think what we were doing was not great.

The good vibes going out came back at precisely the best time. That's the beauty of a grateful heart.

It means so much to hear that we are making a positive difference in our little part of the world. Today Marissa Bowles words lifted, motivated, and strengthened me and my resolve to the 573 Magazine. The good vibes going out came back at precisely the best time. That's the beauty of a grateful heart. Over the years many things have changed and will continue to evolve with the 573 Magazine, but the one thing that we promise to keep is our mission to shine a positive light on the people and communities we serve.


"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend." -Melody Beattie

Both Harvard University and Berkeley University have researched the physical and mental benefits of an attitude of gratitude. You should surf the web for the studies. It's a habit worth developing!


Positive mind. Positive Vibes. Positive Life.


Dear 573 Magazine,


I love your magazine. What makes me happy and appreciative of your magazine is how positive, inspiring, uplifting, motivating, and good-filled it is. It is such a breath of fresh air to read your magazine; you all are putting humanity back into the world. My spirit glows, and my soul smiles after I read your magazine because I am filled up with the positivity that shines through its pages. I now get eager and excited when I get a new one because I know that it is going to lift me when I read it. With each issue, I have learned to “pace it out” and not read it all in one sitting. It gives me something to look forward to and extends the happiness and good feelings that I get from reading it. Your magazine is cherishable. I have kept my copies. The content positive, high quality, and the writing is relatable. Your magazine helps me in many ways, and a lot of the stories inspire me and give me hope. Also, I like the photography and how it contributes to the story. I’m not originally from this area, so I do appreciate how your magazine helps me to navigate by highlighting cool people and places in this region.


In “A Star Entrepreneur of The Year,” Dr. Karen Melton’s ten tips of advice for struggling entrepreneurs gave me excellent and straightforward pieces of information. She inspired me and helped me to see that seemingly small actions can make significant and positive difference in our lives. I’m not an entrepreneur, but these pieces of advice are relatable and usable for everyone in life. In "Human All Year" (January 2019), it reminds me that we are all the same; it is the small things that intertwine us all together as people. People sometimes forget these simple truths. It is so easy to feel disconnected from each other or even feel like we are not on the same level playing field. It was cool, knowing how much I needed to read those words and thinking about all of the countless other people who read those same words and got “fueled up” from those words too. I appreciate you sharing your struggles with naysayers and peoples’ meanness. You are putting so much positivity out there and doing so much good through your magazine that it was hard to believe you hear negativity too. I’m thankful for those two writings, especially. Thanks, T. Smugala. After reading those two stories, I felt inspired to write a letter to you all, telling you all how much your magazine means to me.


I enjoy reading “Huston, We Have a Solution: Space.” (January 2019) Earl’s perseverance, positive attitude, and passion inspired me, and The Grissom Center Museum is now a place I can’t wait to visit. I was thrilled to read "Journaling” (January 2019) because it gave me a big “aha” moment. For years I have kept a daily notebook of things that happen during my day, big and small. I try to focus on the positive, good things, and silver linings that occur during my day, no matter how seemingly insignificant. We get stuck in ruts, focus on daily stresses, and quickly forget that each day is special, unique, and different. When I write about my day, it reminds me that there is good, to find it, and acknowledge it. Also, it helps me see how each day is unique and different. ‘Journaling’ enabled me to view how I can make my journaling even more special and creative. It gave me a different approach to try. By using the ‘big picture’ writing approach, now, I can easily flip back through my journal and see what is special, important, and significant. K. Ramos is right … “making daily entries is exhausting” and “if you force yourself to write, journaling will quickly become a chore.”


442 (November 2018) made me like Debra Hendron even more. She and her little soap shop are so pleasant. The old 442 and cute small old truck were neat to see. I’m sure that the list will grow with each new copy of your magazine that I read, but I saved my absolute favorite ones for last. ‘You Can’t Fake Passion - Or That Look on Your Face’ (Jan./Feb. 2017) and ‘The Cost of Success’ (Spring 2019). Reading these makes me feel inspired, empowered, confident, fearless, strong, determined, striving, powerful like I can do anything, and fills me with so much inner strength. I liked how your words conveyed such strong confidence, self-esteem, assurance, and motivation. Through your words, I felt those things. It amazes me how words on a page can have such an effect and make such a big difference.


Nearly ten years ago, when I didn't live in the 573 area, I could tell that there was something unique and different about your magazine. Now that I live in the 573 and I am exploring the 573 communities, I am excited and look forward to reading about the people and places that you all feature here in the 573. I’m so thankful to Debra at Arcadia Valley Soap Co. for having free copies there and allowing me to rediscover your magazine. I know that it was meant to be for me to rediscover your magazine again. The timing is so perfect. I need and appreciate the positivity that is inside of its pages, and need help navigating the cool people and places around the 573 region. I now anticipatingly really look forward to reading each new issue that comes out. It is enjoyable for me to read it, and I walk away from it in a better mood. I am so grateful for your magazine and thankful that you all are putting such wonderfully positive, uplifting, motivating, and inspiring content out into this region. You are blessing people through your magazine, and my life is one that you are positively affecting. Your magazine makes life better. From the bottom of my heart, thank you all at 573 Magazine for all of the wonderful and positive things that you are doing through your magazine. It makes the world a better place. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!


Marissa Bowles

June 6, 2019