Loading the content...
Tag archives for:

Shanna Bright

Words of Wisdom

As I continue to settle into a life in the US, I have taken the time here and there to go through my boxes.  I’ve got just a “few” in my parents’ storage shed.  My dad would looove for me to take all of them, but I don’t really have the space yet for my high school and college photo albums, those four boxes of books and another handful of what I know are house decor items and treasures from my life of travel.

I do, however, have a couple of boxes which are labeled “office stuffs” by the Vietnamese crew packing my things in Hanoi. I opened one of them last night in search of by zip-lock bag full of markers, highlighters and a wide variety of pens and pencils.  In that box happened to be my old calendars.  Yes, I still keep a physical, paper, written calendar. Probably always will. Do you save your calendars?  I do because I tend to write a lot of notes in margins, write down birthdays and events, sometimes I’ve even use my calendars as daily diaries and have gone through spurts where I write what the day entailed every day.  What I love about saving them is that I can be instantly transported to that moment, that time and capture every memory of that day.  I love it.

So in one of my calendars, I found this daily mantra that I made up when I lived in Japan.  I re-wrote it at the front of my 2008 calendar, in anticipation of my travel adventures that spring.  Here’s the mantra:

Today will be a great day. I will listen, speak and act from the goodness of my heart. I will accept others as they are and treat everyone with kindness and compassion.

I think that’s a pretty good daily goal, and so I’m re-writing this on my current calendar, and on my dandy red notebook so that I may express this sentiment everyday.  I’m curious what other words of wisdom and delightful memories my calendars will lend me!

What are your daily mantras, affirmations or goals?

When I grow up…

REMEMBER WHAT YOU WANTED TO BE – Never sell yourself short. Whatever the circumstances, however low you may feel, recall your hopes and plans. Use them as your benchmark: reassess your position and aim high again. – Patrick Lindsay, Now Is The Time

The neighbors on Alderson Street were families with boys.  The only other girl was Ellen Robinson, two doors down.  But Ellen really liked to play with Barbie. She had the mansion, the pool, the Jeep, and several of Barbie’s companions.  I had Barbie and Skipper and a few changes of clothes.  I was too much of a tomboy to get all fussy about what Barbie should wear.

With a street full of boys, I often played sports in the street. And yet there were many days I wasn’t allowed to hang with the guys.  On those occasions, I took to playing office at my desk. I loved office forms and carbon paper. I madly filled out forms, filed papers in some sensible fashion and enjoyed the sensation that I was “getting something done.”  My second favorite game was playing boutique.  I would hang my clothes up all over my room and then have to bounce between the roles of customer, shop girl and cashier (complete with a toy cash register but a real cash drawer in the desk drawer).  With my love of office forms, came also my love of receipts and price tag stickers and things I could use to make my imaginary adult life a little more real.

When I was a sophomore in high school, I began a lucrative little adventure called Hosting Helpers.  It began when I worked a few parties for a senior named Lisa who had her own little biz, Party Partners. (I so wanted to use that name for my business!) She showed me the ropes for hosting events, and how to let the real hosts of the party enjoy themselves.  The job entailed preparing the food tables, keeping the house free of empty glasses and thrown away napkins, making sure the chip bowl was full and doing all the dishes at the end of the night.  Lisa was graduating and wanted to turn over her business to someone else.  My dear friend, Rae Meadows essentially became my partner as we helped host parties all over San Diego.  We would wear black pants, tuxedo shirts, complete with red bow tie and cummerbund. We worked weddings, BBQs, office parties, progressive dinners, and any number of holiday parties.

We were a hit. And with every party we hosted, we usually gained another client, simply by displaying my business card.  I sent out reminders about the holiday season at the beginning of November, which helped us book up every weekend leading to Christmas. The minimum wage was $3.35 per hour, at the time. We pulled $6.00 per hour plus tips; I loved having the money to buy nice Christmas gifts for my family. Hosting Helpers got me a mention in the school newspaper and helped me develop a love for event planning, which has been at the core of most jobs in my long marketing career.

There was an entrepreneurial spirit in me, even as a young teenager.  I secretly believed I could run a multi-national business, just by employing staff to host a party. I had no desire to cater, just a desire to employ well-trained party planners and hosts. I envisioned myself with an executive office at the top of some high rise in an unidentified city (Come to think of it, I don’t remember feeling that it was San Diego – I can still picture the skyline from my vision).  Hosting Helpers International never came to be, but what a big, fun dream it was.

Here I am now, well into adulthood, back in my hometown, San Diego and dreaming once again of what my business will look like. With great enthusiasm and anticipation, I launched the Beaming Bohemian website on May 1, 2011. Since that time, I’ve picked up a few clients, continue to chase leads, but more significantly, continue to shape how I want my business to grow.  I am heavily in R&D and working to narrow my focus.  One aspect I have enjoyed the most is reconnecting with old friends and exploring a variety of options.

Admittedly, launching a new business is a struggle. It is frightening, quite frankly, and it is ridiculously hard work.  Beaming Bohemian is quickly becoming the toughest challenge I have ever faced in my life.  It turns out that re-establishment is WAY harder than settling into someplace foreign… even if that place is a Hanoi, Vietnam or a Shizuoka, Japan.  While abroad, I learned that I am completely comfortable with being in foreign places, adjusting to new ways of life, hearing foreign tongues, adopting strange cultural rituals, and simply soaking up life as it comes.

Feeling like a foreigner in the U.S., in California, in San Diego – which should feel like home, is a hilarious new game I am trying to master.  Fact of the matter is, I have never been more uncomfortable in my life. But I know, I really know that out of great discomfort comes great life lessons.  At heart, I am still full of adventure, still willing to take huge risks and still full of patience to understand what life is going to throw my way.  All the while, I have never forget that little girl inside me, the one with immeasurable creativity and imagination, such high aspirations and totally blind confidence.  My desk no longer contains a cash drawer and all those fancy office forms, but it is still the hub for crafting my dreams, working my plan and creating a very lovely life.

Please Vote!

Hello Bright Siders!  I’m wondering if you can help me.  I have had a profile up at About.Me for awhile now and they’ve begun this contest where a profile will be selected as the face of About.Me and become a billboard in Times Square in buzzing New York City.  It would be simply awesome if my wacky avatar for On The Bright Side could look out over the hustle and bustle of the Big Apple.

If my profile wins, I will also get to go to New York to see my billboard.  Being in the first stages of my business, Beaming Bohemian would get some terrific exposure and On The Bright Side some national attention.  I really appreciate your support!  You can vote once every 24 hours, so please feel welcome to share the link with friends and click the “VOTE FOR THIS PROFILE” button often.

The stats show that I am already in the top 5% of the votes, so your continued encouragement and regular clicks through September 20th will help give my profile the extra push it needs. It seems I have a fighting chance! CLICK HERE to vote now!

Thank you in advance for the assist and for helping me become the face of @aboutdotme, a.k.a.-  About.Me.  Much appreciated!

Here’s a preview of what my profile looks like!

I’m a little bit artsy craftsy

A bit of free time, a little make-up and some adjustments on the effects and such and…whoa-la!  I made an Andy Warhol version of myself!  What I can’t believe is that I actually changed the main picture to my website.  Since I first compiled this website in February 2007, the picture of me with Kiyomizudera behind me has been the photo for my header.  I was a bit sad to change it today, but did so because:

  1. If you haven’t noticed, I don’t live in Japan anymore.
  2. My hair is much shorter and I am growing my bangs out (a very painful process, might I state for the record).
  3. I feel like a website named “On The Bright Side” needed a much more pop-out main photo thingy going on.

The only reason I remain sad for changing that photo is because:

  1. There are still days when I miss Japan and Kiyomizudera is one of my favorite places.
  2. When you have a favorite photo of yourself which makes you happy, you should look at it often!
  3. I really don’t think anyone other than me is going to notice or even remember what that photo looked like! Oh well!

Ha!  Anyway – hope you like the new artsy version.  Comments welcome!

On the Bright Side,



This morning I realized that the hit counter on my website said 9995.  I posted a note in my facebook status, wondering who would be number 10,000.  Pete totally cheated and logged on three times.  Jeff claims he would have had it had Pete not cheated.  I made sure I didn’t log on for hours, as the last time I hit a milestone, I was the one who was the lucky “winner”. Oi.

At some point during my life in Japan, I created a blog, On The Bright Side.  Last year, shortly before I set out on my travels in March 2008, I established this website to more easily and thoroughly communicate with you the life adventures I am so fortunate to enjoy.

I just want to THANK YOU for stopping by and taking time out of your day to visit On The Bright Side, check in with me and keep in touch.  It means a lot to me, as I really enjoy posting these stories – sometimes great, sometimes silly, sometimes even a bit sad.  They are just bits and pieces of my life and I am happy to share them with you.  Now, if I could just get you all to leave more comments!  That’s the goal for the next 10,000 hits!

In all sincerity, though, thank you.  I’m grateful for your friendship and for your continued clicking.  May you be the lucky one who logs in hit number 20,000!  : D


On the Bright Side,


I’m wearing a dress!

This is such an unusual occasion, I had to make a special post!  Look at me!  I’m wearing a dress! This was at our Emeraude’s Wine & Dine Cruise Classic. Doesn’t the dress have a nautical feel to it? Kind of like flying the cocktail flags!

Actually, I am in love with these dresses by Chula and I do believe that I will be buying more.  They are just beautiful and me being the tomboy that I am, felt so girly wearing one!  It was fun!

On the Bright Side,


I’m Still Liking It

I’m such a goof! That’s me with Thomas and Kurt on the Emeraude, just taking a bunch of silly photos.

Without a doubt, this past week was the worst week I’ve experienced in Vietnam.  The house leak situation, my foot,  a bank transfer fiasco and the tailor screwing up 3 suit jackets really tested my patience.

There is no question Vietnam, and Hanoi in particular is a challenging place to live.  It is a far cry from the orderly and beautiful life I lived in Japan.  I’ve missed the simplicity of my life there very much recently.

While I am sure that as I get adjusted to my job, to my new surroundings, to my new life, that I will have a bad day or two sprinkled among all the great ones.  My teaching background comes in handy here.  I’m as much a teacher as i am a Director, Sales & Marketing.  I provide lots of opportunities for professional growth for the sales staff I work with.  And it is satisfying when they learn a lesson and do something well on their own.

I also love what I’m doing.  My job, as I’ve mentioned, is a big one, and there are so many projects for me to tackle.  I like that.  I am energized by having a challenging job and a division of the company which has sooo much potential for greatness.  In most of my jobs, I have created or built-up departments, and it is no different here.

I am loving being back in hospitality, and being in a much more expansive segment than the private club industry (although Kurt and I reminisce how easy it is to just take care of one club versus an entire group of properties!).

I’m still working on my personal life, as I need a serious boost of attention there.  But I’m taking steps to fulfill this aspect of my life…it’s not going to happen overnight.  I’m meeting new people all the time and trying to get out more so that I can continue to meet new people.

The thing is – I love the adventure of living life abroad.  The challenges which are presented to me only make me a stronger and better person, more patient, and lend experiences which I would never have in the US.  And I like that.

So while it seems, like this week, that the odds are not in my favor, I know that I will come out on the bright side of all this a much better person.

So when Kurt asks me every once in awhile, “Are you still liking it?”  I have to say, without a doubt, “Yes.”  And I am.  I’m still liking it.


On the Bright Side,



Let’s Tweet

Visit Shanna’s Other Sites

Get Bright Life E-News

Get free education and updates from Bright Life Media. E-news contains exclusive content for subscribers only. Say YES to a Bright Life now!


YES Please


Back to top