Find the Light: mini-mission

“The light is everything.” – Karen Walrond

If you ask any photographer for one simple rule to improve photographs, they will tell you this. “Look for the light.”

You don’t need a special camera, or the perfect setting, just light. It’s the most important thing when capturing an image that tells a story and/or moves people.

This mini-mission to find the light doesn’t really have anything to do with photography though. Instead, find the light for better love and health.


After several days without sunlight, I am reminded of the importance of good light to improve moods and overall health. Vitamin D comes directly from the sun. That might explain why the majority of North America and other parts of the world are Vitamin D deficient.

Even if you live in an area with plenty of sunshine, you still might not be getting enough Vitamin D. Our levels have been on a steady decline since the early 80’s due to an increased awareness and use of sunscreen and more time indoors with the www.

If you are wondering why you need more D, studies show that people with higher Vitamin D levels:

  • have fewer infections
  • experience improved mental sharpness
  • have better bone health

Other research in progress demonstrates lower cancer risk, and correlations with risk of multiple sclerosis, asthma, diabetes and other auto-immune conditions.

The best way to know if you need to supplement with Vitamin D is to ask your doctor for a simple blood test. For the first time in several years, I have adequate levels of vitamin D, but only by supplementing with 5500 IU per day. This is not a medical recommendation. Your body and lifestyle is unique, so what you need will be different from what I need, and from what the FDA recommends. Test your levels and work with the facts.


Karen Walrond, author of The Beauty of Different gave a beautiful Ted Talk about finding the light in other people. Karen says, “Light is what connects us and illuminates our beautiful different.”

We respond to love and light in each other. We can find that light in someone’s eyes, their smile, their spirit, heart and soul. Karen points out that we should look for light in people we love, and also in strangers. Instead of dismissing someone because they look different, look for their light. Everyone has it.

Before you can capture or connect with the light in a photograph, person and even in your own heart, you have to make the time and space to notice it.

Make the time and space. Good light is everything.

For more experiments to simplify your life, read Mini-missions for Simplicity. It’s available on the Amazon Kindle store, but you don’t need a Kindle to read it. Kindle books can also be read using the Free Kindle Reader App for your Web Browser, PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone, BlackBerry, or Android.


  1. says

    Even reading about light on this blustery winter day improves my mood. The winter can be hard sometimes. Thanks for the inspiration.

    Dan @ ZenPresence

  2. says

    Oh Courtney, I just watched a TED talk on Vitamin D this morning. It was actually a researcher who studied the effects of sunlight on cardiovascular health.

    Although it is not my ideal place to live, I am rather glad – after reading your post and watching the talk – to live in Houston where we are able to walk five miles most days of the year.

    I love how you connected this to the light in people.

    • Courtney Carver says

      Thanks Claire, Light is my word of the year and it’s so interesting to see how many different forms there are.

  3. says

    I find that having come from a tropical country, I crave the light more than others in Toronto might. I sometimes go online just to look at pictures of greenery, trees, shrubs, plants. I just want to see the sun, lush trees, and the blue ocean again. This is a good reminder right in the middle of our winter to remind us that summer is just around the corner. The fruit of waiting will be sweet.

  4. says

    Seeking light is why I don’t have a set office space right now. Earlier in the day, I get more and better sunlight by working in my kitchen. By afternoon, it’s my office. I’m like a little sunflower following the sunlight around my apartment.

  5. says

    I LOVED Karen’s talk.

    I know I’m not getting enough Vitamin D, but I hate taking more pills. I always forget to take them – and then I suffer for it.

    • Courtney Carver says

      It’s all about creating the habit. It would be great if we could get enough Vitamin D from food, but it’s a real challenge.

  6. says

    You are so right about vitamin D!! I (finally) started taking supplements a year ago and noticed a dramatic effect on my mood, especially during the “winter blues” months. My doctor also remarked on how my D levels were uniquely good. IT is so important!

    And then, of course…there is Love. What a beautiful post!

    • Courtney Carver says

      Thanks Tony. I think there will be more and more research about the importance of Vitamin D.

  7. says


    This is a timely reminder about getting more sunlight! It’s the rainy season here and I know I could use more. And love the idea of looking for the light in others.