Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Rainy Days

This week in the Northeastern United States we are expecting several successive rainy days. I am thankful that I can choose to curl up with a warm cup of coffee or tea and dream while I listen to the rain hitting the window.

Dreaming is important. Day dreaming, for no purpose other than to escape, can be a form of meditation. Intentional dreaming, a phrase coined by Michael Gerber, is a dream for the purpose of discovering yourself and your purpose here on earth. That's my favorite dream!

I am grateful for Michael Gerber's way of reaching into my soul. I am grateful for the rainy days that some find annoying because they offer a great opportunity for introspection. I am grateful that I have a warm place from which to listen to the rain. And I appreciate a few minutes of quiet solitude.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Little Gifts

Last week, during my weekly trip to the grocery store, I met a couple in the parking lot as they scooted past me in the parking lot. We smiled at each other as they passed me on their way into the store.

I grabbed a cart and headed through the produce section, down the dairy isle and up the next isle. As I rounded the corner, I came to a halt. There, in front of me stood the couple. The man and woman both had their own carts which carried their canes and a few grocery items. They were rolling down the isle together, side by side.

There isn't much room to go around a double wide grocery cart convoy. I called out, "Oh, I see. You are paying me back for blocking your path in the parking lot!"

They both turned around and saw me standing there. We shared smiles once again. We joked back and forth a moment. Then, the magic began. As we made small talk, I learned that the man is a commercial artist with his own business. He does celluloid drawings for each of his children's and grandchildren's birthdays which are placed on the cake for the celebration and easily removed to cut the cake. These celluloids are treasured by each family member and stored for future pleasure.

One daughter shares a birthday with me. Although days apart, we were both born the same month and year. The couple, after learning of this coincidence, adopted me into their family. Right there in the grocery store!

We periodically bumped into each other as we meandered through the remaining isles. As I finished paying for my groceries, I spied them in the card isle and went to say goodbye. They were conspiring about the next birthday cake design as they gathered ideas from the cards before them.

We hugged and smiled and parted ways, remarking how wonderful it would be if we chanced a meeting in the future.

That special encountered occurred on my birthday. It was the best gift I received this year.

God Bless, George and Rhea. Thank you for making my day magical and special.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Celebration

It occurs to me that gratitude is a celebration of all that is in our lives. The good, the sad, the difficult, etc. Each thing in our life is there for a reason. Each things brings a lesson.

What can be learned from heart ache? It may be how to love unconditionally or how to love ourselves. Maybe it's how to give to others.

What about struggle? What can be learned from expending energy on surviving? We may have the opportunity to learn that we are not in complete control over anything in our lives. It may be that we are focusing on what isn't there instead of what IS there.

When we are in gratitude, we see things to be grateful for all around us. Once we get over feeling silly about being grateful for a cricket complaining in the basement, we can be grateful that the cricket's sonmetimes annoying sound alerted us to a leaking pipe.

I invite you to celebrate each event that you encounter today. Every horn honking, every unforseen problem and yes, even all of the people around you that you don't yet understand.

Francis Lucille said,
"Everything is created from moment to moment, always new. Like fireworks, this universe is a celebration and you are the spectator contemplating the eternal Fourth of July of your absolute splendor."

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Illumination

I am working on my motto for 2009 and I am playing with "The Year of Illumination".

My wish is to notice, collect, create and appreciate moments of light: those times when someone around me or further out in the world shows others how to find light in moments of darkness.

Recently, a mother and daughter in Texas were looking for a way to give a gift beyond all costs. A gift that didn't cost a thing but that would touch someone's heart in a very special way. Several days ago, they decided what they would give. They set out to the Hair Warehouse and both donated their locks of hair to a charity that provides wigs to ill children.

The first stream of light has been seen before the holidays arrive. Rose and Sydney, I am grateful for the love and inspiration you are spreading. I am off to find an idea of my own!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Appreciation Poem

Appreciation

Hustle bustle, faster pace.
Who was that?
I didn’t see the face.
Faster, faster we all spin.
What a world we now live in.

I watched the news-
What a horrible sight.
Someone’s without a home tonight.
What was that? Vandals strike?
I wonder what that would feel like.

Stepping out-
Notice the crowd.
These are neighbors, scared but proud.
Pulled together, hand in hand
Together, united, we all must stand.

Strength, it grows,
Day by day;
Person to person, in very small ways.
A nod, a smile, a friendly face.
Many people filled with grace.

Respecting differences,
Reaching out.
That is what a global community
Is all about.

Renee Canali July,2005

Friday, November 28, 2008

Gratitude quotes

Favorite quotes from David Riklan, Founder of Selfgrowth.com:

Thanksgiving Day comes, by statute, once a year; to the honest man it comes as frequently as the heart of gratitude will allow. ~Edward Sandford Martin

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. ~John Fitzgerald Kennedy

A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all the other virtues. ~Cicero

If the only prayer you said in your whole life was "thank you," that would suffice. ~Meister Eckhart

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thanksgiving

November 27 is Thanksgiving Day in the US. Although the focus in many homes turns to great food and football, the spirit of the holiday is to gather and give thanks for all we have, materially as well as spiritually.

I am thankful that I have met many unique individuals over this past year. I have been presented with and created opportunities. I have a wonderful, growing support team. I am blessed with health, as is my family. I have strength and support to endure what may come to me in the form of challenges. As I have overcome challenges in the past, I know I can do the same in the future.

I thank each and every person with whom I have crossed paths this past year. Drivers that gesture because we disagree on how to function on the roads together, people whose hurt and anger have been thrust my way, people I have smiled at but were unaware I had them in my thoughts. Thanks to those that have served me in some way-waitstaff at restaurants, clerks in stores, police, fire and rescue personnel, banking associates, telephone operators and customer service associates. I thank the utilities for bringing me electricity, water, sewer service, cable, telephone and heat.

Most of all, I thank YOU for reading and contributing to my blog. The world is awakening to the power of sharing positive energy and this is only one way we can gather to send our energy to others.

May your life be blessed with the expression of gratitude daily. If you haven't yet taken time to check out The Gratitude Diet by David Margolis, please consider it for yourself or a loved one this holiday season. I do not receive any consideration for this product-I just believe in its power.
Go now:
http://gratitudediet.com

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

In memorium

Yesterday I attended a graveside service for a man I met several years ago through Business Networkers International. David Feldmann passed away this weekend from cancer.

I am not sad. David was a man who lived with integrity and always gave what he could of himself. He did a 100 mile bike ride each spring for MS, being one of the top fundraisers. He had 7 children, 3 of which were adopted.

David was an insurance broker and settlement attorney. He spent meticulous time reviewing settlement papers from the first letter to the last period, making sure every words was in order. He believed in doing business "the old way", one person at a time, one step at a time and with the client's needs in mind. David always offered to review people's insurance policies to see if he could find a way to get better coverage for their money and to make sure their needs were truly being met. He never asked for a sale. This was one of his gifts.

I am grateful that David was part of my life. He knew what he stood for and was proud to stand tall. His integrity and business savvy were great models for me.

Shalom, David. May your legacy live on through each person you touched in some way.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Free gratitude

Election Day 2008 United States of America

A reminder of the freedoms we take for granted and the efforts that go unnoticed.

-election judges and the behind-the-scenes workers that make voting possible
-neighbors meeting neighbors and sharing the freedom of speech
-candidates and their families that sacrifice privacy, time and energy for the good of the whole
-pollsters, campaign volunteers,etc.
-many of us who have difficulty with mobility or function that get to the polls to cast a vote and stand up to be counted

The world is changing around and with the US. Let us all stand up and be counted among those who love their fellow man!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Blessings in Stone

Two friends were walking through the desert. As the day wore on and they became hotter and wearier, they had an argument, and one friend slapped the other in the face.

The one who got slapped was hurt, but without saying anything, wrote in the sand, "Today my best friend slapped me in the face."

They kept on walking until they found an oasis, where they knelt beside a pond, eager for a long, cool drink. The one who had been slapped got stuck in the mire and started drowning, but the friend saved him.

After he recovered from the near drowning, he wrote on a stone, "Today my best friend saved my life."

The friend who had slapped and saved his best friend asked him, " After I hurt you, you wrote in the sand and now, you wrote on a stone. Why?"

The other friend replied, "When someone hurts us we should write it in the sand where the winds of forgiveness can erase it away. But when someone does something good for us, we must engrave it in stone where no wind can erase it."

Let's learn to write our hurts in the sand and carve our blessings in stone.
(As published in the November 2008 issue of Bill's Bulletin, www.americasreferral.com)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Shifts and Changes

I am grateful for the shift we are experiencing in the way our world works. In the U.S., I feel that many people are no longer willing to tolerate negative politics and unfulfilled and blindly offered promises by politicians.

I feel other nations wrestling with old ways of doing things in a new world; fighting against what hasn't worked for a long time and demanding changes that will allow things to work better and for the masses.

I welcome new ideas, new collaboration and the new willingness to accept change.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Clarity

There is something about a clear autumn day, a bright blue sky and a strong sun that allows me to let go of worries, fears and expectations. On days like today, it seems that nature conspires to draw me outside so that I may just let go and breathe again.

It's that unencumbered feeling of pure joy I experienced as a child, rolling down hillsides or following an escaped balloon in the wind,that brings clarity to my life and gets me back in touch with the childlike wonder that guides my spirit.

As evening falls, the air cools and gently guides me back indoors to cuddle with myself and loved ones, to dream of what the future can be. Still untethered from expectation, we eagerly move forward with hopes and wishes.

I am grateful that others dream big dreams, share their secrets of success and connect with other dreamers-all for the purpose of discovering what is possible.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Old Fisherman

This story was sent to me by a friend and I wanted to share it with all of you:


Our house was directly across the street from the clinic entrance of Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. We lived downstairs and rented the upstairs rooms to out-patients at the Clinic.


One summer evening as I was fixing supper, there was a knock at the door I opened it to see a truly awful looking man. 'Why, he's hardly taller than my eight-year-old,' I thought as I stared at the stooped, shriveled body.


But the appalling thing was his face, lopsided from swelling, red and raw, yet his voice was pleasant as he said, 'Good evening. I've come to see if you've a room for just one night. I came for a treatment this morning from the eastern shore, and there's no bus 'till morning.'


He told me he'd been hunting for a room since noon but with no success; no one seemed to have a room. 'I guess it's my face. I know it looks terrible, but my doctor says with a few more treatments...'


For a moment I hesitated, but his next words convinced me: 'I could sleep in this rocking chair on the porch. My bus leaves early in the morning.' I told him we would find him a bed, but to rest on he porch. I went inside and finished getting supper. When we were ready, I asked the old man if he would join us. 'No thank you. 'I have plenty' And he held up a brown paper bag.


When I had finished the dishes, I went out on the porch to talk with him a few minutes. It didn't take a long time to see that this old man had an oversized heart crowded into that tiny body. He told me he fished for a living to support his daughter, her five children and her husband, who was hopelessly crippled from a back injury.


He didn't tell it by way of complaint; in fact, every other sentence was prefaced with thanks to God for a blessing. He was grateful that no pain accompanied his disease, which was apparently a form of skin cancer. He thanked God for giving him the strength to keep going.

At bedtime, we put a camp cot in the children's room for him. When I got up in the morning, the bed linens were neatly folded, and the little man was out on the porch.


He refused breakfast, but just before he left for his bus, haltingly, as if asking a great favor, he said, 'Could I please come back and stay the next time I have a treatment? I won't put you out a bit. I can sleep fine in a chair.' He paused a moment and then added, 'Your children made me feel at home. Grownups are bothered by my face, but children don't seem to mind.' I told him he was welcome
to come again.


And on his next trip he arrived a little after seven in the morning. As a gift, he brought a big fish and a quart of the largest oysters I had ever seen. He said he had shucked them that morning before he left so that they'd be nice and fresh. I knew his bus left at 4 a.m., and I wondered what time he had to get up in order to do
this for us.


In the years he came to stay overnight with us there was never a time that he did not bring us fish or oysters or vegetables from his garden.


Other times we received packages in the mail, always by special delivery; fish and oysters packed in a box of fresh young spinach or kale, every leaf carefully washed. Knowing that he must walk three miles to mail these and knowing how little money he had made the gifts doubly precious.


When I received these little remembrances, I often thought of a comment our next-door neighbor made after he left that first morning. 'Did you keep that awful looking man last night? I turned him away! You can lose roomers by putting up such people!'


Maybe we did lose roomers once or twice But, oh! If only they could have known him, perhaps their illness would have been easier to bear. I know our family always will be grateful to have known him; from him we learned what it was to accept the bad without complaint and the good with gratitude to God.

Recently I was visiting a friend who has a greenhouse. As she showed me her flowers, we came to the most beautiful one of all, a golden chrysanthemum, bursting with blooms. But to my great surprise, it was growing in an old dented, rusty bucket. I thought to myself, 'If this were my plant, I'd put it in the loveliest container I had!'

My friend changed my mind. 'I ran short of pots,' she explained, 'and knowing how beautiful this one would be, I thought it wouldn't mind starting out in this old pail. It's just for a little while, till I can put it out in the garden.'

She must have wondered why I laughed so delightedly, but I was imagining just such a scene in heaven. There's an especially beautiful one,' God might have said when he came to the soul of the sweet old fisherman. 'He won't mind starting in this small body.'


All this happened long ago -- and now, in God's garden, how tall this lovely soul must stand.


The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.'


Friends are very special. They make you smile and encourage you to succeed. They lend an ear and they share a word of praise. Show your friends how much you care AND HAVE A BLESSED DAY.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

New Headlines

Last month I challenged my newsletter readers to write their own headlines each day and share them. Here are some of my newest ones:

Renee Strengthens Focus for The Future
Family Ties Still Strong
World Unites for Betterment of All Humans
Discover The Power Within You- Learn Something New
Everything Has A Flip Side
Create Your Own Fate
Gratitude Carries Us Through

What headlines can you create? Please share!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Vibrance

I have been focusing on things in my life that are vibrant or that make me feel vibrant. The list will keep growing, but here are some of the things I have noted so far:

-leaves changing color
-cool morning air
-bright blue, sunny skies
-puffy white clouds
-an unexpected compliment
-meeting someone new
-noticing things I have passed by before
-family projects (my kids are adults now, so this is extremely special!)
-laughter, especially from children or uninhibited adults
-hard working things in nature, such as squirrels enjoying the fruits of their labor, insects singing with all their might before winter comes, birds chattering to each other often competing with other species.
-love shown inconspicuously
-quiet moments in a hectic world
-the full harvest moon
-the first strands of light
-discovering a new level within myself or another person
-songs that tell stories
-the contrast of black and white photos
-the ability to see, feel, hear, smell and taste life's bounty

Monday, October 6, 2008

More Headlines

Here are some more headlines I have written to guide my thoughts:

US Politicians Move in a Positive Direction

World Leaders Unite to Strengthen World Economy

Tides Turning: Middle America Sees Other Side of "Victim" Stories

International Groups Promoting Betterment of All Taking World by Storm

Discussions Turn From Lack to Gratitude for What IS


Have you begun to write your own headlines? Headlines that counteract the negative media assault on our daily lives? Please be share to post your favorite headline here!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

The Natural Way to Meditate

This weekend, I suggested to my husband that we take a walk on one of the nearby nature trails and treat the dog to an outing as well.

We took the dog to a nearby park and walked along one of the trails, watching her track animal smells as she moved quickly through the woods. She never found the animal(s) that belonged to those smells. If she had, we would probably still be laughing at her surprise! She's curious, but not necessarily brave.

Even though we were only gone about 30 minutes, I enjoyed the time outdoors. It amazes me that it can seem so quiet in the middle of a city; yet, if we listen closely, there is always a cacophony of vibration surrounding us.

Being in nature is my favorite way to meditate. I stay quiet and just move through nature as I observe it around me. Sometimes I find the quiet among the noise; other times I seek out every sound I can distinguish from another and guess it's origin.

It is the peaceful balance I find healing. I am grateful that I live among many opportunites to observe nature frequently.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Write Your Own Headline

In my newsletter, Cultivating Seeds of Change, I invited my readers to write their own headlines each day for the rest of the year. There are about 90 days left in 2008and this is a great way to accelerate your appreciation and gratitude.

Here are my headlines for today:

Mindset Coach Cultivates Change for Thousands (I am grateful for the reach of my business and all of those clients who have blessed my life).
US Political Climate is More Cooperative (I am grateful there are still people in this country willing to serve in this capacity).
US Government Acts Responsibly (see above).
College and Vocational Training Made Available to All (I am grateful for the opportunities available here).
Awareness Levels Increase World Wide: Evidence of Global Cooperation Exists (I appreciate the many individuals who support others worldwide).

What headlines would you write?

To read the newsletter outlining this process, go to: www.landofpossibility.com/newsletter.html

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Spirit of Fall

Fall begins here in the US today. This is the time of year I love the most. I envelop myself in the warm sun, the cool breezes, the intensity of the light and the colors of nature around me.

I enjoy capturing the subtle changes in the sun's angle, the shortening of daylight in my mind.

I encourage you to notice how many subtle changes are happening around you. Be grateful for what was, what is and what can be!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Virtual Banking

I have been having fun playing virtual banking this month. This is an exercise from Esther and Jerry Hicks in several of their books, such as The Law of Attraction. Here's how to play:

Deposit a sum of money into your bank account each day. Choose an amount that is way out there for you- maybe 2,000 per day or maybe 20,000!

Each day, you must spend every penny of the money however you wish: vacations, fun gadgets, charity, fixing cars, homes, etc., investments, retirement. Write each purchase down and what you spent.

Repeat the process every day but avoid always choosing the same purchase/expenditure. For instance, don't always pay your debts or save for retirment. Shake it up a little!

Here are some of my fun expenditures:
Habitat for Humanity- $10,000
Solar panel for the roof- $20,000
Vacation in Hawaii- $13,000
New Bikes- $800
Food for Food Bank- $3,000
Cruise with Esther and Jerry Hicks to Alaska- $8,000

If you do not know what something costs, estimate the cost on the high side and let go of the money! It's so much fun I hope every reader plays for a month!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Remembering Old Times

Traveling back from our time in paradise this past week, we stopped at several Cracker Barrel restaurants for meals and bathroom breaks. We discovered that Cracker Barrel carries several candies that we remember from when we were very young, some of which we have never seen since that time years ago.

I enjoyed picking up Fizzies (tablets you drop into water to "make" soda) and Pop Rocks (Granulated candy that "pops" when you put it in your mouth)to share with my sibblings at Christmas. In my family, there are a few joke treats we always share-such as Peeps at Easter (now available throughout the year-even Halloween) and Chicklets gum.

It is always fun to travel back to my childhood to enjoy these simple treats over again-and share!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Natural Enjoyment

How great to have a break this time of year and spend it on an island paradise! Clear weather, beatiful beaches, serenity everywhere! Everyone we come in to contact with says hello, smiles and exchanges pleasantries. What a blessing it is to receive these gifts and recognize the little things in life that make us feel so good.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Unconditional Companionship

Today is the celebration of 27 years of marriage to my husband. I am grateful that we found each other, love each other and have learned to accept each other along with our fears, habits, opinions (sometimes unwaivering)and beliefs.

I am blissfully happy that together we created two individuals that are now experiencing adulthood and teaching us many things about their world and about ourselves.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

View of a storm

Weather has always been of interest to me. I love thunder storms and the clouds that precede weather fronts. Weather is magical to me.

Watching destructive weather is NOT something I enjoy. It takes great concentration for me not to be pulled into the devistation of people affected by hurricanes, floods, ice storms or tornadoes. I allow myself to feel compassion for those who may be affected by these events.I do not allow myself to feel pity or sorrow. I beleive in sending good thoughts, not connecting with the bad ones. So, I offer a prayer that they will find comfort and new beginnings.

I keep in mind that, just as the calm after the storm, their is peace to be found in our turmoils.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Manifesting

I am enjoying my day. The sun, the drier air, the blue sky. I see, feel and hear abundance all around me. I am eager to discover the thousands of ways that abundance comes in to my life.

I understand that what I receive is a direct result of all that I call into my reality through my thoughts. I have the ability to quickly refocus my thoughts so that I attract more of what I desire at a higher level.

I feel a powerful leveraging of energy in being more deliberate about my thoughts. I believe I have always known this and now I know better how to focus and call forward my power through what I value.

I am relieved that I do not have to wait for what I desire: As I bring more light into my life, the things I desire become more visible to me.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Stirring Up Possibilities

I am deeply appreciating my talent to stir up possibilities in my life and to help others to find the possibilities within themselves.

Speaking with individuals and groups about common problems or frustrations creates a synergy which brings to the surface all of the hidden possibilities within.

It brings me great joy to see someone create and transform their life.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Acts of Kindness

This is a message from Dan Kushell I want to share with you:
~~

Just wanted to drop a quick note as we finish up summer...
We've had about 60 days straight with weather over 100 degrees.

It's easy to get caught up in complaining about the heat, until I think about the bitter, chilling, bone-cold weather I despised growing up in detroit, MI.

It's all perspective isn't it?

It's sometimes easy to forget
And so it is with an act of kindness...

I meet so many people who get so caught up in success in financial terms, they often forget about success in their own life - with their families, kids, and themselves.

I have a few questions today -

When was the last time you treated you to an act of kindness and spoiled yourself?
To a massage, a manicure, a pedicure,a walk, a visit to the park.

I remember years ago when a friend of mine and I would go spend an afternoon just sitting under a tree reading, relaxing and taking in nature...

when was the last time you treated someone you love and care about in your family to an act of kindness? This summer has helped put some really, really important things in perspective for me - mentally, physically, socially, spiritually and financially...

I've been traveling a bit this summer and I can tell you this past week being home was an amazing blessing...I was able to watch my son start walking this week -
Why? Because I was home, treating me and my family to my acts of kindness...

I got to watch my daughter dance in front of a camera with other kids on a weekday afternoon at Chuck E Cheeses...

Now, these things didn't cost me a small fortune at all...
They took me focusing on 'Acts of Kindness... for me and those I love.

I forget where I heard it the first time, however it's one of my dreams, goals and missions to share with you important strategies to get money out of the way...
To get beyond the place of living in survival...
To show you all the things money can buy...

and

MORE IMPORTANTLY -
all of the incredible and important things money can't!

Make it a goal this week to share an act of kindness with someone...

Start with you

Then make it a goal to share it with someone you care about...

I cherish the responsibility to open your heart and mind to a new world of infinite possibilities- personally, professionally and financially!

Thank you for being willing to play full-on.


Enjoy every moment,
Dan

~~~~
Dan Kuschell is one of the leading business and marketing Experts in the world,
teaching his techniques here http://www.prosperitybasedliving.com. Get a copy of his
Free Book and Audio Training

In Kindness,
Coach Renee

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Support

I recently finished "The Haunting of Our Minds: How Beliefs Scare the Success Out of Us and How to Regain Our Power".

I am grateful for Carol who edited this work and taught me along the way (as she always does)...
For Lauren who accepted questions on a moment's notice...
For Jille, Julie, Laurie, Kim and Liane for cheering me as I ventured forward...
For Mike and his Tranquil Sleep CD Product Launch....
For everyone who reads it and applies the value they find within to their lives and the lives of others.


(The Tranquil Sleep Now CD does what no other sleep aid in the world can do: It corrects the root causes of your sleeplessness, instead of just knocking you out
with brain-altering substances like drugs and herbal supplements do. Check it out if you want to sleep more soundly! http://www.thinkrightnow.com/cmt.asp?s=824920)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Remembering Grace

The days are long and the sun is hot. The strength of the sun obscures the contrasts that we usually enjoy as we drive to work, walk to the store, cut grass or run from one cool place to the next.

This time of year can put pressure on our ability to keep our cool. Hot, tired, wanting for vacation or holiday, our bodies and our minds are searching for refuge from the building pressure.

Instead of indulging in whining and complaining, which is easy to do when you are stretched and uncomfortable, this is one time I choose to remember grace.

Calm in a storm of furry.
Peace when fighting knocks at your door.
Wonder in the face of confusion.
Savor in place of wanting more.

Smile when your heart is heavy.
Dream when hope is gone.
Be brave when you have no answer.
'Tis grace that moves you on.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Connections

Today I am filled with gratitude for each person I have met recently. Knowing that they were brought into my life for a reason, I savor the connecton we made-however brief.

I do not spend time figuring out why I have been blessed to meet them. I trust the purpose will become clear if I have a lesson to learn or a journey to embark on.

Sometimes I know people pop in to my life just to remind me that people need to be connected to each other.

I wonder who is next?

Friday, July 11, 2008

Dog Days of Summer

July is turning out to be very hot and dry here in Maryland. As the leaves of the trees begin to curl for lack of water and the grass bleaches to a pale green, I find myself drinking in the color dotting gardens and lawns. Flowers, whether domesticated or natural (weeds) give us a chance to see the contrast we live with every day.

I enjoy each flower large and small. Soon the flowers will begin to wither and their memories will be lasting remnants of this year's harvest.

For me, the flowers remind me that even in distress, there is something beautiful to discover. Weeds-or daily problems-are gifts for us to unwrap when we are ready.

I am grateful for this natural process. Bloom, grow, wither and renew! I strive to see the "color" when times seem bleak. I drink in what I can, even if the color is pale and bleached. That's where life hides its purest pleasures.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The Littliest Prayer Warrior

Once again, a dear friend has expressed life through gratitude. Please enjoy!



Blaine's Mommy has a dear friend named Tom Quarles or as he is lovingly known, T.Q. He was a co-worker of Jere's when she worked at Clear Channel Broadcasting. He is one of those increasingly rare breeds who everybody loves and enjoys knowing. Somebody everyone is happy to call "friend".


About two years ago, T.Q. was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. Utilizing some new medicine, his cancer went into remission. Two weeks ago T.Q. noticed a lump on the side of his neck. The cancer had spread to his lymph nodes. The doctors told him there was one small chance with another new med.


Blaine listened carefully that morning when Jere told me about this latest sad news of T.Q. As is his custom before his nap, Blaine said his prayer which is pretty much by rote. But, this day was different. Just before that 'amen' he pled, "Dear Jesus, our friend T.Q. is very sick and the doctor says he has a new medicine. But Jesus, if it doesn't work can T.Q. come to heaven and live with you?"


Needless to say, neither of us had a dry eye. My pride in this 'little hero' continues to grow as does he. I have known people I considered prayer warriors but none this tiny. Oh how I wish all of us had the insight, the compassion, the faith, and the love of this little five year old. The world would be a better place if we had more prayer warriors of all ages.



Please folks, remember T.Q. in your prayers.



Jan Elliott

Sunday, July 6, 2008

The Gratitude Diet

David Margolis, a remarkable man I met 3 years ago at Jack Canfield's Breakthrough to Success event at Lake Las Vegas, Nevada, has spent the last 3 years exploring and mastering Canfield's Success Principles and the Law of Attraction.

He has "distilled" his findings about what works, what doesn't and why into the Gratitude Diet. Please visit his website and take a test drive. You will be grateful for the expereince!

www.gratitudediet.com


I am grateful to have experienced Canfield's event with remarkable people like David.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Top 50 Ways To Make Someone's Monday

Scott Stratten's new Thank Goodness It's Monday Blog is now up and running. The newest post is "Top 50 Ways to Make Someone's Monday" and he needs your help with the last few ways. Have a look at the list (47 or so now) and add yours to the comment section. If you have your own site/blog feel free to link back to it as well!

Just click here:

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Natural Wonders

We have been in a pattern of afternoon thunderstorms and high winds over the last two weeks. A few days ago, we had a thunderstorm blow through, after which we were given a unique opportunity to view an unusual meteorological event- a double rainbow!

It was not only one rainbow stretched over another, but the lower rainbow had a repeated color spectrum! Red,orange, yellow, green, blue, violet, red, orange, etc. which I have never seen. It was so spectacular that neighbors called each other to share the event.

What blessings!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Energy Mirror

Two neighbors, both is their 80's, stopped to chat with me while taking their morning walk. One neighbor has heart problems and the other is recovering from cancer treatments. They both remarked today that several times already this week, people they have never met in the neighborhood stopped their cars as they headed to work for the day to tell these women how much they have been missed as part of a morning routine. Each person that stopped asked if they were doing well because their morning strolls were interrupted by health issues.

These women were amazed at the reaction of unknown neighbors! I understand that the energy these women give off as they meander through the neighborhood each morning, enjoying the company of the other, greeting those out and about with a smile or a wave brings them energy mirrored back in the form they emit.

As I expressed this idea to each of them, their responses were the same: Aren't we lucky to live in a neighborhood where people care about others-known to them or not.

Ladies and gentlemen, that is a great example of gratitude.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Grace and Resentment

"If you are not grateful, you are resentful".

James Allen, in his book As A Man Thinketh, states "Men do not attract what they want, but what they ARE".

The law of polarity states everything has an opposite: up exists because of down, right exists because of wrong. Gratitude exists because of resentment. To change your results, you must move toward the polar opposite of what you have in your life.

As you think about these two ideas, what would you choose? Gratitude or Attitude?

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Daily Disciplines

Here's an excerpt from an article by Jack Canfield May 24, 2008 entitled: Daily Disciplines for Success

4. Have an Attitude of Gratitude

It is critical to take time each and every day to focus on what you are grateful for. Some people do this in the morning before or after they visualize their desires; others prefer to do it in the evening. Focus on all of the things in your life (most of which you take for granted) that you are grateful for--your health, your children, your job, the nice weather, electricity, running water, a nice stereo system, your flower garden, your pets, your friends).

No matter what your situation, there are always things to be grateful for. The more you focus on what you are grateful for, the more things and experiences you will attract to be grateful for. You may wish to carry a "gratitude rock" like the one Lee Brower talks about in "The Secret."

To read the full article, go here: http://jackcanfield.com/page/?PageID=88

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Jack Canfield, America's Success Coach, is the founder and co-creator of the billion-dollar book brand Chicken Soup for the Soul and a leading authority on Peak Performance. If you're ready to jump-start your life, make more money, and have more fun and joy in all that you do, get your FREE success tips from Jack Canfield now at: www.FreeSuccessStrategies.com

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Observations

Guy Finley, Author of many books including The Essential Laws of Fearless Living, and Director of Life of Learning Foundation states:

"Our gift is to realize that the universe we gaze at lives within us."

Whatever we identify in the "outer" world that we can be grateful for, is a greatness that lives within us. Once we acknowledge or notice something out side of ourselves, we create that appreciation inside of ourselves.

Imagine appreciating "good" and "bad" things for the gifts they bring into our lives.

"Imagine how different life would be if we understood nothing happens to us that isn't sent our way to help us learn more about the eternal nature of love..we would know whatever takes place in our lives has not come as something set against our best interests, but to help us REALIZE them."

Friday, June 13, 2008

Unlucky or Ungrateful?

Friday the 13th. When the 13th of any month lands on a Friday, many people see this as a flag for unlucky things to happen. I see this superstition, when taken seriously, a dangerous undermining of our own power to create what we want for our lives.

I have always looked at Friday the 13th as a day I intentionally go out to prove the superstition wrong. I look forward to creating a great day by actively seeking things for which to be grateful.

Friday June 13th-what I am grateful for today:
I woke up! Alive!
My family is safe.
I enjoy my neighborhood and those neighbors I have met.
I do not have to believe, listen to or repeat the doomsday messages from media which are running rampant in an attempt to scare us into surrendering our power to create bountiful lives.
I enjoy my yard and the gold finch flock that comes to visit.
I am grateful that others live in gratitude.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Promoting World Peace

Here's a great way to test the power of your beliefs!

I believe in the Law of Attraction and believe we can all change the tide from terror and mayhem to peace and prosperity. That is the one reason I started a gratitude blog! I know you want more peace in your life and in your world, so I thought you'd like a website I found.

I watched their movie and took the steps they suggested to create greater world peace. There is a "Personal Peace Impact Meter" which measures the peace each of us is creating!

The Personal Peace Impact Meter not only shows the positive effect you're having, but when the people you talk to, take positive actions towards peace, that shows up as part of the peace impact you are having, too, because you started the referral chain! And then their friends tell their friend's, and so on. It all shows up on the meter...really cool!

Here's the link: http://www.tenmillionclicksforpeace.org/?sid=68013c418MJu4663hE2084112

My goal is to touch one million hearts every day and this is one way I can achieve my goal. If you value peace and are grateful for opportunities which allow peace to enter your life, please take a look-if only to feel peaceful for 5 minutes today.

What do you Believe about Gratitude?

The question for today is "What do you believe about gratitude?"

I believe that gratitude plays a very important part in our lives. Having gratitude, heartfelt thanks, for all we have, do and experience in our lives is essential to success and happiness. Each time I practice gratitude I find that I connect more clearly with what I feel is important in life. I consciously choose to be grateful for something every day. Sometimes it is a visit from my 4 year old "boyfriend" neighbor. Tuesday I chose gratitude for the helpfulness and honesty of the car repair shop I brought my car to for an oil change.

When the day seems to be taking a negative turn for me, I immediately begin to look for things for which I am grateful. The least I can expect from this practice is to feel better at the end of the day. Most times this practice changes the direction or flow of events for that day.

Having a practice of gratitude, I believe, balances out the negative things that occur around us every day and tempt us to jump on the pity train.

Do you believe that having gratitude makes a profound difference in your life? Let us know how!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Gratitude and Attraction

Much is being said about The Law of Attraction since the introduction of the movie "The Secret". The Law of Attraction basically says you get what you think about.

How does that relate to gratitude?

My experience continues to reinforce my belief in the Law of Attraction because the more I discover I am grateful for, the more opportunities I have to be grateful.

Recently, my daughter came to visit for a quick weekend. She came down to give her friend a sendoff as he departs for bootcamp. Her time with me was limited, but I loved every second of it. I am grateful that I could hear her softly breathing as she slept. I am grateful that she teaches me lessons about myself and her world as a young adult. She also attracts wonderful people into her life. I truly enjoyed interacting with her friends and appreciate the opportunity to see the world through their eyes.

While my daughter was here, one of our cars died and had to be left at the side of the road for a while. I could have chosen to worry about getting it towed, getting it fixed, making complicated arrangements for me to get to a seminar in Baltimore and for my husband to get my daughter to the bus station in DC or to forego altogether the opportunity I was given to participate in the seminar with David Neagle (www.livelifenow.com). I chose to be grateful that we had two cars to begin with. I celebrated that I had choice, as did my husband and my daughter. I am thankful that no one was harmed due to the failure of the car while it was in motion.

So, what did I attract with my gratitude? I still am not aware of all that I have attracted: but the car started right up when we went to rescue it, my daughter arranged her own transportation to the bus station, my husband had a day to relax by himself, I attended the seminar and met several fantastic people and enriched my understanding of the role beliefs play in our lives.

:)

Friday, June 6, 2008

Finding Grace

In the last post I introduced you to Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor; a "stroke triumphant" and neuroanatomist. I hope you have listened to at least one of her interviews with Oprah (http://www2.oprah.com/spiritself/oss/guest/oss_guest_jboltetaylor.jhtml).

Today I want to share her experience as the effects of the bleeding in her brain during the first few hours of her stroke bring her to new realizations.

From her book, My Stroke Of Insight:

p.41 "the harder I tried to concentrate...As the language centers in my left (brain) grew increasingly silent and I became detached from the memories of my life, I was comforted by the expanding sense of grace."
p.42 "Instead, I now blended in with the space and flow around me....WOW, what a strange and amazing thing I am."

As I read these pages and Jill's description of the early phases of her stroke, I am amazed at how more intensely we would experience ourselves if we could learn to turn off the chatter in our minds. Since reading page 42, I practice saying to myself as often as I can "WOW, what a atrange and amazing thing I am."

Just those few words are so empowering to me. I am grateful that Jill has allowed us to grow through her experiences and insights. I am also reminded that many times we discover the most about ourselves and our abilities in times of great pain (physical or otherwise).

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Mind Chatter

WOW! I just finished listening to Oprah's Soul Series interviews with Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor (http://www2.oprah.com/spiritself/oss/guest/oss_guest_jboltetaylor.jhtml) and I am really amazed at the insights Jill shares with us as she journeys through a stroke at the age of 37.

If you are not yet familiar with Dr. Jill, she is a neuroanatomist who studies the functioning of the brain. In 1996, while at the top of her profession in brain circuitry research at Harvard's Medical School of Psychiatry, she suffered a rare type of stroke which usually results in death.

In her book, My Stroke Of Insight, she describes the experience she has in understanding the untapped abilities of the human mind. Over the next several months I will share some of Jill's moments of gratitude. To truly experience the enormity of her experiences, I urge you to read the book AND listen to the interviews!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Distinctions

Today I am grateful that I continue to distinguish between things I enjoy and those things that I enjoy which are also good for me!

Let me explain a bit. I love people, ideas and synergy. Many times I get caught up in the energy of an opportunity without taking a moment to understand if the energy is pulling or if it is the opportunity itself. Sometimes we are given opportunities so that we can determine if they are here at the right time.

Have you ever gotten really excited about something, really caught up in the moment to find, in retrospect, that it is not what you need most in your life right now? Think about the last time you went shopping and saw something that just took your breath away. You HAD to have it! You may have thought about it, pondered it and decided to buy it, despite some reservations. You bought the energy that it gave you. Later you say to yourself, "Why did I buy that anyway? It doesn't look right, fit right, etc. It was way to expensive for my current lifestyle."

I now ask myself several questions before I make these "energetic" decisions:
1. How would my life change if I choose this now?
2. Is there something similar that fits my needs better?
3. Do I need this or WANT this?
4. What cost would I pay for not following through right now?

I still get caught up in the energy sometimes. When I do, and later realize the choice may not have been the best for me, I am grateful to have discovered yet one more way to define what I really desire.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Charlie Brown-Happiness Is

From "You're a Good Man Charlie Brown"

HAPPINESS IS FINDING A PENCIL.
PIZZA WITH SAUSAGE
TELLING THE TIME.
HAPPINESS IS LEARNING TO WHISTLE.
TYING YOUR SHOE FOR THE VERY FIRST TIME.

HAPPINESS IS PLAYING THE DRUM IN YOUR OWN SCHOOL BAND.
AND HAPPINESS IS WALKING HAND IN HAND.
HAPPINESS IS TWO KINDS OF ICE CREAM.
KNOWING A SECRET.
CLIMBING A TREE.
HAPPINESS IS FIVE DIFFERENT CRAYONS.
CATCHING A FIREFLY.
SETTING HIM FREE.

HAPPINESS IS BEING ALONE EVERY NOW AND THEN.
AND HAPPINESS IS COMING HOME AGAIN.
HAPPINESS IS MORNING AND EVENING,
DAY TIME AND NIGHT TIME TOO.
FOR HAPPINESS IS ANYONE AND ANYTHING AT ALL
THAT'S LOVED BY YOU.

HAPPINESS IS HAVING A SISTER.
SHARING A SANDWICH.
GETTING ALONG.
HAPPINESS IS SINGING TOGETHER WHEN DAY IS THROUGH,
AND HAPPINESS IS THOSE WHO SING WITH YOU.
HAPPINESS IS MORNING AND EVENING,
DAYTIME AND NIGHTTIME TOO.
FOR HAPPINESS IS ANYONE AND ANYTHING AT ALL
THAT'S LOVED BY YOU.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Happiness

Recently a great group of women created a list of what happiness, true happiness, is to (us). Here's what we came up with. Please add your ideas:

Happiness is a simplified ego and simplified soul. A simplified ego practices acceptance, acknowledement and appreciation. A simplified soul is unmoved by turbulence, has a deeper understanding of mankind, is in gratitude 24 hours a day/7 days a week, operates from purposeful living and empowers others to do the same.

Happiness is harmonious consciousness. Time is spent allowing and serving the greater good. The pasing of time is not measured in what has not been accomplished, but is true bliss with no regret.

Happiness is total presence and connection to every thing. It is celebrating the purpose in every thing-good and "bad".

Happiness is when you smile so often your cheeks hurt-all the time!

Happiness is coming................

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Grateful Giving

This entry is from a dear friend I met on a cruise this past October.


I have had the most wonderful afternoon! The installer was here changing our satellite service to Direct TV. I was in my office working on locates when I thought I would attempt to return the man's kindnesses. He had gone to a great deal of trouble to run cable up to the tree house. He had told me he would hook up our existing recorders and the grandchildren's games. He also displayed patience in teaching me DVR olgy.

I explained to him what I was doing and asked if there was anyone he would like for me to locate. Without hesitation he blurted, "my brother, Howard!" "We were brought up in the boy's ranch out of San Antonio and we have not had contact with him for nearly thirty years". There had been three of the brothers at the ranch with a sister having been raised by an aunt. I made him no promises and went back in my office.

Twenty minutes later, he came down the hall on his way to another set in another room. I called out to him, "John, come here please." "Your brother is on my phone". He walked into the office with a look of total disbelief. Without a word to me, he took the phone and asked firmly, "who is this"? Of course, I could only hear his part of the conversation but, it was clear that he was testing this person claiming to be his long lost brother. "Do we have any siblings?" "Oh Dear God, that's right". I later learned that the third brother's name was Fred G. Jr. but these two brothers called him G.G.

I left the room as his voice started to choke. A few minutes later I walked in to get my cell phone and heard him tell his brother, "I have three sons Howard." "Three!" "Yes, they are 27, 24, and 17." "I love you man!!!"

When he had finished the call, he walked outside where Weldon and I stood trying to give him privacy. He thanked me profusely and went on about his work.

I walked into the last room he was hooking up to tell him I was leaving for an appointment and to thank him. As I walked into the room, he was holding his cell phone to his ear with his shoulder as he worked with the cables. He looked up and again had tears in his eyes. He was talking to his sister and trying to convince her that he had actually talked to Howard and they were planning a family reunion.

Was it chance that he was the one sent to install the system or was it the divine hand of the Master Communicator? Lordy, I love my job!

Jan Elliott

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day

I am grateful that I knew my mother. She taught me many things, some through her own mistakes and some through her own difficulties.

I believe I taught her some things, too. I taught her to believe in herself no matter how many things she felt she did wrong. I taught her to accept that she did the best she could. I taught her how different I was (LOL). I showed her that she could still dream in her 70's.

I celebrated her graduation from High School at age 50, her first job in over 40 years (other than raising 7 children herself) and her strength as she learned to deal with her lung cancer. I celebrated that she lived longer than the doctors gave her. I celebrated her death.

Mom passed away 9 years ago, but she lives on inside me. As silly as it may seem, there are times I do something, notice something, capture a random thought- and smile a smile of thanks- for I know it was my mom checking in.

Happy Mother's Day!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Grateful Giving

This entry is a story from a wonderful woman I met on a cruise this past fall:

I have had the most wonderful afternoon! The installer was here changing our satellite service to Direct TV. I was in my home office working. He had gone to a great deal of trouble to run cable, hook up our existing recorders and the grandchildren's games. He also displayed patience in teaching me DVR olgy.

I explained to him that I locate people and asked if there was anyone he would like for me to locate. Without hesitation he blurted, "my brother, Howard!" "We were brought up in the boy's ranch out of San Antonio and we have not had contact with him for nearly thirty years". There had been three of the brothers at the ranch with a sister having been raised by an aunt. I made him no promises and went back in my office.

Twenty minutes later, he came down the hall on his way to another set in another room. I called out to him, "John, come here please." "Your brother is on my phone". He walked into the office with a look of total disbelief. Without a word to me, he took the phone and asked firmly, "who is this"? Of course, I could only hear his part of the conversation but, it was clear that he was testing this person claiming to be his long lost brother. "Do we have any siblings?" "Oh Dear God, that's right". I later learned there was a third brother.

I left the room as his voice started to choke. A few minutes later I walked in to get my cell phone and heard him tell his brother, "I have three sons Howard." "Three!" "Yes, they are 27, 24, and 17." "I love you man!!!"

When he had finished the call, he walked outside where I stood trying to give him privacy. He thanked me profusely and went on about his work.

I walked into the last room he was hooking up to tell him I was leaving for an appointment and to thank him. As I walked into the room, he was holding his cell phone to his ear with his shoulder as he worked with the cables. He looked up and again had tears in his eyes. He was talking to his sister and trying to convince her that he had actually talked to Howard and they were planning a family reunion.

Was it chance that he was the one sent to install the system or was it the divine hand of the Master Communicator? Lordy, I love my job!

J. Elliott

Monday, May 5, 2008

Amazing Grace!

I was having a bit of procrastination this morning. I found myself moving from one task to the next, then on to something else with very little focus. After exercising, I took the dog for her walk and there the day unfolded.

I met a neighbor several streets from my home. As I guided my dog around her so we would not disturb her lawn mowing, I said hello and the world changed. The dog instinctively laid down in the shade, while "Sandy" and I began to chat-this after telling the pooch we only had a few minutes to roam. Sandy began to remark about the house next door that sold last year and had recently been up on the market again. From there, we talked about her children and family, her own situation and about coaching.

As I listened intently to the wisdom she shared, I stood in amazement. This woman had endured raising an Asberger's Syndrome child, let go of a dear relative with complete acceptance, empowered her daughter after fear and anxiety set in during the last of her teen years and letting go of a spouse. She said, "Until now, I never thought I'd overcome struggle. I spent those difficult times doing one thing, then doing the next one thing until the day was through." Sandy used some of the very tools I use in coaching.

Reframing the situation- Sandy clearly understood early on that it is necessary to see things as they appear "on the outside" in order to choose what to do. A new perspective allows new options to appear.

Focus- Knowing in which direction to move can be the key to success or temporary failure.

Matching beliefs and values- When your values are in opposition to a belief you have adopted,achieving a balance is essential to building momentum.

And gratitude-When you are grateful for what each situation brings to you, you are given more.

Sandy, thank you for showing me through your experiences in life, how much I have to be grateful for today. You expressed the lessons I needed for today.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Struggle

In Dr. Wayne Dyer's book, Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life, he challenges his readers to recognize where they have created restricitions for themselves that keep them from new and expanding experiences. Once the restricitions are discovered, such as not writing the book within you or going mountain climbing, "plunge in where you've never before wandered." (pg 277)

What have you held back from doing that, when done, would provide a new opportunity to experience gratitude for the opportunity?


Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life
Dr. Wayne W. Dyer
ISBN 978-1-4019-1184-3

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Child's Gratitude Prayer

I am at peace in this world.
I have clarity of purpose.
I am here to live as a child-
free, curious, giving, loving and accepting.
I realize there is no security in the real world.
I find peace within myself and
I am secure.


Renee Canali

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Awareness-The Greatest Gift

How much of your day is spent truly aware of what is around you? Awareness propels us forth toward true gratitude. For to be grateful for what IS, you must be aware that IT exists.

Notice something new today.
Appreciate it.
When you do not see it, appreciate it.

Try the exercise in March's newsletter, Cultivating The Seeds of Change. Share your experiences and observations: http://tinyurl.com/2hwwee

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Gratitude in The Face of Adversity

Every morning we have a choice to listen to doom and gloom or read about terror and hardship. When I choose to hear what is going on around me, I use different listening skills than I use for normal conversation. I put on the heavy filter for sensationalism and negativity. I listen (or read) with my mind wide open to receive the vital pieces of information that affect my life and the lives of those I love.

Then I seek out something to be grateful for.

Recently a neighbor of 80+ years old found out she has leukemia. I am saddened by her situation and continue to pray for her to have the strength she needs to face whatever is ahead of her. However, I am grateful that I met her years ago and have had many pleasant conversations about gardening, friendship and life. I am grateful that she has lived this long without many health issues. I am grateful she has family that loves her and is gathered around to give her the support she needs. I am grateful that several neighbors keep in touch about each other in case someone is in need.

Life always presents us with challenges we need to grow stronger. For this I am learning to be grateful.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Taxes and Gratitude Attiude

Taxes are due tomorrow for those of us in the US. This time of year, if you choose to listen, there are many people grumbling about having to pay taxes. I choose not to be one of them. Here's why:

I vote for the people who enact and repeal tax legislation.
I choose whether or not to question what I pay.
I choose to find legal alternatives to paying higher taxes.
I am grateful that I have government services such as emergency aid (ambulance, fire, police).
If there are others that need government supported programs such as battered women, families needing emergency shelter, etc. I am happy I have contributed to those funds through tax dollars.

When I am not satisfied with how a government program is run, I can choose whether or not to get involved in facilitating change.

I have not found grumbling to be useful myself. I either focus on what I can do to change things or I focus on other causes or programs that do a better job at changing the problem.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Grace in Crisis

It is hard to imagine that in times of crisis, such as the flooding in the heartland of the United States recently, that there is plenty to be grateful for in our lives. As I listen to some of the residents of these towns under water, I hear their heartfelt thanks to those who have saved them, rescued their families and belongings, and provide food and shelter. I hear how fortunate they feel to still be alive. They have a long road ahead of them as they put their lives back together and deal with the aftermath of these natural events.

This is a reminder to us that in every crisis there is an opportunity for gratitude. As a matter of fact, there is always a reason to be grateful.

Today I am grateful that I slept well. My family awoke healthy. The sun has appeared after days of clouds and the air is warm and fragrant with spring blossoms. The gas company is working diligently behind our home to fix a gas leak that was caught before disaster could strike. The city workers that collect trash showed up for work today, have trucks to safely remove our debris with and are pleasant and helpful. I have hours more to provide my services to those seeking change and momentum in their lives. I am grateful for those that read this blog and invite everyone to find something to be grateful for...share your stories and thoughts.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Gratitude and Acceptance

I continue to focus on things that I am grateful for this month. I realize that part of being grateful is being able to accept that some things are out of your control. The key is to consciously challenge what you can and cannot control.

At any time during the day, it is possible to hear a news story focused on what is wrong with the economy. When I hear those stories seeping in to my day, I consciously decide whether or not I want to hear them. I cannot control that the stories are there, but I can control whether or not I listen and then what I act upon or react to. The stories themselves are not harmful, but I believe the "spin" they are delivered with can be harmful if you allow yourself to be pulled by the undertow.

There are realities that we need to be aware of and part of the realitiy is that life is a cycle. Stocks go up and they go down. Prices go up and then prices balance out. Things look bleek and then people use their resources to counter the negative effects.

When we accept the whole of this reality, we can affect individual parts of the whole by becoming more informed, by making deliberate choices, by preparing and taking action to better position ourselves or improve our situation.

Accept that currently there is a great opportunity to improve many aspects of your life. Then, become informed, prepare and take constructive action.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Creating Space for Gratitude

Last night I participated in Oprah and Eckhart Tolle's world wide webcast, discussing Eckhart's book, A New Earth. Oprah read a poem by David Wagoner titled LOST.

I have posted it here to encourage everyone to take time everyday to be present- just to stand still, no distractions and allow yourself to just exist for a few moments. Start by taking a few deep breaths and reading this poem slowly to yourself. Create an experience:

LOST by David Wagoner.
From the book "Traveling Light: Collected and New Poems"
published by the University of Illinois Press in 1999


Stand still. The trees ahead and bushes beside you
Are not lost.
Wherever you are is called Here,
And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,
Must ask permission to know it and be known.
The forest breathes. Listen. It answers,
I have made this place around you.
If you leave it, you may come back again, saying Here.
No two trees are the same to Raven.
No two branches are the same to Wren.
If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you,
You are surely lost. Stand still. The forest knows
Where you are. You must let it find you.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Now, reflect on one thing you are grateful for in your life today. It may be as simple as reading this poem!

Monday, March 31, 2008

Maya Angelou turns 80!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MAYA ANGELOU

Maya Angelou,great author, poet, educator and speaker turns 80 years old on Friday. This morning she was interviewed on Good Morning America. When asked how she lived her long life she said she celebrates every day. Her grandmother used to tell her to be grateful no matter what the circumstances because there were people black, white, yellow, rich, poor, hungry that did not wake up this morning.

Be thankful that you did wake up this morning. I am!

How will you celebrate today?

Monday, March 24, 2008

Celebrate WHO you are

In order to stay focused on all I have in my life and all that I have to offer, I have been keeping a list of All That I Am!

It is a great way to celebrate WHO you are as well as a wonderful reminder of all that you have in your life for which to be grateful.

Here are just a few entries:
I am curious (if you are, walk in The Land of Possibility at www.landofpossibility.com)
I am an explorer.
I am always eager to grow.
I am positive energy in flow!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Hidden Glimpses

A neighbor today apologized for a spouse-in case I had experienced "the wrath" of their partner. Enduring diabetes and the loss of a limb, several car accidents and a head injury left this neighbor's spouse in a position of dealing with a lot of emotion. Some emotion is an effect of necessary medication and the rest, I suspect, is internal fear being expressed.

My gratitude goes out to both of them-to her for being open and expressing herself without fear of my reaction. And to him for allowing outsiders to have a glimpse into the inner world he faces each day.

I am grateful that I have been shown how emotions are the thread that leads us to the essence of a person. The more I practice seeing beyond the window dressing-the way we are in public, what we own, the list of our accomplishments- the truer picture I have of what each of us has inside at the core of our being. It is not easy to pierce this veil we hide behind. But one small glimmer of light beyond can lead to deeper understanding and longer lasting relationships.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Seeds of Understanding

Spring- the time of year when the seemingly barren earth begins to burst with energy. The sunlight grows stronger, the earth cracks with promises of untold beauty and people seem to be cleaning out the winter dustbunnies from their brains. Spirits become lighter and I feel a new breath of hope for the year.

I invite you to take time to sit still and drink in the beauty around you. Sit outside for 15 minutes each day. Begin by taking a slow deep breathe and exhaling; repeat two more times with your eyes closed. Slowly open your eyes and notice what you focus on first. IS it a sound (or NOISE)? A smell (or fragrance)? Something which doesn't "belong" (or a discovery)? Reflect on the reactions you have. Choose one reaction which could be changed into a positive easily. Close your eyes once again and as you take three more deep breathes and exhale slowly, allow your mind to "change" the situation. As you open your eyes, open your thinking to embrace the possibility that change has occurred.

The situation you had noticed may or may not have changed; But I suggest that YOU have changed!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Ponderment

When I count my problems
There are many.

When I count my blessings,
My problems are few.


How can you "flip the picture" in your life to see the other side of a difficult time?

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Prayers of Gratitude

Prayers of Gratitude
By Renee Canali

What if we took the risk
of getting close enough
to a homeless man
to experience his journey?

What if we paused
long enough
to feel the pain
of those that suffer?

What if, as we yearned
for someone to hold us,
we instead
held someone tightly?

What if we could observe
what is wrong with the world
in order to experience
what is right?

What if we stayed silent
long enough
to detect the faintest cry
from someone close by?

What if we found strength
among all our fears and insecurities,
discovering that strength is not only of the flesh
but more importantly, from the mind?

If all the world stopped
to listen
at precisely the same moment,
what would be heard?

Prayers of gratitude.

Monday, February 25, 2008

SPRING INVITATION

It has been a while since The Virtual Gratitude Party began. We have had a few early visitors but we are ready to ramp it up for SPRING!

Here are a few hilights:

March will be a celebration of obscure opportunities for showing, expressing and acknowledging gratitude. Share those things you are grateful for and you may open the door for someone else to discover gratitude in their life where they cannot yet see.

April is when we get really kickin'. I am looking for many ,many, many stories about things you are grateful for in your life. It may be an experience you have endured and now find yourself grateful that situation came into your life. It may be an appreciation you are currently living.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Warning:Opportunities Abound!

So many times I am reminded in very small ways that every day offers a multitude of opportunities for us to be grateful. For example, I received a call for help with a sick child because the mom was ill as well. The child needed to be picked up at daycare and brought home for tender loving care. I decided to take my lunchbreak to extend a helping hand. Driving home. I found myself smiling because I realize how grateful I am to have raised my two children already. I can now watch them discover the wonders life offers.

One of my clients is in the process of discovering how much insight she has when dealing with people. I know she feels the excitement of "something's coming", but does not yet realize the gifts that are unfolding. As this client moves into her fears, she begins to get more of a taste for what lies beyond. Once she decided to abandon the beliefs that hold her back,she has discovered old beliefs don't have as strong a hold as before. They keep coming back to check in-just to make sure she hasn't decided to go back to the old comfort zone.

This weekend I was greeted with a very warm welcome at the checkout stand in the grocery store. The checkout clerk remembered a few kind words I had shared a few days before when life wasn't flowing well for him. He was eager to tell me how just a few words had helped turn his day around-and he was still feeling the effects!

My mission in life is to touch 1 million hearts every day, both directly and indirectly. I am blessed to have chosen this journey, knowing that such small opportunities for kindness and gratitude make such a big difference and appear every day in each of our lives.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Gratitude and Abundance

What do you think of when someone says "abundance"? Many of us think of all of the THINGS we have. Some of us think of those around us that love and support us. Some of us restrict our abundance to the amount of money we can tap into.

In order to receive more I believe you must be grateful for and celebrate all that you have. Here are some ideas to generate a wider interpretation of abundance.

Being treated (to lunch,coffee, a movie)
Great friends
Support from others
Free professional advice
Smiles from others
A stress free drive to/from work, etc.
Free upgrades (airlines,loyalty programs, etc)
Testimonials
Business referrals
Value added products and services

Please add your own ideas!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Being Uncomfortable

I am intrigued that many of us are inclined to operate within our comfort zones, with great resistance toward anything might change that comfort. We hold tight to the familiar and hesitate to explore the unfamiliar.

Fear of change keeps us holding on to things that we would not choose for ourselves if we redesigned our lives.

I recall working for a boss who always put themself first and never spent time creating a work environment that encouraged and supported employees. The attitude was one without appreciation for individual contribution. The situation became uncomfortable enough to give me the strength to challenge some of the comments that were made. In the end, it gave me the courage to leave a job that no longer reflected who I was at the tme and what I wanted for my life.

I realized afterward, that prior to leaving that job I was teaching my children to settle for what was readily available or comfortable. Once I left the job, I gave them a lesson on reaching for what you want, doing it with grace and dignity and then be grateful for the opportunity to become uncomfortable.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Year End Reflections

As I review my progress forward, I look back on this past year to remind myself of all of the small action steps I have taken that have propelled me to where I stand today.

I create many opportunities to meet and listen to people. I keep my sights on what I am aiming towards for my future- both business and personal goals. I continue to work on HOW I say things, seeking always to say what I mean in the most powerful way possible. (See the March 2007 issue of my newsletter at www.landofpossibility.com).

Listening to that little voice inside of each of us, I began to think I hadn't accomplished as much as I planned in 2007. Contrary to that belief, I am actually overwhelmed by the things I had experienced, accomplished and created.

When you take an assessment of where you are or what you have recently accomplished, what belief do you need to challenge?