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


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


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: