Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Gratitude: The Only Attitude to Have!

This article is reprinted with permission from Sheri Rosenthal DPM and Master Toltec teacher:

It is a rare occasion that someone will rant and rave about how wonderful their life is, how everything is fabulous, or how grateful they are for all that has happened to them. As a society we tend to focus more on what’s wrong, how life isn’t going our way, or how unfortunate we are.

As spiritually minded people, we can acknowledge that we create our reality from our thoughts, however, how often do we put that understanding into action in life? If we focus our thoughts on what is not going well in our lives (and feeling dissatisfaction and frustration), then how are we going to create loveliness from that?

Well, we cannot. If we are constantly putting our attention on what is not “right” then we will create more of what is not “right.” In our society it is not considered polite to talk about how wonderful life is because there is an idea that we will attract the “evil eye” and bad luck will come our way – or some variation of this thought. Let’s take a moment to break that belief right now, as there is no way it can serve us in a positive way.

It is imperative that we have gratitude for everything that has occurred in our lives, no matter how we judge those events. If you cannot find anything to be grateful for, then I suggest you focus your attention on what you believe about your life and the way you personally judge everything. Your judgment is the true problem here rather than the actual events in your life – they are simply what they are – neither good nor bad.

Everyone has something to be grateful for. Whether it is clothes on your back, food on your plate, family, your job, your car, your health, your divorce, the death of someone who is suffering, friends, or your pet, there is something to be thankful for. Often the things that we judge to be bad are simply events we are not enjoying in the moment – without any regard for the blessing that change can bring in the long run.

I invite you to try this exercise every morning for 5-10 minutes. Close your eyes while you are in a restful position. Focus your attention on a mental picture of everything that you have in your life. Picture those events, people or things in your minds-eye and feel the joy well-up within you as you view them. I often do this until tears come to my eyes and I feel so filled with gratitude and joy that the feeling is overwhelming.

Starting my day in this way sets my attitude towards gratitude – and my actions, words and deeds follow suit. I encourage you to experiment with taking the attitude of gratitude in your life and see the difference it makes. It’s time to stop the judgment and start focusing on choosing to be happy, satisfied and appreciative. Feeling satisfied doesn’t mean you lapse into inertia and no longer create new dreams and adventures in your life. It simply means that you accept what is with happiness – then you take action to initiate new and more exciting creations (rather than focusing on judging what you have to be not-good-enough). Nothing is going to stop life from unfolding, but you can definitely change the way you react to it and have gratitude.

With All my love & blessings. Sheri Rosenthal

**visit and listen to the Toltec Audio Minute for Gratitude***

Sheri Rosenthal DPM is a master Toltec teacher and author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Toltec Wisdom and Banish Mind Spam!. Having trained with don Miguel Ruiz, author of The Four Agreements®, she currently takes students on spiritual journeys works with personal apprentices and enjoys being extremely happy. You can reach her at or and

Copyright © 2009 by Sheri Rosenthal DPM

Friday, August 28, 2009

Thanks-A Book on Gratitude

I recently read a book review by Bo R. Meinertsen on The full review can be found at:

Robert Emmons, editor-in-chief of the Journal of Positive Psychology, has written an easy to read textbook on the benefits of gratitude. Gratitude is often an underestimated tool for increasing happiness.

In a recent post, I wrote about a negative view of gratitude where the author seemed to have missed the point of being grateful for anything good around you and in your life. I recommend this book as a way to expand your definition or understanding of gratitude, its benefits and ways to incorporate the practice into your life.

Thanks is a mix of case studies, stories and ideas from many sources including literature and religion. In the last chapter Emmons describes methods you can try to increase your practice of gratitude.

Coach Renee

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Attitude about Gratitude

I read something recently that seemed to miss the point about gratitude. It was a post to a blog I decided not to mention due to its focus on what's not right with life. Maybe it was poking fun, but it didn't hit me that way.

Statement: gratitude is feeling superior to another.

Gratitude is an inside job. Gratitude is being thankful for what you have in your life. It is counting your blessings, however small and short lived. It is appreciating the lessons that come your way and the people or circumstances that brought them to you.

Statement: gratitude is about comparing our circumstances to the circumstances of others.

Gratitude is about appreciating your life and the abundance you have. It is appreciating who you are and who you can become by celebrating what surrounds you.

Immaculée Ilibagiza,once a young, vibrant university student experienced a dramatic life transformation during the 1994 Rwandan genocide. She and seven other women spent 91 days huddled in silence in a cramped bathroom of a local pastor's house. What began as a promising life with a loving family had turned into a nightmare.At 65pounds,she emerged to find her family (except on brother) had been brutally murdered during her captivity.

She could have chosen bitterness, rage, or anger; yet she chose to pray and ask for guidance so that she could find a way to forgive those that created such pain in her life. She was grateful she was alive,was surrounded by others, was given refuge by someone who put themselves at great risk. As she tells her story, she did fight against the power of hate and loathing. When faced with the choice, she chose to pray for grace.

Hopefully there are more people coming to a deeper understanding of gratitude. Gratitude is a state of mind, not a circumstance of being.

Coach Renee

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

My father died just before my sixth birthday. How could he? My birthday present was to be without a father, to lose the Sunday morning walks in the garden after church, to never experience mystery rides in the car or Little Tavern hamburgers on occasion.

At 6 I am not sure I knew I had a choice about my reactions to events in my life. I selfishly chose anger, resentment, blame and several other not so pretty emotions. Throughout the next 20 or so years, I justified my actions and feelings. I had a right to be pissed off! I was a victim in the world.

Slowly,a feeling from underneath my skin began to emerge. I had a sense that feeling had been there this whole time. Why hadn't I chosen THAT feeling?

I discovered that feeling was gratitude. I would not have wished the death of my father or anyone else. Yet being given the opportunity at such a young age to learn how to cope with tragedy I realize is a gift. I have actually accomplished many things in spite of my horrible life and ruined birthday (lol).

My gratitude garden grew at a very slow speed. It harbored many weeds and was sometimes home to more weeds that good deeds. Yet, as I look back at how my life evolved and how I am able to still grow, despite an occasional weed, I am grateful for the lessons I learned along the way. I would have rather had an easier life. But then, what would I have learned?

Three Ways to Develop Gratitude

This is an excerpt from the article Three Ways to Develop Gratitude written by Alan Lurie, Author of Five Minutes on Mondays: Finding Unexpected Purpose, Peace, and Fulfillment at Work
Posted: August 24, 2009 01:04 PM Huffington Post

Please visit this link for the full article: (

"Gratitude can solve all that ails us because when we are truly grateful we immediately rise above our fear-based needs to dominate, control, or retreat in to cynicism. And when we approach people and situations with gratitude we will naturally be drawn to positive action, discovering new possibilities that we could never have imagined in the protective shell of self-isolation. These actions can take many forms, depending on the needs of the other person and the situation in the moment, but will always be beneficial for humanity.

Although gratitude is a feeling, it must be cultivated through action. The following offers several suggestions for developing gratitude:

1. Make a gratitude list: Srikumar Rao, who teaches a hugely popular class at Columbia Business School, and is author of "Are You Ready to Succeed"? recommends that we write a daily list of the things that have occurred for which we are grateful. These do not need to be major events, but can be the little occurrences that we usually ignore - the train arriving on time, good weather, a satisfying meal, a stranger's warm smile - and the wonderful people and things in our lives that we all to often take for granted - our families, spouses, friends, jobs, homes, health, bodies.

2. Say "Thank you" to others: Stay alert for opportunities to express gratitude to others as often as you can. You will find that even when you are not feeling grateful, simply saying "thank you" will connect you to others, and will have an impact beyond the moment.

3. Develop a daily gratitude prayer: All religious and spiritual traditions stress the essential nature of gratitude, and place it as the bedrock of faith. Within many of these traditions the first prayer that a practitioner says every morning is "I am thankful for having awakened to another day." This is a prayer of gratitude to our Creator for the very miracle of our lives.

These practices remind us that gratitude is available to us at any moment and under any circumstance, even - or especially - when we are not feeling particularly thankful. Seen from the highest perspective, gratitude is the door that opens to individual and world transformation, revealing our true nature, binding us to each other, and to the Divine. "

Friday, August 7, 2009

This is an excerpt from Mojo Boosters: 5 Simple Ways to Increase Your Energy Output by Theresa Rose posted to August 04, 2009

Be grateful. Expressing gratitude is like receiving a shot of adrenaline. When we are grateful for what we already have – a home, a family, love, health, food, and shelter – we instantly get a boost of mojo that can help us through the tough times. The key is to make the expression of gratitude a daily habit. Think about starting and ending each day with a “gratitude rant.” Before you get out of bed and drive to work, or before you shut off the light to get back into bed, mentally rattle off all of the fabulous things in your life. Take note of the gifts contained within the challenges of the day. What was the blessing in the postponed meeting or client call? Did it allow you to spend more time on a project that had a deadline, or did it make it so that you were able to drive home a few minutes earlier to see your family? If you operate from a perspective of gratitude, then you will never have that familiar feeling of running on empty.

To read the full article, please go to:

Theresa Rose is an inspirational speaker and award-winning author of the new book, "Opening the Kimono." As founder of Serious Mojo Publications, Theresa specializes in fresh approaches to energy management, productivity and creative development. Her experience includes owning a healing center, senior manager of a Fortune 100 firm, and vice president of a consulting firm. For more information, visit

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Hidden Miracles

A few weeks ago, my husband and I decided to take a short trip to the C&O Canal in Maryland. We are familiar with the canal and had visited several different sections since childhood. This Sunday, we decided to pick a lock on the canal we had not yet experienced.

As we drove, my husband missed our first choice; Pennyfield Lock in Potomac, Maryland. He didn't see the sign he was looking for. We drove further north, missing the next two locks: Violettes and Riley's locks. We had our dog, Happy, with us. She doesn't like riding in the car usually but she seemed very content. I, however, had a few minutes of tape running through my head:

"Why didn't he just turn? That's what an adventure is-no signs."
"There WAS a sign. Why does it have to look like what YOU want it to look like?"
"Well, I could complain or enjoy the ride. Happy seems to be doing just that."

We drove a bit further where the road narrows and turns to gravel. We turned around and began our search for a gravel parking lot with a wooden Park Service sign.

As we came around a bend, we saw it: The sign for McKee-Beshers Wildlife Management Area. We had arrived somewhere. Even though neither of us had any idea what we would find, it was a chance to walk around a bit and let the dog get fresh air. We walked across the parking lot towards the information station, beyond the post and wire fencing to an opening in the tree line.

Seeking a bit of adventure and stoked with curiosity as to how far a walk it might be to get to the canal or the Potomac River,we headed through the opening and immediately gasped in unison. There, in front of us, was a field of thousands of sunflowers! a sea of smiling faces shining toward all visitors. Happy must have sensed the significance of this event because she took off to encircle the entire field!

What an amazing adventure we experienced that day. We shared it with as many people as we could. Without giving away the breathtaking scene, we directed them to the gravel lot near the trees....

Seeds Of Possibility Framed by Sunshine

Coach Renee

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Monday, May 4, 2009

Not An Option

Someone asked me today if it was difficult dealing with a spouse with dementia.

As anyone who has dealt with a parent, a spouse, or even a friend with dementia would answer, "YES".

I'm not a martyr. I'm a wife with memories. Let me share some of those with you.

I remember a patient young trooper with a seventeen year old bride who drove but, did not have a driver's license.

I remember a young man who liked to eat who had a wife who couldn't cook....but would.

I remember a young father who held his pregnant wife's hair out of her face while she threw up time after time.

I remember the patience of a man trying to deal with a wife who couldn't manage money and got his butt in a financial crack because, back then, the wife just wasn't responsible for such.

I remember the strong pilot/investigator who could fly anything, and who was so good at his job he got Christmas cards from Huntsville, trying to deal with a wife hospitalized with severe depression over the loss of their unborn son.

I remember the relief on a soaked husband/father's face when, after driving through a hurricane with the windows blown out of his car, finally found his family safe and sound in a shelter.

I remember a scared father and grandfather delivering his grandson on his daughter's bathroom floor. Then, not letting his wife, or anyone else, go in until he had cleaned up the room.

I remember a caring man who encouraged his wife to try new things and backed her in every hair brained idea known to man.

I remember a husband giving a travel poster of Austria to his wife for their 30th anniversary as a way of telling her they were going to Vienna. On their second anniversary he had asked where in the world she would most like to visit. Then promising that would be her gift for their 30th anniversary. Then keeping that promise.

I remember a man telling his wife, who without asking him, had just put a set of new tires on a struggling adult child's car, "all I want is a full tank of gas in my motorcycle and a buck fifty in my pocket and you can have the rest". And meaning it.

There are too many memories to write here but, this is what you both do when you're in love. You have a commitment to each other. Each obstacle and each heartache is another opportunity for that marriage to strengthen.

You see when you truly love each other, divorce is not an option. Neither is failing to take care of one another.

My greatest regret is that I can not show this to my husband because of his inability to comprehend.

Don't wait....share your feelings with each other now while you still can.

I love you honey.

Jan Elliott

Friday, April 24, 2009

Letting Go and Focus

How often do you catch yourself focusing on the negative or downside of a situation?
It's easy to do unless you really pay attention to what you are thinking.

When I find myself thinking about what is wrong or begin to worry about something, I have been fairly successful at refocusing my thoughts to NOW. Yesterday, our dog seemed out of sorts a bit. She was scheduled to go to the vet next week, so I was going to "let it go". I began to worry that she was getting ill and at 13 years old was on her way "to the other side". I called the vet and she asked if I thought my dog needed to come in right away. I decided to check in with my intuition-I took a moment to let my fear and panic pass a bit and decided to bring the dog in this morning.

Over night, the dog seemed fine and I slept without tossing and turning. It felt a little strange to actually pause and let the panic pass, then check in with how I really felt about her condition. The vet just called and the dog is fine.

How many times are we given these situations so that we can practice letting go to learn how to make decisions beyond our fears? Do we stop and show gratitude for these opportunities?

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Gift of Silence

The saying goes, "March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb." This year Mother Nature seems to have a different idea- Strong winds through the end of March and into April. It is as if we need more than one breathe of fresh air.

In the midst of these fierce winds, I have found a place where the world begins to make sense. That place is within the silence surrounding the noise of life. Sitting quietly, I listen to the pitch of the wind as it howls and surrounds the house. High and low, it sings a song of renewal and hope. Some hear desperation and disaster in the song. I, too, began that way. I found that the more I listen, the more peace I hear. It's like learning to pick out individual instruments as you listen to an orchestra play a beautifully stirring piece from the great masters.

I invite you listen for the silence in your day. The silence that plays just under the most quiet of disturbances, such as traffic noises from the higway several blocks away or the distant crying of a baby animal just brought into the world.

It is in this silence that I find true peace within my soul. A gift to be grateful for in such a noisey world.

Coach Renee

Friday, April 3, 2009

Generosity of the Universe

Here's a story from a friend and colleague:

I didn't sleep much last weekend after learning of my husband's layoff. I kept getting this strong feeling that I needed to write a letter to his boss. I heard the one little voice in my head that said, "Don't be silly! He [the boss] will think you're a nutcase!" After mulling things over all weekend, I finally decided to follow my instincts and write that letter.

Basically, I expressed thanks for the dignity in which the boss gave my husband the news and the compassion with which he handled removing my husband from the office (it was done in a much more humane way than his previous company had done it). I then told him that with the layoff, my family was now like strangers in a state w/o a support group of friends and family. I asked if the company would be willing to contribute to our relocation for a new job.

Well, yesterday I received a letter from my husband's boss. He wrote that the company will be sending us a check for two weeks' pay to help cover relocation costs. And he added that I should let him know if he can be of further help. Wow.

Are you stressing out about something? What is that little voice telling you? NO- not those rampant thoughts of doom and marterdom. The small voice in the background. The one you hear when you tune in to your heart! What can you ask for from the universe?

Coach Renee, The Mindset Coach

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Importance of Pulling Together

Recently, a member of my husband's family experienced a stroke. Since then, every family member and friend hasexperienced the power of pulling together to aid in the healing of not only the patient but of those surrounding them.

Healing from stroke is very different from healing from an illness in the sense that part of the healing is mental and is not visible to outsiders. The stroke that struck my husband's family member affected the mobility of the left side. The muscles controlling speech, swallowing and smiling are all learning how to again perform their respective functions. The arm and shoulder muscles must learn how to interpret signals from the brain in order to create movement. The thigh, knee, leg and foot all need to take orders from the brain and learn how to synchronize their movements in order for a step to be taken.

As these miracles occur in the patient's body and mind, those around him pull together to synchronize visits and to provide care and support of other family members. Most importantly, outside of the patient's recovery, I have discovered how important it is to conserve our own energy and to allow others to do the same.

Recovery from stroke is a very mental game, as described by Jill Bolte Taylor in My Stroke of Insight. It is a mental game inside and out.

I am grateful for the discovery that in order to give healing energy I must conserve my own energy. Otherwise, I could become a drain on the patient's energy: which is critical for recovery.

Coach Renee

Friday, March 13, 2009

When in Doubt-Give love out

This past week, my father-in-law experienced a health crisis. A great doctor's visit Monday morning and moments after arriving home he suffered a stroke. Thursday morning, news that rehab is next-and waiting.

My father-in-law is now reaping the benefits of acute physical therapy and I expect him to recover well. Depending on the day and the moment, this week could be described as long, hard, sad, upsetting, uncertain or maybe unfair. It could also be described as a blessing, a new journey, a learning experience, God in action,or love.

It is not my intent to take away whatever feelings my husband and his family have experienced. It is only my intent to share something amazing that has come to me- and that is a sense of peace.

I believe it was August 2008 that I watched an Oprah interview with Jill Bolte Taylor, the brain scientist who wrote about her own stroke experience as both a patient and a scientist. I immedaitely went out and bought her book. The book is a remarkable read from many, many perspectives. Recently, I lent my copy of the book, My Stroke of Insight, to a neighbor who is experiencing the same electricity I did as I read it. A few days later, I got the call that my father-in-law had suffered a stroke.

The book did not come immediatley to mind. However, many things Jill had explained about her experience sprang forth as I watched people interact with my father-in-law. I hope the lessons she shared will allow me to respect my father-in-law's right to rediscover himself with unbending support from those around him. I am eager to listen to what his wishes are-his voice waivering a bit or hesitating slighly. I call forth compassion for his frustrations and worries about his wife.

I think the peace I feel comes from having read the book before experiencing stroke from the outside looking in and from the effort Jill put into writing this book as a means of understanding from a patient's view. I truly beleive this is one way that my father-in-law can receive the love, caring, compassion and respect he gives to others without thought.

Although everyone is experiencing change thrust upon them without warning or notice, I urge you to keep in mind that blessings come in all types of packages and do not always come wrapped in pretty paper and ribbons. When you face doubt and fear, try following the example my father-in-law has shown to me in his every day life:


Plenty more will come back to you to be given out again.

In gratitude for all I have been given and all I have to give,

Coach Renee

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Hidden Treasures in Plain Sight

I received an email from Iris Benrubi of Simply Success in Canada with a link to a special inspiring message.

This message is a precious way for us to remember that we are surrounded by gifts and support every day. We just need to take time to see what is there for our enjoyment and comfort.

Please treat yourself to this link now:

Thanks to Iris Benrubi for sharing this message. Iris can be found at
Simply Success, 1 Promenade Circle #302, Thornhill, Ontario L4J 4P8, CANADA

To your abundance,
Coach Renee

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Inside Out with Dan Caro

From Jayne Moffit's "The Unabridged Life" newsletter, Feb.26,2009 ISSN 2008 216360 with permission.

Jayne's message:

For more than 10 years now, I've been helping people build a bridge between dreams and reality and no matter what the dream is there is one criterion that must be met to bring it to life. Whether it's in business or the arts or simply how you present yourself, the vision that you dream of must be communicated effectively to the rest of the world. Once you find that dialogue, success will happen. Without it, you may as well be talking to the proverbial brick wall. There are two key factors to communicating your vision; Gratitude and Confidence. Gratitude for everything in your life brings you into alignment with honesty and the Universe responds to honesty with growth. Honesty invites the expansion of you and therefore your vision. The second key is confidence. Confidence that everything is working just as it should, opens up the pathway for trust between you and the process of manifestation. A vision communicated with Gratitude and Confidence will inevitably manifest in the real. You can read more about this alignment here, but right now I'd like to turn your attention to an inspiring speaker that epitomizes these ideas. My friend Dan Caro, has been choosing gratitude and confidence his entire life. Overcoming monumental obstacles, he now communicates his vision with sincere truth and honesty in both his music and his speaking. Read Dan's Inside Out story below.

What in the World Does One do Without Hands?
by guest Author: Dan Caro

When I was twelve years old I asked my dad if I could play a musical instrument. Being a musician himself, he was very excited. He and I both thought that the drums would be the easiest instrument for me to play. The question now, is how does one hold drumsticks without fingers?

At the age of two, I was severely burned in a gasoline related fire and lost most of my hands and all of my fingers. I have third and fourth degree burns over nearly eighty percent of my body. After many reconstructive surgeries, to make me look as normal and as functional as possible, I underwent a surgery that gave me the use of moveable thumbs. I was able to grip the drumstick with my left hand using my newly created thumb. With my right hand, however, I had a big problem. Even though I have the same type of reconstructed thumb, it is much smaller so I was unable to grip the stick.

I thought about this very creatively and decided that I would need a device to wrap around my wrist to grip the stick. I tried a bowling glove first, made of very rigid leather. It held the stick snugly against my wrist but it was too rigid preventing the stick from moving. In drumming, the stick needs be able to move freely. Next I tried, very foolishly, glue and then duct tape. Neither of the results were very favorable. Actually, both hurt very bad and caused major skin irritations. I tried rope, orthopedic splints and many other kinds of wraps but nothing seemed to work.

After weeks of trying some pretty crazy things, my dad suggested using a tennis wristband. I tried it and liked it a lot but it was not tight enough which led to the idea of trying rubber bands. The rubber bands had the right amount of tightness but it hurts having rubber bands wrapped tightly around your wrist. Finally, I decided to use the wristband with the rubber bands on top. It worked perfectly. As a matter of fact, it works so perfectly, I have not modified the technique at all. Even with several Orthopedic and plastic surgeons, a prosthetic maker, several occupational therapists and a Boeing engineer spending hours and hours trying to help create something better, I am still using my wristbands/rubber bands, or as I have come to know it, the "No-Hand" wristband.

This "No-Hand" wristband has allowed me some of the greatest experiences I could have ever imagined. Who could have thought in 1982 after my accident, as I lay dying on an operating table with my fingers literally crumbling off of my body, I would become a professional drummer touring the country? Who could have thought that I would even be alive to tell this story?

We are all blessed with an abundance of ability and opportunity. Some choose to accept this and others choose to reject it but know this, it is your choice. As it turns out, my accident was the greatest gift I've ever received. Everything is possible. You are your only limit.

"No-Hand" Dan Caro

Listen to Dan's Music:

Jayne Moffitt is a Bestselling Author, Life Coach and Teacher of Spiritually based success principals. Her globally based company is dedicated to helping the entrepreneurial spirit achieve success and abundance while embracing fulfillment in every area of their life. We honor those adventurers, visionaries, catalysts and dreamers who believe they can change the world - because we know they can. You can learn more about Jayne Moffitt and her work at

Copyright and Published by Jayne Moffitt & Associates Inc.
service@jayne&# 109;

You are welcome to share The Unabridged Life E-zine with a friend, in fact,
we encourage it. Individuals may subscribe at

In gratitude,
Coach Renee

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Present

If you love getting gifts -- and who doesn't -- then why not accept, with gratitude, the greatest gift there is: the "present" moment. Key lesson 3523

Guy Finley

Thursday, February 19, 2009


I have spent some time this week connecting to people via social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Google Friend Connect and more. It is great to be able to share with people from all over the world.

I welcome new visitors to this blog and hope you will share a thought of gratitude with everyone!

Today's thought:

Life's journey takes us through many twists and turns. It is not our purpose to avoid these detours, but to appreciate what we see along the way.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Birth, Death and Taxes

The last few days have brought to me the opportunity to appreciate what I have in a different way than usual. One neighbor has a new grand baby-the first in the family. Another neighbor slipped getting out of the shower and 3 days later her body gave up and left this earth. Rest in peace,Coleen.

In between, when I chose to listen, there were stories of failing companies, job loss, hopelessness and taxes.

From my perspective this week, there is always sorrow, joy, worry, hope and fear surrounding us. Our job is to choose what to respond to and how to respond.

I appreciate those times when I shared conversation with my neighbor Coleen. We had humorous talks, informational chats, "catching up" conversations and heart to heart connections. In the reverse, I am truly happy for my neighbor and her new grand baby, her new role as grandma and her daughter's new role as mother.

I will honor those that have passed through my life as they traveled to the world beyond by holding the best of them in my memories.I will cherish the moments of discovery as new people enter my life. I will turn my attention, not to the turmoil and fear that surrounds me, but to the hope and promise that resides within each of us.

I am grateful that life allows me to experience the ends of the spectrum, so that I can find my place. I choose peace, joy, love and hope.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Abundance of Love

On Valentine's Day 2009, I am grateful for the love that others share with me now and throughout my life. How often do we take time to appreciate the many ways others show us their love for us?

We may prefer that love come to us in certain forms. As long as love comes to us, it is a gift. Sometimes love comes to me in the form of frustration-frustration that things are not working out as a loved one wishes for me. Sometimes it comes in the form of silence-silence from the bestower of love because they cannot find the words to say.

The one thing I believe no one can survive without is love.

Here are ways I will share my love with others:
Be respectful of their wishes and their views.
Be accepting of those habits or idiosyncrasies that I find uncomfortable.
Reach out with a smile, especially for those that are disgruntled or unhappy.
Thank each person I interact with for adding to my life in some way.
Become at peace with the past-forgive.
Give my best in all I do.

What other ways can we show love?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Dirt Poor and Still made it!

Recently my Uncle Howie wrote his memoirs from early childhood through his marriage to Aunt Marilyn. Howie was my father's youngest brother. My father passed away just weeks before my 6th birthday and I never really knew much about his life. What I thought I knew turned out to be his creative mind illuminating the fantasies he must have lived as a child. My dad told me he was part native american only to find out he lived near an indian reservation. He told me stories about Kentucky, but never lived there.

Through Uncle Howie's memoirs, I think I understand a little about my dad's vivid imagination. My grandparents were dirt poor, lived in a house without running water or inside plumbing of any kind. The outhouse was less than spectacular and the wood stove only warmed whatever was within 2-3 feet. It was a treat for them to have bread and milk pudding made from stale bread. This was in the early 1940's!

Amazingly, like others surviving the Depression, my dad and his younger brother succeeded in life. My dad joined the Navy, earned a degree in Physics and taught at the Capitol Radio Engineering Institute. My uncle went George Washington University where he earned his PhD.

What made me realize the sacrifices my dad went through to get where he did in life, to provide for his wife and family of 7 was Uncle Howie's story. I thought about that once again this morning after a story about poverty in Appalachia on Good Morning America.

How can you express the gratitude in your heart for the suffering and senseless poverty that exists still today when many of us are in turmoil over cutting back gas consumption or losing cable tv? I express my gratitude each time a bill arrives because it reminds me that I have something of value to pay for. I take a moment to talk to a "down and out" man collecting change at the intersection. He has never asked me for anything. He blesses me each time I see him and ask how he is. I thank those who provide security to my community-police, fire fighters, etc.

I am grateful that I have so much to grumble about if I choose. Imagine not having much of anything: what would there be to grumble about?

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Planting Seeds

I haven't written in about a week as I was preparing to speak at NIH's CORE week, which started Monday Feb. 9.

My presentation was on increasing the greatest asset you have-your mindset. The crowd at NIH was awesome! So many people willing to share ideas, information, questions and suggestions. I walked away with more than I came with, I'm sure.

So today, I am expressing my gratitude to Rachel Permuth-Levine and Michael Donovan for organizing the event and making opening day run smoothly and efficiently for presenters and participants. I am also grateful to those individuals that came to hear me speak and enriched my presentation with their participation.

Special thanks to Paula Bisacre, Publisher of reMarriage Magazine, for giving a live testimonial for me and for helping with the preparations.

To all I met on Monday, thank you for stopping by the booth and sharing a moment of your day. I am truly grateful.

Monday, February 2, 2009

A Meal of Gratitude

Today I would like to share a meal of gratitude with you.

The drink for today is pleasant punch, full of enjoyment and cheer.
The appetizer is meaningful moments; micro moments of thoughtfulness to enrich your day.
The salad includes laughing lettuce, cheery tomatoes, calming celery tossed with a sweet drizzle of delightful dreams.
The soup, warm and soothing, is a blend of subtle spices and nectar.
The entree is a combination of trust, integrity, support and friendship, rolled together in a flaky dough and baked in the sun.
And for today's dessert-
A generous scoop of imagination, joy and unending curiousity.

Please feel free to leave a tip, comment or suggestion for the menu!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Future or Past? Which is it?

For your gratitude snack,this article is printed with permission from Iris Benrubi, M.A.

We are well into the New Year and if you have followed convention, you may have set some New Years Resolutions and even created goals for 2009. In my experience, people often plan what they want in the future and forget to acknowledge themselves for what they've already achieved and what they have right now in the moment. I'd
like to share with you what I am grateful for.

Over the last year I have worked with many wonderful clients. I have forged strong relationships with both of my children and have had some outstanding discussions and developed feelings of mutual trust and respect. I have strengthened my existing friendships. I have visited some wonderful places including Jordan, Israel, Paris
and Panama.

I have experienced adventure, relaxation and wonderful connections with new and wonderful people in my travels. I have revisited and reconnected with my family in Israel that I haven't seen in 29 years - of over 50 cousins, children, aunts and uncles. I have a body that never gives out and supports me through my day.
I have met a wonderful man that loves me the way I am.

I have grown and learned about myself. I have learned how to let go of the things that frustrate me and make me stressed and replaced them with acceptance and an experience inner peace. I have learned to forgive myself and love who I am (this is still a work in progress :-).

Now your turn:
What have you achieved in the last 12 months?

Who have you impacted?

What are you grateful for?

What is going well for you? These things may seem unremarkable or every day, but if you stop and look at them, they really are remarkable, wonderful daily gifts to your life.

Take 5 minutes and answer these questions. If you feel like it,email your answers to me. What you'll find is that as you focus,not on what you still want to achieve, but what you have achieved,the gifts in your life, the difference that you make, you will feel joy, contentment and a sense of calm that will help you face what could be challenging circumstances with a smile on your face. Enjoy

Simply Success, 1 Promenade Circle #302, Thornhill, Ontario L4J 4P8,

Iris Benrubi M.A.
Helping Good People Feel Great!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Grateful Reading

I am grateful for the following books and their authors:

Key to the Law of Attraction by Jack Canfield
Ask and It is Given, The Astonishing Power of Emotions, The Law of Attraction, Money and The Law of Attraction and The Amazing Power of Deliberate Intent all by Esther and Jerry Hicks
The Secret by Rhonda Byrne
The Power of Now and A New Earth, both by Eckhart Tolle
My Stroke of Insight by Jille Bolte Taylor, Ph.D.
The Essential Laws of Fearless Living by Guy Finley

These were many of the books I read in 2008 that brought me a greater understanding of how the world works and how I can work in the world.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

2008 Gratitude

In 2008, I experienced many giving people and many great opportunities. My overall impression of 2008 is that more people around me were pleasant, kind, understanding, patient and forgiving.

While shopping for the holidays, I realized over and over again how many people were standing in lines without complaining or grumbling. More people reached out to help others- by steering other shoppers in the right direction, calming bored and overwhelmed children,sharing ideas and even tables in the Eatery at the mall when capacity for separate tables had been reached. I witnessed people offering change at the register to complete a transaction-even when many felt the pinch of the economy on their wallets and purses.

Through my own development this past year, I know I attracted much of what I encountered. But I also know that there must be many others doing the same thing because of the remarkable consistency in kind behavior others as well as myself experienced. Most people I spoke with about their holidays remarked at how peaceful and simply life was for a few hours or days.

I had to take time to share how much I appreciated being surrounded by tidings of comfort and joy!

Happy New Year!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Life Lessons I am grateful for

Here are some life lessons I am grateful for:

Don't step in gum.
Don't run barefoot in a dog's yard.
The more you scream, the less you hear.
Laughing is necessary.
When you think you know the most, you know the least.
Choices are reversable the second time around.
Imagination is the key to an extraordinary life.
Some lessons are given more than once, until they are learned.
Every accomplishment begins with one step.
Each life begins with a dream.
Music exists everwhere if you listen with your heart.
All we ever need is right in front of us.
When you can't find yourself, look inside.
Friends are the mirrors of our souls.
Get connected, stay connected.
A kind act is the seed of better tomorrows.
See life through a child's eyes.
We are all teachers. Be careful what you teach. Choose the lessons wisely.
Whatever you give in life comes back tenfold. Give what you want to receive.