Thursday, October 24, 2013

Garden of Gratitude

I am a gardener at heart. I love to walk outside, identify trees and plants. I love to look at the similarities and differences in the plants as I stroll by. I love to plants seedlings or seeds and watch as they grow and transform.

In gardening, I sometimes look at a plant and have to determine what it needs. It grows slowly, has a pale color, and hasn’t bloomed. 

It’s the same with people. Sometimes we need supplemental strength, encouragement in order to grow better and stronger. Sometime we lose our way and we need someone to again show us the light.

Sunlight: shine on their successes, no matter how small. Adjust the sunlight according to the size of the accomplishment. We all want to be appreciated-do it often and sincerely.

I have often thought about how each of us plants seeds every day: we share ideas, disappointments, concerns, frustrations. We also receive seeds from others in the form of comments, suggestions, and concerns.
Rocks in the garden: obstacles that are difficult to move around and sometimes are deeper than we think.

Several years ago now, I realized that I planted “weeds” instead of seeds sometimes unknowingly. Fortunately, my love of gardening has brought me to this place. Many times, I thought I was nurturing my kids, making them stronger. Instead, I sometimes fed them too much in the way of criticism, scolding, negative comments and sometimes I found myself walking past my little flowers without seeing them as they were-seeking shelter, needing a warm, caring heart to hold them until they found the inner strength to stand on their own. There were times I protected them too much from the weather. They couldn’t develop the strength to weather the storm. I prevented them from developing their own “root” system.

Raising children reminds me of a 7th grade science experiment where we had to take 5 similar plants. We put one in sunlight with no water, one in darkness with no water, one in sunlight with water, one in darkness with water and one in a stable environment with sunlight, darkness, water and fertilizer. We studied the effects of the different environments on the health of the plant. We recorded our observations every day for two weeks. At the end of the 2 weeks, we had to draw conclusions about the effects of the environment on these plants. The one that received a variety of nurturing was the healthiest and despite the sometimes harsh or infertile environments, some of the other plants survived but were weakened and ripe for disease.

Mary, Mary
Quite Contrary
How does YOUR garden grow?

To a Bountiful Harvest,

Coach Renee  

Monday, October 14, 2013

International Latina Gratitude Day

More ways to celebrate Gratitude-

Have you heard about International Latina Gratitude Day?

International Latina Gratitude Day Oct. 15, 2013

Please visit Zulmara Maria's blog with information regarding the day: Check out her podcast, too.
You can also share quotes and inspirations here:
Tomorrow, Oct. 15,  join the google hangout as "we raise our collective voices in gratitude!
Zulmara Maria's personal invitation:
On my site, you can download a FREE Gratitude Journal and everyone who participates will get a FREE copy of " My Life is My Message" poetry book.

Sharing gratitude and expanding the party,
Coach Renee 

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!

 Canadian Thanksgiving Day, October 14

Happy Thanksgiving to all of my Canadian friends, relatives and followers!

Although I hear that Thanksgiving in Canada is not as large of a celebration in the United States, it is still about celebrating and being grateful for the harvest.

In my mind, the "harvest" is:
All that I have in my life to share with others
All of you who have shared part of my life
All of the possibilities that exist, even those I have not yet recognized

Of course, there is always the opportunity to give thanks for shelter, clothing ,food, warmth, health, friendship, medical care, transportation, support, guidance, income.

In honor of Thanksgiving in Canada, I am urging you to show thanks to someone, for something today. Post a comment here, tweet, blog, send an email, write a thank you note (see The Big Thankyou post).

A few minutes of your day will be spent well.

In deepest gratitude for the individuals that you are,
Coach Renee

PS- A great resource Is the book 365 Thank Yous by John Kralik

Friday, October 11, 2013

The Big Thank You to Our Troops

Weather in the Eastern United States is beginning to resemble Autumn and Autumn is my favorite time of year.

This Year, I am even more excited about it because our local rock/mix radio station now has The Bert Show, a syndicated program during drive time in the morning. It is not the syndication that has me excited, but the project they are promoting in support of US troops.

It is called The Big Thank You! A letter writing effort to get a personal letter in the hands of every one of our troops on Thanksgiving Day 2013.

I am writing my letters now and I would like to invite others to do the same. There are20 days to write individual letters to bundle up and either drop off at any Jersey Mike's sub shop OR send directly in to The Bert Show. These letters will be sent to our troops in time to be opened on Thanksgiving Day.

No matter how you feel about political policies regarding our troops, there are actual people who, for their own reasons, have decided to help protect our freedoms. These individuals are affected by policy, they did not write it. They are located all over the world and they deserve thanks for the sacrifices they have made or are making on our behalf.

If you can find time to give acknowledgement to these individuals, please click the link below to learn more about the effort and get details about guidelines and deadlines.

Studies show that making gratitude a part of our lives makes our lives richer and more rewarding. Not only do I want that for our troops, but I want that for YOU!

Coach Renee

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Cultivating Gratitude

I would like to share with you an article I just read by Carla Naumburg at Psych Central. Mindful Parenting: Cultivating Gratitude

The article was written in response to a question about how to instill gratitude in kids without drilling it into them.

Here is the full article

Below is my synopsis of the information Carla Naumburg shared.

1. You can't give children what you don't have.
     Her suggestion: Find a way that feels natural for you to express gratitude on a daily basis.

2. Model it first.
    Her suggestion: Share the ways in which you are grateful. Establish a routine for how you share, such as at dinner or bedtime. Or express gratitude as it occurs
for you.

3. It doesn't have to be a big deal!
     It is enough to say thank you to someone or for something. Appreciating in small ways makes a difference.

4. Don't Force it
     Trying to force kids to accept something doesn't work. Realize that over time, they may come around.

5. Respect individual differences
     People vary in the degree to which they naturally feel grateful. Let them come to express it in their own way. Being exposed to a culture of gratitude will allow them to get there.

6. Let them be ungrateful, too.
     Everyone needs time to wallow sometimes. Allow your kids to move through their feelings. Otherwise, they will just dig their heels in!

7.Let go of the outcome
     Children know when you are being real. If you are pushing gratitude just to teach them, they will see right through it.

For me, living with gratitude allows me to live more in a positive, feel good place. I tried to teach my kids gratitude, but finally realize that what I feel grateful for isn't necessarily what they feel grateful for. My (adult) children are teaching me that they see things to be grateful for that I miss.

I now choose to express gratitude as the opportunity comes. Sometimes, my gratitude is expressed as a "reframing" of a circumstance. While on vacation this week, we found ourselves in a new place without electricity for several hours after sunset. My gratitude is that my family had a more positive perspective from which each of us operated than others around us. Sure, there were moments spent in "why did this happen to me?" and "someone should do something about this (unexpected) event".

In dealing with the situation from a place of how can we deal with this, my granddaughter reminded us that "this is just an adventure"!

How do you deal with gratitude and where do you see your influence being reflected back to you?

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Research Suggests Gratitude Helps Health

I have intuitively known for most of my life that feeling better about anything starts with feeling good about myself.

Feeling good translates into being able to see the best of whatever is in front of you. It involves a positive outlook; but not the Pollyanna attitude you might think. Facing difficulties as they are and focusing on what they can become is what I am suggesting.

According to David B. Feldman, PhD, assistant professor of counseling psychology at Santa Clara University in California., three components are essential for hope to thrive, Feldman says. They are having goals, as well as a plan and the motivation to achieve them. Read more here: Overcoming Barriers to Happiness

Being mindful of things you are grateful for is a habit worth developing. New research  supports historical claims that gratitude benefits health. According to University of California Davis psychology professor Robert Emmons, people who treat gratitude as a virtue instead of a temporary frame of mind, take better and more consistent care of themselves and their health habits.

In the article, "Boost Your Health With A Dose of Gratitude"  researchers say that gratitude is also a stress buster. A daily practice of gratitude helps us manage stress better. Less stress results in fewer serious illnesses and diseases.

Embracing gratitude as a core value helps boost the immune system as well. In a study of first year law students self described as optimistic, there was an increase in the levels of blood cells which protect the immune system over a similar group of students self described as pessimistic.

 Lisa Aspinwall, PhD, a psychology professor at the University of Utah found that
"There tends to be higher levels of optimism among people who have faced losses early in life, suggesting that adversity can promote personal growth over time." This indicates that we have control over the level of optimism we experience in our lives.

Practicing gratitude on a more consistent basis, that is, making gratitude a core part of how we approach life, will promote more optimism within ourselves. The more often we seek things to be thankful for, the more of our lives are focused on feelings of gratitude. What we focus on is what we get. It is universal law!

**Leave a comment and I will show my gratitude.





Wednesday, July 24, 2013

5 Things to Journal Every Day

These ideas are courtesy of Glenn K. Garnes and The Abundant Society

5 things to journal each day:

1. The one most important accomplishment for that day
2. People I meet and talk to each day-noting key words to describe the interaction.
3. A quote that is my inspiration for the day
4. What one thing I improved on today
5. What I am most grateful for today.

Imagine what you could learn about yourself and the way you think!

How much would you accomplish if that is one of your focuses each day?

Have inspiration in the form of a guiding quote each day.

Wouldn't it be great to appreciate one improvement each day-one that is yours?

Going to bed with a deep sense of gratitude is something many great leaders have done throughout history and still do today.

If you concentrate on getting better at something each day, you cannot help but grow!

I invite you to try journaling these 5 things for 2 weeks. Come back and share your experiences! In the meantime, check out Glenn K. Garnes and The Abundant Society here:

Abundant Society

In Gratitude,

Monday, May 20, 2013

Gratitude Quote

" The grateful mind is constantly fixed upon the best. Therefore it tends to be the best. It takes the form or character of the best and will receive the best."

Wallace D. Wattles

Where has your focus been so far today? On the best?

Friday, March 8, 2013

When I Help Others, I Gain So Much More in Return


Today's post comes from +Evolution Ezine




When I Help Others, I Gain So Much More in Return

When I help others, I gain so much more in return.

When I help others, I am doubly blessed. First, I know I am blessed to have something to give.

Second, when I give of myself, my blessings are returned many times over.

The investment of helping someone else yields returns at a much faster rate than self-absorption.
When I help others, in turn, they also help me when I am in need. In the end, I have created a community of caring relationships. These relationships are important for the health and fulfillment of every member of my community.

Communities are a symbol of humanity’s reality that no man is an island. I know I cannot go though life without the help of others, and strive to help my fellow man.

I am rewarded when I see the smile in another person’s face because of something I have provided them. It is a great joy to be able to light up another person’s eyes.

I feel a sense of fulfillment and accomplishment because I can go outside myself to meet another person’s needs. I share in the joy that others experience when they receive help from me.

When I help others, I learn lessons in humility by considering others above myself. Helping others reminds me that it is not all about me. I learn gratitude by putting myself in the shoes of others and being thankful for what I have.

Gaining a clearer sense of purpose, a heart filled with gratitude, a humble attitude, and caring relationships in return for merely helping others seems to me like an excellent trade.

Self-Reflection Questions:
1. Who can I help today?
2. What do I have to offer?
3. When was the last time I helped someone?

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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Celebration Day

My granddaughter has been waking each morning with an announcement of what day it is. Several days ago, she delared as "Something" day. "Something" day was all about discovering the "something".

This morning, she declared today Celebration Day! That was my year long theme for 2007, so I immediately identified with the Celebration Day idea.

Which ever day you might read this, intend on making it Celebration Day-a day to look for things to celebrate. It might be a green light instead of a long red light-or a red light instead of a green one.

Maybe you will rejoice in the fact that expected inclimate weather did not appear as expected.

Maybe you awoke NOT feeling tired, ready to grab hold of all that awaits you.

The hardest thing to celebrate can be those days that really challenge every molecule of energy you have. The days like in the movie Ground Hog Day, where you just keep running into the same roadblocks all day long, seemingly without any way to effect the outcome.

I have recently been studying The Universal Law of Cause and Effect with David Neagle. I have always believed that you are the one that changes how your life goes. If you can see things from the opposite
 side of what you are experiencing, you find hope, determination and freedom.

The Law of Cause and Effect says that every cause has an effect and every effect has a cause. If you think about this for a moment, you will realize that you cause things to happen in your life. When you wake up in the morning expecting it to be a bad day because of a meeting or situation with which you are not happy, you are setting in motion a negative expectation for the day.

However, if you wake up late, can't find the outfit you wanted to wear and decide to chose something even better, you are setting in motion- or causing- a better outlook for the day.

So, find ways to celebrate today. Maybe leaving late for work gives you less traffic or helps you avoid an accident backup.

Create a day worth celebrating!