GREAT STORY

6eb60d5fcde77af6bd352606ef09bb3eI have been reading Pam Grout’s newest book, “Thank & Grow Rich” which has been a great read. THANK YOU, Pam!! She has some great stories and I wanted to share one that truly shares how money cannot buy happiness.

I think it is easy for all of us to think if we had more money, a bigger house, a better car…we would be finally HAPPY. Even though we have heard time and time again by the richest of rich that money doesn’t buy happiness, we still wonder. Reading stories like the following reminds us of the reality of what is truly important. Enjoy!

Here is the story from Pam’s book…

The only thing the one-percenters have over the average Joes is this: They already know that accumulating money doesn’t bring lasting happiness. They’ve already figured out that having a gazillion dollars in the bank doesn’t produce the profound contentment after which the rest of us lust.

Take Ken Behring, for example. Growing up in Depression-era Wisconsin in a house without central heat or hot water, Behring fell for the lie that he’d be happy if only he were rich. As a young boy, he mowed lawns, caddied at golf courses, delivered newspapers.

He had spunk and drive and eventually became an uber-successful real estate developer. By the time he was 27, he was a millionaire. And he got all the stuff he thought he wanted: a big house, a boat, fancy cars.

When that didn’t bring any real happiness, he tried “better stuff”: bigger houses, a bigger yacht, fancier cars.

Eventually, that began to reek like the other stuff. Maybe he was going for the “wrong stuff”; maybe he should try “different stuff.” Maybe buying the Seattle Seahawks would make him happy.

Nope, foiled again. He eventually sold his professional football team and started hunting in Africa, flying over in his private jet. When he could, he’d take supplies, books and medicine for the local guides and their families.

LDS philanthropies (the charitable branch of the Church of Latter-day Saints) heard about his trips and asked if he’d be willing to make a detour, to drop off supplies to Kosovo war refugees. After loading up 15 tons of canned meat, they noticed extra room and added six wheelchairs.

While in Romania, Behring, who passed out the wheelchairs himself, was grabbed by one of the young refugees, who had stepped on a land mine and lost his legs. “Don’t leave just yet,” said the grateful young boy, who refused to let go of Behring’s leg. “I want to memorize your face so when we meet again in heaven, I can thank you one more time.”

“It was the first time I ever felt real joy,” says Behring, who has since given away nearly a million bright red wheelchairs. “It changed my life. This [charitable work] is the greatest thing I have ever achieved in my life.”

The good news is that because our financial system us an antiquated cultural story, it can be changed.

It starts with a new definition of wealth: the ease and freedom to be generous. The ease and freedom to pursue your dreams. The ease and freedom to live for the upliftment of all creation.

Choosing the joy and gratitude frequency generates a different kind of capital, one that feeds the soul, one that serves your real desires–to be of service, to be a channel for love, to create insanely beautiful things.

 

I LOVE THAT STORY. I hope anyone who reads this (or her book) will walk away feeling that life is about a higher purpose and that we are the instruments to channel the good things of this world. I hope we can all begin to see the larger scale of humanity and the direct connections we all have and begin to use our gifts and talents to touch the lives of others.

Peace and Love to you today.  -H


New Year New Pages

I Love the thought of a new year with 365 new pages to create, to write, to dream, to live. With a new year there are new pressures we place on ourselves, new expectations, new goals…etc. Maybe we need to take it day by day, be gentle on ourselves and ask simpler questions.

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Maybe we need to ask, Did I Love enough today? Yourself and others.

laughingMaybe we need to ask, Did I Laugh enough today? Because everything changes with a little laughter.

201211-orig-deepak-chopra9-949x534Maybe we need to ask, Did I make a difference today? Because you may be the very difference someone else asked for.

Begin there. Let go of the long to do lists, the “day 1” approach, the way we beat ourselves up if we didn’t work out on “day 1” or enjoyed the holidays too much & gained 5 lbs. Be gentle. Begin to ask little questions, simple questions that will begin to move you in the inner direction you need to be going. YOU know yourself better than anyone. What do you FEEL you are missing & begin with that. Maybe you are tired—take a nap. Maybe you are “hungry” for something other than food. Maybe you need more self love. Maybe you need to laugh. Maybe you need to serve. YOU truly do know what you need to be your best for yourself and everyone around you. Begin with the little things and the bigger things will follow.

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Begin. Day by Day. Happy New Year. Peace and Love to all.  -H


Christmas-Giving & Christmas-Living

heart-ornament-hanging-from-a-wire-fence-3840x2400-wide-wallpapers-netI recently read an essay by Henry Van Dyke that I wanted to share about the feeling of Christmas. It talks about the real meaning of “Christmas-Giving & Christmas-Living.” I am going to include the essay in this post, along with a beautiful song by Sara Bareilles, “Love is Christmas.” I am sorry I could not find her actually singing (besides moving live video, which can be annoying to watch), so I have included a lyrics video with her song. Please take the time to read the words and feel the meaning of the song. It is beautiful.

I think this song has especially touched me this season in particular because we had a job change & things this year are tougher financially than they ever have been. I think this song makes you feel that Christmas truly is about LOVE, not necessarily all the other stuff that is easy to get caught up in (the house being a mess, the chaos of stores, the gifts, the food, the expectations we put on ourselves, etc).

May this holiday season bring you the warm feelings of LOVE. And may you want this feeling to last throughout the year, not just a day. Merry Christmas. Love & Peace to you.

Here is the song & then I will attach the essay below.

 

And now the beautiful and meaningful essay by Henry Van Dyke. I took it from the lovely book, “It’s All About Christmas”

 

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Happy St. Nicholas Day

banner-largeI LOVE the story of ‘The Real Santa Claus’

Before the stores commercialized Christmas & it became all about the gifts, there was a man who truly did give gifts from the heart and brought Joy and Love to others, his name was Nicholas.

The real Santa lived a long time ago in a place called Asia Minor. It is now the country of Turkey. His name was Nicholas.

Nicholas’ parents died when he was just a teenager. His parents left him a lot of money which made him a rich young man. He went to live with his uncle who was a priest.

Nicholas heard about a man who had lost all his money. He had three daughters who were old enough to get married. But in those days young women had to have money in order to get married. This money was a “dowry” and it was used to help the new family get started. If you didn’t have dowry money, you didn’t get married.

This family was so poor they had nothing left to eat. The daughters were going to be sold as slaves because they couldn’t live at home any longer. They were very sad. They wouldn’t be able to have families of their own. And they would have to be slaves—no longer able to decide where they would live or what they would do.

The night before the oldest daughter was to be sold, she washed her stockings and put them in front of the fire to dry. Then all of them went to sleep—the father and the three daughters.

In the morning the daughter saw a lump in her stocking. Reaching in, she found a small, heavy bag. It had gold inside! Enough to provide food for the family and money for her dowry. Oh, how happy they were!

The next morning, another bag with gold was found. Imagine! Two of the daughters would now be saved. Such joy!

And the next night, the father planned to stay awake to find out who was helping his daughters. He dozed off, but heard a small “clink” as another bag landed in the room. Quickly he jumped up and ran out the door. Who did he catch ducking around the corner?

Nicholas, the young man who lived with his uncle. “Nicholas, it is you! Thank you for helping us—I hardly know what to say!” Nicholas said, “Please, do not thank me—thank God that your prayers have been answered. Do not tell others about me.”

Nicholas continued helping people. He always tried to help secretly. He didn’t want any attention or thanks. Years passed and he was chosen to be a bishop. Bishops look after their people as shepherds look after their sheep. And that is what Nicholas did. When there wasn’t any food, he found wheat; so no one went hungry. He always helped people in trouble. All his life Nicholas showed people how to love God and care for each other.

Everyone loved Nicholas. After he died, they told stories of the good and kind things Nicholas had done. Sailors took these stories about Nicholas everywhere they went. Some of the stories were about his special care for children—helping and protecting them when danger threatened. And so more and more people learned about good, kind Nicholas. They wanted to be like him. He is an example of how we should live. And that is why he became a saint.

This is the story of the real Santa Claus, St. Nicholas. To this day people say that St. Nicholas, or Santa, is the special friend of children.    [taken from StNicholasCenter.org]

I love that he was a man who liked to give, but had no need of attention for his giving. That is how giving should be.

Today, is December 6th and St. Nicholas is celebrated on this day. In celebration each year my small family  writes little love notes to one another on strips of paper and slips them into a special pair of wooden clogs throughout the day of December 6th. Then during dinner we take out the slips of paper and share the love with one another. Its a wonderful, loving, giving tradition.

This year I passed on the tradition to all my siblings in hopes that they will spend today writing kind things about one another and sharing their love around the dinner table.

In all we do, may there be love. Peace to you this day & every day.  -H


Holiday Ads to Inspire

 

A Personal Favorite

Another darling one from John Lewis

Another cute one from John Lewis…”Gifts that everyone will love”

 

GAP has a great holiday motto.  “Share your Gifts”

 

Love this Macey’s ad: What would you do with wishes to make others dreams come true?

Macey’s also put together a magical dance performance on Dancing with the Stars. It is a fun performance to watch. enjoy.

 

The point to these holiday ads…enjoy the holiday season and find ways to “share your gifts” or make other’s feel happy and loved this holiday season. It is the season of giving of yourself, believing in the magic and finding the true reasons for the season. Be a gift to others this holiday season.

Peace and Love -H


Be grateful. Be you.

thanksgiving_thanksful_familyWell, the holidays are upon us and it will be a time of  food, family and friends.

Yesterday we were invited to a neighbor’s home that we did not know very well. They were kind in inviting us over for dinner, but when we arrived, we noticed it was a full family affair. They had invited extended family from all over and us (the only non-family attendees). My 13-year-old daughter looked at me & replied, “this is awkward.”  I immediately jumped in and started mingling (and believe me I am NOT a mingler, but this was an emergency situation). I smiled and began introducing my family as distant relatives that they had not met yet. wink. wink. I smiled & then reassured them that we really weren’t and that we were just crashing their Thanksgiving dinner. We ate, we shared, we learned about others, we helped their kids, and by the end of the night, we felt we were part of the family & genuinely left feeling lifted by conversations, questions, and learning about others and their stories.

My point. NO matter how awkward family functions may be and there will be moments of silence, awkward pictures & a need of some type of connection. Just smile and dig a little deeper to find some part of you that you can give genuinely to those around you. You will then leave full in spirit as well as food. Seek to find the hidden gifts around those you are with this holiday season. Everyone has a story to tell & there may be a lesson hidden in the details that is especially for you. And your simple smile and listening heart will be a gift to them as well.

We are all connected. Sometimes we just need to find the thread that connects us on a deeper level. Enjoy your holidays and the spirit that is present for all who seek it.

Happy holidays! -H


To thine own self be true

Over the years I have taken quite a few personality tests and find them very fun. My cute sister sent me one to take & so I enlisted my family to all take it. So fun!!

It is interesting to me that a test that asks various questions can give such accurate output. I announced to my daughter that my personality only makes up 1% of the population. She beamed and instantly piped up, “You are very unique then!” I smiled. Then I was actually shocked that when my daughter took it (she is 13) she had the exact same personality as me! She then felt very special too.

I think anything that makes you look at yourself and helps you to find your strengths, your weaknesses, your characteristics and personality, is a tool that will help you to better yourself overall.  So, I thought this post would be fun to find some tools that would help you to become true to thine own self. Because when you get to a higher personal level, then you will lift others up to theirs.

620-360-smiling-shy-womanPERSONALITY TEST(S): So, go to 16personalities.com and take the personality test. Over 52 million people already have, so there must be something productive. I thought it was great fun!! Enjoy. Make sure you take the test and then look at the detailed personality type (once you know yours). Have fun!

Strengths Finder is another test that I have taken. http://strengths.gallup.com/110440/About-StrengthsFinder-20.aspx

635957612716911605893600755_ponderingSELF CHECK: Give yourself a ‘self check’ Maybe every once in awhile you need to sit down & ask yourself where you have had success and failure on a personal level. Maybe you have shelved some personal goals that you need to pull out of the closet and work on. Maybe you have been hiding out from your deeper self and avoiding a more purposeful path. Maybe you are not taking care of yourself physically. Here are a few questions in various areas of your life to check in on–Maybe stick with the basics–how are you taking care of yourself (physically)?  [Are you getting enough sleep? Are you exercising, taking vitamins, eating well, drinking enough water, getting outside, etc]   how are you taking care of yourself emotionally? [Are you putting up personal boundaries? Are you sharing feelings? Do you feel heard? How is your self-talk, etc]     how are you doing on a spiritual level? [Are you doing something to feel connected to something greater than yourself?  Have you found a ritual like meditation or yoga to calm your mind? Are you taking time to restore yourself? Are you taking time in nature? Do you have a religious or spiritual practice?]  how are you doing with close relationships? [Are you communicating?  Do you feel any resentments or harsh feelings? Can you share your feelings whether they are good or bad? Do you feel lifted and built up by the relationships you have or do they drain you?  Do you feel connected?]   how are you doing with family? [Are you taking time with your kids? Do you feel like you “know” them to some degree? Do you feel present when you are with them or are you busy on your phone? Do you invest by asking questions, taking time & having special activities you do together? Have you asked them what they need from you? and then truly listen].

learnsomethingneweverydayLEARN SOMETHING NEW: There is no greater way to get to know yourself even better than trying new things and seeing what lights you up!! Even if you just learned something new each day (a few tiny, fun facts) you will feel like you are growing to some degree. Trust me, I have done this. OR you can give yourself a bigger goal of climbing the tallest mountain in your state or maybe you just want to begin with the indoor rock climbing facility down the street. I think when you open yourself up to trying new, different, challenging, out of your comfort zone type of things, there is only one thing you will feel—growth & challenge. You will be able to look at various things and say, “I love that!” or  “I don’t really care for that & I don’t need to try it again.”

636048450500681240-1046652568_yourself-loving-yourself-first-quotes-loving-yourself-first-quotes-03verw-quoteLEARN TO LOVE YOURSELF: This is often a hard one for all of us, but if you don’t take the time to truly try to go within and find the self love you need, you will always be missing something. Can you look in your bathroom mirror and tell yourself, “I love you.”  I did a womens retreat & had small groups of women pass around a mirror and try to say that to themselves. It was overwhelming to see how many women broke down in tears ashamed they could not look in the mirror and say that to themselves. It broke my heart. I think we all have varying levels of self love and sometimes we just need to take baby steps to a higher awareness of the love we have and need within. Begin by finding something you DO love about yourself. Focus on that. Maybe begin to take a fun picture of the style you are wearing or your amazing pedicure. Maybe you love your smile or the way you make others feel. Little steps will help you focus on the little things you like & that will lead to the bigger things that will fill you up with more self love.

e08121407a7375a791e3da09e7170598ENJOY THE JOURNEY: Here is a great article I came across that has some good personal questions and fun analogies about finding purpose. http://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/how-find-your-lifes-purpose-and-make-yourself-better-person.html

Best wishes in your quest to be true to thine own self. Have a beautiful day. -H