Oh, the difference of gratitude

My husband just left to head back to his RV home in Reno, NV. We are big fans of Survivor, so we are now affectionately calling his other home—RENO ISLAND (like Redemption Island). We figure the two are similar–a place where he finds his own food, works to help us survive and is away from everything he loves and appreciates. He is on his own.

I have to constantly say to myself that there is a point to our separation—A JOB=MONEY=SURIVAL! So, I am beginning to think it does have something to do with ‘the root of all evil!’ haha. Smile.

I woke up this morning thinking–Why coudn’t everyone just live in a tropical paradise, live off the land, have no money worries… & I was quickly brought back to reality…probably because most of us have seen Survivor & know you just get eaten alive in one way or another!! haha. bugs…people…weather…

So, as my sweet husband drove away yesterday & the tears rolled down my face & my daughters, I have to remember to have a grateful heart. Gratitude is everything in any situation. You can either decide to be consumed by frustration and anger, or find a place within your heart to be grateful.

So, this morning I am adding some quotes to help me feel more gratitude & to focus on the gift of it in all we do.

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I am banking on the above quote—We will NOT be the same people after two months. I do not believe we are the same people after two weeks of being apart. My gratitude for my husband made me appreciate a deeper level of appreciation for him, this sacrifice, his everything. I appreciated hearing his whistle even more. I hugged him even tighter. I cried even harder this second time he left. I believe through the struggle we become stronger in some way.

beattieI have always loved this quote because it is so true. I am still waiting for the feeling of confusion to turn to clarity, but every experience is what you turn it into. I pray we can turn this into an even better vision for tomorrow.

f133e80473302b7638795925c1450a3c--gratitude-ideas-gratitude-jarYou can always find so many things you are grateful for right now!! Since my husband has been gone he has mentioned a few of the ‘comforts of home’ he misses. It may sound funny, but he missed the cheese & bread we usually buy. He misses going to our local gas station & buying his favorite soda. He misses our shower, because now he showers in either a KOA shower (used by numerous people) or his tiny RV stall (which is 3 x 3). I am not complaining. We are extremely grateful for the RV. We are by no means destitute or living on the street, but I know this experience will help us learn a few things about ourselves, our relationship and all that we take for granted. Think of some things you take for granted & are grateful for. LIST THEM.

e9424d4583308720a3c9c96973a07495I am grateful to have my little family, even though we are apart. Separation truly does make the heart grow fonder. (I have learned that!). I am grateful to breathe, to smile, to walk, to smell fresh air, to take warm showers, to see the beautiful, blue sky, to hug my daughter, to talk on a phone, to have my parents still close, to have a home, to have a job, to have clean water, to live in freedom, to have a healthy body that can move, to walk through forests, to feel the sunlight upon my face, to play with my dog, to dream, to create, to write, to have an abundance of food, to hear my dog bark (haha–he is crazy), to see butterflies, to see the change in light outside, to…there are so many things if we take a moment to notice. What are you grateful for? Think about it.

THANK YOU. I AM GRATEFUL FOR YOU! Have a BEAUTIFUL DAY! Make it AMAZING. It is what you make it!  -H

A lesson from being totally numb!

I recently have been going to the dentist to take care of some periodontal issues. The serious nature has had me getting intensely drugged and numbed. I left the dentist office two different times looking like I had a stroke (mouth droopy) and my entire mouth numb and left without feeling. Talk about humbling. I could not feel my lips or tell if I was sucking a straw. It was terrible. I felt like Tim Allen…see below..hahaha

 

1Now, seriously. It was humbling and my heart ached for people who suffer from health issues. It made me think of my friend who was pregnant and had a stroke during her pregnancy. She lost mobility and memory. She struggled to find a reason for what had happened to her. She came to the realization that if it was for her child, she could struggle through & then she was thrown into the fire of losing that child. She wondered why. She began to question everything. She fell into a depression. She had not only lost physical mobility, she was now struggling with emotional mobility. She had other children she needed to take care of, so she had to go deep into her emotional reserve and find a place where she could begin to build again.

Today. I hope that many of you out there who do not struggle physically or emotionally will count the many gifts that you take for granted. I know walking out of that dentist office numb made me aware of the many gifts I take for granted. Think about it…A FEW things to get you thinking about the many gifts you are given…

 

site_photo_Our_Mission1Do you have healthy children? If you need a little more realization on this go watchthe movie,  “Miracles from Heaven.” My husband and I balled watching what that family had to go through and endure. It is based on a true story. Just imagine having a sick child & how difficult that would be. Go hug your children and thank the heavens that they are healthy and happy.

 

6db96ebcaa0ec34f9b184010c74191c6Two gifts you opened this morning–your eyes: You have the gift to see. There are many people who don’t take the time to look at the details, to notice the small gifts all around them. Read something. Go outside and look at the symmetry of leaves. Watch the clouds. Enjoy a sunrise or sunset. Notice color.

 

abundance-42-1024x860Do you have abundance? Whether it is fruit available for picking, a grocery store full of a variety of goods, running water, energy, family near, somewhere to live…My sister-in-law just moved to California. They had a house lined up to move into when they arrived, but the day they were to move in, the funding fell through. Luckily they had a trailer to live in while they are trying to work things out. My sister-in-law laughed as she explained their situation, “and I wanted to sell the trailer!” My response, “I bet you are glad you have it right now.”  They are living in a trailer, but are abundant with love. They took a day as a family and made it a memory in Disneyland. She joked that they are homeless, but they are in Disneyland and enjoying it.     Every situation is different, but if you can find the abundance wherever you are, you will find the gift within the situation.

 

Love-Heart-Made-With-Hands-At-Sunset_1Do you have love? We all come from love, but sometimes that gets lost in the confusion of life. You may be surrounded by friends and family who love you or you may have a best pet friend or maybe you are constantly searching for love. Do you love yourself? Love can be found in service, caring for another, holding the hand of someone afflicted, listening to someone in need…LOVE is everywhere, it is a gift that may be freely given or you may need to seek and find it. Love is in our nature.

 

healthymindbody_29Do you have a healthy body? Many of us take for granted and sometimes abuse the incredible gift we have been given–our body. It is an amazing piece of systematic genius. How are bodies function is a miracle & we do not have to do anything. It runs beautifully. Sometimes it is put on us to take better care of this amazing gift and we need to take it seriously. When we begin to break down, life becomes more difficult. We need to seek out good healthy habits. We need to find exercises we love. We need to sleep, drink water and do good things. Do you appreciate the ability to touch, to hear, to breathe, to taste yummy foods, etc.  We need to be grateful for the health and happiness we have.

 

Never-Stop-LearningDo you appreciate being able to learn and grow? We have a great ability to learn anything with the help of the internet, youtube, connecting with others, etc. It is amazing!! We are only limited by what we do NOT do. Learn something new & guaranteed you will find a new zest for your life. You will begin to strive to seek out new things more often to enhance your life. You will learn and want to share with others around you. It is contagious! When we don’t seek out new things, we become stagnate and don’t grow. Take the time. It is worth it. Seek to learn something new each day, even if it is something small. You will fill it boost your day. I promise!

 

download_images_7191338321_healthcorner_banner_3Do you have balance? Mind. Body. Spirit. All come together as a whole.

Well, this is a small list, but a good start. Create your own list of things you are grateful for and begin to to truly live, love and see the things that make your life incredible.

Peace and love to you. -H

 

Thanks. Gratitude & YOU

I just finished reading Pam Grout’s book, Thank & Grow Rich. It was a great read and I would highly recommend it. It is full of wonderful stories, ideas, activities and overall good!! I think if you can finish a book and it leaves you feeling better, learning something, and taking good things away from it…AWESOME!! So, with that, I wanted to share some of my favorite highlights (my literal highlighted points). Enjoy!! I am only going to put some because I do not want to spoil the book for you in any way. Read it and take the good from it!

THANKS PAM for your inspired book!!

woman-watching-sunset-1920x1200“When you get on the joy and gratitude frequency that I write about in this book, you radiate an energy that draws things into your life. The right people serendipitously walk across your path. The answer to a troubling question miraculously appears.

In Spain, they call this energy duende. If you tender (have) duende, it means there is something invisible that draws magic your way.”

 

maxresdefault-1“It wasn’t until I began counting my blessings that the other frequency was able to make contact, the still, small one that whispered kind truths…

The still, small voice reminded me that everything I see, everything I believe, is just a story I made up. It told me that, in Truth, I am spirit. I am light. All those voices, those wars going on in my head, are nothing but chunks of the collective consciousness that I can either believe an defend against or I can transmute with gratitude.     The real me, it told me, is kind, giving, in deep communication with all of creation. The real me is a true force for love.”

 

2“What could elicit more joy than realizing your assignment here on this big ball hurtling through space is to have fun, follow the GPS of your joy, and create the good, the holy, and the beautiful.”

 

988037-bigthumbnail“Rather than take steps to flee or change it, you have to first allow it. You have to bless it. You have to go so far as to call it good. Freedom and power come in choosing to bless with gratitude every single thing that shows up.”

 

8“Once you come into coherence with your real self, a sacred being with no beginning and no end, you can get on with creating beauty and expanding love. You can give up the grasping and the clawing, the pointless plans to protect your linear self.

You are not linear. You are light temporarily doing Sue or Bob or Priscilla. We have become so focused on this transitory, temporal self that we forgot who we really are. We forgot how powerful we are. We forgot our true mission–to expand the Kingdom of Light and Love.”

 

being-grateful-for-what-you-have-now-could-make-you-richer-in-the-future“Sh*t happens. And I would be the first to agree.     However, 99.9 percent of life, even during the sh*t storm, still operates in perfect working order, continues to run as efficiently as that annoying Energizer Bunny.

Right now, for example, my body is emitting two and a half tons of atmospheric pressure that keeps me from flying off into space. That is a friction’ miracle–99.9 percent of my life is a friction’ miracle.

Anyone who thinks life is nothing but an ordeal is clearly deluded. For the sake of argument, let’s take a count:

  1. The skirt you wanted to wear to work is wrinkled in the laundry basket.
  2. The freeway is crowded with bozos on their cell phones.
  3. Your boss doesn’t get you.

AND…

  1. You were created from stars.
  2. Free liquid falls from the sky–do you know how remarkable that is?
  3. You live on a planet with just the right amount of oxygen and…
  4. …just the right ratio of…
  5. …just the right gases.
  6. Each of your cells has thousands of mitochondria that create energy so you can give the finger to me and all the other optimists.

And I’m just getting started.

I’m not suggesting we play ostrich and stick our head in the sands of la-la land. But why devote so much of our lives to the one-tenth of one-percent that isn’t working? Deal with the wrinkled shirt and the boss… and… never forget that your body’s 100 trillion cells came from the division of one single cell.

And…that millions of new cells are being born every hour to replace the old ones. Without, I might add, any input on your part. Thousands of things have already gone right for you today….”

 

239933edc3385edfb8e5891059fbf2f0That is all I am going to share. There are some great quotes, statistics, stories. There is SO much more, but I did not want to “spoil” it. This gives you a tiny glimpse of her message. Take the time and take the good.

-Peace out and love to you my friend.  -H

 

 

Oh how blessed we are

6b428dfcb7ec9a69577941481908fc2dWith the US Independence day this weekend it makes me reflect how blessed I feel to be free. I think many Americans have no idea how free we are.

This past week I was drawn to a small red box film called, Desert Dancer, that was the true story about an Iranian dancer named Afshin Ghaffarian. This movie gave me a whole new perspective on how naive I am to the freedom I enjoy each and every day.

Afshin grew up unable to dance & was actually punished as a young child for dancing in his childhood school. His story was one of needing self-expression, desire, passion, and seeking to live from his heart. This movie opened my eyes further to understand those countries that live in such suppression. It made me try to imagine how it would be to have to hide a passion; to have to break rules to live a dream; to seek a better understanding of a world so torn and broken and to finally have a taste of freedom.

As we celebrate our freedom, I challenge all of you to share a prayer of thanks for the wondrous freedoms we live each day. Peace. Love and Freedom to all.

To all of you who are feeling less than free. May you find it in your heart today.

Peace and Love to all.

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Life Lessons

I have been driving my daughter and her two friends to school each morning and found it to be a great time to share some daily life lessons. These girls are thirteen, at a pivotal age where everything and everyone around them is defining who they are becoming, who they are listening to and who they will follow. I figured this was a perfect opportunity to share with them good things every morning to start their day.

I figured maybe some of you may enjoy a few daily life lessons you could share with those you love–enjoy! I am going to put a few at a time and then post them, so take what you like and share them while you are driving your kids to games or dance lessons or share them around the dinner table or bed time. Good things are always good for the whole family. The whole world! Enjoy and share the inspiration.

gratefulGET GRATEFUL: This morning I shared with them a video clip of a girl who got cancer when she was nine & had to have her leg amputated, but what they did with part of her leg was inspired. Check it out.  

I also shared with them the story line of the movie, “Miracles from Heaven” which shared the story of a ten year old who got really sick from her lower intestines becoming paralyzed and how hard it must have been for her to not be able to eat real food. She had to be tube fed (through a tube down her nose) or supplemental pills.

I then shared with them how my niece (age 12) had just been to the dentist and was told she had 4 teeth that were like that of an 80 year old person and she would need to anticipate them falling out.

The Life Lesson: get grateful that you have a healthy body that can eat, that can run, walk, dance, rock climb, jump, and is capable of anything. We often take that for granted and waste our time, sit on our butts and don’t get outside and walk or take a bike ride or try something new. We take for granted our healthy bodies. I challenged them to remember that next time they were complaining of going on a walk or not wanting to do something active. They need to get grateful and get going!

 

scientific-discoveries-that-happened-by-accident-1918108322-apr-12-2014-1-600x500EVERYONE HAS A CHOICE:  Life Lesson–You don’t have to do anything…you don’t have to be happy, you don’t have to be sad. It is a beautiful freedom to feel, be, do, say and become anything we want. We have a choice every day to decide the direction we want to go in–positive or negative. We decide how we react to any situation and we decide what we learn from every situation. We have a choice every single moment of our lives.

Velcro Story Swiss amateur mountaineer George de Mestral loved the outdoors and his daily walks with his dog. What he didn’t love was the burdock seeds that clung to his wool pants and his dog’s fur. He found the burs incredibly annoying until the day he wondered why they stuck.  By profession, George de Mestral was an engineer and inventor. He examined one of the burdock seeds under a microscope and was astonished by what he saw. The bur consisted of hundreds of tiny hooks that grabbed into the loops of thread in the material of his pants. This fool-proof, nature-made fastener became the inspiration for Mestral’s 1948 invention Velcro®.

Velcro® sales were somewhat slow the first couple of years, but Mestral never gave up and concentrated on tweaking his product to perfection. By 1955, over sixty million yards of Velcro® sold in that year alone making the inventor a very wealthy man.

So besides sharing with you this fascinating little piece of history, what’s the point? Attitude is the point, and the importance of having a good one. A person’s attitude toward their circumstances, toward their relationships, toward themselves, toward the planet, toward everything and everyone they come into contact with shapes their world and in turn, hands them their next set of circumstances and relationships. If a person’s attitude is negative, they will experience the circumstance or relationship as negative. In short, they will see nothing but “weeds.”

If a person’s attitude is positive and they are willing to look for the positive within every circumstance and relationship no matter what, then they will make Velcro® out of the weeds.

Adopt a Velcro® attitude about life and “stick” to it!  Copyright Mary M. Bauer.

 

A MATTER OF ATTITUDE: 

Edison-Fire_Shrunk_1Thomas Edison’s laboratory was virtually destroyed by a fire in December, 1914. Although the damage exceeded $2 million, the buildings were insured for only $238,000 because they were made of concrete and thought to be fireproof. Much of Edison’s life’s work went up in spectacular flames that December night. At the height of the fire, Edison’s 24-year-old son, Charles, frantically searched for his father among the smoke and debris. He finally found him, calmly watching the scene, his face glowing in the reflection, his white hair blowing in the wind.

“My heart ached for him,” said Charles. “He was 67–no longer a young man–and everything was going up in flames. When he saw me, he shouted, ‘Charles, where’s your mother? When I tolld him I didn’t know, he said ‘Find her. Bring her here. She will never see anything like this again as long as she lives.”

The next morning, Edison looked at the ruins and said, “There is great value in disaster. All our mistakes are burned up. Thank God we can start anew.”

*taken from Chicken Soup for the Soul 3

Happiness is an attitude. We either make ourselves miserable, or happy and strong. The amount of work is the same. -francesca reigler

Life Lesson: No matter how bad things may seem or how hard life may get, your attitude makes all the difference. Thomas did not focus on all he had lost, he found great value in beginning again. It was how he chose to look at the disaster.

Well, continue to look for my posts called, ‘life lessons’ and enjoy the tidbits, the stories, the life lessons that inspire us daily.

Enjoy your day!!  -H

Oh, precious gifts.

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Woman at beach with arms outstretched

Oh, how precious life is. Oh, how precious are the gifts we are given each day…health, comfort, freedom, family, joy, suffering…I awoke this morning to my sweet daughter crying in pain from an earache. My heart struggled seeing her in such pain. I took little soothing remedies and got her calmed down. I looked at her and prayed that she would sleep in comfort and feel better. I also looked at her and had a tinge of sadness for parents who watch their children struggle with harsher illness and feel like they are helpless. I instantly had a feeling of relief and gratitude that she does not suffer daily.

These are the moments where I find myself even more grateful to have those I love close to me. We often take those closest to us for granted, so here is an opportunity for all of us to gain a greater understanding of our feelings, of our gifts of the wonderful people around us. *Think about the following questions regarding any important person in your life: What would I be missing if that person were no longer in my life? In what specific way would I miss that person? And, What would I like to say to this person if I only had one more chance? 

Pensively, James A Farley adds other questions he asks of himself and others: “How much do most of us appreciate the countless little daily acts of…kindness by others that make our lives more comfortable? How grateful are we, really, for the privilege of living in a country where most of us can take freedom, justice and security for granted? How much thankfulness do most of us feel for the marvelous gift of life itself, and how adequately do we express this to the Giver?”     In hostly assessing his own answers, Farley faced the painful truth: He was not nearly as appreciative as he should, or would, like to be. So he committed to the following resolutions:

“To thank the people who make my world run smoothly…not just with a casual word or an impersonal tip, but with some expression of genuine interest in them as fellow human beings.”

“To make myself more aware of the miraculous privileges involved in simply being an American, and to show my thankfulness by working without thought or reward to make my country better.”

“To remind myself every day of the infinitely precious value of every minute of existence, and to show my gratitude to God not only with prayers of thanksgiving but by living as close as possible to the way He wants me to live.”

And Farley finishes: “A basic rule in showing appreciation, I have found, is this: do it now. Do it while your sense of gratitude is fresh and strong. If you feel a flash of thankfulness, act on it before the impulse dies away.”   [taken from The Heart of Goodness]

So, here and now I am giving thanks and gratitude for those closest to me, for their health, our happiness and the gift we find in one another. Love and peace to you. May you find the precious gifts within your life and give thanks. -H

Quotation-Raine-Miller-gifts-life-Meetville-Quotes-53686f34ebb428e3253d82beec16c542e53ff

What do we take for granted…

This is a big question & one that only YOU can answer. I know for me, I definitely take for granted that I was blessed to be given a daughter to hold, raise and love. I take for granted the little things that I daily am able to do like walk, see, hear, taste yummy foods, hold my husband’s hand. I take for granted that my parents are still alive and that they are still together after 40+ years of marriage. I take for granted the freedoms of where I live. I take for granted that I can read. I take for granted that I can freely learn anything I want. I take for granted that I can speak clearly & share my thoughts and ideas. I take for granted creativity, time, talents…There are many things that I take for granted at different times. I think we all do, but I have had a couple of experiences recently that have made me see a little more clearly.

03.17.14-Volunteer-hands

This past school year I have been volunteering & helping with the schools “service club.” We offer this little club to kids who need a place to go, who want to do little projects for needy children in other countries. It’s been a wonderful experience. The woman who heads up the club was a great example to me of selflessness. At the beginning of the year she was going through her own personal crisis–her husband was in need of a kidney transplant. It was an emotional roller coaster each week watching her deal with her husband put on dialysis, trouble with doctors, having moments of hope that a sister was a good match & then learning she wasn’t emotionally the right match…on and on. She continued to come to our little service club despite everything going on at home. What I have not mentioned is that she also has physical challenges. She walks with a cane and hobbles in pain everywhere she goes. Her hip is displaced leaving one foot higher than the other, so she has to buy $50 shoes that help her walk.

I have watched this woman all year handle all these personal struggles with a positive attitude, a can do personality, a sheer determination to make it all work. Luckily, her husband  in the last couple months did have a family member who was a good match & the transplant was successful. yay!

woman-walking-down-path-shutterstock_92746561

For me, a big life lesson. We had been planning an end of the year service club party that we planned to do at a nearby pavilion at the school. The pavilion was probably 50 feet from the parking lot. The week before the party she hobbled in to service club & looked at me. “I think we are going to have to do a different location for the party. It is just too far for me to walk.”

Later that same day I walked the path from my home, passed the pavilion [the one we had talked about] and kept walking. I thought long and hard & looked to the heavens and said, “thank you for the gift of being able to walk.”  I can’t even imagine being bed-ridden, being imprisoned in a body that can’t function how it is meant to. It was a huge lesson in taking something for granted.

This made me think of the following video. This past weekend my daughter had a friend over & this song was one of her favorites. She shared it with us & then we almost all cried when we read one of the comments below the video…When i hear this song.. i remember my whole family who died in a road accident 4 months ago ! RIP Mom,Dad & my bro ! I’m left alone here and i can’t find the way to live ::::””((((

We all sat silent thinking about how hard that would be. Needless to say, it gave us a greater appreciation that we have our families still with us. I think there are moments where we all take that for granted.

Watch this beautiful video. This guy’s fiancé was in a terrible accident that left her with brain damage & he has stayed with her trying to get her to a better place. What a journey of selfless love. Beautiful.

I hope and pray that you will think about the little and big things you may take for granted in your life & hold a space of appreciation and love.  Peace to you.  -H

Show THANKS in GIVING

The beautiful week that is often over shadowed by Black Friday and Cyber Monday ads is upon us and my gift I hope to bestow upon you is this…to do one simple thing to show your thanks. How? Here you go…

thanksgiving-gratitude

For your FAMILY:  A simple gesture of LOVE. Write a note, a line, a blurb of something you LOVE about them. This morning I have been creating two flip books for two of my siblings. I have two siblings that were born between this giving holiday, so we decided to create a bday book to celebrate them. It was humbling to see my parents notes and my other five siblings write memories, send pictures, send funny thoughts, feelings, etc. about two great people. I think you always appreciate family, but you definitely take them for granted. It was beautiful to read the memories and see these people through other lenses. What a gift. I don’t think we can open our hearts enough, even though sometimes it is harder than you think. So go beyond yourself this week, share a thought, a love note, a fun pic, something that connects you to those closest in your giving circle.

 

For your CHILDREN: Help them get in the habit of finding things to be grateful for. Each night we either write in a journal or share them out loud, at least three things we are grateful for from the day. Children are never too young to learn gratitude.

Toddlers are by definition completely egocentric. Still, children as young as 15 to 18 months can begin to grasp concepts that lead to gratitude, says Lewis. “They start to understand that they are dependent; that Mom and Dad do things for them,” she says. In other words, toddlers comprehend that they are separate human beings from their parents, and that Mom and Dad often perform actions to make them happy (from playing peekaboo to handing out cookies) — even if kids that age can’t articulate their appreciation. By age 2 or 3, children can talk about being thankful for specific objects, pets, and people, says Ryan. By age 4, children can understand being thankful not only for material things like toys but for acts of kindness, love, and caring.

How to Teach it? Work gratitude into your daily conversation. Lately, we’ve been trying to weave appreciation for mundane things into our everyday talk — When you reinforce an idea frequently, it’s more likely to stick. One way to turn up the gratitude in your house is to pick a “thanking” part of the day. Two old-fashioned, tried-and-true ideas: Make saying what good things happened today part of the dinnertime conversation or make bedtime prayers part of your nightly routine.

By learning gratitude, they become sensitive to the feelings of others, developing empathy and other life skills along the way, says Barbara Lewis, author of What Do You Stand For? For Kids ”On the flip side, kids who aren’t taught to be grateful end up feeling entitled and perpetually disappointed,” says Lewis.     -Parents.com article

Jeffrey Froh, PsyD research shows there are plenty of good reasons to try to teach gratitude  He recently asked one group of middle school students to list up to five things they were grateful for every day for two weeks, while a second group recorded daily hassles and a third only completed a survey. “The gratitude group experienced a jump in optimism and overall well-being,” reports Froh. “Furthermore, they were more satisfied with school even three weeks later.” Likewise, a Harris Interactive survey of more than 1,200 kids between the ages of 8 and 18 found that those who were grateful for what they had were also more generous, even if they were fairly materialistic.  -Familycircle article

Be a Role Model of Gratitude: As parents we need to understand that we can’t expect our children to be grateful, if we are not examples of this ourselves. Find gratitude in the little things and you will also find it in the bigger things.

Say Thank you: Just the simple act of helping your children learn to say thank you will make a big difference in the energy they carry and the people they touch with their smile.

Explain to children why gratitude is important: The strategy: Explain why it’s important to be grateful when someone helps you out. “Kids sometimes have the belief that people ‘should’ do things for them,” says Froh, “so it’s helpful to point out that people’s kind deeds are often done out of the goodness of their hearts.” -Familycircle

Gratitude tree: I have seen this done with a simple tree made to hang on the fridge & paper leaves were then attached, an entire wall created into a tree in your home, something to add to the dinner table, etc. You could buy silk leaves, use paper tags, stickers…the ideas are endless. Just google, “gratitude tree” and look at the many images and ideas you could create. Have fun with this. When family comes to visit, have them write something for the tree. Have your children create a special leaf each day

Write Thank you notes: The strategy: Write appreciative letters to the important people in our lives. “Acknowledging your feelings on paper makes them more conscious and concrete,” says Robert Emmons, PhD, author of Thanks! How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier (Houghton Mifflin)   -Familycircle

Find a goodwill project: Whether it is volunteering at a local charity, collecting old toys for a toy drive, sending post cards to soldiers or making blankets for someone in need–find something that your whole family can get excited about.

Here is another idea I found: “We put our change in a ‘Pennies from Heaven’ jar,” says Barbara Owens, mother of four, ages 10, 12, 16, and 20, in Manalapan, New Jersey. “Every time something devastating happens in the world, we sit down and talk about how blessed we are, then send a contribution.”

 

Hope this helps you find one simple thing you can ‘GIVE’ to those you LOVE.

-Peace & blessings to you this holiday.  -H

 

 

Be eternally grateful for those you LOVE

Last week I was texting everyone I know asking them to pray for my husband, their brother, friend, family…I was worried because my husband never gets sick, let alone, takes 3 days off work in a two week period. Something was wrong!! We had two sets of full blood work, two different doctors visit and an ultra sound. I have been worried at different points, but I was deeply worried and found myself crying and praying like crazy that my world would not be shaken in such a way.

We found out it was a painful pancreatitis attack, but after a week he was feeling like himself again. We both sat down  with our daughter and gave many prayers of thanks with an eternally grateful heart. I asked my husband if there was a point when he was really worried & he explained when he was walking into the hospital, he began to wonder if he would be walking through those doors on numerous occasions. It made me so grateful that the outcome was not worse.

Tough experiences, hard days, are those times when you really see things a little more clearly. You don’t take for granted the opportunity to talk on the phone with your best friend, to tell them things, to share everything. The experience definitely made me see how easy life could be taken & how quickly everything can change. It made me even more aware of how important he is in my life.

 

miss-you-so-much-jpgSTOP right this minute and try to imagine someone you would miss whole heartedly if they were gone—a best friend, a spouse, a parent, a sibling, a child…imagine they were taken from you & you could not even pick up the phone to call them. How do you feel? I hope you felt something & wanted to say something to them. Call them right now. Write a note of love or thanks or gratitude to have them in your life.  Give them a big hug & tell them how much they mean to you.

 

 

img-thingAsk yourself—what would I miss about…& express your feelings to those you love and appreciate. Will you miss the perfume they wear, their smile that warms the room, the way they bake your favorite cookies, your long talks, their laugh, the way you feel when they are around, their whistle, the shoes they wear, the way they wear their hair, the memories you share, the laughter you enjoy together, the favorite trips together, singing in the car, the stories they tell… Life is too short to not take the time to share how you feel. It will be a win for everyone!!

 

heart-shape“Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world.”  -John Milton

Now, within your heart, give a prayer of eternal gratitude that you have these beautiful people you cherish in your life. People are taken or become ill every day. Those you hold dear are within your reach, so reach out and let them know you love and appreciate them.

Peace to you. Sending you blessed wishes for you and those you love.

 

 

The ‘Golden Lists’

ImageFor Mother’s Day I took the day and spent the entire day lounging with my little family. It was the best Mother’s Day yet!! There is something in gifting yourself a day, not feeling pulled or manipulated into having to be somewhere else. I wasn’t selfish about it, I just gifted my husband’s mom an earlier Mother’s Day dinner and figured I see my mom every day (since she lives with us), so I decided to take the day and do nothing but be with my two favorite people. It was priceless, reading sweet letters they wrote me, enjoying meals together and then just popping in a few good movies that we thought would be enjoyable. It was a touch of relaxation and togetherness that we all needed.

One of the movies we enjoyed was called, The Ultimate Life. My favorite part—‘The Golden List’– I loved seeing a man wave his finger in the air as if writing a letter to God, thanking him for at least 10 things from the day!! Sure, we have all heard over and over about the gift of gratitude, but you can never hear it enough. I find that when I am not keeping a gratitude journal or golden list—my life definitely shifts and things are tougher. There is a key in having an attitude of gratitude, so ‘the golden list’ was a good twist.

 

ImageTO SEE: This especially rang true when I heard the following story that was shared by my sister. My sister has been going through a divorce & it has been tough on her whole family, so she was humbled by the following experience. My sister works in an eye clinic & a women came in for a scheduled appointment, she was about my sisters age (34) and as they sat and chatted in the waiting room my sister realized that this woman too was divorced and had a son that she was raising. They talked about the challenges of going through divorce, especially with children, but my sister was struck with a grateful heart when she heard this woman’s son was autistic. My sister couldn’t even fathom how it would be to raise a child with autism and be divorced. My sister was grateful to have two healthy kids. My sister watched the woman go in for her appointment and wondered why she was in their office. Most of the people who visit the eye clinic are in for cataracts, meds for vision problems because of old age, etc. but this was a young woman.

Further into the visit my sister sat in on part of the woman’s visit as the doctor told this woman she would never be able to drive again. The woman had a vision disorder that took over most of her eyes, so it would be like having two nickels covering your eyes and you could only see slightly from your peripheral vision. My sister’s heart sank again for this woman. How could she raise a child, especially an autistic child and not be able to see or drive.

As my sister shared this story, everyone’s heart broke a little at the thought of how this woman would be able to handle such a trauma. It made us all realize how blessed we are & it was a definite item on our ‘golden list’ before bed last night…”the gift of sight’

 

 

ImageTO RIDE: This is a personal story that happened last week while I was bike riding with my eleven year old daughter. My daughter struggles sometimes with gratitude, so I find myself on occasion sharing stories, insight, life lessons, hoping they will sink in eventually. While we were biking my daughter started to get mad, frustrated and started yelling, “this is so stupid. I hate this!” I have a really hard time with negativity and poor attitudes, so I chimed her on, “You can do this, we are more than half way. You are doing great.” She continued with the complaints, so while we were riding I shared with her a story of a close family friend. This is what I told her..”Kate, you need to focus on being grateful that you can even ride your bike, that you have strong legs to bike and dance and walk…we had a guy we knew who was struck with an illness and was going to loose one of his legs and you know what happened?” Kate begin to wonder, “what?” she inquired solemnly. “He decided if he was going to loose his leg that he was going to enjoy his last ride & biked all the way to the hospital where they were going to amputate it. He knew that would be his last ride with both of his legs. Can you imagine how he felt? I want you to bike and feel your strong body and be grateful that you can ride, that this is not your last.” She was quiet the whole rest of the way home.

 

ImageWhat a humbling thought. We take so much for granted, even just being able to walk, to see, to hear, to taste yummy food, to be free…free to pray, free to read any book, free to your own opinion. We are given so many gifts each day and we fail to miss them if we don’t take the time to look around, to truly take in the gifts, to get grateful and make a special ‘golden list.’

What will be on your golden list for today?

Are you going to look at your fingers differently & admire how they can type, mold bread dough, hold your child’s little hands, turn the key in your car, plant flowers, feel textures.

Are you going to look at what you see differently…are you going to enter a shopping store through the garden center to see the beautiful details, are you going to walk through your yard and look deeply at the colors, are you going to take the time to see the stars or a sunset or just gaze into someone’s eyes that you love.

Are you going to look at moving your body differently…are you going to stop putting off that bike ride or go on a walk at lunch, what about walking to work or the grocery store, what about that exercise class you have been putting off because you will feel silly—move before it gets harder, don’t take movement for granted, get out and take your kids on a walk or run, appreciate all the details within that lift your arm, that signal your brain to look left or right, the nerves that are so tiny, but make up a huge system that makes you move. Your body is a miracle.

Are you going to look at what you hear differently…don’t curse the morning bird song, listen and enjoy, when your baby cries be grateful she is breathing, listen to beautiful music that soothes your soul, appreciate the artists that were inspired to create such a gift for you to hear, listen to the waves crash, when it rains stop and listen to the patter on the roof, turn the television off and just listen to the silence, listen to the leaves move within the trees branches…

There are so many things to think about: the food we taste and enjoy, having running water, food in abundance, nature, learning and growth, laughter, inspired people, television shows that inspire good things, the quick access of so much information on the internet (there are so many good things–dont focus on the bad stuff :), new experiences, places to always aspire to go, life lists, people we haven’t met yet, lifelong friends, memories, beauty, sunlight, moonlight, animals, health, home, family, so many things…what will yours include? TODAY.

Hope this post gets you thinking about how you are blessed and gifted with so many golden promises.

Peace to you. -Heather