If we practice gratitude and keep a thankful heart, we’ll automatically extend inspiration wherever we go.

Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 in a nutshell

Another year is almost behind us and I'm thinking about what a rollercoaster year it's been.

This same time last year, we had a different address. January of this year found us without jobs. In March, we moved across country and away from friends and family to a new address. In August, we moved once again - another address! This time back with friends and family - home! Driving across the country, taking a new route, I enjoyed the beautiful mountains, visited with a dear friend who lives out of state and marveled at how my dog can sit for hours on end in the backseat of a car and never complain. In October I found gainful employment - thank you God! and in November the news of a new baby coming in May 2011! Christmas was spent with many friends and loved ones enjoying each other and the realization that this is truly

what it's all about.

The rollercoaster is what it is and I choose to focus on all the lessons, all the good that comes from life. Some days are much easier than others but at the end of the day I can always, always find things to be thankful for.

Tomorrow I'll start my Gratitude Journal and hope that it becomes contagious. I invite all who read this to post their daily thoughts of gratitude in the comments section. I truly hope to inspire many but honestly, if I only inspire myself...that too I will be grateful for.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Make The Best Of Everything You Have

A good friend shared this with me today so I thought I'd share it with you.

A group of graduates, well established in their careers, were talking at a
reunion and decided to go visit their old university professor, now retired.
During their visit, the conversation turned to complaints about stress in
their work and lives. Offering his guests hot chocolate, the professor went
into the kitchen and returned with a large pot of hot chocolate and an
assortment of cups - porcelain, glass, crystal, some plain looking, some
expensive, some exquisite - telling them to help themselves to the hot

When they all had a cup of hot chocolate in hand, the professor said:
"Notice that all the nice looking, expensive cups were taken, leaving behind
the plain and cheap ones. While it is normal for you to want only the best
for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress. The cup that
you're drinking from adds nothing to the quality of the hot chocolate. In
most cases it is just more expensive and in some cases even hides what we
drink. What all of you really wanted was hot chocolate, not the cup; but you
consciously went for the best cups... And then you began eyeing each other's

Now consider this: Life is the hot chocolate; your job, money and position
in society are the cups. They are just tools to hold and contain life. The
cup you have does not define, nor change the quality of life you have.
Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the hot
chocolate God has provided us. God makes the hot chocolate, man chooses the
cups. The happiest people don't have the best of everything. They just make
the best of everything that they have.

Live simply.

Love generously.

Care deeply.

Speak kindly.

And enjoy your hot chocolate.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Another year over, a new one just begun

There's a specific lyric in the song Happy Christmas by John Lennon that makes me stop in my tracks and do a bit of soul searching every time I hear it. "so this is Christmas, and what have you done? another year over, a new one just begun"

I always stop and contemplate...what HAVE I done? Have I given a little kindness, have I eased a little pain? Have I made a difference in the world?

I have made a commitment to myself that in 2011 I will leave something behind. I will become more active in my community, I will share of myself more freely and, I will Be The Change I Want To See In The World!

And so, this year, my commitment is to start an on-line Gratitude Journal. For years I have kept a gratitude journal by my bedside.Every night, before falling asleep, I leave a journal entry of 3-5 things that I am grateful for. Some nights these entries are very topical, sometimes deeply thought out, but always from my heart. It has kept me grounded. It reminds me on a daily basis, even in times of trial, when things seem to be going in a direction that I never planned I always have so much to be thankful for.

I look forward to a blissfully joyful, love filled, sometimes painful, ever changing new year filled with adventure. And at the end of every day - gratitude. Gratitude for being blessed with the opportunity to breathe in another day.