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

Monday, October 24, 2011

Day 297 in Gratitude

I cannot believe it's been 5 months, 150 days since my last post. I made a commitment to myself to post 365 Days in Gratitude and so I am getting back on the Gratitude horse! I'm not going to try and recap where I've been spiritually, emotionally and physically - I'm just going to jump back in.

Today is a celebration of the birth of my baby 24 years ago - I celebrate you Paulie! Happy Birthday, I am so grateful to have you in my life!

I spent the weekend on a Spiritual Retreat in Wisconsin. It is absolutely beautiful up there, on a lake and surrounded with like-minded people. Walking in nature and being close to the water always makes me feel that all is right with the world. While walking by the lake I reminded myself that this is a form of meditation and I should honor myself for being present. And so, to begin, I am grateful that I gifted myself this weekend.

I am grateful to have surrounded myself with like-minded people. We lift each other up and support each other and so I am grateful to have spent three yummy days with friends old and new.

I am grateful that Rev MaryBeth reminded me how important it is to live in gratitude. And so, I am dedicating this Day 297 to Rev MaryBeth. Thank you, thank you for pointing me back to what inspires and nourishes me - gratitude!

What are you grateful for?

Friday, May 27, 2011

Day 147 in Gratitude - Welcome To The World!

I am so filled with love right now. Welcome to the world Jacob! My grandson graced us with his presence today at 3:27pm. 7lbs 6oz of God's perfection. He is the sweetest thing and I am so grateful to have him in my life. The proud parents Rick (my oldest son) and Becky are just beaming with pride and I'm very proud of both of them.

It's funny how your life can change in an instant. While driving to the hospital today, all I kept thinking was "this is the most perfect day!" The sun was shining, the traffic was light. But honestly, it could have been a blizzard - nothing mattered except for the birth of this beautiful miracle of a baby. It's all perspective. Life is meant for family. Thank you Jacob, thank you for being in all of our lives. Thank you for making us stop today and realize what is really important - love. You, Jacob Ryan, are now and always will be surrounded by family and friends who love you dearly.

What are you grateful for?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Day 131 in Gratitude

I started a new job on Monday and it's been wonderful. I used to work for this company about 4 years ago and for 8 years and now I'm back and in a new position. I received such a wonderfully warm welcome from everyone I knew before and from people I'm just meeting for the first time. The group of individuals I'm working with are all professional, knowledgeable and successful. We've been in meetings together all week and during 12 hour work days but collaborating with them is very energizing. Everyone has something to contribute and there is mutual respect in the room at all times. In this crazy roller coaster economy where jobs are still very hard to come by, I am so grateful to be working. Having the luxury of working with this group of individuals is like icing on the cake.

What are you grateful for?

Monday, May 9, 2011

Day 130 in Gratitude

This post is from Evie Burke, Certified Life Coach. "Find the joy in your life and work one insight at a time." To find out more about Evie and her work, go to  www.oneinsightcloser.com
When I sat down to write this post about my perspective on Gratitude, all the ideas that I had disappeared.  As I thought about what I was going to write I remembered something I read (or heard) last week.  It was a challenge to list 100 things your grateful for.  So, I decided to do it.
I expected to get to about 30 things and then be stuck.  Not that I don't have lots of things to be thankful for, I do, but I wasn't sure about my ability to think of them quickly in one sitting.  I surprised myself by having just over 50 items listed in one sitting.
I also noticed something after that sitting.  I was much calmer and focused then I was before I started.  Before I started I was thinking about the appointments I have today and all the things I want to get done.  My mind was darting around from one thing to the next without stopping at anything long enough to actually make progress.  After I listed out as many things I was grateful for as I could, I noticed that my mind had slowed down and I was actually concentrating on one thing.
Now, part of this is because I sat down and committed myself to one task and once I got into it my mind quieted.  But something about writing down things your grateful for automatically shifts your mood.  When you're focusing on the positive things that are in your life you can't help but feel a little happier.
Keeping a gratitude journal is proven to increase a person's satisfaction with life.  Why? Well, you're more likely to focus on the good things that happen to you or around you when you know you want to write something down in your gratitude journal at the end of the day.  And when you focus on the good things happening around you, you tend to be happier and more satisfied with your life.
If you're going through a difficult time or just aren't as happy as you'd like to be then start keeping a gratitude journal.  If there's one part of your life that you're particularly unhappy with, try writing at least one thing about it each day that you're grateful for.  For example, when I was really unhappy at my old job I started doing this and found that there were a number of things I was grateful for.  Things like a kind word, the suggestion to get out of the office for lunch, or a conversation with a friend. 
Have you ever heard the phrase "Energy flows where attention goes?"  This is another reason that gratitude is so powerful.  When we focus our attention on what we're thankful for, we're flowing our positive energy toward it and will attract more of whatever it is we're thankful for.
I'm going to go and think of some more things and people I'm thankful for.  My goal is to have 100 before I go to bed tonight.
So, what's at the top of your 100 things your grateful for? 

Friday, May 6, 2011

Day 126 in Gratitude

Wow, it's been 5 days since my last post. I honestly didn't think that many days had passed.

Today I received a call from my youngest son proclaiming he had officially graduated from college! He insisted that he didn't want to walk across the stage so I have to be understanding of that decision. Of course, as a Mom, I would love to sit in the audience and beam with pride as I watch my son strut across the stage wearing that huge grin that lights up a room. The bottom line is - he graduated. Paulie is one of those young men that, when his mind is made up, is focused and determined and won't quit until he is successful. Paulie, you have proven, once again, that when you put your mind to something, there's nothing you can't achieve and I am so proud and thankful to have you in my life. Congratulations!

Today was the last day of work at a company I had been with for 6 months. I enjoyed my time there and wish them all the very best. Working with a group like that makes you appreciate being associated with them. They are a very diverse group of individuals and work very effectively together. I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to meet and work with each and every one of them.

What are you grateful for?

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Day 121 in Gratitude - Things to Celebrate

I am so excited! There are three things to celebrate today (well, actually I could think of many but):

1. This post marks the 1st of May - April Showers have brought May Flowers. Everywhere we walk in the neighborhood we see tulips, jonquil and salvia. Walking the dog this morning there were many people out mowing their lawns. The smell of fresh cut grass is one of my favorite smells. Like walking into your Grandmother's house smelling fresh baked apple pie, grass makes me feel the same way. I just love May and what's not to love, sunshine, flowers popping up everywhere helping us forget the 24 inches of snow just a few short months ago and warmer weather! Thank you!

2. 17 days away from my new grandbaby's upcoming birth. Yes, my son's first child is due to grace us with his presence on May 18 and I can't wait. Listening to my son talk about the upcoming birth of his first baby makes me grin from ear to ear. My son has grown into a wonderful young man, responsible, loving and kind. I am so proud of you Rick, you're going to make such a wonderful Daddy.

3. The fact that I've been blogging my gratitude for one third of the year! As I've mentioned before, I've kept a gratitude journal by my bed for years but I was never very committed in writing on a daily basis. Holding gratitude in my heart is changing the way I see things on a daily basis and I'm thrilled to be keeping diligence on this blog.

What are you grateful for?

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Day 119 in Gratitude

From time to time I'm going to ask friends to write an article on gratitude or a post on their daily gratitude - below is a post from my friend Evie.
My sister moved from the suburbs into Chicago recently and I was there to help her out and keep her company.  I'm very grateful for the wonderful movers that did all the heavy lifting.  They made the hard work of moving look quick and easy.
One thing that I noticed was head mover's wonderful ability to set expectations.  When he came across something that was very worn or broken he would make sure that my sister knew about it prior to it being packed.  I realized that sometimes we forget, or overlook, the shape things are in when in familiar settings, but in a new setting the worn or broken things might stand out.  When everything was packed he again set expectations.  He made sure he had my sister's cell phone number and that she had his so they could communicate if anything came up.  He also made sure he had directions, and estimated how long unpacking would take.
I'm grateful that the movers my sister hired were professional, set expectations and also kept the atmosphere light.  It made the sometimes stressful process of moving go much easier.
What are you grateful for today?
Evie Burke is a life coach who specializes in working with people who get a knot in their stomach when they think about going to work each day.  They’re ready for the knot to go away, but don’t want to leave their job.  She has a special place in her heart for these people, being one of them herself a couple times in her life.  To find out more about Evie visit: http://OneInsightCloser.com/about-me

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Day 118 in Gratitude

Keeping this blog has helped me tremendously. As days go by and I blog about my blessings, I feel more light-hearted and able to handle strong situations with a hopeful heart. And, knowing that in all things I am blessed, even the major challenges keep my mind looking forward.

There is a huge event happening tomorrow and I'm so excited and thankful for it. No, it's not the Royal Wedding of Prince William & Kate Middleton.  My brother-in-law is being released from the hospital tomorrow! With his numbers improving slowly but surely, his team of doctors feel he is ready to go home. He'll have a biopsy in a few weeks but for now, he can go home and be with his family. Thank you God!

One month ago I put together a vision board. A vision board is simply a visual representation or collage of the things that you want to have, be, or do in your life. It consists of a poster or foam board with cut-out pictures, drawings and/or writing on it of the things that you want in your life or the things that you want to become. The purpose of a vision board is to activate the law of attraction to begin to pull things from your external environment that will enable you to realize your dream. By selecting pictures and writing that charges your emotions with feelings of passion, you will begin to manifest those things into your life. I put this board by my bed and look at it every night before going to sleep and see it first thing in the morning when I wake. One of the images represents getting my career back on track. I've been derailed for a number of years due to 'life' situations. Well, Monday I received a call from a friend asking if I would be interested in a position at a former company I worked for for over 8 years. The guy who held that position just resigned a few hours before and my friend, the Sr VP, felt I would be a good fit. Within a matter of 48 hours, I was offered and accepted the position and start May 9th! I'm thrilled and very grateful for the wonderful opportunity. Whether you believe in the law of attraction or not, what would it hurt to give it a try?

One last but not least thing I am so very grateful for. My husband is starting his own business. This makes me so very proud. For the past year or more he has been trying to land a gig because of our need for good medical coverage. Well, now that I've accepted my new position we will have good coverage. This frees him up to start his own business and I couldn't be happier. The name of his company is Suite Spot Marketing. He went to a networking event last night and may have picked up his first client! I'm thrilled for him.

What are you grateful for?

Monday, April 25, 2011

Day 115 in Gratitude - a lesson from Wiki

All of these findings on gratitude are taken from Wikipedia. 

Empirical findings

Gratitude and well-being

A large body of recent work has suggested that people who are more grateful have higher levels of well-being. Grateful people are happier, less depressed, less stressed, and more satisfied with their lives and social relationships. Grateful people also have higher levels of control of their environments, personal growth, purpose in life, and self acceptance. Grateful people have more positive ways of coping with the difficulties they experience in life, being more likely to seek support from other people, reinterpreted and grow from the experience, and spend more time planning how to deal with the problem. Grateful people also have less negative coping strategies, being less likely to try to avoid the problem, deny there is a problem, blame themselves, or cope through substance use. Grateful people sleep better, and this seems to be because they think less negative and more positive thoughts just before going to sleep.
 Gratitude has been said to have one of the strongest links with mental health of any character trait. Numerous studies suggest that grateful people are more likely to have higher levels of happiness and lower levels of stress and depression. In one study concerning gratitude, participants were randomly assigned to one of six therapeutic intervention conditions designed to improve the participant’s overall quality of life (Seligman et. all., 2005). Out of these conditions, it was found that the biggest short-term effects came from a “gratitude visit” where participants wrote and delivered a letter of gratitude to someone in their life. This condition showed a rise in happiness scores by 10 percent and a significant fall in depression scores, results which lasted up to one month after the visit. Out of the six conditions, the longest lasting effects were caused by the act of writing “gratitude journals” where participants were asked to write down three things they were grateful for every day. These participants’ happiness scores also increased and continued to increase each time they were tested periodically after the experiment. In fact, the greatest benefits were usually found to occur around six months after treatment began. This exercise was so successful that although participants were only asked to continue the journal for a week, many participants continued to keep the journal long after the study was over. Similar results have been found from studies conducted by Emmons and McCullough (2003) and Lyubomirsky et. all. (2005).
 Whilst many emotions and personality traits are important to well-being, there is evidence that gratitude may be uniquely important. First, a longitudinal study showed that people who were more grateful coped better with a life transition. Specifically, people who were more grateful before the transition were less stressed, less depressed, and more satisfied with their relationships three months later. Second, two recent studies have suggested that gratitude may have a unique relationship with well-being, and can explain aspects of well-being that other personality traits cannot. Both studies showed that gratitude was able to explain more well-being than the Big Give and 30 of the most commonly studied personality traits.

Gratitude and altruism

Gratitude has also been shown to improve a person’s altruistic tendencies. One study conducted by David DeSteno and Monica Bartlett (2010) found that gratitude is correlated with economic generosity. In this study, using an economic game, increased gratitude was shown to directly mediate increased monetary giving. From these results, this study shows that gracious people are more likely to sacrifice individual gains for communal profit (DeSteno & Bartlett, 2010). A Study conducted by McCullough, Emmons, & Tsang, (2002) found similar correlations between gratitude and empathy, generosity, and helpfulness.

Interventions to increase gratitude

Given that gratitude appears to be a strong determinant of people's well-being, several psychological interventions have been developed to increase gratitude. For example, Watkins and colleagues had participants test a number of different gratitude exercises, such as thinking about a living person for whom they were grateful, writing about someone for whom they were grateful, and writing a letter to deliver to someone for whom they were grateful. Participants in the control condition were asked to describe their living room. Participants who engaged in a gratitude exercise showed increases in their experiences of positive emotion immediately after the exercise, and this effect was strongest for participants who were asked to think about a person for whom they were grateful. Participants who had grateful personalities to begin with showed the greatest benefit from these gratitude exercises.


According to Cicero, a Roman philosopher, statesman, lawyer, political theorist and Roman Constitutionalist, “Gratitude is not only the greatest of the virtues but the parent of all others.” Multiple studies have shown the correlation between gratitude and increased wellbeing not only for the individual but for all people involved. The positive psychology movement has embraced these studies and in an effort to increase overall wellbeing, has begun to make an effort to incorporate exercises to increase gratitude into the movement. Although in the past gratitude has been neglected by psychology, in recent years much progress has been made in studying gratitude and its positive effects.

I don't know about you, my dear readers but I continue to stay on my path of holding a thankful heart. It is not easy but as I've said before, "I'm a work in progress."

What are you grateful for?

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Day 113 in Gratitude

After three weeks of my husband being in New Jersey spending time with his family - he is back home safely!

 I am so grateful to have him back home with me.

What are you grateful for?

Day 112 in Gratitude - A Great Night With Me!

I had a wonderful "all about me" evening last night. I could have vacuumed, done a load of laundry, cleaned out some files on my desk or gone grocery shopping but decided differently.

I poured a glass of wine, listened to an on-line one hour talk from Mary Morrissey titled Consciously Designing Your Life. I wrote some entries in my journal on that same topic which was fun and enlightening. I found a fascinating show on National Geographic tv on The Galapagos Islands and learned some interesting facts about the Frigate Bird, the Furry Seal and the Albatross! The Islands are biologically diverse, they are one of the planet’s natural paradises and one of the most visited national parks in the world. Before last night, these are things I had no idea about. Then found a cute love story on On Demand tv titled How Do You Know with Reese Witherspoon and Owen Wilson. I am grateful to have taken this indulgence to enjoy my time alone. I had a great night with me!

What are you grateful for?

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Day 111 in Gratitude

Roz Kovel; President and founder of X-it Strategies, Inc., which offers financial literacy education and objective advice about financial products and services. She calls herself a serial entrepreneur. She wouldn't say how many but has launched numerous businesses successfully. Check our her site at www.x-itstrategies.com.

Evie Burke; Life Coach and owner at One Insight Closer. Evie is grounded in the belief that everyone deserves to wake up every day happy about the possibilities that the day holds, knowing that you have the tools for any problem that comes your way. She offers the tools. She offers one on one coaching to get you to where you want to be. Check out her site at www.oneinsightcloser.com.

Susan Kendall: Business Owner at AuroraNightOut.com. A few years back she was CEO for Girl Scouts of America Fox Valley Council. Now she owns her own business linking business owners in Aurora to potential customers through on-line advertising. Check out her site at www.auroranightout.com.

Traci Ellis; Chicago Market Director for Ladies Who Launch. Traci blends her experience as a veteran attorney, business owner, author and speaker to inspire and guide women entrepreneurs through the exhilarating world of entrepreneurship. She provides on-point legal counsel, practical, real-life business advice, workshops and tools to help women successfully unleash their inner entrepreneur. She calls herself a corporate refugee. Check out her site at www.ladieswholaunch.com/chicago.

Heidi Cleary; a makeup artist who is launching her own botanical / natural makeup and skin care line. She has quite an interesting story about how she decided to go in this direction after waking one morning with MRSA, a contagious staph bacteria that infected the skin on her face.Her line will be called Heidi Carin Cosmetics and as soon as her site is up and running I'll offer the link.

Diane Sabers; co-owner of a flooring company. She co-owns the company with her husband but this is not her passion. Her passion is starting her own outerwear fashion line of clothing. This has been a long-time dream of Dianes and is taking the necessary steps to get her where she wants to be. When she talks about her clothing line, her entire being lights up the room - she comes alive and bubbles over with passion.

I had the privilege of meeting and talking with all of these ladies today and can honestly say they are all extraordinary. I am blessed to have met them and grateful to have the opportunity to get to know them even more in the months to come.

What are you grateful for?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Day 110 in Gratitude


I still love
Lyrics by Gretchen Parlato

Even if you said goodbye
Even if a dream may die
Even when my life is through
No matter what you say or do
I still love

Even if it makes me cry
Even if I don’t know why
Even when things fall apart
Even if you break my heart
I still love

Even when I feel alone
Even if I had no home
Til my fears have gone away
Let it go and come what may
I still love

Through my job and through my pain
Like the sun that follows rain
No beginning and no end
Love, so love comes back again
I still love

There's something about these lyrics that grab me. (And her voice is mesmerizing.) With the good, with the bad - I still love. The lyrics, this song reminds me of how I strive to live my life. Carrying yourself every day with optimism, gratitude, a thankful heart is not easy, but it's the way I choose to live. Seeing the world with grateful eyes helps you see things more clearly. Some days are so foggy it's a challenge to see through all the muck but if you look very closely - you'll find what you need to see.

What are you grateful my dear readers? Please share your thoughts, I'd love to hear from you.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Day 107 in Gratitude

While in my kitchen making dinner tonight I watched a tv program about a man who is paralyzed from the neck down. He endures many tasks during the day that for most of us take a matter of a few minutes. For him, just getting out of bed, getting to the bathroom to wash up and brush his teeth takes him over three hours. Three hours! Think about that. The next time you jump out of bed, walk by yourself to the bathroom, wash up and brush your teeth without anyone's assistance, some people aren't as fortunate. He has to wait for someone to turn on lights and open doors. He literally can't do any task without someone's help. His outlook on life is so inspiring and his motto; "whatever life hands you, you just keep going." Truly inspiring.

Today I am grateful for working hands, arms and legs. Thank you God.

What are you grateful for?

Friday, April 15, 2011

Day 105 in Gratitude - A Time To Celebrate!

Appreciate everything that you have and don't have and find ways every day to celebrate them.

The benefits of celebrating. I believe the happier you are the more you're a magnet for other happy people. People are naturally drawn to others who are having fun and enjoying life. Complaints drain your energy. At a previous job that was stressful, I used to come home and say that the job sucked the sunshine right out of me. Have you ever walked into your office kitchen and found a co-worker complaining about his or her partner, their job and/or their financial situation? You want to run out of there as quickly as possible! But take that same kitchenette filled with people who are engaged in light conversation and just enjoying themselves - you stay to soak up the positive energy. The more fun you have doing mundane tasks, the more enjoyable you become. Having fun or celebrating the simple things brings great joy to you and those around you. How about calling your best friend to tell her you've just made the best chocolate cake ever!

We've been taught at an early age that it's in bad form to celebrate, it's considered boasting or bragging. Bragging lacks humility and focuses solely on you and doesn't include anyone else in the good news. But when you're feeling good about your accomplishments, no matter how great or small, it allows others around you to start feeling good about some of their accomplishments as well. The more you can look for the good in your life, the more good you can see, the more your mind becomes programmed to celebrate it. You don't have to throw a party because you learned how to change the oil on your car but you can make yourself a nice dinner or light a few candles and soak in the tub. Celebrating is any form of positive acknowledgement.

A few things I celebrate - An Attitude of Gratitude!
I celebrate the fact that my taxes are done and filed.
I celebrate that I know how to read and write.
I celebrate that I had a great smoothie for breakfast this morning.
I celebrate that I received a phone call from an out of state girlfriend and we caught up on each others lives.
I celebrate my bills because they are evidence of shelter provide, fun had, great meals eaten and some kick-ass shoes on my feet. Bills are receipts from a life well-lived ( I love that line!)
I celebrate my job which gives me financial security while I plan my next move.

What can you celebrate?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Day 104 in Gratitude - The Power of Words

I am grateful to have eyes to see the beautiful morning sun, the afternoon clouds in the sky and the gorgeous sunset.

What are you grateful for?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Day 102 in Gratitude

Brian Tracy has taught me many things...many, many things. Of all the lessons that I've learned in business and in my personal life, the one Brian Tracy lesson that has stuck with me for years is this; Wake each and every day and say out loud, "I feel terrific!" "I feel terrific!" over and over and over again until you've convinced yourself that you actually do feel terrific. For those of you who don't know who Brian Tracy is, Brian has dedicated his life and built a company on the training and development of individuals and organizations. So today, I feel the need to say thank you to Brian Tracy.I have learned much.

When a family member is going through a challenging health situation it always seems to help people put things into perspective. Today I made a commitment to myself that I was going to be very cognizant of how many times I complained about something trivial.

First it was the belt on my car engine. For the past week, every time I start and drive my car, this horrible screeching sound penetrates my ears and the ears of the drivers within a mile of my car. How embarrassing! As I drive down the street, everyone peers at me and makes this face as if to say, "shut that car up!"

The second time I complained was while I was at work. Going over a report, I was asked to re-structure and re-submit it. Ugh! After hours of logical thinking, strategically putting that report together and to be asked to re-structure it without the logic...what a waste of time!

The third time I complained was when one of my neighbors stopped by tonight to sell me candy for a fund-raiser. I was on the phone talking to a friend, catching up and I had to end the call to answer the door. After asking him which fund-raiser he was campaigning for, he told me it was for a start up not-for-profit. I came back in and looked it up, it didn't exist.

All of these things, all of these complaints were just annoyances. Distractions that annoyed me and/or took me away from something I thought was more important. How silly. The point of my challenge today was to bring attention to these things and when I realize I'm complaining stop, take a deep, long breath in and realize; I am healthy, my children are healthy, my husband is healthy. I can deal with and fix a squeeky belt on a car, re-do a report and take time to talk to a neighbor who I believe is just lonely. But by no means are these annoyances anything to complain about. My brother-in-law is sitting in a hospital room battling leukemia and if asked, he would much rather be home having to replace a belt on his car, re-analyze a report and take a few moments to talk with a lonely neighbor. I have my health and for that, I am truly grateful.

What are you grateful for? Share your thoughts, I'd love to hear from you!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Day 100 in Gratitude

We received very grim news today about my brother-in-laws progress. The doctors feel that his system cannot tolerate any more chemo treatments as well as another marrow transplant. They are treating him for a fungal pneumonia and skin lesions that are infected but feel there is nothing more they can do.

I called Cancer Treatment Centers of America and talked with a two time cancer survivor about what our options were. This is from Cancer Treatment Centers of America home page;

What kind of care would you want for a loved one who is fighting cancer? 
This is the question the experts at Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) ask themselves every day. This question is what motivates us to continually research and employ innovative new techniques and therapies to fight cancer on all fronts.
We call this quest the Mother Standard® of care. It means our entire focus is driven by the advanced whole-person treatment options and the kind of care we would want for our own family members. Here, doctors care for you like family. Our Mother Standard of care is the essence of CTCA.
For almost 30 years, CTCA has been on the leading edge of cancer treatment with this personalized, whole-person care model. With cancer hospitals in suburban Chicago, Philadelphia, Tulsa, and suburban Phoenix, CTCA continues to expand its accessibility to patients. Our cancer experts provide a full range of treatment options—including options for advanced stage cancers and complex cases—all under one roof.
At CTCA, we understand that cancer doesn't just affect one part of the body. It affects all of you and everything in your life. Here, you will receive a personalized treatment plan which includes a powerful combination of advanced conventional treatments combined with supportive complementary medicine therapies. This whole-person approach helps you fight cancer while you enjoy a good quality of life.
Our doctors believe in your fundamental right to be informed about, and to choose among, the best available options for your cancer treatment. Using our Patient Empowerment Medicine® model, your multidisciplinary care team will empower you to actively and meaningfully participate in your cancer care. Rather than telling you what you need, your doctors at CTCA will listen to you and provide clear, well-defined choices.
Furthermore, we strive to make your visit to a CTCA hospital as convenient and stress-free as possible. Our representatives will handle all of the details for you, including your transportation and lodging arrangements. While here, our cancer hospitals offer a positive, hopeful environment for you and your loved ones so you can relax and focus on healing.
With the Mother Standard of care as a guide, CTCA cancer experts never stop searching for options to help you fight cancer on all fronts.

My husband and sister-in-law will contact them tomorrow for support. It may be too late for my brother-in-law because of the progression of his disease but I highly recommend anyone dealing with cancer should contact them. They offer hope and sometimes that is exactly what the patient and their families need. Hope. I'm glad I called, thank you CTCA.

We take our health for granted. We wake every day and just expect our bodies to function exactly the way they have the day before and the years before that. We never take the time to stop and say a prayer of gratitude for what we have. Why? We're busy. Our lives are so hectic. We get up, make coffee, throw a load of laundry in, take the dog out, put the dishes in the dishwasher and go to work. Work 8-10 hours, come home, make dinner, put the laundry in the dryer, take the dog for a walk, call the boys to see how they are, clean up the kitchen, sit and read a book or watch tv, kiss our loved ones goodnight and go to bed. Such precious moments! Such precious moments that we will never get back and we take them all for granted.

I so want this blog to teach me not to take these precious moments for granted. Thank you God, thank you for every breath I take, for every beat of my heart - thank you.

What are you grateful for?

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Day 99 in Gratitude

I am grateful Spring has finally sprung! Today was sunny and in the 70's. It was perfect weather, I had all the windows open, the breeze was light and my dog was enjoying every minute of it. I took him for a nice, long walk and when we returned home, he laid on his back and appeared to be sunbathing...LOL.

My Mom stopped by today. That small act made me happy. She never stops by for no reason but today she did and for that, I am thankful.

I met some friends tonight to listen to a band and have a glass of wine. The band was great, very tight harmonizing and music from the 70s. Easy conversation and very relaxing. I am missing my husband tho, he would have loved the music and the company. I am grateful to have such wonderful friends. I love you guys!

What are you grateful for?

Friday, April 8, 2011

Day 98 in Gratitude - A Pending Governement Shutdown...really??

There's so much going on right now. The US Government finally reached a tentative agreement to stay open for the next 6 days to continue their debates on spending. What an embarrassment and hardly inspiring that they took this negotiation down to the wire to come to an agreement to continue the debate. And, once they do finally come to a majority agreement, it will be time to debate the 2012 budget! I am proud to be an American, I appreciate that we do have differences and everyone has a right to be heard. But these issues should have been addresses months ago and a resolution reached. A government shutdown is not the end of the world and we have come through it before, but at a time when the economy is in such disarray and the fact that we've had 5 or 6 extensions on the original 2011 budget that was brought to the table in Feb 2010 - this is tough to swallow. I am thankful that they have come to this agreement so that our military families will receive their paychecks.

My brother-in-law has his good days and bad. AML is a tough cancer that is so unpredictable and ruthless. It seems that one day he has energy to walk around the floor of the hospital, and the next he is exhausted. I guess this is fairly common. Most days his outlook is guardedly hopeful but some days he seems to force himself to look at his possible reality which seems dim. My husband stayed in NJ to spend time and to help in any way he can. I am very proud of his decision to offer his time and unconditional love and am thankful that his circumstances allow him to do so.

What are you grateful for?

Monday, April 4, 2011

Day 94 in Gratitude - A Challenging Time

I spent a long weekend in Princeton, NJ spending time with my brother and sister-in-law and their family. My sister-in-law is full of life and laughter. She is a very strong-willed woman who knows what she wants and goes out and gets it. She is not shy, very successful and loves her family unconditionally. She is the matriarch of the family and everyone seems to come to her for advice, unconditional love and her amazing cooking. No one goes home hungry in this family - no one! I really enjoyed spending time with her, albeit short, talking, sharing stories and laughing out loud. I admire her strength and courage at this very difficult time. Her husband, my husband's brother, is battling AML; acute myeloid leukemia. For the past 12 months my brother-in-law has spent 8 months in the hospital having numerous rounds of chemo and a marrow transplant. They live in NJ and wanted the best of the best so he is in a hospital in Philly which is over an hour drive one way. The challenges they face on a daily basis are extraordinary and yet she carries herself with grace. I am thankful to have her as my sister-in-law.

My husband stayed on to help with driving, running errands and going to the hospital to spend time with his brother. This is a difficult time for him. He tries to stay upbeat and positive but is struggling to understand why, after just one year of his brother's retirement, he is diagnosed with this horrible acute disease. I know in my heart of hearts everyone has their destiny. Their path is charted. But this is a tough one to swallow. I pray for my brother-in-law and his family and for my husband so that he may come to terms with this and allow himself quality time with his brother. I am grateful that my husband took the time to stay and do this for his family. I love you baby.

What are you grateful for?

Friday, April 1, 2011

Day 91 in Gratitude

We're leaving for New Jersey in the morning. My husband's brother's leukemia is back, and he's back in the hospital. In the past year this will make three months out of twelve that he's been in the hospital. Three rounds of chemo, and depending on what the doctors advise, maybe a second bone marrow transplant. He's tired, isn't really sure what tomorrow will bring, but his attitude is great - and we'd all do well to take a lesson there. Live life well. Every day.

I'll be able to stay for a long weekend, and my husband will stay for as long as he's needed, and try to help as best he can. It's going to be a tiring trip, but these are the times when you just do whatever you can to be there for family, no matter what the past has been. The past is over. Right now, it's all about today, one today at a time.

I'm grateful for the love of friends and family.
I'm grateful for another day on this beautiful, precious, one-of-a-kind planet.
And I'm grateful for my health.

What are you grateful for?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Day 88 in Gratitude

I am grateful for the sunshine on my face while driving to work in the morning.

I am grateful for the warmer Spring-like weather that is making it's way into Chicago!

I am grateful to be sipping a cup of tea while watching an episode of Restaurant Impossible with my husband. I love that show.

What are you grateful for?

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Day 86 in Gratitude

Watching my son and daughter in law as they begin their journey as parents is so heart-warming. They're due with their first child mid May and today I hosted a baby shower for them. Mommy to be is glowing and when she smiles she lights up the room. My son is excited and I couldn't be more proud of him. He will make a great Daddy. He seems the type of Dad that will get down on the floor and play with the baby for hours. I am so grateful to be able to watch this new family begin.

We invited all the usual suspects! My Mom, sister and niece, my Aunt, cousins, friends and the newest additions to our family, my daughter in laws sister, two daughters and Mom. They are wonderful people! Kind, loving and very easy to get to know. I am thankful to have our new, extended family to share this new life coming into the world.

My husband, sister, Mom, niece and friends were a huge help today. Some made food, some let me borrow plates, trays, etc. Some helped gather coats, while others helped serving everyone. Thank you, Thank you!! I love you all and am so grateful to have you in my life. I am blessed.

What are you grateful for?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Day 83 in Gratitude - A Life Of Abundance

I found this in one of my books today and it really spoke to me.

Why go through life as thought it were something to be endured, as though there were not enough good or joy to go around? Are we not always limiting the possibility of love and affection, of appreciation, and of the common everyday good things of life? If we really are in union with a Divine Source then there should come a feeling of abundance in everything we do - an abundance of friendship, of self-expression, of everything. The abundant life contains all things whether we call them big or little.

Today I expect a more abundant life. I am keeping my whole mind and thought and expectation open to new experiences, to happier events, to a more complete self-expression. Giving more love, I expect greater love in return. Sharing with others whatever good things I have, I expect all life to share with me the good that it possesses. Seeing beauty everywhere, I expect a revelation of still more beauty. Seeing joy in everything, I expect more laughter. More deeply sensing tranquility in which all things exist, I expect a deeper consciousness of peace and security. Through it all I feel that I am in the embrace of a warm, loving presence forever seeking an outlet through me. I am grateful for an abundant life.

What are you grateful for?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Day 82 in Gratitude

I am grateful to have taken today off to heal. I haven't been feeling well and can't quite shake the continual headache. I took a few naps today and tonight I'm feeling a bit better. I am on the mend!!

I don't panic much. I am realizing that more and more every day. Talking to friends who worry about things they can't control, like their grown children. Talking to my sister who gets very nervous during bad weather, talking to my Mom who worries about EVERYTHING. I realize I don't worry about much. There are things I think about and I confess, I do worry about money, which I shouldn't. But the more I trust in a higher power the more I realize that we all are taken care of. Thank you God.

I am concerned about my brother-in-law. He was diagnosed with leukemia less than a year ago. He went through a few rounds of chemo and a marrow transplant. Just a few short months later his Dr told him the leukemia is back. I think about Tim and how short life is. I think about his family, his wife who adores him, his sons who love him, his brother who admires and looks up to him and all of his adorable grandchildren who will miss him dearly. I am so very thankful I have my health, my boys are healthy, my husband, sister and Mom are all healthy. When we are in good health I think we take it for granted. It's like that phrase; 'you don't know what you've got until it's gone'. I want to thank God every day for the abundant health in my life.

What are you grateful for?

Day 81 in Gratitude - Bobsie Story Movie

Bobsie Story Movie: "When I watched Jack Canfield tell this story in the video below...2 things happened for me. I was deeply touched and reminded that there are a lot of remarkable people doing great things in this world. I asked myself, "Why are so many people moved by this story?" To see if it does the same for you...I'll guess you'll have to watch for yourself!"

Thank you to Jack Canfield and 'It's All About Women' for sharing this video - my wish is that it inspires you too.

What are you grateful for?

Monday, March 21, 2011

Day 80 in Gratitude

Spring is in the air! Today was sunny and in the 50's. I was home with stomach flu but even so, napping with the window cracked open was heavenly. I am so grateful to start to see the weather turn.

Learning more about myself is always fascinating. I received a numerology report on my birth name and birth date. I'm not sure why I even looked into this considering I know nothing about numerology and have never really had any interest in it.The report was intriguing and held my interest. I read about how they calculate the numbers and what each number means. I love learning about new things, new concepts that I know nothing about. It seems my Life Path is a 5; I am about freedom, independence and the right to follow where my heart and gut-instincts lead me in life. My Expression is a 1; I am a courageous and natural born leader who is not afraid to makes things happen.My Soul Urge is a 22; I have the highest soul calling of all of the numbers, as it is the call to transform the world permanently and for the better.It truly is fascinating how the science of numbers, which governs much - if not most - of what happens in your life, your relationships, your health, and your economic future you can learn with just one click of a mouse. I am thankful for an inquisitive mind that keeps me reading, stretching myself and learning.

Last night my youngest son drove almost 5 hours round trip to spend my birthday dinner with me. He is such a loving, caring individual. He is kind, compassionate and loves to laugh and I love spending time with him and his brothers. Being a Mom is one of my greatest joys. I thank God everyday for my boys. When blowing out my birthday candle my daughter-in-law said "make a wish!" so I closed my eyes, thought for a moment and made my wish. Afterward my boys starting guessing what I wished - "World Peace" one said....no, no "Eternal Joy" the other son said. Everyone laughed but I have to tell you I was thrilled with what they were saying. I am completely thankful that my boys, even tho they poke fun really know who I am at my core. It made my heart swell.

What are you grateful for?

A Quote on Gratitude

"Remember, whatever you focus upon, increases...When you focus on the things you need, you'll find those needs increasing. If you concentrate your thoughts on what you don't have, you will soon be concentrating on other things that you had forgotten you don't have-and feel worse! If you set your mind on loss, you are more likely to lose...But a grateful perspective brings happiness and abundance into a person's life."
Andy Andrews, Law of Attraction Quotes

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Day 79 in Gratitude

I had a wonderful evening. I went to dinner with my husband, boys and daughter in law. They chose a fantastic vegetarian diner. http://www.veggiediner.com/wp/ Their tag line is: Meat free since 1983. They've been voted the Best two years in a row. If you live anywhere in or near Chicago, I highly recommend this place. We waited about an hour for a table but it was well worth the wait. Check out the menu - awesome!

Everywhere I look, every face I see
Is love reflected shining back to me
I just give thanks for all these simple things
The joy and peace that gratitude brings.

Everyday I wake, before I open my eyes,
I count my blessings and I realize
Life is a miracle when I see it that way
I focus on the beauty, that’s why I’ve got to say

I am so grateful for:
All of my friends, My wonderful life, My radiant health,
My abundance, The joy in my heart
The peace in my life, Every blessing. 

What are you grateful for?

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Day 78 in Gratitude

Today was filled with joy and love. I cherish days like today. First thing this morning I was woke by my middle son sending me a text. About 30 minutes later he called. Then my oldest son sent a text. A few friends called, a few more texts. I laid in bed, read a few magazines and enjoyed the sunshine. My husband surprised me with a new FLIP Video! Then my youngest son called to talk and tell me about his weekend. I went to lunch with my big sister. She's not really my big sister but my very dear friend. Since it was so nice out, when I came home, my husband and I took a nice, long walk around the lake. The lake is a new found treasure, up until now I didn't even know it existed.The forest preserve is less than a mile from my house and I had been so busy with my life that I never noticed. When we came back from our walk I took a nap. A NAP on a Saturday afternoon...fabulous! We went to Borrowed Earth for dinner. Borrowed Earth is a RAW cafe and the food is out of this world delicious. The owners are great and we had great conversation.

Thank you, thank you to everyone who shared my birthday today. I love you all and my life would not be the same without each and every one of you. I am truly blessed.

What are you grateful for?

Friday, March 18, 2011

Day 76 in Gratitude

This has been a tough week for a number of reasons but with that said:

1. I am grateful for my cousin's sense of humor, she always knows how to make me laugh.

2. I am grateful that I have my health.

3. I am grateful to have friends I can reach out to. I am not isolated and can pick up the phone or text to friends anytime, day or night.

What are you grateful for?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Day 75 in Gratitude, a letter from Sendai

A letter from Sendai

Things here in Sendai have been rather surreal. But I am very blessed to have wonderful friends who are helping me a lot. Since my shack is even more worthy of that name, I am now staying at a friend's home. We share supplies like water, food and a kerosene heater. We sleep lined up in one room, eat by candlelight, share stories. It is warm, friendly, and beautiful.

During the day we help each other clean up the mess in our homes. People sit in their cars, looking at news on their navigation screens, or line up to get drinking water when a source is open. If someone has water running in their home, they put out a sign so people can come to fill up their jugs and buckets.
It's utterly amazingly that where I am there has been no looting, no pushing in lines. People leave their front door open, as it is safer when an earthquake strikes. People keep saying, "Oh, this is how it used to be in the old days when everyone helped one another."

Quakes keep coming. Last night they struck about every 15 minutes. Sirens are constant and helicopters pass overhead often.

We got water for a few hours in our homes last night, and now it is for half a day. Electricity came on this afternoon. Gas has not yet come on. But all of this is by area. Some people have these things, others do not. No one has washed for several days. We feel grubby, but there are so much more important concerns than that for us now. I love this peeling away of non-essentials. Living fully on the level of instinct, of intuition, of caring, of what is needed for survival, not just of me, but of the entire group.

There are strange parallel universes happening. Houses a mess in some places, yet then a house with futons or laundry out drying in the sun. People lining up for water and food, and yet a few people out walking their dogs. All happening at the same time.

Other unexpected touches of beauty are first, the silence at night. No cars. No one out on the streets. And the heavens at night are scattered with stars. I usually can see about two, but now the whole sky is filled. The mountains are Sendai are solid and with the crisp air we can see them silhouetted against the sky magnificently.

And the Japanese themselves are so wonderful. I come back to my shack to check on it each day, now to send this e-mail since the electricity is on, and I find food and water left in my entranceway. I have no idea from whom, but it is there. Old men in green hats go from door to door checking to see if everyone is OK. People talk to complete strangers asking if they need help. I see no signs of fear. Resignation, yes, but fear or panic, no.

They tell us we can expect aftershocks, and even other major quakes, for another month or more. And we are getting constant tremors, rolls, shaking, rumbling. I am blessed in that I live in a part of Sendai that is a bit elevated, a bit more solid than other parts. So, so far this area is better off than others. Last night my friend's husband came in from the country, bringing food and water. Blessed again.

Somehow at this time I realize from direct experience that there is indeed an enormous Cosmic evolutionary step that is occurring all over the world right at this moment. And somehow as I experience the events happening now in Japan, I can feel my heart opening very wide. My brother asked me if I felt so small because of all that is happening. I don't. Rather, I feel as part of something happening that much larger than myself. This wave of birthing (worldwide) is hard, and yet magnificent.

Thank you again for your care and Love of me,
With Love in return, to you all,

This letter is from Ode Magazine. I am so thankful to read a story that isn't horror ridden and completely dictated from the media. I'm not downplaying the terrible devastation that has taken place in Japan. What I am saying is that even in the face of severe, life-threatening challenges, there is always hope.

What are you grateful for?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Day 73 in Gratitude

 Just three days after Japan's devastating earthquake and sunami there is hope:

(CNN) -- A massive emergency response operation is under way in northern Japan, with world governments and international aid groups coming together to bring relief to the beleaguered island nation.
So far, 91 countries and regions and 6 international organizations have extended offers of assistance, Japan's foreign affairs ministry said.
The Japanese government has received 11 urban search and rescue teams, including teams from the United States, South Korea, Australia, Germany, Mexico, New Zealand, China, Hungary, Singapore and the United Kingdom.
Japan's own search and rescue team was in New Zealand, assisting with recovery from the recent Christchurch earthquake, when the 9.0 magnitude quake and tsunami struck on Friday.

There are things we, as American's can do to help http://www.redcross.org/portal/site/en/menuitem.1a019a978f421296e81ec89e43181aa0/?vgnextoid=6e051b139d1be210VgnVCM10000089f0870aRCRD

I am thankful for all who continue to hold love and hope in their hearts for all the victims of this disaster - our prayers are with you.

What are you grateful for?

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Day 72 in Gratitude - the first Baby Shower!

Today was just an amazing day. One of my sons is expecting his first baby. First off, I still can't believe that. Let me say it one more time (for my own benefit because it still hasn't sunk in)...one of my sons is expecting his first baby!! I am so happy for him. He smiles more, he laughs more, he glows just like the Mommy To Be. I love seeing him so happy. That's what every Mother dreams, that their children are happy. And I do believe that he is happy. He has a wonderful woman in his life. She's down to earth, beautiful and so easy to love. She has something about her that is infectious. She walks into a room and the whole room lights up. And, now that she's pregnant...wow! She glows! This is what life is all about; spending time with family, seeing your children in love and the beginning of a miracle. Today I am so grateful for 1. That my son has met such a wonderfully warm, loving, caring woman and 2. That they're giving me my first grandbaby!

What are you grateful for?

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Day 71 in Gratitude - my middle son's 5 seconds of fame!

I couldn't stop laughing! I logged on to Facebook today and kept reading posts from my friends saying "hey, I saw your son on Wheel of Fortune last night for The Palmer House." After reading one or two posts I laughed it off thinking it was a case of mistaken identity. But after the third post I started getting upset thinking I knew nothing about my middle son being on television! I called him immediately and asked why the heck he didn't tell his Mom he was going to be on tv?? He kept denying it and laughing saying that my friends were nuts! Well, I couldn't argue that point but...So I got onto You Tube and found the link, sure enough he WAS on tv. Now, I may be a proud Mom but you have to admit, he is handsome, isn't he??

So for today, I am grateful for the little surprises that make my day! Finding out my son was on tv brightened my day and made me smile! My readers probably won't enjoy this as much as I do but hey, I'm just a proud Momma. If you're wondering which one my son is, he's the handsome devil behind the counter talking to a customer at The Palmer House.

What are you grateful for?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Day 68 in Gratitude

I seem to be in a state of confusion. So many things seem to be changing, or at least there is a hint of change in the air and I don't really know how I feel about all of it. I need to take some time alone and think things through. Or maybe, better yet, follow my heart. A very good friend always asks "are you willing to live with the consequences of your decision?" which really makes you think long and hard about making the decision. Sometimes when faced with a major, life-changing fork in the road I like to talk things through with friends. Not for clarity so much as for a different perspective. I always have to remember this - I can talk things over with my friends for hours and hours, hashing over the facts, the emotions involved but it all boils down to this; they don't have to live with my decision - I DO! All I know right now is I am grateful that life is full of choices.

What are you grateful for?

Monday, March 7, 2011

Day 66 in Gratitude

I am grateful that I have kept up with this gratitude blog for 66 days. When I'm having a bad day, I'm crabby or over-tired and I come home to blog, it changes the way I look at things. Today, for instance, I was driving to work when a stone hit my car's windshield and cracked it. For as long as I've been driving this has never happened to me - for that alone I'm thankful. My first instinct was to start worrying about how I'm going to pay to have the windshield fixed. Right away my mind went to the negative, worrying about something I really

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Day 65 in Gratitude

I have so much to be thankful for today. Yesterday my husband's daughter came in from Colorado to visit during her Spring Break. We haven't seen her in awhile and it's really nice having her visit. It is loud tho! Our house is usually very, very quiet. It's just my husband, me and the dog so having a very lively 15 year old in the house is

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Day 63 in Gratitude

1. I am grateful for friends who love me unconditionally.
2. I am grateful for kind words from others.
3. I am grateful for friends who stand by my side and help support me when I need it most.
4. I am grateful for good food and great conversation.
5. I am grateful to be able to hear and be a part of laughter among friends.
6. I am grateful for friends who guide me to forgive easily.
7. I am grateful for quiet mornings spent in thought.

What are you grateful for?

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Day 62 in Gratitude

Listening to others, just being there for someone gives me great joy. I want to continue to learn how to become a better listener. We were given two ears but only one mouth because listening is twice as hard as talking. Maya Angelou once said. "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."  When someone decides to confide in another, they do so to fulfill a need. They may be looking for advice, compassion or empathy or they may just want/need to express emotions. I know there is a real distinction between hearing the words and really listening for and understanding the message. When someone confides in me I want to continue learning to actively and attentively listen. I am so grateful to be able to offer an ear to friends or anyone who confides in me.

On a much sillier note, my husband snores like a chain saw cutting through the rain forest. Sometimes it's subtle - if that's possible - and sometimes you'd think I was laying next to a grizzly bear. I know most people complain (they're not alone, I do it too!) that their significant other snores too loud. So loud that they have trouble falling asleep. But think about this, if you didn't have that significant other laying next to you - snoring like a mad man/women, wouldn't you miss it? So, this may be the one and only time I say this but...I am grateful to have my honey laying next to me snoring!

What are you grateful for?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Day 61 in Gratitude

"We are all teachers and what we teach is what we learn. And so we teach it over and over again until we learn." from A Course In Miracles. Just as we are all students in life, we are all teachers. In fact we learn best by offering what we desire for ourselves to as many individuals as we can, as frequently as we can. If I inspire enough people for a long enough period of time, I'll learn what I need to learn - gratitude. I'm sure there are many, many other lessons for me to learn but for today - gratitude.

Today I am grateful for being open to learn. I continue to learn from the people in my life. I learn grace, patience, kindness and humbleness. Of course, then the day is over and I need to start learning all over again - hey, I'm not perfect, I'm a work in progress. Thank you, thank you, to all my teachers.

What are you grateful for?

Monday, February 28, 2011

Day 59 in Gratitude

I am grateful for every challenge that comes. I learn to release ego and embrace the challenge with an open mind and open heart. No judgment towards others or myself. There are lessons to be learned here, new chapters to uncover and embrace.

Tonight I came home confused and frustrated and disappointed in myself. After talking things through with my husband and gaining a bit of clarity, I realized I needed to get back to my yoga practice. I needed to feel grounded. I am grateful for the decision. After an hour of practice I feel a stillness that I did not have a few hours before. Thank you.

What are you grateful for?

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Day 58 in Gratitude

You never hear anyone get on stage after winning the Oscar saying, "I did this all myself."

I'm so inspired watching the gratitude speeches. Every actor seems not to have enough time thanking each and every individual who helped and supported them on their journey. Wouldn't it be wonderful if we, in our everyday lives, acted as if we had just one an Oscar? Think about it...tomorrow, during your day, act as if you had just been awarded the most prestigious of awards for doing what you do. Think long and hard about every individual who has helped you get to where you are today and thank them. It doesn't matter how you thank them. Send up a prayer, write a quick note, send an email or make a phone call but please, take a moment and say thanks. Offer gratitude where gratitude is due. You will brighten someone's day and in turn, brighten your own.

I would like to thank my husband for always being there to support each and every one of my dreams.

I would like to thank my boys for enduring my constant quirkiness and never ending embarrassing moments of hugs and kisses when their friends were around.

And most of all, I'd like to thank God for giving me the opportunity to just be - I am so enjoying the ride...thank you!!

What are you grateful for?

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Day 57 in Gratitude - The Secret to You...A Gift from the Secret Scrolls Movie

The Secret to You...A Gift from the Secret Scrolls Movie: "The Secret has been passed down through the ages... coveted, hidden, lost, stolen, bought for vast sums of money, and known by some of the most exceptional people who ever lived: Plato, Galileo, Da Vinci, Beethoven, Edison, and Einstein, to name but a few.

"Everything is possible, nothing is impossible. There are no limits. Whatever you can dream of can be yours, when you use The Secret."

Friday, February 25, 2011

Day 56 in Gratitude

I am grateful in knowing I have the ability to create my day. If I choose to make it a great day, it will be a great day! For the past two mornings while driving in to work, I have made a conscious decision that I was going to have a fabulous day and do you know what? I haven't disappointed myself.

My Mom called me tonight to tell me about her day. Every Friday she goes to the movies with her girlfriends. She has a group of ladies (all late 70's into their 80's) that she pals around with playing bingo, cards, going to the movies and losing their money to the gambling boats. Walkers, hearing aids, and blue hair - it's quite the clan. Her social calendar is pretty impressive. She calls tonight to tell me about the movie Hall Pass. She really couldn't tell me much about the movie except to say that she saw a man's penis! She tells me "It was the biggest penis I've ever seen!" So my response was, "And just how many have you seen??" OMG, I laughed so hard I had tears in my eyes. That's all she could really remember about the movie was the penis scene!! What a nut. I am grateful for the relationship I have with my Mother.

My husband surprised me with a weekend away for my birthday. Money is very tight, and we live like most Americans now - paycheck to paycheck. So we're going to drive 11 hours to North Carolina for a long weekend and stay at a very dear friend's B&B. I was so excited when he told me I cried. Sure, for those who know me, I cry easily but the gesture he made really touched me. The last time we were on a vacation was when we got married and on our honeymoon almost 4 years ago. I am so blessed.

What are you grateful for?

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Day 55 in Gratitude

Day 54 in Gratitude

I am grateful for every breath I take, for the sunshine on my face (which I miss since it's February in Chicago!) and for every opportunity that comes my way to make a difference in the world. Today I'm going to make it a great day!

What are you grateful for?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Day 53 in Gratitude - 10 Influential People Living in Gratitude

I feel so strongly that changing the way you think can and will change your life and I want to share that with you, my readers. So tonight I decided to make a list (in no significant order) of some very influential people in my life who have taught me the powerful process of gratitude. Some of these quotes are from the book The Secret by Rhonda Byrne.

1. Dr Joe Vitale - "What can you do right now to begin to turn your life around? The very first thing is to start making a list of things to be grateful for. This shifts your energy and starts to shit your thinking. Whereas before this exercise you might be focusing on what you don't have, your complaints, and your problems, you go in a different direction when you do this exercise. You start to be grateful for all the things that you feel good about."

2. Wallace Wattles - "If it is a new thought to you that gratitude brings your whole mind into closer harmony with the creative energies of the Universe, consider it well, and you will see that it is true."

3. Marci Shimoff - "Gratitude is absolutely the way to bring more into your life."

4. Dr. John Gray - "Every man knows that when his wife is appreciating him for the little things that he does, what does he want to do? He wants to do more.
It's always about appreciation. It pulls things in. It attracts support."

5. Dr. John Demartini - "Whatever we think about and thank about we bring about."

6. James Ray - Gratitude has been such a powerful exercise for me. Every morning I get up and say THANK YOU. Every morning, when my feet hit the floor THANK YOU. And then I start running through what I'm grateful for, as I'm brushing my teeth and doing the things I do in the morning. And I'm not just thinking about them and doing some rote routine. I'm putting it out there and I'm feeling the feelings of gratitude."

7. Rev. Michael Beckwith - “The enlightened give thanks for what most people take for granted. As you begin to be grateful for what most people take for granted, that vibration of gratitude makes you more receptive to good in your life.”

8. Dr. Wayne Dyer - "Without exception, I begin every day of my life with an expression of gratitude. As I look in the mirror to begin my daily ritual of shaving, I say, “Thank you, God, for this life, for my body, for my family and loved ones, for this day, and for the opportunity to be of service. Thank you, thank you, thank you!” "Gratitude and humility send signals to all who meet us that we’re all connected to something larger than life itself."

9. Gay Hendricks - “Lead with the heart. We can learn to walk through life with a feeling of gratitude for life itself. Having a field of gratitude around us clears a positive path through life in which every step we take is in the right direction."

10. Louise L. Hay - "When I awaken in the morning the first thing I do before I open my eyes is thank my bed for a good night's sleep. I am grateful for the warmth and comfort it has given me. From that beginning, it is very easy to think of many, many more things to be grateful for. By the time I've gotten out of bed, I have expressed gratitude for 80-100 different people, places, things and experiences in my life. This is a great way to start the day."

A grateful mind can't help but be happy and content. I am grateful for all these wonderful teachers!

What are you grateful for?

Monday, February 21, 2011

Day 52 in Gratitude

The problems you think you have in your life are there because you think you have problems in your life. Read that again and let it really sit in your belly for a moment. The problems you think you have in your life are there because you think you have problems in your life.

Driving to work this morning something hit me - my life is what it is because of the choices that I've made. My life is exactly a mirror image of what I have created. I take full responsibility - I have no other choice.

When you look back on your life there will be things you will regret. Did you make the wrong choice? No, there are no wrong choices, we make the best decision for ourselves at that particular moment. Life is full of choices:
1. Am I going to buy the practical car or the fast, shiny car?
2. Shall I go to college or get a job?
3. Do I stay or should I go?

Whatever choice you make is the only one you could make at that time. Otherwise you would have made a different one. Everything we do we choose. So, what is there to regret? You are the person you chose to be.

This is a simple yet difficult lesson to learn. Blaming others is easy. Blaming in general is easy - 'it's my parents fault,' 'it's the economy,' 'it's the neighborhood I grew up in,' 'I'm not smart enough,' 'have you met my family?' The list goes on and on. In reality, the only person making the choices that shapes your life is you.

I play it safe. I'm fairly practical. I don't take much risk. If I have a decision that I feel is a major life choice, I weigh the odds. I make a list of pros and cons, I talk to friends, I meditate on it - silly, really. Life is all about falling on your face, getting back up and jumping in again. I am a work in progress.

I am grateful for these life lessons, what I decide to do with this knowledge is my choice. Hmmmm....

What are you grateful for?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Every Day Is A New Chance...

Every day is a new chance to choose.

Choose to change your perspective.

Choose to flip the switch in your mind. Turn on the light and stop fretting about with insecurity and doubt.

Choose to do your work and be free of distraction.

Choose to see the best in someone, or choose to bring out the worst in them.

Choose to be a laser beam, with focused intention, or a scattered ray of light that doesn't do any good. - Ishita Gupta

Day 51 in Gratitude, My Church is in Financial Trouble

I am a member of DuPage Center for Spiritual Living. DCSL is a spiritual community and way of life that believes in and teaches oneness. As an open and affirming community, they extend a warm welcome to all people in search of a spiritual community where they are respected and accepted for who they are - they strive to inspire and support each and every person in growing into their highest potential.

Today I learned that our Center is in financial trouble. One year ago, our church moved into a beautiful new space. They made the decision to move based on a number of reasons but one of them was a sound financial one. Since then, membership is down as well as contributions. My husband and I were approached and asked if we'd like to volunteer our time to assist with a marketing strategy and we both said YES! For the past 4 years I have been a part of this community where I have learned much, grown spiritually and continue to learn. I have been welcomed into this community unconditionally and with open arms. I have made lasting friendships with loving, caring individuals who are like-minded. This Center and its community feels like my home away from home. I am so blessed and thankful to be a part of it. My desire is that this family continues to thrive and grow and I will do everything I can to make it so. IN all things be grateful. I feel an opportunity to jump into action and be a part this exciting new chapter. Let's see where it takes us!

What are you grateful for?

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Day 50 in Gratitude

I slept until 8:00am this morning...for that, I am grateful! Sleeping in is one of my most favorite things to do. And today I woke to a sun-shiny day - what a great way to start the day!

My sister is very excited. Her out of state boyfriend is moving to Chicago to live with her and start their lives together. She has been a single Mom for over 10 years and I have a lot of respect for everything she has done for her kids. As anyone who is a single Mom can tell you, there are days when you wonder how you're going to make it through another day. She deserves to be happy, to have someone to laugh with on a regular basis, someone to cuddle on the couch with, someone to help with the kids, someone to share her life with. I am thankful she has found that someone.

My honey had a rough day today. The day started out good, he hit a few rough patches mid-afternoon and the day ended with laughter while watching a twisted Showtime Series called "Shameless." As twisted and wrong as that show is, I didn't mind watching with him and listening to him laugh. I am grateful that he was able to bounce back so quickly today. I believe that he knows deep down that things are getting better. He is very talented - yes, I am his biggest fan.

What are you grateful for?

Friday, February 18, 2011

Day 49 in Gratitude

Yesterday I woke at 3:00am to take a flight to Philly for a meeting at the Anthroplogie offices. It was a very long day but I'm so glad I took the trip.

Headquartered at the Philadelphia Naval Yard which became a United States Navy site in 1801, the Anthropologie offices are housed in buildings from that era that have been gutted and rehabbed. Walking into these buildings I was immediately inspired. Open spaces, loft-like elements everywhere, eclectic furniture in every corner, creativity was in abundance. Everywhere I looked I saw art in every modality imaginable.

After the meeting we went downtown into Philadelphia and visited the Anthropologie flagship store on Rittenhouse Square. 3 floors overflowing with eclectic finds that tease the senses. We spent over an hour taking everything in, I was having a blast!

We had lunch at a quirky little restaurant that I can't remember the name of but the tomato, basil and fennel soup was amazing. If I remember later, I'll blog it.

I am grateful to have experienced all the creativity in action. I appreciate creatives and thank them for sharing their inspiration with me. What a great business trip!

What are you grateful for?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Day 48 in Gratitude

I am grateful for people who show common courtesy. Today while getting on the plane I had a gentleman ask if he could stow my carry on in the overhead bin. I have to admit he surprised me. What a nice gesture - thank you.

I am grateful for small seemingly insignificant interactions with others. A warm smile, a nod or allowing others to go move ahead in a long line. We are all in this together, we all have the same wants and needs and we're all at our core, friendly, caring people. Offering kindness to others goes a long way toward changing the consciousness and the best part is, it's contagious.

I am grateful to receive a quick text from my son. Anytime my oldest sends me a text, whether its about the weather, the traffic of a new restaurant, it tells me he's thinking of me and that makes me smile.

What are you grateful for?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Day 46 in Gratitude

This morning I made a conscious decision to keep a positive attitude and for the most part, my attitude was great. When something didn't go as I had planned I thought to myself 'hey, it's not the end of the world, it just is' and continued on with my day. I am grateful to have kept a positive mental attitude throughout the day!

I am grateful that even though I don't take perfect care of my body, it is always working well for me. I try very hard to eat a balanced diet, drink plenty of water and get as much sleep as I can. Lately, I've been tired and know that I'm not getting the rest I need. Yet, even sleep deprived, my body continues to be there for me and doesn't let me down - thank you.

I am grateful that it's 10:30pm and my day is over. It was a good day and I'm pooped! Sweet Dreams for me.

What are you grateful for?

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Day 44 in Gratitude

Today we were privileged to be a part of a Recommit to Love ceremony at our Center. We talked about how loving ourselves unconditionally allows for an open heart to see and be love. "How could anyone ever tell you you were anything less than beautiful. How could anyone ever tell you you were less than whole. How could anyone fail to notice that your loving is a miracle, how deeply you're connected to my soul" ~Libby Rodrick. I am grateful for the power of love.

I have learned that every emotion and thought we have is either based from love or fear. If you have fear in your heart and mind, it is for lack of love. I choose to grow in love, to be love, to share love, to understand others in love and for that I am grateful.

And in the words of John Lennon, whose lyrics have moved me since I was a child;

Imagine there's no Heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace

You may say that I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world

You may say that I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will live as one

Thank you to John and all the other dreamers out there, never stop dreaming, I am grateful for each and every one of you.

What are you grateful for?

Today I Commit To Loving Myself

I recognize that love is a choice.

Today I affirm my commitment to choose love. I vow to cherish myself, in spirit and in truth

to be gentle to myself and to give myself room to dream.

Today, I release old judgments of being less than.

From this day forward, I enter into a Divine Covenant;

To treasure myself fully and to love myself fully and to love myself unconditionally

For I am the Beloved, in whom God is well pleased.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Day 43 in Gratitude

I had a full day today.

I met a friend for coffee at 8am, had my hair cut at 12:30, had a meeting with my Pastor at 2 and went to dinner at a friends house at 6. Days like today make me feel grateful to be alive for such a full life.

I am grateful for the unconditional love my husband shows me. There are days when I don't even like myself and yet, there he is, open minded, and with open arms accepting me for me.

I am grateful for all that I've learned and all I have yet to learn, I'm a work in progress.

What are you grateful for?

Friday, February 11, 2011

Day 42 in Gratitude

I've been flirting with the stomach flu for a few days now; fever, upset stomach, the works! I keep telling myself I'm well, I'm healthy. I'm not sure I'm succeeding. I am grateful for a night of snoozing on the couch because honestly, I think I'm just worn down a bit.

A grateful mind continually expects good things, and expectation becomes faith. The reaction of gratitude upon one’s own mind produces faith. Every outgoing wave of grateful thanksgiving increases faith. I am grateful to be on the path I am on.

I was listening to Daniel Nahmod's Water cd on the way home from work today. There are lyrics to the song 'Water' that I so strive for, "Have you ever seen an eagle head straight into the wind, he doesn't pick a fight, he spreads his wings and just gives in. And in the end he always makes it home just fine." I've always struggled with control issues. I always think that I have to have it all figured out, to know exactly where I'm headed and have written the map to get there. The more I grow, the more I realize I just need to have faith. I am grateful for my faith that keeps me grounded.

What are you grateful for?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Day 40 in Gratitude

I am grateful for having an open mind, for daring to imagine the impossible. I get so jazzed when I start to think of things that have never been done before. Duplicating what others have done is not what we're here to do. Following a safe path is, well... safe. Don't you get excited thinking about world peace? Ridding the world of hunger? Making sure no child goes to bed hungry?

Talking to my youngest son tonight always inspires me. He dares to dream, he thinks big thoughts and I love that about him. He knows in his heart of hearts he will make a difference in this world - I am grateful for his abundance of hope and courage to strive for something better.

I am in awe of the power of positive thinking. My husband is on a path now that really excites him. The light is glowing so brightly in his eyes it takes my breath away. He will use every once of his energy on this new project and his soul will sing. I am grateful to be near him and watch positive thought in motion.

What are you grateful for?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Day 39 in Gratitude

The morning began with major cuddling with my husband - what a wonderful way to start my day, thank you honey! Thank you for cuddling with me and making me feel so warm and loved!

At work, the day started with one of my largest accounts having issue with production samples they received. I asked our Creative Director and my boss to be in on the conference call so that everyone that could positively impact the outcome was available. As fate would have it, our Creative Director and the Senior Production Manager had something in common, they both previously worked at the same company unknowingly. The ice was thawed and the remainder of the conference call went very well for everyone involved. Thank you!

Earlier today I reached out to the Reverend of my Spiritual Center for some mentoring sessions. Her plate is full as she is involved with so many aspects of our center as well as the global integration of our Centers with another branch. She responded back immediately with a time and place where we can meet this week. I have such respect for her and welcome any advice and spiritual counseling she offers. I'm thrilled and grateful.

What are you grateful for?

Monday, February 7, 2011

Day 38 in Gratitude

My oldest son is expecting his first child and I couldn't be happier. I adore the woman in his life. She is beautiful, grounded, full of love and makes my son happy. Within three months they will bring a miracle angel into this world to bless us all and for that, I am grateful.

I have wonderful friends. I know I blog about that topic quite a bit but I'm okay with that. Over the course of these 365 days, I'm sure I'll blog over and over again how thankful I am to have my friends in my life. They make me smile, they challenge me, they love me unconditionally, they make me feel whole. You know who you are - Thank you - I love you!

I am grateful that I continually stretch myself to grow and become more of my true self than ever before. We're all conditioned by others in our lives; teachers, parents, loved ones, friends. We are born with dreams and aspirations and sometimes those around us will tell us those dreams are silly, or we should focus on what can be accomplished, or we should take the safe route. I get so charged when I hear someone tell me to dream the impossible. To stretch beyond the imaginable, to reach for that which I never thought possible. Those are the people I want close to me in my life. That manner of thinking is what I want to convey to others. I have always believed that we are here for so much more than what we end up settling for. Why? I am glad I keep asking myself that question.

What are you grateful for?