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

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?

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Day 37 in Gratitude

I am grateful for friends that make me laugh. For friends who I can be myself with, friends who are like family.

I am grateful to have such a wonderful spiritual family to connect with. Being around like-minded people makes you feel like you belong.

I am grateful to have won $15 on a scratch lottery ticket today! My friend gave me a ticket. I had to ask how to play (I never buy them), and when I scratched everything off found I had won! Life is good!

What are you grateful for?

The Power Of A Thank You Note

I was driving to Target today and listening to NPR when the following story came on and made me smile - I had to share it with you, my dear readers. This is a text of the broadcast.

It may seem old fashioned, but a showing of gratitude can go a long way for businesses.

Tess Vigeland: And while we're on the subject of thanks -- have you at all noticed that one of the silver linings of the Great Recession is that suddenly businesses realize they shouldn't take you for granted? And just maybe it'd be nice to thank you for your patronage?

Sally Herships noticed.

Sally Herships: Sarah Siewert is 24, she lives in Chicago. A couple of months ago, she hit a department store with her mom and her sister. They were shopping for purses.

Sarah Siewert: And as soon as we got there into the purse section, one of the saleswomen immediately approached us and was really attentive. She pulled purses from the back, she went through different options, different colors.
Typical shopping experience, right? As long as you get an attentive salesperson, like Sarah did. She and her mom ended up buying a purse apiece. Then, a couple weeks later they both got letters in the mail from the saleswoman who'd helped them. They were thank you notes.

Siewert: It was a fully handwritten note, referencing the exact bag we purchased. And on my note, she even had a nice reference to our alma mater.
Turns out they'd gone to the same school. And, I'll admit the purse Sarah bought wasn't exactly cheap. It was Marc Jacobs, about $400.
But it's not just pricey department stores that are beefing up their manners. When the recession hit, JCPenney started a customer service program called GREAT. It's an acronym for salespeople: Greet. Respect. Engage. Assist. And Thank. And other retailers are following suit.

Brett Brohl: I've written at least 2,000 thank yous just in the last 12 months.
Brett Brohl owns Scrubadoo.com . He sells medical scrubs. You know, those pastel-colored outfits doctors and nurses wear. Brohl says he hand writes a thank you note for every single customer. Scrubadoo is a new company, and Brohl says there are a lot of websites out there selling the exact same products he does.

Brett Brohl: If you Google the word "scrubs," we're not on the front page, we're not on the second page. And just like every other industry right now, competition's tough and with less people buying, it's even tougher. Brohl says, a new company like his can't afford major marketing like TV commercials. Instead, he says, he's counting on thank you notes to help Scrubadoo stand out. So is this the beginning of a new trend of exemplary customer service?

Nancy Koehn is a retail historian at Harvard. She says for smart businesses, it is.

Nancy Koehn: We're returning to civility, courtesy and a way of actually honoring customers that has seemed far too absent, I think, for the last 20 years. Koehn says the role of the salesperson has changed a lot over the decades. Before the recession, a salesperson's job had morphed into managing transactions: Bagging groceries, dispensing coffee, ringing up a sale. She says the more we've absorbed technology, like self-service check-out at the grocery store, the more retail businesses have reduced service. Now, the role of the salesperson is changing again. I'm at a perfume counter at Saks Fifth Avenue with James McLaughlin. He works for a fragrance company called Jo Malone. McLaughlin says its sales people have been sending thank you notes for years. They're scented. But now, he says the company spends 20 percent more time on expressing gratitude on customers -- everything from hand and arm massages to wine tastings.

James McLaughlin: We oftentimes will liken the experience as dating. You have a really great first date, and then the person calls you three months later when there's a sale going on and says, "How about a second date?" Why would they bother? You didn't keep in touch. But Chicago shopper Sarah Siewert's salesperson did -- remember the one who sent her the thank you note after she and her mom bought purses? It worked. Siewert says she just bought another bag.

So, thank you for listening. I'm Sally Herships for Marketplace Money.

And thank you so much for the report, Sally!

I think one of the strongest messages in this report is what Nancy Koehn, a retail historian at Harvard said; We're returning to civility, courtesy and a way of actually honoring customers that has seemed far too absent, I think, for the last 20 years.

Aside from business, people in general have moved away from civility, courtesy and honoring others that cross their paths on a daily basis. How often do you say "thank you" when the boy at the grocery store finishes bagging your groceries? How often do you thank your son or daughter for taking their dinner plate to the sink? How often do you smile and say thank you to the woman who empties the waste basket in your office? Common courtesy and respect go a long way in honoring those around us. Say thank you today to someone special, to a complete stranger, to a loved one. Then, close your eyes, take a deep breath in and say thank you to God, Buddha, Allah, The Universe or whatever your source is, for life itself.

Thank you for reading!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Day 36 in Gratitude

I am grateful to have 3 beautiful boys (grown men) who are independent and happy. They went to Las Vegas to surprised their Father for his birthday this weekend and I'm so glad they did. I'm sure he's enjoying every minute.

Both my husband and I are starting a path to healthier living. Ok, I eat fairly healthy every day. I watch what I eat and have been a vegetarian for years. With the conscious choices I make on food every day, I would hope that I'd have more energy but the fact is, I take in a lot of toxins just by breathing. And I don't get the exercise I need like I used to when I was younger. I am thankful that we are taking a healthier path together to ensure success. I'll tell you more about this path as we get further into it.

My Mom called earlier today to tell me she fell while walking to the mailbox. Once down on the ground, she laid there for almost 30 minutes until a car drove into their driveway and saw her in the snow. Thank goodness she has a black coat! She couldn't physically get herself back in an upright position without the help of a man to get her back on her feet. I am so grateful that 1. she didn't hit her head on the ice and 2. someone happened to drive by and see her. Thank you, thank you!

What are you grateful for?

Friday, February 4, 2011

Day 35 in Gratitude

As Buddha sat under the Bodhi tree waiting for enlightenment, two musicians were arguing about the sound they were trying to get from their stringed instrument and distracted him. He was weak and tired from not eating or taking care of his body, but he wanted to see what was causing the commotion, and so he dragged himself closer to hear them. One musician would tighten the strings, and the other would cry, "Not too tight because you will break the string." The other would counter by saying, "Not too loose because the string will only buzz and rattle - in the middle is just right." The master heard the wisdom contained in their argument and declared, "That's it! That's the key...perfect balance!" Not too tight yet not too loose, not too high yet not too low. The middle path is the way!

For the past 11 days I have worked without a day off. Today, I could have gone into work, exhausted and unproductive, but I could have gone in nonetheless. I chose to stay home and rest providing myself a well deserved respite. Too much work leaves me lifeless and too much rest leaves me unmotivated. I chose to strive for perfect balance! I am thankful for taking today to rest and recharge.

Over the past few months I have been trying to develop the capacity to observe rather than analyze. This includes observing people rather than analyzing, observing situations rather than analyzing, and observing conversation rather than analyzing. This is not an easy task (and many times requires me to bite my tongue) but one that I believe will only help me grow mentally and spiritually. I am a work in progress but for that alone, I am grateful.

My husband and I have great conversation. Today was no exception. We're both dreamers by nature and sometimes can come up with the most outrageously decadent dreams! I love that about our relationship and I am grateful to have him as a partner.

What are you grateful for?

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Day 34 in Gratitude

I am grateful for creative thought. I get so excited when I wake in the middle of the night with an idea that is so powerful I must write it down before falling back to sleep. My ego has shut down and creative thoughts starts to speak from my heart. Creative thought is our individual nature shining through forcing us to take notice. Don't ignore it, embrace it!

I am grateful for laughter and the power it has over my psyche. The less serious I take myself, others and situations that arise, the more I learn to live in the moment and embrace happiness.

I am allowing my unique brilliance to shine more and more everyday. Inner brilliance reside inside each and every one of us begging for us to remember and wake up to who we are meant to be. I am thankful for every day when glimmers of my unique nature shine through reminding me of me.

What are you grateful for?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Day 32 in Gratitude

I'm tired. Working away from home seems to drain me. Before I left I was able to buy a pair of comfortable boots to save my feet from swelling and tingling. I am so grateful that I had the money to buy those boots to keep my feet healthy.

I am grateful that my kids are safe from the crazy snow storm that is hitting the Chicagoland area. I talked to my youngest this morning, he was buying frozen pizza to last him a few days, LOL.

I am grateful that my husband, who has turned into Tom Skilling or Jerry Taft during this storm, giving me weather updates every few minutes, is safe and warm. He is so concerned about everyone who may be affected by this tremendous storm and I love him for that. He has a heart of gold.

What are you grateful for?