Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Healing Power of Gratitude

If you want to turn your life around, try thankfulness. It will change your life mightily. Gerald Good

Thanksgiving has been signified as gratitude day. And that's good. But how different would our world be if we spent time each day being grateful? Maybe we should apply gratitude to the other 364 days each year. Those are the days we're running as fast as we can to keep up with our fast moving lives and avoid as much stress as possible. And that's when we need something to nudge us in the direction of survival.

A sense of gratitude is one of the most powerful ways we have to find that peaceful place inside that can lead us not only to survive, but to thrive. As we move through each day on auto pilot, our thoughts are usually focused on problem solving, and we forget to apply some oil to make the wheels turn smoother. Thoughts of gratitude can be the oil that makes a difference at the end of each day.

Yesterday, I made a trip to the grocery store, nothing special. But I decided to practice gratitude on this trip. I noticed the price of gas had gone down, I found a really good parking place, avocados were on sale, and there was less traffic than usual, so I got home in a hurry. And the grocery bags seemed lighter along with my mood. Each time I said "I'm grateful for this," I smiled as I felt a subtle shift inside to a more peaceful feeling. Just think how this gratitude attitude could lighten a whole day if it became a habit to interrupt our auto pilot thoughts.

Energy in our bodies moves at a particular vibrational frequency, and its greatly influenced by our thoughts and words. So thinking and saying you're grateful is not just an empty gesture that sounds good. It raises your energy to a higher vibrational frequency and creates a healing force for your body, mind and emotions. It's good for you.

Exercise: Stop, get quiet, clear your mind, and focus your attention inside. This only takes a few seconds. You don't need a life-changing event to be grateful. Anything will do. Now express gratitude. Let it flow from your mind and heart, and feel that subtle energy shift within to a sense of peace. It's there. Catch it. That's all your cells thanking you in return.

Giving thanks daily will change your energy, and the Universe will hear your vibration and reply in kind. A grateful heart builds on itself, and getting used to saying thank you for the little things will bring more important things for which to be grateful.

I wish you peace in your heart.


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Caught In A Bind

Today I'm caught without a message to share. Yes, I know--I preach about being prepared, and I goofed up this time myself. I had planned to write and post a message this morning, but I woke up with 3 spider bites on my neck. At least I think they're spider bites. I don't believe in that Dracula stuff, and I think if there were someone else in my bed I'd know it.

Anyway, when the bites turned red and began swelling really big, I headed for the acute care center. I waited for an hour with my hands in my pockets so I wouldn't scratch to relieve the itching, and then spent another 45 minutes being examined, getting 2 shots (one in my rump. Oweee), and instructions for what to get from the pharmacy. When I hobbled into my house from the car I collapsed on the sofa wrenching with nausea and pain. Well, maybe not that bad, but I sure felt like I was caught in a spider's web and needed help to escape.

I know, rationally, my situation is really no big deal. But when you're beset with a sudden unexpected painful situation, it's easy to fall into an exaggerated state of helpless worry. Oh, by the way, I think I blogged about that last week. I need to start reading my posts so I'll know how to handle stuff, even the less traumatic stuff like mine today.

Well, now I have to go get that additional remedy from the pharmacy to further aid in my recovery. Hey, I think I just wrote a blog post for today.

Keep your neck covered at night.


Thursday, November 8, 2012

How To Deal With Life Challenges

Life is a series of the good times that warm your heart and put a smile on your face, times so painful we wonder if we will survive, and all those in-between times that we call routine. We hope for the good ones, but sometimes we're faced with those sudden challenges that seem to come out of nowhere and knock us off our routine path. The shock of an unexpected situation can leave us in a state of confusion and mental chaos. We may be faced with a sudden illness, loss of a job, death of a loved one, a natural disaster, a financial loss, divorce, and the list goes on. We hope something like that will never happen, but many people are faced with such traumas.

During the years I worked, I felt very secure as I invested money each month for my retirement, and I remember the emotional devastation I felt when I found out, due to the neglect of financial advisers, that I had lost my retirement fund. Gone. I tried going back to work, but found doors closed to me. Not only was I faced with finding a way to rearrange my budget, I became immersed in fear and self-condemnation. Why had I been so trusting? Why had I not paid off my home mortgage instead of investing? Why had I been so stupid? This was a time of suffering, but also a time of learning. There are many kinds of losses we can't recoup, but with the suffering, we can grow from them. I may not be much smarter today than I was then, but I do know myself better. And I learned some useful coping skills.

It's easy to get so emotionally caught up in a situation you're rendered helpless with no visible way out. But you have to begin recovery somewhere.
1. Get quiet, clarify the problem and identify your feelings. Don't criticize yourself. Most of the time it isn't your fault, but if you have made a mistake, condemning yourself doesn't make it better.
2. Accept where you are, and voice your intention to move forward--even if you don't feel like it.
3. Begin to move yourself from the problem to a solution with a list of actions you can take to move through the trauma. Just one step in the direction of a solution can take you from a sense of helplessness to one of power. Inner action is just as important as any outer action.
4. Change what you can, and accept what you can't.
5. Fear promotes a closed mind. Hope and compassion promote a clear mind. Find someone who will listen and offer emotional support. This is vital.
6. Look within yourself to your wise inner Voice. Allow yourself to be guided from within. Ultimately, that's where you find your answers.
7. Find as much as you can in your life for which to be grateful. Express gratitude for each step you take toward recovery, and learn with each step.

You've probably already lived through many challenges--that's part of life. And you will live through this one. Stronger in the future.

I wish you peace along the way.