Wednesday, December 28, 2016
We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures. Thornton Wilder
Thank you. Words we say all the time. It's our habit response for all kinds of things...gifts, compliments, kind gestures, etc, etc. As children we're taught it's the polite thing to do. But we say it, and then go about our way and forget about it. And we leave out the most important part of those words--the heartfelt energy behind them. That's the part that makes good things happen.
The ability to express heartfelt gratitude is an amazing gift we've all been given, but many people have no idea it even exists or the many benefits we receive with its use. Every time your heart lights up with gratitude, energy is created...loving, healing energy. And there's a lot more to it than most realize.
Everything in the universe, including people, is made up of energy vibrating at different high or low frequencies. With positive thoughts you vibrate in higher frequencies and attract love, peace, harmony, abundance, etc, the good you want in your life. With negative thoughts you vibrate in lower frequencies and attract lack, discord, fear, anger, etc, what you don't want. Thus practicing positive heartfelt gratitude puts you in a higher vibrational frequency, and this attracts more of your good.
Research shows that gratitude is a vital part of our lives. Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D. Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Davis, is a leading scientific expert on gratitude and says, "Gratitude heals, energizes, and transforms lives physically, psychologically, and socially. And people who practice gratitude consistently report a host of benefits." In his writings, he details much about gratitude and its many benefits.
The gratitude experience can involve other people or just your own personal life issues. When you receive a gift from someone, a kindness, a thoughtful gesture, etc, you feel grateful. Then when you achieve a goal, find something you're looking for, or a plan turns out well, etc. you also feel grateful. Either way, when you express gratitude in a heartfelt way you experience a happy, more meaningful life.
In the bad times, choose to grow stronger. In the good times, choose to enjoy fully. In all times, choose to be grateful. Unknown
It's easy to feel grateful when your life is going well. But how can you feel grateful when hard times hit...loss of a job, a health issue, etc? You can't just tell yourself to feel good about some misfortune. Well, there's a distinction between feeling and being. Dr. Emmons explains that feelings are about the way things are, the way they should be, and the distance between them. But being grateful is a choice to view life in its entirety, and not be overwhelmed by temporary circumstances. It's like separating the temporary challenges from the overall meaning of your life. And gratitude can actually help you cope with the crises.
Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow. Melody Beattie
Look back on your life. You survived a lot. And you can survive this challenge. It is possible to feel whatever you feel about your present situation and still be grateful that your life does have meaning. And this sense of gratitude can lift you to a higher energy frequency.
A grateful heart is a magnet for miracles. Unknown
Learning to use gratitude in a productive way doesn't come about by itself. It takes some thought and practice to become a habit. And various deliberate, calculated tools are necessary. First make a list of tools you can use to help you learn. Some of the following suggestions may help.
1. Begin each morning with intention to notice situations through the day in which you can express gratitude.
2. Take notice of how good comes to you, recognize the positive, and fully enjoy whatever good comes.
3. Use a gratitude journal, and every night record your day's gratitude activities. You might even draw some happy faces.
4. Take walks outside, look around, and notice nature's blessings. Give thanks.
5. Give little notes of gratitude to the people in your life.
6. Include gratitude in your prayers.
When you put your heart into your sense of gratitude in higher vibrational frequencies, it becomes more powerful and your life will be more fulfilling. Be happy.
I wish you many grateful experiences.
Monday, December 19, 2016
We need a renaissance of wonder. We need to renew, in our hearts and in our souls, the deathless dream, the eternal poetry, the perennial sense that life is miracle and magic. E. Merrill Root
Life itself is a miracle, and every year we get to renew this truth observing a holiday season with love, peace, joy, fellowship, giving and receiving, and gratitude. Sometimes we lose sight of miracles waiting to happen. But if we answer the true call of the season with open minds and heats, the miracle and magic will be renewed in miraculous ways. This holiday can be anything you want it to be if you make it so.
It's not how much we give but how much love we put into giving. Mother Teresa
For many people, this is a holiday for giving, and stores are filled with shoppers. But gifts come in many forms...packages wrapped with bright colored ribbons; food prepared for celebrations; hugs we share with those we love, or sometimes even strangers; gifts of service to others; the list goes on. But the one ingredient that creates the miracles and magic is love. I remember when a friend had no money to buy me a gift, so she cleaned my house. I will never forget that gift or the precious angel who gave it.
Giving connects 2 people, the giver and the receiver, and this connection gives birth to a new sense of belonging. Deepak Chopra
Recently I approached the grocery store when I heard a song bursting forth from an elderly white-haired man collecting money for the Salvation Army. People gave money and hurried past. But I was drawn to stop and listen. I heard more than a song...I heard love and joy in every note pouring from this man's heart and soul. And as I stood listening while he sang, I felt my whole being touched by this beautiful miracle. We smiled when I put some money in the bucket and thanked him for his blessing. We both gave and received. And I think we felt a connection.
Later in the store checkout line, a mother ahead of me unloaded her buggy while her small child sat in the buggy facing me. Our eyes met, and I smiled and waved to her. She smiled and waved back. I winked at her. And she winked back. We made funny faces at each other and giggled. We played like I was a child too. And this was one of those moments when we both belonged. One of those moments when your heart skips with glee, and you know it's a magic moment, never to be forgotten.
This is a time of year when relationships are especially important. We reach out to the people in our life, and there's usually a gathering of loved ones in someone's home for a celebration together. I join my brother's large family for their pot-luck dinner, and I always take my gelatin cranberry salad. And by the time I spend hours putting this together for 15 or 20 people, I consider it a true miracle.
Not everyone has a home to go to or someone to love. So for a number of years I took some time on holidays helping serve lunch at a shelter for the homeless. At first I expected to see sad, downhearted faces. But most of these people smiled and chatted over plates of hot food. And I saw love in their tired eyes. Their clothes were tattered, and holes in their shoes. But they'd found a place to go and people to love. And for a little while, they had a home and family. For a little while, they were blessed. And so was I. This was a miracle.
Where there is great love, there are always miracles. Willa Cather
Love can be expressed in many ways. Put your love into everything you do, and watch and listen so miracles won't go unnoticed. Smile at strangers, and play with children. If you attend worship services, exchange hugs with others who need hugs as much as you do. And call people by their name. We like being validated. Allow your love to flow into this season, and others will receive the blessing your love carries with it. And you'll find your holiday miracles.
I wish you miracles all year long
Monday, December 12, 2016
It's the holiday season, and excitement is in the air. Holiday music is everywhere, and stores are filling with shoppers, their gift lists in hand. Attentions are focused on just the right gifts, food for holiday meals, greeting cards and phone calls--everything to make the holiday what it should be, a time of sharing with those you love, renewal of spirit, and hope for the future.
It would appear this is true for everyone, but for some that's not the way it is. A holiday season can be filled with all kinds of emotions--beautiful wonder and excitement, or it can involve stress and even dread. It usually depends upon our circumstances and/or our ability to feel at peace in spite of some kind of adversity.
It's difficult to feel at peace when alone, missing a loved one, dealing with illness or family upheaval or having an empty pocketbook. In these kinds of situations, anxiety, depression, and loneliness can creep in, and a person may feel so overwhelmed they seek isolation and say, "Don't bother anyone with your problems." And they give up. And they grieve alone.
All art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and hanging on. Havelock Ellis
A holiday can also be a time when our minds wander to years past, and we're caught up in memories. At this time of year when I look at my grown children's childhood pictures, I sometimes wish I could go back and re-live those times. I had little money for holiday goodies, but I can see their faces full of joy and excitement, and I want to hug them again. Today my children live in different areas around the country, and I don't see them at all except sometimes for a week in the summer that passes too quickly. And I wonder where the time went.
I remember times in my own childhood when my single mother had no money to surprise my brothers and me with holiday treats. Sometimes angels came through for us, but sometimes not. Once in a while over the years, my scattered family has managed holiday reunions when we raised a glass to the wonder of the season and celebrated another year of being together. We still have those occasional gatherings, but now I look around and realize some are no longer there. And I miss them.
If you don't believe in miracles, perhaps you've forgotten you are one. Unknown
Most of us have something we're trying to deal with, don't we? And this time of year can bring painful feelings to the surface, preventing our full embrace of the season. We think about what's going on around us, and we feel inadequate. We forget that our own life is a miracle. Our strength is right there inside, in our own mind and heart. And each of us has more power than we know to create the emotions we want to feel. So do we suffer through it, deny it's there, or find ways to actually find some joy as we face those challenges?
You may feel very much alone right now, but you're never alone. Your angels are waiting to help you. But you have to choose--decide what you want to do with your present situation. You don't have to give up old memories, missing the ones who are gone, or being realistic about a financial challenge, or anything else that takes your focus off what this season is meant to be. Your memories and your love of people and things from the past will always be dear to you. Keep them close in your heart, but don't let anything now inhibit your expression of love in the present.
You have innate ability to focus within and reach the love, peace, and strength that reside there. Bring those up in a spirit of hope, and move forward. Reach out to someone you trust, and know it's okay to experience and express your feelings. Volunteer your time. Be someone's angel. Listen to music. Get back to nature and walk outside. Yes, even if it's snowing. And if you fall back, get up and go again. And make miracles that will last all year.
I wish you peace in your heart this season.
Tune in next week for Part 2, Holiday Miracles
Monday, December 5, 2016
Individually we are one drop. Together we are the ocean. Ryunosuke Satoro
Just as many drops of water are part of the same ocean, each person on earth is part of the same human family. And we're all connected by energy. There's nothing that's not energy...including us. And this energy moves among us, uniting us, connecting us as one earth family. We can't exist alone. We're connected. And we need each other. Our life is within us, but it's kept alive through our connection with others.
I sit here thinking about what I want in my life, and I realize it's not only about me. It's about all of us and the world we live in. My mind runs in two dimensions. What do I want for me? And how can I exist without you...all of you? It may seem impossible that my intentions, my desires, can affect anyone but me. But there is power in the energy I project with my thoughts. And what I envision today for myself and others can manifest in positive and negative ways far beyond what I imagine.
Knowing a person is like music. What attracts us to them is their melody, and as we get to know who they are, we learn their lyrics. Unknown
I remember when I was a child during the Great Depression years, and my family lived in a large apartment building in Detroit. We were the only American-born family there. All the others were from different countries. Everyone left their doors open during the day, and I had such fun sneaking in front of each apartment door listening to different languages spoken, smelling ethnic foods cooking, being part of a wonderful diverse world. We shared whatever we had, and offered love and compassion in the hard times. In spite of our differences, we were a family. We were connected.
If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten we belong to each other. Mother Teresa
Today we live in an 'us and them' world, choosing separation over togetherness. We look down on others unlike ourselves to the point of bigotry, contempt, even hatred. We attend worship services and then condemn those different from us. And we blame others when misfortune invades our tightly knit lives. On TV we see the result of separation producing senseless loss of life. And we bolt our doors at night to feel safe. We produce enough negative energy to build a thousand tombs to hold the spoils of separation. And we don't know we're connected. When I abuse my brother, I abuse myself.
Albert Einstein explains our delusion of separateness. "A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty."
What do you want, really want, in your life? Think about it. What you envision today and hold in your mind can bring blessings in your own life and can make a difference in the world where those blessings are needed. Start with people close to you, and gradually move out to those you don't know. Use understanding and compassion without judgment. Then allow your love energy to embrace your entire world family.
What a responsibility we have. Yes, responsibility. Each day is a new day to live life in more meaningful ways, ways that not only help determine the quality of your own life, but for all those millions with whom you are connected. You may not personally see the blessings you provide with your loving thoughts, but they will land where they're needed. And you will be blessed.
I wish you peace and joy in all the days ahead.