Radical Gratitude!!

 “Gratitude begins in the heart and then dovetails into behavior.  It almost always makes you willing to be of service, which is where the joy resides.”
Anne Lamott

If gratitude is a habit, then it must be practiced each and every day. In your mind or out loud, you must repeat over and over again “thank you, thank you, thank you” until it rolls off your tongue like a beautiful operetta.   Repetition of appreciation allows the mind and soul to refocus your life on the graces and blessings rather than the hardships and challenges.  This process of ingraining gratitude into every fiber of your being becomes radical especially when things are happening all around you that cause you great discomfort, sadness or strife.  Even if life deals you a particularly difficult hand yesterday, today, or tomorrow, when you are aware and pay attention to your blessings you are liberated from the heaviness and delivered into the light. When you allow yourself to believe that in the darkness there resides something beautiful, you open yourself up to be of service and that is truly where joy is born.  Thus, with joy, you get to feel grateful for more and more. The attitude of gratitude habit is something that will guide you to a place of pure bliss if you let it.  A place that can appear far-reaching and radical at times, yet so very possible. So remember to repeat over and over again – thank you thank you thank you- and what was once foreign to you will become a habit that you will take with you into each day!  And therein, can’t you just feel the world change right before your eyes? Grateful for you all.

happy-thanksgiving-web

Feel more alive- be grateful for it all!

“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.” 
― Thornton Wilder

How alive you may feel goes hand in hand with the gratitude in your heart. When you walk through your days, instead of going through the motions of life, fully receive all of your blessings by acknowledging them and saying quietly or out loud THANK YOU! Appreciation for what you have and sharing it with others is the spark that ignites the flame of love. And as Voltaire once said, “Appreciation is a wonderful thing: It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.” Imagine that. When you take the time to truly appreciate your surroundings, friends, coworkers, teachers, musicians, artists, great thinkers, and great doers of your day, then you make their gifts your own. What an amazing benefit you get from having an attitude of gratitude! You get to experience the passion from a masterpiece of art, the wonderful arias that bring tears to your eyes, or the enlightening conversations that open your mind to something you never understood before. And, your life is profoundly impacted for the better by the excellence in others. When you let consciousness of the present moment wash over you, you truly see the joy that is in front of you. What better way to acknowledge that gift then to be grateful to them for letting you be a part of the whole process of EXTRAORDINARY that is brought on from them! This joyful experience in the connections makes life that much more magical as long as you continue to share the music of excellence that resides in you and appreciate the treasures of others in your life as well.

attitude-gratitude

Look well to this day!

“Look well to this day. Yesterday is but a dream and tomorrow is only a vision. But today well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness and every tomorrow a vision of hope. Look well therefore to this day.”
Excerpt from an ancient Sanskrit poem

Wow! You opened your eyes and could see; you listened and could hear; you were embraced and could feel; you smelled the fragrance of the day and were lifted; you tasted the warmth of nourishment and could rejoice. You are here again for a new day filled with opportunity. The field of possibility is waiting for your order, so what will you intend today? When you wake in the morning, give gratitude for that opportunity to be a part of the world today. If you live today with the intention to make the most of each experience, then it will be a day well lived. It is your choice. And with the choice to live between the dream of happiness and the vision of hope, allow the joy to overwhelm you as you take in the simplicity of the beauty that surrounds you. Ahh, to start this way, what a gift! So “Look well therefore to this day.” And if you decide that your life starts with a prayer and ends with a prayer, just believe that everything in between is the perfect answer for which you can be grateful for each and everything! Open your eyes, can you see the magnificence. If so, take hold and get ready for a great ride!

group-hug

For the love of a friend.

“Charity is the soul of faith;  it gives it life;  without love; faith dies.”

-St. Anthony of Padua

There is place where heaven touches the earth.  In that place exists an abundance of love.  There all creatures, both big and small, come to celebrate the dance of life.  It is a place where pain is edged out for a moment in time through shared generosity as souls meet in communion with one another.  You can go to that place whenever you so wish.  You just have to reach out and grab the hand of the person who needs you most.  In a world that can be so overwhelming, you can still travel to that peaceful and magical locale where kindness takes over your heart.  It is through acts of benevolence that you are uplifted as you become a vital part of all that is good with humanity. When expressed in a loving way, your soul swells and begins to ride a wave that gives life to faith and that trusts in something greater than yourself.  For when you step up to stand strong for another, you journey to that place where love resides and both of you will not return the same as before.  A charitable act that benefits both the giver and the receiver.   Whose ripple effect undulates over and over again taking you both on a journey of a lifetime.  Through the relationships you make and for the love of a friend, can’t you just feel that there is a blessing in the air?

207329_10150200625367792_18184577791_8247874_5688057_n

A Prayer of gratitude.

GRATITUDE PRAYER

 

“Everyday, think as you wake up, ‘Today I am fortunate to have woken up, I am alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it.    I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others, to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings, I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly about others, I am going to benefit others as much as I can.”

The Dalai Lama

You are born equipped with some amazing talents. Your gifts are specially crafted for you and your journey in life. While one person’s path involves inspiring others on a public stage, another’s calling uses the ability to express creative prose that equally stirs the soul. Your natural aptitude or skills are embedded in your genetic code to assist you in creating beautiful masterpieces throughout your day. Don’t waste it. Live your life with purpose in everything you do. When you start to do your thing, whatever that thing is to you, watch out world because here you come. You are made of the right stuff, ‘God don’t make junk’. It took a lot of imagination on the part of the cosmos to get you here in just the perfect vehicle down to the last gorgeous cell. Isn’t it about time you awaken to the magic within you? YES, YES, YES!   No other answer will do. It is time to awaken to the spirit of generosity within and share your talents with the world. When you acknowledge your own beauty, the beauty of your thankfulness will begin to change the energy of your intentions for all to see in whatever way you are meant to show it. Expand that gorgeous knowing, go out and light the world up with your artistry, others will be sure to follow suit. Thank you.

liveoutlove

Each day is a special occasion!

“Don’t ever save anything for a special occasion. Every day you’re alive is a special occasion.”

Ann Wells

You are special. The mere fact that you were born to embark on a unique and amazing journey in this world is enough reason for a great celebration. When you start to think that everyday is an opportunity to appreciate your time on this earth, you will want to start sending out invitations to this incredible party. Slow down today and be present to the decorations placed so beautifully around you. Admire your guests whose gifts are yet to be opened. Stop and smell the beautiful bouquet of roses and fill your hours with joy. When you wake up, let the water of renewal wash over you and dress yourself with the biggest and most beautiful smile you can muster. Set out your special occasion china and dine in style. Put on your Sunday best and walk with your head held high. Stand in gratitude for each moment in time that you get to experience this incredible jubilee. Here is your personal invitation to embrace each moment as special and celebrate it enthusiastically for you are blessed. No matter where you are on your path, today is a celebration and you must honor it all the same. Realize that you don’t need an excuse to wait and save anything for a special occasion. Today is your special day and so many are waiting to celebrate with you joyfully!  It is your choice whether you join in the festivities or not.  So will you be coming to the party?

images-3

Acknowledge the good in all things!

“Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.”

Eckhart Tolle


 Ever since my mother passed away, I have had a very challenging time acknowledging the good in my life, especially around the holidays.  While I know that I am incredibly blessed with so much, it just gets particularly difficult when that very important person and presence is not there to celebrate with you.  I want to experience the abundance life has to offer.  I would be the first person to say attitude of gratitude, what are you grateful for and identify the same.  So, it would seem that it is particularly counterintuitive to focus on the loss rather than what remains.

I want to bask in the joy of connections with friends and families.  I want to experience a passion and enthusiasm for the continuing learning process that lies before me.  I want to focus on the positive of the world more often than dwell on the negative.  And, I want to feel the freedom of stepping into the good that I know is out there.

However, it can be said that to acknowledge the pain that resides in your heart from the loss of any relationship or dream is also to honor the good from what represented a link to love that was a part of your life for so long.  To honor your feelings and acknowledge what you have in your life as a result of the connection is an important step in honoring your own healing process, especially around the holidays.  By remembering well the good times and the profound lessons that you have learned by virtue of that relationship, and also honoring the sadness of their having left your world, you are well on your way to laying a stronger foundation for abundance where negating those feelings and denying them would not serve you well and put off the grief that you will inevitably feel.  You are where you are in this life, whatever stage in the process.  It would serve you well to honor, embrace and accept without judgment where you are if you are to move through.  Certainly, where it is more difficult to do this, find the support and encouragement that helps and assists you if you can, the connection makes the road to healing easier.  Find the mentor who has already had this experience and be guided and loved through the process.  For in this way, you can acknowledge and honor whatever wounds come up for you and in a huge way honor the good that also comes into your life as a result.  Life is filled with opportunities, in the comfortable and the uncomfortable.  When you truly experience your feelings that come up in both scenarios, there you will take advantage of the opportunity and build upon a solid foundation that will assist you for years to come and therein lies the foundation for abundance!

images-2

 

Be grateful for the beautiful bouquet of people in your life!

“To know someone here or there with whom you can feel an understanding in spite of distance or thoughts expressed- this can make life a garden.”

Goethe

You, my friend, are not meant to travel this earth alone. Thank goodness because it is in the connections that you are meant to share life. Your big, beautiful, bountiful, bodacious life is meant to be delighted in as you encounter the angels that show up on your journey. Each soul that you find by chance or otherwise is there to teach you something. And, guess what, you play a part in their story as well. It is the great balance of life that pulls you towards on another. Your prayers are answered everyday as you add one more glorious flower to your bouquet. You find the roses who despite their thorns show you how to break open into a maze of perfection. You find the orchids who teach you patience as they bloom in perfect time. You find the calla lily whose stem reaches out to you as if to show you how to touch the heavens. And you are amongst the bunch, bringing your own talents to the forefront as long as you risk blossoming as well. Focus on your relationships and how important they are to feel connected and loved.  Identify those incredible relationships in your life and be intentionally grateful for the beauty they bring. Make a collage of your beautiful bouquet, take a photo and carry it with you in your heart throughout the day. For you were never meant to travel this world alone. And knowing that, smile as you embrace your beautiful bouquet of gorgeousness that will make your path even brighter.

images-2

The rainbow is more than enough!

“Leroy bet me I couldn’t find a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, and I told him that was a stupid bet because the rainbow was enough.”
Rita Mae Brown

There are times in life when you may experience an unsettled feeling stirring within.  In your discomfort, you feel that the deck you have been dealt in life is just unfair. As you make yourself feel worse comparing your insides to others outsides, you yearn for the effortless life that you believe is enjoyed only by the most worthy. When that happens, open your mind to the that your life, has been specially tailored for you!  The lessons you receive along the way are exactly what you need. And, instead of running from who you are, consciously be aware that the beauty that is in you and right in front of you may be the cure to what ails you.  As Thich Nhat Hanh encourages you to let go of the temptation to be anyone else other than the perfect being that is filled with divine light,  “Smile, breath and go slowly.”  That is where you start to appreciate the rainbows when you stop looking for the pot of gold; that is where you start to understand the richness of life when you stop worrying about what you lack; and that is where you are thankful for the connections that cross your path and start to cherish the serendipity all around. When you take in the magical and breathtaking experience that is your life with gratitude, you will know that the rainbow is enough, and be pleasantly surprised that therein the life the pot of gold all along.

niX8LRn9T

Those Magical Words of Gratitude!

“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it, is like wrapping a present and not giving it.”
William Arthur Ward

When you start to believe how powerful words can be, you are reminded to use them wisely. With a single sentence, you have the ability to build someone up or tear that person down.  With a single thought shared, you have the power to heal a relationship or destroy it.  With a single verbal expression of gratitude, you have the opportunity to express to another how important they are or miss the chance to do so if you hold back.  Yes, words can bring about great peace. Words can create a bond filled with love and laughter. Wonderful words that delight and bring love to any situation can be the magical ingredient that awakens enthusiasm and excitement in your world.  Having read many good books, you know how it feels to experience the majesty of a well-written piece of work. Furthermore, you know how well chosen words can change the world.  So if you feel gratitude and love, make sure you express those words with the greatest of intentions.  Declare them out loud boldly and express that gift of light to another.  Be clear with the goodness you wish to share, take out your magical pen– say abracadabra and watch the joy that uplifting words can bring.  Share this gift of gratitude and stand witness to the joy and smiles that you cause as you give the present of unwrapped appreciation.  Express away and let’s enjoy this life together.

62399_465157257791_18184577791_6557617_2038329_n