Rise Up

Rise Up

Rise up with your arms, your heart, your head, your eyes, your thoughts.

Inhale. Close your eyes and pause. Exhale.

Bring your hands to your heart center, with palms touching each other. Feel the earth beneath your feet, as you are rooted in love. Feel the sun shine on your face.

Take this moment to feel gratitude for your breath and being alive. Think about someone else that you appreciate and wish them well, in your mind.

Enjoy this moment with whatever feelings arise as this is part of our journey.

Namaste and Happy Memorial Day, honoring those who have served others and have died and gone before us, with love and gratitude.

ūüíõ

Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mamas in the world!

  
I think this is a day to celebrate unconditional love and to recognize womens’ work!

I am thankful for my mom, my sisters, my girlfriends, my husband’s mom and our grandmothers. I am grateful for my kids, who made me a mother and for my husband who played a part in the creation process and who loves and supports me and our kids, unconditionally.

I love being part of the motherhood and sharing this day with y’all. Happy Mother’s Day!

nAMaste Mama Lovers!! 

Thankful Thursday

Every day we should stop to really think about our true gifts, especially the ones we don’t always recognize but are right there too.

Tonight I challenge you to think about something or someone who is bugging you.  And then I want you to turn your thoughts around and think about why you’re lucky to have that person or that particular problem. Try and list three things you’re thankful for about your current situation. Maybe even write down your thoughts so you can see your gratitude on paper. See if your feelings change after you practice gratitude. It works for me.

Count your blessings, not your gaps. What we focus our attention and minds on is what we create. 

nAMaste

Filling Up

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This was my post from yesterday that didn’t post for some reason. I’m trying again now.

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Have you filled your gratitude jar lately?

I wrote a piece about my then octogenarian friend and her gratitude jar almost 2 years ago and today I learned she passed away. I guess the good Lord was ready for her now.

She kept a gratitude jar on her table and would fill it up with thankful notes as she experienced joy. She said she often would go back and reread them and could always find something to be grateful for.  She was a wise woman.

In her honor, I wanted to fill my virtual gratitude jar here and challenge you to fill yours too.

Today I was grateful when my kids were all home from school and we didn’t have to rush out anywhere. Juliana and I sat on the couch and watched The Bachelor together. I made a cup of coffee and cooked two double chocolate chip cookies from the frozen dough I have hidden away. We laughed together and had fun noticing similar things in the show and saying the same things at the same time. 

While we were relaxing on the couch in the middle of the day (which we never do!!), the boys went outside to shoot some hoops. They then rode their bikes to the park and I was thankful that they too were enjoying each others company.

Today I was grateful for the unrushed time, enjoying my big kids.

Thank you Dot for reminding me to be filled with gratitude and thank you for being a blessing to us. Rest in peace.

nAMaste

The Application Of Happiness Theories

They work. Seriously, I’m telling you and I’m not even trying to sell you something.

I’m practicing and using some of the theories and I want to keep practicing and getting better at adapting and staying on the path of happily ever after.

Yesterday I wasn’t feeling it, as happiness can be an elusive thing. It’s here and it’s gone and it’s back again. I was just feeling kinda blah in the moment and wanted to snap out of it, especially since I was giving a presentation on happiness tonight.¬†I looked at my notes with the list of 5 things you can do in 21 days to feel happier, and I did the first thing on the list, which was to write down three things I was grateful for that day, kind of as a test.

As I started to write, I started to smile. I felt joy as I sat for a few focused minutes to think about what made me happy yesterday, and started seeing my joys on my screen. Writing down one thing lead to another and another until I had 8 things in less than 5 minutes. And to think that 5 minutes before that, I was feeling dread, with not even a blog topic¬†in my head. ¬†I looked at my list and felt happiness, instantly. A handful of you even took the time to “Like” my post, which made me thankful too. This gratitude practice is a miracle thing that we all can practice. It’s free and doesn’t take much time and puts us on the right path.

Tonight I’m thankful that my Happiness program was well received and I loved the interactive dialogue and sharing and connections that we made. Their big A-HA moment was seeing that no one listed material things on their happiness list. ¬†I loved this! ¬†We learned that most of us experience happiness through shared experiences with family, friends, and being of service to others which makes sense! ¬†The number one predictor of happiness is having good¬†relationships. ¬†We talked a lot about being aware of our expectations¬†and how to focus on our gifts instead of the gaps. We talked about adapting and accepting whatever life gives us and redefining ourselves as we go through life. ¬†I learned a lot tonight and was thankful to be invited to share the Gift of Happiness.

In closing, I’ll share a quote from Lincoln that was shared by one of the ladies tonight, who always heard this from her smart and positive-living mama as she was growing up:

‚ÄúFolks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be.‚ÄĚ

So true. Let’s be mindful and choose happiness. Go ahead. You can start right now. ūüėČ

nAMaste

 

3 Things

What three things were you grateful for today? Let’s practice gratitude together. If you come up with more than 3 things, just keep going… no limits to happiness.

I’ll start.

  1. My husband bringing me coffee when I woke up.
  2. Watching Charlie practice learning how to ride a skateboard and hearing all his ideas and theories and showing him that I know how to ride too.
  3. Driving with my kids in the car and enjoying their conversations and learning about their dreams.
  4. Having the time and being able to pick up Jeff after work tonight because a train hit a car and delayed his journey. (Luckily no one was injured.)
  5. Freely letting Juliana go enjoy her friend when she called for a “play date” in the middle of our “grocery shopping date.”
  6. Making the boys happy and ordering pizza from Domino’s App and having the pizza delivered right after we¬†got home.
  7. Flow. At Work.
  8. Working on my gift of happiness program tonight.

Now I’m happier and ready for bed. It works and was easy… this gratitude practice is fun and good for the soul. Good night.

nAMaste

Gifts Not Gaps

Pain and loss are part of our lives, sometimes personally and other times experienced by our loved ones and thus affecting us.

What are we to do with pain?  How do we healthfully process it and accept it and continue living happily ever?

Pain creates a glaring gap that’s hard to ignore. It creates a hole in our lives and stops us and sometimes even changes the¬†trajectory of our journey. It creates a gap between our dreams and our reality that is not in our control.

Sometimes we get stuck and can only see and feel the pain and fall into the gap. How do we get out?

I think the secret to moving on and processing the pain and moving forward is spending more time focusing on our gifts instead of what is lacking. It’s a practice of gratitude for all that is still good, despite the despair. ¬†The pain doesn’t just dissipate because we’re thinking happy thoughts, but we get to choose where to focus our energy and to adapt to our circumstances.

If we choose to focus on the gap, then that is where we will stay and that is what we will experience the most. If we choose to focus on what is good and working in our lives, potentially, eventually, we will close the gap and be able to move forward despite what’s missing and causing grief. Perhaps the gap will slowly diminish to the point that it doesn’t draw us in and define us.

I think we want to define ourselves by the goodness in our lives and the potential that lies in front of us everyday, despite our sufferings. We understand that pain and suffering exist for whatever¬†reasons, however we don’t want to live in this space for very long. We have to keep choosing to see the good, despite the gap, and moving forward.

I think this is where the mind is very powerful and can help to transform us and help us to live happily ever after, even after experiencing pain and loss, if we are able to choose to allow ourselves this gift of life and all that is good, that is available to us despite the pain, right now.

See the good in you and others and¬†really focus on what is good in our life, and acknowledge the¬†gaps, but don’t dwell there. Perhaps the gap will eventually diminish and become part of our past as it shapes our future, so that we¬†can live fully in the present.

Wishing you peace and love, BeLoveRs, focused on gifts, not gaps.

nAMasteIMG_7211

 

My Favorite Gifts – Giving, Receiving and Connecting

I like this cycle.

One gives.

One receives.

One thanks.

One smiles.

Repeat. Remember.

I love the feel good moments. Can you tell?

My mom and I love to go to garage sales for several reasons. One week she was visiting and we stopped by a friendly sale and I recognized a friend I had met years ago, briefly, and we reconnected. I love meeting people out and about our community. She used to be a kindergarten teacher and she was clearing out some of her book collection.

It was serendipity as my sister just began her teaching career and is a kindergarten teacher and could use nearly new supplies for her classroom. Mom and I looked through all the covers and my friend helped us pick out some of her favorites and we filled a crate to give to my sister, all for $10.  One new book would cost $10 and I was so happy to have a nice collection to share with her students. My friend was happy to nearly give away her books to a good cause and to support a teacher sister. And my sister was so excited to receive these gifts.

Today I received a thank you poster in the mail signed and decorated by her kindergarten class and it touched my heart. 

  
Saying thank you is powerful and brings us full circle to the giving and receiving and thanking cycle that creates joy and happiness for all involved.

We can make a positive change in this world by participating – by giving, by receiving, by thanking and enjoying one another and our gifts and our time.

ONE LOVE.

Thank you my friend for giving us your books.

Thank you my mama for buying and bringing the books home with you and delivering them to my sister.

Thank you, my sister, for being a good role model and teaching your students the powerful process of giving and sharing thanks.

Life is good!!

xo

 

Thank You

I believe in gratitude and the art of hand written thank you letters, acknowledging the connection between the giver and the recipient and closing the circle. I think taking the time to acknowledge one another is important. Someone takes the time to select and choose and prepare and deliver a gift with a thoughtful heart. The receiver should also take the time to acknowledge the work of the giver and thank them for thinking of them. This creates a bond between two people.

But what happens when one writes the thank you notes and yet never delivers them?

 
Yep. That’s what we do in our family. Notice I say we and don’t take the blame entirely. I’ve given commands and I’ve placed them in safe places and moved them from tables to desks to shelves to the car and back again and yet never quite get them to the right place. 

We write the perfectly imperfect thank you notes and just save them. 

Forever. 

Until it’s too embarrassing to deliver them (or we can’t find them) and I feel too badly to throw them away. What would Marie Kondo say to do? Do they bring me joy? No. They bring me guilt. But I do like seeing the names on the cards and recalling the sweet memories that prompted us to write in the first place.

Could I call this Gratitide Art? That’s being creative!

I just think I missed the mark and created the perfectly imperfect and useless thank you card, never acknowledging the gratitide we feel out loud. That’s embarrassing.  

Tomorrow I will say goodbye to these thank you notes and forgive myself and my family for not following through and expressing our joy in a timely manner. I’ll thank these little cards for their service and set them free with apologies to whom they belong for never reaching your hands. Thank you Miss Kondo.

My friends and family, you are loved and appreciated, even if you don’t ever receive your receipt! I hope you know.

Thank You and You’re Welcome!