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Showing posts from March, 2014

The good, the bad, the ugly, the beautiful

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"Give thanks for everything, the good, the bad, the ugly, the beautiful, for it is all good and worthy of praise." --From the Akashic Records

Giving thanks for these things today:

1) Finishing a great book (The Orphan Master's Son)

2) A delicious family dinner and birthday celebration.

3) For these past thirty days and the opportunity to focus on gratitude and for all of you who have taken part and joined in. Thank you!

Pain is an Invitation

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"Pain is an invitation to dive deeper into the human experience, deeper into who you are. Give thanks for any experience of pain - past or present - that has taken you deeper into yourself." --From The Akashic Records

Feeling much gratitude for these things today:

1) spring purging. I have been cleaning out my closet, my drawers, my phone, etc. and it feels so good!

2) A very L-O-N-G bath.

3) Watching Akeelah and the Bee with our latest couchsurfing guest. A lovely way to end her stay with us.

Listen with your Heart

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"Listen with your heart today and be grateful for the messages you receive from Spirit. They are for you and you alone." --From The Akashic Records

Grateful for these things today:

1) the experience of going on a field trip with 300 sixth graders. it was exhausting, but also interesting and informative.

2) a nap (after the above :)

3) staying up way too late with my younger son working on, and then playing, his own board game.

Feel the Gratitude Pouring Down on You

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"The Universe is grateful for you today. Pause and feel the gratitude pouring down on you from above like rain falling from the sky." --From The Akashic Records

Today I am grateful for:

1) receiving a pass for a free yoga class on our community's buy nothing group

2) gifting a rarely-used Razor scooter on the same site later the same day :)

3) family dinner

Expand Your Heart

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"Allow gratitude to fill and expand your heart. Focus on something you feel grateful for and feel your heart expand as your gratitude expands." --From The Akashic Records

Expanding my heart today:

1) a heart-felt gift from a traveler who is staying with us

2) staying with my younger son through a tough time

3) eating my favorite salad for dinner

Gratitude Comes from the ♥

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 "Gratitude comes from the heart, not the head. When looking for things to be grateful for look with your heart. What gratitude is being held in your heart today?" --From The Akashic Records

I feel gratitude in my heart today for:

1) Finding a bottle of a discontinued after shave as a gift for a friend's husband. Thanks Universe and ebay!

2) A productive day of writing and a walk in the sunshine without a coat.

3) Double gong meditation after kundalini yoga at Guru Gayatri Yoga & Meditation Center.

And now for something completely different.

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"Be grateful for every little thing today. Starting with the small things, you automatically appreciate the bigger gifts you have been given." --From The Akashic Records
I ran out of gratitude quotes this weekend. The one I used yesterday was the last one I had in my database. I panicked a little and then I remembered that I had asked The Universe to provide and I decided to trust that The Universe would. 
During an Akashic Records reading for a friend last week I got an idea - why not ask the Records for some quotes about gratitude? What I received in my reading with the Masters, Teachers and Loved Ones is what I will be posting this week. I hope you will enjoy it and find it inspirational.
Today I am grateful for:

1) The guidance and inspiration from my Masters, Teachers and Loved Ones through the Akashic Records. They always come through for me and I am so grateful.

2) Hearing "The Gambler" at church on Sunday. One thing I love about the music at our church is …

The Guest House

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"This being human is a guest house. Every morning a new arrival. A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor. Welcome and entertain them all! Even if they're a crowd of sorrows, who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture, still, treat each guest honorably. He may be clearing you out for some new delight. The dark thought, the shame, the malice, meet them at the door laughing, and invite them in. Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond." --RUMI

Grateful for these things today:

1) A sub at yoga who taught an amazing class.

2) A six-kid play date so fun that not one of them asked for screen time, not even once.

3) Octopus bolongase at the new restaurant in the site of our wedding reception. The mingling of old and new happy memories.

Unexpected Angels

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 "I think you should be in gratitude." --The Universe via PCQ (Lawn Dude)
Sometimes the Universe sends us messages via unexpected angels. 
A couple of summers ago I was having one of "those" days - the kids were restless, the day seemed unusually long, the summer hot and endless - when our lawn guy showed up to mow. 
He has been mowing our lawn for years now so if I am home I often go out and say "Hello," offer him something to drink or shoot the breeze for awhile. 
On this particular day I started complaining about the day and my life. When I was done he took a look around - at the freshly mowed yard, large for a city neighborhood, at my kids playing on the stairs nearby, and dropped this load of wisdom on me right out the blue. 
Immediately I realized he was right and it changed my whole day. Suddenly I saw my life through his eyes and it didn't look so bad. In fact, it was a life to be in gratitude for. And so I was. 
May your life be filled with r…

Habits of Mind

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"It truly is not our circumstances that determine our happiness. It is our habits of mind that either allow all love and joy to flow to us or block us from receiving what our true heart desires." --Lynnet McKenzie

My gratefuls for today are:

1) This quote from The Secret Life of Walter Mitty:

"Beautiful things don't ask for attention."
2) A night out with a friend.

3) For my husband who took the kids and made #1 and #2 possible

Bearing the Unbearable

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"You breathe in gratitude, and you breathe it out, too. Once you learn how to do that, then you can bear someone who is unbearable."  --Anne Lamott

This seemed like a good one on the heels of The Betty Lous...

Breathing is a great way to deal with a multitude of things that are difficult and I love this advice from Anne Lamott to use it to bear the unbearable.

I think I will try this next time the kids are going nuts in the house - fighting, bouncing basketballs, running amok, leaving open doors and dirty socks in their wake. I am so profoundly grateful for them and find them so unbearable sometimes that this seems like the perfect way to balance these two truths.

Thanks Anne, I am grateful for you!

I am also grateful for:

1) Hot yoga on a COLD day.

2) A mini-foot rub from the yoga instructor during one of our resting periods.

3) That I didn't yell at the kids at dinnertime when they were complaining endlessly about what I had made. I just got up, took my plate and w…

The Betty Lous

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"Be grateful for all the challenging people in your life–bosses, co-workers, in-laws, children, friends–because they're your greatest teachers. These relationships are difficult precisely because of your resistance to the lesson, which might be about compassion, self-worth, generosity, or unconditional love." --Amara Rose

Betty Lou Parker*** was a girl in my youth group at church when I was in junior high school. She was my opposite in nearly every way - a short, blonde, prima donna who loved nothing more than to be in the spotlight. As a tall, dark-haired wallflower she made me feel invisible and I hated that feeling.

So I fought back the only way I knew how, by competing with her.

First, I befriended the preacher's daughter and made her my best friend. (She and Betty Lou had been friends - if not best friends - before I arrived.) Next, I started making friends with other kids in the group one-by-one. And finally, I ran against her in the election for President …

The Tapestry of Life

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"Now that I know that every encounter, challenge, and situation is a spectacular thread in a tapestry, and that each represents and defines my life, I am deeply grateful for them all." --Wayne Dyer

Wayne Dyer seems to agree with Crazy Mr. Parker that it is ALL worth being grateful for. What about you?

Here's my list for today:

1) Getting all my s**t done today. It was a long list and should have been impossible, but somehow it all worked out. Thank you Universe!

2) Realizing that I am so done with anger - mine and other people's.

3) A healthy and delicious dinner - local handmade sausage, roasted vegetables and brown rice.

[Seemingly useless scraps of paper become a work of art at the hands of my older son's third grade class. In the same way, the frustrating or un-enjoyable moments help to make up the tapestry of our lives.]

Practicing Gratitude - Praise God (Even when it makes no sense to do so....)

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"Praise God." --Crazy Mr. Parker

A few years ago my sister told me about a sermon she had heard about Crazy Mr. Parker. Crazy Mr. Parker went around praising God all the time, no matter what. If you told him someone was sick he would say, "Praise God!" If you told him someone had just died he would say, "Praise God!" Good news, bad news, it didn't matter, Mr. Parker's response was always the same, "Praise God!"

We decided that this would be a great spiritual practice, to walk around in the world praising God no matter what. If you stub your toe, praise God. If you lose your wallet, praise God. If you miss the bus, praise God.

This seems more than a little bit crazy of the face of it, but the truth is we really have no idea what is a blessing and what is a curse in the moment that it happens. As in the Buddhist tale, "Maybe," we often do not know until much later that what looked like bad luck was actually a blessing in disguise…

Grateful for the Light

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"Have gratitude for the light - in your body and in your life - in spite of the areas that feel blocked. Look and feel underneath for what is true – the light – and feel gratitude for that." --Grace Waters

My gratefuls for today are:

1) Holding hands with my younger son for a few brief minutes while shopping.

2) Date nite massages at Two Smiling Feet.

3) The feeling of sadness that sometimes comes from telling the truth.

[This photograph is of the Sun, shining through my fingers, reminding me to have gratitude for the light.]

Open Your Heart. Be Grateful!

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"Gratitude keeps your heart open." --Mbali Creazzo

Today I am grateful for:

1) My sister, for reminding me what is mine.

2) A snuggle and a movie with my boys.

3) Honeybee Gardens Tropical Lip Balm. The best EVER!

Enough

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"A word I've come across a lot during the years is 'abundance'. Self-help books encourage us to welcome abundance into our lives. If we think abundant thoughts then abundance will automatically grace us. The dictionary tells me that abundance is, 'an extremely plentiful or oversufficient quantity or supply.' In these difficult financial times, is it realistic to expect abundance? Do we really need an 'oversufficient quantity'? I'm coming to feel pretty fond of the word 'enough'. Enough is saving the washing up water and putting it on the roses. It's appreciating every melting moment of a square of bitter chocolate. It's chanting for an extra half hour, even though you're dying for a cup of tea. It's having a terrible morning and then noticing those red berries on a walk to the post-box. Those red berries! Enough feels more realistic than endless abundance. Enough is satisfying. Enough is not-always-what-I'd-…

The Little Things

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"It's the little things." --CJD

My college roommate always used to say this when she was pleased with something that had happened. We had a lot of little things to be grateful for back then: a hot cup of tea and chocolate chip scones after a long night of studying, an IU basketball victory over the dreaded Illini (DENY!), or a rock-star parking spot near our favorite bar on a Saturday night.

The wisdom still applies and is, it seems to me, what 30 Days of Gratitude is all about. Appreciating the little things each day that make life worth living. 

My "little things" for today are:

1) Fran's gray salt dark chocolate caramels.

2) Catching up on two of my favorite food blogs: Gluten-free Girl and the Chef & Orangette.

3) Being done with jury duty. At least for this go-round.

[The photograph is of our gorgeous Sun shining through the fall foliage on the IU Bloomington campus. Just one of the "little things" to be thankful for.]

Focusing on the Good

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"We have the opportunity every moment to focus on the good." --Karen Lindvig

Last night, in the middle of fixing dinner I got the call. "MOM! I NEED HELP!"

When I went upstairs to see what my older son needed, I found him standing in the center of his room with the huge Fathead of Russell Wilson he had gotten for Christmas all tangled up in a sticky, messy ball.

Normally this would be a yelling situation for me. Number one, I was in the middle of fixing dinner. Number two, Fatheads are not cheap. And number three, he had not used common sense in trying to do something so big without asking for help.

But thankfully - and this is the first thing on my list of what I am grateful for today - one of my guides or The Universe or my Higher Self tapped me on the shoulder and invited me to do it differently this time. To focus on the good.

My husband volunteered to finish making dinner and I set my sights on making this a positive learning experience for my son.

Working tog…

What We Enjoy

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"Not what we have, but what we enjoy constitutes our abundance." --John Petit-Senn

Here are three things I have truly enjoyed today:

1) A ride, when I was running late.

2) Dark chocolate sea salt almonds.

3) A late night walk with a boy and a dog.

Practicing Gratitude - Say "Thank You"

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"If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, 'Thank you,' that would suffice." --Meister Eckhart

Another way to practice gratitude is to say "Thank You" to God or The Universe, or whatever name you give to your higher power, as you go about your day. When something good happens, or something you perceive as bad doesn't happen, say "Thank You" in the moment. Do this all day long, whenever you think of it.

If you would like, extend this practice to those around you. Spread gratitude wherever you go thanking those who help you as you go about your day. If your kids eat all their breakfast say "Thank you," if your spouse unloads the dishwasher, say "Thank you."

Say "Thank you," to the bus driver who gets you to work safely and to the deli counter worker who makes your lunch. Say "Thank you" as often as you remember and know that it is enough.

Thank YOU for being here. Thank YOU for reading. And thank…

Words of Gratitude from Stephen Tobolowsky

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"Do you know how lucky I am just to be sitting in this room on the wrong day? There are millions of actors around the world, in this country, who would love the opportunity to just sit in this couch on the wrong day and not see Ryan Murphy. Just to have the script of Glee in my hands. I was able to have a nice drive with my wife today, she's lovely, a good companion and now I get the opportunity to have a nice drive with her again tomorrow. The way I figure it, I'm the luckiest man in the world."  --Stephen Tobolowsky, from The Tobolowsky Files, episode 16

Sometimes being in the wrong place at the wrong time is exactly where we are supposed to be. We can never know for her how the Universe has decided to bless us, teach us, prosper us, or re-direct us. 
All we can do is breathe, trust and be grateful. 
Today I am grateful for:

1) A long  lie-in.

2) Legion of Boom rolls at Blue C Sushi with my sweetie.

3) A quirky indie rom com on Netflix.

[BTW...if you haven…

Think about these things

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Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. --Philippians 4:8

[This photograph was taken in a campground bathroom on our road trip last summer. I thought it was simply lovely and truly appreciated that someone had taken the time to make this relatively banal place a bit more homey.]

My gratefuls for today are:

1) The courage to have a hard conversation

2) Homemade energy bars with dates, walnuts and chocolate chips

3) A cup of sweet strawberry sorbet after a big loss

3 Moments

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"Offer to those you love 3 simple moments everyday: AWARENESS-notice the beauty of each moment; WONDERMENT-let the beauty touch your heart; GRATITUDE-give thanks to God for the beauty you see." --Father Daniel Syverstad

I took this photograph during a recent snow storm in Seattle. It was a moment in which I felt each of these simple moments simultaneously. Aware, in wonderment and in gratitude.

Today I am aware, in wonder and grateful for:

1) The calm before the storm.

2) My accountability partners, who keep me on track.

3) "How I Met Your Mother" - This show touches my heart and subtly reminds me to be the best version of myself. 

Living in Gratitude

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"Love the life you have..." --Ethan Hawke "Ash Wednesday"
This is so easy to say, and so hard to do. With all of the messages out there telling us the things we could do or could see or could be or could buy, it is almost impossible to love the life you have fully, completely and right now.

But that doesn't mean it isn't worth trying. And I think gratitude practice is one of the best ways. Which is not to say that stuff isn't coming up for me this month.

Today while reading the paper I started to feel the consumer beast stirring within: Maybe I should go to that play. Maybe I should see that exhibit. Maybe I should read that book.

My mind became greedy for more, More, MORE! Until I finally put the paper down and focused on what I was grateful for right here, right now.

Here is what I came up with:

1) A hot cup of tea with milk.
2) A few hours of free time with nothing on the calendar.
3) A bus ride. While riding the bus to jury duty yesterday, I was …

Just for Today

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"Just for today, do not worry. Just for today, do not anger.....[Just for today] show gratitude in everything" --Mikao Usui

I am grateful for:

1) My swim buddy who gets me to the pool even on days when I really, really don't want to go (like today....).

2) A very fruitful shopping spree at Value Village.

3) Cold water. There is nothing like drinking a glass of very cold water when you are very thirsty. It occurs to me today that many people around the world have no idea what this is like and it is something not to be taken for granted, but to be savored and enjoyed. 

The Perfect Combination

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"There is a special combination that seems to be perfect for this, which is love plus the combination of thanks and appreciation reflected in the English word gratitude. Just one of these is not enough. Love needs to be based in gratitude, and gratitude needs to be based in love. These two words together create the most important vibration." --Masaru Emoto


Today I am thankful for:

1) A walk in the sunshine after DAYS of rain.

2) Nutella-stuffed brown butter + sea salt chocolate chip cookies

3) Watching our dog crawl awkwardly over all other family members on the couch to get to me. (Sometimes it's just nice to know you're someone's favorite :)

Gratitude Expands

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"The more gratitude that we have for everyday basic things, that then expands into more and more things." --Lee Anne Peters

When I was working on gathering quotes for 30 Days of Gratitude, I realized quickly that I did not have thirty quotes about gratitude in my database yet. I started to worry and second-guess myself, maybe I should have picked a different focus for the month, one that I knew I could complete.

What I heard immediately from The Universe was, "I will provide all the inspiration you need this month. Trust." And already I am seeing that this is true.

Yesterday I posted a quote from Matthew McConaughey at the Oscars and today the quote comes from the Monthly Guidance for March from Lee Anne Peters of Temple of Balance. Gratitude quotes are springing up out of nowhere and I am certain that by the end of the month I will have more than I need to complete the thirty days.

It's all about Trust.

Trust that The Universe will provide. Trust that you are …

And the Oscar for best quote about Gratitude goes to....

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"It's a scientific fact that gratitude reciprocates." --Matthew McConaughey 
I am grateful for:

1) A hot bath with salt AND bubbles.

2) My warm winter coat - it's silver and shiny and it covers my butt and keeps it warm.

3) A bowl of soup, teeming with veggies.

(Can you tell it was cold and rainy in Seattle yesterday?)

Lucky

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"Remember how LUCKY you are." --The Universe to me in 2004.

Today I am grateful for:

1) My Life - I don't mean to start so big, but I just finished the book "Escape from Camp 14," a book about life in a North Korean Prison Camp. The life lived in these camps is unimaginably brutal; many of the children and adults born in these camps have never known anything else. Just to have been born in the Western world is something to be profoundly grateful for. 
2) Family time on the couch - After my younger son's basketball game, we all ended up on the couch with many blankets and many books. 
3) Sleep - I drank coffee during the day and did not sleep well the night before last. Lying down last night I could feel myself start to drift off immediately and I was so grateful to no longer be under the influence of caffeine. 

What's Next?

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"What if focusing on the good in our lives could lead to an increase in good?"  --Karen Lindvig, Senior Minister at Seattle Unity

As 28 Days of Love began to wind down, I once again found myself asking the question, "What's next?" The word that kept rattling around in my brain was Gratitude. It made sense to me that Gratitude would come after Love, but I wasn't sure until I went to church last Sunday.

Reverend Karen spoke about mirrors - how the world mirrors back to us our own internal state - and about how to shift things if what is being mirrored for you is not what you would like to see. She asked this question: "What if focusing on the good in our lives could lead to an increase in good?" And I knew that was my green light from The Universe for 30 Days of Gratitude.

The practice is relatively easy, notice three things each day that you are grateful for. 

That's it. Just notice three things.

You can write them in a journal, on your own bl…