Gratitude in the Everyday Things

My husband and I travel quite a bit. We are blessed people and so very grateful for all the opportunities of travel. It is something we love to do. Many of the trips are long weekend trips, but others we embark upon are some adventures of a lifetime.

We just returned from a long weekend in Tahoe. Tahoe is one of our favorite places. It has special sentiments for us. We were married on the mountain top at Incline Village five years ago this month. We had a great weekend with friends, and my son and his girlfriend. What a special treat that was for us. We had a lot to be grateful for just by being with them and making new memories. It snowed a few days while we were there. We were able to get outside and enjoy the beauty of the snow covered mountains and lake. It was absolutely breathtaking. There is something magical that happens for us in Tahoe. Just being outdoors there opens our souls and hearts. We are grateful that we have found a spot that really touches our beings. Do you have those places you go to so you are able to revive your soul?

So as we returned last evening, my husband was going through pictures from a variety of our trips. He asked if I thought we were grateful enough for the fabulous life we live and of all the places we have experienced. I could easily exclaim “YES.” Where in your life can you easily exclaim a YES on being grateful for the life you live? Where in your life could you be more grateful for the everyday things that happen?

In order for life to be all you want it to be, you must take time to exclaim the moments in your life that are really special to you. Too often life passes by without you taking the time each day to honor the many blessings you have to be grateful. Where in your life could you wake up to the blessings and move away from seeing them as routine ways of your day?

Do you take time to appreciate it all?

Just begin listing all the things in your life you have to be grateful for today. Think of different areas of your life – family, spiritual, financial, friends, career. What are the most affirming things for you? Do you take time to appreciate it all? Is your list flowing? Is it easier to make a longer list in one area than another? Is there resistance? Where ever you are in this process of being grateful, just notice it. Begin today to increase your gratitude. Try to make a habit of keeping a gratitude journal. Write down at least 3 things a day you are grateful. The next week, or next month increase that to 5 a day, then 10 a day. Just watch to see how your world builds with abundance and how much you have to be grateful for in your life. Remember, you get more of what you focus on.

Gratitude

Years ago I read a book called Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach that changed my life. In that book, the author asks that at the end of each day, write down at least 3 things for which you are grateful. At that time I was going through a divorce, and it was difficult to think about being grateful. I remember how hard it was to think of even 3 things to be grateful. What a dark place I was in then. Today I can write pages and pages about the daily things I have to be grateful for in my life. Just to realize the progress I have made in my life of opening my world to the abundance life provides is such a gift. I am so grateful. I am reminded of all I have to be grateful for as I hear about crisis like Hurricane Sandy. Why does it take crisis like this to get our attention, to wake us up?

I am so pleased that I have chosen to be a spiritual empowerment coach because I have the privilege of helping people fulfill some of their dreams, to tap into their gifts and to see how much is available in their lives. They leave our sessions feeling much more grateful for all they have and have to offer the world.

In one of my coaching lessons, we talk about how do you make every day special? One of the ways is to become aware of how much you have to be grateful for in each day. When we focus on something, we give it power, we create more of it. Just think of things like: how nice it is to wake up in the morning; how nice it is to have had a bed and warm place to sleep and live; how nice it is to have someone to care about you, or check in with you; how nice it is to have a job or an income coming in; or how blessed you are to have your health, to be able to walk or run. Did someone smile at you today? Did someone hold a door open for you today? Did you do a kind deed for someone today? It’s mostly a matter of really paying attention to life and all the ways we really have to give and receive gratitude. Where we you begin?

The greatest prayer you can say is “Thank you.”

What a lesson in my life it has been to be more grateful. For so much of my life, I took all these things for granted. I didn’t think about making each day special by acknowledging the great things that have happened in my day or the multitude of things I had to be grateful. I hope with this Thanksgiving month, you take a moment each evening and write down at least 3 things you are grateful for in your day and life.

What are the qualities you most admire in yourself?

What are the qualities you most admire in yourself? What are areas that you don’t feel so good about yourself? One of the activities that you can do to find out is the following:

Think of three people you admire. Write out each person’s name. Then list three qualities about each of them that you like about them. See if there are similarities with the three. Notice these qualities in yourself. How do they shine in your life? If you can’t see them at this time, what could you do to highlight that in your life. Try to own them. They are there for you but at this time you might not have thought it was okay to be that. It might be like the sun. It is always there but sometimes the clouds cover it. It’s your job to find them in yourself, and own it. Nurture those qualities. They are your strengths.

Next, think of three people you don’t like. Write out each person’s name. List the qualities that you don’t like about them. Now look at yourself and see where you have these qualities. How are you denying these parts of yourself? What have you made wrong about these qualities? Where is your life have you maybe been “that?” Do you need to forgive yourself in regards to these behaviors you identified? These qualities are not bad or good. Some of the qualities you disown because you have made them bad. Take some time to discover your beliefs about these qualities. You have all these qualities in you. You need to own them, and not let these negative qualities run your lives. They will if you don’t take some time to heal them within. When you learn to accept all qualities within you, you will no longer react to life but you can begin taking responsibility for creating the life you desire.

Discover – Yourself

I love being on this spiritual journey. It has taught me so much about myself. It has allowed me to shift from being a victim to being responsible for my life. It is so much more empowering and freeing. I feel like I am in charge of my life rather than feel like it is dictated by others or other circumstances. I am not always so pure about being responsible. There are certain things that get triggered and I resort back to trying to blame someone or something else. For instance here is a silly example, my husband and I take nightly walks. I always get the house key. He was in a hurry tonight because he wanted to get back to watch the ballgames. I couldn’t find the key and was making him wait. I looked where it usually was. I couldn’t find it. I looked a few other places and couldn’t find it there. Finally, I went back to where we keep it, and it was there. Well, when I went to meet him outside, I wanted to make up some excuse about the key rather than take responsibility that I just didn’t see it. I wanted to “look” a certain way; I didn’t want to look like a ditz. I wanted to “please” him by hurrying but I was holding us back. So instead of making excuses, I owned the situation. I didn’t allow myself to belittle myself or make myself “wrong” about the situation. I just told him what happened and we enjoyed our walk.

This is just a small example of the ways you interact in life with others. I had to become aware of the choices I was making. Why did I need to blame something else, not take ownership? Do I want to please others? Do I need others think I was perfect? What was the self-talk I was hearing? Why was I letting these simple things create a big ordeal in my mind? What is driving your life? What are my priorities? Am I in integrity with what I say I want in my life? Why was I afraid of just telling the truth?

Discover what beliefs, justifications and excuses are guiding your decisions. What roles are you playing? What do you feel like you need to “live up to?” What are you hiding from? Look at this with compassion. Be the observer. Do not judge yourself, but just notice. Awareness is the first step along the path to discover your authentic self. Without awareness, there are simply automatic behaviors. You will continue to react and pull yourself down with learned behaviors that may no longer be serving you. Awareness is the opportunity to release old patterns of behavior and embrace new ways of interacting in life. Take time to discover more about yourself. It’s so freeing to know you have another choice.

Are your thoughts what you want?

Joel Osteen says if you want to know what your life will be like in five years, look at what your thoughts are today. What are you experiencing? Is it what you want? Are you open to new possibilities? Pay attention to your thought. What are you thinking? Your thoughts create your reality. Your life is a reflection of your thoughts. Your thoughts directly influence your life experiences. What possibilities are you creating for your life? Did you know you were creating your life? There is so much to do and experience. The world is meant to be a mirror for you to choose the things you like. Everyone’s choices are different. It is what makes you unique. You came here to explore. You learn by the adventure of your choices. If it’s not working for you, choose again. Life is full of possibilities when you awaken to how your thoughts are creating your life. What can you discover about your thinking? What do you need to change to create what you desire? What possibilities are you willing to be open to receive? Say yes to life this week. What new things have you discovered about how you react or respond to new possibilities? Remember, your thoughts are creating your life. Are they what you want?

Discover – All the Possibilities

We had the best weekend. We were able to discover new places and new opportunities. Bo’s cousin’s son was married at River Edge in southeastern Oklahoma and we were invited to be a part of the festivities. We didn’t even know this place existed. The wedding was outdoor with friends and family. We were able to be surrounded by all these people who loved and cared about John and Amey. We were sponges learning about the connections with everyone. Life provides so many opportunities to grow and expand your horizons if you are open and willing to take advantage of what is possible.

A few years back we had stayed in some cabins that are nearby at Eagle Cliff by Octavia. They were fabulous and we thought we had found paradise when we found those. This area was just as fabulous if you enjoy outdoor adventure. There are so many possibilities. River Edge has canoeing, biking, hiking, fishing and relaxing. The property is beautiful and very secluded. The scenery is gorgeous. The trees were changing and the views were spectacular wherever you looked.
The cabins are fabulous and quite romantic. Each cabin is located on the river’s edge. No television, just beautiful decks on your cabins to sit out and enjoy the sounds and view the wildlife. We spotted a huge owl in the tree in the front yard of our cabin. I had never seen one so large, it was exciting. We saw 6 deer on our hike. There was so much to do and enjoy with little time to take it all in. We will return.

There is so much to discover right here in Oklahoma. How are you taking time to discover another world around you? Are you open to the possibilities that life presents you? Are you grateful for it?

What really makes your heart sing?

As you go through your day, are you aware of what really makes your heart sing? Do you know what pulls you down? We were given this life to live it boldly. You were created to do great things. You have gifts that are needed to be shared. How do you know what’s working in your life? Pay attention to how you are feeling. If you are feeling good or great, you are moving in the direction of your true self. If it doesn’t feel good, somehow you are not heading into the direction of your desires. Take the time to discover what is true for you. See how your flame is burning each day. Is it burning brightly or is it a diminished flame? Each day for 30 days, take the time at the end of the day to reflect on your day. Write down the things you were pleased with, the things that made you feel good and smile. Then do the same thing with the things that pulled you down. Rate each one on a scale of 1-10, 10 being the highest. Write out why each made you feel that way. For example, today I walked Hefner Lake with one of my friends. The lake route is 9.5 miles.  It would be a 10 for me. My flame is still shining brightly from it. The reason why it is a 10 for me is because it is a way I push myself to stay healthy, and I get to share it with someone special to me. Then the key is discover the patterns you see as you do this for a month.  Keep doing more of that which fills you up and eliminate the things that you do not like. You are in charge of your life. You can make other choices and create the life you want. Discover how easy it is to turn your life in a new direction when you become aware of how the choices you make impact how brightly your flame burns.

Discover – Shedding the layers

The purpose of life is to grow into your perfection. The joy in life comes as you tap into your own gifts. That means you are to become yourself, not anyone else. You don’t need what other people have. You need only what lies within you. Everything is within you. You have heard about how Michelangelo carved the statue of David by chiseling away all that wasn’t him. That is the same thing for you. To discover your perfection, you begin the process of shedding the layers that are not the Divine you. Where do you begin?

The Course of Miracles says your task is not to seek love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that have been built against it. Are you loving yourself? Who are you? The task then is to remove blocks, whether they are obstacles in the forms of hurts, un-forgiveness, outdated beliefs or resentments. Our growth occurs as the result of removing these obstacles and not actually from the need to acquire anything new. Yet, many of us think we have to have another degree, a certain job, hang out with a certain group of people, our bank account to be a certain amount of money before we are worthy or good enough. For me, I thought it was the other way around. I thought if I had it all together, then I would be worthy enough to have what I desired. The truth is that my Ph.D. and promotions filled some desires that I had but not the aching of my heart. The desire for those achievements was more to prove myself rather than seeing them as a tool to help me fulfill my heart’s passion. Where can you shift your thinking to align with discovering your perfection, to follow your heart?

You are shaped by the hopes and aspirations of your parents and the world around you. As you enter adulthood and begin living your own life, are you living your dreams or someone else’s dreams? Do you know you have a choice to live the life you want and deserve? Discover if you are living the life you wish to live. Each phase of your life is meant to be fulfilling not just going through the motion of moving into the next day doing the same things.  Begin to discover the life you desire rather than one you feel others expect of you. Are you a pleaser? Are you competing to show someone that you are better than a sibling you were compared to growing up? Are you proving yourself worthy? What grudges are you holding that you can remove? Where do you need to forgive yourself as well as where do you need to forgive others? Begin to see where you need to remove obstacles or shed layers of your past life that are no longer serving you to grow into your perfection. Discover what it is that you need at this time in your life to feel your heart’s desires. Have the courage to take steps towards reaching it. This is your life. You were given the present of your life at this time and place to fulfill a need. You will discover more and more about yourself as you pay attention to what feels right for you. Just like a garden, you need to cultivate the soil to allow plants to grow. Let go of all that is no longer serving you, claim that which is right for you today. You were meant for great things.  Keep the flame burning and keep your thoughts focused on what you desire.

How are you finding meaning in your life?

How are you finding meaning in your life? What are you saying to yourself about your life? What are your thoughts about life?

If you aren’t living your life on purpose, you come to a point in time in your life where life feels shallow or empty. You are being more negative than positive. You could be numbing yourself in ways to shut out the internal dialogue or push to reach for a higher purpose. You could be all worn out from all the responsibility of life. Peace comes when you are no longer only looking for satisfaction in the outer world, but when you are also listening to your soul. It’s when you know that you have a bigger purpose. It’s when you are living on fire, in passion.  It’s when you have put together the puzzle pieces of your life and realize your purpose.

For me living on purpose is when I am inspiring others to live their best life. Just like with writing these blogs and weekly messages, I hope something in the messages could help enrich someone’s life. I want to awaken others to all of life’s possibilities. I want to share the wisdom I have learned to help others grow and be all they are destined to be. Are you willing to look at your life and see where you are living on purpose? Are you willing to challenge yourself to make another choice in the areas where you are not living your life on purpose? Have the courage to take at least two actions this week to move you closer to your Divine purpose. Acknowledge yourself for the great work.