Posts Tagged ‘blessings’

Fall is upon us!

I am so thankful and grateful for the abundance that is all around. I appreciate the cooler weather, shorter days, and changing leaves. I enjoy the taste of a bountiful harvest and the privilege to share what God as given to me with family and friends. Pumpkins, candy, lights, and costumes bring festivities to life, putting smiles on children’s faces and lightening up everyone’s mood. I love making traditional fall recipes; chili with corn bread, apple pie and vegetable soup. Life is such a blessing.

With each season, there is a new opportunity to start fresh. I am grateful for new beginnings and new chapters of my life. This season, I say goodbye to one residence and hello to a new one. Goodbye to apartment living and hello to house maintenance. I also had to say goodbye to an old friend and hello to new ones. One constant though, is my faith in God; that is unshakable.

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Blessed to be Free

During July, Americans celebrate freedom and independence. Fortunately, I was blessed to have been born in the United States of America where I am free to speak my mind, believe whatever I desire, own property, have multiple children, vote, practice any type of profession, travel and create a life of my own choosing. Many people around the world don’t have this kind of luxury. Perhaps you are one of these people.

One thing we all have in common however, is the ability to choose our own thoughts; that in turn reflects our attitude, and ultimately our life experiences. Regardless of political, social, religious, or economical oppression, nobody can control what is inside our heart and mind; this is 100% under our own control. We can choose to forgive and we can choose to have faith. Even in the case of “brain washing” or psychological torture/abuse, our soul/spirit is untouchable. This divine essence always knows the truth of our being and provides more sustenance than food or water.  There are countless stories of such experiences from people who have been imprisoned, oppressed, abused and tortured who have risen above all adversity as a result of this Truth. They never lost sight of their freedom to choose their own thoughts, attitudes and attitude despite any circumstance.

The story of Immaculée Ilibagiza, is a perfect example of this concept during the 1994 Rwanda genocide when she and seven other women huddled silently together in a cramped bathroom of a local pastor’s house for 91 days! During this horrific ordeal, Immaculée lost most of her family, but she survived to share the story and her miraculous transition into forgiveness and a profound relationship with God. To read more of her story, get her book Left To Tell or check out her website for yourself. http://www.lefttotell.com/

The story of Viktor Frankl, a Holocaust survivor, is another example of someone who utilized his freedom of thought to endure unspeakable horrors. For more of his story, read his book Man’s Search for Meaning and discover what he learned about freedom. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viktor_Frankl

When I think of these brave people, I am so thankful and grateful for the freedoms I enjoy and for the choice of thought/ attitude/ perception, that is inherent to every human being on this planet.

What freedoms are you grateful for? Take a moment to reflect on what you might take for granted or tell your story and comment below.  Here is what the books look like for featured authors mentioned above. They are definitely worth reading!

 

With love and blessings; gratitude and Joy,

Lisa

 

Celebrating Life!

I love celebrations; don’t you?

I love the planning, the decorating, the cooking, and the gathering of family and friends that celebrations provide. I deeply value holiday traditions and personal milestones in other’s lives as well as my own. I believe this is what makes life richer and keeps relationships close. Celebrating special occasions of any kind, remind us of what is truly important.

Thankfully I grew up in a family that always celebrated birthdays, holidays, and special occasions; but I’ve known some people who don’t know what this is like. While I can’t relate, it reminds me how lucky I am to have family and friends who celebrate the milestones in my life and whom I can celebrate in theirs. We all need people to celebrate our lives with, as this makes life more joyful, meaningful and special.

 Celebrating other’s accomplishments, milestones, or special occasions is a privilege and honor that is filled with excitement and fun. It allows everyone to bask in positive emotions that uplift even the sullen of hearts. When we take part in celebrating with family or friends, we are sharing in their joy; acknowledging their uniqueness, while displaying one of life’s greatest gifts… love.

Taking time to celebrate with loved ones, friends, strangers and co-workers fosters greater relationships for everyone present. It brings people together and allows us to “let our hair down” and relax so that we can truly be ourselves. When we’re in this state of being, we are more open and receptive to the unexpected, making our vibrational frequency higher; this results in greater manifestation of our hearts desires. It is no accident why many single people find their soul mates at weddings, parties, or other social occasions. Nor is it by accident that many business opportunities occur while casually networking at celebrations. Perhaps this is why many companies hold employee picnics, office parties and retreats.

Regardless of the reason for celebrating, take a moment to breathe it all in. Savor all the sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and touch of others. Give thanks for this precious time on earth and appreciate all the gifts you have been given. Cherish those around you with kindness and acceptance. Wouldn’t that be something to celebrate!

Thank You Dad

Father’s Day is a time for celebrating the dad’s in our lives. Whether they are or were our biological father’s or not, we acknowledge the significant men in our lives today for being there in good times and bad; teaching us about life, playing with us, raising us with positive values, for believing in us and always loving us unconditionally. Thank you Dad for caring. Thank you Dad for taking your responsibility to me seriously. Thank you Dad for putting a roof over my head, food on the table and clothes on my back. Thank you Dad for protecting me from the harsh and sometimes cruel world. And thank you Dad for instilling confidence in me and self-esteem. Thank you Dad for always looking out for me and setting healthy boundaries so I would learn from my mistakes and make good choices. Thank you Dad for paying attention to me, listening to me, and following through with your promises. Most of all, thank you Dad for showing me that you are human and that it’s ok to make mistakes. I’ve learned so much from you; regardless of your intentions or actions.

There are many of us who grew up without a father figure or an abusive dad who didn’t know how to be there for us the way we would have liked or needed. Instead of feeling bitterness, anger, and/or pain today, lets forgive our Dad’s by acknowledging they were simply doing the best they knew how at the time. Often times, they were just repeating patterns of behavior from their upbringing and don’t know any better. Dad’s make mistakes, just like we do. We’re all human and don’t mean to hurt one another… it just happens sometimes when we’re hurt or upset or don’t have healthy coping skills. While parents are supposed to model healthy behavior, they often don’t know what that even looks like. As a child, this is difficult and painful. Many people have developed negative feelings towards their dad’s for a myriad of reasons. I honor and respect that. And I know that anger and resentment only hurts us and causes lots of other problems.

However, as adults we can make different choices. We can choose to forgive our dad’s and ourselves and move on. We can also choose to get help/ support to resolve the past as well as overcome unhealthy patterns of behavior so that we can be positive role models for our children and grandchildren. It is possible to release and let go with love. I encourage anyone with unresolved father issues to seek help in order to not repeat them with your own children. When we take this courageous step, we can truly be happy and embrace the blessings of our dad’s.

For those who have a great relationship with their dad; let them know how important they are to you and celebrate their presence in your life. Recognize the bravery and determination your dad has shown; honor his wisdom and sacrifices. Thank him for bringing you into the world.

Namaste’

Lisa

Blessed to Impress!

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There is no greater blessing than to notice the beauty in others. When we are fully present for another person, we are respecting them and ourselves at the highest level. It makes a lasting impression in today’s fast paced society to actually focus on the people we encounter every day. It fosters deeper intimacy among romantic relationships and even friendships.

Here are some quotes on blessings from Steve Maraboli, author of Life, the Truth, and Being Free that are sure to inspire and impress (make an impression on) the people in your lives. 

  • “The time has come to harness the blessed power within us and to use it to transcend from our current existence into a more empowered reality.”
  • “You have been blessed with immeasurable power to make positive changes in your life.” 
  • “Give yourself entirely to those around you. Be generous with your blessings. A kind gesture can reach a wound that only compassion can heal.” 

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This majestic picture of the Grand Canyon reminds me of the most wonderful vacation I had with my family at this very spot one year ago. I was so blessed to enjoy the company of both my parents even though they have been divorced for over 20 years along with my husband who had never been to the canyon. It was quite impressive witnessing one of nature’s most 7 wonders of the world with those I love. Since I was fully present, savoring each moment, the blessings I experienced were ten fold. I am so grateful for the awareness of these principles which opened me up to the beauty all around me; especially the joy of spending quality time with my family. 

What are some ways you are blessed? I encourage you to meditate on this question for a while. Once you recognize the blessings in your life, it will make a lasting impression on you and everyone around you because gratitude is contagious and elicits joy that is impossible to contain. 

Thank you for being a blessed supporter of this blog. I appreciate your subscriptions and comments as well as sharing with your friends and family. 

Love & Light

Rev. Lisa

The Blessings of Holy Thursday

         Today is Maundy Thursday, a Holy day where Jesus celebrated the Jewish custom of Passover  with his disciples before he was crucified the very next day. This meal commemorates Jesus’ Last Supper which began the sacrament of “Holy Communion” in the Christian Faith.

Before the Passover meal, Jesus washed the feet of his disciples. By performing this lowly act of service, the Bible says in John 13:1 that Jesus “showed them the full extent of his love.” By his example, Jesus demonstrated how Christians are to love one another through humble service. For this reason, many churches practice foot-washing ceremonies as a part of their Maundy Thursday services. “

“Maundy derived from the Latin word mandatum, meaning “commandment,”  and refers to the commands Jesus gave his disciples at the Last Supper: to love with humility by serving one another and to remember his sacrifice.” (John 13:34)

To read more follow this link. http://christianity.about.com/od/easter/qt/maundythursday.htm

For this post, I want to focus on the metaphysical aspects of these important rituals in showing our gratitude for Jesus and for each other. Share a meal all together with your family and enjoy the gifts of communion. Participate in a community event and experience humility in the face of serving others less fortunate. In order to make today even more personal, think about all the sacrifices your parents made in order to provide you with a better life. Give them a call and let them know you appreciate their sacrifices. If you have children, you can relate to the acts of Jesus as he taught his followers lessons of boundless love and humility. Teach your children about these lessons and show them your love through quality time. The blessings of these lessons are that they are timeless and as relevant today as 2,000 years ago. Create your own rituals that sanctify the sacredness of today.

Regardless of your spiritual beliefs, today can be a significant day of reflection, grace, and service. We can reflect on the sacrifices of generations before us and of our own sacrifices for the generations yet to come. We can perform humble acts of service for others in order to appreciate all the blessings we have in our own lives. In what ways do you show your love to others? How can you transcend the lessons of Jesus today? What hope can you offer?

There are no pure actions too small or too great that can be done in the name of God; in the name of Love. Experience the blessings of Holy Thursday in whatever way works for you and allow the deeper meaning of today remind you of what’s truly important.

 

Gratitude as the Gateway

 

Whatever the circumstance, gratitude can open the door from chaos to order; blocks to breakthroughs and endings to new beginnings filled with possibility. Gratitude is truly the gateway to happiness and more importantly, satisfaction with life. When we choose to look at what is right in our lives, we shift our focus and instantly our energy as well as outlook changes. The darkness of self-pitty and depression instantly become lighter, fear turns into renewed faith and despair turns into hope the minute we surrender and accept where we are in the moment. Being grateful for all the blessings we have in the moment open a space within us to accept the unacceptable with grace and ease. This practice paves the way for peace and clear thinking in which solutions can present themselves. When we are locked by resistance, we block God’s help. Gratitude breaks through the resistance by reminding us things could always be worse and helps us to put everything in perspective. Of course, we may not like the situation, but we must accept it nonetheless.

Acceptance does not mean forgiveness, or turning the other cheek. Acceptance, simply means acknowledging what is. It is what it is. This mindset helps take the emotion out of things and automatically takes the charge out of things. Try it and see for yourself. I’ve been using this technique for almost a year and the results are phenomenal. Of course this tool requires practice as our human tendency is to react out of emotion first and resist looking at things objectively. Unfortunately, this is the way most people handle problems, challenges and uncomfortable situations. However, it doesn’t have to be this way when you practice gratitude regardless of the outcome.

Starting today, write down everything that is working in your life. Using complete sentences, journal what you appreciate about your life and the people who make it better/worthwhile. Think about a challenge, problem or particularly difficult situation or person and find 10 things to be grateful for. Look for the positive in the person or situation and notice how you feel. Notice your energy level as it begins to shifts. Sleep on it. That’s why I love doing this practice right before bed, because the brain will contemplate it all night long in our sleep as it passes from our conscious mind to the subconscious mind where the real shifts occur. The next day, I usually feel entirely different about the whole situation and can see solutions that I couldn’t before. Tell me about your experience and comment below.

Until then, trust the process of gratitude and allow it to transform your heart, mind, and life.