Posts Tagged ‘gift’

Living with Thanks!

 

 November is a time for thanksgiving; a time for pausing in gratitude for the many blessings in our lives. Living with such an “attitude of gratitude” is essential for a happy life because it turns our attention away from lack into plenty, from poverty into abundance. From this mindset that we can truly see the glass half-full, regardless of its contents.

No matter what your spiritual or religious beliefs, having a thankful consciousness can mean the difference between living in misery or joy. I am so grateful to notice the difference in my life and to have awoken to this Truth long ago. Will you join me? Living with thanks is ultimately a choice. Are you willing you move past petty differences with others to see and appreciate the beauty in them? We all have gifts to give and none is more priceless than the gift of love.

Today, I invite you to thank God, by living with thanks. Another words, living with a grateful heart. Show kindness. Give generously. Practice patience. Live in Gratitude. Say ‘Thank You’ often.

Namaste’,  (Peace be with you)

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.

 

Be Grateful for Family

Family is something to cherish. Family means everything to me. I am so grateful for the loving family I have and for its ever expanding size as well as deeper connections. We celebrate together, morn together, uphold each other and support each one another in good times and in bad. This is what family is all about.

Of course we don’t always agree on each other’s choices, but this is to be expected from all individuals. Real love shared within healthy families cut through disapproval, misunderstandings, and disagreements. When was the last time you laughed with your family? How about shared in a meal?

Life is precious, handle with loving care. Let your family members know how much they mean to you. Be grateful for your parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles, and cousins today. I sure am. These moments create strength and connection that infuse life with meaning.

Our very identities come from this family unit who name us, teach us, guide us, and of course love us; no matter what! Family is the foundation upon which we belong and extend to a much larger magnitude than biology. We are each part of a global family as human beings sharing this beautiful family. Many of us are part of a religious or spiritual family. Some of us are even part of an extended family from spouses and friends. This idea of family is made up of many factors and today, be grateful for whoever you choose to call your family. They are one-of-a-kind and are the primary source of love and support for each of us. Family is heritage. Family is culture. Family is faith. Family holds values and traditions that are unique to us all. Family reminds us that we are never alone on this journey called life and that we are inextricably connected to each other.

Be grateful for your family today. Treasure time spent together. Communicate your feelings of love and appreciation for your loved ones. Notice the warmth in each smile or hug. Breathe in these quiet moments, remembering them often. Give thanks for your family today.

Lazy Days

I love lazy days. I didn’t always though; in fact, they have become an acquired taste I’ve learned to enjoy without beating myself up for being non-productive. The reality is, lazy days allow us to rest and rejuvenate from a week or month of fast-paced, busy living! Some of you might be saying, “that’s what vacation is for”, but how often do we fill our vacations with hectic schedules in different scenery? I know I do because I don’t want to waste a minute of it, sleeping or heaven forbid relaxing as there is always something to do or see that’s new and it fills my need for adventure.

On the flip side, lazy days are schedule free with no time constraints or adventure. They are what my mom likes to call “drop dead days”. Morbid title I know, but it gets the point across. My mom has a bad habit of pushing herself to the brink of exhaustion before allowing herself to take one of these days. By then, she really was ready to “drop dead” and couldn’t push any longer. How many of us over-achievers or perfectionists does that sound like?

Nonetheless, you may be thinking, “What does this have to do with gratitude?”. Well read on. Just today, I gave myself one of these lazy days; well an afternoon, but that’s a start. Lately I’ve been feeling exhausted and run down, tired of all the commitments I’d gotten myself into and somewhat depressed. After church, I spent the rest of the day with my husband and our dog Buttercup. We played and talked; did much of nothing and it was wonderful. Just what the doctor ordered! Now I feel relaxed, refreshed, and motivated again;  my batteries are recharged and I’m more productive too.

So when was the last time you did absolutely nothing; perhaps took a nap or leisurely read a magazine, or even a few movies on TV and weren’t sick? Exactly. That’s the point of enjoying regular lazy days, cause they actually prevent illness! Plus you can enjoy them without all the nasty symptoms that come with a cold or flu. Which would you rather have; down time when on your terms or down time when you feel too bad to enjoy it!

My challenge for you is to choose regular lazy days before your life catches up with you or better yet, passes you by in a whirlwind of activity. Become the master of your schedule and take the time to smell the roses once in a while; it will reduce your stress as well. I am sure grateful I did and my relationship will be stronger for it.

Mindfulness

Mindfulness is the practice of being fully present in the moment. I have learned the importance of mindfulness while eating, listening to others, and completing daily activities, however there are many more opportunities for mindfulness. I love to start and end each day in gratitude for all the blessings in my life as it helps me stay alert to the limitless possibilities available in each and every activity. Turning mundane tasks like cleaning dishes or folding laundry can be transformed into meditative practices that help ground us in the present moment.

Do you find yourself on automatic pilot regularly? This happens when our bodies are engaged in a task and our minds are somewhere else. It is the opposite of mindfulness and the epitome of distraction. When I live my life on automatic pilot, I miss out on the joy and connection that is only available in the present moment.

Thankfully, practicing mindfulness is easier than you might think. All that is required is complete attention on the very thing which you are doing NOW.  That means, no more multi-tasking! The truth is, human beings were never designed to complete two tasks as once and whenever we go against God’s Divine Design, we miss out. Harnessing the power of mindfulness becomes easier with practice and soon appreciation follows for all the gifts that follow; least of which is simplicity, focus, clarity, and peace.

So, try practicing Mindfulness today and allow the present moment to cleanse you in ways you can’t even imagine.

Today, I am thankful and grateful for the many blessings available to me each and every moment. I am open to increased clarity, focus, joy, and peace as I practice mindfulness in everything that I do.

“I am so Blessed”

Singer, songwriter, Karen Drucker wrote a song entitled “I am so blessed” from her album Songs of the Spirit II, which I have entitled today’s blog because it is so fitting. Below is a link to her website where you can hear this song for yourself and buy a copy of her CD. http://www.karendrucker.com/pages/music.htm

I had the great pleasure of participating in two, new, experiences September 1st. One was a book study and the other a magnificent woman’s group that enticed authentic action from me while tugging at my heartstrings and stirring up my passion/purpose. I learned so much from both experiences and grew more empowered and enlightened as a result. It is amazing the breakthroughs that can happen amongst other like-minded beings when brought together for a common purpose.

I am so thankful for the opportunity of these groups and for being fully present in them so that I could take full advantage. As a result, I had a fabulous day that was way more powerful than if I was just sitting at home alone. I was reminded of the importance of balance, prioritizing, practicing new skills, facing fear & moving forward with purpose & passion. I was reminded that I teach people how to treat me and that I have the right to be assertive in getting my needs met as well as making my boundaries known.

God reminded me of the importance of simplicity, again, and modeled what that looked like from both facilitators as well as provided me an opportunity to practice it with a friend that evening. All that was required was deep listening to another person, being fully present for them and to God, so that I could be a clear conduit for Spirit’s Wisdom. And what a relief it was. No pressure, or anxiety or stress. No worries or fear. No fuss. Just the willingness to listen from both ends. To the person in front of me and God. What could be greater than that.

I also learned to appreciate where I came from in my life and the power of just one decision. I was reminded of a dark time when my self destructive ways led me to a crossroads and how I made a conscious choice to live and stop trying to kill myself. This one choice made all the difference in my life and placed me on the path I am today. It led me to recovery and sobriety, to college where I earned my Bachelor’s in Social Work, and most importantly back to God; Source. From then on my Faith began to grow and I learned to trust God in every area of my life. I learned that God had a Divine Plan for me and that I was special and unique with specific talents and gifts designed for greatness. I learned that all the pain I’d experienced wasn’t in vain and that it all had meaning. For God never leaves us or forsakes us; God walks silently alongside us, waiting for us to reach out to him/her. God was there and always has been there. It’s me who moves away and forgets; who turns a deaf ear or becomes blind to the wisdom, love, strength and absolute power that lies in the Almighty. And the best part is, realizing that this power resides in me. That God lives in the center of my being as Spirit and that we are forever connected. That realization alone is what set me free from the roller coaster of addiction as well as suicidal depression. The knowledge that I am not alone and can never be abandoned. The knowledge that I have all the wisdom I will ever need right inside of myself to answer any question or make any decision in my life. The knowledge that comes from trusting God, having Faith, and surrendering control so that I don’t become lost of crazy in the details. I am so grateful that God has got my back and has supplied me with everything necessary for this earthly adventure. Thanks be to God. Blessed Be. And so it is.

Fantastic, Wonderful, Authentic, Friends!

Friends pick us up when we are down. They provide comfort in the face of despair and laughter when life gets too serious. The gift of friendship goes way beyond socializing as it validates and supports the very essence of who we are as human beings walking through life together. Without friends, the stress of day to day life would become too much and we would miss the perspective and wisdom that comes from sharing of ourselves in such intimate ways. No other relationship has greater impact on us than that of friends, since they are among our choosing.

Friends reflect back aspects of us that we don’t see in ourselves. Sometimes this signals a need for healing or forgiveness and sometimes it helps us celebrate the preciousness of who we are. We get an opportunity to practice new behaviors, play, be our authentic selves, learn, grow, and make mistakes in the presence of a safe person who really knows and accepts us. A special bond exists among friends that lovers and family can’t fill; for friendship is all about mutual caring and support without the romantic or family ties that can stir up drama and dysfunction. Friends help us to see the humor within ourselves and the world around us. We also get to practice listening, boundaries, intimacy, generosity, and trust (just to name a few). Friends help get us out of our comfort zones and encourage us to grow and spread our wings. We in turn, help them to do the same and take this into the world with others.

While there are different kinds of friends as well as levels of friendships, the gifts are immeasurable and positive. At each stage, our evolutionary growth can be catapulted, just by allowing another into hearts and lives.  Even 1 friend who loves and supports us unconditionally is enough to change our personal world and alter how we show up in life; making us better people.

Tell your friends how much they mean to you; show them with appreciation, love, and gratitude. Treasure your friends today and relish in this most special relationship. Give them and yourself the gift of friendship.