Posts Tagged ‘life’

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

 

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!

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.

 

Where is Gratitude in your life?

 Today, I decided to kick of this post with a good, ol, fashioned poll. See link below to participate!

What do you think about Gratitude? I want to know because I think it’s worth looking at in order to become present to our everyday blessings.  Author, Melody Beattie has a great little book out called Gratitude; Affirming the Good Things in Life.  Inside, Beattie reminds us of the principles of Gratitude; recognition, affirmation, acceptance, and goal-setting. What aspects of gratitude stand out for you?

Acceptance of our current circumstances, shifts our attention from drab to fab in the blink of an eye, uplifting our attitude as well as our mood making stress a thing of the past. Now this doesn’t mean we have to love everything in this world, but it does mean we need to accept life on life’s terms. When we practice acceptance, space is opened for gratitude to rush in and that’s where the magic happens. Our whole outlook on life begins to change and fear, negativity, along with depression simply fade away.

As Beattie so beautifully reminds us, “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”

According to Gogratitude.com, “Gratitude is the Master Key that opens all doors of possibility”. They even have a flash movie and a 42 day gratitude journey with inspiring  and educational videos to kick-start you on the grateful path. Although they call it an “experiment” what more could you ask for to try a gratitude practice of your very own? What have you got to lose anyways… our old ways of being will certainly be there.

I for one, can attest that when I come from a place of gratitude, my heart is open and my eyes are anew; life looks a little brighter, my face and body become more relaxed, my finances increase and judgement simply disappears. So why don’t you come along and take the gratitude challenge with me by seeing how this practice can add years to your life in a prosperous and joy-filled way!

[polldaddy poll=5536043

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.