Archive: April, 2014

April 30, 2014

Gratitude is a choice

gratitude

Recently I was talking with a friend about gratitude. She asked about finding the things to be grateful for. She talked about how hard things have been and how it’s often easier to focus on that.

I get that.

I know how consuming the hard and the bad can be. I know how unfair things can feel. I know grief and anger and discomfort.

We talked about journaling and how easy it is to fill our pages with the yucky stuff. And then I said to her, “And at the end of the day, I can always find something for which I am grateful.”

And then I went home and thing after thing kept going “wrong.” I was cutting something for my daughter and accidentlaly cut my favorite sweater. I dropped things. I waited too long to reserve a specific apartment in Paris and lost it to someone else. My daughter woke up at 4:45am and decided she was ready to start her day. Yeah. So where was my gratitude then???

The truth is I still could have found gratitude. There were still plenty of wonderful amazing things in my life…all my basic needs were being met…I still loved my work and my family and my friend and my city. And at the same time, I figured it was OK to be frustrated and bummed and tired and overwhelmed. In that moment I didn’t want to feel grateful.

Gratitude is a choice. It is something that I choose often because I usually feel good when I do…but I also think it’s OK to feel all of the other things in your life too. I’ve written about feeling multiple emotions at once…if we only look at the good we might miss something important…if we only focus on the bad the same thing happens. If we take everything for granted we are missing out and if we are grateful at the expense of truly feeling our feelings that is problematic too.

Gratitude is a choice.

Today I choose to feel grateful for the sunshine, an upcoming trip, a gleeful toddler who no longer wants to hold my hand while she toddles and cherry pie on the patio.

I’m also feeling all of the other things going on in my life…but today it feels easy to choose gratitude.

What will you let yourself choose today?

You might be interested in these similar posts -

Gratitude doesn’t mean pretending things aren’t hard

Living isn’t for the faint of heart

Looking for BIG and missing the little

Filed under: Emotions, Gratitude — admin @ 5:53 pm

April 26, 2014

Love will make you stronger!

What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger!

How many times have you heard that phrase? How many times have you said it? I know from experience that the hard things do build strength and character and trust and beauty. I know that we grow from our challenges. I also think sometimes we over-pride ourselves on hardship and deprivation. Are you seeking out the hard? Are you relishing the pain? Are you equating ease and gentleness with weakness?

We fancy the underdog and pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps…no pain no gain!

Yes, yes to all of those things. I love seeing people persevere and overcome the odds. Does struggling for something make it worth more?

I also love seeing people love themselves. I love seeing people taking care of themselves. I know that we can grow and change and get stronger when we treat ourselves well.

Imagine a flower. It’s so incredible to see those tenacious little flowers growing in rubble. Those tough flowers pushing themselves through the cracks of cement. That juxtaposition is moving. Now imagine a flower that is fertilized and water and loved. Is that flower less beautiful, less special because it was cared for? In some ways that tended flower can be even more robust, right?

heart flower

Are you tending the flowers of your soul? Are you tending to yourself?

I know that we will all experience times when we need to be strong…times when we will struggle and strain and fight our way through. And yes, they will make us strong. We will overcome and it will be hard…and sweet…and hard.

Don’t overlook the strength that comes from love and caring. Don’t forget the power self-love can provide. I’m wrapping up my Shower Yourself with Love class and I’ve seen first hand the strength that love creates. It’s been a gift to remind myself about self-love every single day. I’m putting myself in the equation. I’m filling my own cup. I feel strong. Love will make you stronger!

Filed under: Love, Self-love, Strength — admin @ 4:42 pm

April 15, 2014

Are you looking for someone to complete you?

Magical other

The fact is, however, external changes are not going to solve your problem because they don’t address the root of your problem. The root problem is that you don’t feel whole and complete within yourself. If you don’t identify the root properly, you will seek someone or something to cover it up. You will hide behind finances, people, fame and adoration. If you try to find the perfect person to love and adore you, and you manage to succeed, then you have actually failed. You did not solve your problem. All you did was involve that person in your problem. That is why people have so much trouble with relationships. You began with a problem inside of yourself and you tried to solve it by getting involved with somebody else. That relationship will have problems because your problems are what caused the relationship.”  -  Michael A. Singer from the untethered soul

Filed under: Change, Relationship, Self-love, Trust — admin @ 9:48 am

April 11, 2014

What is the point of life?

point of life

Do you wonder about the point of life? Or the meaning of life?

Why are you alive? What do you want to leave behind? What do you want to do with your life? Are you scared about dying?

If you knew you only had two weeks to live, what would you do? How would you live differently?

And what keeps you from doing that now?

Death often shakes us up and makes us more alert. It reminds us that we are alive and asks us, “What are you living for?” People who have had near death experiences talk about how they “woke up” or realized how precious life is or were never the same after the experience. They share there is a different quality to life, it’s in technicolor. It means something. What does your life mean? People who are dying may take different risks or share things they have holding in or show up differently. What would you do if you found out you have 3 months to live? What risks would you take? Who would you forgive?  Who would you connect with? What if you disappeared and no one noticed?

It’s one thing to contemplate our own death….and it’s another to be rocked by the death of someone we love. I remember standing in a parking lot when my dad was dying and watching the leaves blowing in the trees and wondering, “How can the world just keep moving? Why isn’t every just halting to a stop?!?” My world was forever changed, why wasn’t the rest of the world stopping? When he died I felt really confused about the point of life. This is something I hear from other people too. There is questioning about “the point of life” or why we are here. There may be uncertainty about what it all means or if it is worth it. If the people we love can disappear, why risk love? What is the point? There is just so much pain and uncertainty.

What is the point of life for you? What do you want? What do you want in your life?

Some people say having a family is the reason we are here. Or they want to leave a legacy behind. For others life is about making a difference. Some people believe life is about having as much fun and adventure and experiences as possible. For others there is no point of life, you just do the best you can.

What do you want your life to look like?

What is YOUR point of life?

At the end of your life what do you want to feel? What do you want to look back on? Have you read about the top 5 regrets of the dying? Would you have any of these regrets?

One of the gifts of my dad’s illness and death is that I’ve been able to reflect on my own life, my own desires and what life means to me. What does life mean to you?

Filed under: Death, Grief, Live Your Best Life — admin @ 12:44 pm