Archive: Gratitude

November 9, 2018

Simple ways to start a gratitude practice

I know things are hard for many people right now. I also know that during the month of November there is a lot of talk about gratitude. Some people participate in 30 Days of Thanks and post daily gratitude on social media. Some people have their own personal or family traditions that center around gratitude. For the last two years my daughter and I have created a Gratitude Wreath during the month of November.

gratitude wreath

We start with a large circle and a bunch of leaves that we cut out of paper. And every day we each write down something we are grateful for on one leave and then by the end of the month we have a wreath full of thanksgiving and happy memories!

I know that gratitude doesn’t “solve everything.” Gratitude doesn’t erase pain. Gratitude doesn’t cancel out heartbreak. Gratitude doesn’t make everything better. However, I often feel better when I make space for gratitude. Gratitude can give us perspective and it can also improve our mood or help us feel less hopeless.

Here are some ways you can start a gratitude practice –

  • Do 30 Days of Thanks (or something similar) – name what you are grateful for every day for 30 days.
  • Keep a gratitude journal -

You can do this alone by writing down 1-3 things you are grateful for each day. Or you can do it with your partner. Creating a gratitude journal with your partner can be a great way to highlight what is working in your relationship and your love and appreciation for each other, even when things are hard.

Use a notebook or journal and each taking turns writing something every day. Write about gratitude you feel for your partner or gratitude for your relationship. You can write big things, small things, silly things, sexy things, specific things – anything you are thankful for. On days when you are frustrated or angry with each other, notice if you can still find something you are thankful for.

As you move forward with this, you’ll end up with a large list of things you are grateful for and things your partner is grateful for. If you are feeling sad or frustrated you can read some of the entries to remind yourself of how you have both felt…or on special days or anniversaries you can reread your entire journal.

Start small. Choose one thing you can do every day. Or choose to start with a limited time (one week, 30 days, three months, etc). And notice how you feel as you start to take inventory of the things (or people) you are thankful for!

Filed under: Family, Gratitude, Presence, Relationship, Retreat — admin @ 2:23 pm

January 13, 2017

What do you want this year?

2017 desires

I was recently taking an inventory of 2016.

The year was tough for so many of us.

It was easy for me to see the things that were painful.

I was sick a lot. My dogs’ were at the vet a lot…A LOT. I didn’t hit some of my goals (business or personal).

More than that, there was a ton of collective pain, loss, heartbreak, injustice and tragedy.

What a bummer.

So I tried a little harder.

Instead of just listing what happened or what I did, I also asked myself -

What did I learn?

When did I feel loved?

What moved me?

How did I grow?

What will I take with me?

What do I want to leave behind?

and then I thought about 2017. I looked at the year ahead of me and asked, What do I want to say about 2o17?

At the end of 2017 what do I want to write down?

How do I want to feel this year?

What do I want to do? Big things and small things.

What will make me feel like it was a good year?

What are my goals?

What adventures do I want to have?

How do I want to spend my time?

What will feel good?

And that will be my beacon this year.

I’m not making resolutions. I am setting goals and exploring desire. I am toying with a word of the year but I’m still trying it on.

This year I’m looking at a bigger picture of what I want my life to look and feel like. And then I’m committing to do what I can to create that picture.

If resolutions work for you great! If you don’t keep your resolutions past January 15th, that’s OK too. As you think about this coming year, ask yourself - What do I want this year? And what will I do to make it happen?

And then get support to make it happen. Read a book, join a group, find a buddy, take a class, put it on your calendar. If your wishes for 2017 include pleasure, love, intimacy, desire or sensuality – check out my classes. They may be the support you are looking for. AND they are all 41% off! Use code happy41 at checkout.

Filed under: Boundaries, Desire, Gratitude, Holidays, Ritual — admin @ 9:20 pm

November 26, 2015

Thanksgiving Blessings

Thanksgiving

Yesterday I loaded up the car and headed to Central Oregon. My daughter napped for the first hour and as I drove I thought about previous Thanksgivings.

As a child we drove three hours to my grandparents house each year. I would sprawl out in the back of our van and read my Nancy Drew books the entire drive.

I thought about last Thanksgiving when we came to this same ranch and I sat with my dear friend as we watched our kids pile up pillows and leap off the couch into the fluffy mountain. I watched my dear girl soar through the air and squeal with delight. In that moment she was less baby and more big girl.

I remembered the Thanksgiving years ago when I had a migraine and stayed home alone. Trying to sleep. Feeling sorry for myself as I pressed an ice pack against my head.

And I thought about the last Thanksgiving I spent with my dad. 2011. I hoped I was pregnant, but it was too early to take a test. The whole family gathered in Michigan. Dad was bald from the chemo. We set up folding tables in the living room of my childhood home so everyone would eat together. And my dad said a prayer before the meal where he singled us each out with his gratitude. Lots of tears.

Today on my drive I also thought about all of the things for which I am grateful. I counted my blessings (and lost count).

And here we are. There is snow. There is food. There are children laughing. And there is lots of love. After three Thanksgivings together we have our rituals and traditions. This is my family. Not my family of origin (We will gather with them in Michigan at Christmas time), but my family.

Family takes all shapes and forms and sizes. I’m thinking of you today as you celebrate or don’t celebrate. I’m thinking of you as you gather with family or friends or don’t. I’m thinking of you if you feel alone or unsupported. My hope is that even if this Thanksgiving is hard or sad or frustrating that you have memories of other love-filled holidays. My hope is that today for even just a moment you love and feel loved.

Filed under: Family, Friendship, Gratitude, Holidays — admin @ 9:18 am

March 3, 2015

Reinvent the Love Letter

I come from a line of letter writers. My mom, my gram and I still exchange letters. I was raised to write thank you letters. I also send letters of celebration and sympathy to the people I love. And I try to send letters “just because” to tell my friends or family I love them or are thinking of them or I think they are great.

In my office I often hear stories from people who yearn for loving words from their partner. I hear about people holding on to post it notes with a brief “I think you’re great” message or grocery lists scribbled on a scrap of paper that also include,“You’re sexy!”. I often witness one partner saying to the other, “You never give me cards anymore” or “I miss your sweet notes”.

Love letters make love stay visible. You can rub it, smell it, touch it, share it and sleep with it under your pillow. Sark

When I was last in Paris, I sent a postcard to myself as a reminder that what I want is possible.

Paris Letter

Love letters help take a snap shot of a current period of time. They can act as a reminder or memory keeper.

Love letters don’t have to include “How do I love thee, let me count the ways.” They don’t have to be long or eloquent or complicated.

Love letters can be short.

A note with a simple, “I love you!” goes a long way.

Love letters can be sexy.

Love letters don’t have to include the word love. You can write about gratitude, appreciation, what you admire or notice about a person or words of encouragement.

I’ve written about my happiness jar. The notes I put inside act as love letters to a future me. A week ago I emptied my happiness jar and read about all of the special moments I recorded. I was especially moved to find this note my mom secretly place in the jar.

Mom Note

I found this love letter almost a year after it was written!

When I’m in a relationship I like to leave little notes around the house for my partner to find. These are often brief and hidden in dvd cases or in pockets of clothing or in bathroom drawers or in the stack of dinner plates in the cupboard. Some of the notes are easy to find and are discovered in a day or two and others are found months later.

These love notes can be short -

I love your eyes.

I love the way you kiss my neck.

You are a great mother.

You inspire me.

I admire you.

I’m so lucky to be loved by you.

What about leaving love notes for your friends or family? A card can be delivered in the mail or you can leave one the next time you are visiting. I can’t wait until my next trip to Michigan. I’m going to love bomb my mom’s house!

You can also leave love notes for strangers. Leave a “Your garden is amazing!” note for the special house you walk by every day. Slip a “You are worthy” or “You are lovable” note into library books.

Write a love letter with chalk on the sidewalk.

You Are Loved

Love breeds love. Let’s start a love revolution!

Filed under: Communication, Friendship, Gratitude, Love, Marriage, Relationship, Romance — admin @ 1:05 pm

February 14, 2015

Why I’m a Fan of Valentine’s Day

Valentines Day

I’m sure it’s not a huge surprise that I’m a fan of Valentine’s Day. I believe in relationships. I cultivate romance and sensuality. I love LOVE.

I know there are a lot of people who think Valentine’s Day is silly. I know there are many people who say it’s just a commercial holiday. I’ve heard people say we shouldn’t need a holiday for love or relationships, but should rather celebrate our relationships every day. I get it. I get all of it. I even agree to some extent.

Here’s the thing. Most people don’t celebrate their partner or lover or relationship every day (even those people say we should have the spirit of Valentine’s Day every day). People are busy. People are overwhelmed. Even people who love and adore their partner, may not acknowledge their love every day.

I’m a fan of Valentine’s Day because it’s a reminder to focus on your relationship and your love. I’m a fan of Valentine’s Day because it offers accountability. Over and over in my office I’m told that people are thinking about sex or about romance because coming to see me offers accountability. In the same way that wearing a pedometer gives me accountability for my movement. Valentine’s Day reminds us to LOVE. Love your partner. Love yourself. Love your child. Love a friend. Even if you are single on Valentine’s Day, February 14th can offer a reminder to love.

Being a fan of Valentine’s Day doesn’t mean that I think you need to be extravagant or make it the best holiday ever. It doesn’t matter how you celebrate or what kinds of gifts you offer your lover. My suggestion is that you share your love today. Speak your truth. Let people know you care. Honor your relationship. Be accountable. Celebrate. Engage. LOVE.

Below are some ways you can keep the love and connection going long past Valentine’s Day -

Looking to add some romance to your life? Check out this post.

Here is a post on small ways to say, “I love you.”

My Shower Your Partner with Love PDF is a great way to keep love, romance and connection on your radar. Learn more here.

Filed under: Gratitude, Holidays, Intimacy, Love, Marriage, Relationship, Romance — admin @ 8:18 am

November 27, 2014

25% off all classes!

Gratitude Sale

I am feeling so much gratitude and want to share it with you!

All of my self-study classes are 25% off through Sunday.

Now is a great time to purchase a class for yourself or as a holiday gift.

You Don’t Have to be a Sexy Tiger: Discover YOUR Sexual Self!

Woman is a River: Transform Your Sexual Mythology

Releasing Shame: Embracing Pleasure

Shower Yourself with Love

Shower Your Partner with Love

(all of the links above reflect the 25% discount)

I am so grateful for this work. I am so grateful for the transformation and depth I witness through my work. I am so grateful for intimacy, pleasure, vulnerability and love!

Filed under: Class, Gratitude, Sale — admin @ 8:19 pm

November 15, 2014

On Gratitude

May your heart be an altar, from which the bright flame of  unending thanksgiving ascends to Heaven. - St. Mary Euphrasia Pelletier

May your heart be an altar, from which the bright flame of unending thanksgiving ascends to Heaven. - St. Mary Euphrasia Pelletier

This is the third year that I’ve participated in 30 Days of Thanks. Every day during the month of November I’m posting something for which I am grateful. You can find my gratitude posts on Facebook, twitter and instagram.

There is something so powerful about making gratitude a daily practice. I find as I go through my day so many tiny moments stand out as beautiful.

I’m grateful for my daughter’s hand curled up in mine.

I’m grateful for the way the light shines through the trees.

I’m grateful for clean sheets.

I’m grateful for that first sip of coffee and last sip of cider.

I’m grateful for tiny, beautiful things that are easy to overlook.

When I make gratitude part of my daily practice, I see the beauty in my life more easily. That’s not to say that there aren’t days that are hard. There are times during my 30 Days of Thanks challenge when I think about just skipping my gratitude for that day. I’m feeling grouchy or sad or uninspired. I’m feeling busy or overwhelmed or tired. And the truth is, there is always something for which I can be grateful.

I’m grateful for shelter from the cold.

I’m grateful for food.

I’m grateful for work that I love.

I’m grateful for health.

Gratitude doesn’t erase pain. Gratitude doesn’t cancel out heartbreak. Gratitude doesn’t make everything better. However, I often feel better when I make space for gratitude.

Gratitude gives me perspective.

I choose gratitude.

And some times it actually does make me feel better. It can be just the jolt I need to wake up, pay attention and rejoice for what I have.

Here are some ways you can start a gratitude practice –

Join me in posting your gratitude for 30 Days of Thanks

Keep a gratitude journal

Create a gratitude altar (I’ve pictured one that I’ve started. Use objects, symbols and pictures)

Make a gratitude collage

Fill a gratitude jar

Start a family gratitude ritual

Filed under: Gratitude — admin @ 3:01 pm

October 17, 2014

Shower Your Partner with Love is HERE!

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With so many things competing for our attention, it’s easy to put your relationship on the back burner. When there are deadlines at work, wee ones tugging on your sleeve or dust bunnies the size of elephants taking over you home – showering your partner with love is often not even on your radar.

Shower Your Partner with love is three weeks dedicated to you and your partner. Three weeks of love and attention and romance and intimacy. Three weeks to take you from comfortable to connected – from after thought to after glow.

This self-study PDF is for anyone who is in a loving relationship and wants –

  • To feel more connected
  • More romance
  • To make their relationship a priority
  • More joy in their relationship
  • Greater ease with sex or talking about sex (and more pleasure, passion or connection during sex)
  • to focus on the positive in your relationship
  • Tangible ways to help your partner feel loved and for your partner to help you feel loved
  • Daily connection or shared ritual in your relationship
  • More kindness in your relationship

What we’ll cover –

  • Specific ways you feel loved and how to share them with your partner
  • Cultivating gratitude in and for your relationship
  • Creating daily connection – no more ships just passing in the night
  • Ways to interrupt negative cycles and ways to create positive ones (love begets love, passion begets passion, hope begets hope)
  • Deepening intimacy – in and out of the bedroom
  • Sex – you know I couldn’t host a class for couples without throwing sex in there!
  • Romance
  • Small things you can do to make your relationship a priority
  • Giving and Receiving
  • And More…

How it works –

The online course took place earlier this fall. You can now purchase the complete PDF that includes video, audio, writing prompts, activities and exercises. The PDF is laid out so you can complete it in three weeks or do it at your own pace. I’ve given you something to do with your partner or for your relationship each day for three weeks.

I also included a bonus 21 ways to shower your partner with love after you complete the course!

It’s a tune up for your relationship. Three weeks dedicated to your love. Three weeks where you can really focus on each other. Three weeks where you can feel adored and also adore your partner.

Cost: $59

Add to Cart

You wouldn’t expect your garden to grow without tending it. You don’t expect your car to run without filling it with gas or changing the oil. Your relationship (and your partner) will flourish when you put some energy toward it.

Filed under: Class, Communication, Gratitude, Intimacy, Love, Marriage, Relationship, Vulnerability — admin @ 9:40 am

August 15, 2014

Shower Your Partner with Love!

10608969_10152619890747970_1484111546_n-2

  • How much energy do you put into your relationship?
  • How often do you make your partner a priority?
  • How does your partner make sure you feel loved and cared for?

With so many things competing for our attention, it’s easy to put your relationship on the back burner. When there are deadlines at work, wee ones tugging on your sleeve or dust bunnies the size of elephants taking over you home – showering your partner with love is often not even on your radar.

A committed relationship offers comfort and stability. It’s nice to know someone has your back. It’s nice to know that someone will be there at the end of the day. It’s nice to be a part of a team.

It’s also easy to get a bit too comfortable. It’s easy to say “I love you” as part of a routine. It’s easy to tune out when asking about your partner’s day. It’s easy to really care about each other and still get into a rut. It’s easy to go through the motions or be on auto-pilot.

Shower Your Partner with love is 3 weeks dedicated to you and your partner. Three weeks of love and attention and romance and intimacy. Three weeks to take you from comfortable to connected – from after thought to after glow.

Couples often tell me how much they miss the “honeymoon phase.” This class won’t bring you back to that time (I can’t recreate all of the love chemicals that were going off in your brain when you first got together) but it will help you look at your partner as your LOVER rather than you co-manager or roommate. I will put your attention on the love you have for each other. I will give you ideas for ways you can turn up the volume on that love and and create some tenderness or heat in your relationship.

This class is for anyone who is in a loving relationship and wants –

  • To feel more connected
  • More romance
  • To make their relationship a priority
  • More joy in their relationship
  • Greater ease with sex or talking about sex (and more pleasure, passion or connection during sex)
  • to focus on the positive in your relationship
  • Tangible ways to help your partner feel loved and for your partner to help you feel loved
  • Daily connection or shared ritual in your relationship
  • More kindness in your relationship

What we’ll cover –

  • Specific ways you feel loved and how to share them with your partner
  • Cultivating gratitude in and for your relationship
  • Creating daily connection – no more ships just passing in the night
  • Ways to interrupt negative cycles and ways to create positive ones (love begets love, passion begets passion, hope begets hope)
  • Deepening intimacy – in and out of the bedroom
  • Sex – you know I couldn’t host a class for couples without throwing sex in there!
  • Romance
  • Small things you can do to make your relationship a priority
  • Giving and Receiving
  • And More…

How it works –

You will received an email every week day from September 8th – September 26th. The emails will include video, audio, writing prompts, activities and exercises. I’ll share tangible ways you can shower your partner with love (the beautiful thing is that you partner will get the same email and be showering you right back with love!).

For 3 weeks you will receive multiple ways and ideas to cultivate love in your relationship.

It’s a tune up for your relationship. 3 weeks dedicated to your love. 3 weeks where you can really focus on each other. 3 weeks where you can feel adored and also adore your partner.

After the 3 weeks you will receive a PDF version of all the material and you can revisit it on your own at any time.

Cost

$59 per couple

This class is currently full. The PDF will be available for purchase in October.

You wouldn’t expect your garden to grow without tending it. You don’t expect your car to run without filling it with gas or changing the oil. Your relationship (and your partner) will flourish when you put some energy toward it.

There are so many things competing for your attention – give yourself and your partner the gift of 3 weeks where you both are showered with love!


June 14, 2014

Hooray for dads!

fathers day

As someone who has lost her dad to cancer, I know this day can be hard. I know it can be hard for those of us grieving and missing our fathers. I know it can be hard for dads who are missing their children and can’t be with them today. I know it can be hard for anyone who wishes their father was more of a loving presence in their lives. I know today can be painful for anyone who feels let down by their dad.

I also know there are many wonderful, loving, supportive, fantastic dads out there!

I celebrate Dads and Father Figures today.

And I also hold a little extra space in my heart for anyone struggling today.

Happy Father’s Day!

Filed under: Gratitude, Holidays, Parenting — admin @ 3:54 pm

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