Tag Archives: grateful

Take Stock Of All The Good

Take stock of all the good…

I recently read an article about how to quiet our fear and unlock Joy in our lives. We are almost a year in to the pandemic, many of us are feeling raw or numb. We never thought we’d still be under the thumb of the pandemic after a year. We have all had to adjust our lives in different ways, some of us have lost family members or people close to us call, some have lost jobs and as a result we feel a little fearful about the future. 

One of the remedies offered in the article is to look and see all the simple ways others care for us. For instance, one of my brothers either calls or texts me every day, partly because he wants to check in with me to make sure I’m doing OK, but also, we simply enjoy each other’s company. Prior to the pandemic I would talk to him maybe once a month. My son-in-law is constantly calling or stopping by to help with little things around the house. I am grateful to be looked after in such ways.

Another remedy is called being generous with your life. Look for ways that you can reach out and help others. I was in Walmart last week buying cat litter. Many of the shelves were empty but the box I was looking for had one left on a shelf at eye level. Being short, I couldn’t reach it on my own, but right behind me we’re too young women with a toddler in their cart. They came over and said let us help. They picked the toddler up out of the cart and said what fun it would be to crawl on the shelves, and sent him up on the shelf to retrieve the box that I was looking to purchase. He thought it was great fun, and I was blown away by their kindness.

So even in the middle of a seemingly endless pandemic, if we are truthful and take stock of all the good around us, we will realize that there is still much to be grateful for.

 

~Steve

Bless This Mess

As we approach the end of 2020 it seems an appropriate time to take stock in how the year was for us and how it can shape how 2021 will be.

I have been reading a book by Pierre Pradervand called The Gentle Art Of Blessing, a simple practice that will transform you and your world. It is a wonderfully written call to bless everything and everyone in our world. Even those people and events that we think are troublesome. 

His premise is actually quite simple. We can’t judge and bless at the same time. If someone cuts us off in traffic, rather than think badly or even cursing at them, we can bless them. 

“To bless means to wish, unconditionally, from the deepest chamber of your heart, unrestricted good for others and events.” It is another way of taking ourselves on to become who we truly wish to be, that is, someone who is kind and generous. I believe deep down that all people wish to be kind but fall victim to society’s conditioning. Said another way, we should be giving what we wish to be receiving. 

“When something goes completely askew in your day, when some unexpected event upsets your plans – and upsets you – burst into blessing. For life is teaching you a lesson, and the very event you believe to be unwanted, you yourself called fourth, so as to learn the lesson you might balk against were you not to bless it. Trials are blessings in disguise, and a host of angels follow in their path.”

So as we review the year we have just been through, let’s think about our trials as blessings in disguise. Let’s bless people and events, if for no other reason than to replace our judgment of them.

~Steve

For Those Who Have Passed On

Grateful for those who have passed on…..

I work from home so only go out to do errands and food shopping these days. 

I am on the phone much of the time talking to people here in Vermont and around the United States. Unfortunately the common denominator that keeps surfacing is that we all know someone who has past on this past year. 

Even though many of them are not Covid related, it does seem to be a time of transition. Hopefully, you have not had a family member or someone close to you pass away this past year.

 

I’ve mentioned here before that my wife of 25 years past away  at the end of August. She was an avid writer and had written over 40 books of affirmations and intentions for every imaginable situation.

I am including one here that she wrote that is appropriate for anyone who has lost someone close to them. It is a simple blessing and provides a sweet remembrance especially for these current times. My hope is that it creates peace and solace for you.

For Those Who Have Gone Before… by Toni Stone

you are loved and thought well of…
we have plenty of high intention for you.

you are remembered in gratitude
for all the good you have sourced. we are thankful.
you are enfolded in light and wisdom.
you are embraced, appreciated, still included here.

WISDOM cuts through delusions.
miseries and regrets are quickly dispelled.
light dispels darkness.

peace, satisfaction, and happiness are yours now.
spiritual insights are always happening.

true light strengthens all your thoughts.
you are a vibrant expression of DIVINE qualities…
open to unexpected blessings.

transformative realizations, purify negative memories.

new ideas illuminate understanding.
you are an exact imprint. of wisdom and renewal.

we are grateful and thankful to have known you.

the light of your goodness guides you.

you know the eternal LIGHT is with you.

you are blessed with wonderful love now.

you have ever present help.
only good is unfolding.

~Steve

Season Of Gratitude

Season of gratitude….

With Thanksgiving right around the corner I am especially aware of how important it is to be grateful. Not merely as a concept, but more as an experience that can bring you to tears.

It has taken me the better part of my adult life to fully experience gratitude in my body. One of the turning points for me was reading a book called Gratefulness, the Heart of Prayer by Brother David Steindl-Rast. He has a wonderful video on YouTube where he described why we should be profoundly grateful to simply wake up in the morning. I encourage you to view it here https://youtu.be/3Zl9puhwiyw.

The bottom line is what Brother David expresses is everything in this world has been given to us. The air that we breathe, the water that we drink, our bodies that’s simply work. I used to take all of these things for granted. The idea that I could just go into the kitchen and turn on the faucet and have clean, potable water to drink. Both hot and cold running water when so much of the world doesn’t have it. That is amazing. Really.

This was also my wife’s favorite time of the year. She assigned all of her clients and students to write 1000 gratitudes before Thanksgiving day. I never once heard anyone say ” yay I can’t wait!” The reaction was more commonly a groan or a grunt. It always became an exercise in overcoming ourselves, but in the long run was a glorious exercise. And showed us how there are so many things in our lives day to day, to be grateful for. The people and things that we interact with every day make our lives wonderful, and we can stop and acknowledge that. 

Of course there are some things in our lives we cannot be grateful for, that we wish would never have happened,  or would never happen again, but that’s not what this exercise is about. Trust me, you can always return to that way of thinking anytime you choose, but for today, for now join me in thinking about all of the wonderful things, and all the wonderful people in our lives. Because we can.

~Steve

Spin Cycle

My spin cycle….It’s Sunday night as I write this and I am not motivated enough to make the cup of tea that probably would really make me happy.

My background noise is courtesy of my dishwasher and my dryer.

We got our first snow today and as I was taking my dog out I almost slipped.

Let it begin.

I am already not a fan of this time of year. My precious hours of sunlight are reduced. It gets cold. Believe it or not I do not like pumpkin flavored anything.

I also know what that means. It will really limit what I can do. In a state that just opened a field hospital to say I’m worried for winter is an understatement.

I already have been living my life very much on a spin cycle. A spin cycle I’m thankful for. Please know that. I continually recognize how lucky I am.

Always

But I like everyone, I  miss a lot.

My life is lather, rinse, repeat.

I feel like I’m in a spin cycle.

How much Netflix and crafts can one person do?

I think I’m finding out.

There are good things. I mention them. I spend time with my daughter. Actual sit down, no electronics, hear each other’s words, time with each other. Which is so important right now.

I TALK to my friends. Did you know your phone does more than text and take pictures? It can make calls?

Lol

But I miss people. I am a shy person, but what I wouldn’t give for it to be March again and be back at the last concert I was at awkwardly making conversation with a person while waiting for my drink at the bar.

To not see certain things on the news.

Social media.

To sit in a restaurant. Like sit.

Not rush through a store.

I am definitely a member of the COVID Hair I REALLY care group.

These are small things. They are things, I realize I am lucky to be in a place to miss. After seven months of missing them, they are starting to feel like big things.

I have never been a person to have regrets. Until now.

I also will never take anyone or anything for granted again.

The world’s longest spin cycle has given me that present I never wanted, but I think needed.

I continue to be grateful for my amazing daughter and Wookiee-like dog. My friends who send me songs. Being to actually see my co-workers and talk to them instead of ZOOM all the time.

But I also still have my moments and I have to learn to be ok with that. If I’m being honest that’s my hurdle. I don’t want to lean into that too much. I am afraid if I’ll get stuck …. and my hope is sooner than later this spin cycle will stop. Or at least slow down a little.

 

Be safe

Much love Mommas

<3 Caprise

I Need A Reality Check

I need a reality check…

As I write this as I do every week I am listening to music this week it’s NEEDTOBREATHE “Banks.”

One of the lyrics is “baby  you don’t have to do it by yourself. Want be there when darkness closes in to make the truth a little clearer.”

While I am an incredibly independent person. I keep quite a bit of my life private.

I have moments.

Especially right now in the midst of all of this. I gesture broadly. I begin to wonder as I watch the tenth  romcom on Netflix and  say I don’t want it, but really I do. If I ever will. Have it. That elusive kinda all or nothing relationship and maybe that’s a deep dive for another time.

I have moments where  I feel less than. Where the littlest thing feels like the biggest thing. Where I absolutely can not see that light at the end of the tunnel. Where I second guess everything.

Then the guilt comes. I have so much. More than a lot of other people especially right now.

But in this I have gotten to live in my head a little.

Ok, a lot.

I need a reality check.

There are so many things I wish I could take back. There are so many things I wish I could say. There are so many things I wish I had done.

I am heading into my fifth month of essentially wearing outfits that can be work or nighttime wear as I rarely leave the house.  I really can’t stand seeing my face on ZOOM anymore.

I started out with a pixie and now have graduated to a shaggy bob.

I’m really not sure if I will be able to wear shoes or jeans again.

Meanwhile, I am doing that thing you/ I should never do. I’m comparing myself to these women who are baking the banana bread, teaching their children French and look immaculate everyday.

I might be exaggerating a little.

We’ve been put in this fishbowl and now things I normally don’t see or wouldn’t see or don’t care about.

There they are.

In my face.  All the time.

But then out of nowhere while I am writing this very blog, having a gigantic pity party.

My taller than, me thirteen year old asks if she can have a cuddle.

She gets a pillow and puts it in my lap. She gets quiet. I ask her what’s wrong.

She gestures at the air.

“This.”

I hug her.

Suddenly I really don’t care that I have been living in t-shirts. I can’t imagine how she is feeling. Her school year ended abruptly. She couldn’t celebrate becoming a teenager with a big party like we had hoped. She sees her friends sporadically and when they do see each other it’s six feet apart with masks because we are in the part of the country where cases are spiking. Her new school year will be virtual. She won’t get to play the only sport she loves.

She has only seen her Dad once.

And in all of this you know what SHE did? She took my phone and put daily reminders telling I’m beautiful. I’m loved. She put post it’s on the mirrors with positive sayings.

She always says I love you. I get all the hugs I can handle.

Even during all of THIS.

THIS is something I continue to struggle to put words to. But I’m incredibly thankful for the amazing human that keeps it real for me.

My reality check.

No more pity parties. I am not less than I am someone’s Mom and that is definitely more than enough.

Much love Mommas

Be safe

<3 Caprise

Wake Up Call

Wake up call…One could say that I’ve been in a bit of a funk for the past couple of weeks. I’ve woken up every morning with no sense of excitement for what the day could possibly have to offer. Of course, being stuck in a house all day might not seem exciting for a teenager, but I knew deep down that this was not the source of my unhappy state.

I began to realize, that each day presented an “obstacle” that felt incredibly difficult to overcome. These minor inconveniences would shift my entire mood because I felt as though nothing could go my way. Although I am referring to these events as “minor”, it took me a while to view them in this manner.

It wasn’t until truly major obstacles began to affect the people close to me, that my entire mindset changed. Something clicked in me when these events started to occur, and the only way I could possibly describe it, is a “wake up call”.

In this moment, I stopped and reflected on my behavior in the last week. I realized the ignorance that I was demonstrating even though there was nothing to be upset about. The problems that I was facing were NOTHING in comparison to what people have had to go through in these difficult times. It was then, that I learned that we cannot let minor troubles get to us.

I am beyond blessed to have a wonderful family, a healthy life, and a positive upbringing. Unfortunately, it took some time for me to realize it. These recent times have taught me that tomorrow is never promised, and for that reason we must be present in everything we do, and try to enjoy every moment we have with those whom we love. I am proud to say that those insignificant issues that I have experienced, no longer affect me the way they used to. Now, I look at the bigger picture, and notice just how lucky I am for everything that I have been blessed with.

-Dani <3

Noelle’s Groundhog Day Diary

Noelle’s Groundhog Day diary submission:

Day 10,093

May 7th, 2020 3:25pm

May 7th…really?  A snowstorm predicted for the weekend here in Northern VT…WTF, REALLY??? 

My BFF was in a car accident this morning while we were doing our morning check-in….really????? (she is OK, not her fault) 

One of my mentors isn’t feeling well today….OKAY, REALLY??????

I am sitting at my desk in the middle of an unorganized mess and I don’t even really care, the kitchen is a disaster and there is laundry that seems to multiply every time I turn around….and I am SO SICK OF FEEDING PEOPLE AND DOING DISHES.  I need a nail salon and my hairdresser and mostly, today– I want to stomp my feet and throw things…LOL…  Fairly sure that most of you reading this know what I mean when I say “enough already” with all this…

SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO…how do we transform ourselves from all of that into positive, happy humans so that we can keep going?  We recognize that circumstances do not dictate our moods—we do.

Our attitude is our choice and we can simply decide to be happy or grateful or enthusiastic etc—just because we SAID SO.  I know, I know…some days it is easier to do this than others.  Believe me—right now, every single morning I have to talk to myself for about 10 minutes to convince myself to be in a good mood and to get up and get going and make the best of what is happening.

What you resists—persists.  We must learn to accept and be okay with what is so that we can keep going — keep doing the next thing in front of us.  It is OK to be angry, frustrated, pissed off, sad, annoyed, lazy, unproductive etc.

It is not ok to quit or give up or make other people suffer from your nasty mood when you have one— everybody is having a hard time with some aspect of what is going on in the world right now—we can have space for how we are feeling in the moment and still move on up and out of that moment.  We can have unproductive days—it is all OK.  Don’t stress out over trying to do this the “right way” –there is no blueprint for how to navigate these times.

Just do the best you can every day, have Grace for yourself on the days that are tough and give yourself and other people space when needed.  I will see you Sunday morning on FB Coffee Chat at 10am.

XOXO, N.

Happy 51st Birthday!

Tomorrow…51st Birthday?!?! WTF? How did that even happen???? I was literally just, like 30! The kid is 18 now too, going on 60 or so he thinks…he’s moving out soon, looking for an apartment with his friends as he works full time as a Sous Chef and tells me it isn’t “cool” to be a Sous Chef and living at home….he says it is ruining his image….pardon me while I roll around on the floor laughing. I am ruining his image???? HAHAHA—-what do you think he did for mine all these years???? (Continues to laugh until she snorts)

So now what? Here I sit at 51 and soon the kid will be on his own…so what now? It strikes me that I don’t even know who I am without having to be concerned about the boy 24/7— I support him moving, I was on my own at an early age too—-so I get that. It’s just that a moment will catch me and I am like completely undone for a flash. Composure is regained and I keep moving…I am not sure how I will sleep at night not knowing exactly where he is or if he got home safe from work…and I can’t always be asking…he will just say I am being a “helicopter parent”. I don’t think regular people GET what it is like to give up everything to pour yourself into the job of raising a child ALL on your own and having to pay for EVERYTHING and then all of a sudden it is complete…at least this phase because of course we are always their parents….that is a lifetime position….lucky us:)

Then there is the whole 51 issue…damn if I had $5.00 for every lesson I have learned…honestly it seems like the first 50 years was just training ground…sometimes I wonder how the hell I made it!! Also what is with the lines in my face all of a sudden??? Like where the F did those even come from??? UGH!

So let’s talk about some of the “biggies”—-lesson wise that is—-

I learned to watch for behavior patterns as well as actions…words I have discovered mean little….actions are important and patterns will tell you even more. Patterns show the history of someone’s behavior and that is SO important.

-I learned how to walk through fire and hell and come out the other side and I learned that the fire refines me every time and every time I come out stronger and wiser. The fire seasons are hard, yet they are the biggest gifts. Truly. When you are IN them, they are hellish—-when you are out the other side you come to appreciate their value to your growth.

-I have learned patience…mostly…:)

-I have learned how to set boundaries and how to say NO

-I have learned that I cannot fix people and I cannot save them….no matter how much I love them or how much I want to…only they can save themselves.

-I have learned and seen first hand that no matter how long it takes, karma NEVER loses an address.

-I learned that I am not for everyone and that is OK.

And lastly I learned to understand my worth and to value that…this one took almost the whole 51 years to get…

There are SO many more…however those are the BIG ones, the ones that came as a result of walking through fire seasons. Life really is a work in progress and change is what keeps pushing us forward…the kid moving will be its own season for me, not quite a fire season yet some sort of reclaiming…

Reclaiming parts of myself that I had to put aside in order to effectively be his mother and make it work…it will be interesting to see who I become now that I can breathe a little…I look forward to sharing this coming season with you.

I will say that I am grateful for ALL of what came before and that I have also learned to have GRACE for myself and for others as well as I learned that everything really IS working together for good even when I cannot see.

Talk next week.

XOXO,

Noelle

Reconstruct Your State Of Mind

Reconstruct Your State Of Mind.

Imagine for a moment that we lived in a world where people actually understood that the words they speak go forward to create their future.  In that world there would be very little complaining or negativity and how peaceful it would be.  If you were to ask me what I thought was the most important lesson for you in this book my answer would be for you to fully understand that your words, thoughts, feelings and actions create your future.

What we spend our time thinking about, talking about, listening to, looking at, reading and watching all have great bearing on what is created in our lives.  Understanding this gives us great power.  If your current circumstances are unsatisfactory it is well within your reach to change them.  All you need is a little reconstruction coaching.

HINT: If you think it, if you speak it-

 IT WILL COME TO PASS

 

Direct Your Thoughts

Start to direct your thoughts to what you want more of instead of spending time thinking about what you don’t want more of.  Stop complaining about the things that aren’t working.  You have to acknowledge the things that aren’t working so that you can correct them; however, there is no need to complain to everyone about them as this will only create more of whatever the problem is.  The first step in this process is to merely become conscious about the words that you are speaking.  Are you grateful?  Do you constantly complain?  Are you always talking about what’s wrong?  Do you speak ill of others?  Do you praise and acknowledge people?  Do your words inspire people?  Do your words hurt people?

Once you have a clear picture of the kind of talking you are doing you can take actions to alter it.  Begin to sprinkle some gratitude into your speaking, talk about what went right for the day, make an effort to see the good in situations and speak about that.  You have the ability to direct your life and your future by directing your thoughts.  You can change your whole outlook on life by simply changing your speaking.

Fake It Till You Make It

In the beginning, doing linguistic surgery on yourself will be extremely uncomfortable as your thoughts will still be the same old moldy ones from the past and your new words will seem stupid.  This is where you fake it till you make it.  Feelings follow thought so direct thought — direct feeling.  After awhile your new thoughts will turn into new feelings.  For instance, you will start to talk about how successful you are and pretty soon you will feel like a success and then the circumstances for you to become a success will materialize.

Remember the movie ‘Field of Dreams’ when Kevin Costner’s character built the baseball field and he just kept saying it would work.  Everyone thought he was crazy and he just kept right on saying it would work and it did.  Real life is actually like that for those of us that understand Universal Principles.  You begin by speaking what you intend and then you start moving into the thoughts, feelings and actions that will bring it into being.  Lots of times in the middle of doing this you will appear to others as stupid and they may even feel sorry that you are so committed to what they think is a pipe dream.

Think of all the success stories you have heard, they all started out as an idea that had no background of obviousness.  Somebody had the thought and they backed it up with feelings and actions and they brought it into being.  So can you.

An excellent way to push yourself into new thought patterns is to do affirmations.  Find or write affirmations that talk about how you want your life to be and then spend a few minutes each day reading them.  I have been doing affirmations since I was 12 years old and these days I spend 20-30 minutes a day doing them.  I have included some of my favorites in this book.  An affirmation is a statement that affirms what you want to have happen.  As in:

-I am healthy.

-I am successful.

-I am losing weight everyday

-I am grateful.

-I leave behind old states of mind

-I create a future unlike the past

Saying or reading affirmations is a great way to re-train the mind into thinking things that will move you forward into a prosperous, healthy future.

A Little Gratitude Goes A Long Way

There are so many things to be grateful for and yet most people demonstrate very little gratitude for anything.  Expressing gratitude is the quickest way to bring good into your life as what you praise naturally increases.  In addition to changing your speaking and thinking, practicing gratitude is a required component for rejuvenating your life.  The very act of gratitude is regenerative to the soul.  For those of you that aren’t sure what gratitude or being grateful actually mean here are Webster’s definitions:

Gratitude:  a feeling of thankful appreciation for favors or benefits received; thankfulness

Grateful: feeling or expressing gratitude; thankful; appreciative

When you find yourself in a bad state of mind start mentally listing the things that you have to be grateful for and yes there is ALWAYS something to be grateful for.  Taking the time to think about what you are thankful for instead of thinking about what you are suffering from will allow miracles to occur in your life.

I remind myself to practice gratitude daily by making a list every night of what I am grateful for.  You can even be grateful for things in advance to help bring them into being.  I was grateful daily for my weight loss long before it manifested itself.  I keep a gratitude journal in my bedside table and I make myself write something in it every night.  This is another discipline that I force myself to practice and there are days that I don’t like this one either.  On bad days I feel hard pressed to get to gratitude so on those days the list is short, however it is still there.

Practice some gratitude and I promise that your acts of thankfulness will return to bless you many times over.  It is also a great idea to teach children the skills of being grateful as early as possible given that they are our future.

From the Inside Out

True and long lasting change will occur from the inside out and must begin as an idea.  Once you have the idea of changing you begin to put a plan in place and the workable plan includes changes in thought patterns, speaking, surroundings, company that you keep, feelings that you have and behaviors that you practice.  The first change occurs inside you as you begin to see yourself in the new way.  As you see yourself newly you begin to speak and think differently which will cause you to take different actions.  Inner behavior starts to change and as a result outer circumstances will follow suit.

It doesn’t work to try and start change from the outside in.  If you changed your outer circumstances without reconstructing your state of mind the changes wouldn’t stick.  You can only rejuvenate your life from the inside out as your current circumstances were brought on by your current state of mind.  Therefore, if you want to change your current circumstances you must first change your current state of mind.  Remember that creation occurs in the unseen (mind) and manifests itself into the seen (reality).  In other words, whatever you are creating in your mind with your thoughts and feelings will bring itself into manifestation.  If you think you are unworthy and poor you will create that.  If you think and feel fat and unhealthy you will create that.  If you have the power, why not just create yourself as a success?  A fit and healthy success that is.

Some of these ideas may be new to you and may seem a little strange, however I promise you that they work when properly applied as I have been actively using them since I was 12 years old.  I encourage you to do your own research and give them a try; it certainly can’t hurt to be positive and grateful, right?

~Noelle

**From Noelle’s book, “Practical Change…8 Ways to Rejuvenate Your Life”