Tag Archives: gratitude

Don’t Stop Believing

believe

–I am grateful that I believe in the journey and in myself.
–I am grateful that others believe in me and in my work.

light

–I am grateful that I believe where there are shadows and sadness there is also light and joy.
–I am grateful that I have those who walk the pathways with me, whether the path is dark or light.

creator's child

–I am grateful that I am Creator’s child and I believe that I am worthy of laughter and love and hope.
–I am grateful that you are Creator’s child and that you share this journey with me.

aliciaDoSomethingGood

–I am grateful that I believe we all have a chance to do something good with our lives.
–I am grateful that I believe that together we can move beyond where we are right now and go forward to be better than ever.

gratitude

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#Gratitude During Troubled Times

Gratitude reaffirms life and love, in spite of these troubled times. If practice makes perfect, I should rock at finding gratitude for I am not stranger to troubled times. In 1989, I lost my education, my home, my work, and everything I owned that couldn’t fit into a passenger van because of violence due to being a lesbian. How do you find gratitude on a daily basis when something like that occurs? Yet, if you do not feel gratitude today, in this moment, hope cannot survive for it sees nothing of worth to which to cling.

All across the nation, there is mass depression and fear–from children of immigrants crying in the classrooms because they fear their parents will be deported to threats of escalating violence.
My wife and I are not immune to it.

The incoming vice-president declared one of his first priorities was to obtain government funding for so-called “conversion therapy”. Two types of conversion therapy are (a) electroshock treatment which destroys parts of the brain and was decades ago proven useless in both LGBT “conversions” and alcoholism; and (b) aversion therapy in which drugs are used to cause violent illness in the LGBT person every time the “undesirable” stimulus is shown. Aversion therapy links the undesired behavior to an unpleasant stimulus. The “undesirable” stimulus for lesbians would be other women; the “undesirable” stimulus for gays would be another man.

Meanwhile in the light of that statement, a lot of LGBT people, myself among them, can’t help but wonder that once government funding is obtained—with Republicans holding Congress and the White House this is not an ungrounded fear—how long will it be until “conversion therapy” is mandated for all LGBT people?

In spite of the depression, the fear, the hatred, and the violence we must find something worthy in life, something for which to feel grateful or life becomes a weight upon our backs that grinds us to the ground. Gratitude is the foundation of hope. Without hope, despair becomes the vortex that swallows us.

How do we find gratitude during these troubled times?
serenity-prayer

1.The Serenity Prayer. Whether you begin with God or Goddess or Creator makes no difference in the efficacy of this “prayer”. Even if you are atheist, this is a helpful mantra. Simply substitute “I must find the serenity within me to accept….”

2.Three times a day—morning, afternoon, and evening—step outside regardless of the weather. If it is cold, feel the bracing clean power of the cold. If it is warm, revel in the pleasant heat. If it is rainy, turn your face up to the life-giving rain. If it is sunny, let the sun beat upon you. If it is snowing, make snowballs and snow people; lay upon the ground and create a snow “angel”.
All seasons are necessary for life. By appreciating each type of weather, you are grounding yourself in something that you cannot change while letting its power soothe your heart.

3.Set aside time each day to read, watch television—not the news!—or play some silly game. Buy a coloring book and color. Let your mind and body rest.

4.DO NOT watch the news, listen to the news; read newspapers or news articles in the magazines. Give yourself time to adjust and heal before tackling the negativity you will inevitably find in those places.

5.At night, the last thing before you go to sleep, find the good things in your life and list them in your mind. This is a Gratitude List. The last thoughts we have before sleeping often determine how well we rest and what our mood is when we awaken.

If you are having a difficult time finding good things in your life, begin with the basics: I am alive. I can (list the senses you possess—hear, see, smell, taste, touch). My dog loves me.
siab

I have adequate clothing for this moment. I have a friend(s). My family loves me. I have a job (or if you are unemployed, I have the ability to find a job).
There are many basics and those are determined individually. Find the basics and repeat them night after night until you can begin adding other things to your nightly Gratitude List.

6.Stay away from marijuana and alcohol, even in small doses. They are both depressants. That’s why you get that “mellow feeling”; however, if a person is already feeling “down” or “blah”, alcohol and marijuana increase that negative feeling.

7.Stay away from negative friends and family. Tell them you don’t want to talk about the current situation. If they insist on discussing it, leave.

8.Exercise. Exercise releases natural chemicals in your body that enhance positive feelings.

9.This is NOT the time to begin a diet. Diets often depress people because of their perceptions of their own bodies.

10.Be gentle with yourself and others. We are all in this together.

dreamagain This is nearly impossible without the building block of gratitude upon which to lay your foundation.

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Pictorial: Attitude of Gratitude

beauty
Because….
creators-child
No matter where you’ve been or what you’ve done….
change-2
Leave behind the strife that fills your soul and …
carrypeace
Remember….
choosetobe
Embrace that which is unique within you because…..
diversity-2
Remember, in many ways, you control your own happiness…
iamhappy
Even when….
light-in-darkness
It is there. Keep foremost in your mind that….
purposeandbeauty
And know that….
noroadsolong
Just….
openheartbeauty2
And always…
rejoice-in-love
For….
thegreatestbeauty

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THANKSGIVING! 10 Thoughts

Blessings quote image

  1. Thanksgiving isn’t a day–it’s an attitude!
  2. Have you made your Gratitude List today?
  3. If I can choose between living in the dark of despair or stepping into the light of hope, why would I choose the dark? Each day we have that choice.
  4. If you’re having a really bad day and can’t think of anything to be grateful for, stop and hold your breath. When you take your next breath, inhale with gratitude. This was really brought home to me when our elder Betty’s emphysema got really bad. Sometimes, I felt like I struggled with her as she tried to catch that next breath.
  5. Dwell in beauty, so that beauty may dwell in you.
  6. Be the reason someone else is grateful!
  7. A dog’s love never fails. If you own a dog, you always have a reason to be grateful.
  8. Remembering to be grateful for the small things in life is good for your health. Gratitude reduces stress!
  9. Smiles are contagious!
  10. Why wait for Thanksgiving? Give thanks every day!
    priceless gifts received
    May you and yours find many things to be celebrate this Thanksgiving Day, and every day.
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Grandma’s Lessons

Thanksgiving

As Thanksgiving draws closer, I am even more than normally aware of those things for which I am grateful. One of them was, and still is, my grandmother. Grandma had a third grade education which allowed her limited reading and writing skills. Today we’d call her semi-literate or functionally illiterate due to the limitations. She was one of the people responsible for my love of learning, of reading and writing. She was also one of my greatest teachers.

Mom finally moved all of us out of the poor part of the city and out to the country. For me this was great, but with Mom working full time Grandma had to walk to work in whatever weather Pennsylvania threw her way. The restaurant where she worked as a dishwasher for ten plus hours every evening was two miles from her home. She walked both to and from her job.

My grandmother wasn’t a saint, though. One time her boss Big Gary, the owner of the restaurant where she worked, came into the kitchen on a real tear. He’d lost quite a sum of money at a poker game in the backroom. His son Little Gary, the cook, got a verbal blast first, then the waitresses who were gathering up the plates to serve were cursed. He swung his angry red face toward Grandma.

At the time, Grandma was in her late sixties while Big Gary wasn’t far on the down side of forty. When the first words out of his mouth were abusive, Grandma turned to the sink, picked up an iron skillet–big iron skillet–and brandished it as she walked with slow intent toward her boss. In a calm voice she said, “You will not speak to me in such a manner. You will leave this kitchen right now.”

Big Gary paled a bit, but tried to bluff. “You wouldn’t dare hit me.”

Grandma walked another step toward him. “I never threaten.”

Whatever he saw in Grandma’s black-brown eyes caused him to whirl around and hurry from the kitchen. Not one person moved during this entire exchange. When he disappeared through the swinging doors, they turned and stared at Grandma, waiting. Perhaps, they thought she’d break down in tears of remorse, or fear for her job.

Grandma quietly removed the apron from around her waist. “Little Gary, please inform your father that I quit.” She picked up her coat and purse and left.

She was about a half mile down the dark, rural road when Little Gary idled up next to her. “Please, let me take you home.”

She bent down and leaned on the sill of the open window. “You don’t need to do that.”

“Please, Dad said to take you home. And… and I’d like to.”

She pursed her lips and gave a brusque downward jerk of her chin and climbed into the car.

The next day, Big Gary sent a dozen red roses and a card with an apology. “Please, come back to work.”

Grandma tossed the card in the trash, but saw no reason not to enjoy the roses.

The following day, Big Gary’s wife arrived in the afternoon with a box of expensive chocolates and more roses–yellow this time. Grandma invited her in for coffee and they chatted, mostly about interior decorating–one of Grandma’s passions. Big Gary’s wife loved Grandma’s ideas and asked her, “When all this hoopla is over, may I send a car and have you brought to my home? I’d like to hire you for a consultation.”

Grandma said, “There is no hoopla. I quit. I will not be spoken to or treated in such a manner. And, yes, we can arrange a time for me to look at your home.”

“I want to apologize for what happened…” Big Gary’s wife started to say.

Grandma interrupted, “You have no reason to apologize. You have done nothing wrong. It is your husband who wronged me.”

The following day, Big Gary arrived. Box of chocolates, another dozen roses–pink– and a bonus check in an envelope. He apologized and arranged for his son to pick up my grandmother for work and to bring her home at night.

And, so until Grandma retired from the restaurant, she had a ride to and from work and Big Gary had learned a valuable lesson. He never arrived in the kitchen when Grandma was present to yell at anyone.

One of the things I am most grateful for are the lessons–such as the ones I learned from this incident–that Grandma taught me. She never preached at me; it was the way she lived that taught the lessons.

What are you grateful for? Please, share!

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