“The good life consists in deriving happiness by using your signature strengths every day in the main realms of living. The meaningful life adds one more component: using these same strengths to forward knowledge, power or goodness.” – Martin Seligman
Gratitude is a key ingredient to real optimism and whole-hearted living. Starting a daily gratitude journal can transform ordinary days into extraordinary days.
A Verywellmind.com article offers some simple and doable tips on starting and maintaining a gratitude journal:
- Decide on a Journal – online or paper;
- Decide on a framework – long form or lists;
- Commit to a schedule – do it everyday;
- Keep writing – things unwind and unfold when we write them down.
The 5 Minute Journal app has a morning and evening check in a very simple format. In the morning, you record 3 things you are grateful for and 3 things you will do to make today great? And then daily affirmations – I am… In the evening, you record 3 amazing things that happened today, How could I have made today even better? You can look back and see how you make progress when you do it daily.
Being intentional, aware of your blessings daily and saying “thank you” fosters an abundance mindset. Knowledge, power, goodness.
“‘Thank you’ is the best prayer that anyone could say. I say that one a lot. Thank you expresses extreme gratitude, humility, understanding.” – Alice Walker
“Look at the sky. We are not alone. The whole universe is friendly to us and conspires only to give the best to those who dream and work.” – A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
“Aim for the sky, but move slowly, enjoying every step along the way. It is all those little steps that make the journey complete.” – Chanda Kochhar
Suddenly the sky swoops down and pulls us upright to our proper position. Released from the abyss of our circling scarcity thoughts into the abundant majesty of the whole universe inviting us in.
Conspiring, surprising and overcoming our eyes with brilliance, hue and light.
Breathtaking. Radiant. Bedazzling.
Extraordinary beauty in ordinary moments. Available to all, accepted by few. Be one of the few and look up.
“Amazing Grace, How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost, but now am found
T’was blind but now I see” – John Newton
“To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work.” – Mary Oliver
“Love is friendship that has caught fire. It is quiet understanding, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving. It is loyalty through good and bad times. It settles for less than perfection and makes allowances for human weaknesses.” – Ann Landers
Sasha and Abby follow me around and keep a close eye on me. When we go for a run, they glance back to make sure that I’m still there. This adoring unconditional love is why we love our dogs – they are both friend and family, teaching us to be better humans.
Each day is a relentless pursuit of more joy than the day before. They look deeply into our eyes, wanting to be seen as much as they see us. They make it easy to love them.
If only we would love and treat people in the same way that we love our dogs. Unconditionally, loyally, with concern and care, drawing out the best in them and accepting their faults and foibles. It’s not easy to love humans a lot of the time but somehow dogs have figured out how to do it. Seeing the best, forgetting the worst.
If you want to experience the deep colors and hues in the world, open your eyes and see others with no judgment, assumptions or angst. When we look deeply into the eyes of others, we see ourselves, sharing the same imperfect, finite and beautiful journey.
If you need a model of eternal optimism and unconditional love, look no further than our four-legged, bright-eyed furry friends.
See and be seen. Cast light!
“Each day holds a surprise. But only if we expect it can we see, hear, or feel it when it comes to us. Let’s not be afraid to receive each day’s surprise, whether it comes to us as sorrow or as joy It will open a new place in our hearts, a place where we can welcome new friends and celebrate more fully our shared humanity.” – Henri Nouwen
Open the door and lay down the welcome mat to your heart and soul. We seal the windows and lock the doors of our mind to possibility, hope, and serendipity. The time is right now, not some distant fictional future of perfect circumstances – more money, better relationships, 20 pound lighter, the perfect job. Start right where you are at in this very moment to welcome the gift of today and the calling for you to be exactly where you are at now.
Welcome the world in and walk out boldly into it with your authenticity, flaws and beauty, imperfections and worthiness all wrapped up in one unique, gifted human who is made for joy and delight.
Soak in the light and cast it out in return.
Day 3 of 30 on the positive mindset habit train – all aboard.
“People are like stained – glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.” – Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
“There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.” – Edith Wharton
I have fond memories of this lamp through decades of seeing it as a center piece at my Aunt Terry’s house. It’s been 26 days since she passed away and the lamp was moved carefully and solemnly to my house today. My eyes keep getting drawn to it and there’s comfort in it.
As I walked by it tonight to turn it off, it reminded me of the beautiful light that we all have within us. It shined the brightest and with little effort when we were young.
With the passage of time, our lights often dim and flicker. Yet, our light always remains within longing to come out to dance and play with abandon. And when we show our beautiful light to the world, it gives the “permission slip” to others to join us on the field trip of joy and gratitude.
No matter where you are on your journey, you have a beautiful light within that remains steady and unwavering. Let it out.
Shine, beautiful light.
“Your inner knowing is your only true compass.” – Joy Page
“Our obligation is to give meaning to life and in doing so to overcome the passive, indifferent life.” – Elie Wiesel
Even flowers know to lean into the light. Light warms the heart, exposes color and hue, cultivates gratitude, builds resilience and pulls us from the depths of indifference. Lean to the light and let it do its work on you.
“A lot of people resist transition and therefore never allow themselves to enjoy who they are. Embrace the change, no matter what it is; once you do, you can learn about the new world you’re in and take advantage of it.” – Nikki Giovanni
“The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.” – Maya Angelou
We did the final haul out tonight of the few remaining items in my parent’s house. 41 years of memories, now empty rooms for someone else to fill up. Bittersweet to be sure, but it’s time. Over 3 years after Dad has passed with Mom only there a few days a week, it time to say good-bye again, let go and move on.
As with all transitions, we know when it’s the right time and yet we linger and hang on one more minute, or year or more. A lot of good memories have been built through the years in this place, but the memories were with the people first, place second. Any yet we are still tied to place, even though home is within and with others.
So good-bye old friend and welcome new memories in new places with the same and new people.
Closing is Thursday. The final good-bye of many over the past 3 months of preparation. And then moving on. So often we only see the loss and miss the gain in the process. We cling to things so tightly that we miss the gifts of now and the promise of what is to come.
There are times and seasons for everything. Let go, move on and open your arms and heart to what’s new, next and calling. Life is about experiences and relationships not about stuff and structures.
“Pink looks good on everyone.” – Jeffree Star
“Dream, struggle, create, prevail. Be daring. Be brave. Be loving. Be compassionate. Be strong. Be brilliant. Be beautiful.” – Caterina Fake
When we awaken to partake in the joy of a late, unexpected bloom, entering abundance and enough, God surprises us yet again with pink hue sprinkles. Humble show off.
The original Creator calls us to notice, pay attention, be in awe, wake up and rest in His creation. And then He calls us to the action of creating with the colors He has generously given.
When we stop hitting the snooze button and finally wake up, being surprised again and again by beauty abound, it is our duty to show pink to others.
Look for the pink all around today and never let delight and awe waiver. Joy ticks off the devil and praises God and His creation. Never let your joy be stolen and satisfy the darkness. Throw in some hope, grace, faith and love and you have a full house. Tough to beat that hand.
Look for and cast light.
“God is offering an invitation. A call to waiting. A call to the mysteries of the cocoon.” – Sue Monk Kidd
“The fullness of one’s soul evolves slowly.” – Sue Monk Kidd, When the Heart Waits
As summer winds down and “back to school” awaits just around the corner, another season enters and the pace quickens. Summer invites us to slow down and take in sun, flowers and long weekends.
I’ve yet to experience a slow summer or a fast winter. But all seasons have their purpose. When we gratefully open the gifts each has to offer, we can be fully present in our life right now as it unfolds, often in waiting. Patience, like abs, is a tough muscle to build. It also requires us to keep moving without seeing and knowing. Trust is patience’s best friend.
Slowly and steady, cocoon to butterfly.
“And somehow the transformation you knew would never come, that impossible lumping of fresh life and revelation, does come. It manifests itself in unseen slowness.” – Sue Monk Kidd
“As long as we are persistent in our pursuit of our deepest destiny, we will continue to grow. We cannot choose the day or time when we will fully bloom. It happens in its own time.” – Denis Waitley
“Change is a continuous process. You cannot assess it with the static yardstick of a limited time frame. When a seed is sown into the ground, you cannot immediately see the plant. You have to be patient. With time, it grows into a large tree. And then the flowers bloom, and only then can the fruits be plucked.” – Mamata Banerjee
There’s something special about an August bloom. Spring invites bloom, so there’s no surprise with the accompanied delight. A late bloom shows us the capacity we all have to continue to change, grow and bloom into beauty.
Keep planting seeds, cultivating the soil, soaking in the rain and be ready for your burst of brilliance. It happens in all seasons.
Persistence. Time. Fruition.