Posts tagged: gratitude

Snow Day

snow day

“A snow day literally and figuratively falls from the sky – unbidden – and seems like a thing of wonder.”  ~ Susan Orlean

Snow Day

Nothing like getting winter all in one week!  As I’m writing this on Sunday morning, a cardinal, blue jay and several winter robins are eagerly pecking at the bird feeder outside my window before the next storm hits.

In summer, we have beach days. In winter, we have snow days. I love a good snow day when you are forced to slow down, snuggle up and take stock of what you have.

These impromptu vacation days for me are filled with things that bring me joy. It could be a slow cooked roast in the oven, watching a movie or reading a book by the fire, even working without interruption. There is no expectation of the day.  There is no plan. I don’t have to be anywhere at any time. Instead I get to create my day.

Take Time Every Week to Slow Down

How can we take the lessons of a snow day to our regular days?

  • Remove expectations – Prepare for your day and then let go. Recapture the joy of the moment.
  • Be honest with time – You can’t do it all, so focus realistically on what you can do. Watch stress melt away.
  • Schedule time off – Take your vacation. Plan your personal days. Put them in the calendar and honor them.
  • Treat yourself – Snuggle in bed and read. Set the coffee to go off in the morning so it is ready for you. Take a walk alone.
  • Slow down – It is not a race…it is a journey
  • Tell someone you love them…every day.

This week try one or two of these.  Or, let me know what you do to carry the feeling of a snow day back into the regular world.


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The New Year’s Blessing

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“The New Year’s bountiful blessing: three hundred sixty-five bright mornings and starlit evenings; fifty-two promising weeks; twelve transformative months full of beautiful possibilities; and four splendid seasons.” ~ Sarah Ban Breathnach

A Personal New Year’s Day

It is so good to sit down and write this note to you after so many months, while watching the Patriot’s win the AFC Championship. It’s almost like, yes…this is the way things should be.

As anticipated, and as many of you know, the changes I knew would happen have come to pass.  Today my life, my family and even my home is not what it was prior to Thanksgiving. I entered a whole new world on January 1st. It’s like being reborn.

That is why I turned to my favorite new year quote from Sarah Ban Breathnach’s, Simple Abundance. It reminds me of the possibilities and wonder each day brings. It inspires me to stop and take a look at the moment, however joyous or sad it may be and celebrate.

This Week

Take a couple minutes and watch a sunrise, gaze at the stars, breath the fresh air and let yourself feel the refreshing energy of the new year.  If you set goals or resolutions on New Year’s day, re-look at them with these refreshed eyes.  Make the commitments that enhance your life, and celebrate this moment when you can take action.


 

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Be Grateful for Those Who Make You Happy

Be grateful for all who surround you and make you happy

“Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” — Marcel Proust

Rejoice In Your Abundance

Rejoice in what you have - Epictetus

 

Rejoice: He is a wise man who does not grieve for things he has not, but rejoices for those which he has. ~ Epictetus

Try Daily Gratitude

abundance and gratitude sara ban breathnaugh simple abundance

 

You simply will not be the same person two months from now after consciously giving thanks each day for the abundance that exists in your life. ~ Sarah Ban Breathnaugh

Sacred Space

sacred-space

My Sacred Space

Most mornings I journal.  What I write about isn’t as important as writing.

This morning I pondered why this daily ritual was so important.  The truth is, my journal is my sacred space.  When everything seems to be moving at the speed of light, I know each morning, there is a friend patiently waiting just to listen to me.

A sacred space is an oasis in your life where you can sit back and reflect without interruption.  It doesn’t matter whether it is a church, temple, or the ocean going there reminds you to slow down and listen to the wisdom of your inner voice.

I often crave time alone to decompress.  Just like you, I have whirlwind days.  After a 12-14 hour day I thankfully flop into my bed falling asleep after barely closing my eyes.  Alone time consists of driving from place to place.

When I don’t journal I feel out of sorts.  I get grumpy and frustrated.  Give me some peppermint tea and my journal in the quiet early morning hours and all becomes right with the world.

This week notice what sacred spaces you have created.  They don’t have to be traditional. Cooking sauce from a family recipe.  Reading a favorite novel.  Watching a fire glow in the fireplace.  It doesn’t matter where your sacred space is.  All that matters is you recognize the wonderful gift it brings into your life.

Less is More

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Summer Lessons

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Waning Summer

My sister and I were talking on the phone the other day lamenting the end of summer.  It seemed to come as such a miracle to us here in New England this year, it is hard to see it pass.

A reader of my Monday Inspirations reminded me throughout the summer that “Vacation is a state of mind.” (Thanks Wayne!) It has been a mantra all summer long.

Now in the twilight of the season, I realize the quote above is also a subtle mantra I have been adopting this summer.

Getting Caught Up In Stuff

Summer allows us to shed what we don’t need.  We live out of beach bags.  We open the windows and simplify our homes.  The garden grows of its own accord.

As I put my fall calendar together, I find myself slipping away from the vacation mindset being replaced by “I’ll get through it.”  I am getting caught up in stuff again and it doesn’t feel as good as summer did.   A familiar stress seeps back into my life.  I feel my shoulders tighten as I add another to do to the ever expanding list.  I sit back and sigh.

I take a deep breath and then another.  I repeat “All I have is all I need and all I need I have in this moment.”  I grab a water and stroll through the garden marveling at all that has been provided for me.  Gratitude replaces the stress.

Summer is Gratitude for What Is

I’ve learned the vacation mindset isn’t just about getting away.  It is about letting go of the stressful stuff and giving thanks for all that is in your life.  It is looking beyond your four walls and seeing there is a beautiful world out there full of wonder, surprises and yes, everything you need.

If you feel your summer being cut short, take a moment and get back into the vacation mindset.  You have everything you need to be happy.  Take a moment and look around.

Making Space

Making Space

photo credit: cefeida via flickr

Fall Shopping

Last week I went shopping for new fall clothes.

When I returned home, I pushed and shoved the clothes I already had aside to make room for the new items.

Do you do this?

Making Space

You have so much, yet you acquire more. You cram the new stuff in by shoving the old stuff into corners, lost cabinets, bins in the basement/attic or storage boxes under the bed.

Is it worth it?

How do you feel?  I know at first I feel happy with my new purchases, then I start to feel like an over stuffed sausage with little room to move.

I created a new rule in my house.  When something new comes in something old must go.  If two things can go even better.  Making space is part of the purchase decision.

Making Space for Love

The same goes for our lives.  When you fill your life with fear, anxiety, dread and jealousy there is very little space for love, peace, joy and gratitude.  I’m sure you’d like more of the later.  So are you making space for it?

What about your emotional life?  Can you release one emotion to make space for another?  It sounds simple, but like your favorite old sweater that no longer fits you may be attached to these outdated emotions.  You still hold on because it’s comfortable even though it doesn’t fit anymore.

Emotional Security Blankets That Don’t Fit

Take the successful business woman who lands a big project.  Instead of feeling accomplished, she feels unworthy, a feeling she acquired as a child.  It no longer serves her, but like a security blanket it surrounds her.

Since many people feel a dread on Monday about the beginning of the week, I propose a new idea.  Let’s make Monday’s Making Space Day.  That means every Monday you let go of an emotion, feeling, thought, or action that no longer serves you.

You are doing this to allow space for what you do want to flow in.  If you know what that is, allow it.  If you don’t, revel in your new found space.

This is a great time of year to clear out your inner closets.  Make space for the wonderful new adventures waiting for you.  Start today.

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A Little Mindfulness

A little mindfulness

photo credit: Muffet via flickr

Before your day gets off to a roaring start, stop and take a moment.

Give thanks for another day.

Kiss a loved one.

Welcome the day with a small routine which could just be drinking your tea or coffee in a morning quiet moment.

Think about something that makes you smile from your liver.

Stretch.

Walk outside barefoot.

Set your intention for the day.

Affirm what you want to happen, not what you don’t.

Look at all around you with gratitude.

Listen to beautiful music.

Cuddle with someone you love, even if it’s just you snuggling down under the blankets while you greet the day.

Starting your day with a little mindfulness makes all the difference in the world.  It doesn’t have to take hours of meditation to create peace in your life.  Instead it comes from the small quiet mindful habits of gratitude and love you bring to the day.

“I am loved.  Only good lies before me.”

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