In all things we should give thanks. Yes in even the difficult things because I have learned that the harder the hurt the more serious the lesson for soul growth.
How can you learn how to be more grateful in your life? One thing that really worked for me was starting a gratitude journal. I started writing down at least 3 things I was grateful for each day but started seeing that my list was growing each day. You can easily start off that you are alive today, and you have air to breathe.
I found that I was so thankful for so many things that I just didn’t think about until I really took the time to look at them. I could see how blessed I was each day. It made me feel happier, lighter, cared for, and thankful.
Why not try to keep a gratitude journal for yourself? Blessings definitely come from a heart that is grateful and thankful. It has been really neat for me to go back and see all of the things I wrote down in my gratitude journal from years past.
Another way to be grateful is to be mindful of the things going on around you. When you walk outside are you grateful for the plants, trees, grass, soil, or the sunlight that shines on you? We take so many things for granted. When you are mindful of the food you are eating are you also thankful of the plants and animals that gave you that food that nourishes your body? When I take the time to really be in the moment and be aware of what I am doing I find that I have more gratitude because my mind is not running through so many different things.
Try starting a gratitude journal if you do not already have one. Experience what is feel like to really feel grateful for all of your blessings – no matter how big or small. Be in the moment. EnJOY life!
The universe gave me the opportunity to help a family in need this Christmas. I found myself getting so excited with all of the ways I could help. I talked to the adult of the household and asked exactly what was needed, and found that everything from clothing to furniture would be used by four girls ranging in ages from 7 to 15. I had just cleaned out my kids closets and had the clothes and shoes neatly folded up in bags. So someone delivered those clothes and shoes to the family and they were so thankful. Then I shared the news of the needs of this family on social media and asked for help. A local charity donated money to buy two sets of bunkbeds and another charity provided mattresses, sheets, and comforters. God was bringing it all together through our good intentions. People donated clothes, money, gift certificates and toys.
I was able to see miracle after miracle happen through helping this family. It’s when we reach out in love and help and uplift one another that true miracles happen.
I have also found how much lighter and happier my heart has been this Christmas. I’ve been singing Christmas carols as I wrapped gifts, humming as I was shopping, and just imagining the excitement as these girls open their Christmas gifts on Christmas day. Helping this family really brought out the joy of helping others into my life this month. I’ve given and donated all kinds of things in the past, but this year was different because I actually got to get involved with a family and see their needs being met.
You see, it wasn’t the actual physical things as much as that we as a group of people wanted to share our love with others. That we could help and take the time to put it all together in order for this family to feel our love being shared.
I wish much happiness, love and joy to you and your family and friends this Christmas season. I hope you will also consider truly giving to others in the coming year. It doesn’t necessarily have to be something purchased but maybe just sitting down to a conversation, helping out someone in need with a task – just sharing your love. I can tell you from my experience, it will change your life in beautiful ways and the universe will reward you greatly. Remember that your light shines brightly as you love one another as Jesus instructed us to do.
I recently joined the Y with my kids so we could workout together. I have not lifted weights for a while, so my muscles are a little bit sore. I continue to work out because I know they will eventually get used to it and it also makes me feel much better. I think it is like that with meditation as well.
We hesitate to get started because our world is so full of so many noises. Just to sit in the quiet, the mind starts working extra hard and I can really hear the mind saying,”I should be doing this instead of sitting still”. But once you discipline yourself to sit, even for just 5 minutes, your mind starts to get used to it and then really yearns for that quiet time each day. My muscles, even though they are sore, enjoy going back to the gym and being worked each day. They will get stronger and stronger as I go and work them on the cardio machines and the weight machines. My connection to God, Spirit, Universal Oneness, also gets stronger and stronger as I sit in the stillness.
For me when I started meditation it was a struggle of sitting still. It seemed like a minute was an eternity. But now I feel that there is nothing more valuable to me than to sit down, quiet everything and sit in the stillness. To join the oneness of all. It calms me. It gives me direction. I feel more focused and energized to go through my day. Just like my muscles will strengthen, my meditations strengthen as I sit.
If you are just starting to meditate start off with 5 or 10 minutes. Just sit and close your eyes. Take about 5 or 10 deep breaths and feel your body relax wherever you are sitting. Just let go of all thoughts that come up. I like to say, “thank you, but not now” and push them out of my mind. As you sit, meditation improves. Do not judge your time sitting. Just start. Relax, breathe.
Believe me, as a single mother of 3 kids, I am busy. Meditation was difficult. I had thoughts racing throughout my mind constantly but I never gave up. I sat each day during a 30 day meditation class and my meditation really improved when I started sitting with a local meditation group twice a week. I found that it wasn’t as distracting as it was at home and the energy I experienced in the group setting was amazing.
Try meditating alone or in group, if one is near. But just sit. You’ll be surprised how much sitting in the stillness will change your life.
Recently I took my kids to the Dollywood Family Theme Park in Tennessee for two fun filled days. As soon as we entered the park we walked quickly to one of the roller coasters. While standing in line I learned that The Lightening Rod is the fastest wooden roller coaster in the world with a speed of 73 miles per hour!
We waited for what seemed like forever for this fun experience to begin and it was finally our turn. As soon as I was buckled up and then braced inside this seat, my heart started pounding with excitement. The ride started much more quickly than I had anticipated and we were being thrust at what must have been over 100 mph by my reaction. You see, I love roller coasters but 73 mph is really fast. It went up the first hill at record speed – while I am used to a roller coaster taking its time up that hill and then going fast on the other side. I started praying aloud immediately. You see I was anxious to ride this ride and then when it started and was so fast that I didn’t know what to do. Sometimes events in life happen like that. We are anxious for something and then it comes and takes our breath away.
Even though I knew, deep down, that the ride was safe and I would be okay – fear set in. I think there were several, “Oh my God’s” and “Lord, help me’s” said in a row. There’s always the thought of – what if this harness brakes or what if it goes too fast and this car derails. The mind does not hesitate to come up with scenarios of what could happen especially when we are out of our comfort zone.
Life is like this. We have the highs and the lows. We believe we trust God and the universe to have our back – but do we really? It’s like a roller coaster when something happens that we don’t expect – we go into high praying mode and often ask the question, “Why me, Lord?”, but when we are in the valley of life and things seem to be going our way we just have our prayers on cruise control.
I used to live life like that. I prayed when I was really concerned about something in my life or for someone else that needed prayer. I have now come to a point in my life where I am in constant communication with God throughout the day and I believe that all is well. I don’t spend time worrying about things like I used to. I have also learned to meditate where I quiet my mind and receive whatever I need to know. I’ve heard that prayer is asking God and meditation is receiving the answers. I am now able to receive the answers I need through my quiet time with God and by following my intuition.
It takes time, patience and often going through trails to see that God does indeed have your back through His infinite love for you. The experiences we go through are our Earth lessons. We learn from each one and if we try to avoid the lesson, the lesson will continue to come back around until we learn from it.
I will say that now I have a lot less drama in my life. I am more awake and aware of experiences as they happen and I’m in a much calmer state of mind….unless I’m on a roller coaster at a theme park!
We all have our own journey. It’s what we call life. We are born and we make our way through experiences of childhood, young adulthood, adulthood, and then the senior years. We make choices for what we hope will be the best for us. We sometimes even have the courage to take the road less traveled.
I always thought it was about the end game – being happy, having a happy family, having really nice material things, being healthy- just winning at life overall. I never knew as the song Amazing Grace says in one of the verses “I once was lost but now am found, was blind but now I see.”
No matter what stage of life you are in there could be what we call “an experience” that will happen to you that will give you the chance to look at life in a much different way than before. It could be a sickness of yourself or a loved one, an addiction, a divorce, death of a dear one, job loss, etc. Any number of things can help you stop and take another look at where you’ve been, where you are now, and where you want to go. This is what I call “My Awakening”. It’s when I woke up, looked at everything in my life, decided what needed to be changed, what I could live with and live without, and how I could experience life in a much different way. Not the rat race but experiencing the journey I was meant to have here now.
I invite you to join me as I share the journey of my awakening and the many things I’ve learned since that time in 2012.