Thoughts about gratitude

Gratitude has become one of those buzzwords we hear a lot.  If we wait for it to come over us like happiness or sadness, we may wait a long time. But if we practice gratitude daily, not just on Thanksgiving, it will be more readily available to us. I like to think of gratitude like savoring. We all get what it feels like to savor a delicious piece of pie. If we take the time to really savor it, to take those moments to let the pie linger in our mouth, to chew our bites slowly, that is the experience of gratitude. It is NOTICING all the aspects of the pie we like…the smell, the taste, the texture. Last night I sat with my children (almost all my children) and savored each of them as they spoke. I gave silent thanks that they were smiling, present, enjoying, and thriving. I gave additional thanks for their health, for the contribution each of them makes to the family, for their humor and for their beauty. As we ate, I noticed that we had a begging dog under the table, who was not only begging but was passing gas (all traits so not welcome during meals), and then the thought occurred to me how much we will miss having her there when she is gone. I looked at her pathetic but adorable face….begging….hoping for one of us to drop a ravioli or some meat sauce her way and I smiled, smiled with gratitude for our loyal dog who shows us so much unconditional love.

We always have a choice about how we look at the events and people in our lives and we can ALWAYS find something to be grateful for, even amidst painful and unwanted situations. My sister has been undergoing chemotherapy. She lives in Washington DC but came up  to New York to be around her 4 sisters and mother while she receives treatment for lung cancer. Cancer sucks but having my sister here in New York is a gift! I have been grateful for the opportunity to spend more time with her and have a different relationship than I have had in the past. We have become closer as a result of cancer and we are both grateful!

Today, on this national holiday set aside to celebrate gratitude and family and friends, I hope you can find something to be grateful for. I wish for each and every person reading this that they will NOTICE the gifts that show up, even those disguised as hardships! Happy Thanksgiving!

Intentions to put the HAPPY in the Holidays

I have a history of not liking the holidays. Maybe I did like the holidays when I was a kid and believed in Santa Claus but that was a long time ago! I have found the holidays stressful looking for that perfect something for the people in my life; it also brings up my limiting beliefs about not having enough time or money. Every year I have a recurring dream that it is Christmas morning and the gift that one of my kids asked Santa for is NOT under the Christmas tree. I started having this dream 24 years ago: it was about a Barbie doll that my then 3-year old daughter put on her Christmas letter to Santa. I can still remember the pure fright I felt when I awakened from that dream and how relieved I was to realize it was just a dream and that I still had 3 days to get to an overcrowded Toys R us to get the specific Barbie she wanted and the hope I had that it would be under the tree on Christmas morning to delight my darling daughter. Phew!! Then there is the whole Norman Rockwell picture of the holidays that we tend to compare our lives with.Then add onto all that the fact that we eat too much around the holidays and it just does not feel good physically! Plus, if you live in New York like I do and don’t like the snow and the cold, it is just the ICING on the cake.

So, I set out to set some intentions for the Holiday season. It is amazing when intentions are set, the Universe cooperates and people and circumstances come together for your benefit.

  • 1.       I intend to show my love and appreciation for friends and family this Holiday season. I may not find the perfect gift, but I will manage to be PRESENT for the people I love in whatever way seems to be appropriate.
  •  2.   I intend to be grateful for all I have. This means no comparing to the Norman Rockwell’s of the world. (When we are comparing ourselves to a picture it is not REAL! Everyone has their own struggles no matter what the picture or the painting looks like.) Being grateful means that the blessings I have are enough and all that I need! Being grateful keeps the focus on the blessings and not the struggles. It is all about FOCUS! Our thoughts become things as coined by Mike Dooley. Gratitude about all the good brings more good…plain and simple….but sometimes we are just not conditioned to be grateful. We did not grow up with grateful. So, we have to place an intention and make it a habitImage
  •  3.   I intend to do service.  Doing service gets us out of our own minds and helps us self-forget and possibly out of self-pity. Doing service reminds us that we are ALL one. If we can relieve someone else’s suffering, we receive as much benefit as the recipient of our service. Tonight I am bringing my daughter to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for the homeless. I know we will leave there tonight feeling in the spirit of Christmas much more than our holiday shopping this afternoon will achieve.
  • 4.   I intend to BELIEVE in MIRACLES!  Maybe I don’t believe in Santa anymore but I sure can believe in Miracles. It is so easy to become cynical in this world. I stay away from negativity and cynics as best I can. I do not watch the news. Instead I watch and read uplifting stories. It is amazing how many great stories are circulated on social media each day. I watch them and laugh and cry and KNOW that MIRACLES happen all the time. What you focus on MAGNIFIES!Image
  • 5.   I intend to eat mindfully at all holiday events.  Sometimes at holiday parties with food overflowing, I go into default mode, as if I blacked out, I eat everything on the buffet table and afterwards I am saying to myself “How did that happen?” This year, I am intending to choose delightful food items from the buffet without mindlessly eating it ALL and feeling horrible afterwards.  I will let you know how it goes!

Lastly, I have an intention to become a person who LOVES the holidays. I have spent the last few decades just enduring, not enjoying, the holiday season, but this does not have to be a lasting legacy. I can decide today to enjoy the holidays with these new intentions. Happy Holidays to all! What are your holiday wishes? Turn them into intentions and remember YOU ARE THE CREATOR OF YOUR REALITY!

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Thanksgiving time

This post is dedicated to the women I spend my Saturday mornings with. You inspire me!

It’s been a while since I have written.  Hurricane Sandy was a major distraction followed by an early in the season snowstorm followed by my daughter getting sick. I have been reminded that when things are not going exactly as I would have planned, it is these unwanted things that cause our greatest desires to be launched! Hurricane Sandy, the snowstorm, and my daughter being sick have launched the following desires: I desire warm sunny weather, good health for me and my loved ones, lights to be on when I turn the switch, heat to come through the radiators when I turn up the thermometer, and I really desire to have a hot cup of coffee when I wake up in the morning! I would not be so aware of these strong desires if these things were NEVER absent from my experience. So now, a couple of weeks after getting the power back, I am making it my business to not forget the little things, the things we take for granted, like electricity, gas in the car, the ability to make a cup of tea and have heat on a cold day, creature comforts that we are so blessed with and most of all, my daughter skipping out the door to play with a friend!

In preparation for the Thanksgiving holiday that is upon us, I wanted to express some appreciation and keep gratitude the attitude which I greet everyone with this week. Thanksgiving is a beautiful tradition but not without its dark side. It may trigger our feelings of loss as we remember past Thanksgivings with loved ones that are no longer with us. It may trigger loneliness, inadequacy, or just plain lack. As I like to say, it triggers the lies we may believe. Additionally, we may be spending time with people who trigger some negative feelings for us. As one friend expressed, what dysfunctional group will I spend Thanksgiving with this year? We all know the uncle who likes to tell us about the pounds we have put on since last year, or the well-meaning sister who loves to share about her life of stardom and all her shining Ivy-League children? Or what about that Aunt of yours that just exudes one complaint after another about the state of the world? Do you feel the stuffing rising in your esophagus yet? Well, here is the antidote to that toxic mix:

Don’t compare your life with others! Others’ lives may look bright and shiny; however, we are all the same. See exhibit 1.

Don’t believe the lies you tell yourself: “My house is not good enough.” “I am a failure.” “I am not loved.” The truth is we are all miracles! We are all works in progress! The most important person to get love from is yourself! If we can love ourselves, we have conquered the world!

As Gandhi said “Be the change you want to see in the world.” One of my friends is still reeling from the death of her brother who she always spent Thanksgiving with, so she is driving several hours to be with an Aunt who is confined to a nursing home. She is self-forgetting and being of service, which will serve her well in healing her own pain.

Be grateful. We always have the choice of what to focus on: the lack or the abundance. Here is my rampage of appreciation for this Thanksgiving: I am grateful for my 4 healthy, creative, intelligent, scrumptious children. I am grateful for my best friend: my husband. I am grateful for my Maggie, my adorable bullmastiff who models what unconditional love is about daily. I am grateful that my parents are with us for another holiday season. I am grateful for my immediate and extended family, especially my sisters! I am grateful for my friends. I am grateful for my ex-husband. Yes, you heard me right. I am grateful for him, too. This brings me to the next thing that I am grateful for—the fact that I don’t see the world so black and white anymore. There ARE 50 shades of grey! I am grateful for electricity and running water. I am grateful I live in New York where the 4 seasons are so beautiful. I am grateful for my Girl Scout troop who shows me what open hearts and passion looks like. I am grateful for showing up for myself more this year than I have in the past.

What are you grateful for this Holiday season? Would love to hear your thoughts! Happy Thanksgiving EVERYONE!

September 11th

Today I wish much love to all who come upon this page as they make their way to becoming Deliberate Creators. I will start sharing simple processes that promise to be life enhancing, and will allow you to manifest a life beyond your wildest dreams!

September 11th was always a meaningful date in my life. It was the day in 1954 that my parents got married.  So, today I want to give a shout out to Mom and Dad, otherwise known as Eileen and Gene, who started out 57 years ago amidst a category 3 hurricane, Hurricane Edna. My mother’s veil was blowing in the wind.  And from that  day of Hurricane Edna til present day, one would not say the 57 years was completely smooth sailing. There were more hurricanes to be had, a couple of earthquakes and one would even venture to say at times it seemed like a tsunami hit! However, being the Deliberate Creator I am now, I spent this morning contemplating my appreciation for the union of my parents that produced my four sisters who double as my best friends in life, twelve grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. One could definitely say that amidst the storms there has been plenty of sunshine. It is up to us what to focus on. For today it is the sunshine I want to bask in.

For the last 10 years, unfortunately, my parent’s anniversary has taken a back seat to another event. Now 9/11 is significant to every American and especially significant for those that lost someone. Today,  I want to give a second special shout out to my nephew Brendan’s wife Jeanne who lost her brother Greg that very sad day. Jeanne, sending you lots of love today! As we all have watched the TV, followed the blogs, watched videos that have been posted on Facebook, we have shared in some of the sadness deeply felt by family members.

Today, I chose to spend time appreciating the people who so believe that we are all ONE that they lay their lives down so that we can live. I have appreciated New York City which is the place on Earth where I feel the most alive. I have appreciated that Jenn Gorsuch, a new friend in my life, walked out of the South Tower 10 years ago today with her life intact. I have appreciated America with all its diversity and absolute beauty. I have appreciated our flag that stands for the freedom we all want. I see all these things that I appreciate as being born out of other desires of people who came before us and I firmly believe that as we continue to want peace and freedom these will also manifest more widely.  The most important thing for each of us to do is to be aligned with our own Inner Being. Our power lies in our choices and for today, I choose appreciation.

Tip#1 in becoming a Deliberate Creator is Appreciation or Gratitude. It is the emotion/feeling that gets us most easily aligned with our Inner Being. Spend time each day appreciating things that are easy to appreciate. Start a gratitude journal where you write 10 things each day to be grateful for. While you are waiting on a line in the grocery store, go within, and start a rampage of appreciation… for the food you are able to buy, for the cashiers waiting to ring you up, for the close parking spot your car is in, etc. The last thing before you go to bed, spend a few minutes appreciating, even if it is just for your pillow and the comfort of your bed, whatever will allow you to milk the feeling of appreciation as you drift off to sleep. This will help you to enter your sleep time in a state of appreciation and wake the next day with the same feeling. You will notice your energy changing. Once your energy changes, your life will change! That is a sure thing.

I appreciate the chance to share this fun adventure of deliberately changing lives! Stay tuned for Tip #2 in a few days!