To all my followers: thank you!

I couldn’t do this without you. Thank you for reading and following. That is such a compliment and I am humbled and grateful because you chose to follow me. Thank you for sharing my site with your friends on Facebook and Pinterest and Twitter and Tumblr and Google+.

Bless you all. You are all my tribe.

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Gratitude

I used to be bogged down in lack. I was always wishing for what I did not have, and feeling as if I were not enough in myself. I felt I was always found lacking. What that thinking did was create endless lack. I never had enough time, enough money, and I felt always that I was not pretty enough, not good enough.

Lack created more lack. Years of failure in finding a good paying job, failure in relationships including the most important ones with God and myself, because I’d get angry at God for all the hardship I experienced, and I have to tell you, this negative thought pattern makes a person depressed, tired all of the time and even despairing.

I think going through bad times for what feels like endless spans of time did bring me closer to God so there was purpose in it I did not see. I don’t know what brought my mind around to a position of gratitude. I hope it was God. I think it may be God. I got one of those free gratitude journal apps, and every day I had to write down three things that happened I was grateful for.

Change your story from lack to abundance! Change your thinking!

Then my life started to change for the better. Little by little abundance started flowing in. Not money necessarily. More love for God translated to more caring for others and more love for myself in that I started caring about taking care of me physically, mentally and spiritually. Exercise. Doing little nice things for me. I started doing more to be of service to others while setting firm boundaries so that people might respect me. The ones who respected me respected my boundaries. This curious thing happened where people who no longer served my highest good, friends who weren’t really friends, who did not respect my boundaries or me, started showing themselves for who they were and gradually fell away. In so doing I felt sad and disillusioned, but over a short time I began to understand I felt better mentally not having these people around to drag me down and make me codependent and an enabler as a result of codependency. I felt less taken advantage of and more self confident in my own decision making and in voicing my needs and desires, which had not happened consistently before. Because I felt better in myself I felt ever more grateful to God for feeling better, and even though materially nothing had changed, I began to feel content with what I had. I stopped wanting more stuff. I started praying differently too. I used to ask God for this and that and please could You fix this and that. I found myself spending a lot of time thanking Him for all I had and for my kids, my health, my mom, my family, for whatever blessings I’d received that day whether it be the ten bucks my mom sent me or the free turkey from work. God wants us to live in gratitude and in abundance. Abundant peace, abundant joy, love, kindness, gentleness, faith. He supplies our needs and He starts us out with little so that we might grow to be thankful for much. No matter how little you have, be grateful. Someone is always worse off than you. Even they have much to be thankful for. Look for the blessings. They are there always, the silver lining during our darkest hours.

Get a gratitude app!

I keep doing the gratitude journal app. If you do nothing else for yourself please download one. Most are free and it trains your mind to be more thankful and more positive. Thankfulness changes your entire outlook and perception to one of plenty instead of one of lack. It makes every day more sacred to be thankful to God for all you have no matter how poor or rich you may be.

Gratitude will change your life. I promise.

Blue skies

“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorns have roses.”
― Alphonse Karr, A Tour Round My Garden

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(photo by the Gypsy Girl (that would be me!)

Today I spent outside. It is an unseasonably warm 60 degrees in November in one of the snowiest places on earth.  You bet I was outside walking the trail and thinking about all the things to be thankful for.   This won’t be a long blog post.  What I have to say is really very simple:  Being grateful for what you have will change your life.  Practice gratitude.

Perhaps it is too easy in a world that seems to be progressively meaner that we become caught up in gossip, bitterness and what we do not have.  There is good to be found in every situation, no matter how bad it is.   Sometimes people have to lose everything to be able to see what really matters–to be alive, to experience blue skies;  soft breezes and sunshine, to be able to walk, or  talk.  To have a job at all.  To have a heart that gives to others and has empathy for others.   For our children, our parents, our siblings, our grandparents, our pets.  For our friends.   You don’t need a lot of friends.  You only need one good one who likes and loves you just as you are.

We know these things cerebrally.   We need to know them in our heart.   Practice giving, no matter how small.  A smile will do.  A smile is love extended to a stranger.   Find a charity and give anonymously.

A small act of kindness has a way of travelling on to others and making this cold, cruel, self-involved world a better place.

I love you dear reader.  Whatever your problems, there is always a silver lining.  Look for it.  I promise you it is there.

A Bridge to Eternity: A serial story for Halloween–enjoy! Part 1

time

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
Hamlet Act 1, scene 5, 159–167

And now abideth faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13:13

Love is stronger than death
1995

The day he died spring was unfolding gently on the face of the earth; leaves unfolding from the trees in the kind of new green that erases all thought of the deadness of winter. It seemed a contradiction of the life springing all around her that he should be dead, he so full of life, life that left him in the night while the world slept, left quietly, with no trace that he had ever walked in the green grass under the leaves of the trees in springtime. There, then gone. A blink. She reeled. The world seemed topsy-turvy –all at once vertigo hit her and screams erupted from her that seemed to come from hell and tear apart eternity.
It could have been that he stood next to her, that screams of grief can indeed rip the fabric of all we know, to filter into what lies parallel, to lie at the feet of those we cannot see.
Days later, she was travelling north, to the place she had not been since she was very young, car packed to the gills with the meager possessions she held dear. She had left her husband behind, suddenly seeing past the veneer of the life she had gone on to. None of it was real; she had been playing the part orchestrated for her by expectation. She had not loved the one she married; in the face of death, she suddenly saw what had been real and what had not. This grief was the only real thing in her life now; travelling up Highway 53, inexorably drawn north, to her lake, to the cries of gulls wheeling and dipping atop white capped waves.
Having left all she had behind, all that existed is what lay before; to start again, or not, the way before was as tangled as her hair blown by the wind, and she did not know what to unravel first. She drove on, the mile markers whizzing past counting down the miles until she would have to face herself and death, finality, nothingness.
She did not love the one she married, she who prided herself on verity, on living true, on never being deceiving, to find she had been playing a part cut deeply, and guilt oozed from every pore. What kind of person was she, she wondered to herself, to have lived with a man she did not love? Was she that lonely, that desperate, that faithless? That stupid? While distance to home closed, the distance in her heart widened to an unfathomable abyss.
She had gone on. She had accepted long ago that it would never be, she had flown round the world; running, really, from this thing that had sneaked up on her, and was too big to reach around, this love, she too young, he too old, the distance that was really no distance at all.
He sat next to her in the car looking out the window, feeling her pain and bewilderment, like knives. He reached across and touched the hand that lay in her lap, to let her know he was there.
She felt something on her hand, a sort of energy that felt like static electricity. The sensation made her jerk her hand back up to the steering wheel, and it also made her think of him. There was no way, of course, no way. He was just…gone. That was all. When you’re dead, you’re dead, she thought, you disappear. A tear slipped down her cheek.
Remembering Rilke, and feeling the keenness of her doubt, feeling invisible, he recited softly, How shall I hold on to my soul, so that it does not touch yours?
Still driving, the cab dimly lit by the green dash light, she found herself reciting aloud the final line How shall I lift it gently up over you on to other things? She realized that perhaps, even, with this death, that she had stopped believing in God. Perhaps now, she believed in nothing. There was only emptiness, and the sky above contained no God, only stars, and atmosphere, and more empty space beyond. What was there, she mused, to have faith in, exactly?
Then, seeing the lights on the hill ahead of her, she resolved to find out what “moving on” would come to mean. Lifting my soul gently up over you on to other things. She didn’t know why that line had gone through her head. She thought about what it meant. Forgetting, she supposed. Forgetting, wound healing, scabbing over, another layer of stone, a hardening. And that was the very thing she did not want most in all of the world. She did not want to forget . Forgetting would mean he meant nothing to her at all if she could forget him in the healing. No, she would not heal if forgetting would be the result. Her mind went back to the unanswerable question: what happens when you die?” Becoming angry at the question she opened the window, turned up the rock music on the radio, and forced herself back to reality. He was gone, that was all.
Sighing, sensing the wall between them, he wished to leave the car, and suddenly he was not there, but sitting along the shores of the great inland sea, wondering if he would ever be able to move on without her.

(part 2 tomorrow, then weekly from here!)   If you like it please feel free to comment!  I need help finding a better title so if you have suggestions please comment!