Cultivating Gratitude

“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson


Thankgiving weekend has passed, but the thankfulness continues.  Daily I have so much to be grateful for, even in things that at first would not seem a blessing.  For example, over the weekend our car broke down about an hour outside of Thames while my son Lukas was driving it.  And at first I freaked out: How would I get the car back to Thames? What was wrong and could it be fixed before we leave in 3 days for Borneo? How much would it cost to fix?  But as the mishap unfolded, I saw so much to be thankful for.  First and foremost, Lukas was safe, no one was hurt, he was with a friend who had family in the town.  Lukas was leaving Waihi and only 2 minutes outside The Karangahake Gorge.  If he had been on the Gorge Road, there would have been nowhere to pull over and it would have been very dangerous. But he wasn’t, he was in a quiet town on a quiet street when the car died.  His friend was able to get his uncle to tow the car to his house where it sat safely overnight. My friend, Rick knew a good mechanic in Waihi and I was able to get in to see them first thing in the morning.  The mechanic was great, diagnosed the problem quickly and fixed it in an hour. And what could have been a major engine repair ended up being a corroded fuse which cost $2.00 to replace. (There was labor and a couple of extras of course, but relatively very inexpensive.) And we leave in 3 days, and have to drive to the airport at 3 AM to catch an early morning flight, and it could have happened then! But it didn’t. Lukas is safe, the car is home, it’s running fine and all is well.  So much to be grateful for.

Gratitude is a great feeling! And it’s good for you too. So much new research explaining just how good it is for you on so many levels. There is a great website about the science of gratitude and the science of a meaningful life. It’s my new favorite website!   Greater Good, The Science of a Meaningful Life. Take the time to visit the site and look around, it is magnificent! It’s a project through UC Berkeley (Yay, my old Alma Mater) and it has so much great information and wonderful videos.  It is worth taking some time to look around.

You can also become involved in their Gratitude Journal Research Project – Thnx4:

Thnx4 is a sharable gratitude journal. Take the 14-day gratitude challenge, learn more about yourself, and add to the growing body of research on the benefits of saying thanks!

Keeping a Gratitude Journal is one of the “Ten Ways to Become More Grateful.” Read this article by Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D. – the world’s leading scientific expert on gratitude. He is a professor of psychology at the University of California, Davis, and the founding editor-in-chief of The Journal of Positive Psychology.

To close, I want to share one of the videos by Robert Emmons from The Greater Good Site, The Benefits of Gratitude.

The Benefits of Gratitude

Please share some of your recent Gratitude Stories, I always love to hear them.  And as always, thank you for stopping by, I appreciate it.

 

 

Giving Thanks

“When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.”

– Maya Angelou


I am so incredibly grateful and feel so blessed!  I had the most amazingly wonderful day yesterday!  First thing in the morning, I woke up to an email from my agent, Owen Burnham.  He wrote to tell me that he has two publishers interested in publishing my book, A Woman’s Guide to Transformation!  He and I will discuss the contracts and decide on the best publisher soon.  I will have a contract and a publisher before the end of the year.  What an awesome way to start the day! Especially wonderful because yesterday was the day that I hosted our annual Thanksgiving Celebration here in NZ.  I had 25 friends over for a sit down dinner, turkey and all the trimmings, sitting outside by the stream, under our spectacular Pohutukawa Tree.  A glorious setting to celebrate life and express our gratitude.  We did a Gratitude Circle first with everyone contributing (we even had Jeff in the circle via Skype!) and I was able to announce to my close friends that my agent has found me a publisher.  What a fantastic way to share my news.  It was a beautiful afternoon and evening.  I felt so loved and so grateful.  Truly a day to be thankful.

This video clip is especially fitting, titled simply: Gratitude.  Enjoy!

 

 

Please share what you are grateful for this year.  I would love to hear your stories.  And as always, thank you for stopping by, I appreciate it.

 

 

 

Keeping things in perspective . . .

“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.”

– Maya Angelou


My son Devin shared this with me today.  Thank you Devin – it took my breath away!

There is nothing I can add to what Carl Sagan explains so eloquently and the video shows us so incredibly beautifully.  As Mr. Sagan puts it:

“To me it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.”

 

Please take the time to watch this, it is truly inspiring and spectacular.

 

 

Please let me know what you thought of Carl Sagan’s short clip.  And as always, thank you for visiting, I appreciate it.

Right or Happy . . . or Facing Conflict . . . isn’t that a Contradiction?

“I’ve looked at life from both sides now
From up and down and still somehow
It’s life’s illusions . . .”

– Joni Mitchell


As I said in my last post, being willing to disagree, facing conflict squarely and not hiding is a difficult thing to do for most of us.  But as Maddie pointed out in a comment from my last post:  You have blogged in the past – “Would you rather be right or happy?” This post seems to contradict that. Does it?

I don’t see the two as being contradictory or exclusive.  I have learned to stand up for myself, learned to be willing to disagree, to not just “paper-over the conflicts as I used to in my old ‘peace-maker’ days” as Rosalie so aptly put it. But I have also learned that it is sometimes ok to let things go and not push doggedly to be RIGHT above all else, at the expense of harmony in a relationship. I think of that kind of right as the “Ego Right.”

The idea of being right or happy comes from A Course in Miracles.

The main benefit I see in correctly interpreting “Do you prefer that you be right or happy?” is that it allows the line to be a challenge to our egoic insistence on being right at the expense of real rightness and of our happiness. Stubbornly clinging to a wrong position no matter how much pain it causes us is a virtually universal human phenomenon. This line is both a challenge to us to seriously question our way of seeing things and an invitation to accept a new way of seeing things that is both right and happy.

This also reminds me a bit of The Serenity Prayer –

Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;  courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.

I don’t see that as a Christian prayer so much as asking that part of me that is beyond my Ego, to have courage to face conflict, be willing to disagree, but to also accept some things and some people and not try to change them so I can be right.  It is subtle sometimes, but not a contradiction in my opinion,  just perhaps seeing things from Both Sides Now!

 

 

Thank you Maddie and Rosalie for taking the time to comment on my last post, it prompted me to think through this and clarify it for myself. Please tell me about how you have learned to balance this subtle difference.  And as always thank you for taking the time to visit, I appreciate it.