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Archive for the ‘Gratefulness’ Category

Well, it’s Tuesday already…two more days until I embark on a road trip to partake in the second of three very long, but fabulous, weekends of training.  It really is a bit crazy but I’m so happykeep-calm-two-more-days to be there it doesn’t matter.  Mind you I pretty much collapse into bed but that’s okay; I have to get up early anyway!  Crazy town?  Perhaps but I can’t wait to get there.

No kidding…as long is it, you know what? In addition to being really excited about getting to hone the skills I already have and learn some new ones – I’m really excited to see the people who are going to be there.

There are some amazing – no freaking amazing people in this group.  I’ve gotten to know a few of them much better because of the way the studies are set up in between the 3-day weekends.

I can’t wait to give some of them a BIG hug.

Truly, for me half of the joy of deciding to sign up with iPEC (the school I’m training with) is finding all these people who kind of think just like me!   Holy crap they ARE out there!

I know I’ve said it before in other posts but us humans are not meant to go it alone in this life.  We are meant to make connections, learn from each other and offer that hand up when we can.  I don’t think alone is our natural state.

Don’t get me wrong.  I am very comfortable being just with myself and to be honest, sometimes I need it.  But to FEEL alone, well that is another story.  That is loneliness.  And that hurts.

It hurts more I think to feel alone in sea of people who you think care about you too.  Not being able to express your ideas, thoughts or what your soul’s light is shining is really painful and frustrating.  No one wants to feel judged because of who they are deep inside – so we keep it hidden or we feel like we are banging our heads against a wall.

Finding people who I can easily be understood by and who ‘get’ me was like unlocking a treasure box…it feels like coming home. I get what people mean now by the idea of finding your tribe.  Your tribe is people who, while not walking your path, parallel it enough that there is connection, understanding and shared excitement and joy about the same sorts of things. (tweet this)

You know what I mean?

So, I’m looking forward to seeing all of them again, learning and laughing and the occasionally teary session. Some powerful stuff coaching and we all go through it together.

Have you found some of your tribe?

 

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ps. If YOU want to become part of MY tribe too (and I hope you do!) you can start by getting my monthly newsletter in your inbox.  Just register your email here and you’re good to go. Yay!

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“Need” thinking seems to be getting more people in trouble these days.

What is need thinking you might be wondering.   Ah..this is all about word power once again.

You see there is a very big difference between wanting something and needing it.

And sometimes it can be really tough to tell the difference; especially when it comes to what our hearts feel.

What we need and what we want.  It’s goes back to being mindful and self-aware.  I think the surge of ‘in your face, every moment of every day’ marketing has shifted our thoughts on need and want.  We are getting it mixed up and it’s starting to wear us out and mess us up.

What do we need?

Shelter, food, love, compassion…these are needs.

What do we want?  Oh my…loads of things right?  From houses, to shoes to an old boyfriend or girlfriend.

There is nothing wrong with wanting things I suppose it is human nature after all.  Heck, even my dog Charlie ‘wants’ things sometimes.  The trick is to understand where the drive is coming from and temper it with a bigger ‘end’ goal.

I see many of my friends who have trouble with their wants and needs.  They don’t ask themselves how it fits into their bigger goals in life.  A really simple example is a friend who won’t go to the doctor for a recheck on a serious problem because it will cost money.  At the same time, almost the same breath this person tells me all about the great stuff they got on clearance…none of which they needed or even wanted before they saw it.  And in the same conversation they are talking about the sales on this weekend.

My head was spinning trying to figure out a way to point out this glaring gap in common sense…your health is far more important than more ‘stuff’ dont’ you think?

But, how many of us will sacrifice some or part of our needs in order to fulfill momentary wants?  I caught myself thinking about this when the price of my favorite fruit went up considerably. I almost didn’t but it but suddenly realized that their were things in my cart I didn’t really even want and probably won’t eat much of – but they were on sale.  Does that make sense?  Nope.  Those things went back on the shelf and I bought my fruit.

This type of need thinking creates homes and offices full of stuff.  We want it, but we think we need it.  We get caught up in the pull and end up living in clutter.  Even organized clutter isDo tell... still clutter.

How many of us complain we need more room, less clutter or to get organized?  Really?  Or maybe we need less stuff that doesn’t matter in our life.  My new policy is I can think things are beautiful or amazing in the store – but I don’t have to bring it home with me.

I have 2 criteria.

  1. Is it functional?  Does it replace something I used that is broken?  Will it save me time/energy/money and I will USE it often?
  2. Is it beautiful?  By this I mean does it lift my spirit? Will I be able to place it somewhere I will find it bringing a smile to my face each day?  Knick-knacks that get put in a cupboard don’t do this.
  3. Combine the 2 criteria and we’ve got something worthwhile!

These criteria help me stop the spontaneous buying…even with shoes!  I kid you not.

It also helps that I have learned to be so very thankful for all that I do have.  I cannot fill my heart with stuff, even if buying something makes me feel good for the moment; that feeling is very fleeting.  But graitude – now that is something you can fill a heart with.

There is a theory that when we clear out and clean up the mess in our living spaces we bring peace and harmony into our homes.  This allows us to find more peace in our inner worlds too.  Messes stress us out, we subconsciously don’t enjoy living in that place.  Ohh..I just realized “mess stress” is an awesome term to describe this effect!

What do you think? Would clearing out some clutter in your physical world bring you some peace in your inner world?

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I have noticed that lots of people are really excited about living a life based on gratitude.  Especially around Thanksgiving.

Is that enough? Is it enough to spend one (maybe even a few) days recognizing and focusing on everything we have to be grateful for.

It’s a start, but not really ‘enough’.

We forget quickly in the hustle and bustle of getting ready for the holidays and dealing with pageants, wrapping, lists and oh my goodness…crazy right?  On one hand the holidays are a strong reminder of why we should be grateful and on the other hand they are really Really good at distracting us from that very thing.

Someone mentioned to me that it’s too bad we can’t keep that feeling we get from Thanksgiving and Christmas all year.

Um…why can’t we?  We get to choose what we focus on and if we love the warm, loving feeling we get from being thankful and surrounded by our family then why aren’t we pointing ourselves towards that very thing every, single, freaking day?

We get distracted right?  That my dear and lovely friends is an excuse for choosing where you’ve put your energy.

I mean, crap days happen.  Bad stuff happens.  And we have to deal with the piles of mundane stuff too; but you know what?  If we spent half as much energy ensuring we lived with a grateful heart and that we were loving towards our families, as we do making sure we don’t miss an episode of our favorite shows, we probably wouldn’t have to bother reading this blog. 

I know I’m about to ruffle some feathers, but if you feel like you only have a grateful, loving emotional state during the holidays – well, that’s on you.  Good news though! You can change it so more of your time  is spent feeling those happy, warm, cozy emotions; just like you do when sitting down to Thanksgiving dinner or around the Christmas tree (and I’m not talking about the wine!).  Big truth…YOU have to be the one to decide to do something about it.  And then you have to actually DO those things.

I was listening to a meditation of gratitude by Davidji and he mentions using the holidays to re-dedicate ourselves to gratitude.  I connected with that so deeply because I think it’s wonderful to have a special day to celebrate something as meaningful as giving Thanks for all we have; but I don’t think it should be left to a holiday to live that way.

So, because I’m can (lol) I’m asking YOU to re-dedicate yourself to living in gratitude.  Let me know you too want to live from a heart filled with compassion, kindness and gratitude for all the days in the year below.  Will you take up this challenge?

For the record –> I, Bonnie, take up the challenge to re-dedicate myself to gratitude and choose to live my whole life from a grateful, compassionate heart. 

Blessings

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This past weekend I was reminded of the difference between living a life of true Gratitude and being Grateful.

I know, I know.  You’re probably thinking “nitpicking at words again Bonnie?”  But stay with me okay?  Sometimes getting to the nitty-gritty of what a word or phrase means in contrast to another similar idea can help us understand better or even just clarify things for us.

To me Grateful is what you are when you remember to say thank you to others for the things they have done for you or gifts you have been given.

It’s when you show appreciation for kindness given and you are able to show thanks.

Living a life of Gratitude hImageas a deeper meaning in my eyes.  It’s when you can appreciate everything in your life – the good and bad – as a gift or blessing.

A silly, but actually rather good example of this happened just recently.  I was reminded that in everything it all comes down to how we choose to view and relate from our minds and hearts.
Even this!

It’s been rather cold here in my area.  We aren’t used to really cold weather.  Rain – oh yes! But not the clear cold that was around the past few days.  To be honest I really enjoyed it. I think the rain can wear out your patience after a while and seeing the sun no matter how cold can perk you right up.

The point is the heat in my place is electric baseboards so the air gets SUPER dry and I usually end up with dry skin that is uncomfortable if I don’t take care.  (Stay with me…lol this isn’t a skin care lesson I promise).

Add to that I did a lot of cooking and cleaning and my hands were painfully dried out.  I started to complain about it and a thought suddenly slammed me really hard.  Complain?  Stop and think about that it said.

So, I did.

Yes, I stopped and listened to that voice.

It occurred to me I was missing the gratitude. No…not for the rough dry hands exactly, but for the heat I had in my condo <- a blessing.  For the food I was cooking <- blessing.  For the place I had and the supplies I had to clean it <– blessing.  For the hands that might hurt a little but work well for me <– blessing.

The last big blessing I realized is that while I may have uncomfortable skin at the moment, I also was blessed with the hand cream to soothe it.

So…if you’re keeping score there that’s one problem that came with what? 5? 6? blessings?

Not bad at all right?

You see, life is never going to be perfect.  You can win a billion dollars and still have problems. Just different ones than someone who is just barely making ends meet.  Those billionaire problems aren’t yours to solve on your life path.  You’re stuff is all you need to be worrying about.  Your gifts and blessings are what you need to be grateful for in this life to create a life of real gratitude.

You can’t expect perfection or a perfect life. It’s only foolishness to think so.  However, you can focus your thoughts and energy on the blessings in your life and be grateful and humbled by them.

Me? I’m also grateful for all of you.  I learn so much from your comments, emails and other blogs that I really believe you are all gifts to this universal shift in energy.

I’m grateful right now also for my cracked skin.  It reminds me that I have many other wonderful things in my life.  Of course I’ll also be honest…I’m super grateful for that hand cream!

Blessings

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Do you ever get that feeling like your sinking…and sinking and sinking?

Not the one that comes when your stomach sinks and you realize “oh crap, this one thing is not going as expected.” That’s different from what I’m talking about.

I’m talking about the feeling that you are sinking into a deeper and deeper pit of nothingness.  Like some sort of weird emotional quicksand.  I’ve been there and when I think back I’m always reminded of the Neverending Story. Do you remember that?  The story world was being swallowed up but nothingness because of a lack of belief.  Sounds rather familiar no?

The nothingness is a dark place, a lonely place and I want to talk about it.

There I said it.  People have cautioned me about talking about this because they say if you spend a lot of time thinking and writing and thinking some more you are going to invite that into your life.  Bunch o’crap if you ask me.  My intention is not to do that. It is to talk about so those who feel that way know that they are by no stretch of the imagination, alone.  I want to stop the nothingness too!

You are not alone.  The nothingness pit if FULL of people.  Trust me. You just can’t see them yet because that is the trickiest part of feeling this way.  It causes you to isolate yourself without you even realizing it.   It’s hard to see past your own self.

Shame, fatigue, lethargy, confusion, embarassment…you name it.  The emotions that prevent us from stepping out and asking for help runs a rather large list.  

There is so much of this going on right now with all the cutbacks, homes being lost, fear etc that I really feel the need to talk about it. To bring it OUT of the darkness.

There is no shame in falling down.  It happens.  Sometimes, through literally NO fault of our own, sometimes we’ve made a bad choice and sometimes…yes sometimes, we royally screwed up and ended up face first on the floor.

It happens.

As with every event, it’s what you do afterwards that really matters.

What I’ve learned from feeling like life screwed me over, is that I  have a choice at that point.  I can play the victim card and start the sinking.  Or I live in gratitude for what is still in my life and what is still to come. 

I have been in a position where I had to sell some of my things in order to eat.  My goodness that was hard.  I cried and cried about how I didn’t deserve this; how I’d always worked hard and done the ‘right’ things in life.  Yet, here I was. You know what?  At the end of the day it wasn’t that bad.  Stuff is just stuff. 

Here’s the other interesting thing I learned.  The darkness cannot easily exist when the light of love, hope and a thankful heart are present.  It just can’t seem to co-exist.  Don’t get me wrong.  I had some days that were darker than others…but I was no longer sinking into it.  I know where the exit is located.

Can I share an example that still makes me so grateful that I have a bit of tears show up?  I was cutting waaaaaaay back on everything.  I cut out the TV cable and was pretty sad about that because I used it to distract myself from life of painful recovery.  I looked for another way to use my time and I began to use it to read books that taught me so much more about living well.  I count that time as a time of peace and internal healing.  I snuggled up with my dog and cat under a blanket and a cup of tea and read.  I wrote in my journal and had time to reflect and think. 

It was like I had been living in a room with a dim light and suddenly someone added a whole bunch of bright lamps. 

If I had simply despaired, or tried to fight it, I never would have had that time.  I looked for what opportunities presented to me and I stepped up and took them as small as they might seem.

The thing is if you are experiencing that feeling of life being out of your control, please know that it is not.  You have the power to change it. You really do!  It may not happen overnight and there is no magic pill but you can step out of what is dragging you down and pulling you under.  This is what I help with – setting goals and breaking them down to ‘those little steps’ that make a huge difference.  I’ve seen the difference it makes.

Ask for help if you need it.  Sometimes this turns into a depression that needs medical help to overcome.  That’s okay as long as you get the help you need.  Sometimes you just need to force yourself into a next little step.  Let’s face it.  You are reading this and made it to the bottom which tells me you don’t want to live stuck in the dark.  You don’t have to. 

You can do this.  Your light, your energy, is needed in this world as much as anyone’s.  It’s time to talk about feeling like we’ve sunk and are sinking.  It’s time to throw a few life preservers out there for others.  Let’s shed some light on this and lift each other up.

Blessings

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Aging has never sounded like fun to me. 

Just recently a lovely lady named  I know posted a comment on her Facebook page that said something along the lines of  “Next time I hear someone tell they are “Old” I am going to share this quote with them. “Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.” ~Mark Twain.”  Thank you Cindy for poking this bear!   She asked for thoughts around that and it got me thinking.

 A lot of people think the same way I used to.  I used to hate the idea of getting old.  I actually worried about it.  The idea of not being able to move as easily or having to rely on others, not to mention wrinkles – eww right? 

The thing is we can fight against it all we want…there are only two options.  Age or die.  Harsh? Maybe a little but really, there it is.  Wrinkle creams might soften the blow but still we are going to change, age and have to deal with it.

However, it was when I read a totally different quote about aging that said to consider it a gift, as it is a privilege denied to many, I realized that I wasn’t living from gratitude on this.

I mean, wow.  I was just shocked at how I had missed that point. So many people never even get to be creaky in old age.  Nor do they get to see the next generation grow and begin lives, or enjoy more sunsets or whatever it is they would have like to have done. 

I chided my own ego and told myself it was time to be happy where I was and grateful for each new day.  Wrinkles?  Not a problem for me anymore because each one I have earned and rejoice in because it means I have more of this gift we call life to enjoy.  I may be getting creakier as I get older but I’m also gaining wisdom and usefulness in different ways.

I am amazed each and every day and the new ways gratitude fills my days with peace and new perspectives that allow me to find happiness where ever and when ever I am.

What are you grateful for today?

Blessings

 

 

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We just wrapped up Thanksgiving here in Canada.  Usually one of my favourite times of the year.  Family together, food cooking up and everyone keeping in mind the basis of this holiday – Gratitude.  I am usually basking in all of the joy and good feelings.

This year was not as beautiful as it has been in the past.  I won’t get into why because that would involve telling other people’s stories and that is not my place.  Let’s just say I was struggling to find something to be happy about, I was feeling very hurt and it was lonely.

Not exactly a day to be awash in feelings of gratefulness now is it? 

In truth, I alternated for a while between wanting to crawl back in bed and have a good cry and feel sorry for myself and feeling like railing at the world for its ‘unjustness’ (is that a word? If not it really should be.)

I did neither.  I paused.  I explored the hurt and the sad feelings.  I let them exist for a time.  When I felt calmer I decided to switch my own gears.  I went to my Gratitude Journal and read over my entries.  Then I took my Gratitude Rock and tried to remember all the ‘best’ things from each day that I had given on over.  And then, the hard part.  I sat and wrote 10 things I was grateful for right then and there.  It was a struggle at first because I had to dig deeper then the hurt I was feeling; deeper then the pain of being let down.  Boy I wish that kind of digging burned as many calories as physical digging 😉

During this I realized something deeply that I think I kind of already knew.  We have it so freakin backwards in this world and society.  We think that once we are happy we can find a way to live in gratitude but that is so entirely wrong and turned around.

The truth is we won’t be happy if we live that way.  We just can’t be, because we are always waiting for ‘something’ to change, to come, to leave…whatever.  Guess what…there is always something new to wait for. 

What I realized is this.  When you dwell in a heart that is full of grateful thoughts you create happiness for yourself. 

I was not jumping wildly around happy and feeling eternally blissful after my meditations, I’ll be honest.  My hurt feelings still stung a bit when I thought about them.  The thing is I was peaceful and a calm. The churning in my gut and tears had eased and gone.  Gratitude just changed how I dealt with the hurt. 

It’s really hard to explain how your outlook changes your emotions until you practice this.  It has taken a fair bit of work to get to this point and I’m sure I have a long way to go.  I’m learning each and every day more and more and one of the things I’ll be putting down in my journal today is that I am so truly grateful that I have this forum, this blog, to share with you and to learn from you. 

Blessings and gratitude.

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