Thank you for all you have been doing for me. I am not always as positive and grateful as I could be. There are days I let the fear of what almost happened during the last attempt to do a procedure on me color what might happen during this next attempt. Yes, I could have died, but I did not and for that I am grateful. Yes, putting me on the surgical table again is risky, but it is a different surgeon, a different hospital, a different team of specialists, and they have all the knowledge from what happened the last time
Yes, it is scary, but I have to remember Dr Broderick’s words that she would not put me on the table if she could not safely take me off the table alive. I have to remember that she will be able to see things because of the Ultrasound Dr who will be with her. They did not have that the last time. I have to trust her and know she is doing everything she can to find out what is growing inside me, remove it, treat it, and keep me safe. Read more
The universe has a sense of humor. I had been thinking about kindness and praying for inspiration about what to write about. I am pretty good at practicing kindness and look for opportunities each day to be kind to others. I so often have focused on how I feel when I am doing something for others. I had not taken time to think about how I feel when someone does something kind for me. Yesterday, however, a friend of mine surprised me with an act of kindness that touched my heart.
It was one of those totally unexpected kind of things. My friend Venetia Carey is a Pink Zebra consultant. We met last December at a vending event we did together. Read more
Today I want to give thanks for the box from my brother and his wife. I have been sitting there staring at this box for about a week now, wanting to open it, but really just wanting to sit and be with my feelings about receiving this box. See the reality is that I really do not care what is in the box; it is just that I have the box. It is that he stopped and sent me a gift. It is that he took the time to think about me and let me know I was in his thoughts. I honestly could not care about what is inside the box, I am just enjoying sitting here looking at the box.
Here I am 59 years old and my brother is 57 ½ and he and I are exchanging gifts for the first time ever. I don’t ever remember getting a gift from him as a child and I know I never got one as an adult Read more
Thank you for the gift of memory. I remember years ago reading something in Sarah Ban Breathnach’s book Simple Abundance about how one should write down five things one is grateful for before going to bed each night. She talked about how as time passes and we fill our journal with blessings, we will experience an inner shift in our reality. I am generally so tired when I go to bed that I do not do this, but it is the first thing that I do in the morning and it is an awesome way for me to begin my morning. There is nothing like starting off the morning by thanking you for all you do for me and have done in my life. It just starts my morning off with the right mindset for the rest of the day.
The funny thing is that I have been writing in my gratitude journal for so long now that I could not remember how long it has been. So this morning I checked and found out I started on December 31, 2012. So it has almost been three years. I have kept them on and off before, but this time I have managed to keep it going for three years now. I have to agree with Sarah doing so has contributed to an inner shift in my reality. Not only do I begin my day by giving thanks, but I end my day by telling my wife at least one thing she did that day which made me feel loved or for which I am grateful. Read more
So I was sitting here this morning about all I have been through in my life and I know that I have made it here because of my personal relationship with you. It is through you and my relationship with you that I have come to experience an intimacy that I have not been able to experience with a human person, not even Zoe, and I know you sent her into my life.
I think about all the times I came close to dying and you would whisper in my ears, all is well my daughter and then you brought me through. I think about all the times I wondered how I was going to make it through the summer financially and you always provided for me one way or the other. I think about all the times I doubted if I was doing what you wanted and needed me to do in my life and you would send someone to say thank you. I think about the times I had those moments of doubt as to whether I could do something or not and you would say, come Sarah Bella, let’s do this. Read more
So I have been thinking this month about devotion and what I am devoted to and how I express my devotion. Recently, someone asked me how I can express my devotion without being a part of a formal worship community. I smiled as I realized that for me, I am part of a formal worship community. I gather each day with my readers around the world in our own way and in our own time and we meditate on a thought you have led me to each day. Then I give thinks for at least five things that have happened or I have become aware of in the last 24 hours. Sometimes I feel like there are more than five, but I always feel as if I am supposed to stop at five for some reason. Maybe that is because the number 5 is about your grace and goodness. I remember reading once that the Ten Commandments are really two sets of five commandments. The first five have to do with our treatment and relationship with you and the last five have to do with our relationship with others. Read more
Last week I wrote a letter to my Mom thanking her for being one of my spiritual and moral mentors. She and my Bubby are the first two, which came to my mind. As I have thought about all the spiritual and moral mentors in my life I have come to realize that while some of them were people I knew, others were people I have never met. Some of my teachers have been people who served as examples of how I did not want to be because I saw the harm they inflicted on others. Yet I need to give thanks to them as well, although I will not mention them by name as the lessons they taught me were decades ago and I would not want them to be judged, by this one incident.
This reminds me that Sister Helen Prejean, one of those women I have never met, taught me a valuable lesson. Read more
Last night I was watching a video Zoe had found about gratitude and happiness. In the video, people wrote letters to someone they were grateful for in their lives. Then they were asked to call that person and read them the letter if they could. This morning I woke up thinking about my mom. I am so grateful for all she taught me during her time here on earth. One of the things she taught me about was how to be compassionate towards others. Mom, I hope that you can read these words as I put them out into the Universe, that place where we are of one (uni) verse. That place where we are one with each other. I love you. If you were here and I had to read this to you, I would probably go through about three boxes of tissues. Read more
I have been sitting here the last few days thinking about a question somebody asked me about what my spiritual rituals are like. What do I do to stay connected, focused, and balanced? As I have been thinking about this, I realized there were multiple ways for me to answer this question. On the one hand, you are one of the first things I think about every morning. I get up, go to the bathroom, and come to the computer, think about our theme for the month and post a thought to give others and myself something to think about. Then I open my gratitude journal and write down five things I am grateful for in my life. Most days I also try to write down why I also appreciate that which I just gave thanks for in my life. Then I write one thing that is inspiring me each day. Finally, I think about what I want to manifest in my life that day. That is one way for me to talk about what I do to stay connected with you.
However, that is more about what I do, and while it is a part of what keeps me feeling like I am in your presence, there is so much more to it than that. Read more
So today, I just want to thank my Bubby for teaching me how to seek out the gratitude in all situations. This message has been hitting home for me repeatedly this week. Each day, as you know, I start off the day with five things I am grateful for that day and then before going to be tell Zoe one thing about her I am grateful for or one thing she did for which I give thanks. My Bubby used to tell me that if I could see the positive in any situation, then I am going to be okay. Just say thank you for the gift, she would say. Hmm, I wonder if she said the same thing to Meister Eckhart, or if at least spirit conveyed those same words to him. He once said something similar. He said, “if the only prayer you said in your whole life was “thank you,“ that would suffice.” At the end of each Oneness Blessing gathering, we take a moment to say, “I am blessed, and full of gratitude. Today, my affirmation was “my life is blessed, and I am so grateful.” Read more
This morning I awoke to a picture and a story a friend has posted on Facebook of a humpback whale. This is what it said:
A female humpback whale had become entangled in a spider web of crab traps and lines. She was weighted down by hundreds of pounds of traps that caused her to struggle to stay afloat. She also had hundreds of yards of line rope wrapped around her body, her tail, her torso, a line tugging in her mouth.
This is her story of giving gratitude.
Every morning one of the first things I do is to take time to thank you for at least five things I have been blessed with in my life. Sometimes they are not things in my life, but the absence of things in my life. When I hear of people who are struggling with and dying from addictions to drugs, or in abusive relationships, or homeless, and the list goes on, I am reminded to give thanks for all that I have not or am not experiencing in my life at this time.
One of the things I am eternally grateful for is that you love me unconditionally. You know my heart, and all the thoughts that float through my mind and you still love me unconditionally. You have loved me even when I have not always loved myself. Read more
Sometimes the simple questions provoke the deepest of thinking. I was at the funeral for Zoe’s Aunt Neeny this past week and had a chance to talk to one of her family members (well actually the husband of her cousin). We have had virtually no chance to talk at all the last 8 years, so I think what happened between us was powerful for both of us. It all started with a comment about our favorite television channels (foodnetwork and the cooking channel). This led to me talking about The Zenful Kitchen and to a broader discussion of faith and spirituality. He seemed interested in knowing more about Inspiritual and I am ALWAYS willing to share the work we are doing here. I guess it is my form of evangelism – lol. Read more
Most of this week, I have been thinking about my recent blog about the distinction between gratitude and appreciation.
“Melody Beattie said, “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” Gratitude is the base from which we can gain a greater appreciation of life and its offerings.
Appreciation involves awareness and mindfulness. Our ability to appreciate all of what life is revealing to us is dependent on our being present, aware, and actively reflecting on why we are grateful for what we are. It is through our awareness that our appreciation of that which we are grateful grows and blossoms.” Read more
I have been thinking about my relationship with my body for a while now, as it has not always been the healthiest of relationships. Some teachers in my life have tried to tell me my body is a prison which limits my spirit. Others have taught me my body is the love of my life. What I know is that my body is what it is at any moment of my existence and it is what houses my spirit which lives within it. Whether it is a panacea or a prison, I have come to this place where I must appreciate and enjoy it for what it is while my spirit is in it. Read more