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52 Weeks of Gratitude
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I hate not knowing where I am going. I want to know where I am, the next turn, and how to get out of the maze! Many of us navigate our lives instead of letting life navigate for us. Our lives are tidy with navigation gadgets on our phones and cars. We don’t leave home without something to tell us where we are going. I readied myself for a trek to Vermont. I had not one but two phones, each with a different carrier. I had multiple maps, one downloaded from Mapquest, and the others picked up from the local... Continue reading
Posted Oct 1, 2017 at 52 Weeks of Gratitude
I suspect that anyone who attempts to achieve anything in life will agree that along the way there are rejections and acceptances from others; negative and positive results; and that the axis we rotate between these is difficult. It is my belief that we often give more weight to the negatives, which crowd out the positive achievements in life. I have been running on a high lately. With the success of my card line, I forgot what it was to struggle for acceptance into elite circles. In a short span of time, I developed a decent customer base and received... Continue reading
Posted Sep 17, 2014 at 52 Weeks of Gratitude
Doing time Last August I was blessed with the chance to see one of my favorite musicians and a brilliant songwriter, Ben Taylor. I was in awe of his opening monologue. It would be the first of many moments during the evening which provoked my mind to engage upon the struggles of an offspring of famous parents. The son of Carly Simon and James Taylor, it would stand to reason that his success, acceptance, and notoriety as a musician was a given in life. However, not always so. Ben shared with the audience words his father spoke to him. “Ben,”... Continue reading
Posted Aug 10, 2014 at 52 Weeks of Gratitude
After spending a few weeks trying to figure out what to blog about, I went back to my roots and thought, gratitude. Gratitude is a powerful emotion in our lives.Often expressed as politeness, I wondered, how can we experience gratitude to the depth that it provokes change? Even though gratitude is an abstract construct, meaning we are unable to touch it, life provides each of us the opportunity to grasp gratitude, and feel the depths of it each day. When we focus on living a life of gratitude we see the change in our life, feel the difference in our... Continue reading
Posted Jun 28, 2014 at 52 Weeks of Gratitude
Mizuta Masahidi wrote: “Now that my hut has burned down, I have a better view of the moon.” I have pondered these words for several months and believe that the hut, the shell we live in, created and built by our past, places a veil across our ability to see the clarity of our daily moments. The hut is always with us. It is a backpack, heavy with history that weighs down our decisions, and prevents us from achieving our goals. It allows us to feel inferior to some, and superior to others. It sets up our good and bad... Continue reading
Posted Aug 3, 2012 at 52 Weeks of Gratitude
Pain has a way of redirecting our attention away from the self and altering our perceived needs. Instead of satisfying the need for care through our own contemplative self or those things we truly enjoy, we seek self in all which lacks the ability to satiate our appetite. We behave in ways which are counterproductive to a healthy self. Perhaps we seal the pain with alcohol, drugs or food. Perhaps it is found in outrageous behavior or spending long hours working at the office. Whatever we do, it diverts the attention from the individual who needs to be loved, healed... Continue reading
Posted Aug 24, 2011 at 52 Weeks of Gratitude
Every July my family and friends say it feels like I dropped out of life. Instead of enjoying the slower pace of summer life, I spend three hours, four evenings a week tutoring students in the Talent Development Program at the University of Rhode Island. My family adapts their lives and instead of a lazy Sunday evening dinner on the deck, we have breakfast or lunch. Friends know that emails will slow and my opportunities to spend time with them will diminish. I tell friends tutoring is comparable to their favorite television show or book. That my entertainment, my movie... Continue reading
Posted Jul 18, 2011 at 52 Weeks of Gratitude
Pink’s song “Glitter in the Air” begins with three words that I believe we are "in the moment" immune to: “Have you ever. . . “ It is these very same words which I ask you to ponder today. How often have you ever stopped to recognize what someone does as that very moment with gratitude? I am not talking about the offhanded polite thank you. I’m talking about gratitude with a capital G! The have you ever. . . I think if we all think about it, we have said thank you, however, at the very moment did you... Continue reading
Posted May 11, 2011 at 52 Weeks of Gratitude
2010. Twenty-ten. Two thousand and ten: a new year and a new decade. A chance to say “out with the old and in with the new.” I use the last week of the year to read jounals, my old journals. Sometimes I read back a few years to see what was going on, where I was at the beginning of the year, and where I was at the end. Most people say, let it go, what's done is done. Yet on the eve of the New Year, many say, good riddance to last year. So, do we ever let go?... Continue reading
Posted May 10, 2011 at 52 Weeks of Gratitude
Four years ago I made the call that saved my life. Physical suicide almost seemed like a positive alternative to the suicide I was committing with my relationships, finances, family and job. I believe the best way to describe it as similar to the path of destruction left by an F-5 tornado. The strongest of tornadoes, it is described as a force that lifts strong frame houses from the foundation and carries them for considerable distances before they disintegrate; automobiles become missiles; trees are “debarked” and steel structures are damaged. Yep, that about describes my life three years ago, an... Continue reading
Posted May 10, 2011 at 52 Weeks of Gratitude
Changes in our lives are often described as bridges. We straddle them, we fall through, we run across, and hang ten. And sometimes, we just take our time and let our journey guide us over the bridge. We bridge our relationships; we bridge our professional lives; we bridge our personal lives and we bridge our identity. Life is a constant journey, and the paths we travel have bridges. They bring us from where we are to where we need to be. Over the past few weeks, what I have learned is that the suspension branches in my bridge are the... Continue reading
Posted Jul 11, 2010 at 52 Weeks of Gratitude
Recently, I was privileged to loose a bit more of my ego, and gain more of my essence. How? One simple phrase, one word, changed my world. The word: brokenhearted. Ah, what can you do with a broken heart? Last week I was saddened by something that happened. When a friend offered sympathy with the statement, “you must be brokenhearted.” I responded, “No. My heart aches but it is not broken.” No one will ever break my heart. Not because I do not love or feel deeply. Not because friendships do not cease or misunderstandings do not happen. Because I... Continue reading
Posted Jun 7, 2010 at 52 Weeks of Gratitude
Lately I have been thinking about how each day offers us the chance for new beginnings. And I have decided it is time. It is time to move out of my comfort zone and stop denying the world and myself the opportunity to be involved. The world needs my hands, and I need to contribute my hands to make the work of the world lighter. I need to give back. So for the next year, I have added a new dimension to my life. Last year I committed to the gratitude notes and this year, I will continue to write... Continue reading
Posted Jun 6, 2010 at 52 Weeks of Gratitude
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Mar 16, 2010
2010. Twenty-ten. Two thousand and ten: a new year and a new decade. A chance to say “out with the old and in with the new.” I use the last week of the year to read jounals, my old journals. Sometimes I read back a few years to see what was going on, where I was at the beginning of the year, and where I was at the end. Most people say, let it go, what's done is done. Yet on the eve of the New Year, many say, good riddance to last year. So, do we ever let go?... Continue reading
Posted Jan 2, 2010 at 52 Weeks of Gratitude
Four years ago I made the call that saved my life. Physical suicide almost seemed like a positive alternative to the suicide I was committing with my relationships, finances, family and job. I believe the best way to describe it as similar to the path of destruction left by an F-5 tornado. The strongest of tornadoes, it is described as a force that lifts strong frame houses from the foundation and carries them for considerable distances before they disintegrate; automobiles become missiles; trees are “debarked” and steel structures are damaged. Yep, that about describes my life three years ago, an... Continue reading
Posted Nov 25, 2009 at 52 Weeks of Gratitude
Halfway through the semester, I decided my students needed a reality check. I passed out note cards, instructed my students to write a note to someone in their lives that made a difference, address and seal the card, and then return the notes to me to mail. I affixed the postage and dropped 40 notes in the mail. Unknown to my students, this was an exercise in appreciating the chance they have to attend college. Unknown to me, was the realization that the feedback my students shared would reduce me to tears and give me the gift of a teacher’s... Continue reading
Posted Nov 25, 2009 at 52 Weeks of Gratitude
As a mom, I have yet to discover a time in the lives of my children that lacks awe. I am blessed with two unique, kind, and loving sons. Last spring my oldest brought home his first born. Not the traditional child. This one weighed in at 70 pounds, has four legs, a wrinkly face and drools all over the house. Yes friends, he brought home a dog. A four year old boxer named Baillee. I wrote to Keith this summer to share my gratitude for all he is and all he does. I also thanked him for bringing Baillee... Continue reading
Posted Nov 25, 2009 at 52 Weeks of Gratitude
This week there is no question about who I will mail my gratitude note to. I somehow think the person who receives the note, is the type of person who enjoys making others feel special. Truthfully, I really do not even know this person. But what a difference he made in my week. As I told him, it is his generosity of spirit that filled my spirit on that Thursday morning. Felicia’s is a small coffee shop in East Greenwich, RI. According to my son, they serve the best coffee. Yes, even better than Dunkin Donuts! As for me, they... Continue reading
Posted Nov 25, 2009 at 52 Weeks of Gratitude
There is something special about early morning. In the spring and summer I sit on my deck and enjoy my first cup of tea while I journal or read. Then, for a few weeks I stagnate. A wayfaring stranger without a place to open the day. When the season changes from summer to fall, I find myself sitting in my rocking chair by the wood stove, cup of coffee or tea in hand, breathing in the wonder of a new day. Today is that morning. We are having a typical nor’easter, and for the first few moments of the day... Continue reading
Posted Nov 25, 2009 at 52 Weeks of Gratitude
Some gratitude is easy to express and other times it takes effort. This is about those times when the expression of gratitude needs active participation. Several weeks ago I wrote a note of gratitude to a friend. The note still sits in my planner, yet to find its way to the post office. I used the excuse that I want to send the note on my newly designed stationery; I need to print up more bookmarks; I will make sure I copy the note and mail it tomorrow. The truth is, this note in particular is very difficult. It requires... Continue reading
Posted Nov 25, 2009 at 52 Weeks of Gratitude
I have been staying at one of the best kept secrets in Connecticut. Nestled in the hills of Simsbury, sits Merrywood Inn, a quaint and elegant bed and breakfast. Driving up the long circular drive, you glance at the meticulous grounds and know that this is a place to restore. Outside, Merrywood offers a sanctuary to pause for a respite on one of the benches or take tea on a rainy afternoon under the protection of the outdoor teahouse that overlooks the wooded acreage. You can stroll the perimeter guided by stonewalls that artfully display stone and metal arrangements. Pass... Continue reading
Posted Nov 25, 2009 at 52 Weeks of Gratitude
This weekend is parents weekend at my son’s college. I will confess, I use it as my weekend retreat. If you have a child in college, I am sure you will understand this. We spend a few hours with them and recognize that this is not the child we dropped off. This is an adult and this is their space, their territory, and their life. We are now visitors in our child’s life. So, my weekend is sprinkled with some time with my son and his girlfriend, and my time is spent growing from my son. Letting go. For nineteen... Continue reading
Posted Nov 25, 2009 at 52 Weeks of Gratitude
I have been neglectful of late. No posts and I owe a gratitude card. This stresses me. Or better said, this gives me the chance to learn something valuable. Because the reality of this my friends, is this endeavor is supposed to be empty of stress. I have been preoccupied writing my thesis, and my professional life is, well, let’s say a bit busy. This pause gave me a great deal of insight. Another good thing! I love learning! So, another post off the beaten path, however, well, you be the judge. What have I learned? Every day I think... Continue reading
Posted Nov 25, 2009 at 52 Weeks of Gratitude
I figured out where I am in the experiment. I have been writing gratitude notes for nineteen weeks. This is week twenty. I sent cards to my mom and to friends who are not afraid to challenge me. I sent a note to the owners of the Rocky Hill Blueberry Farm in Warwick; and I sent a card to my neighbor who saved my home and probably our lives from fire. I sent cards to the receptionist at my dentist and eye doctor for reminding me about my appointments and I sent a card to my dear friends for all... Continue reading
Posted Nov 25, 2009 at 52 Weeks of Gratitude