Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Faith is the bird that feels the light when the dawn is still dark.

The birds of the forest don't wait until they see the sun before they begin their song, but sing out in chorus to welcome the beginning of a new day. Why then do we insist that we must see the light before we sing out in praise? I would that I had the faith of the lowly birds today and to lift up my voice to welcome the coming days.

I've stumbled a bit lately and run into many obstacles during the past winter. How ironic that I should stop praising all that is good and light in the world when things get rough for me after telling you that you have the power to overcome all that is negative in the world by changing your thinking and expressing gratitude for all that you have.

I am the example of how not to lead your life in faith. Let me explain my descent from positive thinking and gratitude to something less enjoyable and more in tune with the negative forces that descended on my life.

It began when I fancied I no longer had time for this blog. I fell victim to the slippery slope that often befalls online writers, as I tended to spend my energy and my time on writing for money and forgot that perhaps there was a greater calling I should heed. As time progressed, I blogged less and less about gratitude and positive thinking and wrote about popular topics that would draw in readers and in turn earn money from the sites I publish on.

I'll spare you the details, but life began a downward spiral. Sadly, I abandoned my commitment to gratitude and a positive attitude as I became overwhelmed with a set of events I could not have imagined.

I am here today to begin again and lift up my voice in praise of the light that I know shall come.

Today, I am grateful for the nearness of spring and the promise that snow shall melt and flowers shall bloom again. I am grateful for blue skies, spring sun and mud puddles that will soon emerge. I am grateful for the birds of the forest, for the sound of the wind and melting ice that sparkles in the sun. 
I am grateful for my family who is always there, for friends who share their faith and for those whose lives touch mine along the way. I am grateful for the clean air to breathe, for water to drink and food to fuel the body. I am grateful for my health that I may enjoy life. 
I am grateful for opportunities that lurk just out of sight and for the wisdom to recognize them when they come my way. 
And, I am grateful for you, dear reader, as you stop to share my day. May you have the faith of the birds of the forest today, as you lift up your voice in praise for the joys that are about to enter your life.

Friday, August 16, 2013

“Every man takes the limits of his own field of vision for the limits of the world.” ― Arthur Schopenhauer

photo by Theophilos/flickr
We all know that what we focus on is what we see - but sometimes we forget that we have a choice. I recently watched an episode of "Brain Games" that reminded me that focusing on obstacles prevents me from seeing opportunities that lay just beyond my reach.

Let me share it with you. Hold your index finger in front of you so that it rests between your eyes and the picture above.. Stare at your finger for 10 to 15 seconds and then shift your focus to the scene of the boat in the water. If you are like most of us, you discovered that you can see through your finger to the beautiful scene in the background. Even though your finger is still there before your eyes, you are suddenly able to see the view beyond it with clarity and your finger seems to disappear from view.

If a solid object like your finger can disappear with a simple shift in focus, imagine what happens to obstacles when you shift your focus and concentrate on your dreams.

Today, I am grateful for the approach of fall and the cool night breeze, for the flight of the hummingbird as it inspects bright red and gold nasturtiums, and for the sweet fragrance of my herb garden. 
I am grateful for the bark of a distant dog as it echoes in the night, for the bat that wings its way through my garden in search of food, and for rainbows that will come to call another day. 
I am grateful for wild berries that feeds God's creatures, for trees that bring comfort to the world, and rocks. 
I am grateful for grown children who always make me proud, for my husband who is always there, and for brothers and sisters who helped make me who I am. I am grateful for parents who taught me the way to go. 
I am grateful for food to eat, water to drink and air to breathe. 
And, I am grateful for you, dear reader, as you stop to share my day. May you resist the urge to focus on obstacles and look beyond them as you go forward in the direction of your dreams.


Saturday, August 10, 2013

Use what talents you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best. Henry Van Dyke


How easy it is to become down trodden and lose our way because we fear that what we are is not good enough, that our talents and skills will never match up to those around us. The problem, of course, is that we tend to compare ourselves to the best of the best and become discouraged when we fall short in comparison.

Some contend that comparing ourselves to others is a natural tendency to find out where we fit in to the world - that the human brain prefers to sort and rank information. It's your job to give it something to do that will move you forward toward your goals instead of leaving you feeling like you have missed the mark.

Instead of comparing yourself to others and the accomplishments you think they have achieved, get in the habit of comparing your past and present self. Whatever your endeavors, look back to where you started. Take stock of what how far you have come and celebrate your accomplishment with joy as you work to reach your goals and dreams.

Today I am grateful for the chokecherry tree laden with fruit that provides food for a multitude of birds, for the varied songs that waft through the air and the shimmer of new morning light.
  I am grateful for blue sky, green grass and the remnants of rain that cools my bare feet. I am grateful for the rogue sunflower that adorns my garden and for the steady drip of water from surrounding trees that tells me the rain is done.

I am grateful for family and friends that share my life, for old friends who helped make me who I am today and for new friends I will meet along life's way.
 And, I am grateful for you, dear reader, as you stop to share my day. May you resist the urge to compare yourself to others as you go forward in the direction of your dreams.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Negative thoughts stick around because we believe them, not because we want them or choose them. Andrew Bernstein

Lately I've found myself sucked into negative thoughts that seem to linger throughout my day. The slightest indication of criticism, the suggestion that things might not work out as planned or a hint that something negative is on the way is enough to send my mood pummeling downward.

It's not so much that I choose to dwell on negative thoughts as it is that I am struggling to push them away. I realized today that its not the fact that negative thoughts come that is causing the problem, it is our tendency to believe them.

I recently encountered an editor that seemed overly harsh in his assessment of my work, which cast a shadow of self-doubt over me. I thought it was the sting of criticism that was bothering me, but I realize now it was my belief in his criticism and the negative effects of self doubt that has caused the cloud of insecurity to envelop me. Today, I will choose to cast away my belief in my negative thoughts and get on with the business of working to reach my goals as I go forward in the direction of my dreams.

Strive today to chase negative thoughts from your life by refusing to believe that they have power over you. Look them square in the face and say, "I don't believe you." Know that refusing to believe them renders them powerless and opens your life to positive thoughts and positive energy.

Today, I am grateful for green grass, bright flowers and birds at my feeder. I am grateful for the fruit of my garden, for the call of the owl and the light from the sun. I am grateful for soft raindrops that fall to refresh the earth. 
I am grateful for family and friends who make my life rich, for the kindness of strangers who I meet throughout my day and for the vastness of the universe. I am grateful for the human mind and its infinite power to learn new things and reach new heights. 
I am grateful for good health, a sound mind and laughter. 
And, I am grateful for you, dear reader, as you stop to share my day. May you overcome your negative thoughts today by refusing to believe them as you go forward in the direction of your dreams.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

"Better keep yourself clean and bright. You are the window through which you must see the world." George Bernard Shaw

It is so easy to forget that how we view the world creates our reality. When we focus on the obstacles to reaching our dreams and goals, we lose of sight of where we need to go. When the momentum is broken and the vision becomes clouded by circumstances, our paths darken and we cannot find our way.

For today, strive to clear your vision by viewing the world in a positive light and know that you can reach your goals as long as you continue to go forward in the direction of your dreams. Allow yourself to see the world through the innocence of childhood today and believe in the power of your dreams.

Today, I am grateful for new opportunities I have yet to recognize but I know lie just out of sight. I am grateful for the beauty of the Universe, for the music of the wind, and the earthy scent of greenhouses.
I am grateful for a clear, sound mind with which to view the world, for the courage to pursue my dreams, and for the knowledge that dreams do come true.
I am grateful for the people who have touched by life - for good and bad - who helped me become who I am today. I am grateful for the ability to make wise choices, for a heart that feels compassion for others, and the wisdom to know when to offer help and when to let them find their own way. 
I am grateful for my family who forms the center of my life, for my pets who bring peace and joy into my life, and for my garden that patiently sleeps beneath the snow. I am grateful for improved health, abundant energy and the vision of a bright tomorrow. 
And, I am grateful for you, dear reader, as you stop to share my day. May you keep yourself clean and bright today that you may see the world clearly as you go forward in the direction of your dreams.