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Showing posts from 2010

New Year's eve is like every other night; there is no pause in the march of the universe, no breathless moment of silence among created things that the passage of another twelve months may be noted; and yet no man has quite the same thoughts this evening that come with the coming of darkness on other nights. ~Hamilton Wright Mabie

Photo by grafixar

I've always liked New Year's Eve, not for going out or entertaining guests, but because it holds that magical moment when our symbolic past and our hopes for the future lie in balance, waiting for the scales to tip. 


It's not that I don't value the past or that I have anything negative in my life that I wish to put behind me. I don't. It's the anticipation of new adventures, the hope of reaching new goals and the light of a brand new year approaching that I love the most.


In it lies the promise of reaching new heights, accomplishing new things and going new places.


Consider where you've been this year and take pride in all you have accomplished. Express your gratitude for all you have, but aim for more. 


Today, I am grateful for the hundreds of people who have voted for my daughter's entry in a photo contest so she may win a college scholarship. Your votes bring her closer to realizing her hopes and dreams for the future. (You can vote her…

Sometimes opportunity knocks, but most of the time it sneaks up and then quietly steals away. ~ Doug Larson

photo by cohdra


Many of us are in the habit of sitting back and waiting for opportunity to knock on the front door, but what we don't consider is that opportunity is every where if we but look. 

Sitting idly by expecting opportunity to enter our lives with fanfare and announce itself is a bit naive, to say the least. If you seek opportunity in your life, you must be ready to recognize and act when it appears.

Keep your options open today and don't be too quick to close doors that may lead you down the path you should go. I'm not suggesting you follow every "fly by night" opportunity someone puts in front of you--but I am suggesting you consider your options regularly.

Today, I am grateful for the winter sun, clear roads and grocery stores that provide fresh fruits and vegetables in the midst of winter. I am grateful for seeds that lie silent throughout the winter and burst forth into lush green plants in spring. I am grateful for snow laden trees that decorate th…

“It's not the towering sail, but the unseen wind that moves the ship”

photo by nazka2002


Too often in life we devote our time and energy into creating the most elaborate and powerful sails assuming that when we say, "I'm ready" the universe will respond and we will sail onward to reach our goals. We overlook that without the wind beneath our sails, we go nowhere.

Consider for a moment the source of the wind in your life. Many refer to the wind as God, who gives power and direction to their lives, while others prefer to call it the power of the Universe--but one thing remains the same, without the wind, your ship will never set sail.

Get in touch with your wind today as you prepare for the adventure set before you. 

Today, I am grateful for a warm home that provides a harbor to the storm, for family that binds my life together and for friends who make me smile.

I am grateful for air to breathe, for food to eat and coffee. I am grateful for warm dry socks, cozy blankets and soft pillows.

And, I am grateful for you, dear reader, as you stop to shar…

In honor of my daughter..

My Favorite Photo (I've Ever Taken) 3
Brickfish
I'd like to deviate from my typical post today to share my daughters work. She has entered this photo in a competition to earn a scholarship for  college and can use your support. Voting is quick and easy and only takes a second. You can vote twice a day, everyday for the next 45 plus days. To win, she needs to make her way to the top. As of this writing, she is rated as 33 out of 8518. Points are earned both from votes and from posts to other sites, such a twitter, facebook and blogs.


Today, I am grateful for good friends, the generosity of strangers and sugar free French vanilla coffee creamer. I am grateful for family that lighten my load, for writers who share their knowledge and for photographers who capture what the eyes cannot. 

I am grateful for holiday wrappings, dangling ribbons and candy canes. 


And, I am grateful for you, dear reader as you stop to share my day. May your holidays be cheery and your heart be light.


UPDATE: …

Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time. ~Laura Ingalls Wilder

photo bycohdra




 My wish for you today is that you may find the simple joy of Christmas as your share memories and become childlike in your joy.  

For many of us,  money is tight and forces us to make changes in our spending this year, but don't let that prevent you from giving. 

Give of yourself, give of your time and give from your heart. If you are discouraged as Christmas approaches, take the time now to give thanks for all you have, for surely your wealth is great--if you but look. 


Today, I am grateful for the winter sun that pales in comparison to its summer brightness, yet manages to set the world aglow shimmering against the snow. I am grateful for sparkling ice, for tiny prisms of light in every snowflake glittering in the sun, and evergreens that stand proud and tall.


I am grateful for children everywhere who anticipate the coming of Christmas with joy in their hearts. May their wishes be granted and may they find pleasure in all they receive.


I am grateful for the ability to …

“When we do the best that we can, we never know what miracle is wrought in our life, or in the life of another.” by Helen Keller

Photo by kakisky

Children have the marvelous ability to see the miracle of life without worrying about being good enough or smart enough to accomplish their goals. A handful of sand, a tiny shell or the glisten of water is enough to fill the soul with the overwhelming sense of peace and joy--yet as adults we forget these simple miracles that make life sing out in praise and joy.

Let go of your fears of not being what you need to be today. There is no such thing as not being smart enough or good enough when it comes to the miracles of life.

Setting goals and working to attain them shouldn't replace the joy of being alive. It shouldn't prevent you from showing kindness, lending a helping hand or stopping to play in the sand. If striving to reach your goals gets in your way of enjoying your life, it is time to take a step back and evaluate the reason you have those goals in the first place.

Today, I am grateful for children who remind us that life is meant to be enjoyed, for phot…

“The world is full of abundance and opportunity, but far too many people come to the fountain of life with a sieve instead of a tank car… a teaspoon instead of a steam shovel. They expect little and as a result they get little.”

~Ben Sweetland

Photo by earl53


Many Americans, it seems, live in a culture of lack, expecting nothing great from the world and quite willingly accepting a life of lack in return. But this doesn't need to be the case.

You hold the power to change your thinking about yourself and your life.Once your expectations increase, you are on your way to meeting your goals.

Today, I am grateful for Christmas lights, for multi-colored bows, and boxes tied up with ribbons. I am grateful for the fresh scent of the tree and my cat as she gently bats the balls.


I am grateful for Christmas music to make my heart light, for feelings to make my life full and words to express it all.

I am grateful for family that I hold dear, for old friends who send Christmas cheer and and snow that creates a winter wonderland.

And, I am grateful for you, dear reader, as you stop to share my day. May you expect much and receive much as you go forward to meet your goals.

When you follow your bliss... doors will open where you would not have thought there would be doors; and where there wouldn't be a door for anyone else. ~Joseph Campbell

Photo by johnwollring





Yesterday we talked about finding your purpose in life and following your passion. Joseph Campbell, a scholar and professor, refers to that passion as bliss, and reminds us of how important it is to act when inspiration strikes.

Sometimes, taking action isn't easy. You may experience fear or hesitation because you aren't sure how others will react--or you may simply fear that you don't have what it takes to act on your inspiration and pursue your purpose.

May you let go of your fears today and step forth when inspiration strikes and know in your heart that you do have what it takes to fulfill your purpose and your dreams.

Today, I am grateful for a morning off to write about the things that are important to me, for time to relax and refocus my energy and for renewed energy to reach my goals.


I am grateful for the doors that open allowing me to pursue my dreams. I am grateful for light and shadows cast from the sun that beautifies my world. I am grateful…

"There are two great days in a person's life--the day we are born and the day we discover why." William Barclay

Photo by hotblack





Many of us confuse our purpose in life with our job or profession and neglect to find our real purpose.

Purpose is larger than your profession--more than your role in society. You may enjoy your job or relish your role as mother or wife, but that's not your purpose. Your purpose is the over-arching thing you were sent here to do.

You will recognize your purpose as that which brings you joy,  provides you with energy and improves the lives of others. According to Edward Diener, a psychologist and researcher at the University of Illinois, one of the main ingredients necessary to experience a joyful life is the belief that your life has a greater meaning. Those who have a sense of purpose in life, live longer and healthier lives.

Some, of course, experience the joy of finding a profession that allows them to further their purpose in life, but that is not always the case. In Happy for No Reason, Marci Shimoff  shares that a 2005 study revealed that less than 20% of…

Live your life each day as you would climb a mountain...

“Live your life each day as you would climb a mountain. An occasional glance towards the summit keeps the goal in mind, but many beautiful scenes are to be observed from each new vintage point.”
- Harold B Melchart



Photo by kananaskis_country


Sometimes, we become so focused on where we want to go that we forget to enjoy and appreciate everything around us. This is particularly true when our goals involve making money or paying the bills.Although keeping your goals in sight and maintaining focus on ways to achieve them is important to success, don't forget that without gratitude for what we already have, the journey is incomplete.

Take the time to look around you today, and learn to express your gratitude for all that is good and just in the world. You may not have reached your goals, yet--but there is great beauty and goodness around you, if you but take the time to look.

Resist the urge to think that you'll be happy when you attain your goals. As we learned in "Happy fo…

We awaken in others the same attitude of mind we hold toward them. ~Elbert Hubbard

Photo by kakisky



It's easy to believe that our attitude would be different, that our lives would be more enjoyable or that we would be better able to reach our goals if those around us would simply get with the program and change their attitudes towards life.

If you are like most people, you have probably experienced days when everything runs smoothly, everyone you meet is in a happy and uplifting mood and life simply flows. You've probably also experienced days when everything goes wrong and those around you are in sour or depressed moods.

You might even be guilty of saying that the moods of others are getting you down.

Consider that your attitude, your mood, your approach toward the day may actually be the attitude that starts it all.  Guard your attitudes and outlook carefully today. Consider not how others effect you. Consider how you effect them.

Today, I am grateful for the beginning of a new week, for the energy and commitment to meet my goals. I am grateful for gray ski…

“Dreams are like stars...you may never touch them, but if you follow them they will lead you to your destiny.”

Sometimes we think that dreams are just mysterious wishes that pop into our thoughts and our lives for no reason, and treat them as though they are fleeting fancies that belong to the night. Some dreams may be fleeting, but those that linger are given to your for a reason.

Consider the dreams of your heart today. Perhaps you want a better home, a happier lifestyle or perfect health.  Develop the courage to Follow Your Dreams because they will lead your where you need to go.


Today, I am grateful for the break of dawn, for the beginning of a new and glorious day, for courage and strength and vision as I go forth into the world today.

I am grateful for the vast universe that inspires awe, for a human body to house my soul and for the smell of rain and the feeling of approaching snow. I am grateful for evergreen trees that stand strong in winter storms.


I am grateful for family that makes my house home, for holidays to call us together and memories that build strong bonds.


And, I am grateful …

“Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you'll start having positive results.”~ Willie Nelson

Many of us confuse the cause and effect of our attitude-- thinking that what happens in our lives determines our attitude, when in reality our attitudes often dictate what happens in our lives.

Cultivating a positive attitude towards life, and towards ourselves, doesn't eliminate all the negatives in the world, but it does effect how well we deal with them and how much joy we find in our lives.

If you find that difficult to believe, consider for a moment how an entire day can be filled with joyous uplifting experiences while another seems doomed to bad experiences from the moment you awake in the morning.

It's no coincidence that whatever you set your mind upon follows you through your day. You are conditioning your mind to seek out more of the same. You give the directions and your mind dutifully obeys.

If you are a religious person, you already know that God instructs us to renew our minds.  "And be not conformed to this world: but be you transformed by the renewing o…

“We tend to forget that happiness doesn't come as a result of getting something we don't have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.”

We tend to forget that happiness doesn't come as a result of getting something we don't have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.” Frederick Keonig











photo by kakisky



According to Marci Shimoff author of  Happy For No Reason, Americans tend to believe they will be happy if they have more material things. This, however, does not prove to be the case. She cites statistics that over the past 50 years income has increased by more than 2 1/2 times, but the happiness level of Americans has remained the same. Amazingly, over 40 % of the wealthiest American's are "less happy" than the average American.

Believe it or not, once your income level is above $12,000 a year, the amount of money you have does not alter your happiness level. So, what does?

You do. The thoughts you choose to entertain, your ability to express gratitude for what you have and your willingness to give up self-defeating ways of thinking and behaving determines how happy your are…

Things do not change; we change. ~ Henry David Thoreau

I found the amazing book Happy for No Reason tucked beneath other more popular books at my local store the other day. I haven't read it all, but the first three chapters have me hooked--so I thought I'd take a moment to share with you today.

For those of you who are not aware, Marci Shimoff appeared in The Secret and does motivational speaking across the globe. I expected to hear more of the same, but I got  a big surprise. I expected to be told that I needed to do to find true and lasting happiness was to change my thinking--but I found much more.

The first three chapters referenced actual scientific studies that supported the fact that--are you ready--we have a happiness set-point ( much like the weight set point) and no matter what happens in our lives we return to the same level of happiness within a very short period.

Unless you suffer from clinical depression or some other biological disorder, it doesn't matter if the event is positive or negative. As human beings we…
An idea not coupled with action will never get any bigger than the brain cell it occupied.~ Arnold H. Glasgow 





Photo by Sara G

According to Discover Health, your brain contains over 100 billion nerve cells capable of transmitting messages. When you have a thought the message is transmitted by electrical impulses within 300 milliseconds says John Hart, a scientist from John Hopkins.
At that rate it is no wonder we sometimes neglect to take action on those thoughts that may be turning points in our lives. Without quick action, they are relegated to the home where all great thoughts must go if they are not taken seriously.
Consider your thoughts today, and be ready to take action when inspiration strikes. Keep a notepad handy and jot down thoughts that may lead you to your goals.
Learning to recognize good thoughts, often referred to as moments of inspiration or inspirational genius, is an important task that requires alertness and quick action.
Today, I am grateful for a clear, sound mind …

“Dreams are today's answers to tomorrow's questions.” ~ Edgar Cayce

According to Edgar Cayce, tomorrow's questions have already been asked and you get the wonderful chance to answer them by following your own dreams. Think about that for a bit and you will realize there is never an excuse for arriving unprepared.

Consider your dreams and goals for your future and what questions in life they may answer for you. Hold tight, move forward and always strive to follow the dreams of your heart.


Today, I am grateful for clean, fresh sheets dried on the clothesline, for for soft pillows on which to rest my head and cuddly blankets that keep me warm as the fall chill overtakes the air.

I am grateful for sandwiches for a quick dinner, for steaming hot coffee and wool socks. I am grateful for wind chimes that sing out in the crisp fall wind, for bunny rabbits that hop down the road and the moon in its continual change of shape and beauty.


I am grateful for family and friends that I hold dear, for neighbors whose light shows the way and strangers I will someday ca…
“There are always flowers for those who want to see them.”~Henri Matisse









Photo by nrichford 



Consider what you choose to see today. The world is filled with beauty, if we but take the time to look. Lift up your eyes today and gaze on all that is good an uplifting. 

Resist the urge to dwell on things that bring you down for they will surely color your day and blind you to your goals and dreams.


Today, I am grateful for breath, for a beating heart and for life that I might bring goodness to the world. I am grateful for the example set by those who have gone before me, for laughter of good friends and tears that wash away all pain.


I am grateful for summer flowers that succumb to frost for now, but will be reborn in the glorious spring. I am grateful for the changing seasons that remind me that there is a time for everything whether I recognize it or not.


I am grateful for family that keeps me strong, for community that that supports its members and for spider webs that glisten in the sun.


And,…
“Dreams are like the paints of a great artist. Your dreams are your paints, the world is your canvas. Believing, is the brush that converts your dreams into a masterpiece of reality.”





Photo by xandert


Consider the world you are painting today. Your positive thoughts and beautiful dreams of the future add color to your world, but guard against the effects of negative thoughts. They can easily ruin your masterpiece.

Grab your belief and begin painting, today. Give no mind that your style is different from those around you. The world needs the color only you can bring. Stroke the canvas boldly. Create what is pleasing to your eye and others will be drawn to its beauty.

So often boldness is seen as a negative quality lumped together with harshness and conceit. But boldness is none of those things when your thoughts are aright. Confidence and faith in your dreams cannot help but build the boldness to step out and take action.

Today, I am grateful for morning sun, blue skies and whispy clouds…
Dreams are illustrations... from the book your soul is writing about you.”~Marsha Norman





Photo by  By Edwin Dalorzo


Consider your dreams today and realize they will lead you were you need to go. They are not fleeting fancies sent to entertain your soul. In them lies insight and wisdom to guide your life. Take time to examine your dreams and turn them into goals--and then go forward in the direction of your dreams.

Today, I am grateful for the coming of fall,  the robins that gather to feast before their long flight south and for crawling insects that take harbor beneath rocks and stones.


I am grateful for the honor of living another day, for the grace to say goodbye to those whose time has come, and the wisdom to enjoy those who remain.


I am grateful for shelter from the storm, for food to nourish the body and friends who nourish the soul. I am grateful for family that lets me know I am loved, for friends who lend a caring hand and children who bring joy into the world.


I am grateful for…

To change one's life: Start immediately. Do it flamboyantly. No exceptions. ~William James

Consider the changes you desire in your life today and take the leap towards  change. So often we spend so much time considering the changes that we never really take any action.

If there are areas in your life that need change, let today be the day that you step forward and begin the journey.


Today, I am grateful for the vastness of the universe, the beauty of the earth, and rainbows. I am grateful for grand oceans that teem with life, for mighty rivers that carry water back to the sea, and for meandering brooks that shimmer in the sunlight.

I am grateful for family that provides a solid foundation, for friends who brighten my way, and for neighbors who share my world.

I am grateful for the soft purr of loving cats, the graceful flight of birds, and the sound of rain. I am grateful for trees that bring beauty to the world and provide fresh air to breathe. I am grateful for mighty rocks and tiny pebbles that punctuate the earth.

And, I am grateful for you, dear reader, as you stop to share…

“Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop.”~ Ovid

Take time to rest today and resist the urge to make your work all-consuming. Consider why you have the goals in the first place. For most of us, they are a way to improve the quality of our lives, but when they begin to take over every waking moment, we defeat their purpose.

Rest your mind and your body today, if possible. If today is not an option, set aside a day soon that you can devote to rest.  You deserve it. 

Today, I am grateful for solitude that refreshes my soul, for the freedom to choose rest, and the ability to enjoy it. I am grateful for the distant cry of the blue jay that announces "the feeder is full," for the tiny hummingbird that has not yet winged his way south, and stray flowers that continue to bloom.

I am grateful for bright blue skies and scattered white clouds and the soft flutter of leaves in the morning air.  

I am grateful for family and friends. May their hearts be filled with warmth and their days filled with joy. 

And, I am grateful for you, dear rea…

Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.~Harriet Tubman

Consider your passions today for they will guide you to your goals. Practice doing what you love and you will find ways to go beyond what you ever dreamed possible. Your passion will carry you through, but you need to be ready to follow wherever your passion leads.

Whether you are a writer, an artist or simply want to make the world a better place, you can do it by following your heart and your passion.

Look for opportunities to use your skills and passion to go forward, today.

Today, I am grateful for a heart filled with passion and the patience to follow where it may lead. I am grateful for opportunities to use my skills to better the world. I am grateful for the vision to see opportunities at every turn, the courage to pursue them and the knowledge that I can achieve whatever my heart desires.

I am grateful for brightly colored leaves that bid farewell to summer and announce the arrival of fall, for pungent fragrance of fallen leaves and winter birds that return to my feeder.

I am…

Don't turn away from possible futures before you're certain you don't have anything to learn from them. ~Richard Bach

Consider all your choices today and use caution with discarding possible paths to your goals simply because they aren't what you expected.


In the movie Beyond the Secret, Bob Proctor speaks of the value of intuition in reaching our goals. When a thought or idea pops into your head, take a moment to consider its value. Would acting on that idea move you closer to reaching your goals? 


Today, I am grateful for those who choose to share their insights and knowledge of the world, for freedom of choice that allows me to find my own path, and for intuition to guide my day.


I am grateful for an open mind that allows me to consider the world from varying viewpoints, for a sound clear mind with which to think, and for a heart that beats.


I am grateful for family and friends who fill my day, for afternoon naps, and kittens.


And, I am grateful for you, dear reader, as you stop and share my day. May you take the time to consider all paths to your goals before casting them aside without thought.

Reach high, for stars lie hidden in your soul. Dream deep, for every dream precedes the goal. Pamela Vaull Starr

Consider your deepest dreams, today. Work to transform them into goals. Only then can you work toward bringing them to life.

If you haven't done so already, begin writing down short term goals that take you closer to where you ultimately want to go. Not only does this clarify what you really want in life, it provides a road map leading to your dreams.


Start small, if you need to. There is no time limit on reaching your goals. You are free to move as quickly or as slowly as necessary. Cherish the journey and reward yourself for each milestone you reach. Remember, small steps leading in the direction of your dreams soon add up to great strides.


Today, I am grateful for old friends who encourage me, new friends that share common goals and those who spur me to look at life in varying ways. I am grateful for family, for community and laughter.


I am grateful for fall flowers that continue to bloom as frost draws near, for trees that dance in brisk fall winds, and dappled sunlight that dr…

“You block your dream when you allow your fear to grow bigger than your faith.” Mary Manin Morrissey

Consider the effect of fear on your ability to reach your goals today.If you allow fear to become boulders in your path, you will never reach the water's edge. Clear away the fear that you may follow the path to reach your goals and dreams today.

Today, I am grateful for mountains that stand proud against the storm and valleys that offer their protection. I am grateful for lightning that energizes the air, rain that washes away the soil and soot, and a mighty universe that holds us tight upon this little planet called earth.

I am grateful for gravity, for whirling gasses that make up the sun and far-away-stars that hold mysteries we are yet to learn. I am grateful for the vastness of the universe that gives rise to contemplation of our place in life, for open fields that allow wildflowers to grow and for the great ocean that teems with life, yet undiscovered.

I am grateful for the people who have entered my life and those who I have yet to meet. I am grateful for family and pets to k…

We always have time enough if we but use it aright.~Goethe

Consider your use of time today. In our hurried lives many of us rush through the day racing to meet our obligations and complete tasks without regard to the passage of time. Somehow we believe that we will have time left over to do the things we want to do. That is rarely the case.  As Americans, we often fill our days with useless tasks that rob us of valuable time, even if the task is unnecessary or unproductive.

I started reading the book The Time Paradox by Philip Zimbardo and John Boyd. These men have devoted several decades of their lives to study time--more specifically how humans perceive and use their time.

I was struck by the assertion that with the onset of the industrial revolution, man transitioned from selling his services to selling his time. In exchange for a wage, man decided to sell eight or more hours of his time every day to another.  I had never thought of it that way, but surely it is true.

Consider who and what you sell your time to today. Guard it wisely usin…