Friday, December 31, 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 here, if you are so inclined.)

I am grateful for the opportunity to share my holidays with my son, even though he is miles away, for my brother who cared for my animals while I was away and for family to spend the holidays with.

I am grateful for another year to work towards my goals, for the opportunity to spend my days doing what I love best--writing.

And, I am grateful for you, dear reader, as you stop to share my day. May you view your past with pride and view the future with hope and never lose sight of your goals.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

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 the wintry world.

I am grateful for talented and intelligent children who express there concern for the world, for family that I can count on and for friends who share my journey. 

I am grateful for the approaching new year ready to unfold, for new opportunities to go beyond what I ever dreamed possible and for recognizing them when they appear.

And, I am grateful for you dear reader, as you stop to share my day. May your opportunities be many and may you be ready to act when they arrive.

Monday, December 27, 2010

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

“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 share my day. May your sails be strong and your wind be mighty as you sail forward to reach your goals.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

In honor of my daughter..

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: 12/23/10: Her entry is now #28 out of 9251 entries. Thanks for your continued support.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

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 by cohdra

 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 make a comfortable living from doing what I love best, for the many readers and followers I have gained during the year and for the wisdom to provide what my readers need most.

And, I am grateful for you, dear reader, as you stop to share my day. May your days be filled with untold joy as you become a child again at Christmas.

Recommended reading:


Sunday, December 12, 2010

“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 photographers who share their work freely that I may bring you photos and for Helen Keller who brought great inspiration to the world.

I am grateful for this blog that allows me to share my thoughts with you, for the Internet that makes sharing with the world as easy as the push of a button and for my faithful readers who I have never met, but whom I can share my gratitude.

I am grateful for family that is always there, so memories of days when we were young and for bright tomorrows that will surely come our way.

And, I am grateful for you, dear reader as you stop to share my day. May you do the best you today, without worries of if you are smart enough or good enough and know that no kindness goes unpaid. Take joy in knowing that your actions bring joy to others and your day will be well spent.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

“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.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

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 for a warm home to shelter me from the cold.

I am grateful for family and friends who make my life full, for teachers who work to improve the lives of children and children who look eagerly toward Christmas.

And, I am grateful for you, dear reader as you stop to share my day. May you act when inspiration strikes and go forward boldly to fulfill your dreams.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

"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 working American's are passionate about their job, leaving 4 out of 5 Americans spending 40 hours or more a week occupied by tasks that do not promote their real purpose in life. If you find yourself one of those 4, it's time to find your passion, harness your purpose and get on with finding real joy in your life.

May your purpose be clear, and your path to happiness come into focus today, as your strive to reach your goals and fulfill your dreams.

Today, I am grateful to be alive, for the ability to pursue my dreams and for the wisdom to recognize my life's purpose. 

I am grateful  for worn comfy slippers that warm my toes, for snow that has enveloped my world, and my husband who tirelessly clears the driveway.

I am grateful to be blessed with two wonderful children who never cease to amaze me with their concern for others, their selfless giving and their sense of right and wrong.

And, I am grateful for you, dear reader, as you stop to share my day. May your joy be full and your purpose be clear as you go forth to claim happiness for no reason.

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