Saturday, December 29, 2012

In absence of clearly defined goals, we become strangely loyal to performing daily acts of trivia. Author Unknown

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We all know that without goals, we are not likely to achieve the degree of success that we desire in life. Not because we aren't working hard enough or are not talented enough - but because we fail to focus our energy on the tasks required to meet success.

There is no better time to refine your goals than the beginning of a new year when we are offered a fresh start. As 2012 draws to a close and 2013 lurks just around the corner, I've taken some time to consider my goals for the upcoming year.

In the past, I have set goals for how much I will write or how much money I will earn from my writing, but this year, I've decided to try something new. I have decided to set a goal of reaching a wider audience with my writing. This, of course, means increasing my following in social media. Although the exact numbers I am aiming for are not well-defined, just yet, I still have a few days to get that worked out.

In the meantime, if you are so inclined, you can help me reach my goals by subscribing to this blog and following me on Twitter and Facebook. You can also subscribe to any of my writing topics that interest you, or share them with friends and family you think might be interested.


You can also find me on Maine Garden Ideas and Yahoo! Voices.

Today, I am grateful for the many outlets I have for my writing, for readers who make my work worthwhile, and for the ability to earn a living doing what I love. I am grateful for new opportunities to take my writing to a higher level, for the energy and inspiration to do my best, and the joy that comes from knowing I have given it my all.
I am grateful for new followers that I may enrich their lives as they work to reach their goals, for the technology that allows readers and writers to connect across the globe, and for the compassion of strangers that reach out to others in times of need.
I am grateful for falling snow, moonlit skies, and clouds that float aimlessly in bright-blue skies. I am grateful for the bright sun and the increasing hours of sunlight that promise us that spring will surely return. I am grateful for flowers as they sleep beneath the snow, for green grass that will once again blanket the earth, and for snow drifts that silence the world.
And, I am grateful for you, dear reader, as you stop to share my day. May you focus on clearly-defined goals, today, as your go forward in the direction of your dreams.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

“What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?” ― Robert H. Schuller

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As 2012 winds down and the new year looms ahead, many of us look to our future and begin the important work of setting new goals for reaching our dreams. Unfortunately, all too often we stop short of setting goals we really want to achieve because they seem too hard and we are afraid of failure.

Consider the words of Robert H. Schuller today and give some thought to what you would attempt to do if you knew you could not fail, for in that answer lies your heart's desire.

Reaching the goal may not be quick or easy, but with planning you can set manageable steps for reaching it. If you, like me, are a writer who strives to reach that magical goal of finishing a novel or writing your family history, begin now by setting short-term goals and working diligently toward them.

The key to your success is not the goals you set, but your willingness to work toward them to bring them to reality. For today, take the time to consider what it is you really wish to accomplish in 2013 and begin setting short term goals for reaching them.

Today I am thankful for the blanket of snow that envelops my world, for trees that offer wild animals protection from the storm, and for the knowledge that this too shall pass and the sun will return.
I am thankful for the road crew that works diligently to remove the snow, for emergency crews who stand by ready to assist those in need, and for little children who hunker down in bed after a joyous day in the snow.
I am grateful for family and friends who enrich my life, for strangers ready to lend a helping hand, and for neighbors who make my world feel safe and secure. I am grateful for old friends who helped to make me who I am, for teachers who showed me the way I should go, and for writers everywhere who share a bit of their world with me. 
I am grateful for my health, for a clear sound mind, and for the inspiration of nature that fuels my soul. I am grateful for the towering trees, the vast oceans, and the infinite Universe. 
And, I am grateful for you, dear reader, as you stop to share my day. May you consider what you would attempt to do if you knew you could not fail and let the answer lead you as you go forward in the direction of your dreams.





Saturday, December 22, 2012

Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared. Buddha

Freedigitalphotos.net

So often we become so focused on reaching our goals and dreams that we forget that happiness doesn't lie in reaching our goals. Happiness doesn't happen at some magical point at the end of the journey. Take the time today to look around you and give thanks for all that you have that you may experience happiness along the way.

Get into the habit of sharing your joy and good fortune with others so that you may both be blessed with happiness and great joy. May you take time away from your busy schedule today to laugh much and experience the joy of being alive.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

“Christmas doesn't come from a store, maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more....” ― Dr. Seuss


Watching "The Grinch" is always a happy time for me. As a kid, my brother and I watched it together every year and even continued  while I was in college. Although he has been gone for over 20 years, it still brings back memories of him. Christmas isn't here until I watch "The Grinch".

Unfortunately, many people act a lot like the Grinch - before his transformation - when Christmas time rolls around. I like to think they act this way out of fear and not out a mean-spirited heart.

I'd like to encourage you to make an effort to turn things around for the Grinches in your life. Show them love and compassion that they may become open to the spirit of Christmas.

Today, I am grateful for Christmas memories, for the joy of knowing I am loved, and for the love I feel for my family and friends. I am grateful for Christmas lights that brighten the landscape, for songs to lift the spirits, and for a warm home to keep me cozy inside.

I am grateful for the birds of the air and animals of the forest, for mountains that stand against the storm, and trees laden with snow. I am grateful for snow plows and road crews that work to keep us safe, for hot coffee and sugar-free creamer.

And, I am grateful for you, dear reader, as you stop to share my day. May you touch the hearts of the Grinches in your life and teach them the meaning of Christmas this year, as you go forward in the direction of your dreams.



Saturday, December 1, 2012

He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree. Roy L. Smith

 image from FreeDigitalPhotos.net
The spirit of Christmas is often lost in the constant drive to defend our own religious and spiritual views. The argument over whether to say "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Holidays" has reared its ugly head and the season has barely begun.

I'd like to urge you all to practice tolerance and compassion this year and simply say whichever you want and let others do the same. For me, the season will always be Christmas. If you subscribe to a different belief, that's fine with me. But, I do hope you find the season filled with love and compassion.

To me, the heart of Christmas is love and compassion for others, whether we agree with their views or not. When we stoop to arguing over silly things, like how to greet each other during the season, we give up the heart of Christmas.

If you find yourself in the battle of semantics or arguing with another human being because his beliefs differ from your, take a step back. Channel that energy into something positive to improve the lives of others and the spirit of Christmas will grow in both your heart and the heart of others. Instead of trying to prove that your view is the correct view, let your heart lead the way and stand as testament of your beliefs.

Today, I am grateful for family who fills my life with joy, for pets that make the home warm and comforting, and for winter clouds that will soon drop blankets of snow.

I am grateful for the beauty of trees, for the balsam fir that adorns homes across the world at Christmas time, and for wreaths that welcome visitors to the home. I am grateful for the blue jay in his bright coat, for the deer that nibbles on grass, and for the mighty bear that enters his long winter's sleep.

I am grateful for blue-black skies that display winter stars, for the round full moon that glows above the world, and for the sparkle of snow in the moonlight.

And, I am grateful for you, dear reader, as you stop to share my day. May  love and compassion fill your heart this season, as you go forward in the direction of your dreams.


Sunday, November 11, 2012

When you re-read a classic you do not see in the book more than you did before. You see more in you than there was before. ~Clifton Fadiman


I've recently begun rereading books that I read in my youth and am struck by how my focus has changed. As a former teacher, I am struck by the fact that perhaps we expect too much of our youth when we assume they will gain insight and wisdom from classics that they are not ready to understand. Oh, its not that they are not savvy enough, or smart enough to dissect the text. They are. It's just that some things cannot be understood without the life experience to support them. I'm not sure we should make them try.

I suppose it is the same with all things in life. How we react, how we see the events in our lives, and what we learn from them is intertwined with the being we are at the moment. It's not so much what happens as it is how we interpret those events.

When we view life with a critical eye, scanning the horizon for threats, that's exactly what we see. Not because the threats are there, but because it's how we choose to see them.

If you are in the habit of viewing life from a superficial lens, as you scan the horizon for threats to your success, don't be surprised if that is all you see. Like the young reader who tries to read the classics from the viewpoint of youth, you will only see what you are ready to see.

If, on the other hand, you are willing to give up the constant scanning for threats, and are willing and able to look beyond to opportunities that lurk just past the horizon, there is no limit to what you may discover.

For today, cast aside the tendency to scan for threats and set your sights beyond the horizon, as you go forward to reach your dreams and goals.

Today, I am grateful for the amazing ability of the mind to overcome obstacles and see beyond the obvious. I am grateful for the courage and vision to step out and go beyond the limits that seem to loom in the distance.
I am grateful for the crisp, cold air of fall that hints of winter to come. I am grateful for the birds of the air and animals of the forest who take the changing seasons in stride. I am grateful for my garden that lies silently waiting for another spring.
I am grateful for family that brings life meaning, for children who bring laughter to the world, and for the elderly who take the time to share their wisdom. I am grateful for strangers who I may never meet, but who touch my life in unseen ways, as we all journey together to reach our dreams.
And, I am grateful for you, dear reader, as you stop to share my day. May you look past seeming threats to your success today, as you go forward in the direction of your dreams.


Saturday, October 20, 2012

“If you wish to experience peace, provide peace for another.”

                                                             via FreeDigitalPhotos.net


It is so easy to forget as we go about our own lives that those around us may be facing battles we simply aren't aware of. It's not that we are self centered or uncaring, but that we become so wrapped up in our own lives that we simply don't see what is around us.

Last night, I learned that a young man in my community is battling a brain tumor. Not only is this young man in my community, he has been a close friend with my son since they were young children.Yet, I have been oblivious to his struggles. Not because I didn't care, but because I've been too caught up in my little world to even notice.

Although my heart goes out to this young man and I wish him peace and comfort as he struggles to overcome  this hurdle, it also goes out to his friends who are suddenly confronted with their mortality. At 26, one shouldn't have to think about such frightening possibilities.

His friends have rallied to begin fundraising to provide this young man with the financial resources to travel to the Cancer Center for treatment. Feel free to share the link with anyone who can help them reach their goal and alleviate the stress of worrying about not having the gas to travel to and from treatments. HELP Josh get the treatment he needs.

Today, I am grateful for my own health and the health of my family. May we learn not to take good health for granted and give thanks for it daily.

I am grateful for the sound of rain on the window, the coming of fall when the air smells crisp and earthy, and for my garden as it prepares for a long winter's sleep. I am grateful for squirrels and chipmunks that scurry to collect nature's bounty of seeds and nuts for a mid-winter feast.

I am grateful for the sun that will soon return, for the brightly-colored foliage and for fall flowers that continue to bloom. I am grateful for birds that wing their way south with a promise to return again in the spring. May their journey be joyous and food be plentiful.

I am grateful for work that keeps me busy, for inspiration to take my writing to new levels, and for readers who are blessed by my words.

I am grateful for eyes to see, ears to hear and a heart to love.

And, I am grateful for you, dear reader, as you stop to share my day. May your day be filled with peace as you go forward in the direction of your dreams.


Saturday, August 18, 2012

“People are just as happy as they make up their minds to be.” ― Abraham Lincoln

I've been doing a lot of research and thinking about exactly what it is that makes some people travel through life with a positive attitude enjoying happiness and peace of mind, while others stumble through life dragging all their negative baggage with them. It's tempting to attribute a person's happiness to the circumstances of their lives, but that doesn't really hold water. Some are happy under dire circumstances, while others cannot find happiness even in the best of circumstances.

Something else, then, must determine a person's degree of happiness in life - but what is it?

After reading volumes of self-help and self improvement books by authors like Norman Vincent Peale, Richard Bach, Marci Shimoff, Dale Carnegie and a host of authors that span generations, I have come to the conclusion that the cause of your happiness - or lack thereof - is you. More specifically, the thoughts you allow into your mind, the thoughts you chose to entertain, and your willingness to control those thoughts determines your happiness.

As many of you may know, I am a freelance writer and publish my work on a variety of sites across the Internet. One of those places is Examiner.com where I write under the topic of New Age, which of course, includes the Law of Attraction and other programs that empower people to take control of their lives - and minds - to reach their potential and find joy and happiness in their lives.

I have started a series of articles on Finding Happiness that I hope you will find helpful in attaining happiness as your work to achieve your goals and dreams. I won't duplicate them here, but please feel free to visit my work on Examiner.

Today, I am grateful for my beautiful morning glories in full bloom, for vine-ripe tomatoes and for fresh vegetables to grace the table. I am grateful for summer rains that refresh the earth, for cloudless skies in soft blue, and for trees with leaves that dance to the slightest breeze.
I am grateful for the sound of the distance jay as he calls out for rain, for the hummingbird that gathers energy for his long flight south, and for butterflies that flutter lazily in the herb garden. I am grateful for the scent of lavender, for ever-blooming petunias, and chipmunks that fill their tiny cheeks with food.
I am grateful for family and friends who always make me laugh and for the comfort of a meager home that offers safety from the storm. I am grateful for lazy Saturdays to write as I will without regard to deadlines and editorial rules.
And, I am grateful for you, dear reader, as you stop to share my day. May  you make up your mind to be happy as you go forward in the direction of your dreams. 


Friday, August 3, 2012

To laugh often and much, to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children ...


Emerson - Laugh Often

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“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children...to leave the world  a better place...to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                 ~Ralph Waldo Emerson~


How easy it is to become so self absorbed that we forget there is more to life that achieving material things, and spend our time in pursuit of that which fuels our dreams without regard for the lives of those around us. Take a moment today to consider the words of Emerson, and consider how you might touch the lives of others. 

Consider your actions and words today and how they impact the lives around you. Do they move you and others to better themselves? Do they lift the spirit or echo with laughter and good will? 

Achieving your goals at the cost of others will not bring the satisfaction and fulfillment you desire. Strike a healthy balance between working toward your goals and enriching the lives of others today, as you go forward in the direction of your dreams.

Today, I am grateful for a cool morning breeze, leaves dancing freely, and hummingbirds that hoover over my petunias. I am grateful for the caw of the crow, the aroma of moist earth and fireflies that adorn the night. I am grateful for the far-a-way bark of a lonely dog, for the hoot of the owl that echoes in the night, and for oceans teeming with life.
I am grateful for another day filled with laughter and light, for the promise of many tomorrows to complete my work, and for green grass beneath my feet. I am grateful for soft damp air, for pine trees that brave the storm, and lightening that invigorates the earth.

I am grateful for my children who always amaze me, for a spouse to share my life, and for family to hold me close. I am grateful for parents who taught me to find my way, for brothers and sisters who have brought me great joy, and for friends who have brightened the way.

And, I am grateful for you, dear reader, as you stop and share my day. May you laugh often and much as you go forward in the direction of your dreams.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Dedication: It is the effort of many that create the ripples that can move mountains.


Dedication: Jordan Pond

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Sometimes we are so concerned with making big changes in our lives that we forget that change does not come overnight. Its so easy to forget that small efforts can make big changes. Like the pebble that sends out ripples that grow as they move outward, the efforts you make today are capable of leading you to a bright future.

Get into the habit of accomplishing small tasks that lead to your goals, today, and don't be discouraged because you can't reach them right away.

Today, I am grateful for the cool summer breeze, for tiny cucumbers on the vine, and tomatoes that turn from green to gold and finally red. I am grateful for the bees that are abuzz in my garden, for the hummingbird that darts about, and for dragonflies that devour mosquitoes about my head.
I am grateful for the hoot of the owl in the midst of darkness, for the night sky in all its glory, and for mountains that remind me to stand strong.
I am grateful for butterflies that flit from flower to flower, for the deep green moss that blankets the forest floor, and for winding streams that tumble and splash over logs and stones.
I am grateful for the bounty of the earth that provides nuts and berries for man and beast. 
I am grateful for my children who always make me proud, for my husband who is always there,  and for brothers and sisters who have shared my life. 
And, I am grateful for you, dear reader, as you stop and share my day. May you create ripples that move mountains as you go forward in the direction of your dreams.



Tuesday, July 10, 2012

All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them. Walt Disney

                                                                                                                           Freedigitalphotos.net

It's funny how you can go along in life convincing yourself you are working towards your goals and dreams, and then in flash realize you are playing it safe and not really taking a risk at all. I've been doing that for a while. As some of you know, I am a writer. It's what I do for a living. Lately, though I've been settling for work that comes my way and rationalizing that times are tough and I'm lucky to have work all.

It isn't like the work is bad or the pay is abysmal or anything like that. It's not. It's just that I suddenly realized that by playing it safe and sticking with a relatively sure thing,  I was probably missing out on opportunities to expand and grow as a writer.

I made a decision to do something about it and finally published my author site and put myself out there for the world to see. You can check it out, if you'd like at Professional Writing Services. Where it will lead is anyone's guess.

If you, like me, have fallen into the habit of settling for less than you really desire, and find yourself rationalizing about the rotten economy or thinking you are lucky to have what you have - it's time you take a risk and step it up a notch.

Remember the words of Walt Disney today, "All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them." 

Today, I am grateful for the setting sun that sends rays across the sky, for the chattering squirrel who thinks I should offer him more food, and the robins as he serenades the night. 
I am grateful for my rudbeckia in full bloom, for my beautiful lilies, and for my vegetables garden that grows by leaps and bounds in the hot summer sun. 
I am grateful for clean fresh air to breath, water to drink and food to eat. I am grateful for pink clouds touched by the sun, for the ever-changing blue of the sky, and for the night stars that will soon appear. 
I am grateful for a healthy body, a clear sound mind, and for peaceful moments amid nature. I am grateful for summer nights that sing to the soul, for ears that hear, and eyes that see. 
I am grateful for children who make me proud, for a spouse who is always there, and for family that I hold dear .
And, I am grateful for you, dear reader, as you stop to share my day. May you be filled with the words of Walt Disney today, as you find the courage to reach for your dreams.


Friday, July 6, 2012

Expect A Miracle



Like most of us, I have a few books and authors that I turn to when I find myself lacking motivation. Today was one of those days and my author of choice was Norman Vincent Peale. Those of you already familiar with his work know how inspirational his work can be. Those of you who have not read is work; I urge to pick up a copy of  The Power of Positive ThinkingIt has changed my life on a number of occasions, as it reminded me of the things I already know but sometimes forget to practice.

Today, I was reading You Can If You Think You Can by Dr. Peale. About half way through the book I suddenly confronted a chapter called "Expect A Miracle" and was immediately struck by how easily we forget the importance of our expectations.

I like to call it forgetting because it creeps up on us gradually. We don't make a conscious effort to alter our believing. Perhaps we are influenced by those around us, perhaps we simply forget that positive thinking requires active participation - at any rate, we gradually begin to adopt the attitudes and expectations of those around us.

Before we know it, we've forgotten the miracle of life bestowed on us with each passing day. We neglect to see the miracle of the rising sun. Our joy begins to weaken and life becomes routine. Like the proverbial frog in the pot of water who doesn't notice as the water heats and will sit there contentedly even though it is sure to bring him death, we become oblivious to our state of mind.

If you, like me, find yourself lulled into forgetting about the power of your thoughts and faith to build the life you desire, its time to begin Expecting Miracles and being ready to accept them when they come.

Today, I am grateful for the summer sun that warms my garden beds, for leaves that dance in the evening breeze and fireflies that light the night. I am grateful for the blades of grass that waver in the wind, the sounds of the tree frogs that make music in the night and for butterflies that dance by day.
I am grateful for the smell of newly-mown hay, for the feel of raindrops on the skin and for gentle breezes that cool the air. I am grateful for mighty oceans and majestic mountains, for shiny pebbles in the sun and sand beneath my feet.
I am grateful for family and friends, for strangers I have yet to meet and old friends who helped to make me who I am. I am grateful for children as they laugh and play, for pets that share our lives and animals that inhabit the earth.
And, I am grateful for you, dear reader, as your stop to share my day. May you cultivate the art of Expecting Miracles as you go forth in the direction of your dreams.

Friday, June 29, 2012

“The key is to keep company only with people who uplift you, whose presence calls forth your best.” ~ Epictetus


Over the course of the past few months, I have found myself sucked into the negative outlook of those around me. Oh, I'm not talking about my family here - or even my friends in real life. What I am talking about is online friends who seem to think it is necessary to bombard my senses with all that is negative and bad in the world.

The greatest offender, of course, is Facebook. Hardly a day goes by without several posts magically appearing that exhort me to take action to prove that I am a decent human being. You know what I am talking about. Those posts that claim any intelligent or compassionate human being would share their posts as proof of their superior standing in this world, while reminding me that and if I don't, then the devil must have a stronghold on my life. 

Sometimes, I find the irony amusing - especially when politically inclined people cry out for individual freedom while implying that if I don't share their message I am somehow a lesser human being. Do they not realize the irony of their ways?

Other times, I find them offensive. Not because the cause isn't worthy - it often is - but because the post invariable leaves readers feeling as though they are somehow lacking. I suppose the person who posts the message gets a temporary lift in spirits. Maybe they even think they are sending a valuable message to the world. What they do not realize is that by taking a jab at others they are tearing themselves down too.

I don't know about you, but I'm feeling the drain of being bombarded with negative comments and negative news. I have decided to follow the words of Epictetus and keep company with those that uplift me and call forth my best.

Today, I am grateful for a break in the rain, for sunny skies and gentle winds. I am grateful for my garden as it reaches for the sun, for songbirds who sing out in joy, and for baby animals everywhere that get some refuse from the rain. 
I am grateful for quiet moments to reflect, for lively times to laugh and have fun, and for my family that I love deeply. I am grateful for friends who lift me up, for opportunities to shine, and for another day to enjoy this glorious life. 
I am grateful for good books, well-told stories and the light of the moon. I am grateful for fireflies that light the night, for campfires that draw people close, and for the owl that hoots in the night.
And, I am grateful for you, dear reader, as you stop to share my day. May you keep company with those that uplift you and call forth your best as you go forward in the direction of your dreams.



Sunday, May 27, 2012

What we can or cannot do, what we consider possible or impossible, is rarely a function of our true capability. It is more likely a function of our beliefs about who we are. Anthony Robbins

How easy it is to begin to define ourselves by the things that we lack. I am not smart enough. I am not talented enough. I don't have enough money  - I am too old - too fat - too thin - too set in my ways to do things I want to do in life. Yet inside each of us lies the amazing power to change our lives.

Recently, I noticed a friend referring to her life as "before I got sick" and "after I got sick," as though they were two separate lives. It struck me then how eager we are to define ourselves by our external surroundings and how easily we let go of our own control of our lives.

Many of us may catch ourselves referring to life as "when I was young" and "as I got older," as though they too are separate lives. Yet, few of us stop to consider that the changes that have befallen us are a result of defining ourselves by our lack - a lack of health - a lack of youth - instead of the abundance we have in our lives.

Cultivate the art of defining yourself not by lack but by abundance, today. Give thanks for what you have and embrace your God-given ability to change your life according to your desires and beliefs about yourself. Let go of old hurts. Banish thoughts of real or imagined lack today and embrace all the is good in your life, that you may regain the power of self today.

Today, I am grateful for the rising sun, for clear blue skies, and leaves that shimmer in gold at morning's first light. I am grateful for birds who meet the new day with a song in the soul, for flowers that spring from tiny green buds, and for squirrels that scurry to meet the day.


I am grateful for cool clean air, for the mist that rises with each new breath, and for dewdrops that reflect the sun. I am grateful for trees clothed in summer green, for sound of wind chimes in the morning breeze, and bees.


I am grateful for family and friends with who I share my life, for strangers who offer as smile and continue on their way, and for children who are eager for the freedom of summer.


And, I am grateful for you dear reader, as you stop to share my day. May you learn to define your life according to your abundance and  never by its lack, as you go forward in the direction of your dreams.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Happiness is never out of our reach for the miracle of life is that we are all free to follow the path of our dreams.


Path of our Dreams

Buy This at Allposters.com

Sometimes we get so caught up in the daily business of living that we forget to pursue our dreams. Not because our dreams aren't important anymore, or we think we can't reach them - but because we somehow lose track of where we were headed in the first place. This has been one of those times for me.

It's not that anything monumental has happened. It hasn't. It isn't even that I've suddenly had too many demands on my time. It has been more of a falling off so gradual I didn't even notice. Maybe it is due to the long winter or the economy that has all of us struggling to meet the demands of daily life. 

Yesterday, I took the day off from writing to work in my garden. As evening approached, I took my coffee to the backyard and sat listening the bird's as they bid the day farewell. Gazing over my garden beds,the gentle summer breeze bathed my face, and I was suddenly struck with just how lucky I am. Suddenly, I remembered why I have chosen the solitary life as a writer in the first place. It is the freedom to enjoy God's creation that has lead me to life where I set the hours, I direct my path and God provides the inspiration.

If you, like me, have lost your way in pursuing your dreams, take the time to reconnect with the life force that propelled you in the direction of your dreams in the first place. Find that silent inspiration that makes you soul sing. Only by reconnecting to with that life force - whatever you perceive it to be - can you go forward in the direction of your dreams.

Today, I am grateful for the beauty of the universe, for green growing things, flowers that burst forth in bloom, and birds that soar to the heavens. I am grateful for the color of the sky as day descends to night, I am grateful for the bright night stars, for the shimmering moon, and the vastness of what lies beyond.

I am grateful for the tiny hummingbird, the song of the robin, and butterflies that flit from flower to flower. I am grateful for the summer sun, for the cool breeze that plays music through the leaves, and for gentle rain that refreshes the earth.

I am grateful for family and friends who bring me great joy, for my children as they go forth into the world ready to pursue their dreams, and for my husband who shares my life.

And, I am grateful for you, dear reader, as you stop to share my day. May  you find your source of inspiration today as you go forward in the direction of your dreams.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

“The optimist sees the rose and not its thorns; the pessimist stares at the thorns, oblivious to the rose” Kahlil Gibran

I'd like to share my slideshow of pink roses with you today. Please click the image to view the gorgeous pink roses!

So many times we let fear of the unknown or the possibility of getting hurt get in our way, stopping us from meeting our goals. Guard today against being the pessimist who is immobilized by fear. Strive first to see the beauty and goodness that is all around you. Go forward with joy in your heart that you may enjoy the beauty of the Universe - giving thanks to all that you have already been given. Only then will you begin to see the marvelous possibilities that await you in your future.

Today, I am grateful for gray skies that I know hold April rains necessary to transform my word to growing green things. I am grateful for the farewell of snow for another year, for the soft spring earth and for daffodils that sing out of spring.
I am grateful for good food to celebrate the Easter weekend, for the comfort of a cozy home and for laughter that lightens the soul. I am grateful for a clear, sound mind and healthy body that takes me where I wish to go, for photographers who provided the images of pink roses that I may share with you, and for my cat who purrs upon my desk.
I am grateful for wind chimes that dance to their own music - may we always be as brave. 
I am grateful for family and friends who share my accomplishments and bring great joy into my life, for neighbors who remind me we are never alone, and for God's creatures that inhabit the earth.
And, I am grateful for you, dear reader, as you stop to share my day. May you always see the beauty of the rose as you go forward in the direction of your dreams.



Friday, March 30, 2012

The ultimate value of life depends upon awareness and the power of contemplation rather than upon mere survival.


Contemplation

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So many times in life we become so focused on the things we need to do to survive that we forget there is more to life than survival. Many of us live day to day or week to week - or if we are really lucky month to month, mainly in an attempt to work hard to make enough to pay our bills. Although it's nothing compared to how hard our ancestors worked just to survive - it can take its toll.

If you are in the habit of focusing your energy on survival you may be missing out on life along the way.

Last night while reading How to Get What You Want and Want What You Have by John Gray I came a gem that really started me to thinking.  

 "When outer success leaves us feeling unhappy, we conclude that the cause of our unhappiness is not having the next thing."

He goes on to explain that our thinking is logical, but wrong. According to him, unhappiness is simply a lack of inner joy and has nothing to do with the things we have. If he is correct, which he probably is, then it stands to reason that we must practice a little contemplation in our life to discover what it is that makes life pleasurable and enjoyable for us. 

For today, take some time to yourself and resist the urge to channel all your energy into survival. Sit back and consider what things you really want in life and whether you are somehow expecting them to make you happy.

Today, I am grateful for quiet moments in which to think, for increased awareness that allows me to go forward toward my goals, and for the ability to see opportunities at every turn. I am grateful for a clear sound mind, for a healthy body, and for the ability to reach for my dreams.

I am grateful for sunny days, for starlit nights, and for soft green moss beneath my feet. I am grateful for the robin that hops outside my window, for blades of grass that emerge through snow, and tulips that are soon to come.

I am grateful for family and friends who share my life, for neighbors, and for stranger I shall never know - but cross my path with smile or nod. I am grateful for the elderly who share their wisdom, for the youth so full of life, and babies with their loving smiles.

And, I am grateful for you, dear reader, as you stop to share my day. May you take time to contemplate the things that really mean the most in your life, as you go forward in the direction of your dreams.



Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Destiny is not matter of chance. It is a matter of choice ...


Ocean - Rocky Path Quote

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Many spend their lives waiting for that magical moment when everything will fall together. Perhaps it is because we have been taught that all good things come in time and patience is a virtue. Perhaps it is because we secretly have no idea what we want in life, but think we will know it when we see.

It is infinitely easier to think that all things work as they should and that our true destiny is already mapped. It lets us of the hook and takes away our responsibility for our own success or failure.

Adjust your thinking today and embrace the thought that your destiny is not a matter of chance - that you have a choice. Begin to make choices that lead you in the direction of your dreams and you will soon find success and happiness.

Today, I am grateful for good books, soft chairs and cuddly blankets. I am grateful for writers who share a bit of their invisible world with the reader, for publishers who bring the book to life and for luxury of afternoons spent reading.
I am grateful for the inspiration that comes from nature, for the invigorating March wind and for pine trees that scatter their cones. I am grateful for the chickadee that dances outside my window, for eager dogs that cannot resist spring mud and for sprigs of new grass.
I am grateful for music that fills the soul, for silence that envelops my world by night and for laughter. I am grateful for the cry of the blue jay, the sounds of children playing and the hoot of the owl.
I am ever grateful for family and friends who enrich my life. 
And, I am grateful for you, dear reader as you stop to share my day. May you make wise choices as you go forward in the direction of your dreams.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Listen to the sound of your dreams and be unafraid to follow the music.


Sweet Music

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For many of us, following the sound of our dreams gets confused with following what others think we need or want. Instead of listening to our own music, we sometimes find ourselves listening to the sound of other people's dreams and follow it like the Pied Piper, never suspecting that it may be leading us astray.

Be still today and listen carefully for the music of your dreams that your joy may be full as you strive to reach your goals.

Today, I am grateful for frogs and toads that will soon emerge from their winter's slumber, for warm soft air that fills the heart with joy, and for melting streams and rivers that will soon flow freely. I am grateful for fiddleheads that will soon begin to grow, offering free food for all who seek them out. 
I am grateful for eyes to see, ears to hear and hands to feel. I am grateful for air to breathe, water to drink and the beauty of the Universe. I am grateful for trees that provide shade, babbling brooks that soothe the soul, and moss that creates a green carpet on the forest floor.
I am grateful for insects with their soothing hum, for dandelions that offer up spring's first flowers, and for mud that is cool and squishy beneath the feet. I am grateful for March winds that dry the earth, for spring rains that bring the promise of new green life, and for kites that fly in a clear blue sky.
I am grateful for my children who always make me proud, for my husband who is always there, and for brothers and sisters who always make me smile. I am grateful for friends who add interest to my life.
And, I am grateful for you, dear reader, as you stop to share my day. May you learn to listen to the music of your soul as you go forward in the direction of your dreams.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.


Journey of a Thousand Miles

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Sometimes we become so afraid of stepping out and doing something new that all we can focus on is the long journey that looms ahead of us. The way looks too long or the path too steep and we become paralyzed unable to move forward.

It is then that we must concentrate on taking the first step in the direction we want to go. As we begin the journey, we suddenly discover that momentum increases and its isn't nearly as difficult (or steep) as we imagined.

If you find yourself afraid to begin the journey today, step out in confidence and know that within you lies the ability to achieve your goals. There is no mountain too steep or path too long unless you make it so.

Today, I am grateful for the brilliant spring sun, for melting ice and snow, and for raised garden beds that emerge beneath the snow. I am grateful for clippings of fresh herbs that have survived the winter, for the lonely fox that calls in the distant woods, and for excited squirrels that scurry to and fro.
I am grateful for March winds to dry my sheets, for sprigs of green grass for my cat, and for the mighty moon that adorns the night sky. I am grateful for my wind chimes that make lively music in the brisk breeze. 

I am grateful for family - who never ceases to amaze me with their goodness and their talents, for friends who I can count on, and for neighbors who make my corner of the world enjoyable. I am grateful for strangers whose lives I cross, for sharing a smile or laugh with someone I may never know, and for those who I will someday call friend.

I am grateful for new work opportunities that have come into my life, for the courage and confidence to do them well, and for the ability to bless the lives of others along the way.
And, I am grateful for you, dear reader, as you stop to share my day. May you always remember that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step as you go forward in the direction of your dreams.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Goals are dreams with deadlines.


Deadlines

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So often we spend our lives dreaming of a bright future, yet never realizing that we are responsible for transforming those dreams to goals so that we can work toward them and achieve them. Somehow, we expect those lofty dreams to materialize without any effort on our part. I know I am guilty of this, and I betting you are too.

For today, take the time to identify your dreams and set goals for reaching them. Give your dreams deadlines and work steadfastly toward achieving them. Resist the urge to create vague images of happiness that you cannot define in words. If you, like most us, want a better life, get a clear image of what that life entails.

If you want a better job, consider what that job should be. If you want more money, give thought to how much money you need or want to create the life you desire, and get down to the business of making it happen. 

Now may be a good time to design that vision board you've been meaning to make - or update an old one if  your old doesn't represent you true life desires. 

Today, I am grateful for the bright sun that glistens off mounds of spring snow, for my cat that spends her time watching squirrels and birds out the window, and for ice that sparkles in the sun.
I am grateful for new opportunities within my grasp, for the courage to take risks in my career, and the knowledge that all will work together as it should as I go forward in the direction of my dreams.
I am  grateful for author Richard Bach who always makes me think and consider the world from varying viewpoints, for a comfortable bed that holds me safe in sleep, and for 'sleeping in' a luxury everyone should enjoy on occasion.
For family and friends to enrich my life, for good books to read and for thick, crisp toast from homemade bread.
And, I am grateful for you, dear reader, as you stop to share my day. May you take the time to refine your goals today, as you go forward in the direction of your dreams.


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world. Harriet Tubman


Reach For The Stars


Sometimes we get caught up in the habit of thinking and believing too small. We set goals that fall short of our real dreams because deep down we fear that we do not have the strength, courage and "smarts" to go further. But the exciting truth is: You do. You have within you all the power you need to reach your goals, it is up to you what you will set your sights on, and what you will choose to focus on, as you work to achieve your goals and reach your dreams.

Today, take a moment to consider what you really desire - not what you mistakenly "think" you can attain. Consider the words of Dr. Robert Schuller, "What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?" as you begin the important work of refining your goals.

Once you've set the new goals let Harriet Tubman's words:  "Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world." be your guide as you go forward toward your dreams.

Today, I am grateful for the dusting of snow that enveloped the morning trees, for soft spring air, and for gray skies that offer a sprinkle of rain. I am grateful for the squirrel that scurries across the yard, for the rabbit that  hops behind the trees, and for deer that that graze on open patches of grass. I am grateful for the mighty bear that still lies groggy in his den, for the tiny cubs that will emerge in spring, and for ample food for them to eat.
I am grateful for healthy food to eat, for my garden that still lies beneath the snow, and for nature's bounty when the fiddleheads arrive. I am grateful for clean clear water to quench my thirst, for music to lift the soul, and for the beauty that nature brings to my life.
I am grateful for my family who makes me laugh and teaches me that life is meant to be enjoyed. I am grateful for friends who stop to share a word or smile, for neighbors who remind me we are not alone in the world, and for strangers who cross my path. 
And, I am grateful for you, dear reader, as you stop to share my day. "Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world," as you go forward in the direction of your dreams.





Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Watch your character. It becomes your destiny.


Destiny

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Sometimes we fool ourselves into thinking that if we but fix those around us, that our lives will miraculously fall into place and that we will find happiness and success. The problem lies not so much with the fixing as it does with the perception that others are somehow broken.

When we travel down the slippery slope to looking at others and seeing their flaws, we begin to set ourselves up for developing a critical character that seeks out the misfortunes and frailties of others. In the process, we deny ourselves the joy of life and soon begin to reap the negative repercussions  of our critical character.

For today, guard against the tendency to see others as somehow broken and look beyond their flaws to uncover their inner goodness. Seek to build them up with uplifting words and actions. Not only are you doing good for others, you will soon begin to reap the benefits of positive energy and positive light.

Today, I am grateful for melting snow and ice, for the glisten from the sun's rays as it reflects on the winter's snow, and for tiny riverlets of water that make their way down the road. 
I am grateful for children as they splash and play in muddy water that announces spring, for the robin who I hear is headed north, and for the crow that soars above the earth calling out for the world to wake in spring.
I am grateful for new writing opportunities that have come my way, for the ability to express in written word the musings of the soul, and for quiet moments to reflect on the direction I should go. 
I am grateful for family without whom the journey would be meaningless, for old friends who always come back into your life for a reason, and for life-long friends who are always there no matter where life leads. 
I am grateful for the vastness of the Universe, the glory of nature and the beauty of my little corner of the world. 
And, I am grateful for you, dear reader, as you stop and share my day. May you choose your thoughts and actions wisely and strive to build up others as you go forward in the direction of your dreams.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

The greatest waste in the world is the difference between what we are and what we could become.


Possibilities

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It is so easy to convince ourselves that we are what we are by nature and not by choice. Observe for the day the number of times you - or someone around you - comments "that's just the way I am." Granted it typically occurs when we are being challenged to think in new ways or change behaviors we really don't want to change. But, we say it with such gusto, with such confidence as though we are announcing to the world hard facts that cannot be changed.

The truth is who and what we are is as changeable as the wind and we hold the power to make those changes. Accepting ourselves as less than we area capable of being stunts our growth and prevents us from finding real success and real happiness.

For today, strive to go beyond what you think you are to reach for what you can become as you strive to reach your goals and dreams.

Today, I am grateful for the hidden possibilities in my life, for the courage to seek them out, and the wisdom to recognize them when they come. I am grateful for joyful spirit, a loving heart, and for sunshine.

I am grateful for the talents of others who enrich my life, for shared smiles that bring the day to life, and for the steady warmth of the pellet stove.

I am grateful for spring as it inches ever closer with each passing day, for the morning sun that lights the sky, and for delayed sunsets that get later every day.

I am grateful for seeds that hold an entire plant in their tiny shell, for water that causes them to sprout and grow ,and for the earth they will call home.

I am grateful for the vastness of the Universe, the awe of  starry night, and for the sound of silence when the world falls asleep.

I am grateful for my children who are more than I ever imagined children could be, for my husband who stands by me through both the good and the bad, and for friends who bring joy into my life.

And, I am grateful for you, dear reader, as you stop and share my day. May you strive to become who you were meant to be as you go forward in the direction of your dreams.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same.


Strength

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Too often we attribute our degree of happiness to the world around us and fail to consider our own contribution to our condition. Somehow, we have all been raised to believe that those around us control our happiness and our ability to reach our goals. The truth is: Only you hold that power.

How we react to, and deal with, the circumstances of our lives directly impacts our sense of happiness or our degree of misery. If you are in the habit of pointing the finger to others around you as an excuse to wallow in self pity or as the reason you haven't attained your goals, it is time to stop.

For today, take stock of your limiting beliefs that cause you unhappiness or create stumbling blocks in your journey to reach your goals. Devote your time to activities and thoughts that make you strong instead of miserable and you will soon find yourself back on track to achieving your goals.

Today, I am grateful for snowflakes that swirl from gray skies, for cold crisp air that refreshes the soul, and for the hope that spring is not far behind. I am grateful for the music of the wind, the soft hush of snow falling on trees, and the hiss of sleet as it blankets the forest.

I am grateful for trees with their life-giving ability to add oxygen to the air, for their silent arms that provide shelter for weary birds, and for their beauty that always inspires me. I am grateful for mountains, for valleys, and quiet forest streams.
I am grateful for freedom of speech that I may write freely, for a sound mind that allows me to learn and grow, and a healthy body to take me through the day. I am grateful for eyes to see, ears to hear, and a heart to love.
I am grateful for family without whom I would be lost, for a home that protects me from the storm, and friends who enrich my life.
And, I am grateful for you, dear reader, as you stop to share my day. May you choose to expend your energy in activities to make you strong as you go forward in the direction of your dreams.





Friday, February 10, 2012

"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, It's about learning to dance in the rain!"




If you are like most people, you might find yourself thinking that things will be better as soon as the current storm of difficulties passes. Or that now isn't the time to focus on your dreams, because the circumstances of your life aren't perfect. This thinking will get you nowhere for life is filled with storms. The secret is in learning to succeed in spite of them.

Strive today to find joy and peace in whatever circumstances you are in. Look past the storm to the beauty that awaits when the clouds clear and know that you can reach your dreams and goals despite life's little storms.

Today, I am grateful for the first morning rays as the sun hides just below the horizon, for the misty cloud of smoke from my neighbor's furnace that hangs close to the earth, and for eager children who wait for the school bus to appear.
I am grateful for ideas that wrestle to be set free, for faith that everything will work out just as it should, and for ability to dance in the rain. I am grateful for the resilience of the soul that propels us forward toward a bright future, for insight to always choose the right path, and for the ability to enjoy the journey.
I am grateful for the amazing storehouse we call the human mind, for the incredible passion of those who work to improve the lives of others, and for simple joys that punctuate our lives. 
I am grateful for my children who have grown into amazing human beings, for my husband who has faith in my dreams, and for friends who remind me that life is meant to be enjoyed. I am grateful for parents who taught me how to be who I am, for siblings who share my journey, and their children that makes lives full.
And, I am grateful for you, dear reader, as you stop to share my day. May you face your storms with courage and faith and learn to dance in the rain as you go forward in the direction of your dreams.

Express yourself with wall art: Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass. Its about learning to dance in the rain.





 





Wednesday, February 8, 2012

If you find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn't lead anywhere. Frank Howard Clark

As human beings we often find ourselves surprised when obstacles seemingly block our way. For many, a simple tree across the path is a signal to turn back or to find another path. For others, the tree simply slows them down a bit as they decide on the best way to get around the obstacle.

As some of you know, I have recently faced an obstacle that has caused me to stop in my tracks and evaluate how best to get past this temporary setback. A regular source of writing income - the source that allowed me to devote time to other writing pursuits - like this blog - has been suddenly cutoff.

Like the tree across the path, I know that there is always a way around it and what lies beyond is often greater than what has come before. If you, like me, face obstacles in your path, don't let it stop your journey towards your dreams. Go over. Go under. Or go around - but don't turn back.

Today I am grateful for the blessings I know are just around the corner, for faith to hold fast to my dreams, and the courage to face obstacles without fear.
I am grateful for the bright winter sun, for melting ice that drips from the eaves, and for the squirrel that darts before the window. I am grateful for blue skies that brighten my day, for the promise of spring to come, and dreams of green and growing things.
I am grateful for family and friends who lend a helping hand, for writers who share their knowledge with the world, and for poets who paint pictures in my mind.
And, I am grateful for you, dear reader, as you stop to share my day. May you greet obstacles with courage and determination for beyond them lies the path that leads in the direction of your dreams.

Monday, January 30, 2012

You will never "find" time for anything. If you want time, you must make it. Charles Bruxton

So many times we spend our day running around and declaring we simply don't have time for all the things we want to do that we forget each of us is allotted 24 hours in a day - no more and no less. How we choose to use those hours is up to us.

I ran across some interesting information last night while doing some research. The author suggested that any time we spend during our work day that is not moving us toward our goals - either personally or professionally - is wasted time.

Now, I'm not suggesting that you give up leisure activities that promote a healthy life style, or that you neglect the relationships in your life. What I am suggesting is that you take a few days to "track" how you use your time.  I think you, like most of us, will find that you waste much more time that you ever would have guessed.

Take this post, for instance. I looked at the clock and thought, "I only have 15 minutes. What can I possibly accomplish in 15 minutes. I might as well visit Face Book and catch up on my friends." The it hit me, if keeping my blog updated is one of my goals - which it is - why not put that 15 minutes to good use.

For today, keep track of your time to identify areas where you can be more productive - saving time for other activities that you either enjoy or that will move you toward your goals.

I am grateful for the brilliant sun that sends reflections skittering on snow and ice, for the strength of trees that withstand the storm, and the joy of children as they slide on crusted snow.
I am grateful for mornings that greet the day with hope, for birds that flutter to and fro, and for the red squirrel that prances by my window.  
I am grateful for family and friends without whom I would be lost, for new friends I will meet along the path of life, and for strangers who may share but a moment in time.
And, I am grateful for you, dear reader, as you stop to share my day. May you use your time wisely as you go forward in the direction of your dreams. 

 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The first step toward success is taken when you refuse to be a captive of the environment in which you first find yourself.” Mark Caine

So often we begin to view our lives and our dreams in relation to the obstacles in our paths. We become overwhelmed with the false belief that the circumstances around us hold us captive and  we fail to realize that we already hold the key to our success.

Strive today to break free of negative thoughts and beliefs and rise above the seeming obstacles in your way.    Give no mind to the circumstances that wish to hold you captive and set your eyes upon your goal.

Today, I am grateful for the shimmering moon, for dark silhouettes of trees and for starlight that twinkles in the night. I am grateful for the sound of the wind, for dancing wind chimes and for soft, silent snowfall. 
I am grateful for words to express my thoughts, for songs that touch the soul, and for the crisp bite of cucumbers right from the vine. 
I am grateful for memories that make life rich, for quiet moment in which to think and dream, and for the future that lies before me - secretive and unknown. I am grateful for opportunities I have yet to realize, for confidence to seek them out, and for the wisdom to choose wisely. 
I am grateful for eyes that see, ears that hear, and feet that walk that I might live to enjoy another day.  
I am ever grateful for family and friends who bring me hope, for children who are unafraid to dream, and old ladies who share memories of when they were young. 
And, I am grateful for you, dear reader, as you stop to share my day. May you see past the seeming obstacles in your path as you go forward in the direction of your dreams.