Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Gratitude---No New Year's Resolutions For Me

My friend Slade Roberson wrote an article on his blog Shift Your Spirits called "Stuck on Outcomes." Slade tells us about how his ego took over his life for a short time recently with a list of "shoulda, woulda, coulda" items and how it affected him.

To use some of Slade's own words, "The Naggot (which is the personification of my ego) got a hold of the microphone some time in the wee hours of the day after Christmas and I woke up already listening to some Shoulda Coulda Woulda Telethon, broadcast live on the Ungrateful Channel, right from my own Special Place In Hell."

Don't you just love Slade's wonderful sense of humor. I know it is part of the reason that I continue to be drawn to him and his blog Shift Your Spirits.

When in his article Slade started talking about how he doesn't do New Year's Resolutions, he really caught my attention. I used to make half-hearted attempts at writing resolutions each year just to beat myself up because I could never follow through and stay focused long enough to do them. I always wondered why I couldn't stick with them. Read Slade's article to see why he says he is a Scanner. I am not sure that I understand the concept fully. Maybe Slade can explain the concept here in a comment?

One thing Slade asked his readers to do was a 2008 Gratitude List. Here is my version of that list. I hope you will take the time to write your own.

2008 Gratitude List:
1. I am grateful for my on-line friends such as Slade Roberson, Corinne Edwards, Stephen Hopson, and so many more who have lead the way for me this year with their shared words of wisdom and their sense of humor.

2. I am grateful for my family and friends who I love very much. Our family and friends are often our greatest teachers because they know us so well and therefore they know which buttons to push to bring up whatever issues we may need to work on.

3. I am grateful for the guidance of my Spirit Guides and Guardian Angels and Ascended Masters. In 2009, I choose to become a better listener.

4. I am grateful for the bad stuff that happens in my life. Why? Because they bring the gift of knowledge and growth to my life. Everything has a purpose for happening and being.

5. I am grateful for my sense of humor which can lighten any heavy load. Laughing at myself is sometimes the best medicine that I can give to myself. No one puts me on a higher pedestal than I sometimes put myself.

6. I am grateful for the people that I meet who are wonderful examples of "what I want to be when I grow up." I may grow up but I don't ever want to grow old and set in my ways.

7. I am grateful for all of those people who have taught me about courage and love. Most of these people I have never met in person. Do you ever wonder how many people are affected by your actions and attitudes? I do.

8. I am grateful to God for all of the talents that I have been gifted with in this lifetime. In 2009, I want to find new ways to use those talents to help others.

9. I am grateful for every minute of Life that I have experienced---past, present and future. Without my past, I would not be who I am today. Without the present, I wouldn't know the joy of being. With the future comes new challenges and new lessons and new joys and excitement.

10. I am grateful for the year 2008 with all of its many lessons and challenges because I have grown through it all. Some of 2008, I would not want to repeat so I hope that I learned all of those lessons.

11. I am grateful to those people who bring love and joy into my life. I have been truly blessed by the people who have shared my life whether the time shared was just a few minutes or years.

12. I am grateful to be who I am and look forward to who I am becoming. I have grown to love who I am. I am excited about who I will become.

Well, Slade those are my 12 for 2008. The year is only a few days away from being over. It has been a glorious year and a challenging year for me in so many ways. I know that 2009 is going to be as good or better. Happy New Year to all.

Here are links to some of the articles that have enriched my life today:
"Stuck on Outcomes" written by Slade Roberson found at http://sladeroberson.com/manifesting/stuck-on-outcomes.html/

"HOT FLASHES - and other tragedies of life" written by Corinne Edwards found at http://www.personal-growth-with-corinne-edwards.com/hot-flashes-and-other-tragedies-of-life/

"Detox Your Home And Feel Brand New:" written by Carole Fogarty found at http://thehealthylivinglounge.com/2008/12/29/detox-your-home-and-feel-brand-new/

"Stepping into Spiritual Authenticity" by Andrea Hess found at http://www.empoweredsoul.com/blog/2008/12/26/stepping-into-spiritual-authenticity/

"Stephen Hopson Interview with Lance of Jungle of Life, Part I or II" written by Stephen Hopson found at http://www.adversityuniversityblog.com/2008/12/24/stephen-hopson-interview-with-lance-of-jungle-of-life-part-i-of-ii/

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas Is Over For 2008

Christmas is over for 2008. We drove early on December 24 to spend the day with my husband Daniel's family in Benton, Louisiana. For those of you who don't know, Benton is north of Shreveport, Louisiana. My husband and I were both born Red Necks rather than being Cajuns from south Louisiana. I was in high school when someone told me that I was a Red Neck rather than Cajun. The only French that I know is the little bit that I remember from high school French class.

About 10 years ago, my sister-in-law and I got together and decided that we would take the pressure off of Daniel's mother of having to cook for all of the family gathering such as Thanksgiving and Christmas at her house. My mother-in-law is a very healthy 86 years young and we want to keep her that way as long as we can. We all love her so much. She is a wonderful matriarch for our family. We don't want her stressed out over holidays. So most years we have Thanksgiving at our house in Hot Springs, Arkansas and Christmas Eve at my sister-in-laws house. We spend Christmas Eve night at my mother-in-law's in Springhill, Louisiana. All three of us cook a portion of the meal and transport it to either my house or Janet's (my sister-in-law).

Christmas Day we get up early and drive to Mt. Pleasant, TX to spend the day with my family which consists of my family, my brother, my sister, my sister's two daughters and their families. My sister and her two daughters decide which of their houses we will meet at, usually at my youngest neice's house but not every year. This year we were at my oldest neice's house an hour closer to Dallas between Sulphur Springs and Yantis, TX.

Christmas Eve day we spend a total of 4 hours on the road. On Christmas Day, we drive 2 hours to Mt. Pleasant and then at the end of the day 3-4 hours on the road back home depending upon the number of stops we make between Mt. Pleasant and Hot Springs. We got home about 9:00 Thursday night. It usually takes 3-4 days to recover from our trips to Louisiana and Texas.

We only do this once a year, Thank God. I love my family and Daniel's but neither of us likes the road time to visit everyone. Christmas is usually the only time of the year that I see my brother. This year he has his own car so no one had to go and pick him up. He lives about two hours away near Vivian, Louisiana, north of Shreveport.

Christmas this year came with above average warm temperatures. I wasn't able to wear any of my Christmas sweaters because it was in the 60's and 70's and too warm. Today we are under a Tornado Watch and a Lake Wind Advisory Warning most of the day and evening. This storm system spreads from Houston, TX to parts of northern Louisiana, most of the state of Arkansas, parts of Missouri, and north into parts of Illinois and a few other states.

Here is a wish that all of you had a Merry Christmas and that you will have a wonderful Happy New Year and a glorious 2009

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

How Clean Are Your Windows?

A friend sent this email to me a few days ago. I can't give you the name of the person who originally wrote it since it is going around the in the cyberworld without the source being included. Here it is.

The Window Through Which We Look
"A young couple moves into a new neighborhood. The next morning while they are eating breakfast, the young woman sees her neighbor hanging the wash outside.
'That laundry is not very clean', she said.
'She doesn't know how to wash correctly.
Perhaps she needs better laundry soap.'

Her husband looked on, but remained silent.

Every time her neighbor would hang her wash to dry, the young woman would make the same comments.

About one month later, the woman was surprised to see a nice clean wash on the line and said to her husband:
'Look, she has learned how to wash correctly.
I wonder who taught her this?'

The husband said, 'I got up early this morning and cleaned our windows.'

And so it is with life. What we see when watching others depends on the purity of the window through which we look."

As I have said before, what you see about your world and other people always comes through the filters of your ego which are created by your experiences and beliefs. When is the last time that you cleaned the windows of your mind?

Related Articles:

The Law Of The Garbage Truck

We Can Only See Who We Are

Limiting Beliefs May Be Holding You Back or How Incest Is Still Affecting My Life

What Other People Think About You Is None Of Your Business

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Birthday Memories

December 11 is my birthday. I am a Saggittarian with a joy for life and a thirst for knowledge and travel. I have been blessed to be multi-talented. I am a great listener, a writer, an untrained artist, and a craftswoman (mostly self-taught).

I love meeting and spending time with people. My taste in friends is varied so some of them don't mix well, much to their loss (my point of view, not theirs). I am a small town, Southern U. S. A. girl at heart. I love music in most forms with the exception of opera and rap.

I grew up in the 1950's and 1960's but was not brave enough to become a flower child. Even though my birth chart says I have the possibility of being promiscuous, I never have had that particular urge. Every person that reads my chart points this out to me. One person even argued with me about it and insisted that I was. Maybe this is a blessing from the incest that I have never acted out in this area. I have never believed in free love. Love always comes with a price. I don't mean that in a negative way. Involvement of my heart is a price that I will willingly pay. Love, for me, comes with committment.

Now for the birthday memories, as my title says. The first memory is from my 16th or 17th birthday. It doesn't matter which year. They were very similar. Most of my birthdays, because they are in December, are cold and rainy. If it doesn't rain, they are still usually cloudy. This particular December 11, for lunch, I left the school and walked to downtown Plain Dealing, Louisiana and bought a candy bar at the local five and dime store. Back then our school lunches were 25 cents a day. Usually I would skip lunch the whole week so that I could eat in town one day of the week with my $1.25. I remember the day looked the way I felt, sad and lonely. We had moved to Plain Dealing when I was in the middle of the school year of the tenth grade. I left all of my friends behind at Haughton High School. I really missed them. We had all been friends since the fifth grade when we move to Haughton, Louisiana. Moving to a small country school in the middle of the year doesn't make it easy to make friends especially if you are extremely shy like I was.

My next birthday memory is more joyful. It was my 24th birthday. I was married and pregnant with our son Jeremy. We lived in Asheville, North Carolina. We were 900 miles from most of our family. Daniel threw me a party and invited two couples from our Natural Childbirth class. It was a wonderful night of laughter, birthday cake, and discussions about our dreams about being parents and time spent with new friends. I enjoyed every minute of being pregnant back then. For the first time in my life, I felt beautiful.

My next birthday memory comes from ten years ago. We had just bought our home back in October 1998. My mom died in November of 1998. Daniel and our son and daughter decided that I needed cheering up so they threw me a surprise birthday party. Several of my friends helped out by inviting everyone from my small church. I don't think I ever counted who all came. They made it a potluck so that Daniel just cooked hamburgers and everybody else bought a dish. I worked that day at the bookstore. Daniel picked me up from work and then drove the long way home so that I wouldn't see all of the cars parked out on the street until the last minute. I was so tired, it took a minute or two for me to decide to be pleasantly surprised and thankful for all of the trouble that he and the kids had gone to that day. It was a joyful celebration of family and friends.

This year's celebration will be scattered over several days of small get-togethers. Daniel and I went out for lunch together on Wednesday because he is working on Thursday. Jeremy will take me out for a meal some time later. Two of my friends will each take me out to separate meals to spend the time together with them. Our daughter will call me sometime on Thursday to wish me Happy Birthday from Idaho where she lives. We miss her and she is happy living in Idaho. We like to visit Idaho but for us, Hot Springs, Arkansas is home. It is where my heart is.

I wish for each of you a wonderful Christmas season.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Doing Good Deeds

Today I went to get my haircut and on my way into the building, I opened the door and stepped aside to let a lady go in before me. She was so surprised at my actions. She thanked me and told me that with the day that she was having, she really appreciated me opening the door for her. I smiled and told her that I was glad that I followed my impulse to open the door for her.

When is the last time that you extended such a small courtesy to another person without expecting anything in return. I didn't plan to open the door for the lady. She was far enough away that I opened the door and stood and waited for her to get to the door. A little voice inside nudged me to open the door for the lady. Boy was I glad that I did when she told me she was not having a good day.

I am not telling you this because I want your praise. I think we should all do things to help each other, not just at Christmas but all through the year. I didn't think about how my actions would affect the other lady. I simply followed the impulse that said open the door. Go out of your way to do something nice for someone else. It doesn't have to cost you anything except maybe a little of your time. It doesn't matter if the other person expresses their appreciation like my lady did. It is nice if they do but it isn't a requirement. Use the Christmas season as an excuse to do something nice for someone else. Choose to do some good today.
Have a glorious day.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Thanks Giving

As I was thinking about Thanksgiving coming up this week in the United States, I decided to write an article about Thanks Giving which should be about more than just one day out of the year. I haven't written an article about Giving Thanks in awhile. One of my online friends, Stephen Hopson does one every week writing a Gratitude article about the things he is grateful for during his week. Stephen's articles always remind me of what I have to be thankful for in my life. Check out Stephen's blog found at http://www.adversityuniversityblog.com/ .

Well, that first paragraph for the article was written a day or so before Thanksgiving. I intended to finish writing the article a day or two after my Thanksgiving guests went home. Instead, my husband and I came down with a nasty stomach virus. Daniel was over his in two days. I took a little longer---4 days. Now I am well and able to write again so it is time to finish this article.

I am glad that we have a holiday in the U. S. called Thanksgiving. It kind of says, "Hey everyone, stop what you are doing today and look at what you are thankful for in your life." We should all do that on a daily basis, not just once a year. Thanks Giving is something that would enrich all of our lives and put us more in touch with our inner core of Love. Gratitude is one of the most encouraging, uplifting emotions that we can choose to feel. Acting out of gratitude---giving back---is one of the best actions that we can take to bring joy to our lives and the lives of others. Why do we need a holiday to remind us of that?

What are you Giving Thanks for today? Feel free to add your list to mine in the comment section of this article.

Here is my list:
I am grateful for the comments that my readers leave on this blog that tell me how much they care and what my words mean to them.

I am grateful for my wonderful husband, son and daughter, son-in-law and each of my four grandchildren who I love dearly and who each returns my love. Children show you how to open your heart to unconditional love.

I am grateful for my wonderful friends who enrich my life with their love and friendship.

I am grateful to my online friends who encourage me in my writing attempts and help me move forward when I sometimes feel stuck in the trama of the past.

I am grateful for my home, my sanctuary, that my husband and I have created over the past 36 years together. Home is where my heart is. My husband keeps that safe for me. I love you, Daniel.

I am grateful for this spiritual journey that has taken me to places I could never have imaged going to. What a world of adventure and excitement my life has become.

I am grateful to my God and my angels and guides for being with me through this lifetime and all of the lifetimes before.

I am grateful that sometimes I can catch glimpses of the bigger picture of Life so that my small corner makes more sense to me.

I am grateful for all of the talents that I have been blessed to have. How they enrich my life!

I am grateful for Love, Courage, Joy, Hate, Fear, Sadness. They all bring lessons that enrich my life.

Let me hear your ideas of what you are grateful for everyday of your lives.