Starting from a Place of Gratitude

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“The unthankful heart… discovers no mercies; but let the thankful heart sweep through the day and, as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings!” ~ Henry Ward Beecher

 

Whatever we focus on, we draw to us. Whatever we constantly think about, adding strong emotion to that thought, magnetises us to that thing.

Why then, would we choose to only focus on our worries?

Why would we continuously speak of all our injustices, difficulties and pains?

To think constantly on such difficult things will help us to see more of the same.

When we can find gratitude for something in our lives, no matter how small, and truly feel that thankfulness in our hearts, we begin to come back to a place of flow.

If your life is difficult right now, or simply if you wish to create a life of more abundance and satisfaction, start by cultivating gratitude in your heart.

Start each day from a place of gratitude. Count your blessings. Name at least three things in your life for which you are grateful. They may be small and simple – being grateful for your life, for the sun coming up, for birdsong, or a fresh breeze, or a good cup of tea. Small blessings count just as surely as large ones.

Miracles happen when you make this a regular practice. I know it to be true because of the way gratitude has transformed my own life, and helped me live through hardship with an open heart.

Sending you so much love today.

I’m grateful that you’re sharing the journey with me.

I’m grateful for your support.

I’m grateful to count you as a friend.

Bless ♥ Nicole xx

Denali National Park in autumn, Alaska, USA, North America

Kindness Challenge – Week One

Image from Reem Writes

Image from Reem Writes

“What this world needs is a new kind of army — the army of the kind.” ~ Cleveland Amory

 

Hello Friends, and welcome to Week One of our six week Kindness Challenge.

To participate in today’s challenge all you need to do is select and perform one of the following kindness activities. The beneficiaries of our acts of kindness for Week One will be strangers.

Of course, if you choose to do this activity more than once, or to work on one each day that’s absolutely fine as well. In fact, it’s wonderful. :)

Okay, Kindness Ambassadors, let’s go!

  1. Give a smile and a warm hello to someone in the street.
  2. Wave and say thank you to the man or woman holding the stop/go sign at the roadworks or pedestrian crossing. (There was an especially grumpy man who does this job at a major roadworks near me. I consider it a personal victory that after six months of smiling and waving and saying hello and thank you to his stony face he now waves and smiles back at me every single time!)
  3. Give a smile and a genuine thank you to someone who has served or helped you. Eg: Thank you, that coffee was delicious. Thank you, I look forward to my lunch here every day. Honour a serviceman or woman by thanking them for their service to your country.
  4. Give a smile and a compliment to a stranger. Pay attention to the girl who sells you your newspaper, or the shy youth at the supermarket checkout.  Notice the lovely handbag or perfume or haircut or tie or interesting jewellery or smile or skill or attitude of another person. Be genuine and mean what you say. Here are some examples: Excuse me, I love your shoes. Wow, you added that up in your head so fast. That was an awesome reverse park. The flowers in your garden are beautiful. You have such a well-behaved dog.
  5. Donate some old blankets to a pet shelter, or some clothes, books or other unwanted goods to a charity so that they can help someone you’ll never meet.
  6. Write a letter to a company/school/business/service praising an employee or volunteer who has been helpful to you and given exceptional service or done something you feel needs positive acknowledgement.
  7. Practice a few minutes of Bliss Bombing. (See note below)

The Art of Bliss Bombing

Bliss Bombing is really good for shy people. If you aren’t able to get out and about, do this to a plane flying above you, a car going down the road, or to a place in the world that you feel needs a little extra kindness.

This is a gorgeous activity, and one of my favourites. If you’re able to, take yourself to a public place, like a mall, coffee shop, or a bench in a park near where people are walking by.  Sit somewhere unobtrusive.  When someone walks past, shoot a radiant shower of golden sparks from your heart to theirs and silently bless them with love.  You can even send joy and love from your heart to trees, animals, plants, bus-loads of commuters and overhead planes.  You might  want to say to yourself, “I bless you with love.  Know joy today.”  If anyone catches your eye, just smile.

Feel your open heart begin to tingle with energy and joy.  In that place of energetic connection look around you at the world and you will see that it IS brighter and more beautiful because of YOU.

Congratulations, Kindness Ambassadors! Today your kindness has helped contribute to a positive flow of energy in the world.

It’s okay to let your face crack open from smiling.  Thank the Universe for this amazing experience we call life.  Expect an outpouring of feel-good emotion. ♥ Don’t be at all surprised at how the Universe will mirror your love and energetic abundance back to you.

Image from Lopez Family Now

Image from Lopez Family Now

Blessings at my back door!

damsel

“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”
(Si hortum in bibliotheca habes, deerit nihil.)
― Cicero, Letters to His Friends, Vol 2: Books 7-12

 

In my pyjamas, sipping tea in the backyard after a rough night. It’s so breathtakingly beautiful here at the farm that I can’t help but feel a little cheered. I thought I’d share my morning with you…

hungry birdyEveryone’s ready for breakfast.

herbspotThings are busy growing.

stickThere’s quite a bit of stick chasing and stick chewing going on.

bunny 2A rabbit has come by to visit! I hope he doesn’t eat too much of my garden.

frangisThe mist is lifting and it’s going to be a magical day.

Lots and lots of love to you, Nicole xx

 

 

 

 

Stormclouds, Music and Melancholy

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“When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.” 
~ Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore

 

The air is tinged with cold and that strange electricity that comes before a storm. I am watching from my upstairs bedroom, stuck in the city and longing for home.

The new meds I am on to treat the lyme and other bacteria are having brutal effect these past few days.  Seems I have my own storm raging inside me.

I am wracked with fever and with pain. My eyes are fogged and my brain has turned to cotton wool.

It’s hard to type. Hard to think. Hard to read.

So I am mostly lying here, watching the sky and listening to music.

And somehow, there is so much beauty here.

I am profoundly grateful for my life.

 

Day 29 – Gratitude Challenge

Image from msmagazine.com

“We are each gifted in a unique and important way. It is our privilege and our adventure to discover our own special light.” ~ Mary Dunbar

If there is one thing I have learned in this lifetime, it is this: When I love myself, when I am kind to myself and encouraging of myself, healing happens, doors open and life falls into place.

One of the singular most powerful acts you can perform that will transform your life is to have gratitude for YOURSELF.

Appreciate your own efforts, acknowledge your work and your growth, be gentle with yourself when you fail, and praise yourself when you pick yourself back up.

Image from positivelypresent.tumblr.com

When we treat ourselves with love and respect, we are sending a strong message to the Universe – what we give out is what we attract back into our life. By respecting and loving ourselves, we attract respectful and loving relationships.

Do I need to add that by running ourselves down, selling ourselves short, heaping criticism upon ourselves, berating and blaming ourselves – we attract negative, exploitive and abusive relationships at home and at work?

Image from positivelypresent.tumblr.com

There is only one you in the whole of creation and there will never be another soul with your unique blend of DNA, thoughts and experiences.

You bring something special to the Universe.

This life is a great gift, and your existence is no accident…

YOU – your unique talents and your very life are Blessings.  It’s true that this can be a challenging perspective at first, but I promise that the more you look at yourself through eyes of love and gratitude the more satisfying your life will become.

Today, think kind thoughts towards yourself, and cultivate an attitude of gratitude for this wonderful journey we call life!

Counting Our Blessings and Using our Gratitude Rock

If you need a detailed reminder of our daily process, you can review it here in Day 1 of the Gratitude Challenge.

  1. List five Blessings in your journal, explaining why you are grateful for each one.
  2. Count your Blessings off on your fingers, summoning positive emotion and saying Thank You from your heart for each one.
  3. Write the following words on a piece of paper, feeling the truth of this energy in your heart,  and add this paper to the ones already under your Gratitude Rock : My life is a Blessing, and I am ready to share my unique talents and gifts with the World. I am grateful for my Life.  Thank You, Thank You, Thank You.
  4. Tonight before you go to sleep, hold your Gratitude Rock and affirm I am richly Blessed. I have an Abundance of Good in my life. Visualise one thing you have been grateful for today. Swell that positive energy up in your heart like a beautiful golden light, and give a heart-felt Thank You, Thank You, Thank You to the Universe, then imagine a tiny shower of golden light travelling from your heart into your Gratitude Rock.
  5. Still holding your Gratitude Rock, bless your fellow travellers on this Gratitude Journey by sending them golden light, and saying Thank you.  I Bless You.  I intend for you Love, Miracles and Abundance. Know that as you are saying this for them, they are also saying this for you. Feel that connection and gratitude and know that there is real love and support for you here.

If all you do today is these five steps, know that is enough.

But if you’re ready for a little more, why not join me for today’s gratitude challenge?

Mirror, Mirror!

Go find some quiet place with a mirror. Stand or sit in front of it and close your eyes.  Think about your body for a moment.  Think of how it always works to serve you – so much going on inside you to keep you well and healthy – your body always doing its best for you.  Think of the gift of your mind – that ability to think, imagine, learn, visualise, problem-solve and create. Think of your heart’s ability to connect, to care, to love.  Think of your Soul’s wisdom. You truly are amazing.  Really swell that sense of gratitude for all that you are, and feel it building in your heart.

Image from venusvision.com

When you’re ready, open your eyes.  Look into your own eyes in the mirror and say I Love You, You are Enough. Thank You, Thank You, Thank You.

It’s okay if this is difficult.  It’s okay if you feel emotional. Just allow for some space in your understanding to know that it is true.

Today I honour you.  Thank you for being you. Bless ♥ xx

Day 27 – Gratitude Challenge

“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”
~ George Bernard Shaw

Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and go do it. Because what the world needs is more people who have come alive ~ Howard Thurman.

Life is not a career path! Life is a glorious opportunity to explore, to grow, to learn and to become.

No matter whether our lives currently reflect the way we want to live, or whether we have a long way to go to realise our dreams, we can begin to be happy where we are.

The more we find to be grateful for, the more good stuff starts to show up in our lives.  Transforming our energy and our attitude is as simple as cultivating that attitude of gratitude.

If you were to ask me what your purpose was for this lifetime, I could answer this in just two words – Be Happy.

If you needed a longer explanation, then I would say to you that happiness comes from using your natural talents and gifts to express yourself in the world.  Maybe your talent is to be a surgeon, maybe it’s to sew incredible curtains, you might be a natural parent, a brilliant writer, a nutty inventor, or a magical gardener.

In each twenty-four hour period, are you devoting ANY energy to doing things you enjoy and are good at?

Life doesn’t have to be a career path, although for some people it turns out that way. Sometimes a job is just the mechanism that provides the security and pays the bills, so that you can devote the rest of your time to doing what really makes your heart sing.

What makes your heart sing?  What makes you come alive?

Today, give thanks for those energies in your life, and do all you can to incorporate a little more of that activity on a daily or weekly basis.

And for some people, the thing we love and give attention to, grows to be able to support us financially anyway…

Image from desktopia.net

Now let’s build up some more of that delicious attitude of gratitude with our regular practice…

Counting Our Blessings and Using our Gratitude Rock

If you need a detailed reminder of our daily process, you can review it here in Day 1 of the Gratitude Challenge.

  1. List five Blessings in your journal, explaining why you are grateful for each one.
  2. Count your Blessings off on your fingers, summoning positive emotion and saying Thank You from your heart for each one.
  3. Choose from one of the following phrases, write the words on a piece of paper and add them to the ones already under your Gratitude Rock : I embrace my passion.  Thank You, Thank You, Thank You. ~ My dreams are becoming clear to me.  Thank You, Thank You, Thank You. ~ I am open to happiness and flow.  Thank You, Thank You, Thank You.  ~ I understand that I deserve to be happy.  Thank You, Thank You, Thank You.
  4. Tonight before you go to sleep, hold your Gratitude Rock and affirm I am richly Blessed. I have an Abundance of Good in my life. Visualise one thing you have been grateful for today. Swell that positive energy up in your heart like a beautiful golden light, and give a heart-felt Thank You, Thank You, Thank You to the Universe, then imagine a tiny shower of golden light travelling from your heart into your Gratitude Rock.
  5. Still holding your Gratitude Rock, bless your fellow travellers on this Gratitude Journey by sending them golden light, and saying Thank you.  I Bless You.  I intend for you Love, Miracles and Abundance. Know that as you are saying this for them, they are also saying this for you. Feel that connection and gratitude and know that there is real love and support for you here.

If all you do today is these five steps, know that is enough.

Today’s gratitude challenge is about energising yourself to actions, activities and opportunities for you to feel good…

Living Happy!

Close your eyes, and think of a time when you were really happy in your life.  What were you doing?  What music did you listen to?  What food did you eat? Who did you hang out with? What was it about this time in your life that made it so magical?

Dwell on that time for a moment, and really feel the happiness, really feel that strong emotional connection and positive energy. Then build up a sense of gratitude in your heart.  Say a heart-felt Thank You to the Universe for the Blessing of happiness.

Image from daniel-wong.com

Now think of an activity that always engages you, relaxes you, makes you feel good…  It could be surfing, sewing, singing, writing, cooking, dancing, bushwalking, researching the family tree, painting or renovating, solving complex maths problems…  It doesn’t matter what it is – it only matters that you enjoy that thing!

See yourself doing that activity.  Feel the pleasure and satisfaction, feel the usefulness, feel the mental engagement or the sense of freedom. Just absorb yourself in thinking about this activity in a pleasurable way, so that it leaves you wanting more. Remember to say Thank You to the Universe for this gift in your life.

Image from blog.babazeka.com

And when you’re done with day-dreaming, take your diary and schedule a little time for reconnecting with this activity in your life.  Plan to buy fabric, or go to the library and get a relevant book, or make some time to simply DO this thing in your life. Just for the love of it.  Just for how it makes you feel.  Life is for living, and for enjoying the journey. Make sure you make time to do something that you LOVE.

Bless  ♥ xx

Day 26 – Gratitude Challenge

Image from zimbio.com

“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” ~ Rumi

 

Human hearts are built for love – to give it, to receive it, to radiate it out into the world…

If you’ve discovered anything during our time together on this gratitude challenge so far, it is this – whenever we develop an attitude of gratitude toward something, we become magnetic towards that energy in our own lives. When we can find areas to be thankful for (even if the blessing feels very small), it opens us to receiving more of that good thing.

So today our focus is on love, and in particular on love relationships.

Love is literally all around us. It is the theme of countless songs, books and movies, it’s at the core of much of our television drama, and it’s played out in our families, with our friends and workmates and in our own lives.

If you are in a love relationship, today, give thanks for that. Think back to when you were first together, and the special moments you shared, think of the love and support you’ve had through the hard times, and the bonds you’ve created together. Celebrate and give thanks for your partnership. Tell them Thank You for loving me.  I’m so grateful to have you in my life. This works a kind of magic on relationships that need revitalization too – whatever we appreciate grows dearer to us, and gains more life and positive energy.  I have seen tired and stagnant relationships blossom under these small attentions.

If you are single, or in a relationship where there is no love, then put your attention on those who have the sort of relationship you would like for yourself. Not to be envious of it – to be thankful for it. Swell that feeling of gratitude in your heart that there are people in the world who have the love you are yearning for.  See them in their happiness and commitment, think of their compatibility, their chemistry, their devotion. Then give genuine thanks for that example of lasting love. Be grateful that such love exists.  Feel excited and uplifted by the possibility of a similar energy of love in your own life. Say Thank You for showing me that True Love is possible.  Thank you for strengthening the energy of Love in the world.

Most of all, practice and give thanks for loving yourself. When we love and treat ourselves well, we attract loving partners who treat us with similar kindness, care and respect!

Image from mondayartday.blogspot.com

As you go throughout your day today, look for evidence of love everywhere. Be that love in your own life.

Now let’s build up some more of that attitude of gratitude with our daily practice…

Counting Our Blessings and Using our Gratitude Rock

If you need a detailed reminder of our daily process, you can review it here in Day 1 of the Gratitude Challenge.

  1. List five Blessings in your journal, explaining why you are grateful for each one.
  2. Count your Blessings off on your fingers, summoning positive emotion and saying Thank You from your heart for each one.
  3. Write the following words on a piece of paper and add them to the ones already under your Gratitude Rock (and trust that I have a plan for these pieces of paper!): I now gratefully open to the energy of Love in my life. I am magnetic to a magical and sacred Union and I welcome it into my Life. Thank You, Thank You, Thank You.
  4. Tonight before you go to sleep, hold your Gratitude Rock and affirm I am richly Blessed. I have an Abundance of Good in my life. Visualise one thing you have been grateful for today. Swell that positive energy up in your heart like a beautiful golden light, and give a heart-felt Thank You, Thank You, Thank You to the Universe, then imagine a tiny shower of golden light travelling from your heart into your Gratitude Rock.
  5. Still holding your Gratitude Rock, bless your fellow travellers on this Gratitude Journey by sending them golden light, and saying Thank you.  I Bless You.  I intend for you Love, Miracles and Abundance. Know that as you are saying this for them, they are also saying this for you. Feel that connection and gratitude and know that there is real love and support for you here.

If all you do today is these five steps, know that is enough.

Want to join me for today’s Gratitude Challenge?  If so, here it is:

Heart Healing 

Today’s challenge might be, well, challenging…

Today I want you to close your eyes, and hold an image in your mind of someone who has hurt you in a love relationship. Sincerely, and from your heart, I want you to say Thank you for this Learning Experience.  I forgive you, I wish you well, and I release you with Love. I am grateful for our time together, that taught me so much. Thank You, Thank You, Thank You.

You can do this process more than once if it feels right to forgive more than one person.

Now hold a picture of yourself in your mind. Sincerely, and from your heart, I want you to say Thank you for being brave enough to Love.  I forgive you, I wish you well, and I release you with Love. I am grateful that I have learned so much. Thank You, Thank You, Thank You.

Finally, hold a picture in your mind of a couple who have the kind of love energy you would like to enjoy in your own life. Or if you are a strong visualiser, imagine yourself already in that type of love relationship. You don’t need words for this – just build a strong energy of love, gratitude, joy and appreciation.

If you are at a time in your life where you no longer desire a relationship external to yourself, visualise a strengthened sense of self-love and a heightened spiritual connection.

Finish this activity by saying I am worthy of Love. I am magnetic to Love. I give thanks for the Love in my life. Thank You, Thank You, Thank You.

Valentine Tree by Alice Mason