The Art of Gratitude

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“Gratitude turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity . . . it makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”

~ Melody Beattie


To break living in expectation, judgement or comparison, to empower your mind, body and soul and to unleash your potential, your purpose and Universal gifts, the liberation process includes gratitude and the practice of gratitude.

Gratitude: defined as the state of being grateful and a feeling of appreciation. But it is more. It is an affirmation of goodness and a recognition of goodness within ourselves and outside of ourselves–in the Universe.

Encouraging and living in a state of authentic thanks raises our vibrations and helps us project light into the world, and what we give the Universe, the Universe gives to us.

For many, we get caught up in the motion of life. We spend time dwelling on the past and thinking about the future; living by others’ rules, harboring self doubt and feeling incomplete because of self-imposed expectations. We forget to appreciate what we already have. We lose sight that we have and hold the answers to what we seek. We neglect to fully embrace that the Universe–of which we are part of and which is in each of us– is the great provider.  Art of Gratitude

Being OK with where you are and who you are at this very given moment, accepting your past and letting go of the pieces not working for you and setting and acting upon your genuine intentions is living in gratitude. Appreciating all the experiences, emotions, ups/downs, etc., that are the fabric of you is living in gratitude. Taking a moment to acknowledge the impact of all who you encounter on your life’s path and that touched you and you them is living in gratitude.

We are not in this earthly place to be recognized or exalted by others. We are in this life to be in its moments, appreciate it for what it is and to give light. Part of really being grateful is living in the present and seeing the gift that is each day and what the Universe offers. We can allow ourselves to see this gift and to make the choice to forego negativity. We can embrace the constant state of change and refresh our current perspective on our current moments. Gratitude helps us to transcend thoughts of not feeling enough and to know that we are enough.

As we enter into the holiday season and a time of year-end reflection, I’ll leave you with a morning prayer from the Dalai Lama:

Today I am fortunate to have woken up, I am alive, I have a precious human life, and I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand by heart out to others, to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings, I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, and I am not going to get angry or think badly of others, I am going to benefit others as much as I can.

Break the Chains of Mental Slavey

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Emancipate yourself from mental slavery. None but ourselves can free our minds.”
~ Bob Marley

Many of us are held captive by limitations placed on us by ourselves or others, and we choose to accept these false boundaries. We become mentally enslaved by fear, ignorance, low self-esteem, self-doubt, expectations or negativity.

The path to emancipation from mental slavery is paved through gaining new knowledge, insights, ideas and frameworks—new mental models and new ways of thinking. Liberation is achieved through the ongoing development of your mind, and the choice not to accept the boundaries or limitations created by you or others.

The mind is a powerful force. It can enslave us or empower us. It can plunge us into the depths of misery or take us to the heights of ecstasy. Learn to use it wisely.” ~ David Cuschieri

In thinking about this—how our minds can enslave us—we have to come to terms that for many we have lied to ourselves about our lack of power, free-will and universal knowledge. We have placed chains on ourselves and believe the lies we told ourselves. We essentially became slaves to the false limitations or boundaries created.   fantasy-wallpaper

The challenge is that we don’t know that we are in mental slavery, that we created a personal matrix or illusion—becoming stuck in our own “reality” and creating beliefs about ourselves that are really false (not true to our souls). These constraints and limiting thoughts in turn get fueled by the world around us. We simply forget that our minds are but a tool.

How liberating is it to set your mind free and to know that there are no excuses for the mind to become over-powered with pessimism and unhappiness or that we are controlled by others? So how do we step back from this mental slavery? We are all blessed with the ability to reflect and the Universal rights of free-will and choice. We all have the ability to step back from our thoughts and gain a mental position of power.

To start, evaluate whether your thoughts or beliefs are true to you and if they serve you. You can always step back and question a belief or idea. It is true that you can make your own decisions. You do not have to be obedient to others’ expectations or belief systems. You can create the reality you desire, take responsibility for your decisions and emancipate your mind!

Freeing your mind is a continuous action that requires understanding, thought, words, action, effort, mindfulness and concentration. Here are some helpful steps to get you started in freeing your mind, and that you can work into your daily life and thought processes:

-Believe in yourself
-Take responsibility for where you are
-Forgive and let go of the past
-Stop people-pleasing and approval-seeking behaviors
-Don’t constrain yourself by expectations (yours or others)
-Keep an open mind and stop judging and comparing
-Take ownership of what you desire and take action to realize it
-Be positive and don’t harbor toxic emotions
-Envision your future and maintain your focus on it
-Fight for your dreams

Start to pave your path to mental freedom today.

Jump BACK into YOUR Life

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We all need time to reflect, contemplate, and to take a break; to rest, relax or recover. It nourishes the soul, lightens the heart, re-energizes, heals, and refuels us. It helps us understand ourselves, to discover new feelings and to grow. Being in-tune with yourself, listening to your inner voice and learning from all experiences–pleasant/ unpleasant, happy/sad, easy/hard, etc.–needs to be part of your daily life.

But sometimes life can get difficult, challenging, routine, boring, uneventful or confusing. You may lose sight of reflection time and what you have learned about yourself–your likes, passions and what makes you tick. And unintentionally (or intentionally) you jumped out of your life.

So how do you jump back into your life?  Lean on what you know, what you have learned and on your instincts. Keep that learning process going and have confidence that your instincts are your truth.
Waterfall-IcelandStop waiting and wishing. Now is the time. Let go of the “should haves,” and the “what ifs.” Jump in for you–not for others, but for your true self. Don’t cut yourself off from your feelings

It’s OK to feel like you are not ready or do not know enough. Know that you know enough, and you will learn by doing–by experiencing and working in the unknown.  If you happen to fall down don’t let that stop you. Lose embarrassment,  judgement and expectation. Plug into what’s around you. Be aware of what’s working and not working. Build an environment that feeds and respects what’s important to you.

Know that there is beauty in simple things.  Work in inspiration and positive choice–and in the space of what’s important to you.  Choose to engage in things that matter to you.  No one has the answers but you. Stop waiting for someone else to give you the answers. to set your stage or open the door. You have the keys to unlock the door and walk through it. You have the ability to jump (back) in, and to enjoy the ride!

Your turn–share how you jumped back into your life!

Spectator or Participant—You Choose

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“Don’t live a a life that others want you to live, live your own life do what you love, chase your dreams and goals.

 ~ Anurag Prakash Ray

In a recent post on “Just Be” I talked about how we are in a time of great spiritual maturity and enlightenment, where new discoveries about ourselves are being revealed, and how important, if not critical, it is to consciously participate in this process. A key word is participate—to take part or have a part or share.

To realize spiritual and personal growth, and to create and realize change in your life you have to participate in your life. You must be present in your life and take responsibility and ownership for all you have done, are doing and will do. Change is simply a process that can be initiated and consciously chosen or it can be thrust upon you by other people, experiences or circumstances. We are all here to experience change, so we can choose to embrace it or deny it. Embracing it, owning it, and being it will allow you to soar and experience tremendous spiritual growth.

If you feel like you are watching your life go by or maybe you are feeling uncertain, stuck, disconnected, unhappy or even fearful, and you are waiting for someone or something to change you or your life, then you are being a spectator of your life. You have become emotionally disconnected and unavailable from yourself—from your soul and its purpose.

Strangely, this may happen because it’s a “safe” place to be. It may be easier to blame others or life events and to live by expectations and “norms” instilled from childhood then to allow yourself to feel and experience all the highs and lows that come wtih learning, growing and living in this physical life. It may feel easier to be a spectator of your life versus being an active participant.

Yes, through life we will all be presented with challenges and difficultties, and can feel uncertain about where we are, if we “fit in” and where we are heading. But sitting on the sidelines and watching or wandering with a lack of direction with the excuse of not knowing where to begin or not having the energy to begin will delay your growth and ascension. All your experiences are yours to own and from which to learn. They are the lessons of your soul. But to keep repeating them in a constant pattern or cycle because you are fearful or not fully committed to change will keep you in a constant state of being the spectator.


If you are experiencing a sense of wandering or as if you are watching your life versus being in your life, you need to consider if what you are experiencing is a new phase where you have entered into a “discomfort” zone or whether you are stuck because you have yet to acknowledge and resolve what is holding you back and what is making you a spectator. For many, it can be living by others expectations or being put “in a box” of how or who they are suppose to be and living up to or by labels we let get assigned.

Using these lables, we learn to function or be in a safe zone, usually going through motions and living life unawakened. These labels make is easier to be passive or a spectator in our own lives. It’s easier to not challenge the way you are living your life, and it can be hard to break the pattern and to learn to think for yourself, to listen to your inner voice and follow you instincts.

It can be uncomfortable at first—but it’s the start to living your own life. This means giving serious thought to what you want to experience and what you would like to see in the world. It means dedicating time to defining the things you want to learn and create. It’s about taking responsiblity and creating opportunities for you—what you seek or desire, and embracing your purpose and re-discovering your Self.

What might help is to think back to a time or situation where you truly felt light or happy, where you felt connected or in the “zone” and where you felt nothing could stop you. You felt energized. You felt “right” where you were and inspired by where you were going. Your soul was talking to you. The signs where there.

Sometimes along the journey of life and spirtual growth we lose the signal of our soul and we fall into routine and expectation. We lose ourselves in the noise and become spectators in our lives—living by labels or others’ demands. It’s time to awaken to discover your authentic self. It’s time to live in opportunity, possibility, and creativity and your soul’s reality. It’s time to be a participant and an owner of your life. Here is some advice to help transform you from a spectator to a participant.

  • Be honest with yourself about any difficulties or challenges you may be experiencing. Recognize them and your role in them.
  • Accept your past and release emotional baggage. Feel the emotions, do not surpress or avoid them and then let them go.
  • Give yourself time and space to reflect.
  • Think about options. Brainstorm with no limitations or “what-if’s” or “should-have’s”.
  • Really think through your intentions and write them down.
  • Take action—even if it is just baby steps where you take manageable steps that move you to where it is you want to be.

I urge you to chose to be a participant in your life. I look forward to hearing from you on how you are transforming from a spectator to a participant!