Archive for November, 2014

the power of gratitude

November 27th, 2014

I was talking with a newcomer in program the other day who is struggling with the transition from medicating with addictive, compulsive behaviors to a more emotionally sober life. He described feeling frustrated, impatient and cynical that his life will really change for the better. The first three steps of the 12 steps focus on establishing conscious contact with a power greater than oneself–in other words, establishing some type of spiritual life. Asking for the willingness to shift one’s attitudes is not an easy feat, but it can be a beginning of a journey toward meaning and purpose.

Where did gratitude come into this conversation? What we focus on expands. So if we “bitch and moan”, that will grow, and if we express gratitude, that will become more habitual and your neurons will respond accordingly. When I asked the newcomer about gratitude in his life, he was able to rattle off at least half a dozen people, places and things rather easily as I sat across from him with some surprise. Counterbalancing the “stinking thinking” isn’t a simple task but gratitude can be one of the antidotes to the pain and suffering associated with addictions and trauma.

on this day of giving thanks, i want to express my deepest gratitude for the love, encouragement and beauty in my life which continues to show up in surprising and unexpected ways. one of my ways of establishing conscious contact is to be open-hearted to the “godshots” which reveal themselves every day if i am open to them. I wish you the power of gratitude as you practice the possibility of appreciation wherever you may roam.

90 is the new 50

November 16th, 2014

Tonite I had the opportunity to see a local poet, Gedda Ilves launch her latest book here at the Beyond Baroque Literary Center in Venice, and chronologically she recently turned 90. Why do I say chronologically? Because her attitude, outlook on life, creativity and determination reflects many people half her age or younger. Not only was it inspiring to see her organize a vibrant community event around her latest publication, “At The Threshold”, but it was also humbling and beautiful to see the possibilities of aging gracefully and with purpose.

Having turned 50 recently, it becomes more and more clear how fortunate we are for the time given to us on this planet. One day at a time we have choices about how we get to live our lives to the fullest, and I remain ever so grateful for the wisdom and perseverance of those who choose to transcend the hands of time and continue to “dare greatly” as Brene Brown reminds us.