The True Gift Of Gratitude

The True Gift Of Gratitude

As a kid, one of the best parts of my birthday was receiving birthday cards from my uncles and grandparents. Especially those cards designed specifically to hold cash. In all honesty, it was never about the card; I was really only excited about what was in the card.

It wasn’t a lot of money, but it was money. Just because I was born!

The rule back then was quite simple. You picked up the phone and called to thank the elders who sent the cash your way. Failure to acknowledge their generosity was a sure-fired way to get on the Ungrateful List. Kids on the Ungrateful List usually never saw those cards designed specifically to hold cash ever again.

I was happy to receive the cash, and always made the thank you calls. But my gratitude was laced with self-serving elements. I wanted to ensure Continue reading “The True Gift Of Gratitude”

The Two Gifts Only You Can Give To Yourself

The Two Gifts Only You Can Give To Yourself

The road to finding peace and happiness is never straight. At least it wasn’t for me and those I’ve known who’ve spent years of their own meandering on a similar journey.

None of us are born angry, miserable, weak, unworthy, afraid, anxious, or insecure. Those are things we can become. Sometimes you can define the catastrophic moment when the world rose up and took away the peace and happiness you entered this world with. Sometimes, though, we look back and can find no specific reason why the peace and happiness we are looking for ever went away in the first place.

It’s surreal walking through your empty life surrounded by everyone else who have their lives all figured out and are moving forward. That’s what I assumed…everyone else Continue reading “The Two Gifts Only You Can Give To Yourself”

The Way Life Could Be

The Way Life Could Be

I hate being told what I should do.

Especially when I’m talking to myself.

There is an iconic sign everyone sees as they cross northbound from New Hampshire into Maine on Interstate 95. In white letters on a background of blue everyone is greeted with “Welcome to Maine…the way life should be.”

Maine is beautiful, overflowing with an abundance of natural wonder and inherent tranquility. In a state the size equal to the combined area of the other five New England states, Maine’s vastness and slower pace make it a perfect place to relax and escape the intensity and demands of Big City living.

Perhaps the sign is right. This is how my life should be.

I just don’t like the word “should”.

Should is the verbal hammer I use when I beat myself up for the mistakes I accuse myself of making. “I should have turned off at that last exit.” “I should have put more Continue reading “The Way Life Could Be”

What A Tomato Can Teach You About Loving Yourself

What A Tomato Can Teach You About Loving Yourself

“Dude…they look weird!”

On a recent trip to Whole Foods I was intrigued by the conflicting comments of two young teens. They had just stopped to look at a display of heirloom tomatoes. One offered his “they look weird” opinion while the other thought they looked “pretty cool”. Funny how two people can look at the exact same tomatoes and see two completely different things.

Which made me wonder…Is there a correlation between what you see when you look at heirloom tomatoes and how you see yourself?

Heirloom tomatoes look dramatically different than what we’ve come to know as traditional tomatoes. Traditional tomatoes are engineered for consistency of size, shape, color, and texture, mass produced to meet the needs of millions. Heirlooms are far more individually Continue reading “What A Tomato Can Teach You About Loving Yourself”

This Is Why Superman Is Jealous Of You

This Is Why Superman Is Jealous Of You

Because you possess the ultimate superpower.

Superheroes come in all shapes and sizes but for the most part superheroes are defined by their unique superpowers. Some of us mortals, too, can be defined by our own unique power, a power which keeps us from being anything but super:

The power to see what’s missing.

What do you see when you look at your life? Is your first response to be grateful for all the blessings you already have in your life or do you only see what’s you think is missing from it?

Continue reading “This Is Why Superman Is Jealous Of You”

The Surprising Benefits of Thinking Like A Tree

The Surprising Benefits of Thinking Like A Tree

When I grow up I want to be a tree.

Why?

Trees, simply, grow.

Trees live up to their potential. Everyday. They fully expand and become all they were created to be. Because trees never work against themselves. The don’t fill themselves with doubt or question their worthiness. They don’t complain about the quality of the soil they’re planted in. They don’t stress wondering what will happen if there isn’t as much rain as last year. Trees never look at other trees with jealousy or envy, the short trees never wishing they were taller, the wide-trunked trees never wishing they were thinner.

Trees never work against themselves.

Continue reading “The Surprising Benefits of Thinking Like A Tree”

Embracing the Radical Idea of Unconditional Happiness

Embracing the Radical Idea of Unconditional Happiness

What if you just decided to be happy, right now, for no particular reason?

Certain things make us happy. That usually happens when the outside world meets or exceeds our expectations. Then we allow ourselves to be happy. Happiness becomes the result when our terms and conditions are met.

But what happens when the world around us lets us down?

Think about how a rainy day off from work makes you feel. We establish our expectations for what a “perfect” day off should be, and then the rain ruins everything. Our expectations are not met and our disappointment undermines our ability to be happy.

Why do we place so much of our capacity for happiness into the hands of the outside world of which we have zero control over?

Continue reading “Embracing the Radical Idea of Unconditional Happiness”