Please Pass The Gratitude

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During this long Thanksgiving weekend, many of will be blessed enough to join those we love around a table to share a meal together. Or maybe by now we’re sitting around listening to our stomach digest, after eating copious amounts of turkey and all the fixin’s, plus great portions of pie, ready for a nap.

Thanksgiving is rather like Christmas. I heard someone refer to it as “Thankmas” There’s the build up, followed at times with the anti-climatic let down. I say this because the expectation often doesn’t measure up to reality.

It’s way too early for me to even think about Christmas and so I write today about Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving’s emphasis is on gratitude, or at least I hope it is, but as most of us know it’s a holiday that wasn’t about this historically for many, especially for Indigenous First Nations people, because it was the colonialist holiday.

Gratitude is exactly where my happiness lies everyday. Regardless of what’s happening in my life or around me, if I can maintain a grateful attitude this can diminish many of my feelings of unhappiness, when I have them. But I’m not always looking to rid myself of unhappy feelings, because otherwise I’d be in denial, going backwards, and I’d probably appear as a rather unfeeling person, lacking in compassion. Reality is, life isn’t always happy. Shit happens.

There was a time when I did everything I could to avoid feelings, mostly through the abuse and misuse of alcohol, something a lot of people do. After 23 years of sobriety, I”m so very grateful I no longer have to live this way. I’ve learned to live gratefully, clean and sober, one day at a time.

Last Thanksgiving in 2016, I’d heard a timely CBC Radio re-broadcast of a program about Viktor Frankel and his book Man’s Search for Meaning. Viktor Frankel’s framed his perception of life as having the freedom to choose his attitude and his own way of response to life whatever our life’s circumstances. I see this as learning how to have a grateful attitude and a way of living my life, not simply for one day out of the year.

And last year on this day, just as I was about to post my blog and hit publish, the power went out and then came back on after three quarters of an hour. Suddenly all over Nova Scotia, 7,800 people, were without power, with some not expected to get power restored until later that week. It was only out here in Apple River, for one afternoon. My response was mostly good but I admit, I said a few swear words. But in Cape Breton it was a very different story where many lost homes after flash flooding caused by a down pour of over 200 mm of rain with in a very short period of time. Some people still have no house to live in this year.

Ironically again, this Thanksgiving day well after supper, the power went out in several parts of Nova Scotia. Fortunately there was no repeat of what happened  to the folks in Cape Breton.

The gratitude I have is that we weren’t hit by Hurricanes, happening so frequently in so many parts of the world.
Last year Matthew had been predicted for our area in Nova Scotia and while in the dark then, I wrote twenty pages in my journal by candle light, and I prayed for those who have been effected by this Hurricane, especially in Haiti. This year I pray for all of those areas in the Caribbean, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Texas, Louisiana and New Orleans and the rest.

There is so very much to be grateful for everyday. My prayer  is that you be blessed with abundant gratitude, everyday and to please, pass on the gratitude.

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Want to be Happier in Your Life? Try these Five Steps

Having posted on this blog in the past about Hygge and belonging to a couple of Hygge sites I had to share this, especially because my blog is about Happiness.

This wonderful blogger and writer shared her insight and what she has learned about Hygge and happiness, and it’s too good to keep to myself. I hope you take the time to read it and share it with your friends!

And now I’m off to pickle somethin’!Hygge for this pre-Autuminal season!

 

 

 

 

 

Source: Want to be Happier in Your Life? Try these Five Steps

There’s a Miracle of Friendship

Yesterday close mutual friends and families celebrated our friend Jeanne’s life, in a beautiful Church, a Celebration that touched me deeply, and has strengthened my faith in the power of love. This love is like the pebble that causes the ripples to extend outward, far reaching into the water.

Today I’m thinking a lot about friendship, because Jeanne taught me so much about friendship and about the extension of earthly and of heavenly, divine love.

We can so often take our friendships for granted, but I know friendship is the most important relationship we have, regardless whether those friends be biologically related to us or not.

Our strongest relationships can be with our friends, many times more so, then with our immediate family, because we choose our friends.

I also know my friendship with myself, with others, and with the  God of my understanding  all embody and manifest my purpose in life, which becomes much clearer when I just work to help, not to possess. If I can live my life this way, I’m very grateful and happy.

And I have the hope that reflected in my attitude toward gratitude, is what will define me as a person.

This Celebration yesterday left me feeling doubly blessed, as I met a beautiful new friend who was close to Jeanne and she sang the hymn His Eye Is On the Sparrow. This hymn I know captured the spirit of Jeanne’s legacy of faith, hope, gratitude and love that she imparted to others and she set the bar for us to extend like ripples in the water.

Breathe in the amazing, hold on through the awful, and relax and exhale during the ordinary.”

– L.R. Knost

Eyland’s Acre – Judith Joseph

Our past is born of story, in the present we live our story, and then we become the story.

– Catherine Meyers

People you Love

The Star – Pandora and The Goddess of the Rainbow                                                                                                                                                                                           For Jeanne, our  WW (Woman’s Weekend) sister and to all that loved her and for those that she loved, especially her devoted husband Rick and her family.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

It’s a Funny Thing

 

That’s What Makes Us Strong

If you love somebody
Then that means you need somebody
And if you need somebody
That’s what makes you weak
But if you know you’re weak
And you know you need someone
O it’s a funny thing
That’s what makes you strong

That’s what makes you strong
That’s what gives you power
That’s what lets the meek come sit beside the king
That’s what lets us smile
In our final hour
That’s what moves our souls
And that’s what makes us sing

And to trust somebody
Is to be disappointed
It’s never what you wanted
And it happens every time
But if you’re the trusting kind
This don’t even cross your mind
O it’s a funny thing
That’s what makes you strong

That’s what makes you strong
That’s what gives you power
That’s what lets the meek come sit beside the king
That’s what lets us smile
In our final hour
That’s what moves our souls
And that’s what makes us sing

Written by Jesse Winchester • Copyright © BMG Rights Management US, LLC

 

 

The past few months have filled with some beautiful blessings and simultaneously some really difficult events that are hard to bare because they hurt, are painful, make me cry, sadden me, and feel deep grief. When I feel this way I turn to relying even more on a having a daily conscious contact with the God of my understanding through prayer.

As well, creativity becomes my therapy, so I paint and write. What really helps is listening to some of my favourite singer song writers, such as Eric Bibb, and the late Jesse Winchester. The youtube video I’ve linked to really comforts me. His wise words always deeply resonate with me especially today. Jesse died a number of years back after a battle with cancer and like so many of his devoted fans, I was heartbroken. Jesse had this way of touching the heart, because he spoke the language of love.

He’ll always be alive in my heart, like all of those I’ve loved and who’ve left this mortal coil.

 

Not Happy

 

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When I’m unhappy humour always helps, always…

One thing about happiness, it’s got to be balanced with unhappiness. I don’t mean fifty/fifty all the time. But it’s impossible to be happy all the time. Sometimes our happiness or unhappiness is 20/80 etc. But if your mostly unhappy you have to find out why and how you can change that in the best way possible without the use and abuse of reality altering substances, because that’s only gonna “f’ you up, and I’m not talkin’ funk.

Today I was feeling a little isolated,  a little lonely, a little sad, and bored with myself really, which also left me feeling pretty unmotivated and longing for ice cream. I tell myself that makes me feel better, but it’s only a temporary measure, because I’m an emotional eater.

So, I decided to take some creative action, which is always the antidote to worry or sadness for me that works. I got out my drawing tools and continued working on a painting I started last week. I felt better.

Then I got some really bad news, and then felt much worse. I noticed a friend posted this youtube video of Johnny Cash singing “Hurt”. I’d heard this before, but didn’t see the video. It made me reflect deeply, about how we all experience love, loss, regret, consequence, great happiness and deep sadness in life. And besides all that, no one gets out of here alive. But we’re all on the same ship together so we may as well enjoy the ride for as long as we can until it’s time to embark upon the shore.

Then I remembered listening to a rebroadcast of an interview earlier today, with Sheryl Sandburg from Face Book who’d suddenly lost her husband Dave Goldburg. She wrote Lean In and after losing her beloved husband, and was left with two young children to care for, she had a really rough go and eventually wrote her new book, Option Two.

I felt better.

Pandora – The Star and The Rainbow Goddess

The Star – Pandora and The Goddess of the Rainbow       Egg Tempera – Catherine Meyers  2017                                                                                                                                                                           Spending 31 weekends, over 31 years with a group of women I’ve known for over half of my life is a rare exception for most female friends, and it makes me very happy.                                                                  It’s a great blessing we ‘re all very grateful for, seeing one another through countless major life events and experiences.                                                                                                                                                    We’ve been there for one another in whatever ways possible over the years, resulting in strong bonds. We belong to this tribe, our family of chosen sisters.                                                                                                                                                                                  This close knit group of women have come to understand the importance of belonging, mastery, independance, and generousity, all basic human values needed in order to be good people, to be good women that make for a better families, communities and a better world.  As Crones we hope to impart some of this wisdom to our children and children’s children.                                                                                                   Sometimes we might not have always liked one another, but there’s absolutely no doubt, we love each other in very special ways.  As time passes the bond and love we share I think increases with each year.                                                                                                                                                                                            Each one of us, in our own way I believe, just like the image of Pandora and the Star of Hope symbolizing that part of us, despite our disappointments, depression, sorrows and loss, we can still cling to a deep sense of meaning and a future which might grow out of the unhappiness of our past.                                                                                                                                                                             Hope does not make those Spites disappear, but somehow it offers faith and Pandora’s eyes are fixed not on unhappiness of the human condition but on an inexplicable sense there will be a dawn in the midst of difficulties. The quality of hope has nothing to do with our planned expectations. It is connected with something deep within us called the will to live.                                                                                                                                               
Eyland’s Acre – Very early Sunday July 16th 2017 – An early morning blessing of Doe and Fawn.
The Tribe at Jost Winery Saturday afternoon with Rawlin’s Cross July 15th 2017 – No rain in sight!           
Wild Flowers – Treva’s Cottage. July 14th – 16th WW31 2017