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Posts Tagged ‘gratitude’

  1. The Mother of All Mothers

    May 14, 2017 by Diane

    The earth in the shape of a heart, elements of this image furnis

    I am the product of a remarkable mother. A woman who saves the hair from brushing the cat, rolls it into miniature fur balls, and stores the balls in a wine glass above the stove for future jewelry projects. A woman with the impressive ability to stretch a single serving of steak from Sizzler into six meals, and who is not above concocting sore-throat remedies from orange juice, crushed ice, and blush wine that comes from a box with a spigot, a box that will last longer than most marriages. A woman who, when I’m wallowing in despair, reminds me: There’s a light at the end of the tunnel, and it’s not an oncoming train. 

    I consider myself blessed to have such a mother. The mother of all mothers.

    Not everyone is so blessed. I’ve known mothers who would rather nurture a stiff drink than their own child. Mothers who care more about what others think than the thoughts of their own offspring. Mothers who will protect their abusive husband, not the child who is abused. The only wisdom these mothers offer is: Leave me alone. If you have such a mother, heed her advice. Leave her. Alone. She has issues to sort out, and you don’t need to be the one she sorts them out on.

    This Mother’s Day, if you don’t have a mother to honor, is there another woman who offered guidance, support, affection, or protection? A friend, wife, lover, sister, teacher, relative, or just a stranger you met once who made a difference in your life? If so, honor her. If no such woman comes to mind, honor Mother Earth, who offers this nest we call home.

    And if you, too, had a mother of all mothers, but she’s now with the Divine Mother, or God, or wherever divine spirits go after leaving the body, honor the gifts she gave that now flower in you.

    Speaking of making a difference, this story illustrates how every act of kindness matters. I urge you to read it. Trust me, it will make your day.

  2. Is it Too Much to Ask?

    February 14, 2016 by Diane

    Man holding woman's hand

    I have a friend who is my rock, my anchor. I have another who makes me laugh. A third is sympathetic to my every woe, and another bolsters me when I’m down. I have an upbeat boss and an intuitive coworker, a wise mother, a supportive sister, and a visionary father.

    I am grateful for their presence.

    When I feel agitated, I know who to seek out: the anchor. When I lose my perspective, I latch onto the one who makes me laugh. When I need advice I call my mother, for insight I find my coworker, when I’m riddled with doubts I talk to my sister. If I want to feel like the world is dandy I look at my boss and his bouncy stride.

    These are the roles that I’ve assigned to the people in my life, and if they stray from their roles, I become unsettled.

    I don’t want the rock to become needy, or the humorous one to become cynical. I don’t want to reach out to my sympathetic friend and hear, “oh, get over it.” I don’t want the upbeat one to become depressed, the insightful one to act dense, the wise one to turn stupid, or the visionary to stop dreaming. I don’t want the one bolstering me to suddenly want me to bolster them. And I don’t want my dentist to be a hypochondriac.

    Is it too much to ask for them to stick to their roles?

    Well, yes, it is too much to ask. We all have our many sides, and we’re entitled to own them. There will be a day when my boss comes to work with his feet dragging, or my insightful coworker looks at me with a blank expression. There will be a time when I’m the one being the anchor or the bolster or the fountain of wisdom, or the one saying, “Don’t stop dreaming, kid.” There will come a time when I’m the caretaker for the one who cares for me.

    And that’s okay, because it makes me stronger.

    It reminds me that I’m all that I seek in others.

    It reminds me that I’m more than the one who is anxious.

    Woman holding man's hand


  3. A Spoonful of Gratitude Helps the Anxiety Go Down

    November 29, 2015 by Diane

    practice gratitude

    As Thanksgiving dawned once again, I was beset by nervous tension. Why? It’s just another day, right?

    Not to my mind. To my mind, holidays require extra oomph. Preparing a special meal, even a fairly simple one, zaps my energy. Interacting with people for a good part of the day, even people I know and love, zaps my energy. As an introvert, my energy reserves are already limited. Even more so after a night of poor sleeping, kept awake by a mind that won’t allow my body to let go.

    So, with Thanksgiving upon me, and maybe a spoonful of energy available for the entire day, I knew I was in trouble. I needed to build my reserves. I needed to pull my brain from its anxious mode of thinking before it drained whatever remained in that spoonful, and open my heart to all that is right in the world. And what better way than to give myself a healthy dose of gratitude practice.

    Here’s how it works: ponder, talk about, or write down the things you are grateful for. As you do, your energy shifts, your vibrations rise, your perspective broadens. Even a teensy bit is a step up the emotional ladder.

    Here are five things I’m grateful for:

    1. I’m grateful to have a brain that holds my memories, a brain that allows me to create and imagine and discover and understand and make sense of life, even though that brain doesn’t always work well. Sometimes the circuitry gets stuck in anxietyville. Sometimes the messages it sends are lies. Still, for the most part, it’s a brain that I am grateful to have.

    2. I’m grateful to have a body that holds my spirit, even though that body complains at times, gets achy and painful and inflamed and shoots out much too much adrenaline and cortisol. Still, it carries me from point A to B, and allows me to see the sunset and hear the patter of rain on my roof and taste chocolate truffles, the dark ones from See’s, and smell the lavender bushes as I walk the neighborhood. It allows me to hug and cuddle and dance and hike and swim, and defend myself if need be.

    3. I’m grateful to have a cottage that houses my body, even if that cottage is the dimensions of an over-sized closet. Still, it’s bigger than a cardboard box, and it’s not under a freeway overpass, and I have my own bathroom.

    4. I’m grateful to live in America, a country where people who own playhouses the size of over-sized closets can rent them out at exorbitant fees, even though that country has a government that is sometimes populated by clowns. Still, it’s a government that ensures my food is safe to eat, the air is safe to breathe, and the water is safe to drink. It provides aid if I need it, and will rescue me if I’m taken hostage somewhere. Or at least attempt to rescue me. And I’m grateful to live in a country that accepts immigrants because I came from immigrants, we all did, unless we happen to be of Native-American ancestry and really, the only people who have the right to complain about immigrants are the Native-Americans, and why shouldn’t they, since it was immigrants who brought disease and wiped out their buffalo population and stole their land and turned it into high-rises and freeways, and truth be told, if my immigrant ancestors had been walled out by the native tribes, I wouldn’t be living here now, in an overpriced closet, shooting out adrenaline and cortisol. And I’m grateful to have the right to say any of this without being jailed or tortured or put to death.

    But I digress.

    5. I’m grateful to you, my reader. It’s you who make all this outpouring of words worthwhile. It’s you who keep me going when showing up at the keyboard seems like a monumental task. It’s you who make the process of writing complete, who answers the question: if a writer writes and no one reads what is written, do the words matter?

    They do. Because when I write with you in mind, I learn something about what it means to live on this big crazy revolving ball of energy.

    Blessings and love.