Finding The Right One

A_Love_for_the_Arts_by_Delacorr

I used to think that finding the right one
was about the man (woman) having a list of certain qualities.
If he (she) has them, we’d be compatible and happy.
Sort of a check-mark system that was a complete failure.
But I found out that a healthy relationship isn’t so much
about sense of humor or intelligence or attractive.
It’s about avoiding partners with harmful traits and personality types.
And then it’s about being with a good person.
A good person on his (her) own, and a good person with you.
Where the space between you feels uncomplicated and happy.
A good relationship is where things just work.
They work because, whatever the list of qualities,
whatever the reason, you happen to be really, really good together.
From “The Secret Life of Prince Charming” by Deb Caletti

It is not a lack of love,
but a lack of friendship
that makes unhappy marriages.
Friedrich Nietzsche

How You Choose To Live It

wayfaring-infoLife can be long or short,
it all depends on how you choose to live it.
It’s like forever; always changing.
For any of us our forever could end in an hour,
or a hundred years from now.
You can never know for sure,
so you’d better make every second count.
What you have to decide is how you want your life to be.
If your forever was ending tomorrow,
is this how you’d want to have spent it?
From “The Truth About Forever” by Sarah Dessen

Real and True Friends

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Anyone can stand by you when you’re right, but a true friend will stick by you, even when you are wrong.

The best friend is the one who, in wishing me well, wishes it for my sake.

The best kind of friend is the kind you can sit beside without a word, and walk away feeling like it was the best conversation you’ve ever had.

Even when I can’t find the right words…you always understand what I mean.

Everyone hears what you say. Friends listen to what you say. Best friends listen to what you don’t say.

Everyone needs someone with whom to share their secrets.

A friend can tell you things you don’t want to tell yourself.

A friend is someone who dances with you in the sunlight and walks beside you in the shadows.

A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words. (Donna Roberts)

Friendship is celebrating the good times, struggling through the bad times, and being there for all time.

Friendship–the older it grows, the stronger it is.

A good friend is an umbrella for the heart.

A good friend sharpens your character, draws your soul into the light, and challenges your heart to love in the greatest of ways.

A good friend will come bail you out of jail. But a best friend will be sitting next to you saying…WE screwed up!

How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.

I’ve had many friends with whom I’ve shared my time, but very few with whom I’ve shared my heart…

No matter how good a friend is, they’re going to hurt you every once in a while and you must forgive them for that.

A real friend knows when to listen, when to stop listening, when to talk, when to stop talking, when to pour wine, and when to stop pouring and just hand over the bottle.

When I count my blessings…I count you twice.

Taken from http://www.dennydavis.net/poemfiles/frbest.htm

Friendship is a single soul
dwelling in two bodies.
Aristotle

Deepest Roots of Happiness

sadness-gives-depth

The root of joy is gratefulness…
It is not joy that makes us grateful;
it is gratitude that makes us joyful.
Brother David Steindl Rast

All day today I felt more richly blessed than usual, almost to the point of starting to think I did not deserve it. But I did not go there. Unworthiness was for a long time my why of crapping on my own joy. It’s so easy too. Thinking “this is too good to be true” or “this can’t last” or “when is the other shoe going to drop” are all types of thinking that often become a self fulfilling prophecy. What I pay attention to, I give energy to and make it stronger.

Intentionally paying more attention to being grateful has been a healthy way of finding more worthiness. Oh, yes my old monsters “not good enough”, “don’t measure up” and “too many mistakes” are very much alive. However, the longer gratitude has been a practice the more pigmy size those little demons have become; still with me but too small to do much damage most of the time.

Cultivating a level of thankfulness that is life changing is difficult when it has not been one’s way in the past. Well I know the white knuckled battles I had to fight with my old ways of seeing and thinking. Based on my experience I can promise that gratitude does bring a pay off and can change one’s view of life to be richer, deeper and even profound.

It’s the outside borders of gratefulness that seem to pay the biggest dividends: grief, pain and heartache on one side balanced with little things like a cup of coffee, a sunrise or a toddler playing on the other. Being grateful for the awful and thankful for the small are the deepest roots of my happiness today.

Be thankful for what you have;
you’ll end up having more.
If you concentrate on what you don’t have,
you will never, ever have enough.
Oprah Winfrey

A State of Gratitude

soybean-clusterThrough sickness, good health, international travel, a grueling career and many days of ordinary life, for well over two years I consistently put something fresh here daily. Some of the deepest and most emotional happenings of my life have been openly shared since my first entry into this blog on April 25, 2011. It was a “Higher Power” thing from the beginning, as I simply woke up one morning and knew I was supposed to “blog” about gratitude and build a closer relationship with being thankful.

Focusing on what one is grateful for, especially for the difficult teachings that observed hardship and emotional suffering can bring, has been eye-opening. Thankfulness caused me to see more to be thankful for. Demons have been turned into allies. Dark corners have become illuminated. Animosities have been dissipated. Old wounds have found healing. Blessings and grace have become more profound. Each seed of gratefulness took root, grew and bore fruit. GoodMorningGratitude.com has been life changing beyond what can be easily explained.

In recent months I have too often lacked the inspiration for keeping up the typical daily entries but not because I was ungrateful. Quite the contrary. There just seemed to frequently not be something new to say. Often I just “posted something”. After near a thousand entries, so much of what I initially needed to express had been said and I found myself repeating thoughts too frequently. A good bit of the time I have been guilty of just ‘filling the space’.

I say all that to say, GoodMorningGratitude.com is evolving and I am making a fresh commitment to this blog. However producing a page and a half consistently every day is not where I am in my growth and development. My hope is make long-form entries when I am inspired to make them. On other days it’s my intention to simply share a gratitude-provoking quote, thought or poem posted with an interesting photograph/image. If I miss a few days, so be it, but I will be more consistent than in recent weeks. (Thank you to everyone who asked if I was “okay’!)

For those who supported this blog from near the beginning I am humbly grateful. To the thousands who discovered GoodMorningGratitude.com and turned others on to it, the words “thank you’ seem hardly enough.

I am grateful for the clarity of thought this morning that brought these words from my mind, mind and soul onto this page. To a greater degree than ever before there is thankfulness within for all the ways goodmorninggratitude.com has positively effected in my life and yet will.

The more you are in a state of gratitude,
the more you will attract things
to be grateful for.
Unknown

A Better Me

How-to-stay-young-while-growing-older

The saying goes “if only to not know what I now know”. It is in gaining knowledge that we actually lose a good bit of our self. The more know-how a person assimilates the more narrow their perspective generally becomes.

It’s been written that we are quite young when creativity erodes. For example, one train of thought says by three or four years of age we have already learned that a square block will not sit easily atop a pyramid. It was recently reported in another instance that painters created their most valued work around 61.8% of their life or about 42 years of age on average.

Here are a few other stats from a Prosumer Report survey of 7,213 adults in 19 countries:Men and Women

It seems a bit odd to me that these stats show women peaking at a later age in five of six capacities. That brings me to the point I am ultimately headed toward: Statistics are just numbers and individuals rarely fit consistently into them. There is only the “Norm” (50.1%) the “Deviant” (49.9%). None of us fit neatly on any list of numbers. We are uniquely “our self”. Trying to fit into what is ‘Normal’ is a complete waste of time. The only potential each person has is to be the best version of them self.

Certainly after a point we humans “wear-out”. However, exactly what begins to fade, and when, frequently has as much to do with choices as it does with genetics and age. When our capacities begin to diminish it is often because we did not use them enough. ‘Use it or lose it’, as they say. One of the biggest culprits here is the simple pattern of habits. Once we start doing something one way, we get comfortable with it and then do not change or vary it.

Tomorrow I begin the first of fifty sessions with a person trainer. This time I am more committed than ever before. Just going to the gym won’t be enough. My eating habits will change as will getting exercise, even if just walking, on my non-gym days. I am grateful to be in good health and still able to work on becoming a better me.

We all start out knowing magic. We are born with whirlwinds, forest fires, and comets inside us. We are born able to sing to birds and read the clouds and see our destiny in grains of sand. But then we get the magic educated right out of our souls. We get it churched out, spanked out, washed out, and combed out. We get put on the straight and narrow and told to be responsible. Told to act our age. Told to grow up, for God’s sake. And you know why we were told that? Because the people doing the telling were afraid of our wildness and youth, and because the magic we knew made them ashamed and sad of what they’d allowed to wither in themselves. Robert R. McCammon

Someone Somewhere for Everyone

Some say a hapless romantic is hopeless; always searching, but never finding. They believe an insatiable yearning for ‘someone else’ afflicts some people to the point they can never be fully content with one person. I believe they are wrong and there is at least one ‘someone’, somewhere for everyone. I find inspiration, hope and even joy in the possibility of what Tom Hiddleston wrote:

When I love someone’s character, over time I’ll see that personality, I love so much, shining through their eyes and fusing with their appearance, turning them in the most beautiful girl in the world.

It’s not about appearance, it’s about someone’s beautiful, amazing, wonderful, fantastic personality, you’ll see every time you look at her.

It’s about the fact that when you look in her eyes, you just feel home…

You forget all your problems, all your fears, you just feel safe, you feel like you’ve finally found a place where you belong…

A place you can spend an eternity, where you will spend an eternity, cause those enchanting, beautiful eyes will slow down time and make every second; looking in her beautiful eyes, right into her amazing personality, last more than a lifetime.

It’s about the fact that the whole world, the whole universe just looks so much more beautiful!

All of a sudden everything looks different and your heart will just start smiling.

That’s what love is all about… the moment someone you only “liked” before, changes into the most aesthetically pleasing girl in the world.

The moment you realize how blind you’ve been all those days, how you were living in a fake universe, never knowing that the only thing your life is all about, the only thing that keeps you smiling, was all the time right next to you.

I am grateful my youthful heart is still alive in this middle-aged body and capable of appreciating, even feeling joy, at just reading such words. Truly blessed am I to be so open to love.

My whole body sank forward into his arms.
His lips moved against mine, exploring my mouth so gently.
I tried to mimic his movements–slowly,
uncertainly, until I didn’t have to think about it at all.
It just felt right. He cupped his hands behind my head,
pulling me closer until I couldn’t tell where my mouth ended
and his began. A liquid sensation swooped throughout my stomach.
It was the most amazing thing I’d ever felt
and it kept growing,
the vibrating heat expanding outward.
I was surprised I was still able to stand.
Heather Anastasiu

One Year Ago Today

comfort zone2

Kissed My Comfort Zone Goodbye
Originally Posted on December 31, 2012

Over time my comfort zone has become something of a trap; safe and comfortable, but stifling to my growth and realization of my dreams. My ‘rut’ is a sweet pill similar to “Soma” that Aldous Huxley described in “Brave New World”: … a quite impenetrable wall between the actual universe and… mind…

A little rhyme Huxley included about “Soma” is:
Hug me till you drug me, honey;
Kiss me till I’m in a coma;
Hug me, honey, snuggly bunny;
Love’s as good as Soma.

Psychologists have long told us that “man tends toward pleasure and the path of least resistance”. There is some deep down desire to get benefits without any more work or discomfort than absolutely necessary. Given a choice between something that is neutral and something that gives pleasure, humans most often choose the latter.  Today I throw off another layer of the old to embrace the new that comes with a fresh year tomorrow. 2 0 1 3 is going to be a remarkable year! (It was a remarkable year, but 2 0 1 4 is going to be even more so)

I used to have a comfort zone
Where I knew I couldn’t fail.
Same four walls and busy work,
Were really more like jail.

I longed to do the things
I’d never done before,
But I stayed inside my comfort
Zone and paced the same old floor.

I claimed to be so busy with
The things inside my zone,
But deep down inside I longed
For something special of my own,

I took a step with new strength
I’d never felt before.
I kissed my comfort zone good-bye
And closed and locked the door.
Taken from “I Used to Have a Comfort Zone” – Author Unknown

Just because a tendency is “normal” does not mean I must succumb to it. However, it takes a conscious leap of faith to move past my comfort zone. I am ready to make it and grateful that 2013 (2014) will be the year where I take big steps to break free and embrace my dreams.

It does not take a new day
To make a brand new start,
It only takes a deep desire
To try with all our heart.
So never give up in despair
And think that you are through,
For there’s always a tomorrow
And the hope of starting new.
From “Another Chance” by Helen Steiner Rice

Just Another Monday

monday-ok

While this slice of a week seems like just another Monday, it is not. This day, already half over, will be unique in my life and in all time. The differences from other Monday’s may be slight or great, but the variance makes today a cherished moment in time.

This is the beginning of a new day. You have been given this day to use as you will. You can waste it or use it for good. What you do today is important because you are exchanging a day of your life for it. When tomorrow comes, this day will be gone forever; in its place is something that you have left behind…let it be something good. Unknown

Once upon a time I used to dislike Monday’s, much like I used to have a distaste for mornings. For the latter I discovered not being a morning person was only a habit. And I have come to cherish each Monday as a fresh start; a small new beginning.

Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart. Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow. Let me hold you while I may, for it may not always be so. One day I shall dig my nails into the earth, or bury my face in the pillow, or stretch myself taut, or raise my hands to the sky and want, more than all the world, your return. Mary Jean Iron

To myself and everyone else I wish a “good Monday”. May it goes as well as it can with the stuff of smiles and happiness long remembered and the material of frowns and sadness dissipating like fog under the morning sun. I am grateful for this day and all the possibilities it brings.

There is no such thing
in anyone’s life
as an unimportant day.
Alexander Woollcott