Gratitude – It Does a Body Good

I’m incredibly grateful. Not only the part of the globe we live on—the Pacific Northwest in the United States—but for our specific town, Boise, Idaho. It’s quite possibly one of the friendliest places on earth.

Boise is quite possibly one of the friendliest places on earth

The words “gratitude” and “grace” share a common origin: the Latin word gratus, meaning “pleasing” or “thankful.” The Association for Humanistic Psychology defines gratitude as “Orientation towards noticing and appreciating the positive in the world.”

Boise – the home of free beer

University of California Davis psychology professor Robert Emmons’ research revealed that grateful people tend to be more optimistic, a characteristic that literally boosts the immune system—a clear PHYSICAL benefit.

Boise offers free smells (good ones) too

Dr. Alex Wood, a postgraduate researcher in the Department of Psychology, University of Warwick, said that  “Gratitude is an integral part of well-being”—a distinct benefit to our MENTAL and EMOTIONAL faculties.

Gratitude boosts whole health

Gratitude helps to open the heart, the seat of compassion. It helps us to see the good in our experience. It enhances trust and helps us to forgive—a benefit to our SPIRITUAL aspect.

How do you weave gratitude into the tapestry of your life?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

My Cup Runneth Over

When we saw this trailer overflowing with bicycles galore, I thought, Holy cow, that’s a lot of bicycles! I don’t know who owns them or why they have so many, but clearly their “cup runneth over.”

For the rest of the walk I wondered, what do I have a lot of? Certainly nothing tangible in that quantity. But I have a heckofa lot of intangibles to be grateful for: peace, joy, and whole health—body, mind, and spirit. In fact, my cup runneth over!

Does your cup runneth over?

Happy Thanksgiving from our house to yours.

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

The 59ers

On September 28 I begin the 59th year of my life. My fifties have been grand, and I have so much to be thankful for. In no particular order, following is a list of 59 things that I am tremendously grateful for:

  1. Breathing—the ability to breathe with ease
  2. My senses: taste, touch, vision, hearing, smell, equilibrium, intuition, and my sense of humor
  3. Health — body, mind, and spirit
  4. Connection with divinity, family, friends, and companion animals
  5. A world of ethnic cuisine to enjoy (especially Asian)
  6. Trees
  7. Travel
  8. Books and libraries
  9. Photography
  10. Farmers—”no farms, no food”
  11. Pollinators such as bees, butterflies, hummingbirds
  12. Gentle dog groomers who work with animals without scaring them
  13. Blue skies
  14. Thunderstorms
  15. Mountains, log cabins
  16. Oceans, lakes, rivers, streams
  17. Creativity
  18. Music and singing (I’m a rock star in the car!)
  19. Exercise: yoga, bicycle riding, swimming, hiking
  20. First responders: Red Cross, firefighters, police, paramedics
  21. Teachers who make positive, life-long impressions on their students
  22. Healing: traditional, complementary, integrative, and alternative
  23. Color (especially green)
  24. Laughter, smiling
  25. Personal safety
  26. Treats: peppermint ice cream, red licorice, BBQ chips
  27. Peace
  28. Intentional kindness
  29. Manners
  30. Backgammon
  31. Spontaneity
  32. Flying with a safety conscious pilot (Len) who keeps the ease of his passengers — seasoned or otherwise — in mind
  33. Imagination
  34. Mental acuity: focus, memory, concentration, and understanding
  35. Sensitivity
  36. Comfort with being alone (enjoy my own company), personal getaways
  37. Sunrises and sunsets
  38. Flowers, color
  39. Drinkable water that flows from a tap
  40. A roof over our heads
  41. Geothermal heat
  42. Proximity: we can walk or ride our bicycles to everything we need
  43. Dreaming
  44. Indoor plumbing, electricity
  45. Volunteers and humanitarians such as hospice, Amnesty International, Greenpeace, Sea Shepherd, Conservation Society, Doctors Without Borders, Habitat for Humanity, and Conservation International
  46. Curiosity, observation
  47. Color blindness — nonjudgment based on skin color
  48. Philanthropy
  49. People who leave places better than when they found them
  50. Ergonomic desk chairs
  51. Scented soy candles
  52. Glasses that help me to see clearly
  53. Physicians, surgeons, dentists, optometrists, medical technicians (etc) with well-developed bedside manners
  54. Flying kites
  55. Appliances: refrigerator, stove/oven, microwave, coffeemaker, etc…
  56. Enjoyment of learning something new
  57. Entertainment: screen, stage, and sidewalk (i.e., buskers)
  58. Uncluttered space—inside and out
  59. My lifelong partner, Len

Big, little, tangible, or intangible, name three things you’re grateful for.

Note: we are currently traveling. I won’t be able to respond to comment until Wednesday.

G is for Gratitude

Gratitude

Gratitude

The words “gratitude” and “grace” share a common origin: the Latin word gratus, meaning “pleasing” or “thankful.”

In the monthly copy of the AHP newsletter (Association for Humanistic Psychology) that I receive, a recent article defined gratitude as “orientation towards noticing and appreciating the positive in the world.”

I won’t argue with that, but I’d like to add a qualifier. I believe that definition describes passive gratitude. If, however, that spark ignites a fire that inspires personal change, that passivity transforms into active gratitude.

It is my perspective that gratitude in action—as a regular practice—has a wide brushstroke of positive effects:

Inward—through appreciation we find contentment.

Outward—it inspires generosity—be it our time, skills, or money—and gifts us with opportunities to serve.

Environmentally—it’s a catalyst for healing our planet through the respect of nature.

For thousands of years gratitude has crossed religious and cultural boundaries not only as a social virtue, but as a theological virtue, but it’s a relatively new subject in the field of scientific research.

The University of California Davis psychology professor Robert Emmons’ research indicates that “Grateful people take better care of themselves and engage in more protective health behaviors like regular exercise, a healthy diet, (and) regular physical examinations.” His research also revealed that grateful people tend to be more optimistic, a characteristic that literally boosts the immune system—a clear physical benefit.

Dr. Alex Wood, a postgraduate researcher in the Department of Psychology, University of Warwick says, “…gratitude is an integral part of well-being;”—a distinct benefit to our mental and emotional faculties.

Gratitude helps to open the heart, the seat of compassion. It helps us to see the good in our experience, regardless. It enhances trust and helps us to forgive—an unarguable benefit to our spiritual aspect.

Better than a multi-vitamin, gratitude is plain good for us!

How do you weave gratitude into your life tapestry?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

America the Beautiful

Recently I said to Kathy over on Lake Superior Spirit, “Isn’t it grand to be grateful, to be appreciative of the things we sometimes take for granted? Just the other day on a bike ride I was thinking about the many freedoms I enjoy and I started singing out loud.”

In thinking about my comment—and also being grateful for the 1,100 photographs that were retrieved after my hard drive died—I thought I’d pull some of the photographs to support the song I was singing:

Oh beautiful for spacious skies

For amber waves of grain

For purple mountain majesties

Above the fruited plain

America, America

Grace has been shed on thee

Crown thy good with peoplehood

From sea to shining sea

In order of the lyrics, the locations where the photos were taken are listed as follows:

Spacious skies – Mackinack Island, Michigan
Amber waves of grain – Owasso, Oklahoma
Purple mountain magesties – Mount St. Helens, Oregon
Above the fruited plains – Capron, Illinois
America, America – Belgium, Wisconsin
Grace has been shed on thee – Poplar Grove, Illinois
Crown thy good with peoplehood – Wrigley Field (Chicago, IL)
From sea to shining sea – Cardiff by the sea, California

What was the last song you sang out loud out of sheer joy or gratitude?

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
               – Laurie Buchanan

www.HolEssence.com
Copyright © 2010 Laurie Buchanan — All Rights Reserved 

The Power of Perspective

Perspective by Laurie Buchanan

Perspective by Laurie Buchanan

Our perspective is the lens through which we view life. It impacts the way we experience people, places, and things; and has a direct correlation to how we respond to life’s ups and downs. In fact, our perspective creates our world. In her book, You Can Heal Your Life, Louise Hay wrote, “What we think about ourselves becomes the truth for us. I believe that everyone, myself included, is responsible for everything in our lives, the best and the worst. Each one of us creates our experiences by our thoughts and our feelings.” By changing our thoughts, we can change our life.

In my experience I know this to be true. That’s why I’ve chosen to let go of errors of the past, to forgive myself and others, to fill my world with joy, and to live a life of gratitude—regardless. It’s been said that enlightenment is letting go of everything we believe that’s not benefiting us. With thankful heart, I accept the peace of enlightenment.

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
               – Laurie Buchanan

www.HolEssence.com
Copyright © 2010 Laurie Buchanan — All Rights Reserved.

Gratitude

Gratitude by Laurie Buchanan

Gratitude by Laurie Buchanan

The University of Life – Gratitude Course Description

Similar to meditation, gratitude can be something we practice periodically throughout the day, or it can be a lifestyle—viewing life through the lens of sincere appreciation—of thank you. When we make gratitude a regular part of our daily experience, we set the stage for living more deeply connected to Spirit. As Melody Beattie says, Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.”

Gratitude is something that can be cultivated and grown. When we feel grateful for things we might ordinarily take for granted—things like our body, the air we breathe, our home, the sky—it’s a good indicator that our spiritual health is in order. When we don’t feel grateful, it’s a clue that we’re “off” and it’s time to make a correction.

Gratitude isn’t only for a select few; for those who have everything going “right” in their lives. It’s for everyone. It’s for when we’re facing adversity; especially so. In fact, loss can sometimes be a bridge to gratitude. Through the practice of gratitude, we can move forward, come what may, whether it’s in joy or sorrow, gain or loss, birth or death.

The beautiful purple tulips in the photograph are from a client who gifted them to me as a way of showing her gratitude.

 

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com