Lessons in Life Sometimes Bring Gratitude

I’m on cloud nine and have been this whole weekend for a change of pace. This weather and some changes at work had me feeling really down and out, additionally it left me in a negative head space. Most people who know me well would be surprised that with the gloomy weather outside, to find me in such an upbeat mood today.

I’m feeling such joy, gratitude, love and warmth in my heart. The kindness of strangers can go a long way my friends in cheering someone up. My family was distraught when one of our little chihuahua’s escaped unbeknownst to us. Possibly when a contractor came to work on mom’s kitchen remodel. The temperatures dropped where my family lives, and they couldn’t find our Chi – Steven. After a few days had passed, and fliers had been put up, they still couldn’t locate him, and were beginning to lose hope.

We were worried that due to old age and cold temps, that he had frozen to death somewhere out there, in the pale moonlight. Mom was upset and in trying to make her feel better I mentioned how perhaps since he is really quite old maybe it was his time, and maybe just maybe he wanted to just be alone and not be a burden on us. He has led a long life lovely after all at 15 human years I reminded her.

I continued on with what I hoped was comforting words and went on to say, Now he can run across the rainbow bridge in the sky with his brother Greedo, [another chi we had that passed away a few years back] and they can have all their fill of dog bones, pig ears and “greenies” to their hearts content. Mom laughed and I could tell she felt better. I was so relieved. She does not handle down trodden times well. We spoke for a while more and once I was certain she would be okay we disconnected the line.

When I reached home I lost myself in painting, art through meditation. I chanted a sloka [mantra]. Gayatri, that which saves, brought us back our little furry family member. I learned first hand how  Gayatri mantra are very powerful meditation aids.

A  few days later came our Happy Ending. My heart is absolutely brimming with love and appreciation. I’m grateful and it’s because there really are still good people out there in the world. Some young girls down the street found Steven and returned him home to my family. My family has such gratitude that Steven was found.

My yogaverse:

[aka life in my universe]

Life doesn’t always have happy endings, many things happen so our souls can understand. So we can take in what we needed to learn from these situations. Even if we could wave a magic wand and change things, they would only change back until our souls understood what it is that we needed to learn and experience in this life.

In this latest life lesson, it brought gratitude, hope, contentment, and love. Along with all that, the gentle reminder that as above mentioned, there really are still good people in this world.

“Ribbon Lotus”: Art through meditation, depicting gratitude and love

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Giving Quotes

Strength does not lie in what you have. It lies in what you can give.

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It could even be as simple [and free] as a hug or smile that could easily uplift and transform someone’s day.

Image Sources:
http://www.jagaro.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/the-practice-of-generosity.jpg

31 days of Giving: Donating to Chartity Instead of Christmas Presents

Better late than never! I meant to get this post prepared and published on the 1st of December. Obviously that did not happen so I will say it again better late than never, especially when giving is involved.

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This year when my husband asked me “What do you want for Christmas? I don’t know what to get you“. I told him to save his money and that he didn’t need to buy me anything. I don’t need anything really. I’ve been feeling the call to give back, somehow someway.  I started researching charities to donate to and in case you too are feeling in the spirit of giving, I have complied a list to help make it easier. These are ones that simply stood out to me at the time of research. Since there are 31 days in the month of December, that’s how I picked my magic number of charities to share. Not all items cost you monetary units and some are even gifts that give back. When you buy gifts for your family and friends the money goes back into the related program. This list is by no means the end all be all, so if you know of a charity out there worth adding or have an idea, please comment below.

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31 Days of Giving

  1. Operation Christmas Child – Touch the lives of Philippine children living in dire conditions by creating a shoebox filled with goodies and items of need for a boy or girl.
  2. Jaipur Foot – Rehabilitates the physically challenged by providing alritifical limbs to the beneficiaries free of charge.
  3. Face Aids – Give life-saving meds to an HIV-positive pregnant woman in Rwanda. Vital drugs to help prevent transmission of the virus to her baby.
  4. Save a Pet – Save a cat or dog from a from a high-kill shelter, provide them vet care and medicine so that they can become adopted.
  5. Pencils of Promise – Sends one child to a new school in a developing country who would not be able to attend school otherwise.
  6. National Coalition Against Domestic Violence – Donate your old cell phone to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence  which will refurbish and sell it, then use the proceeds to get survivors back on their feet.
  7. A Message From The Heart – Send a Teddy Bear to a deployed child of a marine with a voice message recorded by the parent that will play when the paw is pressed.
  8. Drive to End Hunger – Picks up the grocery tab for a senior who is struggling to put food on their table.
  9. Embrace – Protect newborns in India and keep nine babies alive with a genius incubator like invention.
  10. Fight Breast Cancer – Help women get free mammograms.
  11. Fender Music Foundation – Give a guitar to a struggling music program.
  12. Princess Project – Donate your old formal gowns so a teenage girl can have a dress and go to her prom.
  13. Heart of Haiti Give gifts that give back: Heart of  Haiti gifts from Macy’s provide steady work for many Haitians.
  14. The Water Project – Provide access to safe, clean, sanitary water for African villagers.
  15. Reading Village – Help pay school fees for rural team leaders teaching younger children to read in order to break the cycle of poverty.
  16. Clean the Air – Defends our breathing supply from polluters. Dirty air can cause asthma attacks, take a stand against proposals that can weaker then Environmental Protection Agency.
  17. Unicef  – Give gifts that give back: Shop for a cause and help children in need. Improve their lives, provide health care and immunizations, clean water and sanitation, nutrition, education, emergency relief and more.
  18. Volunteer Match -Make a difference in your own zipcode and be matched with with ways to improve your own neighborhood, such as working at a food bank, clowning around with seniors or coaching a girls’ soccer team.
  19. Vital Voices -Supports Egyptian women who have fought hard for change, and provides them a voice in their country’s future.
  20. Toms Give gifts that give back: Toms offers two options. 1)Prevent blindness. Buy Toms Sunglasses ($135 and up) and give someone in Asia sight-saving treatment. 2)Toms Shoes will give every child in need a pair of shoes for every pair you purchase.
  21. Global Literacy Project – Pass along your favorite books [yes even ones like twilight] to deprived youth, helping them learn to read.
  22. CauseOn – Similar to LivingSocial and Groupon, Causeon offer’s up daily deals, however it also contributes 20% of its revenue from those deals to a charitable cause.
  23. Equality Now – Put sexual abusers behind bars! Guarantee the rights of women and girls. Helps provide legal support, counseling and job training to victims pursuing cases against their assailants around the world
  24. KrochetKids – Keep women in Uganda working and educated when you purchase a cute crotchet hat for $35 or less!
  25. Afghan Institute of Learning – provide two Afghan girls to take computer lessons for six months.
  26. Stand for the Silent – Stop bullying. This Program addresses the issue of school bullying with an engaging, factual, and emotional methodology.
  27. Conservation – Preserve our Oceans, save them from overfishing and pollution.
  28. Artists for Peace and Justice – Pay a students bus fare. Donation will help a child from the slums of Haiti to a new school for two months.
  29. Give an Hour -Buy a counseling session for a soldier returning home after serving in Iraq or Afghanistan.
  30. Care for a Chimp – Care for a chimp orphaned or harmed by hunters or pet sellers. A small donation buys food and care.
  31. Women for Women – Help women in war torn countries start a business. Your donation buys a sewing kit for a woman so she can earn a living as a tailor.

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I am throwing a few bonus ones in here just for the heck of it, and also in case any of the above links become overwhelmed you’ll still have sites to choose from because giving and making a difference in someone’s life really does mean that much to me.

  1. Causeon – 20% of the site’s proceeds go to a variety of charities in your community. You can get coupons to
  2. Greenbelt Movement – Aid a women while stopping deforestation, donation pays a gal in Kenya to plant a tree.
  3. Why Hunger – Put a salad on a kids plate. Your donation will help needy kids grow produce, both for their family’s fridge and to sell at farmers’ markets.
  4. Career Gear – Empower men who are low-income to overcome barriers and achieve self-sufficiency. The charity provides them a suit, access to a Job Readiness Program, a Professional Development Series and MAST, a mentoring program.
  5. Memorial Scholarship Foundation – Open the doors of opportunity to a young person in pursuit of higher education.
  6.  JustGiveGive gifts that give back: and the site offers an advanced search and information on nearly 1.8 million charities.

People-Donate-To-Charity-After-Life-Changing-Moments-Study

Sources:
http://www.glamour.com/sex-love-life/2011/11/donating-to-charity-31-days-of-giving
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-wm4G_iCpk7A/TwkiJNuu4bI/AAAAAAAADlg/zvvkVVZXJMI/s1600/philanthropy3.jpg
http://www.thefatlossninja.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/donate-charity-spending-dime-200X200.jpg
http://cdn.mommyish.com/files/2011/12/kids-give-back-charity.jpg
http://www.asianscientist.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/People-Donate-To-Charity-After-Life-Changing-Moments-Study.jpg

Wishing All A Happy Thanksgiving

May the good things in life be yours in abundance not only at Thanksgiving but throughout the coming year.

Sources
http://imperfectwomen.com/happy-thanksgiving-from-imperfect-women/

30 Things To Be Thankful For

Since November in America is about harvest time and being thankful, I decided to gather some positive thoughts and energy into a post all about things I am grateful for. November has 30 days, so this became the magic number of things I am decidedly thankful for, know matter how large or small they may be.

In no particular order, on with the spirit of positivity and thankful energy:

  1. I am thankful for the sunset yesterday 11/16/12, it really brightened what could have been an otherwise dreary day.
  2. Today I am grateful for the abundant sunshine, even if it is chilly [42F].
  3. I am pleased when I can sleep through the night and not have to wake up early.
  4. I am glad to have a roof over my head and food on my table, when one loses their job and there home it’s something you never forget.
  5. I am thankful my parents taught me to the joy of reading, I enjoy the reprieve from reality and being able to escape into awaiting adventures.
  6. I am grateful I had the opportunity to put my self through college, I know there are others out there who do not have the chance.
  7. I am appreciative that my parents encouraged me in the sciences & technology field, not all girls are as lucky.
  8. I am thankful I had a chance to know some of the individuals I have met in my life, [even if I have a heavy heart now —  memories of  loved ones passed].
  9. I am glad that with age I have developed the ability to at times just throw something together to eat and it works. No measuring or recipes during those occasions.
  10. I am grateful I was introduced to yoga, meditation, and the Art of Living. I don’t know if I would be here today if it wasn’t for them.
  11. I am thankful that with age and life experiences we can become humbleness and wise.
  12. I am thankful I had the opportunity to see how others live in a 3rd world country.  It really makes you appreciate what you have and inspires me that I really don’t need all this “stuff” to live.
  13. I am grateful to have had the experience to let go of my material possessions. Losing a job will do that to you, while I can say the circumstances weren’t originally by choice, at least I was able to learn and grow from the difficult times I was dealt. I made peace with it and realized I didn’t need so many possessions. The art of detachment.
  14. I am grateful to have learned how to cook Desi [Indian] foods.
  15. I am glad my parents encouraged me to be independent and a free-thinker.
  16. I am also grateful my parents coaxed me into so many extra curricular activities and interests. I think I turned out to be a much more rounded individual with a grater appreciation for many things in our world.
  17. As a kid and even growing up I appreciate all the traditions we had for holidays as a family. When you’re an adult and live you far away from family you really miss those times. I can acknowledge and appreciate them that much more.
  18. I am thankful for quiet days where I can just sit, relax, read, relax in a bath, enjoy a cuppa tea or bake something tasty.
  19. Good Health! We take our health for granted sometimes, but after having just completed a battle with what I coined as a super bug since it seemed to take for ever to be back to optimum health, I can admittedly say I appreciate being healthy.
  20. I am grateful for my job. The economy over here still isn’t that great and I know several people who lost their jobs, so I am in fact grateful to still be employed.
  21. I am glad I was able to pay off my school loans, in record time at that. Now it doesn’t hang over my shoulder and I have the financial freedom I desired.
  22. I am grateful for friends and family. They certainly keep life interesting and are not only very important but also quite dear to me.
  23. Love and to be loved in return.
  24. Generosity from others in its many forms.
  25. I am thankful for having all my 5 senses and even my sometimes 6th sense.
  26. I am thankful I was not born with any birth defects.
  27. The internet – for the wisdom it shares, for connecting us with those who are separated by distance and time, for all the time passes it has to offer.
  28. I am thankful for when I have things to look forward to. It may seem trivial to some, but when you suffer from depression it makes a world of difference.
  29. Hugs! Sometimes just giving or receiving a hug can really brighten your day.
  30. The ability to see things outside the box from different perspectives.  Not something inherent that we are born with, but something I had to learn along the way.

Wow, and that’s 30. The first few on the list were easy, as the list grew in length it really took some thought but was a nice challenge for me today. As a result I feel like I accomplished something today, I feel grounded, and content. I have a lot to be thankful for, and it serves as a good reminder when I am feeling down and out. Here’s one more, I am thankful that I do not feel depressed today or down and out. Its been a while since I’ve smiled. It’s nice to have a shift in our focus and or mood.

There’s always something to be thankful for, what are you grateful for today?

Image Sources:
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-D0zmlk7yknM/UH7SRRFNaVI/AAAAAAAAC8I/_jFf_OWLfgw/s1600/Thankful.jpg
http://talkinthecity.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/tha.jpg

Tea Quotes – on Gratitude

An attitude of gratitude brings you many opportunities.

 

If I find myself feeling blue, I try to remind myself what I am thankful for and why. I have a trick to help with this that I will share with you. Since feelings of depression can often consume us, what I do when I am feeling positive and in a good head space is to write these items down in a gratitude journal, or even just a notepad for that matter. Later on when I am feeling down or stuck, I can refer back to what I am truly grateful for. I can remind my self of any abundance the universe has sent my way.

Sources:
http://www.venitahawkins.com/gratitude.php