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Gratitude Post #6

Alas, we have reached the final week of gratitude posts. I hope you have enjoyed this tradition as much as I have. I also hope this has helped you to see your life with a little better perspective. Let’s all commit to stay more aware of the good in our lives and help to share that with others. Week 6, here goes:

  1. I am grateful to be physically, spiritually, and mentally healthy and fit
  2. I am grateful to have a beautiful family to share my life with
  3. I am grateful to have crossed paths with so many wonderful people
  4. I am grateful for all of the vocational opportunities I have
  5. I am grateful for the perspective I have gained from some trying experiences in my life

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and Holiday season. Take the time to share joy and happiness with anyone you come across. This is one way we can all make a difference.

Transformational Relationships

“Nature often holds up a mirror so we can see more clearly the ongoing processes of growth, renewal, and transformation in our lives.”

The transformation of your life is constant. There may be times when this is more dramatically evident, but the process is ongoing. As a self-aware creature you are given multitudes of opportunity to recognize this fact. There is no greater reflection of your sustained metamorphosis than your relationships.

The connections you build and maintain have lasting and permanent effects. More than you remember the events of your life, you remember who was there. You recall how these people made you feel. You reminisce about situations that involved those who have had influence over you. Nothing stands out more than who you have loved and with whom you have celebrated. These memories, and the awareness of these connections, have the power to change the course of your day. For this you are undoubtedly grateful.

Someone is grateful for you, too. You are the central figure in someone’s warm recollections. The role you have played in a person’s decision to alter the course of his or her life has been vital. Although to grasp this is sometimes difficult, it is important.

  • Smile more, it is infectious.
  • Joke more, you are funnier than you think.
  • Share more, your experience is valuable.
  • Hug more, physical contact solidifies connections.

You can either be an active participant in your relationships or a passive by-stander. The only difference is in the small actions you take to make someone else feel just a little bit better or make their life a tad easier. The most powerful way to thank those who have helped you is to be of service to others.

Gratitude Post #5

Wow, this is #5! Unbelievable, for this project there is one more post next week. I’ll say it again, but thanks to everyone who has participated. Maybe we can think of something for the upcoming holiday season? I, for one,  will be posting tips every day between Thanksgiving and Christmas, so stay posted! So on with the gratitude!

  1. I am grateful to be able to connect with people through collective gratitude
  2. I am grateful to have so much support in pursuing my dreams
  3. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to live in so many places in our beautiful country
  4. I am grateful so many people are willing to share their experiences in order to benefit others
  5. In deference to my blog post yesterday, I am grateful for my chickens!

I look forward to reading your posts soon!

Gratitude Post #4

In this, my latest installment of the Gratitude post, I am going to focus on some aspects of my work that I absolutely love. I can’t wait to see yours!

  1. I am grateful to be in a line of work that allows me to build lasting relationships with some extremely interesting people
  2. I am grateful I constantly have the opportunity to provide support and guidance to folks who are always looking for ways to improve themselves
  3. I am grateful my job involves a lot of laughter
  4. I am grateful I get the constant reminder that no matter what I place value on, my success and happiness will ultimately be defined by the relationships I build and maintain
  5. I am grateful I get to share my thoughts of gratitude with you because I know  for right now we are connected by appreciation

I hope you get the opportunity to pass it on. The more people we have thinking about gratitude, the better.

Gratitude Post # 3

As a reminder to all of you, I am continuing a tradition I learned about last year from Tia Graham. The tradition is posting a five item gratitude list every Wednesday up toThanksgiving. So far there are several others joining in, so enjoy reading, and hopefully participating, in the spread of gratitude. Here’s my list for the week:

  1. I am grateful there are so many ways to meet and connect with people today
  2. I am grateful I have had the opportunity to attend several events this year at which I have met so many new and fantastic people
  3. I am grateful for the smell, taste, and effect of my absolute favorite beverage……COFFEE!!!!
  4. I am grateful to be alive at a time when there are so many technological breakthroughs
  5. I am grateful for my wife’s discovery and research in to urban homesteading. The garden and the chickens have provided many family bonding opportunities and endless entertainment!

I can’t wait to read your lists, they are an inspiration!

Gratitude Post #2

As a reminder to all of you, I am continuing a tradition I learned about last year from Tia Graham. The tradition is posting a five item gratitude list every Wednesday up toThanksgiving. So far there are several others joining in, so enjoy reading, and hopefully participating, in the spread of gratitude. Here’s my list for the week:
  1. I am grateful to have seen Neuschwanstein in the Alps shrouded in fog
  2. I am grateful to be learning to scuba dive
  3. I am grateful I live in beautiful North Georgia
  4. I am grateful to have seen Bayern München in person
  5. I am grateful for the wonderful unschooling community (thank you for the support and inspiration)

I look forward to reading what you have to share!

Share the Gratitude


Last year I got the idea to write a weekly gratitude post on my blog leading up to Thanksgiving. I read about it on another blog and loved the idea. Sandra Dodd joined me, and this year I would love as many people to participate as possible. Let’s link up our blogs and share the gratitude.

Do whatever feels good to you, what I am going to do is post 5 things I am grateful for every Wednesday leading up to Thanksgiving. It’s a fun tradition I hope you will share with me! So here I go:

  1. I am grateful for my wonderful family
  2. I am grateful I get to participate in so many groups
  3. I am grateful I have so much support from friends
  4. I am grateful I live in Georgia and get to experience these beautiful fall days
  5. I am grateful I get so many opportunities for adventure

It is a joy to share my gratitude with as many people as possible. I look forward to reading everything you share!

Metallica and U2: Lessons in Connection

This week I had the pleasure of seeing two iconic acts, Metallica and U2. These two bands have had unquestionable influence on the direction of rock music for the better part of three decades. Although their styles are very different, there are a number of similarities between the two. I will illustrate some of those analogous characteristics and how they can be applied to your life and relationships.

  1. An unwavering love. Metallica and U2 are clearly passionate about what they do. Even after such long and illustrious careers, they communicate the essence of their love through their performance. True passion cannot be feigned. In a relationship, the crux of your emotion will come through. If you aren’t who you say you are, the relationship will not succeed.
  2. A commitment to excellence. Neither band has ever rested on their laurels. Both have worked tirelessly to improve their craft. Each band has gone through questionable periods in which it seemed they had deviated from what made them successful, but they both came out the other side stronger. In your life, the principle of perseverance is critical. “That which doesn’t kill you will make you stronger” is a quote that rings true. As long as you commit to continued growth and take advantage of the lessons learned from adversity, you will succeed. As a result of this success, your relationships will grow exponentially.
  3. Uninhibited enthusiasm. Metallica and U2 create tremendous energy in their performances. The members of these bands are well into their 40’s, yet it is obvious how much fun they have. This enthusiasm allows them to connect with their audiences. The less seriously you take yourself, the easier it is to convey your zeal. Whether your purpose is to entertain, serve, teach, or guide, you will be more effective if you let go of unnecessary fear and stress. Enjoy yourself. Love what you get to do. You will be a magnet which others find irresistible.
  4. An attitude of gratitude. Throughout the night, Bono repeated this statement: “Thank you for giving us a great life.” More importantly, he meant it. Metallica has always stood for repaying the loyalty of its fans. I have been a fan since 1983 and have always known that Metallica means it when they say: “We wouldn’t be here without you.” Do you express gratitude to those who help you, or to those you serve? Do you feel a sense of purpose in the life you live? Do you know that your life is an expression of a higher purpose that can make a difference in other’s lives? If you are grateful down to your toes, you will create a movement. Movements change people. You may think it is silly to use two rock bands to illustrate this point, but consider how many people have been affected by these band’s music.

All of these points allow you to connect more deeply with people. Connecting isn’t as complicated as you may make it. Love who you are. Always look for ways to improve.In anything you do, have fun. Finally, live with an attitude of gratitude. Accomplish these things and prosperity is inevitable. Rock on!

Change Happens

We must learn to define our own lives

by pursu­ing our joys and passions with people we love.

A tremendous amount of confusion happens when people look into their past ex­periences in order to initiate change in their lives today. They recognize destructive pat­terns and make the decision to further inves­tigate why they operate the way they do. The primary problem with this is that people become so stuck in their pasts, they wind up being obsessed with self-discovery. As a result of this obsession, their patterns don’t actually improve, but worsen.

I am not a believer in wallowing in our past. The past merely provides a frame of refer­ence. It gives an explanation as to how we form certain perceptions and opinions. The past alone cannot provide the appropriate motivation to change. Becoming obsessed with the past can create a situation in which a person actually reinforces the negative pat­tern. A person with this obsession can para­lyze his or her ability to take positive action. It is in action that we change. The negative behavior must change in order to let go of a pattern.

Action is in the now.

  • When you become aware of a repeating pattern of sabotage, become grateful! You are now empowered to change.
  • Becoming cognizant of relentless thoughts of self gives you the opportunity to value service to others. Breaking the pattern of self-centeredness is actually very simple: Help someone else!
  • In all likelihood, you are not the deplorable bane of the human race. You are probably a good person. Let go of the fatalistic inner-dialogue, someone looks up to you!
  • Change what you do. Today. Right now. The sooner you act, the sooner you find relief!

With Gratitude, Cynicism is Unnecessary

This is a very significant week for me. While on family vacation, I am celebrating the anniversary of entering drug and alcohol recovery twenty-three years ago. Although much time has passed, the gratitude I feel today is far more significant than in the past.

As I reflect on the importance of this occasion, I realize one of the biggest changes in my life is the reduction in my negativity and cynicism. There was a time that I believed cynicism and skepticism allowed me to stay protected. In reality, carrying theses attitudes into all aspects of my life made me lonely. I found it next to impossible to connect with people since I was constantly wondering how people would try to take advantage of me. Today I look for opportunities to form new relationships. The biggest reason: maintaining an attitude of gratitude.

I suggest for anyone who wants an attitude adjustment to spend a couple of minutes a day reflecting on gratitude. Just think of five to ten things. Perhaps keep a gratitude journal. Here are some examples of what I am grateful for:

  • I’m grateful I have a beautiful family today
  • I’m grateful to be surrounded by loving and supportive people
  • I’m grateful to have found a way of living that provides me with constant opportunities to grow as a person
  • I’m grateful my outlook on life has become more positive
  • I’m grateful to have found a connection with a Higher Power

This is an exercise I practice every day. It is a crucial part of maintaining the perspective I want. If you are able to create and maintain an attitude of gratitude, you will notice a tremendous difference in how you face each day.