JOIN ME AT THE ASHEVILLE BOOKFEST

This Saturday I will be participating with other area authors in the Sixth Annual Asheville Bookfest at the Haywood Park Hotel in the Atrium from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm.   For the schedule see http://www.ashevillebookfest.com/bookfest-events.html.

Four other authors and I will be reading at 4:30 followed by Thomas Rain Crowe, the featured speaker.

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AWAKENING TO HIDDEN GIFTS

“Everything we see hides another thing, we always want to see what is hidden by what we see.”  Rene Magritte

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Do you live your life on the surface or do you look within for answers and guidance?  Do you tend to hide unpleasant feelings?  Do you make a point to get in touch with all your feelings?

Life is full of hidden gifts.  In the summer, leaves are green and then they begin to turn a multitude of colors in autumn—colors hidden from us until the season shifts into a new one.  They fall away and we find silhouetted in the winter sky branches curling and twisting against the deep blue of the approaching night, revealing what was hidden the rest of the year.

Good Can Come From What Appears To Be Negative

We’ve all had experiences where something disappointing happened, but what came out of it was positive.  When it first happened, we could only see the negative and couldn’t imagine anything good could spring from it.

Last week, I wrote about the two writing contests I had entered and how I didn’t win a prize in either one, but my book was recommended on the Huffington Post, and I received a high evaluation and good review from the other.  So, what initially was a disappointment resulted in a positive outcome.

Negative Experiences Can Be Learning Opportunities

There have been other times that a loss or disappointment has opened the way to something new.  When I had Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, I connected with a wholistic doctor who taught me almost everything I would ever need to know to become healthy and stay healthy.  He taught me that there was so much more I needed to learn that went beyond what western medicine recognized and introduced me to acupuncture and herbs, among other things.

Since that time, I have never had the flu or a cold and I never get “bugs.”  I’m gluten and dairy intolerant and can’t handle preservatives or artificial anything, so I eat organic food.  If I don’t know what an ingredient is in a food, I don’t eat it.  Now, some people would say this is extreme and just not worth doing.  I guess it depends on what you are willing to do to stay healthy, and for me, not being sick is a priority.

acupuncture

 We Can Grow By Being Open To Learn From Disappointments

So, when these hidden gifts appear, we may not always see them as gifts at first.  I was in a relationship with a man for two years, thinking we would marry, so I was devastated when we broke up.  Before that, I had not been in a long-term relationship since 1986.  I had experienced short ones and then a long period of many years when I never really dated.  I just didn’t seem to click with anyone.

However, I learned so much about being in a relationship, what would work and what wouldn’t, that despite the original grief I felt, the experience prepared me for meeting the man to whom I am now married.  Since I had made a lot of compromises in that two year relationship that didn’t work for me, I realized afterwards more clearly what I needed in a relationship.  No doubt that helped draw into my life the man who is my perfect mate.

A Loss May Make Room For A New, Beneficial Experience 

Then there was the time I lost my teaching job.  I was put on administrative leave because I was unable to control a belligerent class that had been a problem long before I was given the class.  The principal offered no support and the students received little punishment when I wrote discipline referrals on them.  I was absolutely devastated.

Photo: nyul/Fotolia

Photo: nyul/Fotolia

However, with time on my hands while still receiving a pay check, I had the time to write and I decided to write my memoir.  As I read through the journals I’d written since 1962, something very profound happened.  I cried often, and through the process, I relived and healed so much that needed healing.  It took ten years for me to finish and publish the book, but that initial commitment to do it led me down a new path that opened my life in many ways.

Because so much time had passed since many of the events in the journals happened, I was able to see some situations in a more mature way.  I could see, for example, that my ex-husband behaved the way he did because he had never had guidance from parents who taught him a way to live with integrity.  With that insight, I was able to forgive him more deeply and to feel compassion for him.

He was a man who had been taught never to show his hurt feelings.  He’d had to be tough because, even as a child, his mother often worked at night and he came home from school to an empty house. In addition, his stepfather was not an honest man, so without his real father, he had no one to guide him.  I came to the point where I realized it was somewhat of a miracle he was as good a person as he was, and I not only forgave him, but I felt at peace with all that happened.

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We Can Only Know Ourselves When We Go Within

When we are unable to look beneath our surface, we not only miss the gifts hidden there, but we are unable to know who we truly are.  Living a purely external life means we are only feeding our egos and ignoring our deeper selves where we will find love and a spiritual connection that will guide us to be the best we can be.

So often the best solutions to problems are not the obvious ones.  They also may be hidden deeper if we look beneath the surface.  The principal who let me go because I couldn’t manage a troublesome group of teenagers never really dealt with the problem.  Getting rid of me solved nothing; in fact, he taught the students that their negative behavior would get them what they wanted.

Often like that principal, we are unwilling to do what is difficult because it is risky.  But it’s been my experience that when I go deeper and ask for spiritual guidance, the solution that will work arises, and over time, I’ve learned to trust that.  What’s hidden is often the buried treasure we seek—the solution that will enrich our lives.

© 2014 Georganne Spruce                                              ZQT4PQ5ZN7F5

Related Articles: Learning to Let Go of Past Hurts, 10 Tips to Overcoming Negative Thoughts, Positive Thinking  Made Easy

AWAKENING TO AN EARLY THANKSGIVING

“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 

Photo: devouringfire.com

Photo: devouringfire.com

I’m celebrating Thanksgiving a few days early this year.  Next week I’ll write more about hidden gifts that come to us, but today I want to celebrate some good news.

One of the hardest things to do as a writer (unless you are well-known or a celebrity) is to get good publicity for a book, especially your first one.  This year, I entered two writing contests hoping I would win, but I didn’t.  However, I did receive a wonderful review by a judge who understood the theme of finding an authentic identity and described the book as “immediately engrossing.”

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How To Win When You Haven’t Won

That was the 22nd Annual Writer’s Digest Self-published Book contest.  I received a 5 (the top score) on all five areas that were evaluated and the judge wrote the following review.

Books are evaluated on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 meaning “needs improvement” and 5 meaning “outstanding”. This scale is strictly to provide a point of reference, it is not a cumulative score and does not reflect ranking.

Structure, Organization, and Pacing: 5

Spelling, Punctuation, and Grammar: 5

Production Quality and Cover Design: 5

Plot and Story Appeal: 5

Character Appeal and Development: 5

Voice and Writing Style: 5

Judge’s Commentary*:

AWAKENING TO THE DANCE: A JOURNEY TO WHOLENESS, a memoir by Georganne Spruce, is an inspiring book that will appeal to those, especially women, who struggle yet are determined to find their authentic selves in spite of what society wants them to be. This memoir will hold special appeal to readers interested in how Buddhism and Jungian dream interpretation can improve one’s life.

The cover is appropriate and eye-catching. The woman looks joyful and limber. I like the green and yellow colors and how the woman’s dance pants contrast with the colors. The back cover copy is very good. I like the summary and the fact that the author has secured two enthusiastic endorsements. I also like the author photo.

The book is immediately engrossing. Baby boomers on the early end of the spectrum will be able to relate, and younger women who have no idea what life for many women was like before the progress feminism has made will find much to learn here. Feminism aside, anyone who wants to live life on a different path than the expected will find much to inspire her (or even him) in this book. The author is authentic about her journey, and that fact alone shows us how much she has learned. This is an insightful, encouraging memoir sure to be appreciated by Spruce’s readers.”

Then a few days later, I received an email from IndieReader, where I had also entered their IndieReader Discovery Awards contest,  congratulating me because they had recommended my book to the Huffington Post:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/indiereader/lena-dunham-book-recommendations_b_6134968.html?utm_hp_ref=books   They also posted their recommendation on their website.

happy woman

Expect What Is Best

When I first learned that I had not won in either contest, I was very disappointed, but I thought, “At least I had the courage to enter.”  It took a while to let go of the disappointment, but I finally did and stopped thinking about it.  Then these lovely surprises came, and I realized, as I have often in my life, good things can come when you least expect it and from sources that surprise you.

Gratitude Creates A Higher Vibration

So this is another example of how we need to try to remember to be thankful for some aspect of a situation, even when it doesn’t turn out the way we want.  Expressing that gratitude, even if it is simply in the mind, does emit positive vibrations and that is always a good thing.

© 2014 Georganne Spruce                                          ZTQ4PQ5ZN7F5

AWAKENING TO BE IN THE MOMENT

“It is through gratitude for the present moment that the spiritual dimension of life opens up.” Eckhart Tolle

Photo: Georganne Spruce

Photo: Georganne Spruce

Don’t forget I’ll be teaching a Release Your Fear Workshop in Asheville, NC this Sat., Nov. 8, 1-3:00 pm, $15 at the door.  For more visit:  http://awakeningtothedance.com/workshops-2/

Can you easily find that quiet place within?  How do you do that?  Do you go there often?  If you feel blocked, do you know why?

So many traumatic things have happened over the last month that I have felt wound up all the time, not recovering from one shock before the next one hit.  But during the last two days, there have been moments when I could slip into silence, and just be there.  Although I had several things to do yesterday, what I felt most was that it was the day after the big event—the election.  I was just being with the results.

In the Silence, We Accept What Is

Some of the people I voted for won, others I voted for didn’t.  Regardless of where I’ve lived, I’ve always voted.  I take the concept of a democracy seriously and accept my role in it.  It can only continue to be a democracy if the people are willing to speak out through their votes.  I’m very concerned about that because only one third of the electorate voted this time.  Why?

vote counts

Were people fed up with Washington politics?  Did they ignore this election because it wasn’t a presidential election?  Could they not decide for whom to vote?  Did the changes some states are making to the voting laws and districts confuse people?

The result of the election is just another happening I have to accept.  Life is like that sometimes.  We can’t control everything, but acceptance doesn’t mean we have to like or agree with what has happened.  It’s like forgiveness. When we accept what happened, we simply let the incident be what it is, and we go on.

Experiencing the Silence Can Soothe Our Stress

This week I’m beginning to go on with many things, especially starting to create time in each day to bathe in silence and make room for the lovely creative thoughts that visit me with ideas for writing or solutions to challenges.  When I take time to bathe in the silence, life feels good for a while no matter what is actually happening.
FIREPLACE

The other night, at the end of a snowy day, I build a fire and spent the evening bathing in its warm, frequently distracted from my reading to notice the way the fire glowed or flared up when one piece of log fell against another.  Time became irrelevant.  Only the crackling of the fire spoke to me and I relished each syllable.

Silence Opens Us to New Possibilities

Being in the moment allows us to feel and experience life fully.  Those quiet moments are when those wonderfully outrageous thoughts come to us of doing wonderful things our egos don’t think we can do.  As a child, I saw Jane Russell dancing down a staircase and in my day-dreaming state I became that dancer.  I have never danced down a staircase, but I did become a modern dancer.  Perhaps the dancer part of me was born in that moment before I even tried to dance.

When there are difficult decisions to make, I am grateful for the silence, for in that moment, I can open to the spiritual part of myself that tends to make the best decisions.  In that place I can see more options, and I can release my fear of not making the right decision or of the criticism of others.  I can not only listen to my inner guidance, but I can hear the messages it sends me.

photo 3

Creative Ideas Emerge in the Silence

The autumn is a time when I am constantly awed by the beauty of nature as it slips toward winter.  It always leaves before I am ready and suddenly winter is here with the cold, wind, and snow, but more than any time of year, winter reminds me of the value of being in the moment.

As the aroma of lentil soup cooking fills the house, I am perfectly content, needing no entertainment other than watching the wind blow the red and yellow leaves from the trees.  I don’t need to go out and find companionship.  Because I have stopped racing around doing things, I will rediscover that quieter part of myself within the silence, waiting for us to become reacquainted, waiting to send me another poem, or bless me for taking the vacation I need in the middle of the week.

Wisdom Lies Deep Within

We can be truly conscious only when we stop to listen to our inner voice and stop to take care of what is festering before it becomes a problem.  When our egos become deeply involved in an issue, where they lead us may not be a wise place.  But when we feel the ego expanding, we know it’s time to find the silence because that’s where we will find the best solution.  When I go within, I often ask, “What is the wisest thing for me to do?”  The answer I receive is always a better choice than what my ego alone would choose and I am most grateful.

© 2014 Georganne Spruce                                               ZQT4PQ5ZN7F5

Related Articles: Eckhart Tolle – Being in the Present Moment(video), The Wisdom of Silence: Learning to Talk Less and Say More, Finding Your Silence

AWAKENING TO LIVE WITHOUT FEAR

“I must not fear.  Fear is the mind-killer.  Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.  I will face my fear.  I will permit it to pass over me and through me.  And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.  Where fear has gone, there will be nothing.  Only I will remain.”  Frank Herbert, Dune

Dune-by-Frank-Herbert

How do you feel when you’re free of fear?  How do you find that mental place?  How does it affect your life?

I’ve never read much science fiction, but a few years ago when I read Dune, it motivated me to explore that genre, and for a couple of years, that was all I read.  I was awed by the authors whose imaginations could conjure up whole new worlds—a talent that I hadn’t explored in my own writing.

To Release Fear, We Must Admit We Feel It

What really hooked me was the above quote about fear.  It resonated because it was so similar to the experience I had when I learned to release my fear using the technique that I teach in my workshops.  In order to release your fear, you must first be willing to admit it’s there.

At one of my workshops last year, a man came in with his wife, and when they introduced themselves, he said, “I don’t have any fears.  I’m just here with my wife.”  I tried not to smile too broadly and said, “Well that’s very nice of you to do that.”  Afterwards, he came up to me with a puzzled look on his face and said, “I guess I do have some fears.”

Fear May Be Disguised As Other Feelings

It isn’t always obvious to us when we are experiencing fear.  It may appear as resistance, anxiety, anger, withdrawal or other feelings that create problems in our lives.  So, we need to remember that all negative thoughts and emotions are based on fear—either the fear of being inadequate or of being rejected.  Releasing our fear when these discomforts come up is the best way to start dealing with the difficulties that fear creates.

We need to release fear as soon as it comes up because, as long as it is there, it blocks the mind from focusing on solving the problem.  But what do we do after we’ve directed the mind to release the fear and we’ve let go of the fear?  This leaves a space in the mind for helpful information to come through from the unconscious, such as our memories, the knowledge we have stored, or our spiritual source.

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With A Clear Mind, We Can Receive Guidance from the Subconscious

When we have cleared the mind, we ask for guidance.  We ask the mind to fill our current need.  Recently, there was a conflict in a group to which I belong.  It seemed like unnecessary drama to me and my first inclination was to walk away.  Then, I realized that I was feeling afraid that this conflict would become an on-going thing.  I released the fear and asked my mind, “What do I need to do—create peace or walk away?”

The answer was to create peace so I asked how I could do that.  The guidance I received, which was not so much a thought as an intuitive feeling, was to write an email message to the leader of the group.  I did that and so did others in the group.  The result was that the conflicted parties talked and all is now well.  I feel very happy that I took the high road.  If I had listened to my fear, I would have walked away angry from something I enjoy.

Mustafa Ozer Statue of Peace & Brotherhood by Mehmet Aksy Kars (Turkey)

Mustafa Ozer Statue of Peace & Brotherhood by Mehmet Aksy Kars (Turkey)

Release Expectations about How You Will Receive Guidance

It is important to be aware that when we ask for a solution to a problem that we may be offered only the next step rather than the total solution.  In fact, we may not receive an answer at that moment.  We may be given guidance on where to find the solution, or we may be told to do nothing.  Trust that when the time is right, we will receive the answer we need.  Be at peace with that and continue to listen to your inner voice.

Clearing the Mind Allows Us to Experience Peace, Love & Joy

When we have learned to work with our minds in this way, we can trust that we will receive the information we need when we need it.  This gives us a wonderful peace of mind.  It allows us to trust ourselves, knowing that when difficulties arise, we are capable of finding good solutions.  Without the fear dominating our lives, we are also able to love and become who we truly wish to be.

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This practice of releasing our fears puts us more in touch with our deeper selves where peace, love and joy reside.  When we can experience these feelings often, our lives feel rich and satisfying, but only we can create these feelings so that they are lasting experiences.  When we rely on external things to make us happy, our happiness is fleeting.  But going deeper allows us to be in touch with what is eternal and beautiful within.

If you would like to learn more about my November 1 Release Your Fear Workshop, visit my website and click on workshops.

© 2014 Georganne Spruce                                                 ZQT4PQ5ZN7F5

Related Articles: 6 Steps to Release Your Fear and Feel Peaceful, Eckhart Tolle: The Origin of Fear,  What If Syndrome: Why You Need to Live Your Life Without Fear of the Possibilities

AWAKENING TO UNEXPECTED FEAR

“The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.” Joseph Campbell 

Cave_hole

What is your first reaction to an unpleasant surprise?  How much fear do you feel?  How do you deal with that fear?

When you suddenly get news you are not expecting, does it make you anxious or fearful?  When it’s bad news, you may often feel fear.  You don’t know what to expect.  You’re not sure how to solve this problem.  You are concerned it will cause other problems or create conflicts with the important people in your life.

Fear Always Tries To Control the Mind

We all have our coping mechanisms.  We may withdraw or try to avoid the challenge.  We may confront it.  We may analyze it thoroughly before choosing a course of action.  If the situation has stirred up a great deal of fear, the fear will take over our mind and lead us to deal with the fear rather than solve the problem.  So how can we embrace the unexpected and not allow the fear to control our course of action?

A few weeks ago, as I drove down a two lane street in a residential neighborhood, a woman in a car suddenly darted in front of me.  Stunned, I hit the brakes, skidded, and hit her back door.  As the pain surged through my chest as a result of being thrown against the steering wheel, fear flooded my mind.  How could this happen?  The seat belt didn’t hold.  She had a stop sign.  She looked right at me.  She must have seen me, but she hadn’t seen me, despite looking right at me.

Natural Fear Can Help Protect Us

Just before the accident, as I approached the intersection, my natural fear had kicked in and said, “Slow down, watch out.”  I did and saw the woman almost not stop at the stop sign.  Then she stopped, released her brake and stopped again.  I slowed down, but when she looked at me, I felt it was safe and kept going.  The natural fear I had felt was the body’s attempt to protect me.  This is the fear we all need.

Psychological Fears Create Negative Drama

But there was another fear that I experienced as soon as I realized I was conscious and could stand up.  I was then afraid that the pain I felt was a serious injury and I became very distressed.  As other people tried to help and I climbed into an ambulance to go to the emergency room, my fear ran wild.  The six and a half hours I spent in the emergency room gave me plenty of time to calm this fear.  I released every negative thought that came up because my mind was looking for all the worst scenarios.

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Releasing the Fear Calms the Mind

During this time, the fears that came up were the psychological fears that we don’t need.  They’re the ones that make things worse.  As the German proverb says, “Fear makes the wolf bigger than he is.”  However, as each fear came up, I took a breath (which wasn’t easy because it hurt) and told my mind to release the fear.  As I exhaled, I felt the energy of that particular fear leave my mind and body.  The fear felt heavy and I was glad to let it go.

For a moment or more, I felt calm and peaceful.  Then another fear would surface and I repeated the release.  By the time I saw a doctor, I felt sure that the injury was only pulled muscles and bruising.  I was right—there were no broken bones.

A car accident is certainly an event that would frighten most people and the natural fear that pumps the adrenaline we need to respond is a positive thing, but the psychological fears that we experience afterwards or in any situation that creates discomfort for us are not healthy.  In fact, they often create obstacles to healing and solving problems, and learning to release these fears can empower us in dramatic ways.

Without Fear We Have Courage

The technique that I teach has changed my life and the lives of those who practice it. Without knowing a technique to release my fear, I would never have had the courage to try to publish the essays and articles I write or to publish my memoir.  My mother had taught me to “buck up” and do it anyway when I feared something.  When I was a modern dancer, trying to dance with fear did not make for a particularly pleasant experience.  I always loved rehearsing for a performance, but I didn’t like actually performing in front of people.

modern dancer

About the time I stopped dancing, I learned the technique for releasing fear that I now teach.  It made a huge difference in my life.  After practicing it for two years, I realized one day that some fears, especially social ones, didn’t appear anymore.  Others, such as starting new relationships, were less strong than they used to be.  Still, others that had seemed made of steel did sometimes release for a few moments.

Deep Fears Were Often Created in Childhood

But it is always the unexpected that catches us off guard and challenges us to not get pulled into the fear.  The fear is, at its base, the fear of being rejected or being inadequate and comes from some part of ourselves that was hurt or rejected.  Often these feelings originated in childhood.  They may have no relevance today; yet, we continue to feel them.  Learning to release our fear as soon as we feel it frees us from the problems it can create.

Free of Fear, We Can Be Who We Truly Are

When the mind is free of fear, we can move forward in our lives.  We can enter the cave we fear and find the treasure of which Joseph Campbell speaks.

Recently, I saw a magnificent multi-media production, Dreamtime.  It was based on the aboriginal concept of dreamtime.  The masks that the dancers wore were extremely detailed, beautiful, and haunting. They took my breath away, but what brought me to tears was knowing that just a couple of years earlier the woman who created them was filled with fear about making a transition from a teacher to an artist.

wedding reception

In her testimonial, Renee Ensley said, “I was pretending to myself and to others that I was ‘enjoying retirement’ but what I really was, was scared to death. I had been so confident that I could be an artist and I didn’t have a clue about how to go about it. I practiced that idea of identifying the fear, telling it to let me go and asking the universe for an answer. Through this process, I really heard what Georganne had to say and for me it worked.  She has a wonderful gift to give and I thank her so very much for giving it to me.”

Learn to Release Your Fear

Without the fear, we can see how to take the next step we wish to take and find the courage to become who we really are.  To learn more about how to release your fear using the technique I use, visit my website http://awakeningtothedance.com/workshops-2/, attend my next workshop in Asheville, NC on Saturday, November 1, 1:00-3:00 pm at Jubilee! Community, 46 Wall St., or read about it in my memoir Awakening to the Dance: A Journey to Wholeness available at Amazon.  Contact information is available on my website.

May you learn to be free of fear and create the life you truly desire.

© 2014 Georganne Spruce                                                         ZQT4PQ5ZN7F5

Related Articles:  Eckhart Tolle (video)Eliminate Fear, Anxiety, Depression in Your Life, Move Back to Love (Wayne Dyer), Release Your Fears With Qigong Meditation

AWAKENING TO GRATITUDE

“When it comes to life the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude.”  Gilbert Chesterton

spring flowers

Do you have a gratitude practice?  Do you take the time to feel grateful each day? How does it make you feel when you feel grateful?

I’m a lucky person.  If I made a list of all the things for which I’m thankful, it would be a long list.  I’ve always had most of what I needed, but I haven’t always recognized how much I should be grateful.

As a younger person, I took so much for granted.  I always assumed my parents would be there to help me.  I always assumed I could find another job if I wanted to leave the one I had.  I always assumed that my boss would appreciate my “helpful” perspective.  I always assumed the man I was dating would appreciate my bold and honest comments.

Everything Changes

But with time, I came to realize I could not take anything for granted.  Time passes.  People and circumstances change, and it’s hard to be thankful when relationships, jobs, health, and security come crashing down.  And yet….

Feeling Gratitude Lifts Our Energy

Focusing at some point in each day on gratitude lifts our energy and spirits.  That one thought can make a difference so I try to start each day with a moment of gratitude before I even get out of bed.  Each day when I see something that pleases me—the dog curling up next to me, my husband giving my neck a little massage as he walks by, a package arriving sooner than I expected, the song of a bird that is especially sweet—I say a thank you.  It’s the little things that make a difference.

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Gratitude Can Be A Blessing When Negative Things Happen

It’s much harder, of course, to be thankful for the unpleasant things in life, but they often have hidden blessings.  When my father passed away many years ago, it was shocking.  Except for his emphysema, he was fairly healthy for 81.  One day a blood vessel broke in his lungs and he was dead in ten minutes.  I wasn’t prepared for this.  I had thought there would be some warning and an opportunity to say good-bye.

After recovering from my shock, I was grateful he didn’t have to suffer.  It was a blessing after all, and regardless of how he passed, I would have had to adjust to his being gone.  I hope that when I pass, it will also be quickly.  I don’t want my loved ones to see me suffer any more than I want to suffer.

Negative Experiences May Have Hidden Gifts

In the last few years, I’ve broken an elbow and an ankle.  Both were very painful and unpleasant experiences, and none of my family could come here to care for me when I broke my elbow, so I went to a rehab facility.  It was not a pleasant experience.  However, people in my spiritual community were there often.  When I returned home, a woman whom I did not know helped me shop for groceries and became one of the best friends I’ve ever had.

In the second instance, I discovered how very deep my fiancé’s love for me was because he became my primary caretaker.  He cooked, cleaned, and did anything else I needed so that I could stay at home and recover.  I had never felt so secure knowing that he would do the loving thing—no matter what it was.  I was deeply grateful.

Have Gratitude For Pleasant Surprises

One of the things for which I am always grateful is my closeness to nature because the animals that come to my yard delight and surprise me.  I can never be sure of what they will do next.  For example, I was sitting at my computer the other day, bored as I cleaned off deleted messages, and I glanced out of the window.  Just outside the window were a few flowers and a statue of St. Francis.  On St. Francis’ head sat a squirrel eating a mushroom.  I couldn’t help laughing.  I guess the squirrel wanted some company for dinner.

squirrel

When we make gratitude a daily practice in our lives, it can shift what is negative so that it becomes more bearable or reveals lessons we need to learn.   Melody Beattie says, “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough and more.  It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.”

May you start each day with the blessing of gratitude.

© 2914 Georganne Spruce                                                                           ZQT4PQ5ZN7F5

Related Articles: How Gratitude can Change Your Life, Raising Children With An Attitude of Gratitude, Gratitude With Wayne Dyer (video)