Thursday, November 24, 2011

Spirit of Gratitude

Thank you. Merci. Gracias. Tak. Kiitos. Mahalo. Shukriya. Danke. Grazie. Dhanyabaad. Shukran. Salamat. Just some of the many languages in which I've had the privilege of learning how to say, "Thank you". Giving thanks is an expression of gratitude, which is a critical step in the giving and receiving cycle—it completes the loop.

What is the loop, you ask? The loop is the cycle that begins and completes the flow of conscious creative energy. In other words, the act of manifesting a unique experience through the process giving and receiving. But do all our these experiences turn out to be happy and joyful? Not so much. Well, at least not a first... but therein lies the role of gratitude—it allows us to change our perspective. Many times I practice the "it could be worse" perspective which allows me to be thankful for what I already have. This can be a quick way to reframe a potentially negative situation and realize it's really "not that bad after all."

We often think of gratitude as spontaneous, but we can practice gratitude. Since thankfulness is rooted in positive feelings, feeling and expressing gratitude creates more positive energy. Being thankful generates a spirit of genuine appreciation, and feelings of goodwill always inspire more of the same.  Gratitude is like a “thank you” card—a gift back for a gift given. When we take time to show our appreciation for someone’s gift, we make an exchange of spiritual energy. Gratitude allows for this spiritual connection to occur. This exchange adds to the foundation of our relationship and strengthens the bonds of trust and respect. Expressions of gratitude are seldom forgotten.

During this Thanksgiving holiday we have the time to remember those people and the gifts of our lives we are thankful for. I also encourage you to pay attention to those opportunities and moments which disguise themselves as frustrating, aggravating or hopeless, and give thanks for the awareness these opportunities are providing you. With a gentle shift in your perspective, you, too, may be able to say "thank you" in any language—especially the language of your heart.

Happy Thanksgiving Holiday.

The Ambassador of Goodwill

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Healthy Holidays!

Speaking as someone who loves to celebrate, this time of year can be most exciting. The holiday season gives us opportunities to be thankful, giving, and ring in another new year. With all of these reasons to act in exceptional ways, this time of year can also cause many of us to lose our sense of equilibrium. Stress, expectations, and "waiting until the last minute" to get something done can push us out of alignment and affect our natural balance.

As the holiday season is moving into full swing, here are some quick tips to help us maintain better balance in our mind, body and spirit while we celebrate this exciting time of year:
  • Get plenty of rest. The holidays always include extra activities and will take more energy than usual, so getting adequate amounts of rest will let us join in the fun!
  • Drink lots of water and other fluids (including hot teas). This will keep us properly hydrated and less prone to holiday germs.
  • Eat healthy foods high in vitamins and minerals. Most of us will eat some holiday treats (candy, chocolate, etc.), but be sure to keep it balanced with healthy portions of proteins, fruits and vegetables. Too much sugar will lower our energy and can cause headaches and fatigue.
  • Help stop the spread of holiday colds and illness. By covering our mouths when we sneeze or cough, and washing our hands often we lessen the spread of germs. Carry extra tissues with you if your nose is runny or throat lozenges if you have a cough.
  • Get plenty of exercise. Even a short walk in the mornings or evenings will help keep our blood moving. Exercise and stretching helps improve circulation and promotes faster healing!
  • Take time to spend with people. Visiting with our family and friends during our holiday time off and taking the time to reconnect with those we love strengthens our relationships, boosts our immune system and reconnects us to ourselves.
  • Unplug a little. Take time off from the busy hustle and bustle: Turn the ringer on your phone off and let calls go to voice mail; take a few days off from Facebook & Twitter—the world won't end without your updated status; don't read email for a couple days; turn off the TV and pop in a classic holiday movie—unplug from the world and plug back into a good book, the people, the music, and the nature around you. It's all there waiting for your attention!  
May this holiday season allow you time to relax, refresh and "recharge" your batteries, and provide you with the opportunity to connect to the natural balance within you.

Get my book, 21 Days to Better Balance, for 25% off through Dec. 14th! Just use Coupon Code: BUYMYBOOK305 at check out.
Healthy Holidays!

The Ambassador of Goodwill

Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Value of Silence

“If you don’t know the answers, wait until you do.”

When used regularly, silence is a powerful tool. The mind, body, and spirit are designed to be active and engaged, but they also require downtime for balance and refreshment. In moments of silence, we can reconnect with ourselves and gain insight, focus, and clarity. Silence can bring us into alignment with our thoughts and feelings and help us to hear the quiet spiritual voice of our intuition.

In order to find silence, we may have to create space for solitude—simple, but not always easy. Taking time for silence is a critical step for moving into alignment. In silence, we can quiet our thoughts, acknowledge our emotions, and relax into our bodies. In other words, we calm our human doing. Whether we use meditation, prayer, or any other type of inner-focusing activity, moving into silence allows us to reconnect with our spirit—our human being.

Silence helps with problem solving and decision making. If we are unsure how to respond to a problem or situation, we can stop, find a quiet space within us, and wait for an answer. As we are waiting for answers, we can develop a calm demeanor, soften our stance, and experiment with patience. Often the answers to our most difficult questions lie in stillness. Silence reminds us to begin within.
Silence allows you to develop a deeper and
more balanced connection with yourself.
Silence is like a spiritual retreat or a healing center—a place where we can go to be alone and reconnect with ourselves. While most traditional counseling is healing for the mind and physical therapy is healing for the body, silence is healing for the spirit.

We can create a space for silence by simply unplugging from the world and turning down the noise. TVs, radios, computers, and mobile phones are powerful means for connecting with others, but the point of silence is to connect with yourself. At first it may seem like you are missing out, but unplugging for periods of time will raise your frequency—and over time, can significantly strengthen and enrich your personal connections. When we lower the volume on the outside of our lives, we raise the volume on the inside. In silence we can discover the true benefits of being still and listening to the calm rhythm within.

This week think about spending some time in silence and experience the benefits. By practicing a little bit each day, my hope is you will soon learn to appreciate the value of silence.

The Ambassador of Goodwill