You know that feeling when you have an amazing vacation and you come back to work....and it feels like the pits, even if you like your job? And in my work, maybe like yours, when you are gone, messages, to-dos, and emails that need attending to, pile up while I am gone. So then the vacation slowly feels like a dream that never happened and like you are "paying the price" when you return for all the pleasure you had. Can you relate?Read More
I say No.
What we do most of the day, most days is practice the opposite. We compare ourselves to others. To Everyone.
I wish I could dress like her.
I wish I could mother like her.
I wish I could be as successful as her.
And on and on. We compare and we compare.
And that comparison is the death of creativity. The death of it.
We can't create. We can't express our best selves. We can't work towards more joy. If we are always comparing ourselves to others. When we do that, we lose the present moment. We lose our drive to be what we want. We lose ourselves.
So, I say take back the "Self" in Selfish. Take back yourself.
Today, start a new commitment.
To practice Gratitude for yourself, for anything if you can't do that for yourself, Just practice Gratitude...ANYTIME you find yourself in the death spiral of comparison.
Let's turn those statements around into mantras of gratitude and create a new day for ourselves.
I wish I could dress like her becomes....
"I am grateful for MY style" or
"I am grateful for this woman's reflection of a style that resonates with me."
I wish I could mother like her becomes...
"I am grateful that I am a mother who always wants to better myself for my children" or
"I am grateful for this reminder of the parts of mothering I am working on" or
"I am grateful that we as women mother in community so that we may learn from one another"
I wish I could be as successful as her becomes...
"I am grateful for seeking new ways to serve" or
"I am grateful for all mentors, those I know and those I watch from afar" or
"I am grateful for my faith that the Universe will guide me where I need to be"
Take back yourself. Take back your life. With Gratitude.
Transform every moment that does not serve you and comparison never will.
Transform your moments to gratitude for yourself, for all you do, for all you are.
This, my friends, is the start of a path of Self-ishness that we can all be proud of.
You want to start a Gratitude Practice, you’ve heard it’s helpful (spoiler alert: it can change your life) but you don’t know where to start.
I’ve got the answer for you today. I’ve got your back. Read on and let’s get this started together…Read More
I am grateful every day for food. I am grateful for the farmers who plant the food, the drivers who transport it to the market, anyone who cooks it for me, those who serve it, those who share it with me on the table. Food is sacred. And if we remember that every day, we are also able to stay connected to the larger web of life that envelops and nurtures us.
Today, I am giving you the gift of an interview I did for Food Sleuth Radio on the sacredness of food and how your spice cabinet can be your pharmacy. I hope you enjoy it and also remember that each time you eat today is an opportunity for connection and celebration.
Live (and eat) well,
Is it possible I would say Gratitude is not enough? Is there a time when that is the truth?
I would say yes...and no. The "and" is important here.
Right now, this country is in a dark, dark time. Children have been separated from their parents, human rights violated, new depths of morality tested. This is not a political post. There are no politics here. I will not debate immigration policy.
But I will debate morality.
If you are like me, you cannot sleep at night. You cry spontaneously through the day. You wonder if you have ever felt so powerless before.
I reach out to my allies and good friends who are leaders in this fight regionally and nationally and I feel even their despair.
And I wonder what the hell could I be grateful for right now?
And today, I am grateful for my rage.
I am grateful that I am awake enough to feel it. I am grateful that this rage will meld with the rage of those around me to call out and cry for this to stop. For history to not repeat itself, once again.
And I am grateful for words of solace that I come back to from James Finely, a Trappist monk, who was asked why evil exists.
Instead of giving an answer that explained evil through a spiritual or karmic lens, he gave an answer that gives me comfort and I hope it does for you.
"We can’t make sense of (evil)...nor should we. We can never reason away the reality of evil and it is a mistake to try. Evil exists. Unreasonable cruelties happen and some may happen to you.”
He did not deny evil. It is not only okay, but necessary, to call it out. And he continued...
“The next level of that answer is that you take what cannot be changed on the outside and you transcend it on the inside. You use the external crisis to transform you, past the point at which crises of evil, despair, or destruction can destroy you. You must become stronger within by building a capacity inside of you that can respond to the world around you with a much greater power, the power of love.”
Now, let me be straight with you. I am not ready to love. I am full of rage and am ready to fight. But what I can do is let the power of the love I have for this world, for these families and for justice, fuel my work to change what is before me.
And I can use my love for justice be what buoys me when hope sometimes falters.
And so, I tell you today that Gratitude for having your own children close to you is NOT enough.
That is only the first sign that you know you are privileged and that you must take a stand at this time.
Take that Gratitude for your life, Love for justice and do the work that is needed to do. Below, I will give you an actionable item from my dear friend and justice fighter, Pramila Jayapal, who is fighting the fight for us in Washington, DC. Join her and your neighbors June 30th and call out for the light to shine out the darkness.
Live (and fight) well,
Take action: Mobilize on June 30 at 11 a.m. Lafayette Square, Washington, D.C. Organizers expect more than 100 actions to take place nationwide.
FIND OR SIGN UP TO HOST AN EVENT IN YOUR COMMUNITY HERE: FamiliesBelongTogether.org
This past week, the news of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain's suicides have deeply touched many. And so they should. Anytime, celebrity or not, an individual feels so much despair to end their life, it is a sad moment for us to note and pause for. I have patients in this predicament and I have had them in my heart even more this week, hoping that they can find hope eventually. I've also seen so many articles about how this could happen or why people (even those with the proverbial "have it all" kind of life) do this and on and on.
I wasn't a Kate Spade junkie (but props to how she changed the world of fashion for sure) but I had a soft spot for her nonetheless. After I listened to an in-depth podcast with her and her husband a couple of years ago, I had enormous respect for her creativity, her faith in herself and her ability to take a challenging industry by storm, all with one sweet idea. And I was especially affected by Anthony Bourdain's death. For me, he was not only a lover of food and travel (my two favorite things) but he was someone who went with the mission of connecting with the people who made the food, with the mission of having them tell their story instead of him being the interpreter. He showed how food can connect us to each other and the world around us. He was a rare breed and I will miss his presence.
So, how, you might ask, could I possibly be grateful for their deaths?Read More
It's shameless but I'll bring Beyonce in to the conversation anytime I can. I can admit I have gratitude for her! But seriously, she was talking about commitment in her song and that's what I'm talking about too. If you want a gratitude practice that truly transforms your life, you need to commit. Now.
People ask me all the time how gratitude changes your life and they are amazed. Better mood, better sleep, more satisfying relationships, and on and on. All of it sounds great, they agree. But HOW exactly do you do it?
And you know I talk about the HOW in this blog every week, but this week I want to talk about the WHEN.
If you want gratitude to give your life the juicy, good stuff and feel all the good jujus, you need to commit.
That means, you have to choose a gratitude tool and you have to do it every day (ok, at least most days)
Now, that may sound hard but what if I tell you, it actually is easier? Easier than trying to do it occasionally.
Yep, you heard that right.
If you commit to a practice, it gets easier each and every day you do it.
That's because of how your brain responds. Your reward circuits love getting the good feelings gratitude gives you. Your dopamine does that magic for you and you just want more and more. So the more regular you are with your practice, the more rewarded you feel and the more you want to do it again...and again...and again.
So trust me on this one. Pick a tool (and you can always change it up but start with one). Make a gratitude jar at home or work, start writing gratitude letters every week, start every meal with gratitude, join our Facebook gratitude community to get support, there are so many options.
It doesn't matter what you choose. It just matters that you choose something every day.
Remember, success is trying. And believe me this is worth trying.
I invite you to see what consistent practice could look like in your day. And let me know how it changes (or has changed) your life so that others can see what I mean.
Go ahead, commit and put a ring on it.
This week, I have been reminiscing about one of my first posts so long ago, a tried and true tool I use...a gratitude jar. It's a sure way to make gratitude a bigger part of your life and your family or work routine. And anyway, don't tell me you don't have too many jars laying around your home! Let's get them put to use.
Our family has one in our main room. It's a jar with pieces of paper next to it. Anyone can scribble down a "grateful" anytime and then on a set day of the week (for us it's on the weekend), we open up those folded, magical reminders of all the good in our lives. Especially all the simple goodness, like Legos, ladybugs or cuddles with our dog. There is no grateful too small for the jar. Especially when they are gratitude for each other.
You can have one at work or home, one at special feasts or holidays.
Put your gratitude in a jar and the jar will fill up with goodness for you.
Remember, we are wired to look for the bad. It's how we have survived. But YOU have the power to change that. You can rewire your brain to remember all the good. And this tool is a sure way to do that, day in and day out.
Even better, it is a group reminder because you do it with others. And connecting over gratitude is even better than solo gratitude. (What's not better with others anyway?) I do this at home, we do it at work and you can do it starting today.
Remember that our thoughts are just the stories we tell ourselves.
And you can change these stories by looking for beauty and simple joys.
When life feels hard, reach into this jar and find a different story.
I would LOVE to hear how it works for you. Or if you already use one!
It may surprise you that I don't fully understand all of the metaphysical terms now thrown around like they were always the way we talked to each other. I mean, don't get me wrong, I am fully down with meditation, love, self-compassion, mantras, candles, so many of the things we used to call "New Age" when I was a young girl. And people now sometimes call me the "Gratitude Lady" so you might even call me "woo-woo" and I would happily take it. The truth is "woo-woo" keeps me fully alive and joyful! So, you might want some "woo-woo" yourself.
But start saying you want to "manifest" things and I get confused. And I remember the first time several years ago that someone told me, "Let's put out the intention..." and me wishing this conversation was the kind I could interrupt and say, "Exactly what do you mean by that?" No, instead I just stayed pleasantly confused, knowing that there was good juju's behind that but not sure what to do with it. So, it takes me a while to break down these words into language I can understand. Eventually, I do. In my own good time, I get the "aha" about the meaning and then hear myself saying these words.
So, that brings me to my latest "aha moment" with one of these words.
Gratitude practice is actually a sensory experience. Think about it:
We “see” the beauty around us.
We “hear” sounds of nature and loving words
We “taste” powerful food that connects us to the earth.
We “feel” power, health and even the breath in our body.
But what about “smell?” When have you associated scents with gratitude? I promise, you are missing out if you neglect this sneaky sense.Read More
In a bind? Don't know what to get or just got too busy? Better yet, your own kids are asking you what you want for Mother's Day and you don't know what to tell them?
No sweat, I've got you covered and studies back me up that this is a gift of high value.
Give me a few minutes of your time and we can wrap Mother's Day 2018 up in a special bow and call it the best one yet.
Ok, not that kind of quickie but I like the way you are thinking...I was thinking more along the lines that we all need a quick blog post sometimes so this will be one. And we sure as hell all need a quick way to get more good gratitude juice into our lives every day so here's one of those too...Read More