Sunday, January 26, 2014

A New Year of Gratitude

By Madison Grace Lovewith

I’ve always enjoyed new beginnings.  New interests, new friends, new job, new life, everything bursting with freshness.  And with the New Year, there’s the opportunity to clear out old cobwebs that kept us from living our most authentic life and to rejuvenate our sense of self.  Gratitude leads to a new attitude, a unique outlook of perspective and approaching things.

So with the new life, in order to make room for the new, it is so important to remove the old way of handling things.  According to the Bible, new beginnings mean the changing of old to new.  The bible states:     

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17 (New King James Version)

How can Gratitude help with this transition from the old to the new?  Gratitude transforms old perspectives to new ones.  If you’re going through some challenging times, what are some of the good things that you can discover in the challenges?  When I was working on a job that was causing some me some extreme stress, it was hard for me to find some good things to think about regarding the job.  But if I wanted to transform the situation into a better one, I had to find some good things about the situation to put me into that better feeling place.  And from the better feeling place, I could then start allowing that new creation, the new me to come out.  Coming from a state of misery on my job, I started my Gratitudes small. 

I started to feel Gratitude that I had a good job, that my commute to work was nearly nonexistent, that my team-lead was a kind and sweet person.  I started finding good in small daily things, such as being able to print out a memo, having a nice private cubicle space, the compliments that I was receiving on my work.  And you know what, as I began giving thanks for even the small things, there were more and more things for me to begin being grateful for on the job.  I was transforming myself from being a stressed and worn employee to a more gracious and optimistic employee.  When I began sprinkling a little Grattiude everyday into my job situation, my perspective on things had to change.  Prior to my finding Gratitude in my job, I had been looking for a new job for a couple of years with no success.  Once I began pouring Gratitude into my current job situation, Gratitude not only made it easier for me to work at my then current job but most importantly opened doors for me to find the job with all of the requirements that I was looking for.    

But in order for the new you to be revealed you have to allow the releasing of the old stuff that’s holding you back from the Universe’s blessings.  Whatever your New Year goals may be, sprinkle some Gratitude into them.  If you’re looking at losing some weight, what are some of the good things you can think about regarding your body?  If you’re looking to find the motivation to exercise, what are some of the good things that you can focus on about exercising?  Transform your thought process about your goals and you’ll transform your life.   

Monday, August 26, 2013

Gratitude Pays

By Madison Grace Lovewith

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.—Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.



Today is the first pay period that I’ll be back to my full salary.  I am so grateful.  My organization found the money it needs to pay its employees their normal pay for the time being.  The 20% pay cut status has been reduced by a month and a half.  I’m so grateful for that.  I know that God’s hands were in the situation, and he pulled us through.  There are still challenges ahead but with my affirming and believing that everything will work out, it will.

I saw the work of Gratitude in the lives of some of my coworkers as well.  About a month or so ago, one of the guys who attend our weekly bible study had to say his farewells because the company that he worked for lost the contract to continue supporting our organization.  I was sad to see him go because he always contributes some passionate and enlightening experiences during our bible study.  His words have always been encouraging and full of love.  So when I learned that he was back on the job, I was thrilled.  Apparently, he is back in his old position, supporting our organization, only this time with a new company.  Everything worked out.  His works of encouragement to his situation was that even when things seem bleak and aren’t working out the way you want, just know who is in charge.  Put your trust in God/the Universe.

There are other areas of my life that are working out.  I’m dealing with some challenges with the rental property that I have, but again, Gratitude has found a way to make things happen.  Again, after being behind in the rent, the tenant has not only paid the back rent, but has paid a month in advance to show his good faith in keeping up with the rents.  I’m so grateful for that because it gives me encouragement and peace of mind.  I’m so grateful for that peace of mind.  And I’m grateful that Gratitude is helping me to keep my thoughts in alignment with gratitude and love, so that I can continue to see the blessings that she has in store for me.

Whatever your financial situations maybe, focus on what's working, the abundance in your life.  When worry and thoughts of lack creep up, pivot those thoughts with Gratitude.  When those thoughts come up, and the only good thing that you can think of is “Thank you,” then just say thank you.  Remember that light drives out the darkness.  If all you can say is thank you when the dark thoughts pop up, that will shed some love into the situation.     

Sunday, July 21, 2013

When Rocks Speak

By Madison Grace Lovewith
I always marvel at the beautiful world around me.  When I quiet my thoughts and feel appreciation for the abundance of life around me, I can really connect with the idea that God/the Universe is always trying to get my attention.  I begin to feel the interconnection between myself and my world.  Eckhart Tolle in his book, A New Earth, talks about living in the Present moment and connecting with nature.  To feel this connection, you remove the labels and words that block our natural synergy and just appreciate nature for what it is.  See and love the flowers without stating so.  Hear and really listen to the birds, without the labels and appreciate the beauty that they have to offer you.  Love and enjoy the vibrancy of the plants.  Every living thing has something of beauty to give.   
Recently, on Day 30 of my 30-days of fun challenge, I had the opportunity for the first time to visit some caverns, caves which are considered to be active and still alive.  When I entered the caverns, it was remarkable to see the beauty that Nature created over eons and eons of time.  The cave is made up of deposits of limestone over what was once a seabed millions of years ago.  When I embraced Gratitude for the caverns, I could feel the energy of the limestone, which came in quite notable shapes and sizes.  It was like the cave had a tale of its own to share with visitors, if we would only take the time to appreciate and listen.

Despite the 90 degree weather we were experiencing outside the caverns, the caverns themselves were cool and damp.  The tour guides informed us that the drippy water streams throughout the caves were indicative of formations that were still alive.  This aliveness meant that they were still forming and creating.  It was said that the living rocks grew an inch every 120 years.  It was something to imagine that the rocks were alive and still forming.  And I could definitely feel the aliveness inside the caves.  At first I was hesitant about going on the tour, as I can be a little claustrophobic. But I then realized that I shouldn’t allow fear to hinder the gift of love that Gratitude wanted to share with me.  The tour of the caverns was over an hour, and throughout the tour, I enjoyed the timelessness and peace flowing from these ancient caves.  When you think about the antiquity of the rocks, it makes the problems that we worry about day-to-day seem so small and insignificant.  The rock formations spoke of love and peace, something that as humans when we’re being who we truly are, all share with our natural world. 

Interestingly, a few of us on the tour noticed a rock formation that looked like a little Buddha.  It was quite a pleasant surprise to see that and to notice some of the other interesting rock formations that Nature made.  It reminded me a little of cloud formations and how Nature spoke and provided stories through the clouds.  Do you ever listen?  What do you do when Nature speaks?
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