Live In Gratitude Daily Journal

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The word gratitude is derived from the Latin word gratia, which means grace, graciousness, or gratefulness (depending on the context). In some ways gratitude encompasses all of these meanings. Gratitude is a thankful appreciation for what an individual receives, whether tangible or intangible. With gratitude, people acknowledge the goodness in their lives. In the process, people usually recognize that the source of that goodness lies at least partially outside themselves. As a result, gratitude also helps people connect to something larger than themselves as individuals — whether to other people, nature, or a higher power.

In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.

People feel and express gratitude in multiple ways. They can apply it to the past (retrieving positive memories and being thankful for elements of childhood or past blessings), the present (not taking good fortune for granted as it comes), and the future (maintaining a hopeful and optimistic attitude). Regardless of the inherent or current level of someone’s gratitude, it’s a quality that individuals can successfully cultivate further.

Research on gratitude

In one study on gratitude, conducted by Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D., at the University of California at Davis and his colleague Mike McCullough at the University of Miami, randomly assigned participants were given one of three tasks. Each week, participants kept a short journal. One group briefly described five things they were grateful for that had occurred in the past week, another five recorded daily hassles from the previous week that displeased them, and the neutral group was asked to list five events or circumstances that affected them, but they were not told whether to focus on the positive or on the negative. Ten weeks later, the gratitude group felt better about their lives as a whole, were a full 25% happier than the hassled group; reported fewer health complaints and they exercised an average of 1.5 hours more.

In a later study by Emmons, people were asked to write every day about things for which they were grateful. Not surprisingly, this daily practice led to greater increases in gratitude than did the weekly journaling in the first study. But the results showed another benefit: Participants in the gratitude group also reported offering others more emotional support or help with a personal problem, indicating that the gratitude exercise increased their goodwill towards others, or more technically, their “pro-social” motivation.
Another study on gratitude was conducted with adults having congenital and adult-onset neuromuscular disorders (NMDs), with the majority having post-polio syndrome (PPS). Compared to those who were not jotting down their blessings nightly, participants in the gratitude group reported more hours of sleep each night, and feeling more refreshed upon awakening. The gratitude group reported more satisfaction with their lives as a whole, felt more optimism about the upcoming week and they felt considerably more connected with others than did the control group. “
Live In Gratitude Daily offers personal experiences and thoughts of Gratitude to empower and support others to live their Gratitude daily.
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    Chart Your Course Leadership Training
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Letter to Barbara

circle-of-stonesA letter to Barbara starting with a story about PAT from the book Circle of Stones by Judith Duerk
Pat’s mother died only hours after her birth and she spent a lifetime in search of ‘the lost mother’ who created a depth of sadness…a black hole within this motherless child.
The Mother, first representative of the Self, constellates to the infant what will become of the Self within as she grows. She sees herself mirrored in the face of her mother, sees her own image lovingly reflected in her mother’s eyes, a fledgling sense of self is born, a sense of being seen, recognized and valued for who she really is!

“Each woman must go through the slow process of discovering who she is, of bringing herself to birth, living in relationship with the Great Mother, but feeling her own personal separateness, her own equal reality – of being of the same, but not the same as the Mother – and bringing her own individual life to manifest form in a way that expresses the power, substance, and wisdom of the Archetypal Feminine within herself.”
Circle of Stones – Woman’s Journey to Herself: Judith Duerk

My darling friend Barbara, do you not see that you were given a THIMBLE full of this recognition as a young girl because no one knew (including your Father) HOW to replace your mother, so what you needed could not be provided. You have looked and looked and looked for that deep love, only to be forced to accept a thimble full or nothing at all if you were bad. Time and again you proven yourself worthy of so much more but time and again, you only received a thimble of love, of recognition, of value.
Loss of the personal mother may leave you without a sense of self / self-worth, without hope that you will ever be seen as oneself. There is a fear of being unable to become one’s true self, of never being intimately known—never knowing who one truly is.
One is left, abandoned, isolated, without hope of future…PAT wrote…floating into a ‘black emptiness’.
Loss of the mother is experienced as a totality of loss of safety, loss of nurture, loss of comfort, loss of joy. I know this about you Barbara and I do appreciate that you have allowed me to be present for you in your Circle of Stones. The girl without a mother does not know herself as valued, embraced, and precious. When it comes to love—this girl chooses LOW to those who might taint her, taunt her, shame her, guilt her and leave her. Her choice is always the thimble person who does not have the capacity of possibly acknowledging the deepest part of her wanting.
PAT says it is essential to separate from those THIMBLEs.

IF IT IS TO BE – IT IS UP TO ME

This girl (no matter her chronological age) must find a source of nurture within herself—and this is doubly hard for a girl who has lost her mother . . . therefore to counter what she must do, she will argue that she is confident, she is a giver, she is well liked, and she has high self-esteem. When the truth is she finds it impossible to nurture within herself, so she lives in a fantasy, conscious + unconscious of restoring the original unbroken uruboric connection, the hope of complete unity with that mother’s love. With this intense hope, she may go through life endlessly seeking her mother, involved in ceaseless activity, seeing her image in suitable and mostly unsuitable individuals—seeking from them the love, the nurturing SHE so deeply longs for. She may give love to many, seeking appropriately + inappropriately through her giving of mothering to ease the pain of her own loss. At worst, she may catch herself compulsively force feeding nurture to those whom neither need it nor want it.
The steps of separating from this THIMBLE of love is necessary, so YOU may re-identify, re-evaluate, reconsider how you are worthy, how you need to be loved and accept nothing less ever again—and this will require practice since you have rehearsed + rehearsed PAT’s story.

Interestingly, your friend SCOT demonstrates this sort of love as a great friend as HE encourages you to find your own individual self as a woman with a center, a grace and maturity of her own, and no longer in relationship with anyone or anything that reminds you of the PAIN of accepting a THIMBLE of love in return for nurturing someone who did not need or want to be nurtured—you were the ONE who wanting it + needed it.

And if you are still doing this at 69, that means you understand this all psychologically, but throw your mindset away when it comes to falling into HELL with a man who has a little THIMBLE waiting in his pocket for you.
In Greek Mythology, Persephone (my favorite character) searched for her mother (Demeter) and Persephone followed Hades into HELL because the slide into Hell was one that she knew from birth. Once in HELL, miserable, lonely, desperate for love-light-laughter, she had to learn how to climb out of ‘that place’. She not only had to learn how to climb out, she had to recognize the THIMBLES all around her that she had used as toys because they brought her back into her childhood fantasy.
YOU KNOW… I say: Fantasy is FUN and Reality SUCKS. At some point, Persephone had to make the very hard decision that it was time to get out and to stay out of HELL. OF course it is important to GRIEVE & MOURN the collective loss of a long history of behavior that has supported the THIMBLE—but a greater loss of a sustainable connection to her rootedness, her substance, strength and pwer that grounds her and fills her with a sense of what she was, she in, and what she may become. Each woman must come to a new awareness of her own womanhood, taking NOT from the fall into her unconscious identification (HELL-thimble), but from drawing upon the image of Great Mother, the Archetypal Eternal woman who bore her and loved her!!

I am here for you in your circle of stone my friend–journey on!!

I WISH YOU ENOUGH

ImportantRecently someone overheard a mother and daughter in their last moments together at the airport. They had just announced her departure. Standing near the security gate, they hugged and the mother said,
‘I love you and I wish you enough’.
The daughter replied,
‘Mom, our life together has been more than enough.
Your love is all I ever needed. I wish you enough, too, Mom’.
They kissed and the daughter departed on her plane.
The mother walked over to the window next to where I was seated.
I tried not to intrude on her privacy but she welcomed me in by asking, ‘Did you ever say good-bye to someone knowing it would be forever?’
‘Forgive me for asking, but why is this a forever good-bye?’
I replied.
‘I am old and my daughter lives so far away. I have challenges ahead and I suspect the reality is . . . the next trip back will be for my funeral,’ she said.

When you were saying good-bye, I heard you say, ‘I wish you enough’. May I ask what that means?

The mother began to smile.
‘That’s a wish that has been handed down from other generations. My parents used to say it to everyone’.
She paused a moment and looked up as if trying to remember it in detail and she smiled even more.
When we used to say, ‘I wish you enough’, we were wanting the other person to have a life filled with just enough good things to sustain them’.
Then turning toward me, she shared the following as if she were
reciting it from memory:

I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright no matter how gray the day may appear.
I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun even more.
I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive and everlasting.
I wish you enough just pain so that even the smallest of joys in life may appear bigger.
I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.
I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.
I wish you enough hellos to get you through the final good-bye”.
She then began to cry and walked away.

They say it takes a minute to find a special person, an hour to appreciate them, a day to love them and entire life to forget them.

To all of you readers:  I WISH YOU ENOUGH !!