The Magic of Appreciation: Thank You for...

The Magic of Appreciation: Thank You for...

A few years ago, I discovered with wonder a new form of magic: expressing appreciation to others for something they had done. And modern life offers us a thousand different opportunities to manifest that magic.

Blessings of an Imperfect Life: Seize the Moment

Blessings of an Imperfect Life: Seize the Moment

We have all suffered, and will suffer, our own falls. The fall from youthful ideals, the waning of physical strength, the failure of a cherished hope, the loss of our near and dear, the fall into injury or sickness, and late or soon, the fall to our certain ends. We have no choice but to fall, and little say as to the time or the means.

Practicing Gratitude in Vulnerable Times

Practicing Gratitude in Vulnerable Times
A lot of books have been written about gratitude. I think it is a well-received idea that gratitude is a nice thing to do. But I want to address the use of gratitude in our most vulnerable times, when it is not about being polite, nice or wanting to be liked.

Saying Thank You Does Make A Difference

Saying Thank You Does Make A Difference
Most of us were taught that saying “thank you” is simply the polite thing to do. But recent research in social psychology suggests that saying “thank you” goes beyond good manners

2019 Christmas Shopping: All Records Broken?

Christmas shopping: all records broken
This year we expect that sales will break all records! However, we cannot help but think that this anniversary celebrates the coming to earth of one of humanity’s greatest avatars – who, additionally, lived in total poverty according to his own words.

Are You As Grateful As You Deserve To Be?

Are You As Grateful As You Deserve To Be?
As a physician, I have helped to care for many patients and families whose lives have been turned upside down by serious illnesses and injuries.

Choosing Gratefulness “In Spite Of”

Choosing Gratefulness “In Spite Of”
We can’t wait until everything is OK—with us or with the rest of the world—to feel thankful, or we will never experience it at all. “The world is too bent for unshadowed joy,” Lewis Smedes points out, and so we must catch and kiss our joy as it flies by, even in the midst of sorrow or suffering.

The Proper Plate and The Right Attitude

The Proper Plate and The Right Attitude
When I heard this story, I stopped in my tracks. What a powerful model for compassion in action! I pray that I might be so sensitive to support others in their sense of well-being and transform potentially painful situations with a stroke of kindness.

Unconditional Love Is A Way Of Serving One Another, Humanity and The World

Unconditional Love: A Way Of Serving One Another, Humanity and The World
A time comes in our personal development when we realize that we are not isolated, independent individuals, but rather that we are all interdependent. We then experience genuine care and concern for others, become more aware of the larger whole and feel a deep desire to share our riches, whatever they may be, with others.

The Fast Track To A Life Well Lived Is Feeling Grateful

The Fast Track To A Life Well Lived Is Feeling Grateful
For the Ancient Greeks, virtue wasn’t a goal in and of itself, but rather a route to a life well lived. By being honest and generous, embodying diligence and fortitude, showing restraint and kindness, a person would flourish

Loving Each Other -- and The World Around Us -- Out Loud

Loving Each Other and The World Around Us Out Loud
The phrase “loving out loud” refers to a way to live openly and without regret. It’s moving from rapid-fire emoticons to thoughtfully emoting. It’s recognizing the power of a gentler, spoken word infused with a gener­ous spirit.

Enjoying and Appreciating All That Is

Enjoying and Appreciating All That Is
Life can be stressful. It can and does present challenges. It also brings pleasures and laughter, as well as sadness and tears. Some of these experiences we accept with joy, others we want to run from and hide, others just plain aggravate us or bore us 'to death'...

The Joy of Service Is the True Nature of Your Being

The Joy of Service Is the Inherent Nature of Your Being
To be 'in service' in today's world is regarded as demeaning no matter whether the service is given freely, or for hire and reward. A misconception exists that by the very act of serving someone you are placing yourself in a position of subservience to the person that is being served. Nothing could be further from the truth.

A Gift Behind Every Disappointment

A Gift Behind Every Disappointment"There is a gift behind each disappointment and sadness." These are words my mother spoke to me countless times growing up. But we need to trust that a gift will come. This trusting can be difficult though, especially when it appears over time that no gift is coming.

An Infinitely Friendly Universe: The Invisible Divine Order Behind Everything

An Infinitely Friendly Universe: The Invisible Divine Order Behind EverythingI bless the amazing divine order in nature, from the tiniest molecule to the rolling of the galaxies in our stupendous universe. I bless the divine order in my life and that of my neighbor, even when to  the  human  sense of  things  this  order is  all  but apparent …

Make Gratitude Great: The Daily Journal

Make Gratitude Great: The Daily Journal
No matter how stressful the day might be with six children running around, my mother's always exhibited an optimistic outlook on life. Her spirit lives in me. Her attitude of gratitude is also ingrained within her namesake, my oldest daughter, Sara Malka, who taught me a valuable tool for living an inspired life.

Gratitude Is A Powerful Way to Pray

Gratitude Is A Powerful Way to Pray
One of the most powerful ways to pray is to practice gratitude. Practicing gratitude as a form of prayer is very easy and is immediately rewarding. All you need to do is acknowledge and thank the Universe for all your blessings, whether they are...

Giving Your Gift and Your Blessing: What Is Your Gift to the Earth?

Giving Your Gift: What Is Your Gift to the Earth?
Every creative venture has its moments when it would be easy to say, This is too much, it's hopeless. The person with will and determination says, This is challenging, and I will find a way to make it work. The first person is saying, I give up; the second, I will make it happen.

The Gift of Self: Contributing To -- and Serving -- The Wider Collective

The Gift of Self: Contributing To -- and Serving -- The Wider Collective
In indigenous gift-sharing and kinship societies, individuals do not “win” at the expense of society but rather consider society’s win as theirs. Futurist Riane Eisler referred to this as “linking rather than ranking,” typical of the partnership paradigm, and the antithesis to the dominator paradigm. “Empowerment of self and others” characterizes the partnership model.

Gifts of the Moment: The Small Blessings of Life

Gifts of the Moment: The Small Blessings of LifeThe spiritual journey is full of unexpected and wondrous inner shifts. I recently realized that a change has gradually occurred in my outlook. I am appreciating the moment-by-moment experiences in my life in a happier way than I have since childhood...

When You're Grateful, Your Brain Becomes More Charitable

When You're Grateful, Your Brain Becomes More Charitable

‘Tis the season when the conversation shifts to what you’re thankful for. Gathered with family and friends around a holiday feast, for instance, people may recount some of the biggies – like their health or their children – or smaller things that enhance everyday life – like happening upon a great movie while channel-surfing or enjoying a favorite seasonal food.

Learning To Be Grateful: Be Thankful for Everything

Learning To Be Grateful: Be Thankful for EverythingWhen Lynn Grabhorn was asked, “What is one simple thing I can do now to help prepare for the Shift?” her reply was, “Learn to be grateful”. She suggested the practice of extending gratitude for all the little things we take for granted and of developing an “attitude of gratitude.”

How You Can Feel Gratitude During Difficult Times

How You Can Feel Gratitude During Difficult Times
Gratitude is noticing the good things that are happening all around you. Feeling gratitude when life is stormy can be difficult; it’s during times of hardship that our gratitude is most tested. Seeing the silver lining during those times is easier when we focus on the power of our gratitude.

An Attitude of Gratitude: Enjoying the Here and Now

An Attitude of Gratitude: Enjoying the Here and Now
Being unappreciative in general and focusing on the half empty is a core attitude that Attitude Reconstruction associates with the emotion of anger. These qualities block our ability to experience the emotion of love. With the holidays approaching, it’s time to reverse your old tendency.

The Gentle Art of Blessing: Changing the World in One Day

The Gentle Art of Blessing: Changing the World in One Day
Every day, everyone we meet can be assisted by simply our changing our attitude and our focus. We can all change the world today. On passing people in the street, on the bus, in places of work and play, bless them...

Why You Shouldn’t Help Your Coworkers Unless They Ask

Why You Shouldn’t Help Your Coworkers Unless They Ask
When it comes to offering your expertise, it’s better to keep it to yourself or wait until you’re asked, according to new research. Building upon previous findings that showed how helping colleagues slows one’s success, management professor Russell Johnson looked more closely at the different kinds of help in which people engage at work—and how that help was received.

The Joy of Service: A Fulfilled Life Is All About Service

The Joy of Service: A Fulfilled Life Is All About Service
I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.”--Rabindranath Tagore. Babaji encouraged people to serve others on a daily, even hourly basis. He also taught that no act of service is beneath a person. Just because a person has an advanced degree or a very important job, they can still do the smallest act of service like digging ditches, washing dishes, scrubbing floors.

4 Ways to Build Calm and Positive Connections and Experiences in Caregiving

Building Calm and Positive Connections and Experiences in Caregiving
When you dwell on frustration, the focus on negative thoughts can make daily tasks more challenging. It is not unusual to experience tension. And tension could put you into a negative state before there is real difficulty. If the suggestions offered here don’t fit your situation, use them as a starting place to do your own brainstorming. Changing the atmosphere may be a work in progress...

When You Are Rejected, Say Thank You

When You Are Rejected, Say Thank You
Have you ever thought you were in love only to be told by the one you admire that he or she wants to break up with you? Have you ever applied for a job and been told the organization or company chose someone else? Have you ever applied to a school or program and been declined entry?

Gratitude: Let Me Count the Ways

Gratitude, article written by Marie T. Russell
There are so many things to be grateful for! Birds singing, sunshine, trees and the shade they provide, the love of our friends, the comforts of modern living, etc. etc. Yet, surrounded by this beauty and love, we often rush through our busy-busy day...

Be Kind: Express Your Good And Charitable Heart

Be Kind: Express Your Good And Charitable Heart
I’ve learned that acts of kindness provide me deep contentment. Knowing I helped brighten someone’s day makes my heart feel full long after the event itself has passed. Thoughtfulness is the action that emotionally connects me to the people I know and also to people I may never meet.

The Golden Key to Lasting Happiness

The Golden Key to Happiness
Several days ago we attended the Cultural Awareness Program at Mt. Madonna School where our grandson is in first grade. His grade of ten adorable students reenacted a Buddhist story from Cambodia. In this story a single mother has three grown sons. She is very concerned that her sons do not help her or anyone else, and care only about money...

5 Reasons Why Being Kind Makes You Feel Good

5 Reasons Why Being Kind Makes You Feel Good
Everybody can appreciate acts of kindness. But when it comes to explaining why we do them, people often take one of two extreme positions. Some think kindness is something completely selfless that we do out of love and care, while others believe it is just a tool that we cunningly use to become more popular and reap the benefits.

Rethinking Gratitude This New Year

Rethinking Gratitude This New YearIt’s a new year, which means that it’s also time to imagine new beginnings and better futures. It’s time, in short, for New Year’s resolutions. Gratitude, in particular, has become a popular resolution. For many of us, living gratefully seems to promise more happiness in our lives. But what if we’ve got gratitude all wrong?

Kindness Matters -- So Does Appreciation, Respect, Listening, And Generosity.

Kindness Matters -- So Does Appreciation, Respect, Listening, And Generosity.The relationship with your guides is equivalent in many ways to your relationships with other people. It is very important to express your gratitude daily. These two points are so important, I want to drive them home by sharing a not-so-comfortable experience of mine from a few years ago, when I had a major meltdown about money.

The Universe Rewards Us for Giving and for Gratitude

The Universe Rewards Us for Giving and for GratitudeHave you ever heard the saying “You get what you give”? This short saying is true. When you do nice things for others for unselfish reasons, the Universe will reward you tenfold.

What Fills Me With Joy

What Fills Me With JoyFor the most part, I live happily in a large life, with my energies and joys in so many areas of my personal and professional lives, yet I have worked for decades, non-stop, both through my own inner exploration and my formal academic education, to create my current inner and outer worlds.

Give Thanks For Your Body

Give Thanks For Your BodyThe practice of giving thanks for your body is particularly difficult for women, because our relationships with our bodies are fraught with so much difficulty and dissatisfaction. The media reinforces such an impossible and singu­lar image for young girls and women to live up to, and places so much emphasis on appearance, that virtually none of us—even if we happen to match the ideal—comes out unscathed.

The Age of We Need Each Other

The Age of We Need Each Other
The work I do isn’t “my” work. These are ideas whose time has come and they need capable scribes. Our true wages in life consist of the satisfaction we get from a job well done. Aside from that, well, the rain falls on the just and unjust alike.

Stressed? Running On Empty? It's Not Compassion Fatigue

Stressed? Running On Empty? It's Not Compassion FatigueHealth-care providers are finding it increasingly difficult to provide compassion — in the midst of growing patient workloads, paperwork, institutional demands and workplace stress. They run the risk of depleting their compassion “gas tanks” in the process...

Being Grateful for Everything and Everyone: It Changes Everything

Being Grateful for Everything and Everyone: It Changes Everything"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life." Don’t take my word for it. Try it. Make a list of the things that might give you pause or make you groan or recoil. Express your appreciation for these things in your life. Welcome them like old friends...

Identifying Your Gifts and Incorporating Them Into Your Life

What Are Your Gifts and How To Incorporate Them Into Your LifePeople who find ways to incorporate their gifts into their lives are happier, more satisfied, more confident, more creative, more engaged in their work, and learn faster. Don’t build your life around your weaknesses, hoping that you’ll improve...

The Irony of Thanks: If You Want To Be Happy, Be Grateful

The Irony of Thanks: If You Want To Be Happy, Be GratefulBeing grateful seems like something you do for others, but it is a wonderfully selfish act as well. So although saying thanks has positive effects on those who hear it, it turns out that those who are thankful have lots to gain.

I've Discovered The Fast Route To A Happy Life

I've Discovered The Fast Route To A Happy LifeAre you suffering from what I call the ‘never good enough’ syndrome? Are you always wanting more than what is? And are you beating yourself up because you don’t have it? Are you convinced that what you have now is not as good as what your neighbors have or what your best friend has.

Everything You Do Is Essential, Important, and Sacred

Everything You Do Is Sacred and Important
We are living in extraordinary times. Like many people, I’ve been riding the waves of personal and collective fear, grief, shock, chaos, hope, vulnerability, and openhearted tenderness as the reality around me in my country and in the world continues to shift.

The Gratitude Way Of Seeing Things Is A Gift Not A "Should"

Learning To See The Whole Picture and The Infinity of Tiny GratitudesFeeling deep gratitude is wonderfully addictive; the more we do it, the more we want to do it, and so we begin looking even more deeply to reflect on things for which we’re grateful. I first learned about the amazing power of gratitude during a time when my financial situation was quite bleak...

Give and You Shall Receive: How Giving and Goodness Restore Calm

Give and You Shall Receive: How Giving and Goodness Restore CalmHow can we remain stress-free in the face of cultural pressures to react instantly to communications and demands? Giving of ourselves is a stress reliever that yields immediate emotional benefits, bringing meaning to our lives.

I'm Grateful... But...

I'm Grateful... But...As I reflect on the tradition of Thanksgiving, I am reminded that Thanksgiving needs to take place every day, and every single moment of the day. Maybe that's what mindful meditation is all about... remembering to be grateful and appreciative...

Humane Business: Giving Back Is The Future

Humane Business: Giving Back Is The FutureThe desire to create a more humane business often coincides with the desire to be a force for good in the world. This reflects the higher purpose we feel emerging inside us as a result of greater self-awareness. Such increased self-awareness eventually expands to include the surrounding community and the world as a whole...

The Magic of Choosing Gratitude Today and Every Day

The Magic of Choosing GratitudeAh, yes! Gratitude is magical. Once you get into the groove of it, you will know why. There is nothing so freeing and so exhilarating as pouring out gratitude, not just for what we can easily see as benefits, or enjoyable things and situations, but for every moment of existence and for whatever happens.

A Romantic View Of Helping The Needy?

man begging 4 5“Is it possible I could have steeled my purse against him?” the Romantic essayist Charles Lamb asked in 1822, writing about a man who sat each day by the road begging alms. “Give, and ask no questions.” Today, charities must answer plenty of questions before they can persuade an often wary public to untie their purse strings.

It Sucked, and I'm So Grateful!

It Sucked, and I'm So Grateful!What if the things you hate most about your current situation are your greatest blessings in disguise? What if everything that’s ever unfolded in your entire life has been the precisely necessary thing to bring you to this mysteriously perfect moment? If that...

Have Human Good Samaritans Gone Racist And Lack Empathy?

developing empathy 5 1"It's very surprising and disappointing to find such low rates of people helping each other and that African-American patients and those in poorer counties are left to wait longer for help," says Erin York Cornwell.

Miracles: Seeing The Universe From A New Level Of Consciousness

From the Soul 
to the World: The Miracle of ExchangeGenerally, people consider life to be a natural phenomenon in which one profits without giving anything in exchange. But the miracle requires an exchange: what we were given, we must share with others. If we are not united, we cannot grasp the miracle.

Appreciation and Being of Service Contribute To Evolutionary Shift

Appreciation & Being of Service Contribute To An Evolutionary ShiftWhen we recognize the impact we have, purely by being responsible for our state of mind – and how that affects the electromagnetic field that surrounds us, we realize that every moment sets in motion an incremental modification of such import that its trajectory could create a global shift in consciousness.

The Greatest Secret of All: Love, Serve, and Remember

The Greatest Secret of All: Love, Serve, and RememberLook at the lives of some of the wealthiest people in the world, and you see lives full of misery, because so many of them haven’t learned the simple secret of a life well lived, a life of happiness and inner peace, a life of purpose, a sacred and miraculous life...

Why Generosity Is Good For Your Health

Why Generosity Is Good For Your Health? Every day, we are confronted with choices about how to spend our money. Whether it’s thinking about picking up the tab at a group lunch or when a charity calls asking for a donation, we are faced with the decision to behave generously or not.

Remembering To Say Thank You Is More Important Than You Think

Remembering To Say Thank YouYou might think that people know you are grateful, so you don’t have to share it. But remember that expressing your gratitude is a special gift for you as well. I feel very far from perfect in remembering to say thank you, and yet it has become something that is very important to me...

The Glad Game: Focusing on What's Right in Your World Today

The Glad Game: Focusing on What's Right in Your World TodayIn her wonderful book, The Wealthy Spirit, Chellie Campbell describes how, when she was a girl, her mother taught her to play “The Glad Game.” “The Glad Game” is another name for a Gratitude List and helps you focus on what’s right in your world today, instead of what’s wrong...

The Attitude of Service: How To Brighten Up the World

The Attitude of Service: How To Brighten Up the WorldDespite what Madison Avenue would like us to believe, that vacation to the Riviera, that Chrysler PT Cruiser, that anti-aging cream is not the secret to happiness. There's only one thing that unlocks the door to true peace of mind. Serving a purpose bigger than...

Appreciating The Connection to a Hummingbird and All Life

Appreciating Our Connection to All LifeHolding the hummingbird was a gift. It was an awesome privilege to be given thirty unforgettable minutes when time stood still and I held the most exquisite creature in my hands, felt its warmth, and marveled at its magnificence.

Gifts Of Cash: The Best Way To Rebuild Lives Of Disaster Victims?

Gifts Of Cash May Be Best Way To Rebuild Lives Of Disaster VictimsLast week Toby Porter, CEO of the NGO HelpAge, went to Nepal to meet with people recovering from the earthquakes that have devastated the country. He asked them an interesting question: would you rather we buy you the stuff you need, or would you rather we just give you the money?

How to Give & Receive Compliments Instead of Complaints & Criticism

How to Receive Compliments Instead of Complaints & CriticismComplain­ing draws attention away from all the good things that unfold. It's as if complaint puts a mask over our sight: too busy identifying what is wrong, all the things that are right march on by. While there are so many motivations behind complaining...

Our Need for Receiving Acknowledgment & Blessing

Our Need for Acknowledgment & Blessing

There is a great need in every human being to be acknowledged and blessed by another person, especially their parent. People often strive to receive acknowledgment of who they are. When they do not receive acknowledgment or blessing, they can feel hopeless or unworthy.

Gratitude: Focusing on the Positive & Dropping Criticism

Gratitude: Focusing on the Positive & Dropping Criticism

Gratitude or appreciation is an intentional focus on the positive, on what you already perceive as good. When you appreciate someone, you are focusing on her source-like qualities. Anything else that you seem to see, anything that you perceive as un-source-like in any way, is ultimately only...

Becoming an Appreciator as a Way of Life

Becoming an Appreciator as a Way of Life

by Noelle C. Nelson & Jeannine Lemare Calaba.Appreciation is most powerful when it ceases to be something that you do only occasionally, and instead becomes your basic approach to life. You must first be willing to overcome certain resistances to appreciating...

Asking and Offering: The Art of Spiritual Trading

Asking and Offering: The Art of Spiritual Trading

by Christina Baldwin. As a spiritual practice, when we ask for what we need and offer each other what we can, we enter a dance of unavoidable reciprocity. As we ask for what we need and offer what we can we become spiritual traders...

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FROM THE EDITORS

Why Donald Trump Could Be History's Biggest Loser
by Robert Jennings, InnerSelf.com
Updated July 2, 20020 - This whole coronavirus pandemic is costing a fortune, maybe 2 or 3 or 4 fortunes, all of unknown size. Oh yeah, and, hundreds of thousands, maybe a million, of people will die…
Blue-Eyes vs Brown Eyes: How Racism is Taught
by Marie T. Russell, InnerSelf
In this 1992 Oprah Show episode, award-winning anti-racism activist and educator Jane Elliott taught the audience a tough lesson about racism by demonstrating just how easy it is to learn prejudice.
A Change Is Gonna Come...
by Marie T. Russell, InnerSelf
(May 30, 2020) As I watch the news on the events in Philadephia and other cities in the country, my heart aches for what is transpiring. I know that this is part of the greater change that is taking…
A Song Can Uplift the Heart and Soul
by Marie T. Russell, InnerSelf
I have several ways that I use to clear the darkness from my mind when I find it has crept in. One is gardening, or spending time in nature. The other is silence. Another way is reading. And one that…
Mascot for the Pandemic and Theme Song for Social Distancing and Isolation
by Marie T. Russell, InnerSelf
I came across a song recently and as I listened to the lyrics, I thought it would be a perfect song as a "theme song" for these times of social isolation. (Lyrics below the video.)