Thanksgiving: More Than An Annual Event

Thanksgiving

As I reflected this past week upon the many blessings in my life for which I am deeply thankful for, I noticed many posts eloquently written regarding thanks and the things others are thankful for as well.  I thought about Thanksgiving and what it means.  It seems that annually we see an increase this time of year in people counting their blessings and in wanting to help others in need.  I wondered how long this feeling will last this year.  Will we make it past the 2nd week of January this next year?  Could we even maybe make it to February?  How about Spring?  How long will we remain thankful until we end up back into our old life and start focusing again on what we want instead of what we have?

I wonder what this world would be like if we could all spend an entire year focusing on our blessings instead of our wants.  Focusing on serving and helping those in need instead of focusing inward.  Spending our time in uplifting conversations instead of gossip and problems.  This past week leading up to Thanksgiving, nearly everyone I encountered or interacted with was pleasant, polite and in a cheerful mood.  Imagine what it would be like if we treated everyone like that on a regular basis, not just because of a holiday.

Being thankful and recognizing the blessings we have in our lives daily helps refocus our energy more effectively to be a force for good in our own lives, our families, communities, and nations.  Gratitude and being thankful for what we do have provides peace in our souls and provides a calm reassurance that things will be well in spite of sometimes seemingly difficult and insurmountable circumstances.

A truly thankful person does not boast of their thankfulness, they quietly thank God for the  blessings in life.  They are ones that others enjoy being around, they focus on good things in life and serve others willingly.   They are the ones making a difference in their families and communities, as they focus outward on others.

As we move towards the Christmas holiday and the season of giving, and receiving, may we spend our time being thankful for what we have been given and not on what gifts we want. As we say goodbye to another Thanksgiving holiday until next year, may we take with us the gratitude and thankfulness that we so abundantly shared with others this year and keep it with us daily and not just yearly.

Gratitude, Attitude and the Law of Attraction

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When we realize the power within ourselves to bring great people and blessings into our lives through the law of attraction we begin a journey towards realizing our full potential and bringing abut an incredible life.   Our lives are a magnet with which we attract the very things into our lives that we focus upon.  As we harness control of our thoughts and empower ourselves with the ability to focus on that which we desire we will be drawn like a magnet towards those desires.

Some will question immediately these statements without giving time to ponder the realities that are around them in regards to the fulfillment of this very analysis.  Unfortunately many of  our lives are filled with negative thoughts, people and energy.  We focus upon that which we do not have instead of that which we do.    We focus on problems instead of blessings.  We spend our conversations on negative and depressing subjects instead of goodness and positive stories.   Our news and media focus on the negative stories instead of the life changing and uplifting ones.   Our movies are filled with violence, adultery, lust and deception.  Depression is an epidemic and negativity abounds.  The focus upon those issues attracts more of the same into our lives.  Have you ever noticed that negative individuals tend to spread that negativity around and are often accompanied by others whom share that negativity?

Conversely, positive and uplifting individuals are magnets for like minded persons.  Those people who focus on the good in life, their blessings, helping and lifting others and seeing the good in things are happier and always have the opportunities given to them.  Doors are opened for these people.  Its simple really why this happens, positive people attract others to them while negative ones repel them.  The more people with whom you attract into your life, the greater the possibilities and the more doors that open.  People enjoy associating with positive individuals, we all want to become like them as they reflect the happiness that is within them, happiness many seek to find.

If you want to see miraculous changes in your life, spend the next few months focusing on the positive and the many blessings in your life.  Even the simple blessings will bring joy when we focus on what we have been given instead of what we want.  Gratitude is fundamental to becoming the positive force in not only your life but in others as well.   We will attract more positive people, energy and experiences into our lives as we focus upon the good in all things.  Avoid negativity and negative people.  See the positive in all things and you will find greater success in your life, both personal and professional.  Focus on what you want to achieve, become and attain and you will find it as you eradicate the negative influences and  attract the positive in all things into your life.

We are in control of our lives and success.  No one else.  It all stems from our choices, attitudes and gratitude.  It’s a choice.  Your choice.  What will you choose?   It’s your life, will you harness the power of the law of attraction and begin a miraculous journey towards your destiny?

“Our lives are what our thoughts make it” – Marcus Aurelius

Magical Meals – A Fathers Heartache part 11

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The unlikely moments of school lunch are often the anchor to my children that keep us connected.  As many who have read this series knows that except in the most extreme circumstances, my ex does not allow my children to call me.  I am relegated to my one 4 hour visit per week and every other weekend, with exception to the scattered holidays we get together.  My time with my children becomes limited and often times painful for us as we are apart.  School lunch allows me the moments with my children to make up some of our lost time.  I travel 25 minutes from my office to their school as often as possible to spend 10 minutes with each of them sitting at the lunch table with them and all of their friends.  These moments are what I refer to as the magical lunch moments in our life.  Simple and short opportunities for my children and I to laugh and talk about school and what is happening.  Our time together seems to go quickly, yet these brief moments in time help secure our bond together. I live for the smiles I get from their shining faces when they see me standing in the doorway to the cafeteria waiting for them. They never know for certain what days I can break away from the office to have this time with them so it is always a surprise.

Over these long lonely years of missing my children, I have needed to search for the magical moments when I can make a difference for them in their lives, when I can show them how much I love and adore them.  Our school lunches together has been one of these magical moments I search for.  I learn so much about them as I sit and laugh with their friends at the table as we eat, they open up and tell me everything that is happening, they feel secure and safe, just like home.  I discover the games they play on the playground with their friends and how they treat others as well as how the kids at school treat my children.  I learn about the homework, the books they are reading and any issues with school and their sports.   I treasure these moments with them and the opportunity to connect.

Our mealtimes have become some of the most amazing opportunities to connect with one another as we sit around tables talking with one another.  My wife and I have found that our children thrive at the dinner table together. We talk honestly and openly about the things that are happening in our lives and it is an opportunity for our children, where they feel safe and secure in our home, to relax and truly open up to us.  The other day while sitting at dinner together, my dear wife asked Bridger and Londyn what they liked most about coming to our home, with no hesitation whatsoever Bridger responds, “this is family.”  WOW!  The emotions I felt as I tightened my grip on my wife’s hand under the table were overwhelming.  Finally!  I received the confirmation that what we have been doing has been the right thing and we were making the impact we have been striving so hard for all these years!

These opportunities to connect with my children have provided anchors to my soul to help me through some of the dark times when they are away.  This connection is what gets us through times like we enter now, as over the next month we will only have two 4 hours visits, 8 hours in 30 days of time together as a result of the holiday and weekend schedule and the conflict created with the holiday happening on my regularly scheduled weekend.  It is times like this when our school lunches become ever more magical, precious and all important.   The times that will anchor our souls as one.

Climbing Moral Steps OR Finding a Sweet Deal?

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Recently we had a discussion at work regarding a moral dilemma wherein the question was asked: “If you found a coin in a yard sale for a dollar and you knew for a certainty that the coin was worth millions, would you tell the individual selling the coin, or would you buy it and say nothing?”  The key in this question is undeniably the fact that you KNOW without any question that the coin is extremely rare and valuable.

Many argued that the individual selling the coin received what they were asking for it, a mere dollar, and that they would not have any hesitation paying the asking price and scoring the big home run.  After all it was their knowledge of the coin that would enable them to realize the full value of the purchase and that the one selling it should have done their homework prior to selling.

Others argued that the moral thing to do would be tell the individual that the coin was rare and worth a considerable fortune, thus walking away from any personal gain in the transaction and allowing the one who is selling it to benefit.

I listened intently as both sides elaborated on the differing viewpoints and justifications behind each.  When asked my opinion I thought a moment and presented an option neither side had thought of.  In this scenario both parties bring something of value to the transaction.  The individual selling the coin is the one in possession of that which is most valuable yet unrealized,  while the individual desiring to purchase the coin  understands immediately the value of the coin not in his possession.  Neither of them benefit from this without the other.  One way to maintain honor and integrity in this situation would be to purchase the coin at the asking price, then sell it and take part of the sale back to the original owner.

While each of these scenarios prove legal and some would argue therefore there is not one better than the other.  From a moral perspective, I believe there are better solutions than others.  Keep in mind that declaring something legal does not in turn make it moral.  I believe that the moral compass which we live our lives by determine our personal characters and each decision we make takes us up the steps or down.  The best views are always found at the top of these moral steps, the higher our morals, the better the view.

I found this  scenario to be fascinating on many levels as this very situation can play out in different ways, often in reverse, throughout our lives.  Oftentimes we have knowledge of things yet fail to comprehend the true value of that knowledge and what it can  bring to others who may be seeking it and don’t know where to find it.

Please share your thoughts on what your opinion of  the best solution to this scenario would be.

FINDING JOY IN THE JOURNEY

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Finding joy in our journey here on earth at times can seem daunting as life’s challenges and obstacles can create sometimes seemingly overwhelming sadness, sorrow and depression. Overcoming this cycle many of us find ourselves in at one point or another in this life is key to finding that lasting joy we all seek.  It is upon learning, understanding, believing and then acting upon the belief, that we are in control of our own happiness and joy, that we can finally take control of our own lives. We can discover the true joy that exists and that we alone control.  Perspective, gratitude and focus are some of the most powerful tools we have at our own personal disposal to change our own lives and find Joy in the journey.  We alone control these tools, ones that can be used to change or destroy our lives.  The choice is ours and ours alone, no one else can control that choice but ourselves.

Perspective and how we view ourselves, others around us, the circumstances we find ourselves in and the world around is critical to the level of happiness and joy we can attain in this life.  By shifting our perspective towards a more positive outlook and looking at things from a broader view of the world we can eliminate much of our self doubt we encounter along the way.  We will discover as we look through different lenses that the most difficult of life’s events can be overcome and that these moments can make us stronger. We will gain wisdom, understanding and clarity as we widen our view with which we see things.  It’s all a matter of perspective.

Gratitude provides us the opportunity in our lives to see the blessings we are given each day.  As we identify and write down the things we are grateful for our hearts and minds will be opened to seeing the positive in our lives.   It may be as simple as a shirt on our backs, a dry place to sleep, to our children and families.  Sincere gratitude for what we have in our lives and the blessings we are given, opens our hearts to recognizing that happiness does not come from no problems in our lives, it comes from our abilities to handle the problems we are given.  Epicurus said it best “Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.” Be grateful in all things.

Focus is a fundamental key to finding joy in our lives,  The law of attraction is immensely powerful, we attract into our lives that which we focus upon. Finding a clear perspective in everything allows us to master this law of attraction and bring these things into our lives we all desire, for “man is that he might have joy.”  The things that we focus upon in life are the things we attract in our life.  If we spend our time and effort focusing upon the negative things that happen to us, our circumstances, or what we deem “unfair” we will attract more the those negative situations into our lives.  An individual who is sick and spends their time focused on the sickness, always seems to get more sick.  Individuals who focus on others, and service to others, are always surrounded by great friends while those that focus inward and their loneliness, find themselves more lonely.  A positive focus in life will bring about positive effects in our lives.  We master that where we spend our time and energy (focus).

Our lives are meant to be filled with happiness, joy and love.    We alone control our success or failure in these areas.  We are the captain of our own ship, the choices we make with our perspectives, gratitude and focus will determine the level of success in life we find.

“At the end of the day, let there be no excuses, no explanations, no regrets.”  Steve Maraboli