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Like my friend Kathy, I’ve given up complaining for Lent. We’re both finding it harder than the fasting from chocolate we did as children. Not that we now want to complain more than we wanted chocolate as kids, it’s just that complaints have a way of slipping out. That’s one of the reasons we’re aiming to abstain. It helps us become aware of how often we whine, and becoming aware is the first step toward change.

 

A Complaint Free World BraceletHave you ever heard of the Complaint Free World project? In 2006, a man named Will Bowen challenged fellow church members to give up complaining for 21 days straight. His idea caught on and spread throughout the world. Since the project started, more than 10 million people have received the purple bracelet that is used as a tool in the project.

 

Here’s a related idea: What if, besides working toward a complaint-free world, we create a compliment-rich world?

 

Imagine often saying things like: Great job! Nice try. I admire your creativity. I appreciate you. That was kind of you. I commend you. You inspire me. Best wishes for your dream. Good luck. Yay you!

 

What if we said caring things like that to one another as we went about each day? Imagine how much happier, joyful, and loving we would feel. We’d probably be healthier and more successful too.

 

I have the feeling that, if we did this, we’d also do less complaining without even trying.

 

Both Kathy and I have decided to extend our complaint fast beyond Easter (especially since neither of us has yet had a fully complaint-free day!) and to be compliment generous. The two practices seem to go hand-in-hand.

 

Might you consider trying either one or both practices? Thank you for reading this, whatever your response. I appreciate your visit here.

 

If you would like to know more about the official Complaint Free World project and how the bracelet tool works, visit www.acomplaintfreeworld.org for details.

 

Wishing you the best of life’s gifts today and every day!

 

 

 

Happy Spring on the Northern Hemisphere. As daylight increases in the outer world, let’s aim to better see the light of beauty within us. Beauty Is

 

 

Clean heart“Create in me a clean heart, O God…”  

                                     ~ Psalm 51:10

I love this psalm. Long ago I had a vinyl record of a song inspired by this passage. I can still play it in my mind. 

 

As winter ends and spring draws near, let’s make way for heart cleanings and clearings.

 

 

Intend to release judgments, regrets, and resentments. Consider using, today and every day, a song, a prayer, a ritual, an affirmation, some activity that helps you open to the grace of letting go, with love and compassion. 

                                                      

“The world is round and the place which may seem like the end may also be only the beginning.”

~ Rebecca West

 

Spiral basketWatch for circles today. Look for signs of fresh starts and new beginnings. With the gift of hope, trust in what is ahead and just around the corner.

 

The quote and reflection/suggestion above was a recent Today’s Touchstone. One subscriber wrote and shared this:

 

“I saw many circles starting this morning – my coffee mug, my watch, my cereal bowl, top of the milk jug, a planter, a sweet candle holder, a ring, the letter o in the word love. New beginnings – getting home early from work, allowing myself to take a short nap at work for renewing my energy, not worrying when someone cancels or reschedules…”

 

Myself, I happened to be traveling that day. Along with clocks, road signage, and round-abouts, I spotted many art objects at Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix, Arizona, like this woven basket. The spiral within the circle reminds me that life is a journey for each of us. 

 

Every day is a good day to notice beautiful circular patterns in the outer world and, with a sense of nowness and newness, be ready for fresh starts. Blessings for your path!

 

sweet kisses“The longing for sweets is really a yearning for love or sweetness.” ~ Marion Woodman

 

May we  peel away the protective foils we’ve built up around our hearts and let our natural sweetness be seen and savored.

 

Wishing you a Happy Valentine’s Day!

Who says the world is getting better?Hope for the World

 

Well, the Dalai Lama for one.

 

Every day we are bombarded with news of gloom and doom. If we focus on that, we’re likely to conclude that the state of the world is worsening.

 

Please don’t despair.

 

According to His Holiness, humankind is maturing. We are also becoming more compassionate. Of course we still have a ways to go, but we are moving toward greater awareness of our connectedness and into a higher state of consciousness and love.

 

In several presentations, the Dalai Lama recalls discussing with the late Queen Mother this question about the world improving or worsening.

 

“The world is definitely getting better,” said Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth. As an example, she pointed out that, when she was a child, there was no awareness in England around the issue of human rights. But in the course of the last century, human rights as a concept has become part of our world-wide universal consciousness.  While equal rights for all has certainly not yet been fully manifested, it is being realized a bit more day-by-day.

 

Please don’t give up. Become a conscious part of “the becoming better.” Focus on good news. Share it. Join the growing numbers of people practicing at least one random act of kindness every day. Be kind to you.

 

You matter. Your love. Your hope. Your caring. Your dreams. Your talent. You becoming more and more authentically you, with courage and compassion, is one of the ways the world is getting better.

“I like living. I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow, but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing.” – Agatha Christie

treasure trail start

 

When our grandchildren, Alexis and Anthony, come to visit, my husband and I often lay out though the house a paper strip trail for them to follow.

 

Around tables and over beds, the trail leads them in and out of rooms in search of “X marks the spot.” There, under the X, they will find some little treat or trinket.

 

While they delight in whatever they find under the X, and say “thank you” very nicely, it seems to me that the peak of their joy is at the start of the hunt, just seeing a portion of the trail X marks the spotahead, along with the process of discovering the course of the path.

 

This seems like a metaphor for living each day. We don’t know where the day will lead us, what obstacles we may face, what twists and turns there may be for us. Still, this day, every day, is an adventure in living. It holds a gift. It is a grand thing just to be alive!

 

Wishing you sweet discoveries every day, with love.

“Courage is one step ahead of fear.” ~ Coleman Young Bridge through Jumble Jungle  

When I first came upon this quote, I questioned it. It seemed to me that fear often comes before courage. Is this the case for you too? But then I saw the quote differently and had a shift in understanding. Yes, I may encounter fear first, but courage is ahead, leading the way.

So, fear not what’s ahead, around the corner, where you cannot yet see. Take a step, then another, into courage, with courage. It’s not only out there, one step ahead, but you have it in you, along with many other gifts, including one the world needs you to give. 

Let courage lead the way for you to be fully you and to realize your highest and dearest dreams. 

 

a sign of  peaceI was walking along when suddenly a white dove, holding a twig in its beak, flew onto a branch in the tree in front of me. He, or she, let me get close and we watched each other for awhile. What a sweet sign of peace that was for me.

 

Wishing you peace in the new year. A full flow of hope, love, and joy, too. May the best of life’s gifts be powerfully present for you today and every day.

 

Here’s something to consider: Holding a touchstone related to our inner resources can help keep us mindful and open to the gifts within. If you wish to try holding an inspirational touchstone each day, please see the box on the upper right side of my website where you can subscribe. It’s easy and free. 

Innumerable tools and activities (physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual) can help us tap to the rich resources within us. On the physical level alone, using each of the body’s senses, there are multitudes of ways to stir and nurture our inborn strength, beauty, courage, compassion, hope, joy, talent, imagination, reverence, wisdom, love, and faith.

essential oils

 

 

Here’s one example:

 

Holistic nurse and aromatherapist Lorraine Santos Rimando made a “Twelve Gifts Spritzer” for a workshop she conducted which was based on my book, The Twelve Gifts for Healing.

 

 

Like me, Loraine loves to collect and share ways that we can release stress and refresh ourselves.

 

 

Among her favorite tools are essential oils. From her studies and work, Lorraine offers these suggested oils associated with nurturing and tapping into each of The Twelve Gifts:

 

 

Strength – Atlas Cedar

Beauty – Jasmine

Courage – Thyme

Compassion – Sweet Marjoram

Hope – Tea Tree

Joy – Sweet Orange

Talent – Rosemary

Imagination – Geranium

Wisdom – Cypress

Reverence – Frankencense

Love – Rose

Faith – Frankencense

 

These can each be used alone or combined into a spritzer, as Lorraine did. Thanks for sharing, Lorraine!

 

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