Category Archives: academic search

Grateful That Peace Surpasses All Understanding!

Five years and one month ago, I was ill and expected to die soon. Yet, obviously even today I am still very much alive and am expressing my gratitude for such through my postings to you on my gratitudesquared.com

Recently, and unfortunately, now I am facing uncertain illness again and am finding it hard to express gratitude in the face of my fear.

But, yesterday something happened to strengthen my resolve towards gratefulness, just in time to offset the strength of my growing fear as a multi-hour biopsy procedure approaches tomorrow.

In brief, I was engaging in a chat with a dear friend about health and wellness and she remarked that my parents and grandfather were with me in spirit at that time. This felt like a nice statement and I did not think much more about it at that time. About five minutes after, as I was driving alone in LA traffic, the phrase “peace that surpasses all understanding” came to mind. I rushed home to google the origin of this phrase because I had not heard that phrase for years, if at all. I could not remember, and certainly I do not speak like that. I should note, however, my father was a Baptist Minister, a relevant fact to this story I believe!

Thanks to my computer and Google, when I put that exact phrase in, I learned such interesting facts that I had to share with all of you. I learned that Paul the Apostle had written a letter to the Philippians (which is now known as the country of Greece) in which he instructed people to remain steadfast in their faith. Paul’s letter is the eleventh book of the New Testament, and Paul wrote it while in prison for preaching. Of course, I wondered what does this have to do with me and/or my health?

Those of you who know me know that I am very analytical, a researcher, and make decisions and take actions based on data, so I kept probing this phrase… My years of Ph.D. training were kicking in full blast. In brief, I just had to research this phrase, and learn the significance of such. This is what I am discovering even as I type this blog to you:

  • Paul wrote to the people In Philipi to express his GRATITUDE! Go to learnreligions.com for more information. It seems serendipitous that this verse is related to Gratitude! Out of all the verses in the Bible, this one emerged…
  • The Book of Philippians “conveys a powerful message about the secret of contentment… in every circumstance he had learned to be content“.
  • The main and consistent theme of this eleventh book is JOY! Joy and gratitude go hand in hand along one’s journey to a State of Gratitude. How wonderful…
  • The main message of Philippians 4 is encouragement. I felt I certainly needed that message to face the biopsy again after five years of no new tumors.
  • Important principles in Philippians 4 are peace and joy in all circumstances. Indeed, I was looking for peace of mind for the upcoming procedure. And, I must admit it is hard to find joy in the face of fear. This verse became my reminder.
  • My verse: Philippians 4:7 is “peace of God, which passeth all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds…” (KJV). See the relevance of this below.

Does anyone see the connections between this verse and my daily practices of Gratitude, joy, happiness, contentment? I do. I felt like I had received a message.

I wanted to learn more so I went to Pulpit Commentary on biblehub.com. Note: I am keeping this posting short so I will not explain verse 6 above my particular verse 7, but 6 is also relevant to my circumstance (“in nothing be anxious“).

Verse 4:7, as explained on biblehub, flows from God’s gracious presence. The “peace” passes ALL understanding. The peace “transcends the reach of human thought… it can be known only by the inner experience of the believer.” Further, “thoughts issue from the heart… in Hebrew Scriptures, the heart is regarded as the seat of the intellect, not of feeling only.” What a densely worded and impactful verse! I read it over and over again to gain a better understanding of that particular message.

So, how did this experience/verse appearing in my mind… impact me or manifest through my actions as I prepare myself mentally for the biopsy?

  • I am now at peace for tomorrow. Surprisingly…
  • Because I understand that the peace I now feel surpasses my understanding, and transcends beyond what my own human mind may comprehend, I am at peace. In fact, I now understand that this peace is so deep that I am unable to fully comprehend it – I must accept this peace through faith alone.
  • I am yielding my mind to my heart. My heart is in control now and tomorrow.
  • My intellect is given by faith to my heart. This is an interesting experience for me as I continually need to see the data and the evidence to trust, believe, and act.
  • The transcendent feeling I am experiencing today for tomorrow can be known only to me. This is such a true statement. As something like the following was said in the Nixon years, only when you have been in the deepest valley can you appreciate the experience on the mountaintops. I personally find that serious illness drives one to their faith to a greater extent than before, and when additional health issues re-emerge, only those experiencing the decision-making processes can know the depth of fear and sorrow or joy. Looking death in the face and making decisions to speed or prolong life is sobering at best and sacred overall.
  • For more than five years now I have explained my ongoing health to others as a consequence of not only doctors’ surgeries, traditional and alternative treatments, and a variety of life practices, but also due to God’s Grace and spiritual beliefs.
  • I typically say: “I can not explain why I am still alive.” “But, I do know that there is a spiritual component to my continued health”.

Yesterday, what happened to me while driving in the busiest of LA traffic was spiritual… again… It is a unique experience to experience…. it gave me joy, peace, hope, and understanding. It took my fear and anxiety away.

I am so grateful that I have peace that surpasses all understanding.

I hope I have adequately explained the meaning of the phrase that emerged in my mind yesterday………. through this posting. The meaning became clear, at least, to me. I know in reality that some of you will understand this posting fully as you have reached out to me with your own stories of life and death… Perhaps, in time, others will also come to understand… I pray most of you may never need to do so.

As I summarize this posting today, at least one person appeared to understand the significance of this phrase as well it seemed…

That is, one of my Jewish friends, read my post and listened to me calmly but joyfully relay my experience yesterday, after which she very simply and quietly said, “I might have to start reading the books of the New Testament”. I found this to be a significant statement, coming from a nonbeliever…

Blessings to you. My deepest and sincere gratitude I send to those of you who are holding me up with positivity and prayer! I thank you.

#gratitudeultra

Grateful For Independence

Today I am celebrating my independence from ordinary life as I continue my walk in a State of Gratitude. Approximately one and one-half years ago I started my pathway to Gratitude and it changed my life. I can tell you story after story about so many moments of pure wonder and delight in my life now that I am on this new pathway. I am not the only person who is practicing Gratitude these days. Check out Instagram posts such as #gratitudemakestheattitude, and many others to learn that practicing Gratitude provides:

  • portals to suddenly open in your life for a brief moment, then close up again
  • experiences of serendipity during a day when you least expect something awesome
  • insights into meaningful ordinary experiences that bring great joy and pleasure
  • sheer happiness when engaging with friends, family, and loved ones
  • deeper understandings of life events, and relationships
  • genuine satisfaction with everyday interactions with your neighbors, and strangers
  • opportunities for deeper study of spirituality, God, and various religious practices

My blogs will continue to fall into three broad categories: #gratitudezero (pets, foods, places, simple things), #gratitudelite (experiences with people, everyday events, momentary insights), and #gratitudeultra (often resulting from a spiritual or academic inquiry into the deeper origins of gratitude).

But today I hope to remind everyone that Gratitude will bring you a new found independence within your own life. Why?

Because when you are grateful you are more positive, more hopeful, more joyful, and more thankful for what you have in your life.

Practicing Gratitude replaces the negativity, the fear, the worry, the sadness, the anxiety, and even pathways leading to depression in your life.

I invite you to try it yourself! Be grateful! Be positive! Become more independent through your new outlook on life!

Try it and let me know how your own attitude begins to change…

Happy Independence Day to You through Gratitude!

#gratitudeultra

Grateful For Wisdom When Ending The Journey Of Life: An Overview

I have always loved elderly people because they are wise and have wonderful stories to tell, if you listen. Unfortunately, we often get too busy during our own life’s journey to notice that older persons among us need more care from us. It is as though our journeys through life demand extra care when we begin our life, and again when we are nearing the end-of-life.

This posting includes my observations for you as a daughter, mom, friend, and health care professional regarding End-of-Life Care.

It is well known that people tend to like to stay at home as their journey through life comes to an end, but that is not always possible because of health issues, personal care needs, nutritional requirements, family distances, and so on. So, as we all age, the questions before us are: “What do we do?” “How do we plan for ourselves as we grower older and need extra care?”

Why am I posting this information for us today? Because I have watched my younger sister, my mom, and my dad pass away. Now I am watching dear friends and neighbors age, and I myself am growing older. As I was recently listening to Amanda Stead’s lecture on End-of-Life Care, I felt so grateful that Amanda reminded me, and helped me to summarize the wisdom we all have access to for our own planning:

  1. We are all going to die at the end of our life journey, so how does one prepare for the best end of life? There are multiple resources to inform us about end-of-life care just as there is knowledge regarding beginning life, as in birth, parenting, etc.
  2. As each of us, or our family members and friends age, it is important to learn about choices we each have regarding Hospice care, or Palliative care. Our choices do not need to be permanent as our health and care needs will change over time, but it is better to plan ahead and learn about such choices before being faced with an emergency.
  3. As one ages there needs to be decisions regarding independence, dignity, spiritual preferences, psychological, emotional needs, ethical decisions, and personal wishes.
  4. We all need to have people (family members or friends), who are our spokespeople in case we are unable to communicate clearly. We, or others, need to have an advanced directive (a written document) regarding our wishes for end-of life care.
  5. We all need to discuss realistic outcomes as we anticipate what may be coming in our future. Thus, before you become ill or lose the ability to communicate, you need to talk about what you imagine to be a good plan for your End-of-Life. You might begin such conversations by answering the question: “What matters to me most at the end of life is ______________________________________?”
  6. Sharing information is so important during this time. Information regarding your location preferences for where you wish to be as you grow older is important. Your financial costs, insurance coverage, wish for pain control, treatment preferences for eating, feeding, and swallowing should be identified.
  7. Your personal wishes, and cultural values are important and necessary to understand and honor during this time period.
  8. Reach out to Chaplains, Priests, Pastors, and Rabbis to incorporate your spiritual needs during these times of decision making.
  9. Take care of the above types of decisions before you grow too old for such planning. Make sure you share your thoughts with your family and friends.
  10. Know there is a “Dying Patient’s Bill of Rights”, and an abundance of resources provided through Medicare to assist you. Don’t put off till tomorrow what you should do today!

In the future, I plan to introduce a new “gratitude category” regarding end-of-life care as I am so grateful that information is available to me to provide for my dignity, spiritual, medical, psychological, and emotional needs as I grow older. In the context of generational differences in perception, as well as societal changes in our family constellations, it is more important than ever before to allow the elderly to prioritize their needs for independence as well as dependence on others.

I am grateful for knowledge regarding end-of-life care. How ’bout you?

For a spiritual perspective on End-Of-Life, let me conclude this blog with a poem written and read by my mother from her Book of Poetry titled, A House Inside of Me. The relevant poem for today is, I Don’t Want to Die I Like It Here. When you click on this link you will hear this poem. It seems relevant, in a more personal style of writing, to our topic today.

At this time in your life, What Matters Most to you for Planning? Please think about it as I am watching friends dealing and struggling with these issues right now.

#gratitudelite

Gratitude for Power, Hope, and Optimism in a Song

As I watch the horror of Russia’s attack on Ukraine, I am deeply moved by the people singing. So often during times of despair throughout history we hear “group sing”, i.e., we saw people singing together in Italy across their balconies, through activism when marching during civil rights, after terrible tragedies of bombings or mass shootings, as well as when inspired by grand speeches in town squares.

What is it, I wonder, about “the Song” to bond people together, to give promise, to inspire in the face of hopelessness?

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So Grateful For Celebrations of 2.22.22 Day Today!

Oh what a happy day we have experienced from the News people on TV, to my computer that sprays confetti every time I type in the sequence of 2’s, to the special articles online and descriptions of this “Tuesday’s” significance! I have learned so much about numbers today! One explanation is within an article in stylecaster.com by Shereen Campbell (Feb. 18, 2022). Credit for the video image below by Adobe.Design: Cierra Miller/stylecaster.

Shereen writes in numerology the 222 sequence are Angel Numbers.

I like that concept as I like Angels.

Take a look at Campbell’s article to learn about “energy”, “partnership”, “balance”, “acceptance”, “compassion,” “cooperation”, “harmony”, and “compromise”. These are fantastic attributes for an individual to have as they journey to gratitude. Shereen states, “choose to use the last days of this magical 222 energy like a portal to channel all the love and hope you can. For yourself first, and then for others.”

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Guide to Gratitude

Let me express my sincere gratitude to each of you for continuing to follow my “Guide to Gratitude” through gratitudesquared.com. The featured image above is my hand drawn idea for this site that I sketched in February of 2021 when this site was launched.

I selected the term “gratitudesquared” because I believe that “gratitude” is multiplied when shared and experienced, and such has certainly been the case through this site. To date, after 174 posts, 6,759 views, and with 3,004 different visitors, and 128 followers throughout 64 countries, we (you with me) are sharing “gratitude” around us wherever we may live. I am so deeply touched by your comments, emails, texts, and conversations with me. Thank you.

If you look at my hand drawn idea above, you will see that when one gives “gratitude to another” it is a gentle exchange, a gift, something great or grand, may be God sent through all his/her glory, when two or more people gather together.

Further, that act of “giving gratitude” is often gleeful, gracious, grounded in some emotion, may cause growth on each other’s part, may be compared and contrasted with growing a garden of gratitude, and may be overseen and sent by God from one to another to accomplish a known or unknown purpose or goal.

Just think about that!

Gratitude is a free gift that we exchange with each other!

What have we learned about “Gratitude” within only one year? We have learned that gratitude is deeply personal and also shared. Gratitude may be fleeting or long lasting. Gratitude may be serious or fun. Gratitude stems from our moral values at times, but also emerges from momentary pleasure at other times.

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Walking The Pathway to Gratitude

I have been posting for eleven (11) months now, 160 posts to date, as I walk and discover my own pathway to gratitude so I want to pause and reflect upon the meanings beneath my messages to you. First, living in a State of Gratitude is not always easy and takes being in a State of Mindfulness I would say.

I prefer to be mindful when I blog about gratitude. Intellectually, it feels the best!

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Grateful For The Benefits From Mental Practice

Physically, we are constantly faced with the need to perform various physical actions such as walking, running, sitting, skating, biking, swimming, opening bottles, lifting and many more. As we grow older, or if we have any illness, sometimes our physical actions become limited, or modified. Too often I watch people become increasing disabled by their perception of their limitations.

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I Am Grateful For My Spiritual Journey To Health And Wellness

I am nearing four and one-half years of health after multiple cancers and surgeries in 2017. I am grateful that I am still healthy, but never do I take my present health for granted. The source stimulating these postings is my joy with life, and my sincere appreciation and happiness to have time to “pay it forward” to others while here.

As many people do, I read and ask questions, and share with others to learn about healing and health and wellness. I can tell you from experience that there is a lot to learn and practice to maintain health. Sometimes I stray from my devotion to a healthier lifestyle, better eating, mindful practices with toxins and GMOs in our world, and Western and Eastern medical beliefs. But, when my CT scans and labs remind me that my body chemistry is changing, I jump back into better practices and pray.

People ask me what am I doing to stay so healthy? I tell them what I am learning, but many people do the same things I do, and much more, and, sadly, many people continue to die around me which makes me so sad, and gives me a feeling of survivor’s guilt. I want to do more to help others so I keep posting happy ideas, and peaceful thoughts. Also, I post joyful events like playing with your pets, and enjoyable moments with family and friends or beautiful trips deep into nature.

This month I am pulling all of my postings, videos, blogs, tweets, and Instagrams into more of a common “digital media” composite so that I may share what I believe and what I have learned thus far. If this is helpful to you, please let me know. If you would like more from me, please let me know.

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Gratitude For Thinking, Learning, And Experiencing

Last night I had my first “Sound Bath”! I attended because I love to learn about various perspectives on healing and wellness. When we started it was noted that the frequency of 432 Hertz would be emphasized. I made a note on my cell phone for later study. I studied “acoustics of sound” during my Ph.D. coursework, so my curiosity was ignited.

This morning I googled 432 Hertz to learn the significance. Apparently, this frequency is believed to be a healing frequency as it reduces anxiety, lowers blood pressures, and lowers heart rate. Further, as I read various studies to verify the accuracy of this statement, I I learned the term “solfeggio” frequency. According to the Nature Healing

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