Category Archives: gratitude ultra

A Splash of Gratitude Each Day Helps Keep the Doctor Away: Meaningful Use of Time

I am nearing 5 and 1/2 years of good health after a serious scare with illness and death. I ask myself this morning, “Did I make the most and best out of the extra 5 plus years I have been graced?” What did I do with these gifted years I asked God to give me?

Each day I strive to help others. Did I make a difference in any person’s life? Could I do more? These are very important questions I am asking myself.

During these five plus years my little dog has lost his hearing. I want to hold him tight and love him more. During these recent years, I have grown closer to my son and my brother and they to me as I cherish each moment I have with them. I have made new friends, have lost some friends, and have observed the truer meanings of family and friends in life.

My weight is about the same. My teeth are not whiter although they are stronger with a few new crowns and root canals. I have more beautiful flower gardens surrounding me, and I have this gratitude blog I began. My gratitudesquared.com site provides me a summary of my actions over these recent years. So, how have I used my time? Have I used this “gift of time” wisely?

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Grateful I May Alter My Attitude

I can alter my life by altering my attitude. He who would have nothing to do with thorns must never attempt to gather flowers.

Henry David Thoreau

As I continue to watch the horror on TV of women and children caught up in a war, my heart is breaking and I offer prayers, but the tears flow as I watch and watch and watch…

Today I decided to listen to a video duet of Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his wife, Olena posted by a friend following Liz Dhein Fiore. I do not know if they are really singing the song “Endless Love” but it looks and sounds real and that happy time depicted made me feel happy for a moment. I also began to watch the 2015 TV series on Netflix in which Zelenskyy played a high school history teacher who became president. Who would have predicted that seven years later parts of that series would become true?

I do not ever remember a time when I have watched so many people around the world be so helpful to others. I feel such pride in the humanity I see against the ugly actions captured by film crews daily. The human drama we are watching makes one nearly look away…

To alter my attitude after a brief glimpse at the TV screen I searched for some favorite songs and started a playlist to create the feelings of flowers all around me in contrast to the thorns on TV. Of course I love the duet described above, and also I love Eres Tu by Mocedades, Jose Maria Napoleon (Official music video, July 31, 2020), and I love the song from the movie Coco: Remember Me on Netflix on August 1, 2019. I wish I could include such here for all of you to enjoy as well. Perhaps I will learn to link these songs with permission some day.

In the meantime, I want you to know that you may also alter your attitudes through “gratitude” for whatever makes you feel joyful, hopeful, or helpful in your life.

I invite you to share your gratitude with others as we suffer through this terrible period in our collective histories. Blessings to all.

With gratitude, Mary

#gratitudeultra

Gratitude to the President of Ukraine

President Zelenskyy is a wartime hero, a global leader, and a model citizen harnessing the power of social media to teach important lessons re: humanity to all persons throughout the world. From the horrors of the war by Russia, Ukrainians’ heroism, bravery, and courage are displayed daily, 24/7, for all of us to witness and from which we may learn important lessons for life.

To be able to witness the impact that one man has around the entire globe is awe inspiring.

I pray everyday that Volodymyr Oleksandrovych Zelenskyy, President of Ukraine, will live as we all need his messages:

  • Follow your moral compass with honor in the face of horror.
  • Human suffering may be overcome through bravery and inspiration.
  • Hope springs forward from ordinary citizens who are inspired.
  • A Spirit of Community reminds us to not leave our friends or our neighbors in the face of adversity.
  • The best of humanity emerges through kindness and unprecedented support of strangers.
  • “Be all you can be” is a true statement that will come true through aspiration.
  • Wartime politics is a “mirror” through which we reflect who we truly are.

I will always remember President Zelenskyy because his words, his leadership model, his moral compass have challenged the world. I ask myself:

Where was I during the Russian War against Ukraine, and what did I do for the good of humanity?

How did a single man, an actor, become a politician who united Europe through NATO, who eliminated, in part, the partisan actions within the USA Congress, who demonstrated global outreach positively through the internet, who dared to sit in his office and wait for Putin to attack him, have such a profound impact around the globe?

President Zelenskyy gives me HOPE and I am so pleased to live during his leadership.

#gratitudeultra

Note: the image was selected from a Tweet by #bettemidler @BetteMidler on March 4, 2022.

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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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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With Gratitude For The Grotto Of Lourdes, Bernadette, and Our Lady Mary, 11th February 1858 to 2022 On

During the weekend of August 23, 2019, I had the opportunity to visit the Sanctuary of Lourdes in Lourdes France, where pilgrims and visitors, and the most vulnerable persons in our communities regularly have visited for 164 years, celebrating the apparitions of the Virgin Mary to the young girl, Bernadette (See the movie, The Song of Bernadette to learn the story). Today we celebrate this World Day of the Sick, as in 1993 Pope John Paul II established this Day at the Grotto where so many people find comfort and peace.

Please join me as we celebrate this Day each year on 11th February, with Gratitude.

Today Celebrate The World Day of the Sick, with Gratitude

#gratitudeultra

Looking Towards The Future With Gratitude For The Past

Tomorrow is the last day of 2021 and oh what a year we have had. During the past eleven months, since beginning this blog, I have focused with gratitude on positivity for all of our many blessings in life. I have met many new friends and have tried to offer assistance to my family and friends in need.

Against the light I perceive from “joy”, “peace”, and “calm”, I admit I have noted the apparent stressors on people around me because of the ongoing variants of the virus, whether to wear masks or not, if and when we should take the vaccines, the economy going up or down daily, strategies within political parties, all the necessary zoom calls, changes to the educational system, changing weather systems, persons who are ill and dealing with death and dying, and more. Some days such news breaks my heart, but I purposefully try to steer my focus away from these negative forces in life. I go towards the “light” of life, and focus on the positive I feel, and I encourage you to do the same, if possible. Why?

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Gratitude For Parents’ Christmas Spirit of Love-Joy-Peace

My mother and father were minsters and comforted many people during their lives. I am so grateful for my parents and their giving spirits. I found an old poem my mother gave to her church one Christmas, and I offer it to you this year. Marian wrote this poem for the church congregation and sent it out as a holiday gift with Bob. 

The Christmas gift I would give to you

Are costly and precious, ancient but new.

They’re wrapped not with paper, tinsel or string,

But they glitter and sparkle and great happiness bring.

They’re sealed and they’re signed by God in the sky,

Sent special delivery by angels on high.

These gifts are surprises to most of mankind,

Multitudes seek them, but never to find.

God showed me His storehouse of gifts one day,

And said unto me, “Just give them away.”

But most folks won’t take them, they cannot believe

They’re free for the taking and will not receive.

JOY IS GOD’S GIFT, a state of the soul

More precious than diamonds, silver or gold.

PEACE IS GOD’S GIFT, sought since time began,

But it has eluded the wisest of men.

LOVE, GOD’S MOST MARVELOUS GIFT, I believe,

For the more that you give it, the more you receive.

 

There is health, and wealth, and gifts galore

I’ve named a few, there’s many more.

He alone knows just what we are needing,

And always in all ways, God’s guiding and leading.

If we accept the gifts of His love,

We’ll be showered with blessings from God up above.

God’s gifts are free, if we believe

With eyes of faith we must receive.

But do not put undying trust

In what you see with your eyes of dust.

For the best gifts in life are truly free,

Just reach out and take them and you will see.

 © Marian E. Blake

For our holiday gift to all, my son and I are putting my mother’s poetry online for all to read and enjoy in her own words with audio and videos we collected. Simply go to the website, AHouseInsideofMe.com

Her paperback book and Kindle versions are available on Amazon.com as well as an iBook from Apple Books. The title is, A House Inside of Me: Poetry by Marian Elsie Blake (2013) by Mary Blake Huer.

With gratitude I share my mother’s wisdom and love with you. Blessings!

#gratitudeultra

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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Interpretation When In A State of Gratitude

Medicine is not a pure science like mathematics or physics. We learn this when getting second opinions from professionals because we want choices for our health care. When we get an initial diagnosis, we sometimes feel “frozen” and “scared”. It is at these moments of information exchange that I want to share some insights with you.

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