Category Archives: joy

Intellectual Joy from Focus on Legacy

I find intellectual pleasure when focusing on ideals and principles. Words and concepts publicly adopted are crucial historically when such much later form the cornerstones for policies. Today, we celebrate Martin Luther King. On other days, we focus on religious leaders, or politicians, or particular men or women honored throughout history.

What is meaningful to me is watching the history of an event or speech move from an ideal to a reality. Sometimes it takes a long time; other times the social change is quick.

My father, a minister, and my mother, a poet also left a powerful legacy for their children. Each of us care about others and entered into helping professions. Today, I also focus on their legacy for their children. I thank my parents for their legacy they passed down to me.

Public and private organizations routinely honor members for their contributions and legacies to their societies. One only has to read the background of each honoree to learn of their impressive, often selfless acts.

Today, I pause to focus on “Legacies” as without such, we would not have ideals and principles from which to develop concrete policies and programs. My joy comes from focus on legacy today. It is good to have values from which we become inspired and aspire to better acts and actions between our fellow men, women, families, neighbors, and communities.

#gratitudeultra

Grateful For the Love of My Pet

Ten years ago I adopted this little two year old dog. He has now lost his hearing and is growing older like all of us, but each day he brings me increasing joy. Today I want to honor my little best friend. What a wonderful pet he continues to be.

Thank you buddy for your continued unconditional love. With deep gratitude, love you!

#gratitudezero

Grateful That Beauty Hunts The Beast

Recently I spent nearly two hours in an MRI Tube at the City of Hope. Fortunately, I listened to music while in the large, tube-shaped magnet and tried to imagine the persons who created such technology. As I listened to the various tones and noises within the tube, I thought about movies I had watched where 3-D images were built using water molecules and radio waves, creating aligned atoms to form cross-sectional MRI images. With each noise, I tried to think what bodily organ was built as I was rolled a little bit in, then a little bit out repeatedly. When the frequencies sounded low, I believed my bones were being examined and the density of the bone required lower frequencies. Of course, I really have no idea what was happening in terms of the actual technology, but it gave my mind something to do, so I would not become afraid.

Somewhere during the midpoint of my experience, the song “Beauty and the Beast” began to play. I paused and felt extremely happy. I felt such joy that I had the opportunity to be in that tube – the BEAUTY of science. In the old days, doctors had to perform exploratory surgery to learn of hidden tumors, bleeding, and various health problems. My gratitude overflowed to have Medicare pay for me to have the opportunity to have an MRI. Around about that same moment – I visualized the BEAST that was the cancer cell that was sneaking and lurking within my organs, and vessels. Again, my gratitude overflowed that Medicare was helping me find these beastly cells so that we may remove them from my body.

It was such an interesting moment in life. I am grateful that Beauty Hunted The Beast on that particular December day. Find Gratitude each day in all that you do!

#gratitudeultra

Grateful For Faithfulness

While I was receiving chemotherapy yesterday, I was listening to Carrie Underwood sing the old hymn “Great Is Thy Faithfulness”, and I was looking out the window at the beautiful mountains, and sky, and fields. I started to cry when I focused on the word “Faithfulness”. It is really such a wonderful concept, isn’t it? My mind wondered to all that is faithful in our lives:

  • I believe that God is Faithful to me/us not only during tough times, but good times as well. I recall my father, a Baptist minister of more than 60 years, so faithful to his church members, as well as so faithful to God, never wavering from his beliefs.
  • My oncology doctor is faithful to my care. He and his PA stopped by to check on me yesterday during my 10 hours of infusions. His kind gesture made me happy. He knows I want to stop for a while to rest, but he is ever faithful to helping me live, as possible.
  • People, who are in serious relationships or marriages, are faithful to each other. Faithfulness is the foundation on which those communions of love are based.
  • More generally, we believe that our bosses, our jobs, our various work projects will faithfully pay us every two weeks, or once a month, etc. We trust in that faithfulness.
  • Regarding nature, we trust that the sun will rise each morning, and the moon will appear each evening, faithfully.
  • Furthermore, we trust in the faithfulness of our city transportation services like buses, trains, planes, and ships. During the recent pandemic disturbances in supply chains were impacted when we could no longer trust in such systems.
  • Finally, we generally have trust in the faithfulness of our personal health, our bodies… until they break down…

Faithfulness is such a necessary concept on which we depend daily, without even thinking. Faithfulness is great, until it is gone. Faithfulness feels good, until it is broken. Faithfulness is a promise from God; is a given. It should never be taken for granted. Therefore, GREAT is thy Faithfulness is such an important construct for us to value and cherish and appreciate. What do you think?

#gratitudeultra

So Grateful For Beauty Above: Look Up More Often

The other day I was raking leaves and picking up after my dog. I realized I have a habit of looking down more often than looking up! As I was carefully carrying the leaves to dump, my eye caught the sky, and it was so beautiful. I paused and grabbed my camera.

I’ve been reflecting on what I might say within this post:

  • Looking up takes our minds closer to Heaven
  • Looking up reveals the multiple colors of the sky, changing throughout the time of day
  • Looking up probably helps with our neck and improves our posture
  • Looking up might minimize the number of accidental falls, trips, and stumbles
  • Looking up has recently been connected to cell phones, crossing streets, etc.

Bottom line: look up more often! I think you will enjoy the views.

#gratitudelite

Be Grateful for Vegetables – They are Fun!

Recently, @BetteMidler posted this picture on Twitter – a BrocCollie and Collieflower!

This photo made me smile. In fact, I tried to re-create it…

Look for fun activities in your life with those you love!

Eat more veggies. Improve your diets. Have fun with vegetables!

#gratitudezero

Gratitude for Pumpkin

This is a great time of year for the pumpkin! Meet “Big Jack” our pumpkin here locally at the Outlets. Children are given blank pages to create their own story about “Big Jack”. I wonder what they are writing? Pumpkins remind me of:

  • Foods: pies, cupcakes, breads, cookies, soups, drinks and more
  • Spices: mixing pumpkin spice in so many baked goods and drinks
  • Smells: pumpkin smells great, especially when mixed with other hot/cold spices
  • Memories: walks across pumpkin farms, pumpkin carving of Jack-O-Lanterns
  • Tastes: which is your favorite? muffins, pies, cookies, breads, spiced drinks
  • Sights: children picking out their pumpkins, children decorating pumpkins, pumpkins next to front doors with lights at night. I remember when a neighbor placed their young toddler inside a cut out pumpkin, put the cap on and took a photo of the baby inside the pumpkin
  • Touching Pumpkins: scooping out the insides of the pumpkins (seeds etc.), smashing pumpkins, putting a light inside a pumpkin, drawing faces on pumpkins, cutting out/ fixing the cap on the pumpkin

This pumpkin season makes me feel happy. How ’bout you?

#gratitudezero

Appreciate the Spirit of Exploring Gratitude

A dear friend in Canada shared this posting with me during her Thanksgiving. What an exploration of gratitude! I invite you to take a moment to reflect upon the various dimensions of walking along the pathway of gratitude in your own life:

  • Some of you will reflect upon your present circumstances in the context of whatever has happened to you in the past. (This might become part of the #gratitudelite series.)
  • Will your reflections help you design a new pathway to your future? How so? Depending on your musings for your future, you may even wander into the #gratitudeultra series.
  • Others may focus on gratitude during your own Thanksgiving holiday. You may focus on preparation for the upcoming meal. A Thanksgiving meal may be an annual larger gathering of family, and/or friends which turns the availability of food into an extension of old favorites, long time family memories of meals gone by, and stories shared again with family, and/or even with strangers who may become old friends. (Focusing on favorite foods, and repeated stories might become part of the #gratitudezero series.)
  • Read the first line of the highlighted image above: “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life”! Wow, what a densely packed statement. Consider what you think is enough gratefulness within your own life?
  • But, also reflect upon what you accept or deny in your own life as you define joy and happiness?
  • As you explore various options for gratitude where do you find “confusion”, versus which choices or options seem crystal “clear” or best within your own life or for you?
  • Finally, consider that the author invited you to even explore what causes you to feel “chaos” within your own mind in contrast to an impression of “order” in your life?

My friend sent this image to me with a beautiful line “Grateful for our friendship…”

Appreciate this spirit of gratitude as you enjoy your own Thanksgiving holiday.

#gratitudeultra

Grateful For Hope

Hope is such a great feeling! Hope may be expressed in multiple ways:

  • Hope is often linked to a belief that something good may happen.
  • Hope is sometimes a feeling of a wonderful expectation for the future.
  • Hope implies something good will occur immediately or soon.
  • Hope is possibility.
  • Hope is positivity.
  • Hope is optimism.
  • Hope springs eternal is an old proverb linked to human nature.
  • Hope may be tied to something small like winning a ball game, passing a test, or to something deeply spiritual through prayer and/or meditation.
  • Hope has just four letters, but is such a nice little word with the lightly tapped “p” sound your lips make as you say the word.
  • Hope begins with the pushing out of your breath as you say the “h” which reminds us of “flow” of “air” as you exhale during breath work.

What a great concept – HOPE! Be grateful today for HOPE!

#gratitudeultra

Finding Gratitude in Belonging

I am currently engaging in significant rounds of multiple chemotherapies in order to save my life. This is a new experience for me. BUT, what is most impressive right now are the various people who are stepping up to help me! I am so grateful for their kindnesses. They are driving me to appointments, bringing food, offering to clean my home. We are engaging in meaningful and deep conversations together by phone, text, email, and/or in person. People are serving on standby for whatever I might need. WOW! This outpouring of good will from so many different people is touching my heart daily. Of course my family and dear friends are near and always helpful, but people I do not know very well are genuinely assisting me regularly. Since I am an introvert this is a new experience for me.

I feel such gratitude to all these people and want to let them know how much they are helping me!

This concept/feeling of Belonging is wonderful! We all belong to many different groups of people during our lifetimes: family, friends, neighbors, professional associations, churches, community groups, social media groups, friends of family’s friends, post readers, artist groups, groups of persons with disabilities, sports groups, and strangers we meet at various medical appointments etc.

My sincere gratitude and peace of mind these days is emerging through belonging to these groups!

Belonging is the best medicine!

Belonging is causing me to heal, feel great joy, and deep gratefulness.

I know I am not alone on this journey. I belong!

Thanks everyone for going with me to the unknown. I appreciate you more than you will ever know.

#gratitudeultra