Category Archives: origins

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

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

Gratitude to My WordPress.com Followers

Today I took some time to read hundreds of the postings from my followers within WordPress. I am fascinated by the wisdom and/or fun insights from all of you! In fact, when your site noted: “sorry we couldn’t find that site”, I became worried. Many of you have hundreds, some thousands of followers, so I read more to see if perhaps you had a health issue and something might have happened to end your life? I felt sad!

As all of you know, we have formed communities of persons who post. We share our ideals, our visions, our knowledge. We are reciprical with each other as we read and learn from one another. I am fond of many of you as we personally share our insights. My gratitude comes from you following me and me following you.

Reading the various site postings made me feel happy today. Some of us focus on inspirations within our lives. Some of us share information about pets. Some have messages for the world. Overall, what a wonderful moment you each gave to me because you took the time to create a WordPress.com blog. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I so enjoyed reading your postings, and I will return again and again.

#gratitudelite

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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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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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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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