Tag Archives: #gratitudeultra

Gratitude For Prayer

Recently a stranger approached me at a bakery and asked if she might pray for me. I said “sure” and then she asked if she might put her hand on me while praying. Again I said “sure” as I listened to particular words in her prayer with her young daughter looking up at me. It was not a typical experience. Immediately after another stranger (on the other side of me while waiting in line for the order) told me about her personal story with health issues. I listened and wished her well. While these types of conversational exchanges are increasingly emerging throughout my everyday life, and I am deeply grateful for each and every human interaction, I wonder “why” persons are drawn to me to pray or engage within deeply meaningful exchanges.

I firmly believe that “healing” during any illness occurs as a result of medical science in part, but most importantly, occurs because of the power of prayer. I am learning that the “healing experience” is a collective one, shared mainly by those who have experienced the deepest valleys and highest mountaintops of fears and hopes. Prayer is at the center of most monumental human experience.

Personally, as I grow older I want to learn more about prayer. For example, do you know that there are many different types of prayer (from gotquestions.org)?

  • The prayer of faith
  • The prayer of agreement
  • The prayer of request or supplication
  • The prayer of thanksgiving
  • The prayer of worship
  • The prayer of intercession
  • The prayer of imprecation
  • Praying in the Spirit
  • An invocation prayer

There is great power in prayer and I am grateful for each and every prayer I hear, participate in, offer to God, and receive. I feel such gratitude each and every time someone or a group of individuals prays. How ’bout you?

#gratitudeultra

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

Begin YOUR Climb to a Joyful Life on #MicheltorenaHeartStairs, With Gratitude

My dear friend introduced this hidden staircase in Los Angeles, in the Silverlake neighborhood, as I set new goals for my life. Standing at the bottom of the staircase, I noted there were 40 steps to the top. The number 40 is a special number for life, so my goal is to move up the staircase one step at a time as I reach new goals.How ’bout YOU? I encourage you to climb for joy as well.

Those of you following my postings know that I believe in serendipity. As we drove away from the #Micheltorena neighborhood, we talked about all the special relationships we discovered during our visit. For example:

  • Soon I will have a procedure to insert a #port near my HEART! How lovely to see the #hearts on the stairs as well as to climb up the #HEARTSTAIRS! So cool!
  • If one reflects upon this location from a SPIRITUAL perspective, you might focus on the number 40, and recall one story of Jesus who was alone for 40 days before he was crucified. Now I am focusing on 40 day events, whether scriptural, social, weather related etc. I have found that when alone, I reflect on life deeply and find peace. As I am about to begin chemo, deep reflection is my thing these days.
  • Importantly, because of the visit to the #HeartStairs, I am making a list of 40 objectives for health and life to build a bucket list. Starting on such today…
  • If one visits this neighborhood as a SOCIAL goal, you will learn that this spot is nearly the most posted photo on social media (#Instagram). Something HERE is very special and attractive, drawing people to this space. I wonder why?
  • As a dog lover, I enjoyed a cup of coffee at the #MuddyPawCoffeShop in Silverlake, a couple of shops down from the #HeartStairs. Their motto is, #Have A Cup, Save A Pup. The proceeds from all purchases at this coffeeshop help to rescue pups. See the photos below which capture the lovely outdoor dining area for owners and their dogs. How wonderful, at least I think so, to find a special spot for me and my pup!

So,… I invite you to check out this location online or in person. Join with me as we climb to our joyful lives in the future.

As always, BE GRATEFUL and LIVE YOUR LIFE to the FULLEST!

#MuddyPawCoffeeShop #HaveACupSaveAPup #SilverlakeCA #LosAngeles

#gratitudeultra

Grateful To Find Comfort When In the Valley

It is hard to feel happy and grateful when you are afraid and stressed with life events. Last night I was in the “valley” in my life as my cancer has returned after more than five years being cancer free. Apparently, my tumors are like “sands” and they cannot perform surgery as they would have to “take up the entire beach”. I lost hope when learning that I would have to take chemo again. I hoped/believed that during the five years some new treatment might have been discovered, yet I was reminded that my ovarian/peritoneal cells were rare and my prognosis for life was short. What ever might I post today to lift our spirits?

Then, I remembered the verse from Psalms 23:4:

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me.

KJV

What does this verse mean for us?

I am grateful to find comfort within this verse, and as I typically do, I searched for a deeper meaning to understand the new calm I felt when reflecting on these words:

  • David, in the earlier verses, had been describing green pastures, still waters, and pathways. I compared this to my five years of cancer-free joy and gratitude.
  • In verse 4, David switched to a description of a “shadow of death”. This seemed to capture how I was feeling with the diagnosis and treatment plan upon relapse.
  • But just as soon as I had a heart-felt low, David reminds one “not to fear” because God is with us.

Thus, through this post today I wish to emphasize the importance of “spiritual medicine”.

Just as I plan my chemical infusions, I realize I am also reminded regarding and recognizing the presence of ongoing Divine intervention. Divine intervention which never changes over the years.

God inspired sweet and deep passages to continually protect, love, instruct, and remind us.

Today, I find deep gratitude as the words in Psalms echo in my heart: no more shadows, no more fears, no more evil as God is with me, now, in this valley of decisions.

#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

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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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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Managing The Emotionality Of Gratitude

Gratitude is an emotion. Poor health creates strong emotions and fears. Life and death decisions are emotional events in our lives. Yesterday, I experienced “life” once again after several weeks of believing I might be dying this time.

Back in 2017, without warning, I experienced breast, ovarian, and peritoneal cancers. I had multiple surgeries and treatments. Yesterday, we expected that I had lung cancer. I always say I am the sickest healthy person you might ever meet. Yet, for 4.5 years I have been blessed with good health and no recurrences. Yesterday, we decided my lung nodules will be followed… no invasive diagnostic procedures just yet. Yeah!

These past, but sudden events in my life drove me to “Gratitude”.

I am so grateful that I am alive and healthy, but I sometimes have survivor’s guilt as I know many people who have not been as fortunate as I, and have already lost their life.

So, I ask myself… how may I help? What might I say to you to cause you to be positive instead of scared to death, miserable, and so often in pain?

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