gratitude


Let Go And Let The Miracles Happen

let-go-of-the

 

This isn’t one of those gooey diatribes on “if you love something, set it free”. This is about what is possible when you let go of your attachment to an outcome… when you detach yourself from the picture you painted of the way it ‘should’ be and let the way it is – right now, in this moment – be exactly just right! This is about letting go of the if onlys and what ifs and embracing the IS… with all the joy and gratitude you can muster up!

Let me share a story with you…

The 92-year-old, petite, well-poised and proud lady, who is fully dressed each morning by eight o’clock, with her hair fashionably coifed and makeup perfectly applied, even though she is legally blind, moved to a nursing home today.

Her husband of 70 years recently passed away, making the move necessary. After many hours of waiting patiently in the lobby of the nursing home, she smiled sweetly when told her room was ready.

As she maneuvered her walker to the elevator, I provided a visual description of her tiny room, including the eyelet sheets that had been hung on her window.

“I love it,” she exclaimed, with the enthusiasm of an 8-year-old hugging her new puppy.

“Mrs. Jones, you haven’t seen the room – just wait.”

“That doesn’t have anything to do with it,” she replied. “Happiness is something you decide on ahead of time. Whether I like my room or not doesn’t depend on how the furniture is arranged… it’s how I arrange my mind. I already decided to love it.

It’s a decision I make every morning when I wake up. I have a choice; I can spend the day in bed recounting the difficulty I have with the parts of my body that no longer work, or get out of bed and be thankful for the ones that do.

I’m practicing to be her when I grow up! Her level of non-attachment is inspiring. Her joy and satisfaction is not about the circumstances of her life, it is about what she makes those circumstances mean… and she makes it ‘all good’. When life gives her lemons, she celebrates ‘the shipment arriving at her lemonade stand’!

I have a client who has been pretty much estranged from his semi-adult son for years. On a coaching call with him – about a year ago – I could hear that something was ‘off’, so I asked him what was going on… His son, he told me, had called (a rare occurrence) and, using language that would embarrass a truck driver (apologies to all truck drivers) told him to fornicate himself to death and never never never even attempt to make contact again. “It’s my son. My only child and he hates me. What can I do?”

My advice was simple: Keep loving him. Expect nothing from him. Send him a short, simple and very clear text. Tell him that you love him… you always have and you always will – no matter what. Let him know that you will sadly honor his request. And let him know that you will always be his father and be there for him – if and when he’s ready.

It took a while, but my client relaxed into the role of ‘absentee father’. He continued to send simple cards at holidays and birthdays (just signed love, your father who will always love you) – no emails, no letters and no calls.

He chose to love his son no matter what the circumstances of that relationship looked like… and relaxed into the way it was. Letting go of the way he ‘wanted it to be’ and detaching from his ‘story’ about the way it was ‘supposed to be’, my client had literally opened up the space for a miracle. Then, last week – after almost14 months of silence, the prodigal son called.

There was no mention of the previous call. No arguing. No anger. The conversation ended with: “I’ll call you next week on your birthday, Dad.”

Here’s one of my favorite aphorisms from Werner Erhard: “Life is a rip off when you expect to get what you want.  Life works when you choose what you got.“

 


MONEY LOVES YOU AND IT’S ALWAYS THERE FOR YOU

MEMESHAKE MONEYMAKER

There’s plenty of money around and I’m glad, ‘cuz everyone loves money! At least that’s MY story – and I’m sticking to it. I also believe that money is very important and having it is the possibility of freedom for all of us.

Money has more ‘followers’ and ‘likes’ than anyone on Facebook. And isn’t it interesting that one’s background, IQ, social status and education are all totally irrelevant when it comes to how much we each get to have?

We all know people who just ‘got lucky’ in the money realm. Some of the richest people on the planet didn’t go to college and came from the ‘other side of the tracks’. Doesn’t matter what you history is… you can still have lots of money no matter where you were born – or to whom. I know people who work 24/7 and lose money 24/7. So, clearly, it’s not how hard or long you work, either. And, sadly, we all know a few truly brilliant individuals who can barely seem to scrape together enough money to get by. So it’s not how smart you are that determines how much money you have.  What’s the deal? If it’s not an off the charts IQ, rich parents or hard work that makes you rich, what is it?

Besides knowing money basics (understanding the numbers, banking, the market, credit, compounding interest and the like), it seems that most researchers agree that it’s not ‘what you know’, it’s what you BELIEVE  (even unconsciously) about money, that either paralyzes you or frees you up to have lots and enjoy it.

Our Money Beliefs = The Way We Talk About Money = Our Feelings and Emotions About Money= Our Actions Around Money = Our Reality

The simplest way to shut down your fiduciary pity party is through GRATITUDE. When you focus on what you HAVE instead of what you’re missing; when you recognize and appreciate all the blessings in your life – and concentrate on them, you get MORE! It sounds so simple… and it is! What you put your intention and attention on money, it shows up. Well, if you expect it, it will.

Here’s how it works: You have beliefs about money and those beliefs color the way you speak about money. When you are grounded in abundance you talk about money as being plentiful, available and attainable. That makes you feel good and positive about having enough – or more than enough – money in your life. When you feel good about money and know that it’s abundant, those good feelings move you to take actions that will keep it in your life. And, BAM! Abundance is your reality. See, I told you it was simple.

If you want to try something more concrete, try this: Write down a list of your negative money beliefs. Three to five of your biggies is fine.

  • I don’t make enough money.
  • I’ll never have enough money.

Now restate them as feelings.

  • I don’t feel like I make enough money.
  • I feel like I’ll never have enough money.

Now reframe them positively.

  • I always make enough money for all my wants and needs.
  • I’ll always have enough money for myself and for sharing, too.

Too much of a leap? Okay what would you be open to or willing to have? State them that way for now.

  • I’m open to making enough money to cover all my wants and needs.
  • I’m willing to make enough money to cover all my wants and needs
  • I’m open to having enough money for myself and for sharing.
  • I’m willing to have enough money for myself and for sharing.

Finally, choose some awesome new concrete beliefs to adopt (There’s plenty of money for everyone! I love money and it’s attracted to me.) and begin to transform your fiduciary forecast. And remember: Mantras and affirmations – phrases of intention – are just telling the truth in advance – so long as you’re also being responsible and taking solid action steps to implement those new beliefs, you are on the way to abundance.

 

 


NO! ENOUGH is NOT ENOUGH FOR ME!

MEME ENOUGH IS NOT ENOUGH

People often ask how I maintain my ‘cup is always full’, positive, Susie Sunshine attitude about life… how I seem to bounce back so quickly from even the most upsetting hurdles and setbacks. Sit back and relax (Really, I mean it, relax!) I’m about to share some positivity tools with you!

I have an abundance mindset. I believe that there is ‘more than enough’ of everything to go around. There’s always more ‘where that came from’ – whether you’re talkin’ about love, money, opportunity or sunshine! Your success takes nothing from me. Winning today does not mean that I can’t win again tomorrow (In fact, it’s more likely that I will!). Perhaps this explains why I find the concept of ‘enough’ so annoying. It’s playing so small!

My mindset has a lot to do with the language I use and the words I choose. Enough, as a word or a concept, is just too blah for me. It’s over-used and not definitive at all (In fact, it can mean so many different things, I find it down right confusing!)*. I think of enough as a sister word to ‘good’ and ‘fine’ – two words that, while they may seem to be positive, have sinister undertones of negativity, insufficiency and scarcity. I hear those words and the little hairs on the back of my neck jump to attention and send a chill down my spine. I immediately assume that the person speaking has an unspeakable hidden agenda designed to distort or hide the truth.

When people ask how I maintain my positive, Susie Sunshine attitude about life (and they do), what they really want to know is how I seem to bounce back so quickly from even the most upsetting hurdles and setbacks. Well, my friends, it’s all about the mindset. I come from a place of ABUNDANCE (it’s my source – the well I drink from), and to maintain it, I have a system…

I have an ACTIVE attitude of GRATITUDE for life and what shows up

I openly APPRECIATE the people, things and circumstances that surround me

I share, donate and receive GENEROUSLY

I take FULL responsibility for ME and maintain clearly defined boundaries

I am organized and conscious of the abundance around me

I always have a plan

And, probably most important of all…

I ‘GOOGLE MY BRAIN’ AND ASK THE RIGHT QUESTIONS!

How else could I interpret this?”

“What can I do right now to turn this around?”

“What is there for me to learn here?”

“Can I control this?”

“What’s the ‘win’ here?”

And, yes, it also has a lot to do with the language I use and the words I choose. So, I choose carefully. I don’t want to have just ‘enough’. It’s not ‘enough’!  I want abundance; plenty for me and plenty to share.

*ENOUGH:

As much as required: “That’s just enough money to buy some French fries.”

Too much: “I’ve had enough of those fries… I’m about to puke!”

Don’t do that: “Enough already! Don’t put another one of those greasy fries on my plate!”

Stop talking: “Enough said, I got it!”

 


With Gratitude that I am NOT a Turkey!

I’m all about gratitude and this week it’s easy to be me! I mean, really, it’s Thanksgiving… almost like gratitude’s birthday, right? This is that day – once a year – where almost everyone gathers around a festive table with loved ones, and is publicly thankful (kinda like the Christians who only go to church on Easter Sunday and the Jews who show up at synagogue only for the High Holy Days). Traditionally, those assembled around the turkey take turns toasting and saying what they are thankful for… health, wealth, family, friends, the first snow, no snow… you get the ‘drift’ (oops, sorry). If you’ve forgiven me for that, read on:

It’s actually pretty great to hear everyone being grateful. It’s contagious and happy and healthy and powerful. When we declare our gratitude we confirm it. Our focus shifts from ‘what’s missing’ to what’s present; and there’s so much good stuff all around. What if every day was like that? What if, instead of complaints and negativity, those around you consistently greeted you with a smile and a catalogue of positive, good news and pleasant (if not down right happy) acceptance of the way it is?

Okay, that’s probably not in our immediate future, so, in the meantime, while we’re waiting, here’s an idea: YOU DO IT! Yup, you. You commit to looking at life through the filters of what’s the good news? and what am I grateful for? – not just for Thanksgiving, but for life! If you must, start small… one “giving thanks” day a month. Feelin’ brave? Try it every Thursday night. Share your meal with friends or family and actually talk to each other at the table! Ban the cell phones. Turn off the TV. Tell stories that move you. Exchange compliments. Note the good stuff and talk about it. Be grateful for the food, the opportunity to eat it in peace – with loved ones – in a safe warm place that has running water, flush toilets and a microwave. Acknowledge the beauty around you and notice all you have. Connect – or reconnect – with each other and gratitude.

And… What if roast turkey* and stuffing with cranberry sauce and mashed potatoes and gravy and green bean casserole and apple pie was served EVERY Thursday night????? Now there’s something to be grateful for…

*tofurkey for those of you who are so inclined


DON’T JUST APPRECIATE…ACKNOWLEDGE!

DON’T JUST APPRECIATE… ACKNOWLEDGE!

Acknowledge

When was the last time you really acknowledged someone? I’m not talking about saying  “thank you” – even if it was a very BIG thank you. And I’m not talking about offering your appreciation or even giving up some praise. All of those things are very nice, for sure…  Acknowledging someone, truly and fully acknowledging them, is not about a quick “you rock”, a pat on the back or a nod and smile. It’s not even complementing them on how they look or what they did. Acknowledging is beyond praise… more than a confirming nod or appreciating. It’s bigger than any of those things.

When you fully and generously acknowledge someone, you see them for who they are, express gratitude for the difference they make in the world… and recognize aloud that they matter.  You hear them. You see them. You ‘get’ them. And you tell them what you see!

Acknowledgement is a glorious expression of gratitude that actually makes the receiver’s life bigger by identifying – out loud – the difference he or she makes in the world and creating a picture for them of what’s possible for the future… just because he or she exists! That’s huge.

And, joyfully, you, the acknowledger stands to win here, too. When we get beyond our fears of scarcity (where giving anything may mean none left for us), and our human penchant to give either credit or avoid blame (that whole deal where in order for someone to be ‘right’, someone else must be wrong), we stand in true gratitude and it’s an awesome place to stand! Studies actually show a high correlation between giving acknowledgement and our physical and emotional health. When we let someone know how their very existence  creates a future worth living into… we get to step into that future with them! How cool is that.

You have to listen. You have to be present. No judging. That’s what it takes to see whom they are, the contribution that they are – and that they make; and to see how much it truly matters. When you see that and you acknowledge it, BAM!!! The fireworks go off in head and heart. And then, my friends, we have only to express what we see… to describe those explosions. NOTE: This may take practice just like any other wonderful skill you seek to master. It’s worth the ‘work’, promise!

Ready for a practical, real-life example? Thought so…

These are typical Compliments/Praise/Appreciation:

  1. You look awesome tonight.

     2.  Thanks for inviting me to dinner tonight.

     3.  Hey, good job on the teleseminar.

And now these are truly GENEROUS Acknowledgments:

  1. You have a flair for color and style that lights you up and pulls others in!
  2. Being with you for dinner is like going to a party. You make everything fun and interesting. I feel so happy.
  3. What an inspiration you were on the teleseminar tonight. You speak with such conviction and passion. I can’t stop thinking about it.

Yes, it is a fine distinction between appreciation and acknowledgment, but, WOWSERS, can that little distinction rock someone’s world.  It says, “ I see what you did AND, even more important, I see who you are and I see: that, why and how much… you matter.”

Gift with purchase: When you train yourself to see the magic in others you are simultaneously training yourself to see it in everything… including yourself!

 


BE GRATEFUL FOR THE PUZZLE THAT IS YOUR LIFE!

Jigsaw

Life is like a jigsaw puzzle…

except we can’t look

at the picture on the box

to see that it will all fit together.

~Auntye Sandye

Humor me whilst I do a little Forrest Gump-like thing, will you? Life is like a box of chocolates… except in our case, it’s been chopped up into 1000s of little pieces for us to fit together without a box liner photo to follow, without the surety that we actually have all the pieces, without knowing how big it will be, how long it will take to finish and whether or not the finishing of it will be easy or hard, memorable or regret-filled. And yet, somehow it ALWAYS does fit together, each piece does fit in somewhere and we celebrate the miracle of completion…

Said another way, “There is always a ton of stuff to be grateful for – though sometimes we have to look hard and long before we can discover it.” The best news is that once we discover it, more of it keeps showing up. The more you are grateful, the more you have to be grateful for…

Case in point: My life completely fell apart and it felt like I had nothing to be grateful for… At the age of 58 I was ready to retire and be a tennis playing, volunteering, lunch-with-the-ladies, stay-at-home wife. Then, within the course of only 18 months, I sold and walked away from the joy-filled business I had loved, my husband of almost 20 years decided he wanted ‘out’ of our marriage, my beloved father became ill and died, I had surgery on my knee, a 28 lb. box of books was dropped on my face and a car accident sent me into 8 months of rehab.

Then I read some books on gratitude. You can imagine how well that went over with me. It’s one thing to say “thank-you” for the good stuff in life – how was I going to be grateful for my current situation? I didn’t feel grateful for any of it! I didn’t deserve to have my wonderful life turned completely upside-down. None of it was fair!

Then came the exercise that changed my life. The instructions were simple. Find a quiet place to sit. Close your eyes. Think of 10 things to be grateful for that would not have been possible without the circumstances that you currently define as “bad”.

It was after 10pm… dark, but a magnificent star-filled summer night, so I decided to do this exercise on the patio. I sat there for what felt like hours and came up with nothing. Really, what good could come out of any of this? Then #1 hit me… like a ton of bricks; if I hadn’t sold my company and my husband had not left, I would not have been able to spend all that wonderful, quality time with my father before he died. Didn’t go over there much with my husband. Went there a lot on my own. I got to be complete with my dad.

And, if I hadn’t had the knee surgery there’d be no possibility of ever playing tennis again. I loved tennis. This was getting easier. I wouldn’t have been surrounded with so much love from my girlfriends (and I had never really liked that whole ‘I love my ladies’ scene before). I got my relationship back with my kid brother (who was persona non gratis with my ex). There was plenty of time for me to be with my mom and support her through her loss. And I wouldn’t have been able to enjoy grilled onions in my food (My ex  hated onions). I wouldn’t have joined the botanical gardens or realized how happy I felt walking through them…

By the time I got to #45 I was laughing through my tears. What a shift! The more I found to be grateful for… the more I found to be grateful for!

The pieces of my puzzle were falling into place.


Ah – the Power of Gratitude 2

Gratitude: Just Say Thanks!

By Sandye Linnetz

Can you see the holiness in those things you take for granted – a paved road or a washing machine? If you concentrate on finding what is “good” in every situation, you will discover that your life will suddenly be filled with gratitude, a feeling that nurtures the soul.

~RABBI HAROLD KUSHNER

It felt like I had nothing to be grateful for… At the age of 58 I was ready to retire and be a tennis playing, volunteering, lunch-with-the-ladies, stay-at-home wife. Then, within the course of only 18 months, I left the business I had loved, my husband of almost 20 years decided he wanted “out”, my dear father died, I had surgery on my knee, a 28 lb. box of books dropped on my face and a car accident that sent me into 8 months of rehab.

Then I read some books on gratitude. You can imagine how well that went over with me. It’s one thing to say “thank-you” for the good stuff in life – how was I going to be grateful for my current situation? I didn’t feel grateful for any of it! I didn’t deserve to have my wonderful life turned completely upside-down. None of it was fair!

The instructions were simple. Find a quiet place to sit. Close your eyes. Think of 10 things to be grateful for that would not have been possible without the circumstances that you have defined as “bad”.

It was after 10pm… dark, but a magnificent star-filled summer night, so I decided to do this exercise on the patio. I sat there for what felt like hours and came up with nothing. Really, what good has come out of any of this? Then #1 hit me… like a ton of bricks; if I hadn’t sold my company and my husband had not left, I would not have been able to spend all that wonderful, quality time with my father before he died. Didn’t go over there much with my husband. Went there a lot on my own. I got to be complete with my dad.

And, if I hadn’t had the knee surgery there’d be no possibility of ever playing tennis again. I love tennis. This was getting easier. I wouldn’t have been surrounded with so much love from my girlfriends (and I never really liked that whole scene before). I got my relationship back with my kid brother (who was persona non gratis with my ex). There was plenty of time for me to be with my mom and support her through her loss. I wouldn’t have been able to have grilled onions in my food (He hated onions). I wouldn’t have joined the botanical gardens or realized how happy I felt walking through them…

By the time I got to #45 I was laughing through my tears. What a shift! The more I found to be grateful for… the more I found to be grateful for!

Some people grumble because roses have thorns; I am thankful that

the thorns have roses.

~Alphonse Karr

Gratitude is infinitely more dependent on your attitude than on your circumstances. What occurs is insignificant compared to how you hold the occurrence – what you make it mean and how you judge it.

Be willing to let go of your judgments and experiment with shifting your point of view. There is always another way to look at any given situation. You are responsible for the way it is – not guilty for whatever happened – and you (your words and your actions) are actually at the source of your life. That’s powerful stuff. Exercise the “muscle” that has you look for the blessing within the crisis. Don’t stop looking – there is something to be grateful for in any situation. That’s the way it is. .

Life is like a jigsaw puzzle… except we can’t look at the picture on the box

to see that it will all fit together.

~Sandye Linnetz