Here’s where you check back for inspiration and support. That’s what the RSS subscription button or the bookmark option on your browser is all about. The other place for the “short burst” version is my FB page: www.Facebook.com/Transformation3. You can also keep in touch via the email sign up, but that will only get you a once a month newsletter.

Gratitude from the heart, not the habit

‘Tis the season again – that time when giving thanks comes up for reevaluation.  (Thanksgiving again in the United States, my non-US subscribers.  For those of you who don’t know, the traditional meal for the holiday is turkey.  That’ll be important later on.)

I was going to talk about a specific aspect of gratitude but once my pen got moving, I discovered I had something else to say.  So now I’ve got two years of newsletter posts in the bag.  Thank you, whatever muse feeds my writing.

So . . .  what wants to come out is directed toward those of us who say ‘thank you’ way too often, as well as to those of us who dismiss others’ difficulties with a call to find something to be grateful for.

Some of us don’t say ‘good bye’ or ‘see you’ when we finish a call or visit.  We say ‘thank you.’

If we’ve told a friend at least 70 times that we hate framed fluffy kitty pictures (yes, there’s at least one of you out there), we don’t say ‘you forgot that I hate framed fluffy kitty pictures, didn’t you?’ when that friend gives us a framed fluffy kitty picture (okay, I just like saying and picturing framed fluffy kitty pictures).  Instead, we say ‘thank you’.

It’s our go-to phrase.  You’d think it was our ticket to continued existence, the way we use it.

Others of us never met a moment that didn’t include gratitude, and only gratitude.

Your dog died?  So sorry, but aren’t these flowers from the vet lovely? And isn’t it great that your friends are all here?  And isn’t it wonderful that you still have two dogs, 4 cats and a pony in your fur family?  ‘You have so much to be grateful for.’

If a friend has been unsuccessfully looking for work for 6 months and is getting desperate and dispirited, we’re the ones who point out how much worse things could be or remind her that gratitude begets happiness and success.  We could even give her a framed fluffy kitty picture to show how much we care (and then she could say ‘thank you’).

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So what’s the matter with acknowledging that someone took the time to visit or thought to give us a gift?  Why wouldn’t that attitude contribute to our recognition of the ongoing gifts from the Universe?

Why wouldn’t we want to help someone out of pain and back into a brighter place?  Why wouldn’t gratitude be the connection to the potential new beginning in every present moment?

A mindless ‘thank you’ doesn’t tap into the gratitude stream the same way an enthusiastic and heartfelt expression of thanks does.  And a thanks for the tiny token underneath a steaming pile of what we hope can be used for fertilizer doesn’t really hold integrity when the pile isn’t acknowledged.

Yes, there is potential for gratitude in every moment.  Yes, the search for that gratitude can put us in touch with elements of our world that could use our recognition.

Sometimes, there are more pressing needs.  Like the need for someone to just be present through our discomfort.  Like the need to recognize our own value or to draw our own boundaries.

So, how about we save gratitude for the times and places we really feel it?  Connect with the Universe with integrity and let it know how you really feel.

May you find much to be truly grateful for this season.

Yoga Thoughts

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If you feel like you’ve seen this before, you’re not dreaming or hallucinating or being delusional.  Since we’ve got déjà vu on flooding around the Gulf, I’m rerunning an earlier post.  The information below the line will all be new.

Sometimes Nature gets really overwhelming and it’s really hard to stay connected.  We’ve had a lot of that lately . . . floods, droughts, wildfires.  All pretty scary stuff.  Even from a distance, and especially when we’re in the midst of it.  Chaos in our climate.

If we look from macrocosm to microcosm, we see things like fevers or tumours or other reactions to the chaos that can develop in our physical systems.  Anxiety.  Debility.  Things that lead us to the fear of the other “D” word.

It can be really tempting to give up and pretend that we can dwell only in the spirit and mind.  We won’t even try to play with the big boys and girls.

Did you notice that word “pretend”?  Sorry to say, when we cut off consciousness to the physical, we’re also cutting off from mind and spirit.  They’re a package deal, folks.  Can you say “delusion”?

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So what do we do when nature/Nature gets that big and scary?

There’s a long and a short version of that story and they’re both spelled “m-e-d-i-t-a-t-i-o-n”.

We’ve got this amazing connector between our various aspects: breath.

The short version is, pay attention to your breathing when you’re confronted with the immensity and chaos of life.  Get all Greek goddess and just do it.

The long version is, pay attention to your breathing.  Really pay attention.  Which nostril is taking in more air at the moment?  What moves when you breathe?  Do you like exhaling more than inhaling?  Which takes longer?  Is every breath the same?  Do you breathe more into one side of the body than the other?  More into the front or back?  Are there sobs or sighs happening on the way in or out?

Look, you’re still alive, so you’ve been breathing “correctly” so far.  The point is not to do it “right”; it’s to be attentive to that basic connection between your body, mind and spirit.

You don’t really have a choice about staying with nature/Nature. Let your breath help you not to lose your mind or spirit as you stay with the difficult times in your body.

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There are a lot of organisations helping in Houston.  Two boots on the ground that could use donations are the Houston Food Bank and the Houston Coalition for the HomelessAll Hands Volunteers is a national organisation specializing in disaster relief and rebuilding.

GreaterGood.org is rescuing people and their animals.  Austin Pets Alive! has been transporting animals from Houston to their no-kill shelter.

Because those who are affected are going to need help for years to come, I will be discounting sessions by 20% through the remainder of 2017 and all of 2018 when you send me proof that you’ve made a donation to one of these organisations.  So, make a donation, have a private session with me, get 20% off.

As our world gets further from our aims and goals, reaching for control is not an option.  I highly recommend daily meditation.  HeartMath has a beautiful meditation that changes monthly and is available any time of day.  Three times a day, you can synchronize your meditation with others around the globe.

Finding the New

Beginning something new is a thing, isn’t it?   Sometimes it’s something simple and exciting, like picking up a new book or trying that new restaurant in town.

Other times it’s more like that blank piece of paper waiting for the first brilliant word or the desire for that first note to break the silence with meaning – daunting, sometimes overwhelming.

Leaving all those expectations aside, what’s beginning really about?  How do we find meaningful beginnings?  How do we find beginnings that will lead to something?

If we want to begin something new, we’re looking for the opportunity to see the world in a different way, to experience ourselves in a new way.  How do we do that?

Well, one way is to just stop and look around.  Even if you haven’t left your house for months, what haven’t you looked at lately?  How often do you look up?  What does the top of the refrigerator look like?  What’s down by the floorboards?

What if you turned yourself upside down to look around?

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We really get set in habits and patterns, don’t we?  So we can support a new beginning by breaking our visual habits.

How about we look at those great expectations?  What if, instead of grandiose plans, we focused on changing habits?  Small ones, even.  Like the small changes you can make in noticing the world around you.

I’m sure you’ve heard some version of the butterfly/tornado story by now.  Just as a reminder, the poetic version of “small changes can have big effects” says that if a butterfly in Brazil flaps its wings, a meteorologist in Texas will have to change his forecast to include a tornado.  Welcome to non-literal chaos theory.

So, if you’re ready to take off into the whirlwind of growth that Spring promises each year, how about making small changes in the way you pay attention to the world around you?  Let a small change in habit be your breakthrough to a new beginning.

Room to Breathe

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