Posts Tagged ‘appreciation’

Walking on Holy Ground

December 24, 2013

dog-petting-a-doe


If you’re looking for a way to transform the world by transforming lives, here’s a profound and powerful way to do just that:




In every interaction you have with another human being, do your best to genuinely and authentically convey that they are valued, cared for and appreciated.


How to do that? It can be as simple as listening with affection and excitement. Or it can take the form of a warm, sincere smile and an honest compliment. Today, instead of giving a friend of mine a quick hug goodbye, I felt that something more was called for because she was in despair. So I (more…)

Say It Now

October 18, 2013

offering-flower-to-elderly-womanNext time you’re at work, in church or at a neighborhood gathering, look around at all the people who surround you. You’re probably good friends with some of them and are acquainted with everyone else to varying degrees.

Now imagine if one of them unexpectedly left this world. Chances are you’d wish that you had offered them a kind word or a genuine compliment when you had the chance. Instead, those words were left unspoken because you just weren’t comfortable or confident enough to speak them.

Don’t let that happen. Starting right now, be (more…)

Your Old Life Is This Life

October 11, 2013

crying-woman-hand-on-face
I’m reading the book, Hope Conquers All: Inspiring Stories of Love and Healing from CaringBridge, by Sona Mehring, the founder of CaringBridge. In the stories I’ve read so far, there’s a recurring theme. Here are just two examples:


Paula Coulter, who sustained serious injuries when her family’s van plunged off a collapsing freeway bridge, said, “Yes, I’m smiling. I’m here. I’m alive. But I would still give the world to have my old life back.” Mindy Fast, who was diagnosed with multiple myeloma twelve years earlier, said, “Once upon a time I had a (more…)

Three Good Things

January 28, 2012




Is this statement true:

You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.




If it is, it doesn’t have to be. You can learn to consciously live with gratitude for what you have been blessed with. Starting right now.


Name three good things in your life:

• A prized possession

• Someone you love

• An aspect of (more…)

What a Gift! What a Miracle!

September 9, 2011

The next time you sit down with a loved one, challenge yourself to appreciate them like never before. Here’s how.

Imagine that earlier in the day you got the news that your loved one had passed away suddenly. If that had actually happened, you would have given all you owned to sit with them like you’re sitting with them right now—to hold (more…)

The Majesty of a Falling Leaf

June 19, 2011

In time, viewing every moment as a gift orchestrated by divine intelligence becomes ingrained in your consciousness. No matter where you are, no matter what is in front of you, you see the hand of God at work.

Whoever does not see God in every place does not see God in any place.
Rabbi Elimelech

Look at the world through God’s eyes and the beauty and majesty of a falling leaf will leave you breathless.

We look too much to museums. The (more…)

Growing Happiness Under Your Feet

May 27, 2011






Fulfilling your desires can produce occasional bursts of happiness, but the pleasures of the material world are both fickle and fleeting. Getting exactly what you want may make you happy today, but it may be the opposite of what will make you happy tomorrow.

More tears are shed over answered prayers than unanswered ones.
Saint Teresa of Avila



Instead of fretting about having what you want, you will be happier and more peaceful if you focus on wanting what you have.

The foolish man seeks (more…)

An Ocean of Gratitude

December 10, 2010

How often would you visit the ocean if it was right around the corner from your home? Last night, for the second evening in a row, I went outside and headed for the beach. Much to my delight, a fog was blanketing the streets; it reminded me of watching characters in a time-traveling movie enter a foggy mist and emerge in the distant past. For better or worse,  I stayed in 2010, although the thought of time-jumping back to 1910 was strangely appealing.

I turned the corner and walked half a block. I was still a block and a half away, but already could hear the mighty roar and raw fury of the ocean. I stopped and soaked in the moment: the dark, misty city street, the ocean bellowing at me, beckoning me to its shores. I walked down the winding wooden staircase—99 steps, 11 landings—to the beach. I stood alone on the sand in the dark, listened to the roar of the ocean and watched the tide roll in. I had to back up repeatedly so the water wouldn’t lap my feet. Behind me were bluffs in both directions for as far as the eye could see. I didn’t see any angels but it was most certainly Heaven.

And I thought, I (more…)

I’m Thinking Of You

October 25, 2010

The other day I left a quick voicemail for a woman who I’ve come to know. She had been planning and organizing a huge annual event for many months and it was the night before the big day. I just wanted to wish her good luck and say that I hope the event was everything she hoped it would be.

Who can you think of right now that could use a few words of encouragement and support? Who can you affirm in the next five minutes that would appreciate hearing a few friendly words? Why not take two or three minutes to give them a quick call or fire off a one-line e-mail?

Would you appreciate being (more…)

The First or Last Time

March 31, 2010

Yesterday was such a beautiful spring day that I changed my plans and went for a twenty-minute walk in Uptown Minneapolis. As I was soaking in the experience, it occurred to me that some day I would no longer be able to perform the simple act of walking down a sidewalk on a lovely spring day. When that day comes, whether it is forty-two years from now or the day after tomorrow, I would give everything I own to be able to do what I’m doing at this very moment.

That realization heightened my enjoyment and appreciation of my walk, of my life, and of the present moment. It calmed and centered me, and reminded me that (more…)

Dirty Laundry = Joy and Gratitude!

January 4, 2010

I love the way Lauren Rosenfeld explains how to reframe a chore like folding laundry into an opportunity to express gratitude. Click here to visit the Wisdomology website created by Lauren and her husband, James McMahon.

Lauren is right. Some of life’s greatest gifts lay hidden in ordinary moments. Washing a sink full of dirty dishes means you have enjoyed another night surrounded by loved ones. Paying the bills means you have been blessed with a source of income that allows you to provide for your family. Heightening your awareness so that you fully appreciate such moments as they occur adds tremendous depth and meaning to even the most mundane tasks.

Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted.
Aldous Huxley

Similarly, frustrations and disappointments with loved ones can be reframed as opportunities to foster empathy and intimacy. A less-than-stellar report card is an invitation to (more…)

A Good Day

December 13, 2009


Brother David Steindl-Rast (photograph by Jim Nichols)


This five-minute video is narrated by Brother David Steindl-Rast, an Austrian-American Roman Catholic theologian and Benedictine monk. A widely respected advocate of interfaith dialogue, Steindl-Rast is a thought leader on topics such as gratitude, positive psychology and the relationship between spirituality and science.

This short video is a compelling reminder to appreciate all the blessings that each day brings and that we so easily take for granted. It begins:



You think this is just another day in your life. It’s not just another day. It’s the one day that is given to you today.


So simple, yet so powerful.

May you (more…)

A Virtuous Life Generates a Virtuous Circle

September 26, 2008

red-sunset-over-trees


Pursuing a spiritual life creates a virtuous circle. Your attitudes and behaviors become self-perpetuating. What does that look like? Here are four manifestations:






Thinking positively. Every loving thought you contribute to the universe incrementally raises your consciousness; the higher your consciousness, the greater the impact of your contribution and the likelier it becomes that your next thought will also be a positive one.


Consistent prayer. Every prayer elevates your consciousness, which brings you closer to God, which brings you (more…)