Tag Archive | gratitude

Gifts of Gratitude – an invitation


ImageI’ve been in the practice of starting my day and ending my day with gratitude. It’s a simple practice … one that helps me to start with an upbeat, positive note, as well as drift into dreamland with thoughts of blessings. Because I believe that the world needs more and more examples of both the big and little things that bring us joy, I’ve created a new FB page called: GIFTS of GRATITUDE. It’s a place for us to simply share and celebrate that which we are grateful for. No selling. No politics or religion. No criticism or drama. Simply gratitude. Feel free to check it out and join!

With gratefulness for all who read my blog … may be count our blessings together!

https://www.facebook.com/groups/572083212883177/

 

Thankful and spreading blessings ….


It’s the day after Thanksgiving here in the US and I’m still basking in the feelings of gratitude. It’s my favorite place to be – in a place a thankfulness.

So one question today … Because we are blessed, I believe we should all spread the blessings. How do you plan to bless someone today?

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50 – Acts of Kindness that is


KIK logo 8-13-13 It finally arrived – my 50th birthday, which means, August 13, 2013 was KINDNESS INSPIRES KINDNESS DAY!!! Woot woot! 1993-32007-18Nope, this story is really not about me at all – it’s just the day and the way I chose to celebrate a life sprinkled with the kindness of loved ones and strangers. I am dedicating that special day to 2 special couples – Mabel and Juel Bernard, my grandparents, and Jim and Jacque Miller, my parents. Because of how deeply they love, they chose to shower kindness into my life when I was a little ragamuffin girl in the orphanage, and still to this day. They changed my life. I cannot possibly repay them for the literal rescue they made of me, and so I choose to turn and pay it forward. They taught me how to love the unlovable, to give to those in need, and to never stop striving to be and do my best. I am forever in their debt. I love them with all my heart! Thank you Grandma, Grandpa, Mommy & Daddy!!

And, this day was also about the beautiful souls who continue to pour love and kindness into my life – my “Giving Crew”. I am overwhelmed by the generosity of hearts and hands who, when asked to help me with the Kindness day, generously said yes!  Love and hugs to all these loving souls – that includes those who were with me that day, those who contributed, and those who cheered me on. So many – too many to list them all but you know who you are! Thank you!!

For my readers, over the next several days I will be chronicling in pictures the 50 acts of kindness that we shared in the Cincinnati area. I started with 4 categories: 1) Babies/Children, 2) Sick/Elderly, 3) Those Who Serve, and 4) Just Because.  In as many acts as I could I included people and places that related to my life since it was, after all, a celebration of 50 years of blessings I’ve received. What a fabulous day – THE BEST BIRTHDAY EVER!! There really are not enough of the right words to describe the blessings I received during the day but I will attempt to at least share the stories and pictures.

Enjoy the journey with me in the next several days so you can see the whole story. KIK day cardsRemember to be a blessing, and be blessed in return! ~ Barbara Miller

12/12/12 Celebration!!!!


12-12-12Well I’m seeing it all over the place – 12/12/12 is the last triple number date we’ll see in our lifetimes. It’s been a fun little quirky thing to see 01/01/01, 02/02/02 ….. 11/11/11 all come and go. Nothing big unless you are into numbers. But firsts and lasts always seem to be significant for people so I thought for this one – the last, I would “celebrate” 12/12/12 in my own way.

And what is my way you ask? The same way I like to celebrate everything else – by spreading the love, sharing positivity, and making the world a little better. So today, in honor of this auspicious (well, okay, maybe not auspicious, but certainly unique) date in history, here’s how the celebration is going to go in my world. I will have a “12 Things Party” that lasts all day. I will:

kindness21 – Share 12 smiles

2 – Do 12 acts of random kindness

3 – Pray for 12 additional people

4 – Give 12 hugs to people who need them

5 – Give 12 compliments that are genuine and real

6 – Donate 12 items to charity

7 – Listen to 12 joyful songs

8 – Send 12 thank you notes to people I appreciate

9 – Deliver 12 positive quotes on my FB page

10 – Give 12 “gifts” to strangers

11 – Recognize 12 people for their hard work

12 – Encourage 12 people to see their true worth, beauty, and value

That’s alot of celebration – I best get to it! I hope you find 12 wonderful ways to improve your world today. And along the way … be blessed!

Grateful for YOU!


Today, like so many other people, is my favorite holiday. In the US the 3rd Thursday in November is “Thanksgiving Day.” Oh, it is the feast to end all feasts. It originated in the humble beginnings of our nation as the settlers and American Indians came together in peace to celebrate and share the bounties of the harvest. Those are honorable and neighborly roots – some of the best of our national history.

Today, every family has their traditional fare in which turkey, stuffing and all the fixings and side dishes are featured at the table. Cooking and planning takes days or weeks and not hours. There is nostalgia as traditions are repeated year after year. Favorite dishes might only show up on this special day. And in true US fashion, the fall event is punctuated with parades through the streets and on TV to usher in Santa to the season, lots of American football games to rally the men around the TV, and all the fun (and sometimes crazy) dynamics that family gatherings seem to produce. Oh yeah, and the insanity of the kick-off to the holiday shopping frenzy (not my favorite part I must say).

That’s the logistics of the day. And while I love and cherish the traditions of the day, the real reason it is my favorite holiday is that, at its heart is the spirit of gratitude. It is a day for THANKS giving and not gift giving. It’s a day where people come with hands full of offerings and not open for receiving. It is a precious day set aside to be thankful and for that reason, today, I count my blessings.

Here’s a few for this year:

> I am thankful for God and my faith. It is the sacrifice of Jesus that gives me eternal life, hope, and daily guidance. Without it, I am a shell of  a human and I am grateful.

> I am thankful for my job and that both of my children are once again gainfully employed as well. I am thankful that hope and perseverance will rule the day and others I love and care for will also find employment. It is my prayer and my belief for them.

> I am thankful for the love of my family, where I have 2 Grandmothers, my parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, my dear sisters, their husbands and my precious nieces. And a brand new dose of gratitude for the newest, my 2 day old niece Abby. What a lovely addition to a wonderful, loving family.

> I am thankful for the reunion with some precious members of my original family. The healing is complete. The appreciation has begun. I am grateful and blessed to have more family to love – Shirley & Lynette.

> I am thankful for my friends who have held my hand and my heart through thick, thin, joy, pain, fear and fun. They are precious in every way. I am especially grateful this year for Jeanie, my oldest and dearest friend who has fought the valiant fight against breast cancer and won. Praise God for that special blessing!

> I am thankful for new acquaintances who have come into my life in varied and surprising ways – from my summer intern Ellidia, to friends across the nation and across the globe that I have connected with over the year.

> I am thankful that in my country we can dissent with passion, speak out our minds and our hearts, and peacefully shift power and authority in our government. Agree or not on the choices, we democratically and peacefully shift.

> I am thankful for those that serve – military, police, and fire fighters. They honor us with their daily sacrifices and they serve to protect all that we hold dear – our ideals as well as our lives. I am deeply grateful.

> I am thankful that my education and experience have given me success in my career and my skills are sought after by those who offer opportunity for recognition and new growth.

> I am thankful for my spiritual sisters and brothers who come into my life daily, weekly, and monthly in loving and supportive ways. I especially treasure my Wise Women & Bill friends who speak only of love, acceptance, gratitude, and friendship. They feed my soul and my heart on a constant basis and bless me in countless ways.

> I am thankful for this platform and the virtual friends who I have met online. You have broadened my world, allowing me to see my life and talents differently. Not only do you listen but you also contribute to my world. Especially you Dan – you have opened my eyes to how blessed I am in big and small ways. Your humor and your loving, generous spirit bring a light into my world and I am grateful.

This is just the beginning of my grateful list. As I prepare the meal for my family today I will continue to joyously and gratefully say prayers of “Thank You.”

I wish you all an awakening to your heart of all that blesses you – the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual gifts that make you “you” and your life so precious. Happy Thanksgiving Day … be blessed!

 
 


 

I’m changing the world


One of the topics in my book MIGHTY INSPIRATION, Love Letters from God, is the concept of changing the world. Do you believe that you can change the world? I do. Every action and word we use creates a ripple effect. We don’t just put  ideas and energy out into the world – we move them along as well. We expand them when we focus on them or talk about them.

It is my firm desire to change this world. I believe that I have a purpose. It’s not to gather the most possessions or attain the highest of titles. It’s way, way more important than that. I believe my purpose is to help others see their own light and empower them to embrace it. No I’m not perfect at it but I do deliberately work on it. I have a spiritual practice that involves gratitude as well as intercession prayers. Science is even backing up the idea that prayer and faith can change things. This is not new news to the believer but it is important confirmation that is starting to build.

I also work to use my talent for words to inspire – not just on my blog or in my social networking platforms, but also in my work. Planting seeds of positivity seems to be producing many fruitful changes. I enjoy seeing the faces of people when my words seem to strike a cord in their hearts. I enjoy it more when they share the words or even suggest some more. I see a bit of encouragement growing in the work place and I hope that my small efforts are a part of the cause.

And next I want to move from words of inspiration to actions of change. I have long been a “sponsor” for children outside of my country. And yes, I can help them with my modest financial donations. That enables others to use my gift by putting it into action. Lately, that hasn’t seemed like enough.

Next year I’m turning 50. Yep, it’s just a number but in my head it’s a number that represents the middle of my life. I’ve graduated from the daily needs of my children – they are adults and creating their own lives now. And I’m not at the end of my life where I reflect on the journey complete. I’m in the middle. I’m in a position of flexibility that I want to put to use. So I’m exploring where to go and what to do to make my mark on lives I don’t ordinarily have the opportunity to affect. I can go into the world, not once, but over and over. I can combine my love of travel and appreciation for different cultures to spur me into action – I can see the world and change the world and we shall all be the better for it.

I’m wrestling with new questions – Where do I go? What gifts do I give? What talents do I share? Who do I take by my side? The answers to these questions may not stir the world, but they will change the lives of some human beings I don’t yet know. I want to dream big. I want to reach as far as my hands can go. I want to change the world and leave it better for my journey. I want to let strangers know the love of God because they met a woman – this woman.

I’m open to suggestions and inspirations – help me answer my questions … and be blessed!

GRATITUDE


I have a new day coming soon and I’m very excited to share it. A woman from work that I’ve known since the early days of my career contacted me recently. She said that she is always inspired by the quotes and positive comments I post on my work bulletin board each week. She’s not the first to tell me this and it’s part of what inspires me to continue my practice of spreading positive words. But this time, things are different. She talked about her work group and how they have a monthly speaker come to their meetings. For November they were seeking someone to come talk to the group about GRATITUDE. That’s fitting since November is the month of Thanksgiving Day here in the US. Then she said it – they want to spread the great benefits of an attitude of gratitude and they thought I’d be perfect for task.

WOW!

I’m not shy and don’t fear public speaking. I have been a speaker for work related topics –  Myers-Briggs training of course, policy and benefits deployments, and all sorts of other HR related topics. But this is different. This will be the first time that a group from my company has asked me to speak from my heart. This will indeed be an opportunity for me to bring my whole self to work in a way I’ve not done before. So, excited isn’t the right word for how I feel about this. I am honored is more in line with it. My dream is to be an inspirational speaker. And now, I have a glimpse at step one.

Of course, I immediately said yes, and in the 2nd moment felt the panic arise. What on earth will I say to a group of business folks. Yes, they are professional and that doesn’t intimidate me. But these are MY colleagues. Do I have 30 minutes of inspiration to share in that setting? It isn’t difficult to reach their minds, but I want to touch their hearts.

I’m praying on it! Join me and be blessed!