On Gratitude!

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gratitude (Photo credit: nathalie booth)

Gratitude is:

“Gratitude, thankfulness, gratefulness, or appreciation is a feeling or attitude in acknowledgment of a benefit that one has received or will receive”

(according to wikipedia)

I sometimes wonder if it is our basic human nature to complain and have negative thoughts. I know that it’s hard not to.  Sometimes it takes more effort to remain positive, especially when life sends us lemons. There are many books on this subject and I don’t plan to get into it here, except to say that I try to live my life by the Law of Attraction(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_of_attraction).  I believe that what I put out there (into the world) comes back to me. If I put out negativity, I will get negativity back. I think the things we read and watch also influence our world and so I do not watch the news or read articles about crime in the newspaper. There is no need to. And if the Apocalypse does come, someone will tell me and I will find a way to get to my friend Andrea’s house, who is prepared for it.

There is a lot of goodness in the world and Thanksgiving is the perfect time to think about the good things in our lives.  I have so many and want to share a few:

First, I found a couple of quotes that rang true for me.

Some people are always grumbling because roses have thorns; I am thankful that thorns have roses.

Alphonse Karr

And with winter coming and with it the brutal temperatures and wind and cold and icy roads and snow. But in the meantime, we have had October and it has been glorious!

“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”
― L.M. MontgomeryAnne of Green Gables

So my main list goes something like this:

I am so very thankful for:

  • My friends and family and my dog; knowing that there is always someone who I can talk to or do stuff with.  It’s huge. Knowing that my dog is always there to cuddle with and lick my nose is a blessing.
  • Photography; having a second career that I love is a huge high for me. I love photographing children and babies and meeting all the people who I’ve met through photography.
  • Peace in my life; I remember going to a Robert Provencher workshop (http://westmountphotography.com) about 6 years ago and he said that you can’t get anywhere in a photography business until you have peace in your life. I have Peace in my life. I am so grateful for that.
  • Good health; when I see people fighting major illnesses I thank my lucky stars for my good health.

Those are the big things but there are a million other things that I am grateful for:

  • living in Canada
  • books
  • walking in the park in Oct.
  • chocolate
  • kilcona 10 13-202sm
  • Scrabble
  • iPhones
  • computers
  • Lightroom
  • red tomatos
  • lilies

backyard 7 13-260sm

  • chocolate (Oops said that already)
  • the beautiful colours of fall
  • being a teacher
  • the birds on my hot tub cover who use it as a bird bath
  • sunlight through the trees
  • Bunn’s Creek Park
  • Kilcona Park
  • seeing Paul McCartney in concert with my son
  • listening to my grandson play the saxophone over the phone
  • red wine
  • coffee

I could probably go on but you get the idea.

Be grateful. Spread the positive. Give someone a hug today or say a kind word to a stranger.

Be Positive and be Grateful.

Gratitude changes everything

Gratitude changes everything (Photo credit: symphony of love)

Vision 2013

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“Which road do I take?” (Alice)

“Where do you want to go?”

“I don’t know,” Alice answered.

“Then, said the cat, it doesn’t matter.”

“If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.” – Alice In Wonderland

I think we all need a sense of direction and creating a Vision Board is one way to define our direction. I have written about Vision Boards and The Law of Attraction before.


Simply put the Law of Attraction states that we attract into our lives anything that we give attention to, regardless of whether it be positive or negative. A Vision Board is simply a visual representation of the things that you want to have, be or do in your life. It’s purpose is to activate the Law of Attraction to begin to pull things from your external environment that will enable you to realize your dreams. It’s a way of manifesting your dreams.

This year I also used a feng shui example to organize my board.

feng sui

This is it without the colours

My Vision:

vision boardb


I added the colours to this one:

vision boardc

What about you? Have you ever made a Vision Board? What was your experience with it?

It you haven’t done it, give it a try. You might be surprised!

Have the Americans gone mad?

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I had to read the headline twice this morning. I couldn’t believe what I was reading. My brain was saying, ” It doesn’t really say, “teachers allowed to carry concealed guns.”

I read the article twice and felt absolute dread. Perhaps because I was a teacher. It hits close to home. Teachers carrying guns. How can that be? Have the Americans gone mad?

Here’s the article for those of you who haven’t seen it.


I think this is wrong on so many levels.

First of all, teachers are already social workers, nurses, experts in technology and in a slew of other subjects. Now they also need to be master target shooters?

Secondly, how secure are these guns? Teachers have wallets stolen; computers and library books  go missing. That’s bad enough but what happens if a child gets a gun? I shutter to think about it.

Thirdly, it is perpetuating the cycle of violence that is so prevalent in the American culture. It is going in the exact opposite direction that society needs to go in. Violence only perpetuates more violence. Guns are not the solution. There need to be fewer guns, not more.

I understand that people are scared. I can’t imagine what the parents of the dead children are going through. Or parents of other children in that town. I can’t. It is beyond horrible.

But having teachers armed with guns is not the solution.

Abraham Hicks says in his book, The Law of Attraction:

“When you withdraw your attention from those things that are not pleasing, and you put your attention upon
those things that are pleasing, those pleasing things begin to become more abundant;and those not-pleasing things become more rare. Until, eventually, those not-pleasing things cannot be part of your experience because you will have eliminated your attraction factor from your vibration… What you think and what you get always matches.”   Abraham Hicks

I think our fascination with bad news and people watching bad news is creating negative energy that is bound to result in more bad news. Like breeds like.

Turning off bad news may not be the entire answer to this problem but it is my belief that it’s a great place to start and is a better idea than teachers armed with guns.

What have you got to lose by not watching the news? Do you need to know all the details of every bad thing that happens?

Try it for a week and see if you miss it.





What I Know for Sure.

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Oprah Winfrey first started talking what she knew for sure and has a column in her magazine every month with the same name.  I think it’s a great way of thinking about our lives. So I ask myself, “what do I know for sure?”  “What are the things that I can count on in my life?

Here are a few:

I know for sure that I can count on my family and friends to be there for me; always, no matter what.  Once when I was going through a bad time, a friend of mine suggested that I imagine the hands of my friends holding me up, supporting me. It worked for me. Try it sometime if you need a helping hand.

I know for sure that what I put out there will come back to me. I’ve written about the Law of Attraction before. It’s what I believe. This is not New Age  thinking. The Buddha said; “All that we are is a result of what we have thought” ; and Winston Churchill “You create your own universe as you go along”  What we put out there comes back to us, always, no matter what.  We create our own realities.

Albert Einstein said “Coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous.”  I know for sure that coincidences are not random. The people that we meet in our lives are sent to us for a reason. We have lessons that we need to learn from them. If we don’t learn the lesson the first time, we will keep on repeating the same thing. Sound familiar? I can think of a million so-called coincidences in my own life and I’m sure you can too. Here’s one that I’m grappling with right now. Someone I know has a rare genetic disease. She is adopted and nobody in her birth family has the disease but some of the women in her adopted family do. How can that be? It seems to be impossible. Is it a coincidence? What are the chances of that happening?

I know for sure the earth is a beautiful place. I know people who think it is scary and are worried about all the shootings and stabbings and robberies and all of the other tragic things that happen on a daily basis. My reaction to that is to not to pay attention, not to watch the tv news. I don’t want the darkness in the world to be a part of my reality. I believe that there is a lot of goodness and beauty in our world and that’s how I want to see the world. That doesn’t mean that I would creep around downtown during the night or put myself in harm’s way. That would be foolish, but I see no reason to be worried and afraid either.

I know for sure that I am doing what I’m supposed to be doing. I have always worked with children, first as an early years teacher and now as a photographer. I love kids! Making photos of them is something that fills me as very few things ever have. It allows the child in me to be present and gives me opportunities to be creative and have a ton of fun.

Finally, on a lighter note; I know that I have one of the most adorable, lovable dogs anywhere. He can be annoying and sometimes wants to go out a couple of times a night to eat snow, but he gives me much more than I could ever ask for. At the end of the day, there is nothing quite like a dog to give you hugs and attention. And best of all, he’s always there.  I took this picture with my iPhone after he came in from eating snow. Isn’t he adorable?

What do you know for sure?