Archive for the ‘2014’ Category

Are you ready for a new normal?

Tuesday, November 18th, 2014

Recently my wife accidentally banged her toe against the leg of a chair.  Believing it was just bruised she carried on in the hopes that the sting and subsequent pain would just go away.  Not so fast.  Weeks went by and it continued to be bothersome only to learn that it was broken. Throughout this extended healing process both consciously and unconsciously thoughts of discomfort were ever present.    It curtailed her activity, limited the shoes she could wear and created anxiety in thinking it might never heal.  Yes, it thankfully got better and life returned to normal.

So what is the point, you may be asking?   When is the last time we were grateful that our toes, or any other part of our body for that matter, were fine?   This irony transcends more than just our body.  Do you remember the last time you did not have hot water for your shower or the electricity in your home wasn’t working?  Or your sent emails were hopelessly stalled in your Outbox?  Inconvenient for sure.  Yes, the gratitude comes when these issues are resolved and our lives return to normal.

The good news about these situations is they were able to return to normal.  There are other areas of our lives that do not. Think of a dear friend or family member who was an important part of your life but is no longer here—the  pain of this loss and the grieving that followed were likely profound.

What is the common element that weaves through these stories?  It is often not until something is either temporarily, or worse yet, permanently lost that we remember how important it has been in our lives.

What a perfect time of year to be more conscious of this tendency and better yet, create a new normal.   Consciously value and be grateful for all you have.  Cherish it.  Everything.  This can happen in very simple, new habits. Consider those who say grace before each meal have three times a day to express explicit gratitude for all one’s blessings.   A friend of mine recently shared with me that he has converted his feelings of impatience while waiting at a stoplight to moments of expressing gratitude.

At this time of Thanksgiving, it is a perfect time to give some thought to a new practice that can lead you to a new behavior of gratitude.  It is often said that a new behavior can be created with just 21 repetitions.  However many it takes, imagine the elevation of the joyfulness in your life when you are able to manifest this “new normal”.

With gratitude,
Walter Green

Think Out of the Box on this Father’s Day

Monday, June 9th, 2014

For years, most sons and daughters are challenged by what they should “buy” for their dad on Father’s Day. Often it is a nice shirt or some other functional gift. That would earn a “medal” for sure but maybe only a bronze because it’s a thing. A silver medal would go to those who verbally expressed gratitude and gave something. But for me, the gold medal goes to the son/daughter who thinks outside of the (gift) box and writes something in addition to giving an object. The written gift never stops giving.

I remember two years ago, on Father’s Day, when I received heartwarming, handwritten cards from our grown twin sons. They were so special I framed them. I read them often and every time it warms my heart and I count my blessings. They also gave me a “thing” with the card but I have long forgotten what that was.

Another out-of-the-box way to celebrate Father’s Day is to think of someone, other than your Father, who may have given you some very valuable advice or supported you in a meaningful way. The person could have been your uncle, grandfather, mentor or just a mature male friend. In any case, it may have even been a road-changer in your life. What about reaching out and communicating your gratitude to this person on Father’s Day?

I read an article in the USA Today this week about Mike Emrick, an extraordinary sportscaster in the hockey world. The piece describes his current mission to write a letter every day to each person who made a difference in his life. He thinks it could take him a year or two to finish. I am certain that many of these people had given him “fatherly” advice and he was most grateful.

So on this Father’s Day, give the gift of gratitude in written form to your Father and anyone else who has made a significant contribution to your life. It will always be the perfect size and color! I promise you it will not only make their day but also enrich their life.

To read the full article about Mike Emrick’s thank-you-card campaign, click here.

With gratitude,
Walter Green

Gratitude Reflects Itself in Many Gifts – Extraordinary Time-Lapse Photography

Friday, April 4th, 2014

For those of you who have read my previous postings as well as my book, This Is The Moment, you know my doorway into gratitude has been from the expression of profound gratitude to those who have made important contributions in our lives.   I have been deeply touched by hearing so many stories from those who have acted on this awareness by expressing gratitude while the expresser and recipient is still alive and well.

Over the last few years, I have also relished expanding my awareness and appreciation of gratitude in so many other dimensions of my life.   One of my first encounters of gratitude begins each day when my eyes open after a night’s sleep and I realize I have another day to do the things that give my life meaning.   I then take my morning shower by just turning a handle.  Out flows wonderfully clean hot and cold water easily adjusted by just a little twist.   I often think “how does this work” along with the realization that I could never build this mechanical wonder.  Gratitude flows over me like the flowing water.  My appreciation is further magnified when using a small block of soap to create a cleansing action that is truly remarkable.  Although this idea dates back 5,000 years, could any of us make it from scratch?  In any case, we do not have to and for that my morning gratitude is accentuated.

These moments of gratitude then make me think about so many of the other life-enriching experiences throughout the day—truly all special gifts.  I think one of the most poignant pieces on this subject was produced by Louis Schwartzberg, the Founder of Blacklight Films and shown at a Tedx Conference in San Francisco.

Louie Schwartzberg’s  amazing time-lapsed photography coupled with the words of a Benedictine monk will not disappoint.  Trust me, in less than 10 minutes, it is likely you will appreciate the “gift of another day” and it will not be “just another day.”

Enjoy!

With Gratitude,
Walter Green