Tag Archives: gifts

Good Morning World!

By Aimee, an enthusiastic follower of Mental Health & Happiness

When you first wake up in the morning, try to make your first thought one of gratitude.  If you slept well, that’s an easy one.

I struggle with insomnia so I can’t always use that one.  Sometimes I have to think instead, “I’m thankful that I slept better last night than the night before,” because while it wasn’t a good night of sleep, at least that statement is true.

If even that is not true, I might say instead, “I’m thankful for a comfortable bed,” for that is true even when I lie awake….it isn’t due to an uncomfortable bed.

Of course, many days, a non-sleep related thought pops into my head —gratitude for various relationships that are helping me on my journey to wellness and more in life, gratitude that I’m not alone in the the present battles I’m facing, and so on.

When I allow myself, I open up and ask others to pray for me, or to help me by keeping in touch, or some other discreet request. I find most people respond affirmatively.  The reality is we all have private worries and sorrows. So when I carefully and wisely choose someone trustworthy to open up to on days when I’m feeling particularly heavy with burdens, often that person can empathize precisely because they too have felt the same way.

Revealing our humanity, our occasional sense of being set upon, we bestow the gift of allowing the person we’ve opened up to both to have the opportunity to be kind and helpful (which people inherently enjoy) and we’ve reminded them that everyone struggles occasionally. So when they do, they don’t feel isolated or unusual.  The social masks of “I’m ok, You’re ok,” that we all too often wear, can prevent growth, intimacy and healing.

Thee G-L-O from GLOW

By Nancy S Buck, PhD, RN

I’m embarrassed and a bit ashamed to admit that there are times in my life when I spend too much time feeling dissatisfied and disappointed with my life. I’m fully aware that I am actually creating a more miserable life than the one I actually live by focusing on my dissatisfaction and disappointment.

The fact of the matter is that I’m pretty darn lucky and privileged. True my 20+ year marriage ended not by my choice. But at this point I know I am happier, freer, and more satisfied not married than I was in that marriage. I’m also grateful for all I learned and gained because of it, not the least of which are my fabulous, remarkable and incredible sons. And I’m grateful to be in this next, unexpected stage of my life.

I continue to do personal work to shift my perspective. I’m fully aware that choosing to feel angry and disappointed as often as I do is interfering with my Mental Health & Happiness. Every day I write my affirmations, sing my songs of inspiration and do my daily work cultivating mindfulness, happiness and gratitude.

One warm and sunny morning, I went walking on one of the many creek paths near my home. I began a rhythmical chant I composed giving thanks for receiving all of nature’s gifts. Although this may sound good, I was doing it to shift my perspective about the day. I was angry and oppressed by the unrelenting heat from the constant sunshine without a shade tree in sight. Oh lucky me, I thought sarcastically. Here is another gift-learning-opportunity (GLO) for me to shift away from the negative into the positive of life. How blessed am I to receive another bleeping GLO?

As I followed the gentle curve of the path and came to an open field, I was met by a colony of prairie dogs all out and about for their breakfast! WOW! What a wonderful, surprising and glowing gift nature had bestowed upon me this fine day! For those many people who have lived in Colorado for years, prairie dogs are a nuisance and an annoyance. But not true for this east coast girl. I have only seen prairie dogs in the zoo. These animals are amazing and delightful.

Oh lucky me, I thought sincerely. This village community of sweet little critters lives so close to my own home. How blessed am I to receive this miraculous, glowing opportunity? I laughed with joy! 

For today, why don’t you be on the lookout for the amazing, surprising and simple glowing gifts that nature provides. They really are there every day. You just have to be open to them.

Gifts & Challenges

By Nancy S Buck, PhD, RN

I’m single by choice . . . just not my choice (Best line ever from a movie — thank you Best Exotic Marigold Hotel) Because of my single life there are many choices, challenges and obstacles that I face ALONE.

For instance, recently I moved from the east coast to Denver, the biggest leap I had ever taken since leaving home at age 18 and going to college. When I left home at age 18 however,  I entered a community of my peers. There were many other college students facing the very same challenge that I was. Now, many years later I was plopped into Denver where people already had established their life with their peeps, tribe, gang, or what ever you choose to call it.

If I had a mate, I figured to myself, it would be easier for me to go places, engage in activities, and hike in the glorious Rocky Mountains. Even if I never connected with another person, at least I would have my mate as my companion. Because I’m single I am reluctant to dive into these activities fearlessly. And because I have yet to establish my gang, I don’t have anyone I can ask to join me. I’m faced with doing things alone or not doing them at all.

These are the challenges I presently face in my life. What are yours?

Several years ago I learned something very helpful from a Montessori teacher. Her wise lesson keeps me from falling into a deep hole of self-pity or singing the blues longer than necessary. Let me share in the hope it may help you.

All people experience gifts & challenges in life. No one has a life filled with only challenges, one difficulty or hardship after another. Nor does anyone have a life filled with only gifts. Despite how it may appear on Facebook, no person is able, capable or living a life without bumps and disruptions with sad times and difficulties along the way.

Living a solo life as a woman “of a certain age”is a challenge. At the same time, this is also a gift. I get to do or not do what I want when I want. No one talks with me about money and the worry of money. At the same time, there is no one with whom to share my money plans and worries. Do you see how this may be both a challenge and a gift?

What are your challenges? What are your gifts? What are the areas in your life that represent both challenges and gifts?

Today is the perfect day for you to start counting these gifts and challenges to improve your Mental Health & Happiness. With your lists a perfect plan for improvement may emerge.