Monday, April 9, 2012

In memory of my sister

I lost my sister a week ago.  She took her own life.  You might imagine that makes it difficult to return to this site, one that I have neglected for some time now.  But in fact this is exactly the place to come back to at a time like this.  Being grateful for what life has given me is a core conviction, even moreso now that I have personally experienced such a tremendous loss.

My sister celebrated life and lived it to the fullest in her best moments.  In her worst moments, she struggled with severe bipolar disorder and she self medicated with drugs and alcohol.  But her worst moments were only a slight shadow that she cast as she radiated life and beauty and humor.

I miss her - but I am grateful for having had a sister as amazing she was.  She put a smile on every person show came in contact with.  She loved her family, even as challenging as we could be at times to deal with.  She faced life's challenges with her chin up and her eyes on the horizon.  She loved the best things of life - great food, great people, and great stories.  I am sad, not for her, but for the world that she departed too soon.  She left a void that will not soon be filled.

Please, to whomever comes across this post, reach out to those around you.  Give them a hug.  Tell your loved ones how much they mean to you.  Even if you haven't reached out in years, do so now.  Don't make the mistake I made - and lose the opportunity to say, "I love you," forever.  Spread your love such that those who are around you know that they are loved, and that they are wanted and desired and needed in this life.  It's not enough just to think those thoughts.  You have to touch the people you love either with words or physically.

I am grateful for my life.  I am grateful for both of my sisters, my wife, my son, and all of my family and friends.  I am grateful that this world had my sister in it and that she made it better while she was here.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Play Life

Play Life - that's my new motto.  Have fun! Be balanced across life!  And play to win, but as always with honor, respect, and staying true to my values.


Thursday, January 14, 2010

Donating to Haiti Relief

In a time of great suffering for many in Haiti, those of us across the world who have the ability can make a donation to support the earthquake relief.  Please donate.  A quick and easy way is to send a text message from your cell phone.  Send "Yele" to 501501 which will donate $5 to Wyclef Jean's Yele Foundation.  And send "Haiti" to 90999 which will donate $10 to the Red Cross.  Be grateful for what you have and what you can do for others in a time of great need.

--GC and NL

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Being Grateful in Times of Distress

I'm a little under the weather today.  In the past I might have entertained thoughts about how dismal I feel and asked the questions repeatedly, "Why me?  Why now?  Why this?"  But at this moment, I am trying something new, inspired by the quest to have gratitude 365 days of the year.  In being sick, I have an opportunity to witness the care that others have for me, and the unique ways in which they express that care.  NL is tasked with taking care of the baby while I recover (well, to be honest, she's tasked with that mission 24/7, bless her heart).  That's a tough job, but she does it with conviction and love, and I am so grateful that I can witness that love for our son.

I also want to take this moment to thank her directly for having the intention and conviction to create this blog and start this mission for having 365 days of gratitude.  She started it as an activity of expression for herself, invited me to join, and I am so thankful that I can now participate.  This blog has, occasionally and even in such a short time since we started it, motivated me to attend to healthy, life-enriching thoughts.  I love her for that and for all she does for our family.


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Being Grateful for Your Life Partner

It's often easy to take for granted that one individual in your life who means the most to you.  Life partners can sometimes find it challenging to express in a deep, meaningful way the gratitude that they have for each other.  This is certainly true for me.

There are many moments when I want to express to my partner how much she means to me, and to thank her from the deepest part of my soul for the blessings that she showers upon me each and everyday, but I find myself unable to break through my own emotional walls.  Upon reflection, it is these times that are most important to try to break through the emotional barrier and show her how much I love her.  I intend from this point forward to express my gratitude to her, particularly when I'm feeling walled off.

Expressing (and deeply feeling) gratitude for your life partner is such an important part of being in a relationship.  Love lasts through the most difficult challenges, but only if both partners express their gratitude for each other regularly and in a salient manner.

I am grateful for wife - for the partner she is to me, and the mother she is to our child.  I am grateful for her humor and intelligence, for her determination to be the best person she can be, for her love of life, for all the blessings that she brings to our family.  I am deeply grateful for her love, and I thank her from the bottom of my heart for being my partner.


Sunday, January 3, 2010

Breathing Into Gratitude

The breath is a powerful force.  We take it for granted, the way our lungs silently pull air in and push it out.  But conscious breathing can be used for so many different beneficial purposes - focus, calmness, creativity, energy, passion, fitness, etc.

Even as I sit here now writing these words, I fall in and out of conscious breathing.  At moments, usually between sentences, I pause and collect my thoughts, and I become aware of my breath.  Am I holding my breath slightly?  Do my lungs feel tight or loose?  Is my posture allowing me to take the full breath that I desire?

One of my intentions for this year, and the many years to come, is to become a conscious breather all the time.  Even when I do not focus on the breath, I would like to maintain an awareness of my breath so that I may, even in times of stress, frustration, anger, or sadness, continue to breathe fully, bringing the force of my full breath to bear on my state of mind.

So I start here, with this intention, and these breaths that I take, to become a conscious breather.  And I look forward to the continual process of breathing in and out for the rest of my life, conscious, whole, and grateful.

Your breath is your source of inspiration for being in the moment.  Breathe with me, slowly, fully, consciously, and feel your body relax, your mind silence, your spirit rest.  Your breath is at the core of gratitude for the present moment.

-- GC

Friday, January 1, 2010

Gracious Reception

Millions are taking this first day of the new year to solidify resolutions, intentions, and goals for 2010.  Lose weight, go to more concerts, travel to a foreign country, be more patient, spend more time with loved ones....This is absolutely my favorite time of the year because of the palpable energy focused on being the best versions of ourselves.  In all of the excitement of starting anew, it easy to overlook the fine art of graciously receiving what we most desire.  There have been countless times in my life that I have simply passed up an opportunity to get exactly what I said I wanted months or days before or simply eschewed the the perfect help, discounted gym membership, or contact information of a potential friend offered to me that would further me along in achieving my dreams.

As an intelligent, goal oriented woman with my doctorate in psychology, I've spent much of my life studying how one can most effectively and happily function.  But despite the degrees and expertise, I am human.  Basically, I sometimes require hitting my head on the same wall in the same spot over and over again before saying, "OK! Ouch! That's enough!"  This year, instead of just missing the gifts and opportunities, I'd like to receive my dreams in quicker, clearer, and better fashion than ever before.  I am sure it will be life changing! 

Come on...Let us all host beautiful and gracious receptions for the gifts that will come our way in this wonderful new year.  Keep those balloons, streamers, wrapping paper, and your eyes out!   I am sure that we are all going to need them for this year long party!