Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Digging in to Gratitude

GratitudeThis time of year we are bombarded with messages about gratitude. Thanksgiving reminds us to literally “give thanks” for the blessings we enjoy. But I wonder how many of us really “dig in” and go beyond a quick list of people, possessions and experiences we have in our lives.

How much more grateful would you feel if you went deeper into your list? Here’s an exercise to try:

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

America, The Beautiful – Be Inspired!

America The BeautifulAs we approach Independence Day, I am mindful of how grateful I am for the freedoms we enjoy and for the people who have worked to make this a great country. Some people have contributed with acts of service and heroism, some by scientific research and exploration, some by simply working hard and living with integrity and civility in order to set a great example for the next generation.

Others have enriched our nation by their creative efforts, such as Katharine Lee Bates, who was inspired by a trek up Pike’s Peak and wrote America, The Beautiful in 1895 and Samuel A. Ward, a church organist, who set it to music in 1910.

I grew up singing this song in school and it still inspires patriotism and gratitude. Happy 4th of July to our readers!

America, The Beautiful

O beautiful for spacious skies
For amber waves of grain
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

O beautiful for pilgrim feet
Whose stern impassioned stress
A thoroughfare of freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
America! America!
God mend thine every flaw
Confirm thy soul in self-control
Thy liberty in law!

O beautiful for heroes proved
In liberating strife
Who more than self their country loved
And mercy more than life!
America! America!
May God thy gold refine
Till all success be nobleness
And every gain divine!

O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

Live, Work and Relate Well!

Dr. Todd

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Left-overs – What to Toss and What to Keep

LeftoversMost people are still excited to open their refrigerator to see if there is anything left of their Thanksgiving dinner. They don’t mind a week of eating leftovers if it includes turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie.

Just as the leftover food brings memories of your special holiday with family and friends, certain feelings, behaviors and thoughts can be “leftovers” from experiences in life. Some of them are delicious, but some are bitter or sour, and you must decide what to keep and what to throw away. There can be times when I open a container of leftovers and the smell lets me know that I do not want to keep or consume the contents because I don’t want to suffer negative consequences.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

10 Ways to Practice Gratitude

GratitudeAs Thanksgiving approaches, we begin hearing more and more about the importance of gratitude and counting our blessings. To be honest, there are times that we can be more wrapped up in what’s going wrong in our lives or what we are missing, so feeling grateful doesn’t come easily. But gratitude is so beneficial in every area of life – health, well-being, relationships and success – that it is worthwhile to learn how to develop this important quality. The good news is, there are practical ways you can do it!

Here are 10 ideas you can use right now:

The Gratitude Journal. This is simply a notebook or diary to list the things in your life you are grateful for. Start with a basic list, then write one new entry a day identifying what you are grateful for that day and why. Review your list each day while being mindful of your deep sense of gratefulness.

Giving Grace. Giving Grace involves thinking in your mind or verbally expressing thanks to God for any experience you appreciate and never want to take for granted. G.K. Chesterton shares great perspective on this: You say grace before meals. All right. But I say grace before the concert and the opera, and grace before the play and pantomime, and grace before I open a book, and grace before sketching, painting, swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing and grace before I dip the pen in the ink.

Daily Prayers of Gratitude are another wonderful way to express thanks for the miracles of life. Starting or ending your day with a prayer of gratitude for not only your blessings, but even your trials is a great way to acknowledge that there is purpose in all things. Prayer is also an important reminder that you

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Too Much of A Good Thing

Too Much of a Good ThingThe other night as we were finishing a particularly great meal, I said, “I could eat that every day.” At that time, I meant it. The taste lingering in my mouth, the feeling of being full and the fun of sharing a meal with people I love had created a wonderful sense of satisfaction. But then I began thinking about what I had just said. When we step back and consider a statement like that, we realize that even good things, in excess, eventually lose their appeal.

You know the old saying, “Variety is the spice of life.” The reason steak or lobster is such a treat is that most of us don’t have such rich and expensive food that often. I know a family who raises their own beef so at their house, steak is “the usual.” Since they eat steak so regularly they consider it special to have macaroni and cheese or take-out chicken!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Keys to a Life Well Lived

A Life Well LivedAs we approach the Thanksgiving holiday I want to encourage you to remember five critical keys to a life well lived. If you apply this advice daily to your life I’m confident that you will derive more joy and happiness this season than ever before. I challenge you to…

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

What are You Thankful For?

Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday of the year.  I have very fond memories of the many special gatherings my family has celebrated together.  Playing and watching football, catching up on the latest news, and eating until we practically pass out continues to be a part of our family’s Thanksgiving tradition.  As is the case for many families, it has also been our tradition to acknowledge the many blessings we experienced throughout the year.

Pausing to reflect on the things and people you are thankful for at Thanksgiving is a great practice, but it’s important to remember how valuable it is to engage in this exercise on a daily basis. When you consistently make space in your life to regularly pause and express gratitude it promotes an attitude of appreciation, optimism and hopefulness.

The truth is, we too often take for granted the things and people that help to bring happiness and joy into our lives.  To understand this reality of life you need only to talk to someone who is going through a financial crisis, poor health, the death of a loved one or some other painful life circumstance. When you possess an attitude of thankfulness you are much more resilient to the negative effects of life’s inevitable hardships.

As I reflect on what I’m thankful for this year I have a very long list, but here are just a few:

I’m very thankful that I’m married to a wonderful woman who has always given far more than she receives and for the wonderful parents who raised her. I’m thankful for my new daughter-in-law and my son’s opportunity to begin a career that has been his life-long dream.  I’m thankful for my first grandchild my daughter and son-in-law will be welcoming into the world in just a few

Thursday, November 27, 2014

The Attitude of Gratitude: How to make your life better every day!

I hope you’re reading this with the smell of turkey and pumpkin pie in the air. Thanksgiving is one of the things I am thankful for, because it gives us an opportunity to consider everything we have that inspires an attitude of gratitude.

Attitude of GratitudeIn my last blog, I shared the Happiness Formula, and the research showed that some of our tendency to be naturally positive or negative is simply an inborn part of who we are.  However, we also found that almost half of the influence comes from what we choose to do.  I am thankful for that, because it means we can all intentionally find things to be grateful for and improve our outlook on life.

I came across this list of blessings on the web, and though you may have seen it, it bears repeating at this time of year.