Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Gratitude Day 1

photo source
This blog entry will speak about the benefits of Gratitude

Gratitude, appreciation or thankfulness is a positive emotion or attitude in acknowledgement of a benefit that one has received or will receive. Sourced from Hoyt's New Cyclopedia of Practical Quotations.

This I believe sums up what it is we mean by using the word Gratitude, it can be as large or as small as you are welling to make it.

I intend to start with a challenge of being in a state of gratitude each day for 21 days, I have chosen this length of time as they say that it takes three weeks to change a habit, and I am wanting to make this a habit that will take place in my life on a daily basis. Seeing things, situations, people in a grateful way is something I have always done however it is adhoc dependant on the circumstances I am in, where I am wishing to make a special space each day to sit and reflect purposefully on what I am grateful for including those days when life seems to have thrown you challenges and difficulties.

As I like to do things in three's I will be finding three things each day to be in gratitude of however I will only be talking in length on one of those three things in the blog. They say it is of great benefit to share your gratitude with a partner, friend etc if you are on your own saying them out loud is equally as good as in speaking the words reinforces the intention and the feeling will spread. So thank you for being my partner and allowing the intention to grow.

There is an old saying that if you've forgotten the language of gratitude, you'll never be on speaking words with happiness. This is true to the extent that your happiness will be expanded by the simple sharing of your thankfulness. Gratitude is contagious so spread it throughout your circle of friends and family and everyone will benefit.

I just love this diagram from which shows us the benefits of gratitude on all levels of our lives, they also offer a free 44 page happiness report if you like the information on their site.

In this day and age of busy lives I think the sleep benefit is one of the most important health benefits from bring grateful. You will sleep longer, fall asleep faster and wake in the morning feeling fresher. When we are sleeping our body is completing numerous tasks to ensure we are the healthiest we can be from daily maintenance and healing to correctly chemical imbalances, improving our immune system to fight disease to storing energy for when we need it.

Keeping a journal for your gratitudes is also immensely helpful. It can start with only one sentence about the thing or things you are grateful for if you are going to choose three like me. Keeping the journal will make your feel more optimistic and happier. For those who enjoy craft you may wish to scrapbook your journal adding your artistic flair and enhancing the intensity of your gratitude yet again.

Your partners, family and friends will notice the difference in you so don't be at all surprised if someone comments that you seem happier etc. What a confirmation this is that we are truly in touch with our true essence when others can see it when we have not shared what it is we are doing.

Even in the face of tremendous loss or tragedy it is possible to feel gratitude. Adversity can actually increase gratitude as you see things from a different perspective. It is at these times that some of the smallest things are magnified for us to see more clearly. Taking yourself into this gratitude mode at these times will allow more balance to integrate into your soul and healing will occur.

As Martha Washington said "I am still determined to be cheerful and happy, in whatever situation I may be; for I have also learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our circumstances."

When on the receiving end of gratitude if you are being thanked for your help from someone we can sometimes feel uneasy or unsure how to reciprocate. It seems that for a lot of us it is much easier to give than to receive, I am also one of those people, our gift is in accepting the thanks in what ever form it comes with graciousness and let the people know you appreciate being thanked. That is all we need to do. When we are unable to do this we deny the giver of the gratitude the gifts they receive in being able to express this gratitude. (This is not what we would want to do it is just our own uncomfortableness gets in the road and we think ourselves unworthy of the praise etc)

As I have spent so much time on this entry going into the benefits of gratitude which we must understand to really embrace this process, I will just do an alphabetic listing of things we are able to be grateful for. I hope that this may encourage you to join me in the 21 days of gratitude and we can expand our happiness together.

A = Ambition used to acheive our goals
B = Birds, watching their flight and listening to their song
C = Clouds watching and looking for the pictures in the shapes
D = Dogs the unconditional love that only they can give
E = Ego peace within yourself experiencing true identity "Cosmic Ego"
F = Friends who make life so joyous
G = Google allowing so much knowledge to be at our fingers
H = Health without it we are limited
I = Ideas the possibility can then become the reality
J = Joy to truly express happiness without limitation
K = Kindness we all need help and understanding at times
L = Love it is all that is, self love, love of others
M = Music the ability to transport us to other places and times
N = Nourishment sustains us in mind, body and spirit
O = Openness in our vulnerability lies our strength
P = Peace within the world and internally
Q = Quietness in the stillness lies the answers
R = Respect we deserve nothing else
S = Serendipity nothing happens by accident
T = Trust our growth lies in the acknowledgement of our truth
U = Universe the great mother earth who sustains all
V - Vitality a capacity to live, grow and develop
W = Wealth we all have it - it does not have to be financial
X = Xmas and holidays to enjoy with family and friends
Y = Youthfulness not our age our attitude
Z = Zest to have enjoyment for life itself

Personally today I am grateful for:
- Modern technology allowing me to create this blog
- Inspiration giving me the drive to step up and be seen
- Time allowing me to have the space to create my inspired dream

What are you grateful for today?


    Beltaine is described in Wikipedia as follows:

    Beltain or Beltaine is the Anglicized spelling of the Goidelic name for either the month of May or the festival held on the first day of May. In Irish it is Bealtaine in Scotish Gaelic Bealltainn and in Manz Gaelic Boaltinn or Boaldyn.

    Beltaine was an ancient Gaelic festival celebrated in Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man. It marked the beginning of summer and was linked to similar festivals held elsewhere in Europe, such as the Welsh Calan Mai and the Germanic Walpurgis Night. Beltaine and Samhain were the leading terminal dates of the civil year in medieval Ireland, though the latter festival was the more important. It is a cross-quarter day, marking the midpoint in the Sun's progress between the spring equinox and summer solstice. The astronomical date for this midpoint is nearer to 5th May or 7th May, but this can vary from year to year.

    Belaine regained popularity during the Celtic Revival and is still observed as a cultural festival by some in Ireland, Scotland, the Isle of Man and among their diasporas (Jews living outside Israel). Today Beltaine is also observed as a religious festival by Celtic neopagans. Wiccans adopted the name Beltaine for their May festival.

    Photo source
    The southern hemisphere differs from the Northern Hemisphere in the following ways:

    The moon and all the other planets move across the night sky from right to left in the southern hemisphere and here in the northern hemisphere they move left to right. The seasons of the year are opposite whilst one hemisphere is having winter the other is experiencing summer. Therefore the dates of celebrations here in the northern hemisphere are opposite or six month apart from those in the southern hemisphere.

    So we have Beltaine here in Australia today 31st October. In early Irish lore a number of significant events took place on Beltaine, which long remained the focus of folk traditions and tales in Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man. Beltaine and Samhain were thought to be the critical periods when the bounds between the human and supernatural worlds were temporarily erased, witches and faeries roamed freely, and measures had to be taken against their enchantment.

    Beltaine marks the passage into the growing season, the immediate rousing of the earth from her gently awakening slumber a time when the pleasures of the earth and self are fully awakened. It signals a time when the bounty of the earth will once again be had. It is a time when flowers bloom, trees are green and life has again returned from the barren landscape of winter, to the hope of bountiful harvests, not too far away, and the light hearted bliss that only summer can bring.

    Here in our backyard we are harvesting spinach, capsicum  kale, parsley, lettuce, tomatoes, strawberries and celery. There is nothing like planting your own vegetable garden to get back in touch with nature and the seasons. The taste of the produce is so sweet and full compared to the supermarket products that are harvested too early to stop deterioration and then frozen for who knows how long before you purchase it and take it home to cook your meals.

    Our raised garden beds make gardening so much easier
    Fire played an important part in all the major Celtic festivals for they are an earthly reflections of the sun, once seen as the great Source of life. When the Druids and their successors gathered the wood of nine sacred trees and raised the Beltaine fires on hilltops the fires were lit in order to bring the sun's light down to earth. When the wood burst into flames, it proclaimed the triumph of the light over the dark half of the year. In Scotland, every fire in the household was extinguished and a brief time of darkness followed, and then all the villagers climbed the hill to rekindle their flame from the new source with great rejoicing.

    The maypole was popular in the more English influenced parts of the British Isles, especially Wales and Cornwall. On Beltaine Eve in Wales, country people of all ages headed for the woods singing songs and blowing loud horns. They felled a tall birch tree and hauled it back to the village on a wagon drawn by oxen. At sunrise, the young people decked their houses with the branches of May and the maypole was set up on the village green, bright with garlands of flowers and coloured bows, rosettes and ribbons. In Ireland, many households created a May bush to be their "Tree of Life" during this seasonal tide.

    When we were in Europe in Marksburg Rheinstrabe Braubach Germany the village had a maypole standing proud in the centre square.

    It is customary to bake a colourful fruit spiced bread for festivals in the Celtic lands, traditionally this festival bread is sweet dough made with sweetmeat and spices. In Scotland it is bannock a bread made the eve before Beltaine day, it is said that the bread should not be allowed to come into contact with steel during preparation as steel is harmful to the faery folk. Bannocks are actually uncut scones originally cooked on a griddle. Wheat does not grow in the highlands originally bannocks were made with oat and barley flour made into a dough with little water and no leavening. Traditionally a portion of the cake was burned or marked with ashes. The recipient of the burnt cake jumped over a small fire three times to purify and cleanse him or herself of any ill fortune. Offerings of bannock and drink are traditionally left on doorsteps and roadways for the Faeries as an offering, in hope of faery blessings.

    Sensuality and sexuality is revitalised, the reawakening of the earth and her children. It is the time when we reawaken to the vivid colours, vibrant scents, tingling summer breezes, and the rapture of summer after a long dormant winter. It is a time of extraordinary expression of earth, animals, people a time of great enchantment and celebration.

    Beltaine marks the handfasting (wedding) of the Goddess and the God, the reawakening of the earth's fertility in its fullest. This is the union between the Great Mother and her Young Consort, this coupling bring new life on earth. It is on a spiritual level the unifying of the Divine Masculine and the Divine Feminine to bring forth the third consciousness. On the physical, it is the union of the Earth and Sun to bring about the fruitfulness of the growing season.

    So in general Beltaine is a time of connection, of honouring the life, light and love in your life.

    Tuesday, 30 October 2012

    The Creation of the Blog

    I have created this blog for many reasons, it is the culmination of a little voice inside telling me that I need to meditate daily. Despite this voice over a couple of years still saying the same thing, that my health - mind - spirit will all benefit, my creating a beautiful mediation room and not working therefore having all the time to enable this to happen, it has not.

    Years ago I was told that I had guides that wished to connect with me (something that I had longed for - to have that greater connection) I just had to listen, then again two weeks ago I received the same message off another lovely lady, Sue McCluskey (her website of artwork is at

    My personal artwork by Sue McCluskey
    This oil painting that Sue created she explained is my guide John and he also says that I have to just be still and listen. The southern cross in the sky is where I feel the most comfortable just being, under grandmother moon sitting on our mother earth at night. 

    Five weeks ago I attended the Women for Women Forum at the Town Hall and was moved by some of the speakers there to listen to my inner knowing. Karen Burge who was the co-creator of the Forum is a great believer in gratitude as a daily practise, so again I was being nudged to take action. She publishes the Wellbeing Guide for Newcastle and the Hunter keeping us all informed as to what is happening to keep community together the link to the guide is

    A week ago I drove to Queensland to attend the Australian Goddess Conference (the Goddess Association in Australia Inc website and it was cemented that it was time to step up and make this space for myself. A very wise elder at the conference Anique Radiant Heart spoke with me about daily practise and I knew that if I was serious about my future journey this was the step I needed to take. Anique creates the most amazing CD's of sacred song with her voice that transports you to another place and these have become part of my daily practise also. Her link of sacred music is these songs have given me much comfort over the years.

    The Newcastle Attendees Sue, Jann, Dani, Sienna, Sue, Disey, Selene & Josh with the addition of Tess & Shelly
    Whilst driving home from the conference Kevin (my husband - life partner who supports me in all things that I wish to undertake - I am always in awe of the time he will spend to help me be myself and grow - giving me space when required comfort when needed - in this case blog education and guidance) and I were talking and he mentioned that writing is our way to make very clear in our minds our thoughts and intentions. He therefore agreed that a blog would be ideal to place these thoughts down in writing making them very real and then exposing them for others to read would further ensure my clarity of thinking. Writing he believes is one of the easiest and most powerful ways to accelerate your personal development, by getting your thoughts out of your head and putting them down in writing, you gain insights you'd otherwise never see. He knows that I have always struggled with journaling and this would be my ultimate journal.

    Kevin and I a couple of months ago in Kakadu at Twin Falls 
    My intent therefore will be to process previous events, clarify my thinking, understand the context, notice my feelings, connect with my heart, record significant lessons and ask questions. By doing this I hope to find healing with honest, trusting and non-judgemental comments which will balance, harmonize and strengthen my sense of self so I will see the importance of the whole picture and create a greater sense of being connected. By shifting to the observer in blogging I will be on a journey of self discovery where my thoughts can be held and integrated more fully exploring spirituality, focusing on my desires and needs and enhancing myself expression.

    Another interesting fact is that I am choosing to launch the blog today 30th October on the full moon which is in Taurus which helps us to ground whatever we have been thinking about with practical action. This has been coming through sense the last new moon two weeks ago.

    Photo from

    As it so well phrased on this is a moon phase to focus on nurturing and developing your relationships. During the Wild (or Wind) Moon, it's an excellent opportunity to maintain and nurture relationships and connections. This is both personal and business connections and most importantly, the relationship you have with yourself. Out external relationships are important and open communication creates a deeper more enriching connection. It's also about having a healthy relationship with yourself.

    Another interesting phrase that came across my desk on Friday was from my friends at TUT. They send out a daily email of inspiration that is always pertinent. Friday's message was - You may feel capable and secure in your ability to make important decisions today. This could bring a new sense of confidence to your work activities, or it might urge you to take your personal endeavours to the next level. Since this mind set can give you the courage to take bolder steps towards your goals, you may want to devote a period of time to invite inspired ideas about new actions that can enhance your efforts today. These emails are always inspiring and thought provoking and I strongly encourage anyone to join this free email list on

    So you can see the message has gotten through to me on many levels that this is the time for me to step up and put myself first which is something that I have not done well in the past. I trust that the accountability of the blog will ensure my continued practise (as my nature is not to let down or disappoint others).

    As I am facing difficult times with my mother being terminally ill (after only a week being away at conference the change has been again very dramatic in her deterioration and this has been the way the universe had made me be still and listen), and my nature is to retreat from others and become insular the blog will be my first step in staying connected to my community both close and personal and larger.

    You are more than welcome to follow this journey with me if you are interested by becoming a follower of the blog. I would welcome your input and company, please let me know your are following, you will get to know me better as a result.

    My focus at the start of this blog will be to take the 21 days of gratitude challenge. The idea is to help you take note of the brighter side of life. Sharing gratitude can revitalise our commitment to living life in a sensitive way, full of grace. Each day you take time to appreciate the blessings in life.

    For today with a little nervous excitement of where the blog will take us I say goodbye.


    "I honour the place within you where the entire universe resides, I honour the place within you of love, of light, of truth, of peace, I honour the place within you, where when you are in that place in you, and I am in that place in me, there is only one of us."