Appreciation: No complaint zone

Have you ever known someone who is constantly complaining? I have and depending on our own relationship with them it may have various immediate impact on us. If it someone we are in love with, then we have a tendency to overlook it for a great deal of time. If it is someone that we are neutral about then it may wear on us to the point that we do not enjoy being around them.
But we are influenced by the people we hang out with and when we have someone around us who always dwells on the negative side of things we can lose our appreciation for what is good. As we live in this country we are indeed very fortunate. The families we have, the schools we attend, the cultural events around us, all of these add to the quality of our life.
But focus is a very funny thing. If you are an adult, have you ever been driving down the road and started to look at something in a field to your right or left and found yourself drifting in that direction, only to have to pull yourself back quickly?
This can happen to us in how we think too. If we show appreciation and focus on the good in our lives we will feel better emotionally and we will accomplish more in our daily life. Here is one way to do this with your family. When you come home and ask everyone in your family what they are thankful for about themselves, others, things, whatever and how do they show appreciation for that gift. You may be surprised by what they say and it may be silly at first, but the habit of speaking the words out loud will affect the evening and your personal feelings.
Try this and let me know how it affects you. As an individual you may want to keep a gratitude journal. Write down 5 things everyday that you appreciate – then review it if you are feeling a bit down.

Mattie Stepanek

Today I wrote a brief biography on a peacemaker, Mattie Stepanek.  I love his thoughts and poetry. In my web site ‘Learn Peace‘ he is listed with the likes of Ghandi, Thich Nhat Hahn, and others.  His simple wisdom allows us to pause and consider if we too can be a ‘peacemaker’.

Living with simplicity

I have been giving a lot of thought to the place that we find ourselves, with increase pressure from the economy and the price of gasoline and all the other pressures that we feel environmentally. I have noted before that when we approach any challenge or problem we should do so out of love and not out of fear or anger.
It is because of those thoughts that I believe it is the time as never before to look at living our lives with more simplicity. At the end of the day, it is never the things that we have accumulated that make the difference in our lives, but rather the ability to recognize the small miracles that happen around us every day and our ability to share them with others and especially our family.
Maybe the time has come to pay attention to our lives and insist on them being less cluttered, and ultimately less stressful. Simplifying may be the answer. All the things we gather really are just props, simplicity allows us to be us and to see and love the things that are really important.
How do you feel about this subject?  click on comments at the top and let me know.