Songs That Make You Feel Good

I don’t know about you, but I absolutely love music and most forms of it. Music can influence us in so many ways: by drowning in our sorrows to uplifting our souls and everything in between. For me, any song that either makes me laugh or makes me feel like dancing is a wonderful way to raise my spirit and feel good.

Now there are MANY songs that I can put here but today I am grateful for one in particular. It’s a song from the disco era of the 70’s and it’s Boogie Wonderland, from the fabulous group Earth, Wind and Fire.  When I watch this version, I can’t help but  laugh and smile at all the fun they were having singing, dancing, twirling trumpets, tossing tamborines and dancing tangos with their guitars! It makes me feel really good and gets me dancing everytime.

So, thank you for this song, Earth, Wind and Fire! Some thirty years later, I still feel really good hearing it. Shall we dance?

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What Are You Grateful For Today?

I can’t believe it’s been so long since I posted on this new blog of mine. I’ve posted so infrequently, that I can hardly call this a blog! But I’m grateful that I started it with intentions of sharing the gab of gratitude with others. So in that spirit, I intend to post a bit more regularly this year, and perhaps with just shorter posts. Some days, I might just do a gratitude list.

Today I’m grateful for being here, for returning back to remembering the importance of gratitude in my life and to taking the time to actually write about it here. What are you grateful for today?

Appreciating The Contrast

When challenges occur in our lives, it’s often difficult to see the blessings contained within them  until later. Yet, time-after-time, it has been my experience in life that there’s always a blessing gained from those “challenging” times.  Even when it seems like you can’t possibly take it any longer, somehow you manage to make it through it.  I know first-hand that “This, too, shall pass.”

Appreciating the contrast (of what you don’t want or have experienced) can be a very powerful tool in defining what you do want and to creating a better life for yourself. Appreciating the contrast can also serve you in that it’s  a “softer” way to accept those life challenges and to move forward with your life in peace.  Hanging around in states of blame, anger, worry, revenge, or just re-telling our “story” over and over again only keeps us in a stagnant place when we could be learning from the experience and enjoying life instead.

What’s past is past. Let it go! You cannot go back and change it anyway, so why beat yourself up going over and over it in your mind, with your stories to others, the complaints or with regret? Whenever we fight against the not-so-positive experiences of our lives, we usually end up with more to fight about (because we attract the same type of thing that we’re fighting by all that focus on it).

So, the beauty is in the appreciation of the contrast. Bless it, learn from it and let it go! After all, no one is perfect or all the same. Isn’t that a wonderful thing, by the way? Imagine how boring it would be if we were all perfect and the same? We’d have no choices, no motivation to grow, and no creativity! It sounds rather dull to me, so I prefer the choices: the contrast.

By being grateful for what comes up (including things that you really don’t want),  you’ll see a positive difference in your outlook on life because you’ll attract much more to be grateful for. And the next time a “challenge” comes along, you’ll get better at dealing with it, too.

What A Fun Flight!

On Friday, September 4, 2009, I had the pleasure of being on Northwest Airlines flight 3343, (now known as Delta) from Minneapolis to Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Now if anyone has ever flown these flights, you probably know that the planes are small and it can get quite cramped. The good news is that the flight is short but usually so short that you’re not served any drink or food either. But in the spirit of appreciating what’s great about these flights, I do like the fact that they fly rather low and you can look out over the countryside and see the beauty of the landscape beneath or the cloud formations around and above. And, as I mentioned, they are short so after having just spent time on a longer flight from the East coast to Minneapolis and some time waiting in the airport, I am always appreciative when I’m on this last leg of my itinerary, as I know that soon I’ll be off the plane and into a vehicle headed toward Iowa City.

What made this particular flight special was not the scenery on the outside, but the behavior of the lone flight attendant, Kimberly. (I think that was her name!) She was absolutely wonderful. I was smiling and laughing and she really made my day. What did she do or say, you ask?

Well, I knew that I was in for a treat when she announced “We’ll be working together to ensure that we will have an on-time departure.” Her choice of words and tone of voice was so positive and cooperative (rather than a repetitive list of rules that one often hears but doesn’t really listen to). Wow. She got my attention.

So when she began her speech on using the seatbelt, demonstrating the exits and showing us the oxygen masks by saying, “I know that many of you are frequent fliers and have heard this speech millions of times, but I’d really like you to know that it’s my turn to shine so I’d appreciate the audience!” I put my book on my lap and gave her my 100% full attention.

But her fun and service didn’t stop there. She gave us a quiz and later came around to ask what we came up with, and announced the results over the loudspeaker. The quiz went something like this: “If you could have 50 pounds of anything (other than money), what would it be?” She shared that her response was guacamole and that the pilot’s choice was pulled pork…

When she came around to me, I shared with her that I thought of e-tickets because they wouldn’t weigh anything so they’re endless, and I could take my friends and family with me wherever I go! Then I shared with her that if she thought that my answer was too “monetarily-based,” I’d take love or happiness because that also cannot be measured and it, too, would be endless! Needless to say, she thought that I had put a lot of thought into my answer.

She mingled and mixed with all of us on the plane that day. We talked about raising teenage drivers, Harry Potter books and living in Wisconsin and she gave some water to a few people who asked for it before going back to the loudspeaker to announce the results of the quiz.

What was the #1 answer by the other passengers on the flight, you ask? The number one answer was beer! I guess my fellow Iowans were anxious to begin their Labor Day festivities that weekend…or they got thirsty with the thought of all that pulled pork and guacamole! I couldn’t help but laugh out loud at how much fun that whole exercise was.

Thank you, Kimberly, for the unexpected fun! It was great and you made my day! I so appreciate people like you!

Appreciating Friends, Avon and Opportunities

Friendship is such a beautiful thing. I am so grateful for my friends. I’ve had many over the years and look forward to more to come. One of my friends recently started selling Avon as a second job to increase her prosperity because working those two “traditional” jobs was exhausting! So now her second job is selling Avon, and she’s looking forward to the freedom of making her own hours.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Linda for her friendship, her kindness and to tell her how much I appreciate her. I’d also like to thank companies like Avon that give so many women opportunities to advance and succeed in business. I once was an Avon representative, selling products as an extra job to be able to increase my income for my family and I so appreciate the opportunities and all the people I met while selling their products.

While this not an advertisement for Avon, it is my way of paying it forward for Linda. Avon representatives have recently started online stores, and people can order online and have it delivered to their own homes. So I’d like to pay it forward to Linda by posting a link here to her site: Linda’s Page

I’m so grateful for opportunities like this that help others improve their financial, personal and career circumstances. Aren’t computers a wonderful thing that can connect people from all over the world and allow people to thrive when perhaps in their own communities there are not as many opportunities? Now that is something to appreciate!

Thanks, People!

Do you appreciate the people in your life? Tell them so! Today I’m reminded of how grateful I am for my two precious daughters, my sweet mother, and my wonderful significant other. It’s easy to appreciate people we love. But what about people that challenge us or with whom we feel we don’t get along?

I have found that when I reach for feelings of appreciation in people that I’m having “challenges” with, that they no longer bother me as much. Soon, I’m seeing more and more positive aspects of them which I can easily appreciate. It’s a simple concept yet often difficult to remember to do. Yet this one simple technique can literally change your life. It’s as if everyone who used to bother you suddenly change, yet it’s really your own feelings and energy surrounding them that has shifted.

So choose the good thoughts about someone who is “bugging” you. Then thank them! Find something to appreciate and see how miraculously things shift.

Happy Birthday, U.S.A.!

I’m starting my first blog entry on The Gab of Gratitude with a birthday wish for my country. I do so because I truly am grateful for having grown up here. I’m grateful for all the opportunities I’ve had because I am from the U.S., and for the comforts that have been afforded to me. I know from traveling to other areas of the world that not all people are as fortunate. This contrast helps me realize and appreciate what I have.  While my readers may not be from the U.S., nor even agree with me, the beauty and fun of The Gab of Gratitude is in finding appreciation in everyday things.  Besides, I’ve always loved birthdays and particularly birthday parties!  So Happy Birthday, U.S.A.! Hit it, Jimmy and Elmo!