365 DAYS OF GRATITUDE – DAY 174: Listen To Yourself!


You’ve been taught to listen to everybody else but yourself.

You disagree?

Let me say it this way: how many times have you been told to follow your heart, your intuition, your desires and your inner truth? If you are like most people, pretty much never!

Were you encouraged to honor who you are?

Were you taught emotional intelligence, healthy boundaries, communication skills or self awareness?

I know I wasn’t.

But one day I decided to break free and find my own answers and my own path. I made a pact with myself to pay attention to how I felt and what I thought and to follow my inner guidance. And that was the best decision I have ever made.

It does not matter what we were taught!

What matters is that we have the power to choose to honor and follow our inner guidance system.

Pay attention.

You will discover that you are always guided by a power greater than all the advice your were even given.

No school and no teacher, no degree and no mentor will ever know more than your soul.

Listen to yourself.



365 DAYS OF GRATITUDE – DAY 173: The Rest Of My Life


The rest of my life will be the best of my life.

I have already decided that.

So what does that mean?

It means that I no longer allow the past experiences to define the present moment or my future.

It means that I no longer feel sorry that things went a certain way.

It also means that I have the full day today to expect the best for tomorrow.

I have today to get ready.

What would you need to think, how would you need to be and what would you need to feel if the rest of your life – which starts right now, by the way – was the best of your life?



365 DAYS OF GRATITUDE – DAY 172: Before “Eggs, Dinosaurs and Chicken Necks”…

RUCSANDRA's PICTUREBefore all of that came Digger…

I want you to enjoy some more fun and giggles with me.

Two days ago I wrote about Nicola Bird’s culinary endeavors and her blog “NIC’S KITCHEN: Food, Family, Life & Other Stuff”.

My post was thoroughly enjoyed so I know you will have fun with this one too; especially if you know and love dogs.

Let me introduce you to Nicola’s dog, Digger: “Uh Oh, I’m In Trouble Here…

Digger makes a cameo appearance every once in a while in Nic’s Kitchen. He actually has his own button at the top of the blog entitled “Digger’s Diary”.

Well, read his posts when you need an instant pick me up and some laughter.



365 DAYS OF GRATITUDE – DAY 171: How Do You Handle Your Suffering?


Let’s face it, every single one of us has known multiple and various degrees of suffering.

Our world – it seems – is built on suffering: relying on suffering, advertising and selling suffering, worshiping suffering, constantly talking about suffering and generating it all around, day after day, for all living creatures, small and large.

Whether you suffered at the hands of the family you were born in or the society you are part of, or of a lover, a child or a friend, you know what suffering is.

Whether we suffered physically, emotionally, mentally or spiritually you and I can describe our suffering  and its intensity with great accuracy.

But here’s my question: what do you do WITH it?

Do you allow it to become anger?

Do you bury it and fall into despair?

Do you allow it to annihilate and eat you alive?

Do you pour it into someone else’s ears over and over again?

Do you feed off it?

Or do you allow it to come to the surface and feel it so fully and with so much awareness that it starts to crumble and lose its power?

If you allow it and acknowledge its presence, you become stronger and your suffering starts to dissipate.

Don’t run away from it. If you are suffering it means that you feel hurt; running away won’t do.

Accepting that you are feeling pain and allowing your feelings to be expressed fully will help you heal.

Stop running.

Face it.

Accept it.

Breathe and sit with it.

You are stronger than your suffering.



365 DAYS OF GRATITUDE – DAY 170: Things That Make Me Giddy


I read a lot of things throughout the day and get inspired, challenged, thoughtful or introspective.

This is my area and I am comfortable with introspection and connection with myself and others.

However, there are very few things that make me instantly lighter with laughter.

I want to share one with you today, because I just read it right now and it made me giddy.

Meet Nicola Bird: Successful Entrepreneur, Blogger, Coach, Wannabe Chef, Wine-Drinker, Wife, Mother of 3 humans, 2 cats, 6 fish and 1 totally mental dog.

I met Nicola briefly over coaching calls as she was ending a business coaching program when I was just starting it, so we never really met face to face, but have been following her food blog, which brings me joy.

Nicola started her food blog as an experiment as she is taking cooking lessons.

It is entitled “NIC’S KITCHEN: Food, Family, Life & Other Stuff”. It is witty, funny, real and I enjoy reading it.

Today’s post is entitled “Eggs, Dinosaurs and Chicken Necks“.

How can you NOT read it?




365 DAYS OF GRATITUDE – DAY 169: Can You Let Go?


In this very moment, can you?

Can you let go of your worrying thoughts?

Can you let go of the need to control an outcome?

Can you let go of someone who is trying to control you?

Can you let go of fear?

Can you let go of feeling small?

Can you let go of the need to be right?

Can you let go of the desire to be better than others?

Can you let go of diminishing thoughts?

Can you let go of anger?

Can you?

I know YOU CAN.

But do YOU?



365 DAYS OF GRATITUDE – DAY 168: HOW Do You Love?


The question is not how much you love someone.

The real question is HOW do you love them?

And I am not only talking about romantic love, but about the love you have for your children, parents, siblings and friends.

Possessive love is about your unsatisfied need for attention; if you love possessively, you take from the other person, rather than give.

Jealous  love is about your feeling undeserving, small and insecure; you are afraid you will lose the person you love when someone better than you comes along.

Controlling love is attempting to over-ride or take away the other person’s choice. You want them to behave the way you want them to and disregard what they want and how they feel.

Desperate love is about giving away your power. Your belief that you cannot live without the other person gives your power away, and in the same time puts a great weight load on the other.

Doesn’t really sound like love, does it?

Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh said:

“You must love in such a way, that the other person feels free.”

Reading this made me stop with a gasp: do I love in such a way that the people I love feel free?

Do you?



365 DAYS OF GRATITUDE – DAY 167: Saying “YES” To Life


As I was wondering what my today’s post will be about, an image popped into my head: Jim Carrey in the movie Yes Man, standing tall, with his arms outstretched widely towards the sky, shouting “YES!”.

The movie is funny and heart-warming, but its message is powerful: take a chance, say yes, accept life and living fully, be yourself and enjoy the experience.

The character played by Jim Carrey experiences a wonderful transformation. Low on life and depressed, he accepts a challenge to say yes to everything. He has a new motto “Yes is the new no!”. By deciding to open up to life, he finds himself and everything he always desired.

Remembering this movie, I started thinking about the times when I said no because of fear, feeling vulnerable, being afraid of other peoples’ judgment or the so perceived time limitations.

I also thought about all the times that I said yes, with courage and joy, like the idea of writing this blog that is enhancing my life every day through my connection with you!

What did you say no to that could have enriched your life, lifted you up and offered you joy and transformation?

Let’s say YES more, let’s get out of our shells more!



365 DAYS OF GRATITUDE – DAY 166: Anger Eclipses The Mind’s Rationality


I struggled with anger at certain times in my life. Every single time, once the anger was gone, I was left depleted, spent and physically weak.

So I understood in my bones, so to speak, that anger is a destructive force that eats us from the inside out and made a pact with myself to not allow anger to eat away my life force and well-being.

I can still get angry, but I do not stay angry; instead I turn inside, become still and aware and allow anger to wash over me and dissipate.

Anger does not serve me, so I choose to let it go.

From the same article I quoted from yesterday, comes another nugget of clarity and wisdom.

“We should begin by removing the greatest hindrances to compassion: anger and hatred. As we all know, these are extremely powerful emotions and they can overwhelm our entire mind. Nevertheless, they can be controlled. If, however, they are not, these negative emotions will plague us – with no extra effort on their part! – and impede our quest for the happiness of a loving mind.
So as a start, it is useful to investigate whether or not anger is of value. Sometimes, when we are discouraged by a difficult situation, anger does seem helpful, appearing to bring with it more energy, confidence and determination.
Here, though, we must examine our mental state carefully. While it is true that anger brings extra energy, if we explore the nature of this energy, we discover that it is blind: we cannot be sure whether its result will be positive or negative. This is because anger eclipses the best part of our brain: its rationality. So the energy of anger is almost always unreliable. It can cause an immense amount of destructive, unfortunate behavior. Moreover, if anger increases to the extreme, one becomes like a mad person, acting in ways that are as damaging to oneself as they are to others.
It is possible, however, to develop an equally forceful but far more controlled energy with which to handle difficult situations.
This controlled energy comes not only from a compassionate attitude, but also from reason and patience. These are the most powerful antidotes to anger. Unfortunately, many people misjudge these qualities as signs of weakness. I believe the opposite to be true: that they are the true signs of inner strength. Compassion is by nature gentle, peaceful and soft, but it is very powerful. It is those who easily lose their patience who are insecure and unstable. Thus, to me, the arousal of anger is a direct sign of weakness.”  – excerpt from Compassion and the Individual by Tenzin Gyatso, The Fourteenth Dalai Lama.



365 DAYS OF GRATITUDE – DAY 165: Dalai Lama’s Words On Compassion


I was pondering on compassion today, and searching the web for quotes and articles. I stopped at an article entitled Compassion and the Individual by Tenzin Gyatso, The Fourteenth Dalai Lama.

Below is an excerpt.

Simple. Clear. Powerful.

The best article I ever found on compassion, from me to you:

“True compassion is not just an emotional response but a firm commitment founded on reason. Therefore, a truly compassionate attitude towards others does not change even if they behave negatively.

Of course, developing this kind of compassion is not at all easy!

As a start, let us consider the following facts:

Whether people are beautiful and friendly or unattractive and disruptive, ultimately they are human beings, just like oneself. Like oneself, they want happiness and do not want suffering.

Furthermore, their right to overcome suffering and be happy is equal to one’s own.

Now, when you recognize that all beings are equal in both their desire for happiness and their right to obtain it, you automatically feel empathy and closeness for them.

Through accustoming your mind to this sense of universal altruism, you develop a feeling of responsibility for others: the wish to help them actively overcome their problems. Nor is this wish selective; it applies equally to all. As long as they are human beings experiencing pleasure and pain just as you do, there is no logical basis to discriminate between them or to alter your concern for them if they behave negatively.”