365 DAYS OF GRATITUDE – DAY 113: What Brings You Joy?


The big word of the day is JOY. This post is inspired by a friend who told me a few days ago that she started de-cluttering her home with only one criterion in mind. As she went through drawers, cupboards and all the corners of her living space, she looked at around, picked up each object and asked herself only one question: “Does this bring me joy?”. If an object did bring her joy, she cleaned it and kept it. If it did not, she tossed it.

Isn’t this wonderful? Can you imagine how she will feel once this “cleaning for joy” process is complete? The energy of her space will be clear and beautiful and she will feel energized, restored and uplifted just by being home. This is a powerful cleansing technique. If you are surrounded by objects you really like, your energy elevates and you feel clearer and more optimistic. If, when you look around, you see clothes that don’t fit you, objects that remind you of negative experiences and things in disrepair your energy gets diminished, your mind absorbs the clutter and you do not get to rest, restore and recharge in your own home.

I wrote about this subject on Day 89, but today’s post brings you a new perspective on how to make your home serve you and your needs: just ask the simple question if all the things you have surrounded yourself with bring you joy. Start with one area, with one room and do it! Clean and de-clutter for joy. You will be amazed at the results and you will want to continue the process until your whole living space fills you with joy. And then – inspired, uplifted and recharged – do the same thing with your office, with your car, with the things you choose to do and the people you choose to spend time with.

Start right away. Start now with a single drawer, with a single corner and invite the New Year into your life with joy.

I want you to be surrounded by things that bring you joy, by experiences that fill your heart with joy, doing work that fulfills you and being with people who lift you up and bring you even more joy.



365 DAYS OF GRATITUDE – DAY 112: Your Inner Child And YOU


You and you alone are responsible for the well being of your Inner Child. Nobody else can heal her/him for you, nobody else has the power to integrate his or her gifts and wisdom into your being.

I wrote extensively on the subject of the Inner Child on Day 25, Day 26, Day 27, Day 28 and Day 29 of this gratitude blog.

The reason I am writing about it again is because most people in this world have know various forms and degrees of abuse in their childhood: emotional, physical, sexual or a combination of these three. And some continue to experience abuse throughout their lives.

What I want you to know is that only you have the power to heal your wounds. You may employ other people to help you do so (spiritual teacher, psychotherapists, healers, psychiatrists, counselors), but ultimately only YOU can do the healing work that is necessary if you are to be a whole, grounded and powerful person who is not afraid of living your life according to your own desires and dreams.

Healing can only occur and forgiveness can only wash away all that has happened ONLY if you are willing to look deep inside yourself at the things you tried very hard to forget.

Once you have done the work to heal your Inner Child, there will be no reason to fight with your memories and bury them in the deep corners of your mind. You will then be free of the past.

You will be free to LIVE.

This is the vision that I hold for you, with you. With all my heart.



365 DAYS OF GRATITUDE – DAY 111: What If You Become Your Own BFF?


How does that sound? Think about it: are you indeed your own best friend? Do you have your own approval? And do you have your own back?

Nick Ortner says:

“Too often we are ruled by everything that’s wrong with us, as opposed to everything that’s right with us.”

Everything changes the moment you decide to become your own best friend, to stand strongly by your own side and to treat yourself with love, understanding and compassion. If your best friend feels down, you do not kick them when they’re on the floor, do you? You help them stand up; you sit them down and tell them what you love about them, how they enhance your life and why you believe in them. You listen to them, you assist them and give them your support.

Maybe right now it is a challenge for you to befriend yourself and you cannot imagine starting to support yourself the way you would your BFF. If this is the case, I want you to take a sheet of paper and write down what you think of yourself; write all the words down. Do not hold back. If you don’t face how you see yourself you will not be able to change it. So write down what you think. Then, take another sheet of paper and for each harsh and judgemental word you used, write down a slighly softer, lighter word; then throw away the first version.

In a couple of weeks look at your list again and then take a new sheet of paper and soften the words again. In time, your perception of yourself will change. And then it will change again.

Choose to become your own best friend. Imagine how you would feel if YOU stood by your side. Accept that it is a process. And keep working on your list.



365 DAYS OF GRATITUDE – DAY 110: And… Another Thing You Can Do Is…


… saying “Thank You”. Over and over. Try it: whenever you feel down, upset, worried and negative feelings start to creep up, just say these two words: Thank You. Repeat them in your head, silently or speak them out loud. Or write them by hand. The more you do it, the better you will start to feel.

Does it seem too simple? All great things are simple.

Do try it. Say “thank you” over and over and over. I spent about 90 minutes today repeating the same words. Sometimes my  mind wondered, but I came back to “thank you”. I felt lighter, calmer and more optimistic as the minutes went by.

What have you got to lose? Give it a try.

Thank you… Thank you… Thank you…



365 DAYS OF GRATITUDE – DAY 109: What To Do When You Feel Negative


It is Christmas Day and most people celebrating Christmas had a good time today with family and friends, sharing gifts and food and love. Holidays bring people together and provide ample opportunities for true connection and deep healing to take place. And this is precisely why holidays can also be challenging and painful for some people. Family gatherings are a time of celebration but they also bring the surface things that are not healed; they open wounds and generate tears. People feel hurt, they get angry and end up fighting each other on the very day that all they desire is to connect and celebrate together.  It makes sense that this happens: during the holidays people get together, have some time off, relax a little, start talking to each other, eat and drink together; that togetherness creates an opportunity for things that are painful and not yet healed to come to the surface.

So when you start to feel negativity building up inside you during the holiday time or at any other time, there is something you can do immediately to dissipate it. Do the exact opposite: do something positive! Go against the grain of what you feel: if you feel angry, find something to be thankful for; if you feel judgmental, look at that person with fresh new eyes, find something to appreciate about them and go share it with them; if you feel hurt, choose to remain open and don’t close up like you would have done in the past. Whatever negative feeling starts to creep up, dismantle it by choosing to feel,  do and say something positive. By doing so you make the choice to heal, to let go of past hurts, to release fear and blame, to become free of your past. It is powerful and an extraordinary gift you can give yourself.

The same way a single candle lit in a dark room dissipates the darkness, your one positive thought, word or deed dismantles negativity. Healing can start to take place. That is what holidays are for: opportunities for us to get together, heal what hurts, find and offer support, get closer, find ways to appreciate each other just the way we are and move beyond fear and pain.

Feeling something negative? Go and do something positive. Right now.



365 DAYS OF GRATITUDE – DAY 108: Giving It Your All


Giving it your all in every moment does not mean that you work harder, push more, get more done and cross things off your list faster. What it means is that you open yourself up more, that you allow yourself to be fully present, that you decide to give yourself and others a break, that you choose to really hear what others say to you and what you say to yourself. It might seem like an easy thing to do, but from what I see, very few people are able to do that. Why? Because being present means that they become aware of themselves and what they are truly feeling. And that scares them.

How about you decide right now that you are willing to be more present? You do not need to make big promises to yourself, just be willing to do something different.

Your willingness to allow a different way of being will start to change things in your life. You will slowly start to feel more ease, more flow and less strife; your relationships will improve and you will experience synchronicity.

I say, go for it! It is worth giving it a try.



365 DAYS OF GRATITUDE – DAY 107: Are You Giving It Your All?


Tonight I sat in front of my computer, ready to write my next entry and I started to relax (as I always do before I write my posts), because I trust the process of writing  my 365 days gratitude blog. As I sat quietly for a few moments, allowing inspiration to kick in, I realized that one of the reasons why life flows with grace and ease for me is because I am giving it my all, in every single moment.

What I want to share with you is this: one of the most powerful and effective ways to shift a situation, to change an outcome and to create what you truly desire is to acknowledge and appreciate what you are living right now; even when what you are going through in the moment is challenging, hurtful, hard or disheartening. If you are giving it your all, you are saying yes to life, you are appreciating that life has ups and down and most of all, you are committing yourself to living fully, authentically, without holding back, without laying blame, without feeling trapped.

In this very moment ask yourself: are you giving it your all? Are you fully present, are you acknowledging what is without fear, without judgment, without blame?

Just ask yourself these questions and allow the answers to come to you. Breathe. Ask. Allow. Hear the answers.

I will come back with more tomorrow.



365 DAYS OF GRATITUDE – DAY 106: Worrying About Someone? Don’t!

RUCSANDRA's PICTUREDo you ever worry about somebody you care about? Of course you do. Everybody does. Sometimes I find myself doing it as well, but the moment I become aware of it, I stop right then and there and realign my thoughts and my feelings. I want you to stop worrying because your worry does not help your loved ones.

Why do you worry? You worry because you care about someone and you want them to be well, to do well and to have everything work perfectly for them. Your wishes for them are one thing and they carry the energetic torch of success, health and well-being for them. Your worrying when things get hard for them is another things. Now, I do understand that what I am going to say next might not be easy to understand or agree with in the beginning, but please stay open to a different point of view.

Let me explain what I now know about worry. When you worry about someone, you are sending them an energy that weakens their strength and diminishes their life force. Worry is born from the lack of trust in their abilities to handle their own challenges and to follow their own path in life. You worry about something that might happen in the future, but the future is not here yet and you do not know how it will unfold.

Simply put, when you worry about others you are telling them energetically that you do not trust them to figure it all out for themselves, to raise to their own challenges, to find their own way. Even if you do not actually say these words to them, they pick it up from your energy, they can feel it and they feel diminished by how you feel about them. Your worry shows lack of trust in their capacity to live their life. Your worry is lack of trust in life.

So stop worrying about them. Trust them to figure it out; offer them your help if they ask for it but trust them to find their own way.

If you stop worrying, you tell them energetically that you believe in them and in their strength to clear their obstacles. Help them conquer their fears, overcome their challenges by stopping your own habit of worry. They will feel your trust and that will give them strength and courage.

Who are the persons you are worried about in this very moment? Hold them in your awareness and make the choice to trust them to be OK. Free them up from your worry and your own fears. Hold the vision of their well-being in your mind and stop worrying. Your trust in them will strengthen them.



365 DAYS OF GRATITUDE – DAY 105: I Release All That No Longer Serves Me


I just read a post on Facebook published by Louise Hay:

“I release all that no longer serves me. I am free and light.”

Many years ago, I realized that the frantic shopping habits that are linked with Christmas did not serve me at all, so I let them go. I became freer and lighter because of that. I do not like to shop, and I do not go shopping, just to fill my time or to see what’s out there that I might like and I do not succumb to the pressure of Christmas shopping.

Shopping became a sport in our culture, and an extreme sport if we stop to think about it. Pretty much like the extreme cleaning I was telling you about in my post yesterday. Buying tones of gifts and spending money that you might not have – just because you feel the pressure of Christmas – does not enhance your life. It create stress and a financial burden.

This year might be too late to reconsider releasing all this Christmas frenzy, but do keep it in mind for next year.

So honoring Christmas again, and my friend the Grinch, here’s my little verse for today:

Christmas will come despite money spent, despite bows and ribbons  and a credit card dent.



365 DAYS OF GRATITUDE – DAY 104: The Grinch Didn’t Talk About Cleaning


My memories of Christmas, growing up in Romania, are mostly sweet and warm. But my memories of the times leading up to Christmas speak of insanity. Yes, your read it right: insanity. Every single household appeared to be taken hostage by extreme cleaning (read “extreme”, like in extreme sports). And when I say extreme cleaning, I mean cleaning taken to the absurd. If you live in Romania and are getting ready for Christmas right now, you might get upset by what I am saying, but just read a different point of view; agree or not, I will not feel offended.

Let me take you on the journey of the cleaning fever that infected everyone, about ten days before Christmas. Everything had to be spotless; furniture was moved so the floors could be fully and properly cleaned, carpets were taken outside to be beaten with no mercy and released of their accumulated dust and dirt; some carpets were even washed; closets and cupboards were emptied and every item pulled out to be cleaned, washed, fixed or thrown out; bathrooms and kitchens, if not up to par, would be given a fresh coat of paint; windows were cleaned, everything was vacuumed a couple of times, just for good measure; doors were fixed, hinges were oiled. Balconies and backyards got the same treatment. Everyone in the family was given tasks – small and large – by the matron of the house (in my case my mother) and everyone worked hours and hours every day until everything got the pass of approval.

OK, I am not saying that cleaning to such extent is not a good thing. It is. I do it too, in my home and my business, and having grown up in Romania, I can assure you that I know how to clean. I have yet to find a cleaning lady who beats my cleaning skills. BUT, I do not do it at Christmas time.

On top of all the cleaning, the groceries had to be bought and brought home and the Christmas feast had to be cooked. If  you have ever eaten a holiday meal at a Romanian table, you know that there must be enough food to feed a hungry battalion. I have to admit, I am guilty of this myself, as my friends comment when they come for dinner. I have shaken the “extreme cleaning” conditioning, but have retained the “cooking for 100” one.

What I am remembering though –  and this is the point I want to make – is that by the time Christmas arrived and it was time to seat around the beautiful dinner table, laden with fabulous, plentiful food, in a spotless, sparkling clean and beautifully decorated home, everyone was exhausted from days and days of heavy work, cranky and ready to go to bed.

Even the Grinch got it in the end:

“Maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more!”

Dr. Seuss didn’t talk about extreme cleaning, that’s true, but paraphrasing the Grinch maybe Christmas is about a little more than an impeccably clean home.

So here’s my little verse, honoring the Grinch and what he learned about Christmas:

Christmas will come despite dust on the floor, despite messy cupboards and a creaky old door.