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

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… 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…

Love,

Rucsandra

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

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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.

Love,

Rucsandra

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

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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.

Love,

Rucsandra

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

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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.

Love,

Rucsandra