100 Days of Blessings

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It has been a little over a hundred days….about 3 months since I started my “Simple Abundance Journal of Gratitude.” Recording 5 daily gifts I am thankful for, I can look back, jubilant for 500 blessings in my life!

Although I began 2014 eager to live passionately, I must admit that by February I had sunk back into my daily monotony of laziness. To avoid general and redundant “thankful” entries such as “nice day today” or “interesting tv show,” I pushed my activity level. I decided to make a list of accomplishments I wanted to be thankful for….and did them.

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Identifying the gifts abounding, both big and small, my perspective changed. Now, each day I challenge myself to take advantage of every joyous opportunity while taking the time to quiet my soul and refect on the less extravegant moments. Some examples are cooking a big meal or finishing a work out regimen. Others would be a shared, hearty laugh with my brother or finding a birds nest out back.

Joel Olsteen says in his book, ‘I Declaire,’ “Whenever we speak something, we give life to what we are saying…..you’ve got to send your words out in the direction you want your life to go.”

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#Think positive. Be positive. Reflect Positivity.

~Breathe This Life~

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The Empowerment of Film

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Tonight I ended my day the way I usually do, by relaxing in front of a random array of Youtube videos. Whatever catches my fancy. Being the movie buff that I am….film trailers first up on the docket. Seen it, seen it, chick flick, not interested, sci-fi, never heard of that, yawn….wait! What’s that?? Apparently, it’s a love story between two young people, one of whom is dying. I don’t know much more to the story but having read some Shakespeare, I have an idea where it’s going. One thing makes me want to check it out to hopefully feel inspired: The female lead wears OXYGEN!

This is a big deal to me because it’s the first time I have ever seen a main character – a young person no less – who wears oxygen in a film. It is curious that such a simple thing as identifying with a fictional movie character could empower me so much. Obviously, I have not seen the film (Released June 6, 2014), yet I imagine I’ll feel inspired similarly to the way a young Down Syndrome kid watching Chris Burke (“Corky” from Tv’s Life Goes On) would.

But why am I surprised? I’ve done enough film study to know that what goes up on the screen is a reflection of society’s- or a group in society’s- dreams, goals, views, fears, humor, history. It’s a way for us to take our lives, roll them around in our minds and express it visually. The beauty of visual story telling is that it allows underrepresented groups to be seen and heard. It’s comforting to know people will empathize with your story, because, after all, there is something extremely soothingly palatable about a box with moving lights and sounds.

My point is this: Over the decades different ethnicities and identities have gained power and respect by voicing their….well, voice. “I am unique! I am a person of worth! I deserve respect and common decency afforded to every other American!” Throughout the 20th Century it seems film has not only been a tool to gain national acceptance but also a yardstick by which to measure how much further a group has to persevere. African-Americans, Asians, Hispanics all had periods when they were not respected in Hollywood. While it’s never perfect, many doors seem to be opening for those groups.

This is why I am so thrilled about this new movie, The Fault In Our Stars. Finally, oxygen has it’s day! I can’t wait to roll my tanks into the theater, puff away and take out my Kleenex: I hear it’s a tear-jerker.

Uplift Your Soul In Only 4 Minutes!

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What’s great about this song is that while Pharrell’s words encourage us to be in a happy mood, his music inspires your hands, feet and soul to dance! I DARE you to watch this video and not smile/dance/clap and feel totally groovie!

On a more serious note, allow me to get a bit deep as I analyze the word “happy” and it’s effects on our mood.

I compare Joy and Happiness to states of Emotional and Logical. “Happiness” to me is merely a mental state, an effort that is made to create the impression of having a good mood. We may smile, (fake) laugh, think on positive things, stop criticisms….but can’t always mask our worries or convince ourselves that life is good. Have you ever asked a friend, “Are you happy?” and they answer defenively, “Yea, I’m happy!”

TRUE “Joy” is emotional. It is a state of blissful consciousness that informs every aspect of our lives. In my younger days when I went to clubs to meet girls, my friend and I had a montra to gain confidence, “fake it till you make it.” Basically, pretend you are confident until you become confident. That applies to self-esteem too.

Act Happy; focus on positive thoughts and ignore negatvity. Soon those processes will become habits, then a perspective, then mentality. Jofullness, will suddenly take hold of your spirit and allow you to feel free to reach your fullest potential and impact others positively.

Happiness is seeing the glass half full while Joy is the ability to see water no matter how much fills the cup.

~~ Breathe Easy! ~~