Home – 2013

angry words stab like a sword
get out of my face

a quiet anger

vitriolic

haunting
please yourself

a fine line between love and hate

you ripped my heart out

my lover

my tormentor
how could you be so cruel?

shattered

broken

humiliated

I didn’t deserve this
with clenched fist and gnashed teeth

no longer

I’m not afraid to dream

eyes wide open

I listened as they called my President a Muslim.
I listened as they called him and his family a pack of monkeys.
I listened as they said he wasn’t born here.
I watched as they blocked every single path to progress that they could.
I saw the pictures of him as Hitler.
I watched them shut down the government and hurt the entire nation twice.
I watched them turn their backs on every opportunity to open worthwhile dialog.
I watched them say that they would not even listen to any choice for Supreme Court no matter who the nominee was.
I listened as they openly said that they will oppose him at every turn.
I watched as they did just that.
I listened.
I watched.
I paid attention.
Now, I’m being called on to be tolerant.
To move forward.
To denounce protesters.
To “Get over it.”
To accept this…
I will not.
I will do my part to make sure this great American mistake becomes the embarrassing footnote of our history that it deserves to be.
I will do this as quickly as possible every chance I get.
I will do my part to limit the damage that this man can do to my country.
I will watch his every move and point out every single mistake and misdeed in a loud and proud voice.
I will let you know in a loud voice every time this man backs away from a promise he made to them.
Them. The people who voted for him.
The ones who sold their souls and prayed for him to win.
I will do this so that they never forget.
And they will hear me.
They will see it in my eyes when I look at them.
They will hear it in my voice when I talk to them.
They will know that I know who they are.
They will know that I know what they are.
Do not call for my tolerance. I’ve tolerated all I can.
Now it’s their turn to tolerate ridicule.
Be aware, make no mistake about it, every single thing that goes wrong in our country from this day forward is now Trump’s fault just as much as they thought it was Obama’s.
I find it unreasonable for them to expect from me what they were entirely unwilling to give.”
Author unknown.

100 Reasons to be Grateful Today

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100 Reasons to be Grateful Today

By Daniel Dowling

“Gratitude is a currency that we can mint for ourselves, and spend without fear of bankruptcy.” ~Fred De Witt Van Amburgh

I began my gratitude practice at a time when I desperately needed help seeing the good in my life.

Several failed relationships and a broken heart had left me blind to the incredible gifts the Universe had given me, and I was rutted in depression for three years. I couldn’t seem to focus on anything besides what I had lost. Happiness seemed like a cosmic joke.

The more I focused on what I wasn’t grateful for, like the love I had lost, the less I focused on doing the things I loved.

Depression is common, and it happens to many of us at some point. But the longer I chose to wallow in it, the more impossible happiness seemed. After my third year of depression I seriously considered whether life was even worth living.

Then I came across Zig Ziglar’s empowering audiobook A View From the Top.

I learned from Zig how giving to others can help us foster a deep sense of happiness, and how gratitude is the missing ingredient to most people’s success.

Immediately, I began a gratitude practice, focusing on the important people in my life and the many gifts I had to share with others.

It was a tough transition because there was so much negative momentum to reverse. Habits are like roads—the more you travel them, the easier they are to follow. But I stayed disciplined with my new habit and chose grateful thoughts even when I felt hopeless.

Within two years my gratitude practice turned into a lifestyle, and today I’m enjoying the fruits.

I make a living doing what I love as a writer, and I make a difference in the lives of thousands of people through my work—all because I shifted my focus from what I lacked to what I had.

The amazing thing is that no matter how much or little I think I have, I always have more! And gratitude helps me see it.

If you’ve felt gypped by the Universe, here are 100 reasons to be grateful today. Don’t just read them, feel them.

1. The breath in your lungs

2. Your hard-working heart

3. The food that fuels your experience

4. The ever-present opportunity to make better decisions than your last

5. Your brain and memory that allow you to learn from mistakes

6. The freedom to make unlimited mistakes on your road to self-improvement

7. The endless supply of wisdom people and books provide

8. The natural talents you were born to share

9. The challenges that allow you to grow

10. The accomplishments that have improved your life

11. The mother and father who gave you life

12. The Internet

13. Humor

14. Sweet doggy friends, or cats, if you’re that kind of person

15. Warm sun on your skin

16. The beauty and life in nature

17. The senses that allow you to experience beauty

18. Clean drinking water

19. Health in any amount

20. The arms, legs, feet, and hands that give you freedom of movement

21. The favorite song that keeps you going when you feel like giving up

22. The artists who struggle to create beauty for others

23. The gift of language

24. The ability to read

25. The ability to learn from the mistakes and achievements of others

26. The help that is always there when you ask for it

27. The roof over your head

28. Piercing stars in a clear night sky

29. The inspiration that sweeps you out of your comfort zone

30. The people who’ve dedicated their lives to inspiring others

31. The kids who remind you to be playful and adventurous

32. The ability to connect with family and friends anywhere in the world (Skype)

33. Carrots (If you don’t know about carrots, click this link)

34. Family farms that are committed to providing organic and sustainable foods

35. The fresh start you’re given every day

36. Rain

37. Hope

38. The pain that reminds you of the need to change

39. Our dreams

40. The people who pray for you every day, without you realizing it

41. The hard times that made you who you are

42. Automatic rice cookers, refrigerators, air conditioning, and every little convenience that saves you time

43. Bare feet on grass

44. All the organisms in the soil that support life on earth

45. Electricity

46. All of the amazing teachers who helped you reach your potential

47. Each failure that led to your achievements, and everyone who encouraged you to keep going

48. The “haters” who helped you build resilience by saying, “No, you can’t!”

49. The fact that every bit of food you need to be happy and healthy is just a short drive away

50. The garbage men who keep streets clean

51. The random smile that got you through your last impossible day

52. That one cashier who you can always count on to brighten your day

53. Photosynthesis, and the fact that nature’s beauty works to keep you alive

54. The one friend you’ve been able to count on through every stage in your life—even if that friend is you

55. The new friends you’ve yet to meet, and the amazing times you haven’t yet experienced

56. Your favorite spot to recharge when you’re overwhelmed

57. Sunsets that make the sky explode with incandescent pinks, peaches, purples, oranges, and golds

58. Your education

59. Every single one of the trillions of cells in your body that work hard so that you can experience life

60. That one mule of a person who challenges you to be kind when it’s most difficult

61. Grandmas and Grandpas who helped make childhood so special

62. The special people who filled spots where parents or grandparents were missing

63. Bananas and peanut butter (or your favorite treat)

64. Fresh baked baguettes that are crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside (and other delicious food)

65. The spiritual growth you’ve accomplished (give yourself some credit!)

66. The renewal of spring

67. The relaxing sound of trickling water

68. Gardens with fresh herbs, even if they’re just on your window sill

69. YouTube, for whenever you need to troubleshoot your car or computer, and especially when you need a laugh.

70. All the quotes that inspire you

71. Good cheese, and underrated philosophers

72. The doors that closed on opportunities you wanted but didn’t need

73. The windows that opened when you almost gave up hope

74. All the serendipitous occasions that remind you never to lose faith

75. Everything coconut-related: oil, water, ice cream, flour, cream pie, etc.

76. The hardships that transform us into more capable, understanding, giving, and forgiving people

77. The impossible, for inspiring us to expand our limits

78. The hot showers that completely change your perspective on life

79. Gluten-free bread that doesn’t suck

80. Hearing good news

81. Making good news for others to hear

82. The little depressions that remind you to fight hard for happiness

83. The anxiety that reminds you to feel your emotions so you can learn from them and let them go

84. The fact that you are unconditionally loved and accepted

85. A really good cry

86. Sex

87. New life

88. Beautiful men and women (look in the mirror)

89. The rituals that give security and meaning to daily life

90. Your favorite things

91. The ridiculous people you can always count on for a belly laugh

92. Little touches from people you love that make everything okay

93. Little munchkins who you can never be with quite enough

94. The good examples who’ve inspired you to be your best

95. The bad examples who illuminated the paths you shouldn’t take

96. The movies, music, art, celebrations, and people that remind you just how good it is to be human

97. The you from yesterday you get to compete with today

98. Refreshing walks that calm your mind and ease your spirit

99. The ability to change your whole life with one good decision

100. The option to be grateful no matter where you are or what you’re experiencing

Gratitude is the most important choice in your day—and you can find things to be grateful for everywhere if you look hard enough. If you liked this list, try making your own at the end of each week and put it in a gratitude journal. Your life will effloresce, I promise.