Friday, June 29

Common Sense When Relating With the Opposite Sex ......................6/29/12

"A friend is one who believes in you when
 you have ceased to believe in yourself." 
     Good evening everyone,

Aren't you glad that it's the weekend?  My body is getting a bit more sleep and my mind is very thankful. When I'm deprived of sleep, it affects my enthusiasm, energy and I get

Thursday, June 28

An Antidote for Stress, Part II, Connecting with God 6/28/12

Image: "Woodland: The Edge of the Forest" by Tim Blessed
Copyrighted photo used by permission. 
Increasing My Conscious Contact of God's Will 
        I'm thankful that God is in control of my life, because I'm not. :)  Presently, I'm working through areas that are fraught with tension and fear.  I appreciate knowing some days, I will not take them one day at a time---I go through the difficult ones fifteen minutes at a time.  I try to be conscious of my relationship with my Higher Power.

        Using principles I've learned, I pray, that's talking to God.  I also meditate, which is listening to Him.  I ask for the ability to understand His will----hearing His voice.
"I call my sheep, they hear my voice and they follow me."            John 10:27
I keep myself still, freeing myself from distractions. I ask God to show me, through the orchestration of events of in my life, what He's trying to say to me, in what way is He nudging me.

        If I realize my life is going in the wrong direction, it doesn't help to run the opposite way, if I'm on the wrong bus.   My spiritual disciplines allow me to get off the bus of life, helping me and get my bearings, free from the distractions of busyness and the siren call of the world's temptations.

       This increases my conscious contact with the God of my understanding.  Praying for knowledge of His will and the power to care it out is known as Step 11, in recovery.

3.  I'm glad that I'm connected with a Power Greater than Myself who helps me overcome life's challenges.       Hey, thanks for dropping by and sharing your response to what I pen here. It's encouraging returning and reading your comments.
My Gratitudes for Today:
1. I'm still feel like

Wednesday, June 27

One Hour Sleep In Two Days .........6/27/12

       How are the dog day of Summer working out for you?   I'm happy to say that I've been tending to business, keeping myself busy and a bit frazzled. Some mornings have been tense. But I've learned to take life slowly and steadily.
Gratitude is when memory is stored
 in the heart and not in the mind.

Lionel Hampton

       I don't want to be guilty of emotional binges, allowing my feelings to overwhelm me.
       Lately I've wanted to cycle more than I have.  Unfortunately, I've had the double whammy of

Tuesday, June 26

Gratitude: A Great Way To Reduce Stress . 6/26/12

Image: "Signet" by Tim Blessed. Copyrighted photograph. All rights reserved. 
      Hello everyone,

How has the week been for you? It's been a crazy week for me. I've been tending to business, making phone calls. So far, the outcome has been good.

 The following article by Ashley Davis Bush, a psychotherapist.  It fits perfectly with what we do here, at the Attitude of Gratitude Inn. Let me know what you think:
         "We all know that one of the best ways to manage stress is exercise. Of course, we could also include massages, vacations, and healthy food as effective stress managers. But all these solutions require special circumstances that cost us money and time -- money and time that we often don't have in sufficient quantities
       "So what's a stressed person on a shoestring budget or full tilt schedule to do? The absolute cheapest, bargain basement stress management tool is right in your own mind -- the practice of gratitude.
       "Gratitude is the antidote to our most stressful thoughts. In an environment of gratitude, negative emotions cannot thrive. Dr. Robert Emmons, a positive psychologist, has shown how practicing gratitude can raise your "happiness level." 
         "Neuroscientist Rick Hanson, Ph.D., promotes the practice of "taking in t"Home Sweet Home" -- As you open the door to your home, reflect on a few qualities of this particular house, this unique home, this constellation of dwellers that improves your life. Most people take their home for granted. Here is an opportunity to be aware of your home as a gift. Let the feelings of comfort, safety and ease trigger a smile.
        " 'Rest in Peace' -- As you lay your head on the pillow at night, reflect on your day and observe 3 things for which you are thankful. They could be simple pleasures or large successes from the day. As you recall them, try to re-experience and savor them anew, expanding the feelings within your body and abshe good"because it deactivates our bodies' stress response and counteracts anxiety and depressive moods.
         "Focusing our stressed minds on the things that we're grateful for is like dousing a fire with cool water. Gratitude is habit-forming. With some practice, we can develop the habit of turning our attention to the plethora of blessings in our lives. Gratitude is not about ignoring the hard things in life; it is about honoring the gifts.
          "Whenever you practice gratitude, let yourself really notice the good feelings and allow the sensations and emotions to soak into your body and your memory. Inspired by my book Shortcuts to Inner Peace, the following simple exercises can be woven through your day to create a fabric of happiness and gratitude.
        " 'Good Morning Sunshine' -- When you first wake up in the morning, lie in bed with one hand on your upper chest and one hand on your lower belly. Think of three things in your life that make you smile. Breathe in gratitude and let it fill you.
        " 'See Food' -- As you eat your first bite of a meal or a snack, look at the food you put into your mouth and give thanks. Try to "see" where it came from and all the steps that were required to have it arrive on your plate. Imagine farmers, factories, truckers and chefs, each step an integral part of the journey to your mouth.
        " 'Job Fair' -- Just before you begin your work for the day, think of three things about your job that you really appreciate. Even if you're not thrilled with your job, look to see if you enjoy your co-workers, certain customer interactions, or simply the fact that you get a paycheck that allows you to pay your rent or mortgage.
        " 'Home Sweet Home' -- As you open the door to your home, reflect on a few qualities of this particular house, this unique home, this constellation of dwellers that improves your life. Most people take their home for granted. Here is an opportunity to be aware of your home as a gift. Let the feelings of comfort, safety and ease trigger a smile.
        " 'Rest in Peace' -- As you lay your head on the pillow at night, reflect on your day . and observe 3 things for which you are thankful. They could be simple pleasures or large successes from the day. As you recall them, try to re-experience and savor them anew, expanding the feelings within your body and absorbing the memory into your mind
            "Don't let stressful circumstances ruin your days. Once you start to see the details in your life through the lens of gratitude, you will find yourself happier and less stressed. No extra time or fancy equipment needed -- gratitude is yours for free!"

Monday, June 25

Celebrating Father's Day A Week Later ........ 6/25/12

Gratitude is the music of the heart, when its
chords are swept by the breeze of kindness. 
     Good morning everyone,

I'll head for bed in a moment. First, I'll share my gratitudes with the visitors to this inn.
1. Sunday, I celebrated

Saturday, June 23

Dealing With Disappointment and What Allows Me to Be At My Best, When Stressed

“If your heart is a volcano, how shall you expect flowers to bloom?”

Kahlil Gibran
      Good evening,

I'm tired, and have a headache. Fitful sleep does that to me. I knew I had to get up early today, and kept waking up throughout the night.

      Also, the people in the house next door are in the midst of a move. They have been making plenty of noise---early in the mornings---waking me up, every day

Friday, June 22

Lows and Highs

     Good evening everyone.

How About You? 
       How was your week?  We haven't done the following in a few weeks. It's Friday. How about checking in?  Would it be possible to let me know:
1. What was your low point? What was the worst thing about this week, and why?
     The low point for me was being tired for most of the week.  I was exhausted by the events of last weekend. When my emotions are involved, I get worn down. This is true even if they are good emotions, as they were.  My son's graduation had me at a wonderful high. Celebrating it with him will be a lifetime monumental moment.

       Secondly, and I'm cheating, I had neighbors who have been noisy. They are moving. In the middle of the night they have waken me up, several times this week. This morning at 5:30 a.m. I went over and asked them if they could be quieter. They were. I should have done this sooner. Say---!   Maybe I'm tired because of this issue alone!

2. What was your high point? What did you like best about the past seven days, and why?
     For me, it was seeing my son graduate from college. It's fulfilling seeing a son achieve major milestones. I was proud for him. He put in a lot of work. He went through the grind necessary to achieve his education, despite many distractions and pressures.

Thursday, June 21

Our Ideal Self Isn't, Revisited. No More Painful, Self-Imposed Dimples On My Soul ................................6/21/12

Our past, released by forgiveness and gratitude, frees our present to be all it could be.
Image: "Field and Country: Spring Shine by Tim Blessed. Copyrighted photo. Used by

 permission. The caption is his and fits this post well. 
      I'm bumping this up.  I wrote this a year ago, last June.  Let me know your response.  I've re-worked it.  It's an example of second-day lasagna.  One year's perspective makes a difference.

My Gratitudes for 6/21/12:
1.  I'm working out, making exercise a priority.  I feel good when I take care of

Wednesday, June 20

Boundaries, Expressing Our Voice and Dealing With Disappointment

Proverbs 25:12. See the first quote below, in purple.
       I love the commentary I'm reading from you, the guests to this inn. I delight in your honest answers.  I'm also enjoying is the theme of personal growth and awareness that I'm picking up from your comments. On top of that, all of you have been so

Tuesday, June 19

Calmness in the Eye of an Emotional Storm: Not Allowing Others to Affect Our Serenity or Self-Image: Dealing with Emotional Bullies, Revisited 6/19/12

          Good evening everyone,
I wrote what follows this picture a year ago, last March. I'm bumping it up, in case you missed it. It's so easy surrendering our boundaries, becoming intimidated, finding ourselves like deer frozen in the headlights when relating with an angry, intimidating or manipulative individual.
        Below is my response to such an occasion.  I'm thankful that I no longer accept unacceptable behavior, nor please unpleasant people, nor bear the burden of another's

Monday, June 18

A Special Time With Family.......... 6/18/12

Tonight, I rode along this part of Alameda,
Crab Cove, five miles into my 15.5 mile ride. 
     Good evening,

The weekend was busy, but good.  Sunday, my

Sunday, June 17

A Soothing Flood of Memories On a Scorching Day

           I just awoke from a nap.   The hot day enervated me. For three-and-a-half hours, I sat in 95 degree heat, wilting.  No comfort from the bay's cool breeze interrupted today's event. I'm climatically spoiled and melted under the assault of this summer day.

          The day was shadeless.  Such is the case when

Friday, June 15

My Son, A Fountain for Many Gratitudes

My son will look like this tomorrow. I'm proud of him. No, he's not in this photo. 
      How was your Friday?

I did errands in preparation for my oldest son's graduation, tomorrow.  I cycled thirty-six miles in the process. (Last month I rode 600 miles.)  I drove through downtown Oakland and up San Pablo Avenue, which was an experience.
A Scarey Moment
       I was scared when I rode up an automobile overpass that did not have a sidewalk, cars roaring behind me.

Second Day Lasagna (Also, Not Allowing Others to Define Us, Holding On To Our Autonomy) ........6/15/12

      Please help yourself to a portion of second-day lasagna.

      I wrote the following in my previous post. I've added to it and want to share it with you. You might have missed it. I often liken blogging to second-day

Wednesday, June 13

Not Allowing Others To Define Who We Are ......6/13/12 400th post

Gratitude is the fairest blossom
 which springs from the soul.
Henry Ward Beecher

       Here I am, again. And, am I glad! This entry is a milestone. I like milestones. I'm a milestone type of guy. You'll find why, in my

Today's a Special Day

Happy Fifteenth Month Anniversary!

      Good afternoon,

This is a special day, fifteen months since this inn opened its doors. Thanks for dropping by!

      I didn't realize how much I would

Tuesday, June 12

The Birth of Serenity After Weathering an Emotional Storm ................................................6/12/12

       Did you have a good day?  I certainly did. It's almost midnight over here, on the Left Coast. Even though the hour is late, I intend to go for a midnight ride this evening, after this post.

       Taxing my body is not only good for my body,but also for my soul, mind, emotions and spirit (which is different than our soul---for more about that, click here).  I sleep better, I burn calories, my mind gets cleared, stress is relieved and I commune with God, as I roll on two wheels past nature.  Cycling allows me time to pray.

       This was a good day for my

Calmness In the Eye of the Emotional Storm, Part II (The Instant Learning/Awareness That Can Take Place.) ...................................................6/12/12

"No matter what's happening around us, we can choose
 to respond in a way that will help us learn and grow." 
Image: "Riverside: Old Willow" by Tim Blessed.Copyrighted photo. All rights reserved.

 Used by permission. Caption is the photographer's. I find it appropriate for this post. .
         This was part of the previous post. I've transplanted it here and expanded upon my thoughts; one night of sleeping upon a dramatic event can do that. Please let me know if you have any thoughts on this subject of "having that difficult conversation we've been avoiding."

          This post is quite different from most I submit in the inn. But I believe in reality and prefer to

A Grateful Innkeeper

        Hi there,

Did you enjoy your Monday?  I did, mine.  My health is being restored.  My back pain is almost entirely gone. Ya ay!

        Today, I slowed down, I

Friday, June 8

Getting Better, Taking Care of Self, Enjoying Time with My Son & Nature. (And I Was a Bad Kitty) ..............6/8/12

          How was it for you, now that this work week has ended?

My back is recovering, thank God.  I have plenty to be thankful for, including your concern for my recent health challenge.
My Gratitudes for Today:
1.  The weather was fabulous.  I live in a place that has absolutely perfect weather. Recently it has been in the high seventies, with a cool breeze and NO humidity.
2.  My back is not hurting much, tomorrow will make it a week that I've had this problem. I'm grateful my health is being restored.
Taking Care of Myself In Small Ways
Providing Opportunities To Dream
3.  I reduced

Thursday, June 7

I'm In An Area of Growth ................................6/7/12

Image: "Field and Country: New Wheat" by Tim Blessed.
 All rights reserved. Copyrighted material. 
       How are you?

This is an unusual time for me to post. A moment is available and I want to check in. The body is feeling a bit better. For those who don't know, my back has been in constant pain for several days.

        An interaction I had with someone recently left me not happy.  Needs for courtesy, respect, safety and celebration weren't met.  As I frequently point out in this inn, I prefer responding, rather than reacting to life. Reacting allows the jackal within me to have its day.  Never a good idea.

        I have zero interest in

Wednesday, June 6

Taking it Easy---My Back Has Been Killing Me.

      I'm taking it easy tonight. I'm heading off to bed early---I'm trying to get my body back into shape. My lower back has been a constant source of pain over the past five days.
    My Gratitudes for Today:
1. I'm thankful for my backache. It has

Monday, June 4

A Spiritual Awakening, Part I. Appreciating Life's Gifts, Staying in the Moment, Not Distracted by Fear or Resentment, Revisited 6/4/12

Forgiveness is man's deepest need and highest achievement. 
Horace Bushnell
To forgive is God-like, and one of the greatest uses of our free will.
The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.
 Mahatma Ghandi
Forgiveness is the price of Happiness. Mark Pilbeam
Forgiveness is freedom. Tony Dailo,
The glory of Christianity is to conquer by forgiveness. William Blake
Unforgiveness is the burning of the bridge we must cross ourselves.
(Photographer's caption)
             My guess is your weekend was fine. 
The following, after these comments,  I wrote a year ago, last April. I'm bumping it up. It's the sixth most popular post out of the nearly four hundred written.  I'm curious hearing your response.
         For the first time in years, my back is acting up. Ouch. No fun.  I've needed to

Sunday, June 3

Expressing Our Voice, Part IV (Not Going Along WIth the Crowd) ..................6/3/12

Cowardice asks the question - is it safe?
Expediency asks the question - is it politic?
Vanity asks the question - is it popular?
But conscience asks the question - is it right?
And there comes a time when one must
take a position that is neither safe, nor
politic, nor popular; but one must take 
 BECAUSE it is right.

Image: "Countryside: Willow Sunset" by Tim Blessed. 
All rights reserved. used by permission
         Good evening,

How was your weekend?  I wrote someone else recently about the following episode. I decide to share my experience with you, too.

         I'm enjoying life.  Sometimes, I surprise people. Saturday morning was a recent occasion.  I met with a bunch of friends. All of us are involved with the same non-profit organization.
Being Externally Referented
         It's easy, going along with the crowd. I don't, if I disagree, regardless of

Saturday, June 2

Being Gentle Towards Ourselves: The Antidote to Guilt .......................6/2/12

Be assured that just as an hour is only part of a day, so life on Earth is only part of eternity. Image: "Wetlands: Swan" by Tim Blessed. All rights reserved. Copyrighted photograph, used by permisssion. Caption by the artist.
      Good evening everyone,

The day was relaxing, just what the innkeeper needed. A nap in the evening was the tonic I needed.  Tightness in my quadriceps while riding my bike this morning prompted me to not do my long ride.  I'll shoot for tomorrow..... Progress Not Perfection.

     In a comment to my previous post, "Defensive Hope, Revisited," Someone commented:
"Last year I decided to leave a marriage that took a lot of my energy but

Friday, June 1

Defensive Hope, Revisited......... 6/1/12

"If we are ever in doubt about what to do, it is a good rule to ask ourselves
 what we shall wish on the morrow that we had done." - John Lubbock
        I wrote this July 8th of last year.  It's the fourth most popular all-time post.  I'm bumping it up for those who did not know me then or who haven't read it.

       The topic is a serious issue.  If we want to get emotionally healthy, discerning choices need to be made, when relating with difficult---unsafe---others.  Are you, or have you been, in Defensive Hope?  Let me know.  I'll get to this subject after listing my gratitudes.

                       I wish you a great weekend,
                              The Innkeeper

My Gratitudes:
1. My work is satisfying---I love what I do----no two days are the same, I enjoy calling my own hours, I'm contributing to the world; how could I not have an Attitude of Gratitude?

Quotes from the Posts

"I'm mindful that our thoughts affect the words we use, our words influence our actions, our actions shape our character and our character determines our destiny."

From "My Character Determines My Destiny." To read it, please click here.

"Progress not perfection, is better than no progress at all, especially when we're trying to rid ourselves from unwelcome dragons that dwell within the closets of our soul."

From, "Still Learning" which, within four days, became the most popular post
written. To read it, please click here.

"Worry does not empty tomorrow of its trouble, but it does empty today of its strength"
From the post: "Life Is Not a Correspondence Program." Click here to read it.

"Even though we cannot control our circumstances, we can control how we choose to respond to them."

From, "Handling Stress and Dealing With an Emotional Bully."Click here to read this post.

"Nope, being busy isn't exciting. Boring is good. Because boring is not boring; boring is being healthy, living a balanced life that has serenity"

From: "Do You Know What It Means If You Are Too Busy?" For more, please click here.