I have been inspired by a new blogging friend from Scotland–someone I met during The Great Blogging Switcheroo with Roughwighting this month. Her name is Harula. She writes “Words that Serve” and inspires folks in many different ways. Please stop by and visit her lovely site.
For nineteen weeks (thus far) she’s been sharing “Good Deeds”. She focuses on good deeds given and received during her week. She found inspiration from Rosie Amber who is also chronicling a year of Good Deeds.
I was so touched by this gratitude practice today and decided to share a similar blogging commitment during these last three months of 2013.
Once a week in October, November and December I will share Blessings, both received and given. To consciously acknowledge some of the ordinary and extra-ordinary gifts of each day. To focus on the many blessings which arise like the sun over our multi-colored ever-changing earth.
So often our mind tends to focus on what’s not working in our lives. What’s wrong. What’s challenging.
In the past I’ve noticed that when we focus on our gifts, good deeds, or blessings we receive more.
Where our attention goes–there we reap the sweet fruits.
Everyone “wins” in the noticing of blessings.
Anyone want to join me? You could record Good Deeds or Blessings, or both. If you don’t blog, or don’t wish to do this publicly, you still might choose to jot down blessings at the end of each day.
A blessing might simply involve taking five minutes to sit outside admiring the autumn leaves. It could be sending a check to help war victims in Afghanistan. It could be reading other blogs. It could be receiving a check for $1,000 from an anonymous friend. (Let’s not get carried away, Kathy!)
Wishing you all many, many blessings in the next three months, my friends. May our hearts keep expanding in love!
In appreciation of all of you, Kathy
P.S. For those of you who are blessed by pictures, as well as words, I will try to include photos, especially of our Upper Peninsula autumn colors.
Hi Aunt Kathy. Loved this post. I am blessed with an amazing Aunt! Did you take that photo of the spider web against the fall colors? I absolutely love it.
Jillian, I am always so very happy to see you here! I am blessed with an amazing Niece! Yes, took that spider web photo against the fall colors. Thank you for liking it and hope you’re having a great weekend.
It’s an excellent idea. I will ponder it….you are correct there are blessings everywhere but it’s so much easier to focus on the hard, sad and wrong aspects of our lives.
Dawn, wonder why that’s so? It’s so much easier for our minds to fuss and whine and fret at times. I’m really going to focus on blessings for the next three months. Glad you like the idea. Harula’s post was so inspiring!
I am so blessed to have you as part of my blogging life. I love this idea, the images in your post, and this post. I will wander over to Harula’s blog now as well, and you can count me in. I need to start focusing on the positives I think, to focus on the blessings.
Lisa, how cool that you are inspired by this, too! It just seemed to be the right focus now. Am really planning to keep this focus for three months. I am grateful for getting to know you. Your honesty and willingness to be vulnerable has been a gift to me and many others. Blessings…
I am going to do this at least once a week (starting today, but a little later today). Maybe it will help me refocus, which I really need to do, and help pull me out of the funk I am falling in.
May it be so, Lisa…
Wow! Thank you so much Kathy for joining the ‘count our blessings’ trail:-) Hope you enjoy the view! May the blessings you give and receive flow abundantly. Love and gratitude, Harula xxxxx (in a conference tea break…)
Harula, thank YOU for the inspiration!! I truly mean it. Your presence and sharing is a gift, probably more than you know. Even your title “Words that Serve” has left me pondering the kind of posts I want to write here. Blessings to you and the divine love shining through you.
Ahhh, always blessed by your ideas, your spirit, your photos — you, Kathy!
Two or three(?) years ago when we did our “public” gratitudes for 30 days on FB, another friend was inspired and we’ve been sharing 10 Blessings A Day for two years now! I thought it’d be hard to come up with 10 blessings daily. It’s not; there are ever so many more .. each day. So, I’m with you on this through my daily practice. And I thank YOU! Love and Blessings 🙂
Susan, I forgot that you were still doing that. (You have to remind me sixteen times, you know.) That is the coolest! I just love the idea of re-focusing right now. Have felt pulled back toward listening to some inner complaints lately. A move toward blessings is what’s needed. By the way, you KNOW what a blessing you are to me!
Awareness of my many blessings is something I inventory constantly and would be glad to share some of my thoughts.
Would love to read some of your thoughts/blessings, Gretchen. Please give me a nudge here in the comments if you post and I miss it.
I love the blessings catcher image!!
*smile* gosh, I didn’t really focus on that until now–are you surprised? It is the perfect image for this! (It’s a wonder I can take and share photos being as visually challenged as this.) Wait a minute, can that be turned around to a blessing? Thank you for always reminding me the gift of looking.
I am reminded of the old hymn, “Count your blessings, name them one by one.” Yours is an excellent idea that focuses on the positive rather than the negative. Love the fall/spider photo!
Thank you, coastalcrone. Glad you like the idea. Sometimes we just need to turn toward our blessings rather than our challenges.
Kathy, YOU are a wonderful blessing in my life ♥ I love the stories you share, the inspirational messages and most especially the beautiful pictures of where you live ♥ I have always wanted to live in the woods up north and be a writer and photographer but now my life at this age, shows me that it will never happen. So, your sharing gives me the opportunity to appreciate other people’s lives doing what I always wanted to do. Thank you so much for being that gift in my life ♥
Wow, Brenda, that is so wonderful for you to say! It is so wonderful when we can all inspire and re-inspire one another. How we can enrich and enlarge our lives through honoring and sharing. Thank you for the gift of yourself, my friend.
♥ Aww you are so welcome Kathy and thank you so much for appreciating my friendship ♥ Hope you’re having sweet dreams and warm snuggles tonight. My Chloe girl is having a troublesome time right now—please say a prayer for her.
Sorry to hear about Chloe’s night. Poor girl…and you, too… Blessings and light for the both of you.
Thank you so much Kathy. She did a bit better today but I’m still worried. Your caring helps me feel better ♥
love, Love, LOVE it! I am blessed — truly blessed — to be in your sphere of positive influence 🙂
Laurie, why am I not surprised that you love, Love, LOVE this! Your positive influence sings all the way through the blogosphere and beyond!
Lovely post, Kathy. Wonderful idea and will check out those blogs.
Blessings are bountiful and there are bountiful blessings in every nook and cranny of one’s life. We just need to be aware and then share. ~yvonne
That is so true, Yvonne. Awareness is key! Abundance surrounds us, if we just open our eyes to notice. Thank you.
Thank you dear Kathy! You always have something amazing to inspire all of us. What a great thought of counting the blessings and being thankful. Isn’t it a joy, I am blessed in so many different ways, almost every week… Yes!
I definitely look forward to hear more from you in the coming days… I’m already over joyed. 🙂
Sonali, I think I just caught Harula’s wave of inspiration and passed it on! Even now, going for a walk, I noticed the blessings more often. As for hearing from me soon–you’ll have to wait a little while to hear more about the gratitude. Will have a little spiral notebook to jot down blessings and then will report back to you in about a week. 🙂
What a wonderful idea Kathy! The abundance stirring in your invitation is compelling. I am willing to join in with blessing and good deeds once a week for the next tree months.
How very cool that you’ll be doing this, too, Terrill. I am very pumped, as well! Three months, once a week, doesn’t sound too challenging, does it? Glad you were compelled. (That can be such a lovely word.)
I won’t promise to write mine anymore often than I do, but I still look forward to sharing blessings with you. Looking forward to the photo blessings as well. How often we forget how blessed we are just to live in this beautiful world!
Lisa, I am happy that you will be sharing blessings in the upcoming weeks–even though you do it already. I anticipate writing much less, maybe even just doing this practice once a week. (Unless there is something else major to share.) But who knows? Love it when new energy and direction flies in. Must be a gift of the Equinox.
I consider myself inspired.
Katie, I am so glad to hear that. I am inspired, too!
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I look forward to more blessings each week–the ones you share and the ones I receive in return. I’ll have to give this some thought and see how I can incorporate more blessing sharing. It’s important that it becomes a habit–looking at the good around us.
Hugs from Ecuador,
Kathy, I have been thinking about blessings since writing this, and also thinking about the hard areas in us, the places where we’re challenged. Imagining deep relaxation into the hard places so that they open, so that they bloom. Blessings to you in spirit and Ecuador…
Love the name of her blog/project!
Isn’t it the coolest, Patty?
I feel blessed that you and Harula found each other through our Great Switcheroo! Yes, I make sure I read each of her blog blessings – she AND you inspire me. Another fabulous blessing.
Blessings coming and blessing going, blessings getting switched up and tossed everywhere in the blogosphere! Love it, my friend. Thank you for the introduction. Thank you for inspiring me, too!
Thanks for sharing this, Kathy. I try to be aware of my blessings, but I might find a way to take up this “challenge.” You’ll likely enjoy the serendipity of this: I just read an article about a study that supports that people who show more gratitude are happier.
PS – thanks for including the photos. They are blessings indeed. Love the pear and that spiderweb!
I am lovin’ the serendipity of that, Heather! Just think how happy we’re gonna be. 🙂 Glad you appreciate the photos. I have so many visually-oriented friends. So grateful for our continued friendship.
Just an excellent idea–although you do this already–now I guess you will be doing it with mindfulness–and I vow to do the same-
love your photos
You know, LouAnn, you hit the nail on the head, as they say. I just want to do this gratitude vow with more mindfulness. We both do it already, but for me I am trying to integrate this into many areas of my life in the next three months. Hugs and appreciation for you!
Count me in! Blessings for this week were many with today being the highlight. Both grandsons called…one in the Army, now at Fort Lewis; the other in MA through FaceTime…in the fifth grade….half grown!
Linda, glad to hear you’re “counted in”. Glad you had so many blessings this week. The grandson that’s in the army…is he the one who lived with you? And a grown-up 5th grader! How cool is that? 🙂
I will accept your challenge, Kathy. But I can already tell you that today’s blessing was reading your words. ❤
Stacy, that is so lovely. Can’t wait to read some of your blessings. I so often feel blessed when visiting your blog…
Aw, thanks, Kathy.I believe you are a positive force in the universe. In my universe, at least. ❤
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It’s very hard for me to get out of my feelings by focusing on gratitude. I guess I could say I fake my way till I get there! I have anger management problems so for me this is VERY difficult! BUT I”M AWARE and trying hard to rewire my brain!
Jasmine, I’ve heard some people say that fake-it-til-you-get-it works. The trouble is that sometimes feels so dishonest. Lately what works for me in the negative feeling arena is seeing that it’s just anger happening–it’s not who I really am. And then deeply allowing the feelings without getting attached to the story. (That’s the hardest part. It’s so easy to get attached to a story of why so-and-so is wrong, isn’t it?)
I FAKE IT TILL I MAKE IT ALL THE TIME!!!! GO US!!!
OK, Jasmine, I’m laughing out loud! GO US!!!
GO US FAKIN IT LOL WHO HOO US FAKERS!!! LOL
Lovely challenge. I used to have a blog (called Ordinary Magic) specifically for counting my blessings, but closed it up a year or two ago when I decided it was time to treat my multiple blog disorder. lol! Now I write them down in my journal, but will be thrilled to join your challenge and share. Thank you. 🙂
Robin, did you discover challenges around focusing on gratitude? I remember doing a 30-day challenge about blessings on FB and got bored with it. So am looking forward to exploring that boredom if it arises–and finding out what that’s about. You always make me smile when you talk about “multiple blog disorder”. (As I’ve suffered from that as well.)
There are always challenges with challenges. lol! I was going to say/write that it wasn’t boredom that got me, but I think you may be right. I *did* get bored with my lists of thanks. Food, weather, food, loved ones, food…lol! It took me a while to finally establish a deeper kind of gratitude for the grace and gifts that we receive on the inside.
Great idea! Do you know the book: 365 thank yous : the year a simple act of daily gratitude changed my life by John Kralik? This was a man who changed his life by writing a thank you note every day for a year.
Inger, I have not heard of that book. What a delightful concept–a thank you note every day! Just think how many people were blessed by him over the years. Thank you.
Lovely post Kathy, I often have to remind myself, when I’m especially grumpy and negative, to look at the bright side, or just be mindful of all the good things. Truly, they ARE blessings, every thing that puts a smile on our faces. There is always so much to be thankful for, believe it or not the thought occurred to me (thoughts always occur when I’m out driving for some reason) to record my gratitude somewhere. Somehow, the written word gives weight to a passing thought.
I’ve had such a horrible weekend (involving a tooth extraction!) but through the haze of pain, I DID register gratitude for the sympathy, love and care that came my way. 🙂
Munira, it can be so hard–when we’re grumpy–to get out of our moods. I’m not sure that the “answer” is to turn too quickly toward the positive. Yet, I am SURE that gratitude opens our hearts. It will be fun to explore both the gifts and perhaps the challenges of this in the upcoming months. So very sorry about your tooth extraction. No fun… Hugs to you across the sea and probably over some mountains into the heart of Pakistan.
What a lovely idea.
Glad you like it!
I just read LouAnn’s commitment to take up your challenge, and I told her I should dust off my “Weekly Reflection of Gratitude” that I used to do when I started my blog. Always a good thing to pause on reflect on our blessings. (Our colors inland are truly turning spectacular. . . working their way toward the Lake!)
Kat, I didn’t know you used to do a “Weekly Reflection” of gratitude. How very cool! It just seemed like the right time to contemplate blessings given and received. The beautiful colors are already a huge blessing, although ours haven’t peaked yet.
I have ruminating over a post for the past several days, and your invitation to count our blessings will help me move off the dime. Thank you.
Glad to hear it!
It is that time of year for mist and spider webs. Just the other evening, as I was returning home from my daily hike, mist filled the valley. My heart always joys at it, and I’ve tried to get directly into it; but no matter how close by, it can’t be apprehended that way, it can only be enjoyed at a bit of a distance. October is indeed upon us.
PS – I count my blessings so often it is like breathing the air but I could see if I could better than more consciously on Mondays. TeeHee.
I meant better THAT, not than. Its strange how words do such things . . .
That is so interesting, Deb. Especially about counting your blessings so often that it feels like breathing air. I am wondering about this, too. I am so often sinking into the joy of blessings, or looking for blessings in everything that arises. Yet notice that sometimes emotional, mental or physical pain can eclipse this for a while and then it’s necessary for me to turn more consciously back to the practice that’s at the base. Thanks for reflecting back so I can see the intent more clearly.
So many blessings to be counted and shared. Thank you Kathy!
Aren’t there a lot, Colleen? Thank YOU for stopping by and sharing.
I just read Cindy Ricksgers’ blog response to your post and I realized I didn’t comment on this post when I read it. I only want to say I appreciate your sentiments and hope lots of people take the time to be grateful. Imagine what a wonderful world we’d have if people were grateful rather than hateful.
Sara, thanks for stopping back to comment. Sometimes I don’t comment on a post, too, and later even think I did! This week people have been feeling so fitful in our country over the shutdown–wondering what it would be like if we were all practicing gratitude instead.
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This blog is a blessing in it’s self ! Some really beautiful fall themed photographs because you guy in UP are experiencing fall already!
I have decided to concentrate on writing my blog on a regular basis, so counting blessing is a perfect venue to have for at least one blog a week. I am thrilled you have taken the action to expand on your fellow blogger friends idea!
Thank you so much for your kind words, Jeff. You are right–we are a little ahead of the rest of the country in the autumn department. Glad to hear you are writing more on your blog now! That will be a blessing for many of us.
Thanks for directing our thoughts in positive directions.
You are a blessing to me.
Sybil, it goes both ways. You are a blessing to me as well!
What an awesome, inspirational post, Kathy! I wholeheartedly agree with you. May we all “catch blessings in the spiderweb of life” – loooove that last photo, just exquisite.
Thank you for catching the wave of inspiration in YOUR spiderweb, Reggie! I am already finding this very fascinating. Every day write down in a small notebook. It’s interesting to discover exactly *why* we don’t practice gratitude every day. I think I’m beginning to understand a little, and will share more over time. Happy weekend, my friend!
Happy weekend to you too, dear Kathy!