Category Archives: Gratitude

Peace On Earth, Good-Will To Men


lotus-215460_1280-pixabay-freeThis is a wish and a greeting by many different people around the globe.  There is even an international day of peace.

I wish and hope and see peace.  Peace on earth starts with me, my inner peace.

Peace begins with a smile.   Mother Teresa

Go ahead, right now - put a smile on your face.  Keep it there for several minutes.  Notice smile-girl-1245835_1920-pixabay-freehow that makes you feel.  Smile and say hello to the people you greet today and tomorrow.  Were I go to church, there is an older couple and they sit on the back row.  They only stay for 1 meeting.  But they don't leave until they have properly smiled, hugged and given a kiss on the cheek to every person leaving.  When I have had some hard days, this one active of kindness and service has made a world of difference in helping to foster peace in my life.

We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves.   Dalai Lama

the-stones-263661_1920-pixabay-freeThe dictionary defines peace as a state of tranquility or quiet; freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotions; harmony in personal relations; and freedom from civil disturbance.

The dictionary defines good-will as friendly, helpful, or cooperative feelings or attitude.  It is synonymous with charity, compassion, goodness, consideration and kindness.

This time of year we tend to think more peaceful thoughts and have more good-will for our fellow man.

Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love. Lao Tzu

Remember there's no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end. Scott Adams

October 8, 2016, my community, which is out of the way in rural Arizona that a devastating national-weather-service-radar-reflectivity
storm never really made national headlines.  Click here to see pictures.  We had what many are calling a 100 year storm.  Many lost their houses and businesses and crops.   I lost my house – I didn’t lose my home.   A year ago, my neighbor lost their house to a fire, they had just moved in when the storm hit.  Then we moved out.  I was actually on my way to the east coast to enjoy some time off.  We drove thru an incredible lightning storm such as I had never seen – the whole dessert was lit up.  My son called to ask if we arrived at the airport ok.  They had a huge rain storm – lots of rain.  But that was just the radar-image-246871beginning.  I told him to check the store for leaks and got on the plane.  We were fine.

2016-10-08-23-32-00After we boarded the plane - “All hail” broke loose – literally.  Not 1, not 2 – but 3 super cells pounded our community.   There was literally a blanket 6 inches deep of hail covering the town.  The streets flowed like rivers with ice bergs.  Our roof suffered so much damage, we need a whole new roof and the ceilings all over the inside replaced.  So we currently live in temporary housing.  The next day, the streets were piled up with a 6 inch layer of hail.... seriously.  For a desert community - this just has never happened in my lifetime.

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We lost part of our business and all of our storage.   Plus we lost a lot of business for the month as everyone in town was affected.

Both cars at home and our RV suffered huge damage, enough for the cars to be totaled out.

The schools were damaged enough that the entire school district got 2 weeks off, one school will be closed until January and the students have be moved into other schools.

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Eastern Arizona Courier

Our community immediately was out helping everyone.  The city trash pick-up was overwhelmed and expected weeks and months of work to clean up.  Instead of sitting at home for an unexpected fall break – high school students went out as volunteers to clean up yards and homes and followed the city trash trucks around to help clean up our town.

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My poor tower garden. It like most people's plants in town were demolished.

Today, 2 months later, the trees still look beat up but the town thanks to volunteers and good-will looks pretty good.

Many are still without homes.  We were in a hotel, and a family offered their basement which we gratefully accepted.  Repairs are slow because so many people need work done.  One third of our business is still getting repairs made.

If it wasn’t for the kindness and good-will of many, so much more would have been lost.  Many people offered their laundry services to wash and dry wet things – to save them.   Many meals were shared.  And, many yards and homes were cleaned up.   Moving through trials with peace and gratitude is the path of least resistance and the path that will benefit you the most.  It allows you to have a clear head and make the best of the situation.

This holiday season will be different for me.  All my Christmas decorations were moved and macro-1251318_1920-dragonfly-pixabay-freesome destroyed.  My house got packed up while I was back East to prevent mold so we are still living out of a suit case and I’m actually missing my holiday sweaters.  For us, it will be a simple holiday without all the decorations.  We are looking for meaningful activities that will help us remember why we celebrate.

Peace on earth, good-will towards men– for me the message of the babe born in Bethlehem was one of peace, good news and good-will.  My heart is filled with joy with opportunities to serve, to visit the lonely, to smile at a stranger, to give and to receive.   World peace begins with me and with you.   It doesn’t matter our differences.  Differences should enrich our lives, not divide us.

The Dalai Lama said, “Going deeper into peace… genuine peace must come through inner peace, not through fear.”  “The key thing is a warm heart of concern for others’ well-being.”  He further explained that a calm mind is the remedy for the loss of hope and a destroyer of fear, distrust and hate.  We have the power within ourselves to restore happiness.  “You must develop compassion, not pity.”  From a visit to San Diego in 2012.

If the storms of your life or the world around you is causing you to feel stressed or upset, let go.  Look for the good.  Find things to be grateful for.  Embrace peace.

lightning-962789_1920-storm-pixabay-free

Tips for cultivating inner peace.

  • Learn to go with the flow and adapt to circumstances. That doesn’t mean you have to accept low standards that you can’t change your circumstances.   My favorite saying is, ‘It is what it is.’ It just is, therefore work with what is.
  • Unclutter your life and simplify.
  • Be grateful. Observe the beautiful and wondrous things in our world.
  • Don’t complain and avoid negativity.
  • Spend time around positive happy people.
  • Spend a few minutes a day meditating.
  • Take deep breaths, especially when you’re feeling negative or anxious.
  • Do something you love or participate in a hobby.
  • Give service
  • Journal
  • Choose Love

We have a choice in this world.  Our happiness and our peace doesn't begin when circumstances are perfect.  It begins with us during trials and challenges nurturing our inner peace and choosing to be at peace and share good-will with our fellow man.

Enjoy this beautiful song and video from my friend Shawn Galloway,
"I Choose Love"

From all of us in our family and at Indigo Mountain we wish you peace, health and happiness.

And we wish you Happy Holidays (which means happy holy days).

Merry Christmas – Feliz Navidad (Spanish) – Mele Kalikimaka (Hawaiian) – Kala Christouyenna (Greek) – God Jul (Norwegian) – Srozhdestovm Kristovim (Russian)

Shenti jiankang ankang xingfu [Chinese for Wishing you health and happiness]  身体健康,安康幸福!

Single red rose blossom

Enjoy the New Year, Simplify and Be Joy

Full bloom of a single yellow rose.A new year rolled in.  Does it seem like 2016 even happened?  If not, why not?  Are you in such a rush that you don't take time to smell the roses and enjoy the moments a long the way?  This is not an article about making New Years Resolutions.  This is an article about simply enjoying life more each day as we start this new year.  [Update - this article was originally posted in 2015.]

Speaking of roses, I love them.  Every house I buy I plant rose bushes.  They remind me of my Grandmother Ellsworth.   There is something special about them and all their varieties.  When we opened our Store, Indigo Mountain in Safford, AZ we wanted to simplify our lives so we bought a house a few blocks from our business.  It has been great!  We can walk to work, walk to a grocery store, and take care of business and our home with ease.  But we still found we were busy and rushing around.  So Mark literally started stopping to smell our rose bushes each day before going anywhere.  That was his daily routine, stop look at the roses, pinch off the dead blooms, and literally SMELL THE ROSES.  Then he started his day, enjoying the moments, enjoying life more.

What do you do to start your day?

What do you want to be different in 2017 as we start a new year?

At the end of the year, what do you want your new year to look like?  As you think about 2016, what do you wish you did different?  NO REGRETS - those were choices you made.  But take stock of those choices and design and organize your life with intention this year with time for enjoying life more and doing the things you want to do.  Sometimes we can spend time running the rat race and not getting very far.  If you want some inspiration, read this article, Stop Allowing Excuses to Run Your Life, an interview about a young man that has accomplished a lot and has no arms.

I think as we mark the moments along the way and breath deeply, smiling more each day that time can slow down - or rather, we just are existing in time instead of trying to create a 30 hour day - which just slows us down.

Here are some ideas to help you enjoy each day more and simplify

  1. Spend less time on social media and texting.
  2. Spend more time face to face with the people you care about.Our family playing a game together
  3. Make memories with those people.
  4. Play games, not on the computer, with people.
  5. Stop and literally smell the roses or other rituals to help you slow down.
  6. Be realistic about what you can accomplish and do in a day or week.
  7. Get your sleep.
  8. Move and exercise as it gives you more energy and increases happy chemicals in your brain.
  9. Eat meals with the people you live with and friends and enjoy the meal, don't rush through it.
  10. Keep a journal and record the things your grateful for and the good times as well as some of your struggles.  Record your goals and dreams.
  11. Make a scrap book of pictures over the year.
  12. Look at your life and simplify.
  13. Learn something new.
  14. Have fun.
  15. Give service.
  16. Take a vacation.
  17. Pamper yourself and other around you.
  18. Get rid of your clutter and things that don't bring you joy.

We've been taking stock of our lives.  Personally we have 2 kids left and home and we want to enjoy each moment of their lives.  We have simplified our life a little more and cut out some activities that we were involved in.  These were great activities, we can all get involved in worthwhile amazing activities.  It just depends on what we choose to do.  After all, we have 24 hours in each day and 8 of those are sleeping hours.  Just for fun, I once added up the things I had committed to do - it was more than 20 hours for a day.  I knew right away that was part of some stress I was experiencing.  Now I take stock on a regular basis of my time.  Just like a check book needs to be balanced, you need to balance your time.  Money doesn't grow on trees and time marches on - we all get the same amount.  We can't do everything, so choose what you want with YOUR TIME.  As we roll into a new year, think about your life.

Once when I was feeling so overwhelmed and busy, I was meditating and pondering on my life.  This is always a good activity.  Most of us have a genius in our head if we just take time to listen.  Well my genius inner voice started talking to me and said, "Who told you you had to work so hard?  Who said you have to get all these things done?"  Of course I answered back - Me.  I was my task master and I realized that no one else probably cared if I did all these things and worked so hard.  But they probably cared that I took care of myself.  So I quit being so hard on myself - you know I wasn't paying myself overtime or rewarding me in anyway.  That was my awakening.

We looked at the activities we have been participating in and our time and our goals for the year.  Some of our activities were cut out.  As a family we decided what to be involved in and what to do so that we had time together.  We decided we also needed more game time together as a family.

We are getting rid of clutter in a big way this year and we already got started last year.  Then the universe decided I wasn't moving fast enough or needed some help.   I love this book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up.  It is a fantastic book to help you in this area.  We highly recommend this book.  It is short and easy to read.  I now look for objects that bring me joy or have a current job in my life, everything else is easy to let go of.  Our goal in 2016 is to get rid of 1/3 of our stuff so that when the new year of 2017 rolls around, we have tidied up and feel more organized.  It is not going to be an overnight task and we plan to have fun doing it.

Don't make a big deal about New Year Resolutions, just start each day creating the life you want.

If you just exist each day reacting to events and circumstances around you, it can still be a good life but you may not end of where you want.  Take just a few minutes or an evening and think about your life - DESIGN YOUR LIFE.  What do you choose?  Write it down, make a vision board, make a list, whatever works for you.  Then each day spend a few minutes planning your life.  It will make a huge difference.  For me personally, I end the day by looking at my day and planning for tomorrow.  That way when the morning starts I'm already on my game plan.

tea-set for 2 Pixabay freeWe do spend time each day in quiet thought and meditation.  It makes a huge difference.  Mark stops and smells the roses and I do as well.  But my big ritual that helps me slow down is enjoying a cup of herbal tea.  A dear friend got me hooked on herbal fruit teas years ago.  So when I drink my daily cup, I think of her - I think of friends - tea time.  I slow down and savor the delicious taste and smile about my day and the good times.

What do you do to enjoy the day and slow down?

What are your goals this year?  What are your working for?  Check out this article on Smart Goals inspired by our son Chandler.DSCN2982

This I am going to BE JOY; feeling peace and abundance.  What do you choose?

Share your thoughts and tips.

Kally and Mark

The Power of Gratitude

Thanks Flowers by Stuart Miles at Freedigitalphotos.netGratitude is an important quality that should be a daily ritual in our lives.  It is scientifically proven to reduce stress and improve your health and well-being.  According to WebMD, gratitude is a stress buster, immune booster, improves your overall health, and leads to better mental health.

A national day of Thanksgiving has been celebrated for many ye800px-Abraham_Lincoln_O-84_by_Brady,_1864ars in our country, from the Pilgrims to George Washington, our first president in 1789 declaring it a federal and public holiday to our current Thanksiving celebrations.  President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national day of "Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens" annually on the last Thursday of November.

Come share a few minutes with us on the Get Real! real with Mark and Kally radio show as we talk about the power of gratitude and share some personal stories that will inspire you.

Gratitude improves your quality of life, it shifts your focus from you lack to the abundance all around you.  Studies show that gratitude makes people happier, improves health and wellness and strengthens relationships.

It is important to note that the studies on gratitude show benefits when gratitude is a way of life, rather than just an annual or even weekly focus.

Dr. Darren Weissman said, "The attitude that you have towards any experience is a choice.  The most courageous way to move through life is by choosing to fid the good in every instance.  Rather than surrendering to emotions of negativity and despair, consciously and creatively embrace life with the attitude of gratitude.  Without appreciation, life's experiences lack meaning.  By embracing pain, fear and challenges with gratitude, you will discover the real value and meaning of your life." from the book The Power of Infinite Love & Gratitude by Dr. Darren Weissman.

There are many tools you can use to help cultivate an attitude of gratitude including journaling with a focus on the good times, expressions of gratitude, gratitude notebook, Guided techniques like the The  Lifeline Technique, EVOX, and meditation.
DSCN1293Catch our latest episode:  The Power of Gratitude.

I participated in a gratitude journal experiment and it changed my life.  I thought I was a grateful person, but it bcame an important part of me after 30 days of keeping a gratitude journal.   What have you done to foster an attitude of gratitude?  Has it changed your life?

Mark and Kally

 

We are not diagnosing or prescribing.  Please seek professional help when dealing with illness.
Photo credit:  The National Archives and Stuart Miles at Freedigitalphotos.net

 

Your True Colours Magazine – Gratitude

November 2014 magazineWe certainly appreciate all your support in launching our magazine for real people and about real issues.  Our readership is climbing.  So keep sharing.

This month's magazine is full of wonderful information from gratitude, getting the right pair of sneakers, natural fragrances, and of course fashion and make-up tips.  It seems that hats for both men and women are quite fashionable.  Get to know a musical group called:  The Fellas:  DeltaCapella.  I always love the pictures in the magazine, and this month features a lot of great looking hats.

We are the featured article for November with our article on Gratitude, see page 19.  Expressing and experiencing gratitude opens the heart and activates positive emotion centers in the brain.  Gratitude has been shown to improve your emotional and your physical health.

Businessman Holding Thank You Word by pakorn at Freedigitalphotos.net
photo credit by pakorn at Freedigitalphotos.net

You'll find four daily practices for increasing gratitude in your life.  Dr. Darren Weissman said, "We all have experiences that we are not thrilled to have and are painful.  But these challenges are really gifts in very strange paper.  If we receive them with gratitude, we grow."  You can check out his book entitled:  The Heart of the Matter:  A Simple Guide to Discovering Gifts in Strange Wrapping Paper.  Several years ago I participated in a gratitude experiment for one month and it changed my life.

What you focus on, grows.

Click here for the November 2014 Your True Colours Magazine.

Don't forget to catch us on the Your True Colours Image Radio Network on Blog Talk Radio with fascinating shows on fashion, laughter, travel, wellness, and more.  The Get Real with Mark and Kally program is on Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. central.  Check the schedule for times and future shows.

What article did you enjoy?  How has gratitude affected your life?  Please share your comments below, we'd love to hear what you have to say.

A Kally editedI'd like to express my gratitude to you, our readers, and our customers.  I'd also like to thank all my mentors and my family.  We are here because of you.

Kally

Indigo Mountain Wellness, Toys & Gifts