Saturday, December 10, 2016


It is that time of year when ‘gift giving’ is the season. 

Every year, this old saying circulates, “It’s the thought that counts.”

Yes, this is true, but have you ever asked yourself when giving or receiving a gift, what that “thought” actually is saying?

Let’s say you are giving a gift to a friend or relative. Ask yourself if you are giving a gift to them which actually resonates with the person they believe they really are (their perception), or merely whom you think they are (your perception).

Whoa… right?

You probably haven’t given your gift giving much thought in these terms, and chances are, they haven’t given the idea of receiving a gift much thought in these terms either… unless of course they wish to return your gift.

These “LINKS” are embedded in our own self-identity of how we see ourselves, what we project as what we wish for others to see us as, and of course their own interpretation of what they observe. Inside somewhere lies the truth. 

We call “Projected LINKS” as links within our life chain of what we choose to present to the outside world vs. what the reality is for our internal one.

Does this sound a little too deep for the season?

If it does, then have you ever wondered why “RETURNS” and “EXCHANGES” happen in mass abundance in the retail world every year in the same ratio as the gift purchasing number of items? 

Have you ever received a ‘re-gifted’ item or given a ‘re-gifted’ item? 

Have you ever wondered WHY this is? 

This all traces back to your own personal PROJECTED LINKS AND YOUR OWN PERCEPTION.  

Don't believe this?  Ask yourself..."Why am I giving this gift?" vs. "Why am I receiving this gift?" and you will find yourself in a new place of introspection instead of operating on holiday season "automatic pilot" of going through the motions of presents and instead you will be in the literal PRESENT MOMENT. 

If you claim you are a sports enthusiast, you are projecting that you like all sports unless you specify which one, and narrow that down even further to which individual sport, or specific team or league.  Without details or specifics, you may receive a football for Christmas, when you’re really a baseball fan.  If you are a baseball fan, maybe you prefer the Angels to the Dodgers, however, no one may know just how detailed your likes/dislikes are unless you clarify.

If you say you like cooking, you may receive a bunch of gadgets you may never use if you are merely a griller or a baker and not necessary a cooking generalist.  If you don’t eat any dairy or gluten, chances are receiving a pizza stone is not going to be received well, if you have not clarified specifics of your dietary issues or interests. 

When you state and declare who you are AS YOU ARE EVOLVING AND CHANGING to your outside world or immediate circle, it may not be in detail of who you are or all that you are, though without detailed communications our perceived self vs. projected self are two different people.

The reality is – WE ALL CHANGE.  We are thrown thousands of pieces of information daily. We educate ourselves.  We learn, grow and we try new things.  Sometimes we stay stuck in old habits of our “default” answers for hobbies, interests, likes and dislikes. 
We don’t often “check in” with ourselves to ASK THE QUESTION…

“Is this statement still true anymore?”

Moving on to new interests and hobbies is normal.  However, re-evaluation of all the many things which make up who we are is not a habit we identify with as a routine exercise we put ourselves through. 

At this point, gift giving and receiving takes on a whole new world of idealized views of the people around us as much as it has to do with the person inside of us. 

Our projected links of our own lifeline are also affected by TIME.

If you had an interest in model airplanes or knitting when you were in middle school, and no longer have this interest, but the gift giver only still sees you as “this person” – chances are there has been some sort of gap in communications and interaction.

Is this your fault?  The answer is Yes and No… and it is usually both, depending on the course of time and frequency of interaction as much as it has to do with detailed “listening” vs. “hearing” and taking interest in sharing, which is a two-way street.  

As you take time to enjoy your holiday season just remember – yes, it is the thought that counts.

However, you may want to give more thought to the quality of your relationships, connection, communication as well as self-knowledge and projection of truth in your evolution before you dare criticize any gifts received.

The same can be said in the hands of the gift-giver. 

How much thought do you give to exploring the depths of how the gift you give will be received? 

How much time and effort goes into really “knowing” the person you are giving something to vs. simply a kind gesture?  

What does the gift you give, say about you?

Does it say you are a good listener?  

Does it say you are observant? 

What about thoughtfulness?  How do you ‘define’ thoughtful? 

Let’s say you are asked to purchase an unwrapped toy to give away at a toy drive to an underprivileged child you do not know.  What gift will you give this child who is a stranger?

Do you automatically choose to give a toy specified for a boy or girl?

Do you give a gift which could be for either? (a game, toy or book?) 

Do you give a gift that is merely the hottest trend?  Or do you give a gift that is a classic?

Are you paying attention to the age-range of the toy? 

Is the toy fun for the long-term?  Or is it a quick-fix toy where a child could get bored easily?

Does the toy teach the child anything?  Is it educational?

Does the toy spark creativity or motor skills?  What about the toy helps a child grow and expand their way of thinking…. Say a puzzle or building block toy for spatial reasoning or maybe a memory game? 

Does the toy promote violence?  (i.e.swords, guns, or video game killing?)

Does the toy provoke love and caring (i.e. a stuffed animal or doll?) 

Is the toy dangerous? (i.e. small pieces/choking hazard, unsafe plastics, lead?) 

Does the toy invite a child’s friend to play with them? (i.e. a Frisbee, basketball or board game?) 

Or do you merely purchase the toy as something you think that YOU would have liked to receive as a child?  

Are you the kind of gift-giver who chooses a gift thinking of the parent or guardian in mind for their approval if you are a parent, too?   

This may sound like a lot to think about, but how would this child (a stranger) perceive you as the gift giver?  How do you perceive them as the recipient?  

While the holiday season is hectic and busy, for many it is a time of reflection, re-evaluation of one’s self, the past year, and looking ahead to a renewed sense of being for the New Year.

Perhaps it is in re-evaluation of our perception, we might be able to take stock in the opportunity for growth and renewal in how we project our own link to our idea of how we give and receive in sharing who we are, what we think about and how we share those thoughts in our gifts. 

If you give thought to both sides of gifting, your LINKS OF PERCEPTION vs. your LINKS OF PROJECTION can help you expand your generosity and how you utilize your thought process in gift giving… giving a whole new meaning to “It’s the thought that counts.” 

Happy Holidays!


Thursday, December 1, 2016


With each year that goes by, something repetitive happens in your psyche.
This cycle, particularly around the holiday time may appear to be a familiar loop.
For most people, one or more of these components reside within this loop:

  • ·         Stress
  • ·         Anxiety
  • ·         Guilt from poor eating habits/lack of rest/putting off exercise
  • ·         Satiating reward (food, indulgent gift purchases) for the three points listed above
  • ·         Fatigue
  • ·         Cold/Flu
  • ·         Unresolved issues with loved ones
  • ·         Unresolved anger/frustration (traffic, parking, noise/pressure triggered)
  • ·         Over-extending energies/calendar overbooking
  • ·         Lack of self-care
  • ·         Forced joy
  • ·         Over-spending beyond financial means
  • ·         Dishonesty with self with regard to happiness in juggling it all
  • ·         Praying for the New Year to be the saving grace
  • ·         Unrealistic resolutions
  • ·         Stress/anxiety/guilt when failure ensues

Are you laughing?  Does one or more (or perhaps more than you would care to admit) of these fall into YOUR annual loop as you reflect upon your life at this time of year? 

Do you promise yourself that ‘next year, it’s going to be different?’ and find yourself back in the same loop once again? 

Do you blame others for your falling into this trap?  Do you blame yourself or the commercialization of holidays on the calendar or family tradition/convention/obligation dictation to not honoring internally what you seek? 

At what point do you notice yourself turning sour?  Is it at the beginning of the holiday cycle, just as Halloween approaches or do you sit in a pool of resentment after the holidays are over and find yourself in the holiday blues mode? 

Whichever place you discover yourself, you are in deep need for a time of reflection.
Understanding all of these links and their cause will prevent you from falling into the trap.  It is key toward getting out of one or more components of your endless loop. 

Nevertheless, something essential must happen – You need QUIET TIME.  Quiet time is important no matter how hectic, chaotic, and busy things get in your life.

Everyone is busy.  No one is immune to having a full calendar.  

Why is taking the time to honor your QUIET LINK important?

Scheduling QUIET TIME each day of the year is essential, but during the year-end busy holiday season, it is more important than ever.

All of the listed bullet points will begin to change, because your perspective will change once you honor the time and space to be quiet.  When you get quiet, you become reflective.  

When you become reflective, you have more clarity to SEE where you are falling short.
You have heard repeatedly that stress can be eliminated if you take the time to be quiet and meditate.  You may have dismissed this as just some trend or nonsense that will not work. 

However, even one tiny change and step toward being quiet, even if it is just sitting with a cup of tea, walking your dog or taking the brown leaves off of your houseplants you’ve neglected, even cleaning a counter, or taking time to breathe by putting your feet up to rest or to be with nature ……  ONE OR ALL of these things can start to chip away at those endless loop components, which plague you.  

Getting into the habit of being quiet gives you the space to examine why you have anxiety, or why you overbook yourself or why you have developed bad habits of pushing the envelope of doing too much or indulging too much.

The solution is simply in taking a time out. When you do this, you can take a step toward tweaking the unhealthy links, which do not serve you.  Your development of your own quiet link that is personal to you and your space, you can begin linking your year toward positive change so that this time next year and each day of the year, you will be sitting a healthier mindset and space.


Sunday, November 20, 2016


There are times throughout the year we sit in our reflective state, collect our consciousness, and we give thanks. 

We think about all of the things we are thankful for and take a moment to make our lists of these things.

For some, it takes a holiday on a calendar.
For others, it comes in times of desperation, to find our glass half-full.
For others still, it occurs during a miracle, realizing that hope and faith delivered.

While many experience the trials and tribulations of this thing called ‘LIFE’ – giving thanks can be a daily or hourly occurrence or merely an annual one, depending on where your consciousness sits.

Gratitude, by definition is appreciation, which is often expressed by words. 

However, sometimes gratitude is expressed in the way of a smile, a hug, or other gesture of generosity in reciprocation of kindness, or in some cultures, a bow, or prayer.  

No matter how you LINK yourself to gratitude, the idea of your own connection can vary in size based on your own awareness, recognition of your blessings and for the most part taking the time for reflection.

Within each of us, there are seeds of gratitude waiting to grow, emerge, and blossom into something greater.  Sometimes it takes certain life experiences for you to see just how many seeds of gratitude lie within your own heart and being.  These seeds are just waiting to be awakened at any given moment. 

It is in those moments we are able to see and recognize gratitude deep within ourselves, but also within others. 

So how do you link your own seeds of gratitude?  What does that actually mean?

It takes more than merely just being thankful, grateful, and appreciative of WHAT IS.
Gratitude is also linked to WHAT IS NOT (yet happening/or is not in your world). 

It is in combining these two things, we extend and expand our chain of gratitude linking to everything that is a blessing as a stand-alone item, though when combined with the alternative, it doubles in size.

But how many times have you taken a moment to not only be grateful for all of your blessings, but to also be grateful for the hardships that you do not face, which others do? 

This may be new territory for you, but you will expand your consciousness exponentially when you can be grateful for things that do not occupy your mind, heart, and being.

For example – You can be grateful.  If you take a step outside of yourself and your own act of gratitude, you also can appreciate your own ability to be grateful.

Is that a thing?  YES. 

Some people sit in such a negative, dark place of criticism, judgment, anger, and whirlpool of complaining, they are NOT able to rest in a place of appreciation at all.

Imagine not being able to see the light and the goodness… and when you do, you are then able to be grateful for even more than you are grateful for.

While you know this is true, have you ever said aloud, “I’m so grateful that I do not live in that space of not seeing my own blessings” in the same breath you are grateful for your own ability to be thankful for what you give thanks for? 

This duality of gratitude is how you LINK your own seeds of appreciation together to expand thankfulness in your entire psyche and soul.  

Pretty neat, huh?

Try it again….  “I’m grateful for my health, and I am also grateful for my ability to heal and get well when I happen to get sick.” 

“I am grateful for my ability to think and feel joy, and I am also grateful for my ability to overcome heart break and sorrow and bounce back again.” 

You get the picture.  See how you have now just doubled your gratitude links by one more thing to be grateful for?

Every blessing can continue to provide greater insight to gratitude expansion for what is, what is not and what CAN BE when our own gratitude seeds grow into something more.

We can shift our own perspective in how we see gratitude and plant new seeds of gratitude within ourselves and within others for the things we appreciate and CAN LEARN TO APPRECIATE in a new way that we may not have thought possible.

Every human goes through challenging times.  It has been said that when you think you are going through something tough, there is always someone else going through something even tougher.  You can be grateful for where you are at any given moment, even on your roughest day, because in every challenge, we are also given a gift.  This gift is an opportunity, which gives you something more to work with.

How?  It gives you experience where you can give and help someone else who may not have experienced that same hurdle before.  They get to pay it forward from there and it keeps spreading strength and assistance, expanding your links even longer on a chain of things to be grateful for.  You can now be grateful for your newly acquired wisdom you did not have before you experienced your own challenge. 

It is in the times when we have the strength, tenacity, endurance and courage to overcome our challenges we can see light through darkness.  This is a tool.  That’s right, it is a tool you can now put in your toolbox you did not have before and when life becomes twisted again, you now know what to do, having been there before.  

There can be appreciation in survival when we see the gifts that come from the times we have to appreciate what IS and then what IS NOT when we come out the other side of any and all adversity we face. 

It is in this growth, we evolve.

This is when the seeds of gratitude sprout into strong reeds of becoming something greater than they started out to be. 

Every little complaint you have also has a brighter alternative because you are able to take action to CHANGE how things are by what you do, say, think, feel and create the initiative to not sit in complacency of complaint.  

You are able to create appreciation for what IS and ISN’T as much as you can be thankful for your creative freedom to cultivate, foster, develop and manifest something positive, even from the negative. 

What can you do?

What can you say?

How can you think or feel if you take the pro-active initiative to make things different?

What if you could do something to shift perspective in a new light by placing gratitude for an awakening of greater awareness within yourself? 

If it can begin with a simple gratitude shift, what if you can do that with everything you think about? 

Let us take something basic you are grateful for, say maybe an extra hour of sleep.  You may think you are only listing one item to be thankful for, but in truth – this one thing can be ten things.

By getting an extra hour of sleep, you can be grateful for:

*Feeling rested
*Boosting your immunity so you don’t get sick
*Improving your mood to enjoy life so you are less cranky
*Being more conscious and alert to prevent injury
*Having more energy to do more things you want to do
*Burning a few extra calories (since sleep does this!)
*Looking better (no blood-shot, tired eyes)
*Giving your body organs and brain the ability to function better
*Reduce stress
*Allowing yourself a chance to dream

See how your one item of gratitude actually expanded by ten more ways to be thankful as a “result” of the one appreciation of just one item such as sleep?

TRY THIS with anything you have on your list and watch your gratitude list expand.

You can also take any negative thing in your life and turn it around by finding the POSITIVE aspects of any challenge.  

Say you are tired, and you have been lacking sleep.  This may be something you complain about incessantly.  However, if you take your complaint and step away from it, you will begin to see just how your gratitude compounds for every wink of sleep you do get to have.  

It allows you to not take sleep for granted, because when you actually have it, you get the bonus of those ten other things to be grateful for. So while you may be tired now, you can look forward to the rest you will get and enjoy it that much more.  Life provides us with being able to appreciate 'what isn't' when we appreciate what can be. 

WHY? Because change is constant. While change may be uncomfortable, you can actually appreciate what you view as 'temporary lack' or 'void' and be thankful for that, too.  This will change and you are then able to appreciate and have deeper gratitude for when things flow back to what you can appreciate even further.

Every item on your complaint list can actually make you appreciate what you DO HAVE and this returns you to being grateful for what IS and what IS NOT, because nothing stays the same forever.  Change happens daily.  We can shift our awareness to the simple place of appreciation for every new thing to be grateful for as much as we can for every old thing we took for granted and maybe did not see that we can be grateful for. 

While every life has its ups and downs, its light and darkness, it is in the seeds of gratitude we choose to plant and nurture to sprout into upward spiraling growth of expanding our own well-being into newfound places of appreciation for LIFE.  

Be thankful.

Find gratitude.

Appreciate every little and big thing that is, and isn’t and you will soon find that you are surrounded by a bounty of blessings you did not know you had.