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livingalifeofgratitudewiseman

The cover of the book makes it seem as if it would be quite comfortable in a candy jar; rainbow colored confection with the words Living a Life of Gratitude: Your Journey to Grace, Joy & Healing scripted across it. The author, Sara Wiseman has a series of mini-bite stories to share with the reader who can  open a page at random and find delight at their fingertips. I have been reading it in nibbles myself; a few minutes before bed, in a park, as well as during lunch today at my favorite Chinese buffet and have found her tales to be inspiring and healing.

Samples include:

Coming Home which describes the feeling of meeting a Beloved with whom you feel a sense of being in a safe haven as Wiseman tells of how she met her partner.

A Simple Slice of Pizza that shines a light on what can occur when we trust the ‘turn right, go left, stop here’ guidance of Spirit.

Tenderheart which pays tribute to Wiseman’s wise-man son who is finding his way in the world.

The Feast of Everything offers a glimpse into infinity through  a Near Death Experience.

 

What brings all of these musings together is the laser sharp focus on what I think of as ‘gratidutinosity’; a combo of thankfulness and curiosity; an invitation  to play fully in the world.

Wiseman is a transformational teacher, author and intuitive who works with individuals and groups to help them reach their full potential. Her own self described ‘spiritual awakening’ took place in 2008 that set her on the path that wound inexorably to this moment. She is a regular contributor to The DailyOm.

This book is for anyone who wants to broaden their horizons, awaken their sleeping soul, expand their heart and give thanks (as said Kahlil Gibran) “for another day of loving.”

 

www.sarawiseman.com

www.dailyom.com

 

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I have long had a love affair with words. When I was a kid, I would tote around Little Golden Books, Dr. Seuss’ wisdom and Highlights Magazines. The library up the street was my haven where my mother would take us every week for story hour and I would come home over the years with a stack of books that would come back with me the next week, only to be replenished. It was a foreshadowing of the pile that is often on my night stand. I would love to have built- in book shelves in every room to properly accommodate the bound pages. I really do have more books than any other type of item in my home. One of the perks of my job as a writer and radio host is that people send them to me for review or as research for our interviews and each time, I need to find places to house them.

When I was young, I was being read to likely from way before I knew what written words were. My parents and maternal grandmother often held a book in front of me and pointed out letters and words and asked me to repeat them until lo and behold, one day it made sense to me and I began putting them together in a coherent manner. Pretty soon letters became words became phrases became sentences became paragraphs became entire stories that I could read out loud. As I wrote that last sentence it was as if a snowball was rolling down hill, gathering speed and clumps of  the frozen white stuff to make it larger and rounder until it stopped at the bottom, crashing into a tree. I continue to invest much of my time turning pages; some for pleasure/leisure and some for learning. Makes no difference the reason; I can’t imagine not enjoying soaking my brain in book brine.

When I read to my son’s girlfriend’s 3 year old and point to a sentence and ask him what it says, no matter what the book, his giggly as if he knows EXACTLY what he is doing response is “Once upon a time.”  Collin can read words quite well and even if he recognizes them, it is still the same answer. He watches Word World often and we sometimes pick out words that he knows. We play all kinds of games, when he has the patience for them, that involve brain stimulation and creative thinking. Just as my parents did for me, I want to do for this young wise man so that perhaps when he grows up, he will delight in reading to the children in his life.

And they lived happily ever after.

 

A smile is such a simple neuro-muscular event that most of the time we do it without even thinking about it. It tells people so much about our emotional state and even if we are not feeling over the moon ecstatic, just stretching the corners of our mouths and elevating our cheeks can bring with it mood elevation. It makes us seem more approachable and is quite contagious. People feel a sense of bonding when in the company of other smilers. I remember an episode from one of my favorite shows Ally McBeal in which one of the quirky (weren’t they all?) lawyers John Cage played by Peter MacNicol uses ‘smile therapy’ to assist himself and a co-worker to cheer up. He made smiley faces in the mirror and even though it seemed goofy, it worked. Check it out yourself.

Another iconic smile moment was in the film Forrest Gump in which the main character was running and fell in a mud puddle, wiped his face on a t-shirt and out popped the familiar image.

Today is World Smile Day, so let yours shine~

From the World Smile Day Facebook Page
“Harvey Ball, the recognized creator of Smiley in 1963, launched World Smile Day® in 1999. It has been celebrated around the world on the first Friday of October since 1999. Join us that day and “Do an act of kindness. Help one person smile!”
Mission

Promoting the concept of devoting one day each year to smiles and kind acts throughout the world.

As is well known by now throughout the world, Harvey Ball, a commercial artist from Worcester, Massachusetts created the smiley face in 1963. That image went on to become the most recognizable symbol of good will and good cheer on the planet.
As the years passed Harvey Ball became concerned about the over-commercialization of his symbol, and how its original meaning and intent had become lost in the constant repetition of the marketplace.  Out of that concern came his idea for World Smile Day®. He thought that we, all of us, should devote one day each year to smiles and kind acts throughout the world.  The smiley face knows no politics, no geography and no religion.  Harvey’s idea was that for at least one day each year, neither should we.  He declared that the first Friday in October each year would henceforth be World Smile Day®. Ever since that first World Smile Day® held in 1999, it has continued every year in Smiley’s hometown of Worcester, MA and around the world.
After Harvey died in 2001, the Harvey Ball World Smile Foundation was created to honor his name and memory.  The Foundation continues as the official sponsor of World Smile Day® each year.
This page and the website (www.worldsmileday.com) were created to provide information about  World Smile Day®, Harvey Ball and Smiley.
Browse the websites archives to learn more about past World Smile Day® events, Smiley and his creator – Harvey Ball.
And be sure to join the celebration this year on Friday, October 5th, and “Do an act of kindness. Help one person smile”!
I am taking my smile on the road to share today as I go into Philadelphia and then a holistic expo. I also plan on collecting smiles (and hugs while I’m at it) and scattering them back out. Imagine the ripple effect if we each shared a smile with the next person we pass. How will you celebrate World Smile Day?
http://youtu.be/ciHyZqy0R98 Smiles by Judy Garland
http://youtu.be/351l62Yx0oI When You’re Smiling by Frank Sinatra
http://youtu.be/KWnGe-2u9tM Your Smiling Face by James Taylor

 

Last night I was speaking with my talented singer songwriter friend Robin Renee and found myself musing about a phenom that sometimes feels like it plagues me, or at the very least is a source of frustration. I call it the ‘not there yet.’ Remember when you were a kid, riding in the back seat of the car and you persistently would ask your parents, “Are we there yet?” I know I did it. My cousin Billy used to ask my Aunt Sue “How more longer?”  It sounds cute when I think about it, but now, it feels obnoxious when I apply it to my impatience with the process from conception to manna-festation of what I REALLY REALLY want. I asked her if she wonders why she isn’t more well known and that since her skyrocket to world wide fame hasn’t occurred yet, did she doubt that it still would?  I go through that experience myself when I question my own not quite meteoric rise to be a ‘mover and shaker’ of the caliber that I desire, who makes a difference on a global scale. I also wonder about this whole calling in The One relationship dynamic. There are times when no matter how focused I am on bringing him into my life and then paradoxically, how necessarily I release it to Divine Timing, as with everything else I have ever invited and subsequently saw coming to fruition, I still have my doubts. And I teach this stuff!  It’s like the kid’s game where you are looking for a hidden object and your friends tell you “You’re getting warmer.”  or “You’re getting colder.” until you eventually find what you are looking for. Sometimes it is hiding in plain sight. I wonder if everything we desire is like that and is waiting for us to open our hearts and eyes to take in what it is we most cherish.

When I roll back the clock, I can list hundreds if not thousands of amazing creations that came to me by serendipity or Divine Design. And for that I count myself immensely grateful.

 

http://youtu.be/MHr9CJRhTPk A Thousand Beautiful Things by Annie Lenox

www.robinrenee.com