Author: Ruth Harrison Moody

Turning Gratitude Inside Out

Discovering how to live in and with gratitude has exploded onto the personal development scene. Many of us have cultivated a deep and intimate knowledge of things for which we are grateful. This is a tremendous step towards developing a positive life. Even so, maybe its time we turned our gratitude inside out and gave it more of a real world voice.

We’ve all probably come across the idea of keeping gratitude journals, using affirmations about gratitude, and so on. Many of us work very, very hard at being grateful, at being aware of all mercies small and large. Many of us begin and end our days with written or prayerful litanies of instance after instance, person after person for which we give thanks.

These are all good things, but having made a place for gratitude to live in our hearts, minds and souls, we’re then offered an opportunity. We can lose sight of the fact that all good things in our lives have specific sources. Many people do things large and small that make our dreams, wishes, and affirmations possible. It’s far too easy to treat gratitude like a spiritual coin to be put in a cosmic vending machine, with the actual process all too often taken for granted.

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Who Says You Can’t Go Home? — I’ll Take Bon Jovi over Thomas Wolfe Any Day.

If you grew up and went to school in Western North Carolina back in the ‘70’s as I did, you couldn’t seem to escape Asheville NC writer Thomas Wolfe and his haunting admonition that “You can’t go home again”. It was one that seemed to threaten an unavoidable and ominous loss, turning up everywhere from lit classes to libraries to shelves in not a few homes.

Thomas Wolfe’s ghost haunted me all the way to my new college as I left home for my freshman year. Following career and family choices led me away from those same beloved mountains about which Wolfe wrote. His whispered doom came to tea a time or three over post-college years spent in the mid-west.

As life took me away, I assumed that the loss was part of the price we pay for simply moving forward through the days and years, another angst-ridden negative talisman hung about the bowed-down neck of life. In those days, it seemed smart and hip to be depressed and cynical. This old set of habitual thought ran head-long into my on-going quest to build a positive life and it demanded a reassessment.

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An Invisible Cup of Tea, and Other Ways to Take Shelter From The Storms of Life

The rapid fire pace of daily life takes its toll and often fails to give us even a moment to pause, recover from, or even consider what’s going on around us. Our world is more frenetic, more overwhelming and more opportunity- laden than at any time before in human experience. Modern life has become a hail storm of input, activity, connectivity, and a never ending flow of information. Pressured situations come at us from all sides – at work, in social settings, or at home.

If we’re to make the most of the whirlwind existence sweeping around us, then it’s a good bet that we’ll need some shelter from the storm from time to time. We can’t stay inside forever — literally or figuratively— not unless we want to give up participating in the world and the company of our fellow human beings. So, how do we find a moment of shelter from the storm?

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Building Positive Friendships: Modern Tools and Old-Fashioned Self-Understanding

“How can someone you’ve never met possibly be considered a friend?” This challenge was posed to an old friend of mine, one who has “been there” for me in person in years past and now stays in touch via the internet. But can it actually work the other way round? Can we make “real friends” through technology, meeting them in person only later, if at all? Are the friends we make through non-traditional means actually “real friends”?

Modern technology has changed almost every aspect of life, and so it’s no small thing to consider: What exactly is a friend? What types of friends do I want? Who are my real friends? The answers deserve careful thought and reflection. No two people are going to come up with exactly the same definitions, filters and requirements. Whether we consciously know it or not, we all have a set of rules and definitions for friendship.

These rules are so much a part of us that we may get knocked for a loop when our “friends” do things that violate our rules—which may or may not be *their* rules. So how do you sort out it all out? In building a positive life, friendship can be one of the best parts of our world. It’s worth taking the time to understand our own minds and hearts. The best place to start is by taking the time to get to know what the terms “friend” and “friendship” mean to each of us.

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How to Survive and Thrive When A Snow Day Arrives

There are days that arrive — some anticipated and others landing with an unexpected shock—that can stop us from even walking out our front door. Whether it’s the literal Winter outside our homes or a metaphoric one in our souls, relationships or circumstances, we all have ice storms and snow days that play havoc with our lives.

In the ancient of days, before the weather channel, snow and ice would get to sneak into town more often. You’d wake without warning to a landscape to enchant you, possibly being the answer to a fervent grade school prayer, or to ruin your day, depending on where you needed or wanted to be.

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