Tag Archives: gratitude

Things for which I am grateful

10 Jul

Right now, I have a month-long holiday while my mother is in Newport with my sister and her children and grandchildren. It is bliss.

Shedding responsibility fast! It feels like taking off a heavy fur coat which was inexplicably worn on a hot day. The relief is instant. Every fiber of my being is alert to the LACK of pressure. It feels as if the room has been filled with extra oxygen, and it makes me feel euphoric. The entire first couple of days felt as if someone had slipped me an “upper.”

Sisi in my bed

It has been 8 days now, and I am still bubbling over with freedom and unstoppable elation. My days are pretty much empty, except for doing what I want to do. Writing, writing and more writing. I meditate and swim and eat exactly what I wish to. My dogs are with me, and the house is quiet. I spent several days at my daughter’s farm, and that was nice, but the cottage airconditioning was not working. That made it difficult and sticky to write. Also, I cannot make phone calls from that house. I have to go over to the main house and use her kitchen phone. That was awkward because I was trying to give her space. But she spent a LOT of time at her studio, so the house was more or less empty except for occasional help.

Magnus the Magnificent

Back home at Mothers where I sit now, the sun is shining in the garden room. No one is here with me except the dogs. I am going to go swimming in a minute. Probably should do it before the garden service comes. It is delightful to be here. Every moment is cherished. Enjoying the moment is becoming easier and easier for me, as my meditation practice improves. And it is like savoring the last of a jar of peanut butter or something delicious. I might use a spoon or even my fingers to get the last little bit of the deliciousness from the pot. That is the way I feel about my life during this month of July. I savor it, and I appreciate it.

Perhaps that is why it is so much fun. Gratitude makes me feel great! It is good for my soul, and it is nourishing for my body. Thank goodness I learned that years and years ago. Because gratitude can turn your mind around if you can find a handle for it. No matter how horrible or how wonderful your circumstances, gratitude will make you feel better. It is a sort of magic.

Now that it is summer and full-on green with everything growing like crazy due to the rain we keep having our yard is overgrown with good and bad things. The weeds in the garden are fierce. But the Wisteria that is growing up the Oaktree is rampant. And what I must do is find someone who can tame that a bit, tack it to a trellis on the tree, perhaps. I am hoping that someone who knows more about plants can help me tame the vines and see them entangled and encrusting the bare trunk of that ruined tree.

The plethora of wild birds, copious squirrels, and occasional other wildlife, bunnies, deer, and raccoons give me great pleasure and constant entertainment. Watching their antics reminds me of the convoluted human experience. They inspire me to write more.

How lucky I am to be here to see them!

Copyright©. 2019 Bonnie B. Matheson


21 Feb

 Thursday, Feb 21, 2019 —


 I am spending a weekend in the country, at an adorable cottage on my daughter’s farm, near The Plains, VA. The weather has gone from a temperature of 67 degrees when I arrived on Friday, to a cold wet rain with the threat of snow or sleet on Sunday night.  It’s typical Virginia late winter/early spring weather. I don’t believe it will snow tonight. But still, the weather is a constant mystery. And I love it. The fact that it is so changeable is fun. I have plenty of warm clothes. And I am so grateful for everything. So grateful to have the chance to come here and decompress.

The fireplace in the cottage is made of stone, not firebrick, and it throws off a lot of heat. There is a joke around the farm, about how much wood I use. It is true that I am profligate with wood burning; I love the sight and sound of an open fire so much. I could stare at the fire for hours–It brings all sorts of imagination to the fore. Before I knew about meditation, I loved to look at the fire in a fireplace and let my mind rest. “Sometimes I sets and thinks, and sometimes, I just sets” is an old Virginia expression to which I relate. And a fire in the fireplace is one trigger for that same sort of non-thinking that meditation brings about. Restful in the extreme.

Everywhere I look, there is beauty, and peace. A huge pond ripples and glistens with reflected light from the sky– no sun today but a glistening, rippling expanse of water that seems to be trying to move outside its banks. Hundreds of daffodils are emerging, halfway up out of the ground. They must be confused by the different signals that Mother Nature is sending them.” Rise Up!” “No, never mind. Hang tight.” And though the leaves on the poor little struggling spring flowers have brown tips where frost has tainted them, the stems will soar, soon enough and blossoms open. Yellow blooms will extend soon down the driveway and we will know for sure that spring is here. We are on the way to the month of March now. More than halfway through February.

The gratitude I feel extends well past this farm. The entire countryside, unblemished by commercial space or even many houses, is open to all the wildlife that lives here. Deer herds are actually a problem. Bears are sighted regularly, and possums and raccoons and squirrels and rabbits and chipmunks abound. Birds are plentiful; even hawks and eagles soar in the sky above this county. Riders on horseback and runners on foot share these roads with bicyclers, who seem to come in droves. No wonder they are here. We have hundreds of miles of dirt roads. We also have wonderful two- lane, paved roads, which many people wish the bicyclers would stay off. I do worry about someone running them down, by accident.

When I wake up here in the cottage, my heart is full the moment I realize I am in my own bed, my old bed from my own, former house.  Here in the cottage, of course, it is different from city living. Sometimes the heat is off, or it is intensely windy. At times like that I am grateful for the curtains surrounding my bed, and I draw them the moment I get in. It makes a little house for me to stay, snug and warm, and cuddling my dog, Magnus, for added warmth.

Most of the time, I now live in Washington, D.C. with my 101 year old mother. I sleep in my old room, in my childhood house.  There is already a bed in that room, SO, there was no point in bringing my bed to Washington. Besides, my bed is a four-poster, with high posts. We did measure to see if it would fit in my bedroom at Mother’s, but it would not because the eaves in that bedroom come down too close and too low. So. I sleep in the bed that was there, missing my own bed in the cottage, with its pretty hangings which I can draw if it gets too cold. At Mother’s, the central heat is very effective. There is no need for bed-hangings.

My sensitivity to gratitude has been heightened by meditation. I believe that meditation has altered something in me, and I am forever changed. When such intense gratitude engulfs me, I wallow in it. Being grateful for the gratitude may sound silly. But that is how I feel. And I believe it is contagious. Be careful. You might catch it from reading this.

If I let myself, I will never be able to stop thinking of things for which to be grateful. For the peace that engulfs me, and all the things around me. The sheets on the bed, the feather pillows upon which I rest my head and the duvet that keeps me cosy. My warm dog, who sleeps beside me every night. My fireplace and tiny kitchen, indoor plumbing and central heat and air conditioning.

Best of all for daily comfort is Magnus. What a marvelous thing it is to have a loving dog. I appreciate him for the companionship he gives. We all need something to love and if you do not have a partner, it is important to find something else upon whom to bestow your affection. Dogs are super easy to love, and they love us unconditionally. Never underestimate the power of love, even the love between a dog and its owner. That feeling of love actually sends positive physiological signals to our bodies and our souls. Thank goodness for pets, all varieties.  I am grateful.



Copyright©.  2019 Bonnie B. Matheson

Fear of Failure

9 Oct

Are you scared to death about your finances? Have you wondered if you can hang on until things get better? Rejoice! It is going to be OK.

Negative thinking can upset your chances of overcoming fear and financial woes. So much of success depends on your belief in a loving Universe.

One thing about the current economic state of the country during the last two years is that it seems to be almost Universal.  In a way that is almost fun. No shame in being in the same boat with everyone else.  And it is EVERYONE.  Even the very richest 1% are feeling the squeeze because the people whom they deal with everyday are suffering. Their own portfolios may be shrunken.  And the constant barrage of news stories keeps the situation forefront in their consciousness.

So what can be done?  Lots.  Start with gratitude for your life. Now, begin.

First of all it is important to know where you stand.  DO you know exactly what you owe and to whom?  Do you know exactly what you spend?  Ok. So now it is time to find ways to curtail expenses and increase income. And fast.

A coach can help you do that.  An accountant can give you figures.  However they may be so depressing that you lose heart.  This is where you may find value in outside coaching. There are purely financial coaches, but will they actually give you the “heart” to go forward?  You can see that you may need a specialized coach.  A life coach can help you because as I have outlined above the actual steps to beginning are not all that complicated.

What you need is not just the numbers, but the spirit to prevail.  What you need is someone who will gently prod you along as you determine how serious the plight of your finances and the solutions that must be in place to fix them. Be grateful and full of love while you work to set things right. With encouragement and experience in human nature your coach can help you traverse the shoals and come out on the other side with great good humor and a positive attitude.  You may not enjoy every step of the journey, but you will not be taking it alone. Having someone to talk to during this difficult time can be invaluable. Do you understand that that means? :incalculable monetary worth . Pretty impressive!

How can you afford NOT to hire a coach?  Have you thought of that?  This is the time for definitive action on your part. Part of that action may require hiring a person who can see you through. Find one who believes that you can overcome any difficulty with a change in your attitude as well as your behavior.

So to begin, answer some questions about your life and your values.

Do you feel that you have plenty of time to recover?

Do you feel that you have a good chance?

What is your belief about the goodness or evilness of the Universe?

Do you believe that people who succeed just had better luck?

Do you care more for things like houses or cars or possessions than about anything else.

Do you have a family?

Are there other people who depend on you?

Are you suffering from guilt for past decisions that turned out to be wrong?

Do you have a Spiritual life? Do you believe in retribution?

Do you think you deserve the bad things that happen to you?

These questions should give you a lot to think about. Take your time over them.  But be ruthlessly honest with yourself. You do not have to tell the answers to anyone else. Just ponder them and see if you can recognize any patterns.

Then, at your earliest convenience begin by interviewing some possible coaches. Look for someone with a positive outlook and optimistic approach to life. When you find one who seems a good fit. Hire them immediately. You will be so glad you did.

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