Thursday, August 21, 2014

today, remember your grateful heart . . .

“Love cannot be far behind a grateful heart and thankful mind…
These are the true conditions for your homecoming.”
A Course in Miracles

I have recently rediscovered the wonderful work of Louise Hays.
Today she shared a story by Alan Cohen from Louise's book called, Gratitude: A Way of Life.

After reading Alan's story I knew that I needed to share, namaste ~ 

I Love My Wall
by Alan Cohen

One Saturday after our excursion to Pizza Hut, the mall, and a movie, I drove my ten-year-old goddaughter Samantha to her family’s new residence. As we turned off the highway onto a dirt road that led to her house, my heart dropped to see that she and her parents were living in an old school bus in a field.

As Samantha showed me around her family’s quarters, I began to feel sad that this little girl whom I love so much was growing up in such a shoddy environment. As my eyes painfully fell upon rusted seams on the metal walls, cracked windows, and a leaking roof, I realized that her family had fallen into bare, subsistence living. I wanted to rescue her from such a barren plight.

Looking up at me with her big brown eyes, Samantha asked me, “Would you like to see my room?”

“Okay,” I answered hesitantly.

The child took me by the hand and guided me up a makeshift staircase that led to a small wooden addition that had been superimposed over the roof of the bus. I shuddered to observe that her room was in the same condition as the rest of the place, just barely livable. Looking around, I noticed one fairly attractive element of her abode, a colorful tapestry hanging over the one section of the room that could be called a wall.

“How do you feel about living here?” I asked Samantha, waiting for a glum response.

Instead, to my surprise, her face lit up. “I love my wall!” she giggled.

I was stunned. Samantha was not kidding. She actually enjoyed the place because of this colorful wall. The child found a touch of heaven in the midst of hell, and this is what she chose to focus on. She was happy.

I drove home in a state of awe. This ten-year-old saw her life through the eyes of appreciation, and that made all the difference. I began to consider all the things in my life that I have complained about. I realized that in my preoccupation with what isn’t there, I have been missing what is here. While focusing on rusty metal, I have overlooked some colorful tapestries. I made Samantha’s statement my meditation: “I love my wall!”

Gratitude is not the result of things that happen to us; it is an attitude we cultivate by practice. The more we are thankful for, the more we will find to be thankful for. I heard of a woman named Sarah who lay in a hospital bed after an accident, deeply depressed, unable to move any part of her body except the little finger on one hand. Then Sarah decided she would make use of what she did have rather than bemoan what she was missing. She began to bless the one finger that could move, and she developed a system of “yes” and “no” communication with the little finger. Sarah became grateful that she could communicate, and she felt happier. As she blessed the movement, her flexibility increased. Soon Sarah could move her hand, then her arm, and eventually her whole body. It all started with the critical shift from complaining to blessing.

Harville Hendricks’ book Getting the Love You Want has become a popular manual for relationships.The first step to getting the love you want is to appreciate the love you have. The universe always gives you more of what you are focusing on. Jesus taught, “To him that hath, more shall be given; to him that hath not, more shall be taken away.” Jesus was elucidating a supremely important metaphysical principle, the very key to the manifestation of abundance. Jesus was teaching the importance of concentrating on what we have or want, rather than on what we lack or do not want.

We can look at any experience in two ways: through the eyes of lack, or the eyes of plenty. Fear sees limits, while love sees possibilities. Each attitude will be justified by the belief system you cherish. Change your allegiance from fear to love, and love will sustain you wherever you walk. A Course in Miracles tells us, “Love cannot be far behind a grateful heart and thankful mind…These are the true conditions for your homecoming.”

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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

May this dress WAKE us UP . . .

to the beauty and wonders that surround us, always . . . . peace

'from the ground up . . .' 7aug14, 74F, 5:10pm
We don't sit in meditation 
to become good meditators. 

We sit in meditation so that 
we'll become more awake in our lives.
 Pema Chodron

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Saturday, August 16, 2014

May this story bring you hope . . .

“We’re not just sending dresses, we’re sending HOPE!”  Little Dresses for Africa's website
Today I learned the inspiring story of Lillian Weber, a 99 year old woman who spends her days sewing beautiful dressesfor little girls in Africa.  And once again I think to myself, 'the power of a dress'.
I have attached a video of her and the article from Station WQUAD8 , as well as the link tothe charity "Little Dresses for Africa" AND the link to the pillowcase dress pattern they recommend as a dress to make, so you too can join Lillian.

I find this entire story so uplifting and hopeful at this time when news from around the world and home is so grim.  And for those who might scoff at the effects that little girl dresses can have on world matters  . . .
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has. Margaret Mead
Girls are the future mothers of our society, and it is important that we focus on their well-being. Miriam Makeba
Research shows the presence of women raise the standards of ethical behavior and lowers corruption. Hillary Clinton 
In fact I was so moved that I m going to make a pillowcase dress (or more) and send it off, and/or host a dress making party!!  But for now cheer, cheer to Lillian Weber!!

or Click here to see the video

& here is the article from  WQUAD8's website :

Lillian Weber is on a mission.

Every day she makes another dress for a small child she’ll never meet.

“I could probably make two a day, but I only make one,” she says.

The dresses are collected and sent overseas to little girls in Africa by a Christian outreach group called “Little Dresses for Africa”.

“I have to be busy,” says Lillian.

And she’s been very busy.

In the past two years she’s made more than 840 dresses and she plans to make 150 more by May 6th of next year.

You see, by next May, Lillian will turn 100 years old and it will be her one thousandth dress.

“It’s just one of those things you learn how to do and enjoy,” she says.

In Lillian’s Scott County farm house are completed dresses for little girls, made from a pattern, but each with extra stitching and individual details, designed to give each child a little extra pride.

“She personalizes them all,” says Lillian’s daughter, Linda Purcell. “It’s not like good enough that she makes the dresses, she has to put something on the front to make it look special, to give it her touch.”

What started as a hobby has become a daily labor of love.

Lillian says she starts work on a dress in the morning, takes a break during the midday, and puts finishing touches in the afternoon.

“I just think she’s somebody to look up to, somebody whose not just sitting around and frittering her life away,” says Tonya Urbatsch, who nominated Lillian for the “Pay It Forward” award.

“I’m amazed at her every day,” adds Linda. “I’m very, very proud of my mother.”

Family and friends will continue to be proud of Lillian, well after her 1000th dress. After all, 1000 is just a number.

“When I get to that thousand, if I’m able to. I won’t quit. I’ll go at it again because there’s no reason to not do nothing.”

When Lillian is finished with her dresses, her daughters deliver them to a Davenport senior living apartment complex where a group of residents have a weekly sewing appointment to make dresses for the charitable organization.

“Little Dresses for Africa” is a Christian charitable organization founded in 2008 in Michigan.

Its founder, Rachel O’Neill, says 2.5 million dresses have been distributed.

The simple dresses are distributed to orphanages, churches, and schools in Africa.

Rachel says she’s traveling to Africa again in September 2014 and February 2015 and hopes to be able to present to a child one of the dresses personally made by Lillian.

Friday, August 15, 2014

today, i dare you . . . .

'eclipse . . . ' #fromthelandofdragons 12aug14
Dare to Be

When a new day begins, dare to smile gratefully.
When there is darkness, dare to be the first to shine a light.
When there is injustice, dare to be the first to condemn it.
When something seems difficult, dare to do it anyway.
When life seems to beat you down, dare to fight back.
When there seems to be no hope, 
dare to find some.
When you’re feeling tired, 
dare to keep going.
When times are tough, 
dare to be tougher.
When love hurts you, 
dare to love again.
When someone is hurting, 
dare to help them heal.
When another is lost, 
dare to help them find the way.
When a friend falls, 
dare to be the first to extend a hand.
When you cross paths with another, 
dare to make them smile.
When you feel great, 
dare to help someone else feel great too.
When the day has ended, 
dare to feel as you’ve done your best.

dare to be the best you can –
At all times, 
 to be!”

Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free
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Thursday, August 14, 2014

Choose love over fear ~ Embrace your playful heart!

“You are ready and able to do beautiful things in this world, and as you walk through those doors today, you will only have two choices: love or fear. 
Choose love, and don’t ever let fear 
turn you against your playful heart." 
Jim Carrey

This May Jim Carrey gave quite an inspirational commencement speech, peppered of course with classic Carrey humor, at the Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa.  
This week I stumbled upon this video montage (below) using sections of the speech and I was exhilarated by Carrey's thoughts and declarations.  
 Click here for the entire speech (transcript and video). 

I didn't know that Jim Carrey practiced Transcendental Meditation, but he does, as well as all the students of MUM.  I am buoyed to hear of an educational institution which has embraced and practices a form of meditation.  
In this day and age I believe this centering and quieting practice is extremely important, and one that I am weaving into my daily life. 

in case the above video is not working, below is a direct link:
link to video on youtube


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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

may this dress bring you joy . . .

dresstag left 11aug at starbucks, wellesley

Find ecstasy in life; 
the mere sense of living 
is joy enough.

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Monday, August 11, 2014

a day for happiness . . . .

“Happiness is part of who we are.
 Joy is the feeling.”
Tony DeLiso

I wish to give you the gift of meditation. 

 Last April I discovered Oprah & Deepak Chopra's 21-Day Meditation Experience, Finding your Flow,  it was an amazing experience.  Today they are beginning another free 21-Day Meditation Experience, Expanding Your Happiness!  

One of my current personal goals is to incorporate meditation into my daily, everyday life.  
These series have been a such a help for me, which I wish to share with you!! 

Here is the link:

you will need to register but it is worth it!!! 
happy monday & namaste!! 

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Friday, August 8, 2014

unfold your own myth . . . .


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Monday, August 4, 2014

pay attention, be mindful and interrupt the conditioned reactions ( like fear, worry and anxiety)

In developing the practice of noticing,
of paying closer and closer attention, 
we realize we are what’s noticing. 
We realize that not only can we be with what is, 
we can direct our attention to what we choose 
and even interrupt the conditioned reactions.
Cheri Huber

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Friday, August 1, 2014

happy august . . . a gift for U!

Well it is august, already!!!

i have a special place in my heart for august! basically a hangover from my schooldays . . . these were the dog days of summer,  no camp, no lessons and basically nothing to do but to daydream, to doodle, to explore ravines, dig up clay and make sunbaked handmade bowls! 
the possibilities were endless and outdoors!!

also i was/am a school junkie, i was the kid who liked going to school, and even more, I enjoyed school shopping. New clothes, yes, but what i really LOVED was new school supplies! new notebooks, pencil case and the best of all, the assignment book/ daily planner! I would alway get the red assignment book from the local stationary store, Helander's.  I cherished these planners, they offered me a new opportunity to be organized.

Now with the current obsession of getting my home in order I have become a pinterest junkie!!! (i fall into the pinterest rabbit hole for hours, I most likely need a pinter-vention :) But I have found many wonderful storage and organization ideas which I have already used, and which I pin on my board, "from chaos to . . . "  

One element of an organized life that comes up again and again is a calendar!  In fact there seems to be a need for many calendars for family activities, for meals, for coupon expiration dates, but that is TOO much for beginner organizer like myself.  

But I did need a month calendar for my refrigerator, and as I was looking at ones I could download I thought . . .wait I should make one with a dressquote!! And a day or so later I have one that I am relatively happy with and thought I would love to share this to all my friends and followers.

So if you need a calendar for your desk, refrigerator, car  . . . please enjoy this dresscalendar.  I have loaded it to this blog at a high resolution, so you should  be able to click on the calendar and print.  It should fit on an 81/2 x 11 piece of paper, however I always click (the printing option "scale to fit". see picture below)

Please contact me if you are having problems and I can email it to you?!?! 
so, happy august & let the summer fun begin!! peace

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