A Valuable Key To Whole-Hearted Living

According to researcher and author, Brene Brown, people who live whole-heartedly and experience more joy cultivate an atmosphere of gratitude in their lives.

The most valuable way I have found to do this is to pay attention and celebrate the small stuff. 

We can all get excited over the dream vacation, huge holiday celebrations or our favorite team’s landslide win.

But the purest joy comes from the things that ordinary days are made of celebrated each moment of the day. You know, the things we sometimes take for granted.

It’s the small things that give life it’s interesting flavour like the sprinkled cinnamon that tops my chai latte. 

If you are looking for fuller joy and the ability to engaged more whole-heartedly, the most valuable key is to celebrate the small stuff and cultivate greater levels of gratitude in your everyday life.

Journey on,


i won! spring challenge

deeclarknz.comi was freezing yesterday. chilled to the bone. not even my electric blanket was taking the chill off. the temptation to whine was overwhelming.

i didn’t … whine…

because i’m participating in the 5 days of positive or being grateful challenge on Facebook…i stayed focused…NO complaining.

however cold yesterday was…the signs of spring are beginning to appear.

we have noticed that the grass is beginning to grow again in our yard. my husband said to me the other day, “spring is not far away if the grass is growing again and that means that it’s almost lambing time as well.”

in case you don’t know, dear reader, there are more sheep than people in NZ and one of the true signs of spring in NZ is lambing season.


“have you seen any lambs yet?” He asked me.

“no, not yet.”

so, being the competitive creature he is, he gave me a challenge. “let’s see who sees the first lamb between us.”

yeah, we are old and can be a bit boring sometimes…but hey, i took the challenge.

(drum roll please…)

i won!


this morning. driving along with the sun’s rays lifting the day with it’s brilliance, feeling the crispness of the morning air, and daydreaming, i glanced at the glistening paddock to my right. there it was!

the first lamb i had seen for the season, basking in the warmth of the sun. near by, it’s twin, leaping and bounding as if full of uncontrollable joy.

the chill of yesterday seemed distant and warmth filled my heart.


new life.

playful youth.

nature’s abundance.

my spirits were lifted.

spring is truly on it’s way!!!

(ok, now i hear my NZ readers reminding me not to get too excited because August is coming and as the last month of winter…it’s traditionally fierce. i know. but i’m living in this moment, enjoying the first of spring revelations. i’ll take August on when it gets here…but for now…it’s springtime in my heart!)

what’s your favorite sign of spring?


what happiness means to me

20140704-205738-75458506.jpgfor me, happiness is born out of gratitude.

in my life, gratitude accesses joy.

joy is a gift that produces brilliance from deep within my heart and soul.

as a young woman, my mom used to tell me that i may not always be happy about my circumstances but that i could be content.

contentment nurtures and guards gratitude.

as women, we can find ourselves in a state of wanting…

to be less sad…

to be more beautiful…

to be more alive…

to attain more of the things we want when we are not satiated from within.

when i find myself drifting in this direction, i have learned the importance of getting alone with my heart.

time for a heart to heart.

i’ve even stood in front of my mirror so i could look myself in the eye, as i would a friend.

i direct my thoughts toward gratitude…

for all that i am and was created to be…

And for all that i have divinely been blessed with.

the warmth of the sun on my face makes me happy but unfortunately summer is short lived in NZ. therefore, i am grateful for warm hugs, an electric blanket, and new warm jacket my daughter blessed me with this week.

watermelon and American style pickles make me happy but are difficult to source where i live. therefore, i grateful for every sweet bite i enjoyed on my vacation last month.

getting along with my husband makes me happy but sometimes we disagree and must work together to restore peace between us. therefore, i am grateful that God brought love into my life and that i have someone special with whom i share my life.

gratitude and joy colors our world with real happiness.

happiness paints our world with a brightness that shines from deep within our heart-the core of our being.

this is what happiness means to me.

it is a gift from God

and i am forever grateful.

how about you? how grateful are you for all of who you are and all that you have?

answering this question with require a deeper look into your heart where your emotions dwell. discovering the answer will lead you toward real happiness. happiness that can not be easily stolen.

i’m happy that you stopped by today!


Be positive and enthusiastic

20131024-153324.jpgwe all know negative people.

but i don’t want to be that person.

i have given myself a goal over the past few months and when I saw Zig Ziglar’s quote, it summed it up for me. my goal is to be as positive as i can be each day no matter the circumstances.

even difficult days are more bearable when i approach it with faith, hope and a positive outlook.

there are times when i have had to shrug my shoulders and understand that i can not change my circumstance. however, i have noticed that i am more creative, i think clearer and generally get through the hardship with my emotions in tact because i am not reverting to hopelessness, negativity or out of control emotions.

sometimes…things change.

sometimes…they don’t…but tomorrow comes and there are brand new opportunities!

sometimes…endurance, long suffering and patience are required.

with every step of the way, implementing my goal has made my life more enjoyable. plus, i think, positive attitudes are very contagious!

the other day, my car was getting a new computer part (that cost me a bundle), i had to spend the day in town and walk everywhere i went.

now that could have been a draining day!

so, i made an adventure out of it.

first, no crying over the repair cost…i chose to drive a car with expensive repair parts. my decision. my consequence. so, i might as well smile as i hand over the cash because i smile hugely when i’m enjoying the drive with the top down! attitude adjusted.

secondly, i decided that because i was in town with no escape…it was perfect timing for visiting all the specialty stores that i never have time to browse through. YAY!

thirdly, i was on foot all day. exercise! i put on my comfy jeans, and tennis shoes -instead of heels and fashion wear! funny story on this note: driving to town, i heard the radio dj talking about non-cool attire. he warned against “sneans” which he explained was blue jeans and white sneakers. i laughed out loud! Yip, i was in sneans! oh well!

back to my blog, i also decided that since i was walking every where that i would take the opportunity to speak to or smile at everyone i passed. i was walking, and talking to people and smiling all day long. the further i walked….the cheerier i became.

it was fabulous! i had a great day!

i could have gone home moaning and grumpy…instead…i was positive and enthusiastic when i arrived home. even the hubby noticed.

so, don’t be that person who never sees the bright side if life! not for other people…

for you!

would you like to except the challenge and see if you can be the most positive and enthusiastic person you know?

if so, get ready to enjoy life more!

how children’s laughter touches a mother’s heart

20131019-131331.jpgmy cousin Char shared this thought.

the world can be spinning out of control and the sound of your child’s laughter can set it right.

nothing thrills the heart of a mother like witnessing pure joy leaking out our her child’s heart.

just lovely!

thank you, Char, for sharing your heart…I’m miles away but my heart can vividly see and feel what this moment in time was like.

you really can look inside your own heart and see, feel and experience what another person is living!

happy Saturday!

springtime in my heart

springtime in my heart/insight from a woman's heart

i’ve been feeling like there is springtime in my heart. i have been walking around with a joy in my heart that i just can not explain. i can’t help but think that coming through my previous five months of difficulties has brought a bit of new life to my heart. i feel a sense of accomplishment and expectation.

a little stroll today showed me that springtime is on it’s way in New Zealand which means that i can expect summer to be right around the corner and you know how much i love my summers. soon i will get my little container garden ready for seeding. we are preparing for the new season of baby oysters and i am doing a little de-cluttering. although de-cluttering can be a big job, i love the feeling of standing back and seeing a newly organized area of my home.

here’s a key i have found useful when de-cluttering: set a specific amount of time each day to accomplish an achievable task. once it is complete, stop, enjoy the progress and plan to do more tomorrow. you know what they say, “you have to eat an elephant one bite at a time.” i think organizing works best a little at a time; step by step. even if the task is not that big…it still works.

in addition to the above springtime activities that i am planning, i have been working a little bit on my blog site…a little reorganizing. i must thank all of my readers for being so kind and patient as i have been learning-as-i-go. you have been very gracious. my goal is to produce a quality product that is useful and inspiring. like most things in life growth is required and i am attempting to grow more each day.

i hope you will enjoy some of the changes you see…there will be more to come as i continue my search for blogging knowledge.

thank you for your encouragement, for reading faithfully and walking this journey with me.

my hope for you today is that no matter the season in your region, that you experience a little springtime in your heart as well.


how i managed to fill my day with joy

20130817-231754.jpgi have enjoyed reading the suspended coffee stories. i imagine myself in the person’s shoes who is on the receiving end of this kindness. i think how little a cup of coffee costs but how gigantic the warm coffee itself is for someone cold and living in the elements. whoever inspired this idea…my hat is off to you!

there aren’t any homeless that I know of in the area of NZ where I live. yet, I’ve been looking for a way to share this concept in my community.

i found a way today.

i was having my hair done when a lady walked in. she requested a hair cut. she was asked to have a seat as she would be attended to next.

when the hairdresser called the lady to her station, i heard the woman quietly say, “i can’t pay today. could i bring the money to you next week. i’m having such a hard time getting from one week to the next”.

i was so excited because there right in front of me was a precious opportunity.

i motioned to the hairdresser and told her that i would cover the cost.

we didn’t tell her who had done the random act of kindness. she was such a happy lady. when she left, the hairdressers and i had so much fun discussing all the ways this type of blessing would benefit our city.

i was shocked that my own bill was much less than expected that i decided we would start a suspended haircut plan for that salon. So, they have a gift certificate to use at their discretion for someone else in need.

later today, my husband asked me, “what happened to you today? you are so happy & bright…did something happen to put you in such a good mood?”

i smiled and told him that helping that lady today filled the entire rest of my day with joy, delight and happiness…and it was physically noticeable.

do you want to have an absolutely joyful day…do something for someone that they can’t do for themselves! the feeling can not be described!

I love this idea of suspended “….” (Fill in your own blank custom designed for your community)….share a little kindness, love and compassion.

i can’t stop smiling and i like it!


Acceptance is seeing with your heart not your eyes


An elderly woman and her little grandson, whose face was sprinkled with bright freckles, spent the day at the zoo.

Lots of children were waiting in line to get their cheeks painted by a local artist who was decorating them with tiger paws. “You’ve got so many freckles, there’s no place to paint!” a girl in the line said to the little fella.

Embarrassed, the little boy dropped his head. His grandmother knelt down next to him. “I love your freckles. When I was a little girl I always wanted freckles,” she said, while tracing her finger across the child’s cheek. “Freckles are beautiful.”

The boy looked up, “Really?”

“Of course,” said the grandmother. “Why just name me one thing that’s prettier than freckles.”

The little boy thought for a moment, peered intensely into his grandma’s face and softly whispered, “Wrinkles.”

-writer unknown

acceptance is one of three core motivations for many of our behaviours. join me this week as we look at accepting ourselves, dealing with rejection and understanding how acceptance/rejection issues motivate our behaviours.

see you soon,

have you got a dream? live…love…feel…like it’s REAL!

have you got a dream? come on…live…love…feel…like it’s REAL!


Hard to find a way to get through
It’s a tragedy
Pulling at me like the stars do
You’re like gravity
Even if the wind blows
It makes it hard to believe

How ya gonna love?
How ya gonna feel?
How you gonna live your life like the dream you have is real?
And If you lost your way
I will keep you safe
We’ll open up all the world inside
I see it come alive tonight
I will keep you safe..

Doesn’t even matter to you
To see what I can see
I’m crawling on the floor to reach you
I’m a wreck you see
When you’re far from home now
Makes it hard to believe
We all fall down
We all feel down
Cus rainy days and summer highs
The more we pray the more we feel alive

How ya gonna love?
How ya gonna feel?
How you gonna live your life like the dream you have is real?