Sunday, March 30, 2014
Last year, on Day 29 of the 30 Days of Gratitude Photos, I chose to be grateful for Life. The words I wrote a year ago still hold true today. Life is the gift that allows us to experience all the other gifts in our lives. I am ever so grateful for the life I have and for life itself.
This is day 30, and the final day, of the Thirty Days of Gratitude. I am grateful for this past month of gratitude images and the time I have spent writing about them here. I always find that writing an extended paragraph, or more, on something I am thankful for is a wonderfully fulfilling exercise. I highly recommend it.
Saturday, March 29, 2014
"Food, glorious food." I am grateful for the food I eat each day and for a pantry that is full.
I am grateful for how food can both sustain life and manage to be so yummy. I appreciate the variety of flavors and the way some seem to dance on my tongue. There are many foods that are totally enjoyable to eat.
I am thankful for the energy and nutrition I derive from eating. And I give thanks to all those involved in the process of getting the food from the farm to my kitchen table.
I am thankful to have my basic food needs met and for the ability to easily replenish my supply whenever needed.
This is day 29 of the Thirty Days of Gratitude.
I am so grateful for my parents. How blessed I have been to be able to call these two loving and supportive people my parents...And to do so for so many years. Wow...what an amazing gift to have years of sharing and caring, of celebrations and special moments, and of all the opportunities to help and support one another.
They have been a support to me my whole life. When something exciting happens, the first people I think of sharing it with are my parents. When I am visiting an awesomely beautiful site, I wish I could share it with them. And when troubled with concerns or worries, I can always find an open and understanding sounding board in them.
I am thankful for having another day, another month, and another year to have my parents in my life.
Check out the gift of the Gratitude Box we gave to my parents.
This is day 28 of the Thirty Days of Gratitude.
Friday, March 28, 2014
I am grateful for the courage to be me in any situation...to step up and face my fears and fully walk in my own shoes.
When we think of courage. it's often centered around a major feat of bravery, a heroic act. But everyday we each face the monumental task of just being...just being ourselves. The world around us pushes and pulls us in many directions, to the point of not always being sure what it means to be true to ourselves.
At an early age we learn to be people "pleasers." Infants learn that if they do certain things and respond in specific ways, the big people around them will smile or laugh, and even give them a big warm hug. And we begin the journey of taking actions to achieve the desired positive reactions in others.
Then there are the years where we learn to do anything to avoid ridicule and teasing. We don't want to be picked on and we work hard at trying not to stand out. We learn to conform to the perceived societal norms of our environment so we can fit in and be accepted.
Of course, there are always those who are so caught up in fighting against the "pleaser" mentality, they take steps to foster the opposite reaction. They are trying to get people to be shocked, angered, appalled, and incensed by what they have said or done.
In either case, the road to being true to yourself gets muddled. I suspect that many people have a hard time pinpointing the path of their true self. So I say, it is a remarkable thing to find the courage to be yourself...to undo the years of training we've received, in how to act, react, and function in our world.
I am grateful for the courage of being myself.
Be You...you are the only one set with the task of being YOU...and you certainly can do it better than anyone else. And I wish you the courage to do so.
This is day 27 of the Thirty Days of Gratitude.
Thursday, March 27, 2014
There are certain pieces of music that impact me in a way nothing else can. The music seems to touch me so deeply, as if something cherished from the far, far past has come to meet up with my heart in the present. The emotional connection feels so solid and powerful, as if the music and I shared a common history with one another. It sings to my soul.
How grateful I am to live in a world filled with music and to be able to experience the effects of the beauty of the notes.
Last year I wrote about my relationship with music on Day 5 of the 30 Days of Gratitude Photos. Today I write this on day 26 of the Thirty Days of Gratitude.
Wednesday, March 26, 2014
I am grateful to be able to look at the day ahead and towards the future with a sense of wonder over the POSSIBILITIES.
In any given moment, we have hopes, dreams, and expectations of what may occur in our future, yet life unfolds, change happens, and we never know for sure. This uncertainty could become a source of fear, anxiety, and unease...or we could look towards our unfolding lives with a sense of anticipation, delight, and wonder.
I love beginning the day, the month, the year, with a feeling of excitement for what may unfold...what new experiences I might have, the surprises, the opportunities, and even the challenges.
The unknowing makes the act of living more zingy. It also means that anything is possible, including what I can create in my life and what I can become. You never know who or what you may be attracting into your life...what may lie just around the corner.
We live in a world where the stranger you meet today can change your life tomorrow. The project you are drawn to today may lead to a whole new career you never would have imagined. And the commitment to traveling down an unknown path could help open doors for you in the future.
Yes, we live in a world filled with POSSIBILITIES. What a great blessing that is.
Today is day 25 of the Thirty Days of Gratitude.
Tuesday, March 25, 2014
Everywhere I look and wherever I go, inspiration can be found. I find it in the sights and shapes all around me, in the lighting and the shadows, in the colors and the textures. I am inspired by the words I find in books, in poetry, online, and in all forms of media. Music and lyrics are a great source of inspiration with the various genres effecting me in different ways. Inspirational triggers are everywhere.
Allow your surroundings to inspire you.
Here are some more sources of inspiration:
- reflections in windows, streams, rivers, etc.
- favorite music
- exquisite landscapes
- peaceful settings
- inner visions
- brainstorming - either alone or with others
- inspirational quotes
- a nature walk
- time spent alone
- things people say
- lines of dialog in movies, TV, or theater
- watch children at play
- read a children's book
I am grateful to be able to find inspiration everywhere.
This is day 24 of the Thirty Days of Gratitude.
For more on Creative Inspiration, check out these articles at The Shared Easel:
Monday, March 24, 2014
It could be easy to take a home for granted, especially if you have always had a roof over your head. But the warmth and shelter of a house or apartment is truly something to be grateful for. Many people go to sleep at night in the cold, susceptible to the elements. Many spend their days worrying about where they can find shelter that night.
I have a warm bed to sleep in, a bathroom only steps away, running water and plumbing, food in the refrigerator, and the comforts of a home. I choose NOT to take these for granted.
When you are struggling to meet your basic needs, your life force is directed towards survival. There's little or no time, or space, or energy for the luxury of being creative, for focusing on personal growth, and on the things you love to do.
My basic needs are met and for that I am so very grateful.
This is day 23 of the Thirty Days of Gratitude.
Sunday, March 23, 2014
Every single moment I spend alone with myself is precious time. I love my family. I totally enjoy being with people...but I crave my time alone.
Maybe it's the artist in me who not only needs the creative time on my own, but savors the time to reflect, to regroup, to recharge, to refuel. I love the quiet space, the voice within, and the peaceful meditations.
Spending time alone allows me to:
- direct my creative energy
- think things through
- get to know myself better
- dance without care
- recharge and re-energize
- increase my productivity
- take time out to relax
- do things I enjoy
- strengthen my inner core
- find the answers within
- and so much more.
Years ago, between a demanding job and a very full calendar of social activities, I didn't have much non-work related alone time. So, I began creating weekly outings with myself, visiting local sites and having adventures just with me. I so looked forward to this time each week and for the next adventure. It was a great reminder of how I really am my own best friend. In strengthening my relationship with myself, I was strengthening my inner core.
I am very thankful for the time I can spend alone with me.
Today is day 22 of the Thirty Days of Gratitude.
Saturday, March 22, 2014
I am grateful for all the love in my life...for the love of family and friends. I have been blessed with a lifetime of warm, caring, and very dear people surrounding me, throughout my life.
Not much to say tonight...after a long day at a track meet. Looking forward to some unproductive, quiet time tonight. But, I will come back to say more about this truly wonderful gift at some point in the future.
This is Day 21 of the Thirty Days of Gratitude.
Friday, March 21, 2014
For me, it's the burst of blossoms that truly herald the Springtime. Trees that may look like they could never come back to life throughout the winter months suddenly explode with color and delicate growth.
When I was a kid, my Mom told me about the flowering cherry blossom trees in Washington, DC and how they fill the city with a soft beauty each year. She always made it sound like such a magical sight. I don't have to be in DC to experience the magic and beauty of the flowering trees. What a visual delight!!
I am thankful to live in a world with such wonderful visual surprises, made even more impact-ful by arriving just after the winter.
This is Day 20 of the Thirty Days of Gratitude.
Thursday, March 20, 2014
What a wonderful season this is. Spring is full of new growth and signs of new life. The landscape becomes dotted with brilliant colors and there is more opportunities to spend time outside. People begin to come out of their winter home cocoons and enjoy the sights and sounds of Springtime.
I am so grateful for this time of year, and for the fresh Spring air and the song of the birds.
Today is Day 19 of the Thirty Days of Gratitude.
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
I awake each morning with a burst of creativity. Before I get out of bed, I am ready to go explore new creative ideas. It's like a switch has been turned on and I must utilize that wonderful flow of creative energy.
There never seems to be enough time to work in the quiet hours of the morning, before the family awakes. Then there's another surge that fills my afternoons and makes me feel like I could create anything. But the truth is, I can turn it on at any time I choose. It's presence is like an abundant fountain, ever flowing. How much I access it is totally up to me.
Creativity colors my life with joy, delight, smiles, and an amazing inner glow. It fills me with a sense of accomplishment and positive productivity, whether I write or paint, play with ideas or with photoshop, cook or dance. Creativity can turn the most menial task into a fun-filled experience. Somehow in doing the laundry yesterday, I managed to create a time that still fills me with smiles today just to think of it.
My life would not be the same without the marvelous gift of creativity. I am so very grateful for the role that creativity plays in my life.
This is Day 18 of the Thirty Days of Gratitude.
Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Today and everyday I am grateful for my health. We live in human bodies, in a world filled with illness and dis-ease. Everyday of health is a blessing. And every experience with illness makes these days even more of a blessing.
Today is a day I can walk, run, stand, think, digest, breath, hear, taste, eat, reach for the stars, and hug my loved ones. How could I not feel grateful?
Here's just a little something to keep in mind...
This is Day 17 of the Thirty Days of Gratitude.
Monday, March 17, 2014
I am grateful for any time I spend on or at the beach. What a great gift to live close enough to the water to easily visit the waves and the sand.
This has been a week of spectacular weather. Stopping at a beach on the way from one point to another has been a total delight. I realize there are many places still dealing with ice and frost but here, in the days leading up to Spring, it has felt like the beginning of Summer.
Whether it's Winter, Spring, Summer, or Fall, the sand and sea call to me. It's a place of peace and joy, a place to take off your shoes and get sand between your toes, a place to be alone and a place to share with others. Even with the sound of the crashing waves, there is a feeling of calm that always feels like home. The beach is a place to Just Be...to be yourself and get in touch with the voice within.
I so appreciate living near the water. I used to live on the east coast, just 15 to 20 minutes from the ocean. Now I live about 10 minutes from the beach on the west coast. Love it!
This is Day 16 of the Thirty Days of Gratitude.
Sunday, March 16, 2014
I am so very thankful for the views from the windows in my home. I live in a house that feels like a tree house. It's surrounded by trees in every direction and we have an amazing amount of windows. (A number of windows are narrow and don't open but they create a wonderfully green backdrop.)
As I sit here right now, I can see the thick foliage through six windows. The redwoods and live oaks are evergreens, so I get to feel like I live in a forest rather than a neighborhood all year round.
Right by my dining room windows is a flowering plum tree and a few very large camellias, with a small redwood grove just beyond. I love working at our dining room table and facing that scene.
I feel so blessed to look out on this beauty every day.
This is Day 15 of the Thirty Days of Gratitude.
Saturday, March 15, 2014
I am grateful for the light that glows within me, for the way it touches my life, and energizes my actions, passions, and joy. I am equally thankful to find myself in the presence of someone else's glow. The light we experience in others can range from subtle to magnificent. They may be aware of the light they share or most likely totally unaware of how their light radiates to those around them. That light can have the effect of igniting our own or act as a reminder of how we are filled with light ourselves.
We come into the world as brightly lit beings and along the road of life our disappointments, fears, and life experiences act to dim that brightness. Somehow we learn to hide the glow from others which leads to denying it to ourselves as well. As adults we have the opportunity of reigniting the light, reconnecting to our true nature, and reawakening to our inner sparkle. By growing that light we are also growing our inner strength, courage, joy, and well being.
Here are some ways to turn up your light and to Get Your Glow On:
- Smile more - just for the sake of smiling. You may find you have more to smile about.
- Listen to music that gets you moving...dance freely. Let yourself dance in any way that feels good to you.
- Laugh. It's funny how laughter creates more laughter. Find things to laugh about.
- Make time each day to do something that makes you feel "lighter." Spend time involved in activities that bring you joy.
- Visualize yourself filling up with light and surrounding you. Hold that thought. (Notice where the light emanated from...above, below, within, without, etc.) Take it a step further and let that light radiate out into the world.
- Start taking steps to follow your dreams, if you haven't already done so.
- Do some Spring cleaning...inside and out. Make space for the light by letting go of the inner cobwebs. Cleaning your environment of clutter is a great way to start that process.
- Speaking of "inner clutter" - Forgive yourself for choices you've made in the past and actions that fill you with feeling of blame or guilt. If it's difficult to let it go, try writing a forgiveness letter to yourself from a place of love.
- Share your gratitude with others. Let them know what you appreciate about them.
- Spend time in nature. Focus on the exquisiteness of the natural world.
- Let go of trying to please others and focus on being true to your inner flow.
- Let go of the "shoulds" in your mind.
- Trust your heart.
- What else would you add to this list?
This is Day 14 of the Thirty Days of Gratitude.
Thursday, March 13, 2014
I am grateful for the feeling of being part of the natural flow of life. There are times when the path is clear, no major obstacles are blocking the way, and everything seems to flow. What a gift it is to be able to observe and experience the unfolding of "miracles" at those moments/times.
Flow happens. But it happens when there's an openness to experience the movement of life in the direction it's taking you, to letting go of expectations and allowing life to unfold. Nothing can clog that flow like holding onto the old ways, the past, and preconceived notions.
Flow is a gentle and easy unfolding of events, opportunities, and openings. It's as if miracles are happening and everything seems to click into place. When that happens, we meet the right people at the right time, we stumble upon the exact information needed to move forward, and we may notice that doors open unexpectedly. The pieces of our life's puzzle begin to fit together beautifully. It's as if we are being carried by the universe on a wave of support.
So, I am grateful to ME...for allowing the flow and being open to it.
This is Day 12 of the Thirty Days of Gratitude.
Wednesday, March 12, 2014
I am grateful for all the new paths that appear along the road through life. The willingness to accept an alternate route can provide new experiences, valuable life lessons, and the ability to face new challenges with opportunities to successfully handle them. In addition there's the likelihood of feeling WOWed by those experiences.
Years ago, while working as an art teacher/therapist in a program for vision impaired and multi-handicapped children, a totally new path presented itself. Through a series of surprising circumstances, I ended up being offered a job at a mutual fund company as an account executive. The biggest surprise was that I accepted it. The next seven years were rich with experiences and opportunities for personal growth, all because I was willing to step outside my comfort zone. I spent years marveling at how I could have gone from a definitively non-corporate person to someone successfully managing increasing corporate responsibilities. It was an amazing journey.
Later on, my decision to try something new by taking an African dance class, led to a great community of friends and the opportunity of meeting the man who was later to become my husband. And without this wonderful man, I would never be living in California with a most fantastic daughter. The decision to take that class, placed me on a journey down a path filled with many precious gifts. And for this I am oh, so very thankful.
More recently, my decision to go with the flow and make gratitude my focus, has taken me down a road I never dreamed I would travel. It led to publishing The Gratitude Habit Journal and Workbook with many books being sold, a Gratitude Habit Facebook page, this blog...and feeling lots of WOW along the way.
I've had many wonderful life experiences by taking the fork in the road...and they have all added value to my life. I wonder what will show up next. Are you being faced with a new path?
This is Day 11 of the Thirty Days of Gratitude.
Tuesday, March 11, 2014
My heart is filled with gratitude for all that I have. I am blessed with many gifts and I am aware of how little I really need. Life is good.
I learn from my struggles and they become opportunities. There is so much to be grateful for in each and every moment that in times of difficulty I can fill my mind with all that I have and lighten the load.
Wherever I look I can find something to be grateful for...running water, the roof over my head, windows that look out to the beauty of the trees, the loving smiles of family and friends, the new growth of Spring...and more and more and more...even the toothbrush.
I have opportunities to fulfill my dreams and a world of new technology at my fingertips to aid me in my journey. I am clothed and I am fed. I am surrounded by love, beauty, health, and creativity...and for this I am tremendously thankful.
I am Grateful for all that I have.
This is Day 10 of the Thirty Days of Gratitude.
Monday, March 10, 2014
I am grateful for every day of life. Each and every day is a gift and although none is promised, we tend to expect to be here tomorrow. We all die, yet we live our lives as if we will live forever. Life is precious yet we squander our days, our energies, and our opportunities.
There are no promises about tomorrow. While you are here, take each day as it comes, make the most of what you have, fill your life with things you love, and share your heart with others. Oh, and of course, find something to be grateful for every day.
This is Day 9 of the Thirty Days of Gratitude. For more on life, visit Day 29 of last year's 30 Days of Gratitude Photos.
Sunday, March 9, 2014
I am thankful for those moments when something simple and easy to miss becomes the star attraction. Those moments become precious gems as they ignite a spark within me.
It can be found in the gentle face of someone in a crowd, whose smile seems to turn up the light in the room. It's easy to spot when a burst of color is surrounded by a visual field of subdued hues...or in two fall leaves on an old cement wall of dead vines.
Nature provides many exquisite opportunities to marvel at the design and beauty in the background of our lives. The impact of a single leaf, an unusual cloud that only holds it's shape for minutes, the light streaming through the smoke of a campfire are examples of beauty waiting to be noticed.
One more thing: There is something quite beautiful in witnessing the kindness shown from one person to another. Whether it is directed towards you or not, it touches the heart.
I am grateful for all the beautiful moments I have managed to notice and I will continue to be on the lookout for simple beauty.
This is Day 8 of the Thirty Days of Gratitude.
Saturday, March 8, 2014
I am so grateful for the clouds above, for how they coat the sky and interplay with the brilliant blue background. They are ever changing and always inviting. They form an expansive blanket that often appears like a patchwork quilt.
I live in an area where we can go for many days with clear blue skies and without a cloud in sight. So, when the clouds are present it seems like a feast for the eyes. And one of the wonderful things about them is that they are never truly the same...new formations, new vistas in the sky.
I'm thankful for the beauty created by those vistas...but that's not all. I'm ever so grateful for the gift of shade from the sun that the clouds provide. They subdue the heat and the intensity of the light.
Last weekend, as I sat for hours at a track meet, I appreciated the cloud cover protecting us from the bright sun. During a thankfully rainy day, it seemed as if we were placed under the one patch of sky without precipitation. And much to our surprise, we also had bright sun show itself at times throughout the day. But, it was the clouds I appreciated most as they gently protected us from the sun's rays. I was probably more aware of this because I hadn't thought of bringing a hat on such a rainy day.
So, go see if you can find some cloud formations...and enjoy the designs they form in the sky.
This is Day 7 of the Thirty Days of Gratitude. Last year, on the 11th day of the 30 Days of Gratitude Photos, I was thankful for the clouds of the Super Cool Sky.
Friday, March 7, 2014
How wonderful to live in a world where the sky can look as if a giant paint brush has swept it with masterful strokes of color. And for this I am thankful.
I feel like I've seen more spectacular sunrises and sunsets in the past half a year than I've seen in all the years that have come before... as if the sky has become prolific in it's production of magnificent beauty.
I love the way the lighting and colors change from one moment to the next. It's an ever changing canvas. What a wonderful gift to behold. It enhances our experience on this earth and never fails to delight and surprise. A true WOW.
I have so much gratitude for the beauty of the colorful sky.
This post is #6 in the Thirty Days of Gratitude.
Thursday, March 6, 2014
I am grateful for all the people in my life that fill my days with warmth, smiles, encouragement, and friendship. These are the people who make the world a home and share my path through life.
There's nothing like the love and support of friends and family. They are there when everything is going well, to share in your joys and success's. They are there to help hold you up when dreams may seem unattainable and life throws you obstacles.
My life is filled with people who can enthusiastically support my creative projects and hold the vision of a world of possibilities. No conversation needs to take place to know of their love and support. I can see it on their faces, in their smiles, and in their tenderness.
I am truly blessed.
(This is day 5 of Thirty Days of Gratitude Images.)
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Each new day is a gift, a new beginning that feels like a fresh start. I am thankful every day for the first light of morning. It appears, as if to say, "Possibilities are endless and wonderful delights are right here on the horizon."
I usually awake just before the first sign of sunrise, when it's dark and I'm alone in my own special creative cocoon. I watch as, little by little, more and more light gently filters into the room. And once the sky is fully lit, it's clear that the world has awaken as well.
I am grateful for the beginning of yet another day.
Tuesday, March 4, 2014
Every step along my life path has brought me to where I am now. I am grateful for each of those steps and for who I have become in the process.
There have been difficulties along the way and experiences I might have chosen to sidestep if I knew what lay ahead. There were times when I felt like I was on the wrong path but each of those steps were mine and became a part of my journey.
I am thankful for where I've been, where I am, and where I'm headed. Although we live in the present, life is not an isolated moment. It is a collection of choices we've made, directions we've traveled, and experiences that have shaped us. In any given moment, we are the culmination of what has come before...
and it is exactly how It Is!
Monday, March 3, 2014
I am so very grateful for the rains we've been getting for the past five days or so. I so appreciate the sound of the raindrops on our roof and on our deck. I love when the sound intensifies because I know we are getting more rain. It feels like every raindrop is precious.
As a child, in New York, I remember how a rainy day could squash a good time. We used to sing, "Rain rain go away, come again another day." But we're not singing that tune in the West these days.
Unlike New York, where it can rain at any time of the year, here in California it rains in the winter. I have found it remarkable to experience months with no rain at all. Winter is the rainy season and we can usually plan outdoor parties and events without concern through a large chunk of the year. When I first moved to this part of the country, I marveled at our ability to store cardboard boxes outdoors, under an overhang, without concern.
But the lack of rain, during the winter months, has become a concern. There's a narrow window of time for rainfall, and if it doesn't rain during that period we are out of luck, without much hope for precipitation during late Spring, Summer, or Fall.
They are calling this an extreme drought, with 27 California counties now considered "natural disaster areas" so that farmers can receive federal loans. That thinning window increases the concern over fires, farming, and water supply.
So, I am here today to express my appreciation for the rains we are now experiencing. Every drop of rain seems like a gift... because it is.
Sunday, March 2, 2014
Last year I posted an article at The Shared Easel Newsletter, titled: Gratitude Plays a Part in Happiness. It refers to the experiences I had after completing my first list of the things I wanted in my life. (I had been doing a lot of smiling around that time.)
Today I included a link to that article on The Gratitude Habit Facebook page, with a brief description. This is what I wrote this morning:
Last year I made a list of 100 things I like, love, or enjoy doing, things I'd be interested in adding to my life, activities I would like to spend time on, places I would like to go...You've got the picture. It wasn't easy to come up with 100 but because I stuck with it, a list developed with lots of little surprises. And by focusing on doing something small, each day, I found myself smiling more...and appreciating me quite a bit. After a year, I could use to recharge. I'm about to write another list today. How about you?
Now I realize it would be a good idea to clarify the list and give some examples. So here goes.
The list became somewhat of a wish list of things I would like to have present in my life, what I would like to manifest, what I would like to be active with, what's important to me, who I would like to be or become. The list included both tangible and intangible items, things that touch my heart and those that touch my interests. It also included the kind of people, places, experiences, and situations I would like to attract or manifest in my life.
The first 35 items, or so, were of things I would love to spend time doing; many of which were already a part of my life, and some I had not done in awhile. The next group of entries included anything I might like to have in my life; some were dreams and most were important or practical. And then I focused on who, what, and how I would like to be, as a person, moving forward; who I would like to be when with others and how I would like to be me in the world.
Much of my list included things I already have in my life. The list helped me to focus on what's important to me and gave me another opportunity to appreciate all that I have and what I can create in my life.
At the time, one of the benefits in making the list was to focus on me and what I like. It was easier for me to focus on the needs, wants, and likes of my family than on my own. The benefits, after the fact, were many. I began to be more conscious of what I enjoyed doing and began making an effort to do something for me each day. I did things and went places that I enjoyed...for me. I was so very grateful every time I incorporated something from my list into my day. And I smiled a whole lot.
In order to help you get started on your own list, I am including some of mine. here:
- to walk on the beach
- to dance
- to hug
- to laugh
- to learn
- to paint
- to create
- to have time to myself
- to have college costs covered
- to have health and wellness
- to have opportunities for growth
- to have running water
- to have passion for the work I am doing
- to have a working car
- to have time with family
- to be grateful
- to be loving
- to be able to travel
- to be forgiving
- to be able to let go
- to feel financially secure
- to be able to find the good in difficult situations