Have you heard of MBCT?

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Greetings miracle enthusiasts and a warm welcome to new subscribers!

First, I’d like to express my appreciation to the donors who help to keep this blog on the Web. It’s a wonderful help to know that people care.

For the last several months, there has been no shortage of challenges to work with. How has your life been? Challenging… or, not so much? I’m sure there are many of us who have that in common.

The thing I like about challenges is that they always have something to teach me.

Whether it is a challenging situation or a challenging person, even though I may resist the challenge at first, I usually settle in to see what the situation or person can teach me about my thoughts, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors.

I cannot recall a situation where I have not learned something new about myself, although sometimes it takes a few repetitions before it really sticks (she chuckles).

So — what I want to share with you today is a way of being that can be quite helpful in challenging circumstances.

Have you heard of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy – MBCT?

What it is

Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy is a program that helps participants to deal with unwanted recurrent states of mood: unhappiness, depression, anxiety, irritability, anger, frustration, and other negative emotions.

How MBCT helps

For those who practice it, mindfulness-based cognitive therapy helps free us from over-thinking, ruminating, or excess worrying and the tendency to avoid, suppress, and resist.

MBCT teaches how to reduce worry; to learn wise, compassionate responses in challenging circumstances; and helps wake us up to the beauty in the world.

A personal story

Some of the readers know that an illness has created a number of challenges in my life. In fact, that is the reason I started writing on this blog. I wanted to write about and share the inspiring stories of healing that I found as I searched for my own healing.

Anita Moorjani, Lester Levenson, Eckhart Tolle, Lydia Herrle, Tenzin, and many more who I have not written about yet, have experienced an amazing freedom from the burdens of life situations.

My journey, while substantially less dramatic than those I have written about, is still unfolding. I continue to learn, experience, and experiment with various forms of healing and each experience deepens the next.

The latest of these experiences is the 8-week MBCT program. What I have learned has definitely helped in challenging circumstances.

What I enjoyed most about the program is the experience of working in a group with other participants and the daily meditation exercises. Each week builds upon the previous week so that by the end of the program participants have a plan and a practice that they can carry on their own. And, some groups meet periodically after the program is finished to help keep each other on track.

In future, I may write more about the MBCT program for those who are interested, for now, I’ll post some links for your convenience (not affiliates) if you want to check into it further.

Please remember, this information does not replace professional advice. If you experience recurrent unpleasant emotions, please consult a health professional for advice.

Center for Mindfulness

Oxford Mindfulness Centre

The Mindful Way through Depression

The Mindful Way Workbook – An 8-week program

Here is a link to a TEDX talk from one of the authors of, The Mindful Way through Depression

Additional news from Miracle Mama
I will be making some gradual changes on the blog over the next few months and I will post a blog about these changes as they arise.

Thank you all for your continued support! I really appreciate it!

Until soon…

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Gratitude Challenge 2015: What’s in your heart?

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Gratitude

A favourite quote of mine is from a commencement address given by Jim Carrey at the 2014 MUM Graduation.

“The effect you have on others is the most valuable currency there is. Because everything you gain in life will rot and fall apart and all that will be left of you is what was in your heart.” ~ Excerpt from Jim Carrey 2014 MUM commencement address.

I realized the truth of these words in 2011 when I ended up in the hospital emergency department as I share in the story, “In the End, Only Love Matters.”

The practice of gratitude will open your heart and the more you practice the better you will feel and the deeper you will feel love.

Related articles ♦ 100-Day Gratitude Challenge, Get Out of Your Head and into Your Heart

Thanks for reading and sharing! Wishing you an awesome day! 🙂

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Gratitude challenge 2015: Love in Action

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Open Clouds Blue - Gratitude by Nakeva

Have you ever experienced so much gratitude that it felt as if you would bust wide open if you didn’t share it with someone?

Recently, it happened to me. It was the evening of December 25th 2014. Up to this point, for some time now, many wonderful things were happening in my life. Today was another such day. I had just arrived home from a beautiful Christmas celebration at a friend’s house. Feeling overwhelmed with gratitude — tears of humility and joy streaming down my cheeks — I sat down and wrote an email.

“Just want to send an email to tell you that I am overwhelmed with the gratitude I feel in my heart because I am so blessed to have such wonderful people in my life. It has taken me almost an entire lifetime to learn what is truly important in life. People showing people love is what matters most. People show love in the kind things they do for one another. I don’t know how I ended up with incredible people surrounding me. I feel like the luckiest person alive. I am rich with beautiful people in my life. People who show their love to people, just because that is who they are. I call these people: Love in action. I am honored to have them in my life.What more could a person want. For me, this IS everything.”

When I take the time to deeply feel the gratitude that wells from the heart; I am loving. This — I know for certain.

If you are new to this blog and want to know more about the gratitude challenge, please read “Get out of your head and into your heart.”

Related article ♦ 100-Day Gratitude Challenge

Please share the love.

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Gratitude challenge 2015

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If you are new to this blog and want to know more about the gratitude challenge, please read “Get out of your head and into your heart.”

Gratitude challenge 2015 quote for the day:

“Acknowledging the good that is already in your life is the foundation for all abundance.” ~ Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth: Awakening to your Life’s Purpose (p190)

More on this topic to follow in future posts.

Related articles ♦ Eckhart Tolle

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New Year Blessing from Miracle Mama

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Happy New year from Miracle Mama!

Happy New Year Miracle Enthusiasts and thank you for being a part of my life. I really appreciate it! Here is a new year blessing from my heart to yours.

May we rise above the stress and struggle in everyday life to see the grander picture.
May we always find good in what appears to be bad.
May we treat ourselves and everyone we know with kindness, dignity and respect.
May we give blessings to others and be open to receive blessings also.
May we give ourselves and others the gift of our patience and presence.
May we always encourage rather than discourage.
May we discover that we are the magnificent presence of Life Itself,
And may we feel that presence everywhere.

~ To a new beginning ~

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100-Day Gratitude Challenge: Update

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Hello Miracle Enthusiasts and a warm welcome to new subscribers. Very soon we will begin a brand new year. Are you excited? I know I am.

I am excited to continue the gratitude challenge into the new year for the first 100 days of 2015.

For those of you who are new to this blog, I began my 100-day gratitude challenge on September 23rd to close out 2014 with 100 days of gratitude. Click [here] to read about the challenge.

In addition to continuing the gratitude challenge, I have made a dietary commitment. Some of you know that I have been dealing with the effects of an autoimmune condition called rheumatoid arthritis. In the past few years, I have made several attempts at changing my diet to see what effect it would have on the level of RA symptoms. Well, I haven’t been able to sustain the changes for an adequate length of time. Apparently, it takes the body at least two years to heal from autoimmune related conditions. Do you find it tough to make lifestyle changes?

I know I do. So — I joined a group that is following a particular dietary protocol and we decided to begin January 1st. Hopefully, with the support of the group, I will stay on track toward meaningful change.

I’ve also decided to post a daily blog for the gratitude challenge even if it’s something simple as a quote to inspire.

In case you missed what this is all about, here are some links to previous posts to explain the challenge.

How it started: Original gratitude challenge in 2010.

Renew commitment in 2014: Miracle mama challenge high on gratitude

Hope all is well with everyone. Looking forward to sharing my gratitude journey and hearing about yours as well.

Till we meet again…

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Up, Down, In-between, and Gratitude for a Wish Fulfilled

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A warm welcome to new subscribers. Thank you very much for taking the time to sign-up to receive notice of new posts.

Today is Wednesday, November 26th, day sixty-five of my 100-day gratitude challenge and I have to confess something.

It seems, I bit off a little more than I can chew. I hate when that happens. You want to do something and you have every intention of following through. Then you find that your life situation derails you and things do not go according to plan.

I had planned to post frequent gratitude challenge updates and this did not happen.

So — where have I been?

As the title suggests; up, down and in-between.

I’ve traveled through the gamut of human emotions; anxiety, fear, anger, joy, sadness, apathy, grief, laughter, disappointment, shame, appreciation, and love. I would have said that the last sixty-five days were a waste, if it were not for the lessons these emotions bring.

Live and learn; I always say. Lots.

So far, my gratitude practice includes a morning and night ritual of bringing attention to the aliveness of my body and feeling appreciation for the sheer miracle that Life in the body really is. Even though this body is often uncomfortable and painful, it is still the most magnificent thing on the planet, I believe. The feeling of appreciation deepens with the time and attention devoted. More than a few times, I found myself spending many wakeful hours unable to sleep because, for some reason, appreciation gives me energy.

During the day, I try to remember to count my blessings. I notice my thoughts and feelings. Silently, I give thanks to the bitter-sweet journey of my life.

How is your gratitude journey going? Leave a comment to let me know.

For more gratitude challenge ideas, click here.

I have collected a few interesting articles on gratitude, one of them, I want to share with you today. This is the gratitude for a wish fulfilled part.

Children’s book author, journalist, community builder and activist, Lisa Suhay, wrote an article published in The Christian Science Monitor, titled, The boy who was thankful: No greater gift than acceptance.

Have you or someone you know ever been bullied?

Lisa writes about an eleven year old boy who was bullied at school for several years. This year, things changed.

“Last weekend we hosted my youngest son’s 11th  birthday party. He finally had kids come to his birthday party, after several long years of being bullied at school and not easily accepted by other kids, due in part to personality quirks tied to being diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome.

In the past it’s been a struggle to get more than one or two children from his classes to come to the party.”

Read on to hear the rest of the story and wise words from eleven year old, Quin. Click here.

Follow Lisa Suhay on Twitter.

Happy Thanksgiving to readers in the United States. Many blessings to all. Thank you everyone for reading. I really appreciate the time you take to visit my blog and share with friends and family.

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Dear Rheumatoid Arthritis

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If you are new to this site, please join us in the 100-Day Gratitude Challenge. Click [here] for details.

Dear Rheumatoid Arthritis,

Without you in my life, I would never have known what it is like to have limited use and functionality of essential body parts like hands, wrists, feet, ankles, knees, shoulders and neck. Or — how painful pain can be.

I would never have known the joints in the body fuse together when copious amounts of inflammation in the surrounding tissue make movement impossible.

Without you in my life, I would never have known that it can be extremely difficult, if not dangerous, to walk up or down a flight of stairs. I would never have known what it is like to be outdoors on a windy day and have to wrap my arms around a pole to stop myself from being blown down to the ground.

Rheumatoid arthritis, you have taught me things I never ever dreamed I would know anything about. You taught me what life can be like for someone in their nineties while, I am still in my fifties.

"Everything works together for good." Visit Miracle Mama.com

“Everything works together for good.” Visit Miracle Mama.com

Yes, rheumatoid arthritis you are a great teacher and I am so deeply humbled by you.

I love that you came into my life to show me how to live. You have taught me to be present to and mindful of my body in space. I use to live in my head thinking incessant thoughts about the past or future. Now, my attention is in my body being present to every movement, feeling every sensation and being aware of my environment. I no longer get stuck in stressful thought patterns for any length of time.

You have taught me patience. You have taught me perseverance. You are teaching me to love. I use to hate you. I use to curse you. I prayed that you would just go away and stop destroying my life. You didn’t and I thank you. You are a wise teacher. You know what is needed. I love you for that.

I love that you have taught me about gratitude. My life is so much richer for discovering the state of gratitude. I am uplifted in gratitude. My heart bubbles with gratitude.

Dearest rheumatoid arthritis, you are a part of my life. I embrace you with open arms. Come into my heart and be loved.

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Get out of your head and into your Heart

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Being grateful.

Being grateful.

September 23rd, 2014 marks the first day of my 100-day gratitude challenge. As I mentioned in a previous post [click here], I’m repeating the challenge I gave to myself four years ago in 2010. I’m closing the year with 100 days of focused gratitude practice.

A focused gratitude practice helps you get out of your head and into your heart. When we spend most of our time thinking (usually about past or future events) we are not present to the moment. The mind can only concentrate well on one thing at a time. If we are caught up in endless thought streams, that’s where the mind’s focus is; on thoughts (usually stressful thoughts).

This is what I found when I began experimenting with a gratitude practice. When I live in my head (thoughts), I get into trouble. I start believing my thoughts and become oblivious to the present reality. My thoughts trigger my emotions and an emotional roller coaster results. Up and down, jostled around every which way by my thoughts. Does this happen to you?

But — when I live from my heart, magic happens. Strange coincidences occur. Things I need, come to me unexpectedly. I feel good; always. The only time I don’t feel good is when I believe my thoughts. When I live from my heart, I smile a lot. When I live from my heart, I love.

Here are a few suggestions from the previous gratitude challenge that I will implement again as we close out the last 100 days of 2014. I hope you will join me in this experiment to see what gifts the practice of gratitude has for you too.

  • When I wake up, I take a few deep breaths and thank the air for filling my lungs (after all, where would we be without air). I close my eyes, put my attention in my heart area and feel a sense of gratitude, which is a warm, joyful feeling to me. I repeat to myself, “I feel grateful.”
  • As I go about my day, I say to myself, “I am grateful. I feel great. I feel amazing.” When I meet up with other people, I smile and thank them for helping me (no matter what). Everyone is a gift. Everyone has a gift. Silently, I say to myself, “I am grateful for you.” Then, I put my attention in my heart area and feel a sense of gratitude. Breathe in gratitude.
  • I look for opportunities to notice things I appreciate and people I appreciate.
  • At the end of the day, I take a piece of paper and write down all the people, places and things that I am grateful for. Sometimes I list the reason why or I list a quality that I truly appreciate in that person.
  • Write a blog about my gratitude journey.
  • Write thank you cards to family and friends to tell what I appreciate about them.

Stay tuned for more posts on gratitude and love and miracles and more.

Update: 100-Day Gratitude Challenge continues into 2015 right here on MiracleMama.com

Please leave a comment about your gratitude practice as well.

Thank you for reading. I really appreciate it.

Many, many blessings.

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The Miracle is in the Message

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The other day I was introduced to a beautiful young man.

Prince Ea.

A friend shared his video on Facebook.

I clicked play.

I listened to his message.

In the message I found a miracle.

My heart soared.

I cried tears of joy.

Yes! Yes! Yes!

This is IT!

Please watch Prince Ea‘s 4 minute video to find the miracle and share with the world so it can find the miracle too.

 


For lyrics click here

Like Prince Ea on Facebook.

I’ll be back soon with a post on love.

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