Reduce Stress…Count your blessings.

Happiness depends upon ourselves…Aristotle

It’s been a hectic fall in my house, as it has been in the homes of many of my friends.  My son who is a junior in college has returned home to do an internship-bringing along all the off-kilter routines of a 21 year old.  My other son is anxiously trying to complete the college application process and is struggling because our internet is down and won’t be repaired for another three days.  My husband is traveling for work and I have my hand in so many creative projects that I sometimes feel like a circus clown spinning pots on a stick.

With the backdrop of the financial crisis in the world, it would be easy to get caught up in this stressful energy, but I know allowing worry to whisper in my ear is unproductive.  Instead I count my blessings.  I’ve kept a gratitude journal by my beside for years.  It’s still the original journal because I don’t really write in it that often.   It’s there when I need to remind myself how blessed I am.  I have everything that matters in life–a home filled with love, family and friends.  It’s not to say that everything is rosy, it doesn’t need to be. It’s about recognizing what’s important in life.

When the world appears to spin out of control it’s time to choose where you put your emotional and mental energy.   What’s consuming your thoughts these days?  What do you do when stress starts knocking at your door?  When stress begins to creep into my life, I counteract it by feeding my spirit.   I take time in the morning to savor my cup of coffee. I put flowers around my house. I serve even the simplest meal of rice and beans on a candle lit table with my fine china.  I thank the universe for my blessings, and when things are really hard, I look for the gift in things that don’t feel like blessings.  These small things help keep me calm and peaceful.

–Mary Jo

This week: Do something each day that feeds your spirit–embrace the blessings in your life.

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