Personal Note

My most valued possession is my family. Even if you are living in a box somewhere, and you have the love and support of your family, you will always be wealthy. Love really is all you need. From love, great things will emerge. From your thoughts, you can create greatness.

This is what I need to remind myself of everyday to be the best person that I can be. Live your life with gratitude. Be thankful for all that you have everyday, even if it is your eyes to see or your ears to hear or your feet to walk or your hands to create. Understand your place in this Universe; how infinitesimally small you are, but how huge a contribution your Spirit is. Don't wear blinders to the world around you, you're not the only one here. Be kind, considerate, don't be judgemental, love others, and yourself. Know that you are perfect inside; that you are love.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Give a little Thanks, Share a bit of Gratitude...


Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

I hope this Holiday finds you all safe and sound. In honor of the Thankful season, this post is about just that...being Thankful for what we have.

I spent many years aspiring for 'more' and feeling like I didn't have enough. I am so grateful that I made the changes that I did so that I can now be at peace with what I have, and that is so comforting. Now my husband and I can look to the future with relaxed hope, but we don't let 'want' overwhelm us. We are content with our lives but never stop dreaming of what we still want to accomplish. We just don't let the future overshadow our Now.

I was at work the other night and I was thinking of how I used to get so frustrated there. Then I smiled at the thought of how much I've changed because I don't really get that way anymore. I just go with the flow, and since I'm grateful for even having a job in the first place, I stay grounded in that realization that I need to stay with that "gratitude-attitude", not just at work, but in everyday life, as well.

What helps me with this at work is keeping my mind still and taking each instance as it comes, and trying to do so without judgement. If you stay calm, and keep your mind in your work, and not in unrelated things, you won't get aggravated when work arises and you have to tear your attention away from what you want to think about that is other than the work at hand. (I can speak 'professionally' about this. This was what I used to do on a daily basis, mostly to escape where I was and what I was doing. I used it to make my present moment a means to an end.)
If you stay in the Now and focus your energy on what you are doing, you will do it to the best of your ability. You might even start to enjoy it, or at least the freedom from the resentment you cause yourself by wishing you were in some other place doing some other thing. "What does this have to do with being Thankful?" you may ask. Well, when you practice this, it will become second nature, and you will be grateful for the renewed lease on life and change in attitude you will have giving you a more peaceful calm demeanor. It did for me, at least. And that helped me to remember to be present, and to be aware enough to be grateful for something each day.

You don't have to start B-I-G to start to be grateful. It's probably best for you to start small. As with anything, slow and steady wins the race. You've heard that if you make little changes in your fitness and diet plan, you will be more successful than if you go gung-ho and full force at the gym and cut all your carbs. Don't set yourself up to fail. Start where you know you will stick with it. Some start a gratitude journal. If this sounds great to you, but you know you will only do good for the first few days or even weeks, but know you will tire of it and quit, don't do it that way. Just start small.

I have a mission statement at the top of this blog that states "Live your life with gratitude. Be thankful for all that you have everyday, even if it is your eyes to see or your ears to hear or your feet to walk or your hands to create." I think if you just feel grateful for something as often as you can, you will be forming a habit that will serve you probably better than any other habit ever could. If you think writing it down helps, try and make a practice of it right before bed. Jot down all that you can remember that you were grateful for throughout the day. This will help you to remember good things about your day, and you won't be dwelling on all of the negative that may have happened.  Not to mention the good nights sleep you will be setting yourself up for. It's sort of a bed time meditation, if you will. Or, if you are a morning person, take time while you are having your coffee or tea and waking up to jot down what you are grateful for and this will help to put a positive spin on your day to come. Or, if you're feeling ambitious, you could do both! Whatever makes you happy.

There is no right or wrong way to do any of this. It's your life. You are the creator of it. You have all the power, you just have to realize it. Take a moment right now to think on situations that made you miserable. What was your attitude like? Now, how about when you were so very happy? What did you feel then? Which do you prefer? You can choose. I've said this before based on something I read by Eckhart Tolle: it's not what happens to us that harms us, it's our reaction to it that does.

Living with gratitude is a step in the direction to taking control of your life. Making yourself the boss of you. You take the power away from individuals that should not have power over you simply by changing your vibrations, your resonance to those around you. You WILL see a difference, I guarantee it. Try it. What have you got to lose? Feeling better about yourself? Happiness? Joy? Loving kindness for yourself and others? Believe me, it's worth it. And it's something you can do that is subtle. People will start to see something different about you, but you won't have to make a huge announcement that you are going on a life changing mission and worry about alienating everyone you know. But if they are your friends, your family, and they love you, they should be happy for you anyway.

Try it and let me know how things go. I want to hear from you. Our lives are a miracle. It's time we realized it and start treating ourselves and each other like the precious beings we are.

I wish you luck, and I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving, and, above all, I wish you all the wonderfulness you deserve.

With humble Gratitude,


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Our visit to the Ripley's Aquarium. The most beautiful creatures we saw here.

Here are some fabulous pictures to share with you of some of the most beautiful things. I hope you enjoy this. Glad I can share it with you.
Our Eclectic Life: Ripley's Aquarium, Gatlinburg: One of the first things we did as tourists to Gatlinburg, Tennessee, was visit the Ripley's aquarium. We were told it was a must-see and we...

Sunday, November 11, 2012

A great email I received....

Here's a great email I received from the Natural Resources Defence Council (NRDC) and a link to an article giving more information. It's worth a read, no matter who you voted for...

Thanks for reading!

Dear Nanette,

Clean energy was a big winner yesterday.

American voters not only re-elected a president who made green jobs a cornerstone of his first term and his campaign, they also rejected some of the shrillest champions of Big Oil and Big Coal in key Senate races from Massachusetts to Ohio, from Virginia to New Mexico.

We should be heartened that the fossil fuel lobby could throw $270 million at so many candidates hawking "drill, baby, drill" and climate denial -- and get so little back on their investment.

Apparently, democracy lives ... as does common sense. Voters roundly rejected an extremist agenda that says protecting polluter profits is job one, while the rest of us pay the price in illness, poisoned ecosystems and apocalyptic weather.

That last point was hardly academic this Election Day, as millions in the Northeast are still struggling to recover some shred of normalcy after Hurricane Sandy. Our own New York headquarters was dark last week and it has been both surreal and heartrending to watch people lining up -- all across the region -- for food, fuel and shelter just as winter is bearing down.

The human toll is hard to grasp but all too real: more than 100 people have paid with their lives. Tens of thousands more have lost everything; for them life will never be the same. Dozens of devastated communities are torn apart, feeling suddenly and terribly vulnerable to the next storm on the horizon.

These are the terrible costs of our increasingly extreme weather. Of the ten costliest hurricanes to hit the United States since 1900, eight have occurred in the past eight years -- and that was before Sandy. The latest superstorm only underscores what atmospheric scientists have been trying to tell us: the future is here, and the bill has come due for a century-long binge of fossil fuel consumption.

Will Sandy awaken America from our slumber of climate denial? Yesterday’s thrashing of Big Oil’s candidates is one reason for hope. So is the response to the hurricane from politicians of both parties, who are now grappling with the undeniable reality that their states are at the mercy of rising seas.

But hope is not enough. Action is needed ... and fast.

NRDC is not waiting. Today, we are calling on President Obama to confront the urgent threat of global warming by reining in carbon polluters and dramatically boosting the role of renewable energy in American life. That is our very best hope for breaking Big Oil’s stranglehold on both our economy and our climate.

Toward that end, we’ll work closely with the second Obama Administration to build on great progress already made in so many sectors -- like the new clean car standards we championed that will double the fuel economy of the average vehicle on the road.

But we’ll also be watchdogging the administration to ensure it does the right thing: that the EPA proposes carbon limits for existing power plants ... that the State Department delivers on its promise of a complete and independent review of the climate-wrecking Keystone XL tar sands pipeline ... that the BLM cracks down on dangerous fracking.

Of course, NRDC always stands for the environment, not for any party or elected official.

So if the Obama Administration strays from its avowed commitment to the environment, then we will hold their feet to the fire -- in court -- just as we’ve done with every other president over the past forty years.

As you read this, we are suing the administration to save the Polar Bear Seas from Shell’s reckless plans for drilling in the Arctic ... and to safeguard the very last 284 beluga whales in Alaska’s Cook Inlet from oil exploration.

Simply put, we will do everything in our power to help President Obama deliver on his goals of clean energy and environmental protection. But NRDC will hold him accountable -- for our planet’s sake -- if and when he falls short.

As for Congress, it is time for the House Republican leadership and Tea Party members to face reality: the American people are in no mood for more ideological intransigence. By rejecting Big Oil’s candidates, voters sent a message loud and clear that they want more clean energy, less climate denial and an end to the $4 billion in taxpayer subsidies for fossil fuels.

Those are the priorities NRDC will be putting front and center when the lame duck session of Congress begins next week.

I don’t have to tell you that we’ll be counting on your steadfast support and activism. NRDC’s 1.4 million Members and online activists are the secret weapon behind our courtroom power, policy influence and legislative clout.

In the wake of this pivotal election and Hurricane Sandy, I’ll be calling on you to raise your own voice again and demand that our President and Congress take far-reaching action, at long last, to usher in a new and saner future beyond fossil fuels.

We owe it to those on the frontlines of climate change: All of us.


Frances Beinecke
Natural Resources Defense Council

P.S. The next few weeks are absolutely critical as we build on new momentum -- born of this election and Hurricane Sandy -- to move America beyond fossil fuels. NRDC is already mobilizing in Washington and across the nation. Please consider making a special, tax-deductible donation today.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Please donate to help the Sandy relief

As a member of, I receive regular emails about issues that are important to me, as well as like-minded people around the globe. In my last post, I wrote about the Hurricane and how it affected my thinking and how everyone seemed to be pulling together, but I overlooked putting in a link to donate to the relief fund. Here is a copy of the email I received and a link to donate through Please, please, if you can find it in your heart, donate whatever you can, even if it is positive loving thoughts for these people.

Thank you, Nanette

Dear MoveOn member,

Hurricane Sandy landed a week and a half ago. My family in New York and New Jersey was lucky. Relatives had their houses flooded, and others are still without power or heat. It's bad, and it's going to take time to rebuild. But everybody's ok.

Unfortunately, for hundreds of thousands of others, things are not ok. Far from it.

People still don't have power or water, basements are still flooded, gas shortages have made it hard to run generators, and temperatures are getting down into the 30s. MoveOn members who have volunteered have told us about finding families wet and shivering in the cold, and meeting people who've stopped eating because they don't have anywhere to relieve themselves.

Many of the worst-off places—Staten Island, the Jersey Shore, Long Island, and New York City neighborhoods like the Rockaways and Red Hook—are home to hundreds of thousands of working class and poor families. Families that don't have the resources to get a hotel room, or take weeks off from work, or wait in gas lines for 7 hours.

It's gotten so bad that Doctors Without Borders has set up their first-ever disaster relief effort in the U.S.1MoveOn members across the tri-state area have been pitching in. But now we're asking MoveOn members across the country to help.

Community organizations are doing some of the best relief work—providing hot meals, distributing supplies, helping residents dig out—and they could desperately use our help. We've identified a few making a huge impact. Can you chip in to help them? Civic Action will cover the credit card fees so every dollar of your donation goes to these organizations helping people in dire need.

Thanks for all you do.

–Daniel, Anna, Eliza, Carrie, and the rest of the team
1. "Far Rockaway: Global Disaster Zone," Outside, November 8, 2012
Want to support our work? MoveOn Civic Action is entirely funded by our 7 million members—no corporate contributions, no big checks from CEOs. And our tiny staff ensures that small contributions go a long way. Chip in here.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

If a butterfly flaps it's wings...

This may be a little controversial for some of you, but hear me out, if you will.

I want to talk a little about the tragedies that befall us in this world, and open a thinking process for how to deal with them or think about them.

I got to thinking about the hurricane that hit the New York area while my husband and I were watching the snow fall on the mountain through the window by the fireplace of our challet on our much needed anniversary trip and how, without that hurricane, we wouldn't have the precipitation to create such a beautiful scene for us. I felt guilty for enjoying myself while all those people were struggling to maintain their lives and save their homes and pets. I get that way. Obsessive. Overthinking.

I almost ruined the moment for us.

But then I got to wondering. What if the things that happen really are just meant to be? That's a hard pill to swallow, especially when it's not me who is going through the tragic events of a catastrophe. But I've been through my own tragic events, haven't I? My point is, cycles of life happen. You know the butterfly effect? That bit of chaos theory, named by Edward Lorenz, that states the theoretical example of a hurricane's formation being contingent on whether or not a distant butterfly had flapped its wings several weeks before? (Wiki)

So, if this is true, then something happened to cause that hurricane. That hurricane caused weather changes throughout parts of the US. We got unexpected snow on our vacation making a magical moment for us to enjoy at the cost of all those people. At first we were dissapointed at the rain we came into when we first arrived. Then we heard it wasn't going to get any better, but worse...snow. I had to remind myself to take it in stride, enjoy it as it comes. I was then able to see the blessing in our snow. And actually enjoy it. We sat and quietly watched it fall. I did yoga in front of the fireplace and watched as it fell onto the treetops right outside the wall of windows. It was a peaceful tranquil moment that I am grateful for. That's when I started thinking about the reason for our weather in the first place, and my mood shifted.

I started to realize that while we are enjoying this beautiful thing, it had to come at a price. But that's nature, right? This is our experience, that was their experience. That is how nature works. It was teaching all of those people perseverence, right? If it was happening to us (and we don't want this to happen to us, or anyone else) but it would be teaching us perseverence. It would then be our experience. It would be something we would have to go through. We were the fortunate ones, this time, to be enjoying the result. We get to sit in our warm cabin in front of the fireplace enjoying the snow falling. It was a sweet little blessing that we got some snow. The people down in the valley got to look up and see the snow on the mountain tops. But at what cost? At the cost of this hurricane and all the devastation it brought. But...that's nature. That's life. That is the cycle of life. Right?
And that's how that happened, and if something devastating were to happen to us something good might be happening for someone else somewhere else and if that gives them a moment of joy, then so be it. Were we to cease our own lives because of this? I don't think so. What would this world consist of if we all did that every time there was tragedy? Life moves on. It is meant to be lived. And, though there were deaths, and that really does break my heart, live, they did.

 But, what's more, (because I absolutely do not believe a hurricane devastated millions of people so that I could enjoy the snow) this awful thing happened and what was the result? The real result...?

People banded together. People thought about one another, as oppossed to just themselves. It made them think about each other, help one another. It got everybody listening and hoping and praying for these perfect strangers who are scraping themselves back together. News doesn't just always carry negativity for the sake of it. The more things happen in this world, and a lot more is happening, the more we as a human race are persevering. Reaching out to one another. Lending a helping hand. Becoming less selfish. Learning to live lives of servitude. Gaining more compassion for our fellow human beings. Setting our differences aside and becoming One.

These harrowing times are necessary. On the surface they are unfortunate, yes, but without them, with what do we gauge our growth?

So, yes, at first I was guilty for our pleasure at the same time others were having so much pain. But I thought of all of them. Thoughts may not be enough for some of you. But I feel thoughts are things. If every other human being was shaken out of their daily routine or pleasurable moment by the sudden realization of where their pleasure and joy might be coming from, we would all be thinking about one another almost all the time, even if for fleeting moments at a time. Keeping each other in our minds keeps us mind-ful. Staying mindful can heal us. Healing ourselves will trigger a healing in All.

And that, my friends, is how we heal this Planet.