2011 Cornucopia of Thanks

cornucopia3Thank you for joining us and “sitting down” to the “WellnessCoach.com table” for our annual post of Thanks, Appreciation and Gratitude. Our 2011 Cornucopia contains a list of and links to the inspirational quotes, books, music, DVDs and resources that we appreciate for having touched our lives this year. We hope they’ll touch yours. Please enjoy the feast.



Inspirational Quotes of Thanks & Gratitude:

• “I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.” ~G.K. Chesterton

• “To speak gratitude is courteous and pleasant, to enact gratitude is generous and noble, but to live gratitude is to touch Heaven.” ~J. Gaertner

• “Gratitude is a wonderful emotion. Appreciation is ten times better. Gratitude almost always points you toward the thing you’ve overcome. Appreciation aligns you with the Source within you. They are very different vibrations.” ~Abraham; Abraham-Hicks workshop

Blogs, Posts, Presentations & Websites:

Tim Miles’ site, http://www.TheDailyBlur.com especially his quotes of gratitude: http://www.thedailyblur.com/quotes-of-gratitude/

Gail Lynne Goodwin’s site: http://www.InspireMeToday

• (From Gail’s site above) Lisa Cypers Kamen’s 11/11/11 post: Harvesting Happiness: Getting Yourself Unstuck to Find Your Happiness

Evita Ochel’s website and her presentation on Natural Health and Nutrition at: http://www.evitaochel.com/#services

Books, Music and DVD’s:

happythankyou1• DVD: HappyThankYouMorePlease So uplifting! What a practice to say “thank you, more please”…we love it. If you rent this movie the first time you watch it, we just bet you’ll do what we did and go buy a copy to watch again and again:)

i-am-grateful1• Book: I Am Grateful: Recipes and Lifestyle of Cafe Gratitude The owners of Cafe Gratitude have a wonderful relationship to the sacred acts of both preparing and eating organic, raw food. Even if, like us, you appreciate eating organic food but you aren’t vegan, you might want to try making the “I Am Creative Pumpkin Pie” recipe this holiday season. Yum:)

dalai-lama1• Book: The Art of Happiness, 10th Anniversary Edition:
A Handbook for Living
We featured this in our free Toolkit’s 2011 Wellness Coach’s eCalendar this last year because of the beauty of the Dalai Lama’s message – “…happiness is the purpose of life.” Re-reading it again this year, we appreciated it even more…we think you’ll appreciate it also.

• Music: Never Be Daunted is a fabulous song by Jaymay (from her album Long Walk to Never). We first discovered it in the soundtrack of the movie HappyThankYouMorePlease (listed above) and then went out and bought the single from itunes. We love the lyrics that ask, “…what are you so afraid of?” and appreciate Jaymay’s reminder to “never be daunted.” You can find the entire album in the itunes store.

RESOURCES FOR YOUR WELL-BEING – Part 2 of 3 of the Cornucopia Series

giving-resources.jpgIn this second post of the Cornucopia series, you’ll find the quotes, websites, blogs, a healthy recipe, and meditation tools that inspired me and enhanced my sense of Well-Being in 2008. How do I keep track of them all?

I keep a notebook set aside to list my favorites each month. Nothing fancy, nothing electronic. A composition book and a pen. Then at year end, I sit back with a cup of tea and my laptop and revisit all that I noted. It’s a fun way to wrap up the year. And as I said in the first post of this series, this year, I’m expanding my annual tradition and sharing my favorites with you…it’s better that way!

So, browse around and find just the right something to strengthen your own sense of abundance, appreciation, delight and Well-Being this season. Enjoy!

Here are a few of my favorite quotes — those that I’ve used as inspiration this year. I keep many quotes on stickie-notes in a fat file folder…things I tear from magazines or notes scribbled from something I read somewhere (even from my own book if I think I need a reminder:) I pull one quote out each week that I want to sit beside my computer. These four came out from the file more than a few times to encourage me this year:

Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope
that if you just show up ad try to do the
right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and
watch and work: You don’t give up.
– Anne Lamott, writer

We must be the change
we wish to see in the world.
– Mahatma Gandi

We must be willing
to get rid of the
life we planned, so
as to have the life
that is waiting for us.
– Joseph Campbell, author

Be brave enough to live life creatively. The creative is the place where no one else has ever been. You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. You can’t get there by bus, only by hard work and risk and by not quite knowing what you’re doing. What you’ll discover will be wonderful. What you’ll discover will be yourself.
– Alan Alda, actor


WEBSITES and BLOG POSTS (including a healthy recipe:)
Like you, I read a ton of blog posts and browse a gazillion websites each week.  Keeping track of my favorites isn’t easy. But I enjoy doing so. And with that, I’m happy to name the posts and sites below as some of the big contributors to my well-being this year:

1. Blog: ZenHabits.net
Favorite Post this year: Living Simply: The Ultimate Guide to Conquering Your Clutter
I enjoy the simplicity of Leo Babauta’s writing. And there are many of his blog posts I have flagged as favorites this year. But this one from November, contains a tip that’s recently made a world of difference to me.

My floor-to-ceiling bookshelves were overflowing. When it came to books, Leo’s article helped me explore the habit that I needed to adopt: the “One in, Two Out” rule. It’s a long blog post, but this one tiny tip is worth more than it’s weight in gold to me!

 2. Blog: TerryStarbucker.com  Ramblings From a Glass Half Full
Favorite post this year: The Real Secret of Life, August 3, 2008
Terry’s blog just flat out makes me smile. What better key to Well-Being? I especially loved this post in August, reminding us to “Never grow up”, along with the 7 keys to happy and successful adulthood. You’ve got to read this post, from Terry’s Category “Half-Fullism.” (P.S. Although the glass is already half full in this post, I’d add Toy Stores to item # 1 in the post! Enjoy:)

3. Blog: Levite Chronicles by Jon Swanson at: http://levite.wordpress.com
Favorite post this year: February, 2008 “Good Intentions

One of my morning office rituals is to read three posts from 15 of my favorite blogs. I rotate and alternate the 15 and vary which three blogs I read each weekday. When I get to Jon Swanson’s Levite Chronicles blog, I can always count on a post that will touch my soul and give me something delicious to think about for the day.

Back in February, Jon wrote a post called, “Good Intentions”, about shooting free throws at the basketball court. I’ve marked many of Jon’s posts as my favorites, but this one still sticks with me. It’s about daily practice. It’s about the daily practice of your relationship with your soul, God, your heart, love, and life. I commented on this post, but my mere words can’t really capture the way it touched me. Whenever my daily practice is a struggle (often:), I think of Jon shooting free throws…and keep on keepin’ on.

4. Blog: Successful and Outstanding Blog(gers) by Liz Strauss at http://www.successful-blog.com/
Favorite post this year: April, 2008How to Have Positivity and Confidence Making Tough Decisions
In mid-April, Steve and I were looking at a real estate investment and stuck in the decision-making process. That week, I read Liz’s post about making tough decisions and the ah-ha light went on…looking at what your Head and Heart have to say about a tough decision can be enlightening. This post and some quiet contemplation helped us move forward. You’ll probably want to bookmark it…I did.

5. Website: Mayo-Clinic.com ‘s Healthy Recipes
Favorite Recipe: Chicken and Asparagus Tossed with Penne and Goat Cheese
I found this recipe in 2007, but it remains my favorite in 2008. I substitute Purcell Mountain Farms‘ organic brown rice penne pasta for the wheat pasta, fresh tomatoes for the canned (especially if it’s heirloom time), use free-ranmge organic chicken, and if it’s not asparagus season, I use broccoli. Good, hearty, healthy comfort food:)

6. Website: InspireMeToday.com filled with juicy gems, this inspirational membership site was founded by Gail Lynne Goodwin
Gail’s Blog: InspireMeToday at http://www.InspireMeToday/Gail
Favorite post this year: November’s “Born to Fly
Gail’s November post, “Born to Fly,” came juist at the right time. I’d been considering a new internet business venture for three months, and was a bit fearful about taking it on. Gail’s words, ”…when the passion is louder than the fear…” were all I needed to step forward. Enjoy the entire post here: http://www.inspiremetoday.com/gail/2008/11/born-to-fly/

1. Holosynch®
by Bill Harris’ company, Centerpointe (click sidebar for link to free CD)
Why I love it:
I’ve been meditating and sitting zazen for 15 years. I’ve been a student of Maharaji for three. I love my daily practice. And when I heard Bill Harris say that Holosynch can “help you meditate like a monk at the touch of a button” I was intrigued. Couild I go deeper with my meditation? Could I sharpen my brain’s ability to focus? I did some research, tested out his free CD, and fell in love with the Holosynch® system and technology. More important though is that it’s helped me deepen my existent practice. The fact that I get to weave in my own powerful affirmations with the patented subliminal technology is icing on the cake. (As you can see on my sidebar here, I’m such a proponent of Centerpointe’s Holosynch® program I decided to become an affiliate. I don’t do so unless I use and love a program or product myself.) Try the free CD and let know what you think.

2. Meditations for Optimum Health CD by Dr. Andrew Weil
Why I love it:
When I want a brief pick-me-up meditation during the day, I turn off the phones and computer, close the blinds, put my feet up, sit back with my ipod and play a selection from this CD. The beautiful music in the background and Andrew Weil’s soothing voice reminding me to focus on my breath is all it takes for me to recharge and renew.

—   That’s it for this installment. Next and final post of this series will have more resources that inspired me this year! Stay tuned. And let me know:

What’s inspired you this year?

A Cornucopia of Wellness Resources – Part 1

cornucopia.jpgThose of us committed to deepening ourselves and learning all we can from our life journeys, are using this passage of time right now to say “Yes we can.” Yes, we can focus on all we have in our lives, all we aspire to, and all we have to share and give.

In this spirit of abundance and plenty, I’ll be sharing some of my 2008 harvest in the next few posts. I’ve gathered together some resources that have contributed to my own Well-Being this year. So feel free to dig around in the next few posts. Find just the right something within the bounty of quotes, websites, blogs, stories and snippets of thought I’ll share, that will contribute to your own sense of abundance, appreciation, delight and Well-Being this season.

I give thanks for your readership, your comments, your inspiring progress you’ve made through our coaching sessions and teleclasses and wish you a meaningful Thanksgiving…

Today’s Harvest brings this Snippet of Thought that meandered through my mind just the other day:

Simply Enough

I sat at my desk, facing my computer, navigating around the internet in total physical tension and mental overwhelm. With lightening speed, thoughts racing through my head screamed, “So much to do. So much information coming at me. So many email messages to read. So many new e-books to read, CDs to listen to, tele-events to attend, marketing actions to take. Other people are out there making giant headway…will I ever get enough new and useful information and get it fast enough?”

I did what I know to do when I hit this stage. I pushed away from my desk, took a breath, left the room, got a glass of water, and went outside.

The crisp autumn air greeted me. A sudden glimpse of a hummingbird, dancing in our red-flowering bushes, helped me forget my tension and brought an ear-to-ear grin to my face. I took a deep breath, looked up at the wide blue sky, grabbed another deep breath and stood there just Being.

Gently, a thought floated into the space of my refreshed mind…

“Wait a minute, Erica. What is the rush at your computer? You take a deep lung-filling breath of air here, not worrying about whether you grabbed enough, or worrying if there won’t be enough air for you, or that someone else will get to it first, or hurrying to grab the next breath. All the air you need is right here. All around you. Why not approach the internet and information the same way. In fact, why not approach life this way?”

I stood still and appreciated this short but life-altering moment. I had a deep visceral understanding that, in this age of information, our job is to discern what we need, take it in, use it, and gently let the rest go. And just like it’s not ours to worry if we get the right bite of air, or worry if we’ll run out of air, or fret that someone else is getting better or more air than we are, it’s not ours to try to take in every drop of information. Ahh.

I took another deep lung-full of air, stretched toward the sun, and headed back inside…forever touched by what I’d breathed in.

Are you “taking in all the air you need?” My friend, Gremlin-Tamer, and coach, Rick Carson, is fond of asking this question. When I’m not breathing, or I’ve squelched my breath in a moment of worry , he reminds me to take in all the air I need. How is your breath at this moment? Are you taking in all the air you need? Are you remembering that there is plenty of it available?

Grab a bite of holiday coaching with Erica this holiday season. Call for an individual session or join others for the December Teleclasses, “Why Weight?” and “Sacred Attitudes for Stress-Free Holidays“. Space is limited. Offices: 925-933-7445

Thinking About Joy, Abundance & Well-Being

resting-at-apple-tree.jpgThere’s nothing new here. Truly. You’ve heard all of what’s in this post before. You already know the information, the concepts, and the ideas. So do I. But there are just times when I need a reminder. So I really wrote this one for me.

Joy. It’s not outside of you. Before my husband and I reached the millionaire mark, I thought doing so would make me happy. It did for a while, but the novelty wore off after a bit. I thought that when my health returned after an accident, that I would be happy. Again, it did for a while, but that joy was also temporary. And after years of inner work, meditation, therapy, and studies with world-known experts in the field of spiritual growth, I continually returned to that familiar statement “joy is within you, not in things outside you.” But did I really get it? I thought so. But maybe not…

Thinking I knew what to expect. For the past month or so, in preparation for a teleclass I’m teaching soon, I’ve been doing the abundance exercise presented in the Abraham-Hicks book, Money & The Law of Attraction. It’s the one where you get a check register and some checks that you aren’t using, and post “money” (imagined) into the checking account each day, increasing by $1000 each day. Then you “spend” that amount daily and actually write the check for things you will buy. To up the ante, and make myself “stretch” a bit, I began with $10,000, then “spent” that, added $20,000 the next day, and so on, increasing the amount added each day by $10,000.

At first, doing the exercise and “shopping” for stuff I wanted was fun and joyful. I actually felt like I had already purchased and ordered those things and they’d be coming in the mail any day. And I wrote the checks with no hesitancy, knowing that the next day there would be more money in the account, as if by magic, without my having to do anything. It was a feeling of freedom. And, after a few weeks of this, whenever I went to write “real” checks, from home or business accounts, I had a visceral experience of feeling the same freedom as I paid bills or bought things – no worries about investing right, the economy, or my businesses —  just knowing there would be more money in the account the next day. So far, so good.

Much more to learn. As I said, I’ve been doing this for a little more than a month now. So today in the exercise, I put the $400,000 amount I was up to into the account and chose to “buy” a condo on Maui. As I wrote the check for the condo, I had an odd feeling. A rather sad feeling actually. I couldn’t pinpoint it. So I stopped, took a breath, and sorted things out. What was the source of the sadness? What thoughts were present? Why wasn’t buying this condo bring me joy?

Ah. There it was. I wasn’t in a state of joy to begin with this morning. I wasn’t “buying” the condo from a place of joy. As I wrote the “check”, I realized that no matter what I bought, it wasn’t going to make me happy.

Now I’ve known this intellectually my whole life. But I didn’t know it as deeply as I do today. The money is just not going to make me happy. A new anything won’t make me happy. Perfect health, my spouse, the perfect career, or the perfect friends won’t either. Only I am going to make me happy.

This was sobering. I thought I knew this. I truly am a human in process, learning each day. I am sitting with today’s learning for now.

Just thought I’d share.

p.s. if you decide to give the exercise a whirl, let us know what happens…
p.p.s. “Most of you do not believe that it is your natural state of being to be well.”
— Abraham
Excerpted from the Abraham-Hicks workshop in Boston, MA on Sunday, October 20th, 1996