Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Importance of an Attitude of Gratitude

As everyone knows, we are facing serious challenges in our country right now, providing us a perfect opportunity to consider utilizing the highest and best information available to protect and maintain our health, prosperity and happiness or, if needed, to increase all three. Taking advantage of this tried and true information will benefit anyone who uses it, and in the process it will help heal America.

This information has been around for eons, and has allowed many individuals to create successful, enriching and happy lives despite external socio-economic conditions.

The primary concept, which I have written about before, is that by changing our thoughts we can change our lives. Millions of people around the world are confirming the truth of this concept daily by living it. They are also attaining and maintaining an Attitude of Gratitude, which is a key component that assures success.

It is helpful to remember that gratitude is simply taking the time to look around us and appreciate what we do have. And not only does the Universe love a grateful heart, it responds affirmatively by sending us more of the good we are already enjoying. In practicing gratitude each day, this places us in alignment with what is Good in the Universe. This is a powerful place from which to act. By placing only positive thoughts and affirmations of our desires into the Universal Law, and maintaining an attitude of gratitude, we receive back what we have placed as our order.

The challenge for some of us lies in the fact that no matter what we have, we often see only lack and scarcity because we don’t have enough, or we fear it won’t be enough in the future, or isn’t everything we want, or what we really want. If we truly want to change our lives for the better, it is vitally important that we start to become consciously aware of the many Good things that actually are in our lives and to start being grateful for them – no matter how small they may seem to be at the time.

One excellent way to do this is to take time each day, either first thing in the morning or at bedtime in the evening, or both, to repeat everything we can think of that we can be grateful for in that day. Just say: I am grateful for ______________, and let your mind and heart fill in the blank. We can also make a written list or start a Gratitude Journal and keep track of everything for which we are grateful. When gratitude is practiced consistently for the good we have in our lives, the loving universe takes that as our order and sends us more of the same.

I start each morning by being grateful for another day of life, for a good night’s sleep, or an unbroken night’s sleep, for a comfortable and warm bed, for my house, my car and for each person, event and experience I will meet this day. I also repeat these affirmations daily: I am grateful for this day, knowing it is the first day of the best years of my life. I am grateful for the continuing Good that comes into my life in expected and unexpected ways.

At night, before I fall asleep, I review the day and while going over it bit by bit, I declare every event Good, every person Good and bless the day. Then I repeat these affirmations: I bless everything that happened today and everyone with whom I came in contact. I am grateful for all the Good I see in my life and for the Good that is yet to be. As I turn over, I always feel complete and clear of the happenings of the day, and just naturally drift into a peaceful sleep.

As we learn to focus on positive thoughts and to live with an attitude of gratitude, this raises our energy vibration, which also elevates the consciousness of humanity. Since our government mirrors our level of awareness, we will also be helping our country return to a state of harmony and balance, and this is another blessed gift for which we can be exceedingly grateful.
Copyright © 2009 by Fern Stewart Welch

The author’s books: “Tea with Elisabeth,” “You Can Live A Balanced Life In An Unbalanced World,” and “The Heart Knows the Way – How to Follow Your Heart to a Conscious Connection with the Divine Spirit Within” are available at, other online booksellers, bookstore chains, such as Barnes & Noble and Borders, and to the trade from Ingram Book Co., Baker & Taylor and other wholesalers.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

I Can Hardly Wait to See the Good in This!

Not unlike others among us, I have reached that point in life where my sometimes cavalier approach to health means my history has become my biology. In other words, the old gray mare ain’t what she used to be, and it’s time to pay the piper. My past transgressions include a tendency toward living to eat instead of eating to live, as well as a lack of appreciation of the importance of exercise in coping with stress. It was also a surprise to learn that I wasn’t breathing properly, which I thought was a natural aptitude.

So here I am, several weeks after an early morning visit to the Emergency Room, hoisted on a petard. As a proponent of balancing the best of holistic and conventional medicine, I find myself with one foot on the conveyer belt of conventional medicine, which is in motion, and the other foot planted firmly on the platform of my belief system.

It wasn’t a comfortable place to be. For a brief moment I wondered if I had the intestinal fortitude to continue taking responsibility for my body and charting a wise if less traveled path regarding my health. I took heart immediately when I thought about my excellent team of learned physicians who honor and embrace complementary medicine, which combines the best of both fields. They believe in looking at an ailing patient as someone who has an imbalance of body, mind and/or spirit, instead of a disease that happens to have a person attached to it.

Basically, I am in good health, and for the past thirty years have chosen holistic modalities whenever possible. I weighed my choices critically: If I chose to adhere to the follow-up directions from the ER, this meant I would get on the train and my ticket would be punched saying I have certain symptoms, which means the only destination is a one-size fits all diagnosis and one-size fits all drugs that often escalate into stronger drugs and more invasive treatments.

My decision was made. The uncharted path I continued to choose meant that I would seek the wise counsel of my former primary care physician, Gladys T. McGarey, M.D., M.D.(H), who at age 89 is now functioning as a life coach. As the acknowledged “Mother of Holistic Medicine in America,” she was able to support my decision and recommend a medical specialist who can lead me in an alternative approach that is congruent with the core of my being, and also honors conventional and complementary medicine.

Once again I felt secure and empowered. I also remembered that the only constant in life is change and that the spiritual journey we are all on – whether we’re aware of it or not – is never about the challenges that come up, but how we face them. I’ve learned that the key is to ask what we are to learn from any situation or condition, then to meet it with all the love and wisdom we can muster. In doing this, we gain additional insights, master another level of how life on Earth really works – and move beyond the situation into a higher energy vibration.

In a recent conversation with a friend about health situations that are part of the human condition, she said her late father taught her that whenever the inevitable physical, mental or emotional upheavals occur in her life, she is to stop, smile broadly and state firmly, and often – I can hardly wait to see the good in this! The smile blesses the situation, instead of condemning it – often our first reaction – and the positive statement sets in motion the expectation of good.

Wise words to live by no matter the situation or the healing path we choose!
Copyright 2009 by Fern Stewart Welch

The author’s books: “Tea with Elisabeth,” “You Can Live A Balanced Life In An Unbalanced World,” and “The Heart Knows the Way – How to Follow Your Heart to a Conscious Connection with the Divine Spirit Within” are available at, other online booksellers, bookstore chains, such as Barnes & Noble and Borders, and to the trade from Ingram Book Co., Baker & Taylor and other wholesalers.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Practiced Ear Hears the Song of God in Nature

I sense a deep primordial kinship with the fall season. As the Earth’s energy slows down following the boisterous display of summer, I instinctively know it is time to draw within and spend quiet time in contemplation. The need is strong, and the sometimes cloudy, cooler days complement this desire.

Lately, I find myself reflecting on the creativity of nature and the similarity of thoughts and seeds. Whenever I plant a sunflower seed in my small patio garden, I can rest assured that the germinated seed will produce a sunflower. So too will the thoughts I focus on produce their own likeness, and whether they are deemed desirable or undesirable depends on the quality of my thoughts. It is important to choose my thoughts carefully so that what springs forth in my life is as dependable and desirable as what flourishes in my garden.

In joyous anticipation of partnering with nature, I pick up my pruning shears and trowel and head for my small back patio garden to view the results of the Southwest desert’s harsh triple-digit temperatures. Despite appropriate care, some potted flowers have not survived, much like some of my misplaced thoughts and desires. I bless them and with a sigh, scoop them up and recycle them into the earth.

I am heartened though that while some umbrella plants are brown half-way to the base of their sword-like leaves, they are still alive and worthy of continued attention and care. I know that with judicial pruning, some plant food and lower temperatures they will have a rebirth and soon settle in – healthy and strong for the milder winter months.

It is with great pleasure that I notice the gentle breeze that cools my brow and plays a melody on the chimes. I survey the healthy green of the large jasmine bush and the heavenly bamboo that long ago sent their roots deep into the earth. They can easily withstand the summer heat and the cold of winter.

I realize that many of us also seek to anchor our trust and faith into something greater than we are that will sustain us and enable us to not only survive but to thrive despite the traumas, trials and tribulations of life.

For sentimental reasons, I always plant red Emperor tulip bulbs in pots and place them in a box of sawdust in the garage to prepare them for an early blooming period in a process known as “forcing.”

Each time the brilliant red tulips reach full bloom in the still-cold days of winter, I honor the many flowering plants that have “nursed” me through trying times in my life. They serve as gentle reminders to my yearning heart that spring will eventually burst forth once again in all of its full frolicking, rollicking and riotous splendor.

While surveying the ravages of summer on some of the plants, I realized I finally understand my late husband’s seemingly blasé approach to flower and vegetable gardening. As a master gardener as well as a practical person, he would give the seeds and sprouts all the tender loving care necessary for optimal growth and then say, “Shape up or ship out.”

He gave them every chance to survive, but when it became obvious that they weren’t going to make it – into the compost pile they went. I now find this not only a well-reasoned approach to the mysterious vagaries of plant survival, but to the choices we make in life. If our thoughts-decisions bring good results, excellent. If not, we uproot them and choose new ones.

I was initiated into the joys of gardening in childhood by my grandmothers and my favorite uncle, and my lifelong interest was matched by that of my late husband. They taught me that nature is the true language of our being, and that we can learn from it whatever we need to know about life.

The invitation is always there for us to draw near the bosom of nature. If we lean close and listen, we can hear the serenade of God, and know that we are part of Creation and one with all life – dissolving all fears.
Copyright 2009 by Fern Stewart Welch

The author’s books: “Tea with Elisabeth,” “You Can Live A Balanced Life In An Unbalanced World” and “The Heart Knows the Way – How to Follow Your Heart to a Conscious Connection with the Divine Spirit Within” are available at, other online booksellers, bookstore chains, such as Barnes & Noble and Borders, and to the trade from Ingram Book Co., Baker & Taylor and other wholesalers.