Tag Archives: thanksgiving

AWAKENING TO AN EARLY THANKSGIVING

“Be thankful for what you have, you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”  Oprah Winfrey 

Photo: devouringfire.com

Photo: devouringfire.com

I’m celebrating Thanksgiving a few days early this year.  Next week I’ll write more about hidden gifts that come to us, but today I want to celebrate some good news.

One of the hardest things to do as a writer (unless you are well-known or a celebrity) is to get good publicity for a book, especially your first one.  This year, I entered two writing contests hoping I would win, but I didn’t.  However, I did receive a wonderful review by a judge who understood the theme of finding an authentic identity and described the book as “immediately engrossing.”

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How To Win When You Haven’t Won

That was the 22nd Annual Writer’s Digest Self-published Book contest.  I received a 5 (the top score) on all five areas that were evaluated and the judge wrote the following review.

Books are evaluated on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 meaning “needs improvement” and 5 meaning “outstanding”. This scale is strictly to provide a point of reference, it is not a cumulative score and does not reflect ranking.

Structure, Organization, and Pacing: 5

Spelling, Punctuation, and Grammar: 5

Production Quality and Cover Design: 5

Plot and Story Appeal: 5

Character Appeal and Development: 5

Voice and Writing Style: 5

Judge’s Commentary*:

AWAKENING TO THE DANCE: A JOURNEY TO WHOLENESS, a memoir by Georganne Spruce, is an inspiring book that will appeal to those, especially women, who struggle yet are determined to find their authentic selves in spite of what society wants them to be. This memoir will hold special appeal to readers interested in how Buddhism and Jungian dream interpretation can improve one’s life.

The cover is appropriate and eye-catching. The woman looks joyful and limber. I like the green and yellow colors and how the woman’s dance pants contrast with the colors. The back cover copy is very good. I like the summary and the fact that the author has secured two enthusiastic endorsements. I also like the author photo.

The book is immediately engrossing. Baby boomers on the early end of the spectrum will be able to relate, and younger women who have no idea what life for many women was like before the progress feminism has made will find much to learn here. Feminism aside, anyone who wants to live life on a different path than the expected will find much to inspire her (or even him) in this book. The author is authentic about her journey, and that fact alone shows us how much she has learned. This is an insightful, encouraging memoir sure to be appreciated by Spruce’s readers.”

Then a few days later, I received an email from IndieReader, where I had also entered their IndieReader Discovery Awards contest,  congratulating me because they had recommended my book to the Huffington Post:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/indiereader/lena-dunham-book-recommendations_b_6134968.html?utm_hp_ref=books   They also posted their recommendation on their website.

happy woman

Expect What Is Best

When I first learned that I had not won in either contest, I was very disappointed, but I thought, “At least I had the courage to enter.”  It took a while to let go of the disappointment, but I finally did and stopped thinking about it.  Then these lovely surprises came, and I realized, as I have often in my life, good things can come when you least expect it and from sources that surprise you.

Gratitude Creates A Higher Vibration

So this is another example of how we need to try to remember to be thankful for some aspect of a situation, even when it doesn’t turn out the way we want.  Expressing that gratitude, even if it is simply in the mind, does emit positive vibrations and that is always a good thing.

© 2014 Georganne Spruce                                          ZTQ4PQ5ZN7F5

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AWAKENING TO GIVE THANKS

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more.  If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”  Oprah Winfrey

Susie Q

Susie Q

For the last several years, I have focused on the philosophy that Oprah espouses, and it has served me well.  It has reprogrammed my previous disappointment with the specific aspects of my life with a belief that there is more good than bad in the challenges I’ve encountered.   I have grown in many ways that have made me a wiser person because I have often been forced to change the way I see things.

Pets Offer Us to Love

I know that most people prefer dogs, but I’ve always preferred cats.  They’re so cuddly like holding a baby in your arms, and they take care of their own cleaning, eat when they feel like it, and use a litter box so you don’t have to walk them on rainy days.  They are much easier to live with than a dog if you live in apartments as I usually have, and their need for some “private time” works nicely with my need for time alone.  While many people see them as indifferent, I have always felt very loved by my cats.

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I never wanted a dog.  You have to walk them, bathe them, give them lots of attention, and they are rather scary if they don’t like you, especially if they are large.  However, I’ve been around many dogs because I live in a dog-loving city where many people have bumper stickers that read “Dog is Love” and take their dogs into stores and out to dinner with them.  Asheville has been called “The Paris of the South” partly because it has so many restaurants with outdoor dining areas.  Personally, I believe these areas were created for the customers who refuse to be separated from their dogs even for a meal.

Receiving Two Gifts, Not One

I never expected to have a dog in my life on a daily basis, but here I am, the adopted mother of a dog named Susie Q.  She is in my life because one of the great gifts I’ve received this year is a relationship with a loving man, her “daddy,” a man who has all the qualities I had on my list for the perfect partner. I didn’t realize when I started seeing him that I had received two treasures, not just one.

Dogs Can Teach Us to Be Thankful for Small Things

Ordinarily, I wouldn’t choose to be involved with a man who deeply loves another woman, but I decided to make an exception in this case, and I’m glad I did because Susie Q is a wise woman dog.  She has taught me so much about love and thankfulness.  In a time when people often don’t say thank you when you open the door for them, I truly appreciate how thankful Susie is.

Each time we meet, she is so excited she comes running up to me with her tail wagging, barking, and jumping around like a happy little kid.  When I pet her, she looks at me with her dreamy brown eyes like I’m the most wonderful person in the world.  She shows her affection for me by sitting on my foot, or if I’m sitting, she sweetly lays her head on my shoe.  If I would let her, I’m sure she would crawl into my lap, but she’s a little large for that.

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Animals Demonstrate the Love They Are Shown

With a tail that wags “thank you” for each good thing she experiences, no matter how small, she reminds me to appreciate all that I experience in life.  She accepts me when I am joyful, and when I am sad, she is nearby looking for an opportunity to show her concern.  It is clear to me that she is able to love so much because she has been loved and that says a lot about her “daddy” –a man who knows a great deal about giving and receiving love.  Susie Q and I are very lucky women.

Be Open to Unexpected Gifts

So, on this day before Thanksgiving, with the first snow of the year falling, I am reminded that some of our greatest gifts come from unexpected places in unexpected ways.  If we are willing to keep an open mind, we will be present to accept them.

Thanks to each and every one of you who read and follow my blog.

May you have an abundant Thanksgiving!

© 2013 Georganne Spruce

Related Articles:   Staying Thankful by Wayne DyerGratitude by Wayne DyerA Dose of Gratitude: How Being Grateful Can Keep You Happy, Being Thankful Is Good for Your Heart

AWAKENING TO THE FULLNESS OF LIFE

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.  It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.”     Melody Beattie

When life is difficult, do you take the time to express thanks for what is good in your life?  Do you focus on what you don’t have or what you do have?  How does being grateful enhance your life?

Expanding Life Through Love and Joy

It seems to me that my life has expanded this year.  So much good has come to me.  I’ve been more regular than ever about my gratitude practice, and I’ve felt my heart open and expand.

My dear spiritual teacher Gladys used to say that the reason we are in this physical life is to expand our energy through experiencing love and joy.

So, on this day before Thanksgiving, I want to thank everyone who has helped make my journey rich and rewarding this year.

I Am Thankful For Family

First, I want to thank my brother who has been so supportive in many ways.  Before I published my memoir this year, I sent it to him to read.  I have to admit I was rather nervous about his response.  We may have grown up in the same family, but everyone’s experience is unique.  I was relieved that he accepted what I had written as my story and shared his point of view about it.  Since he is also writing a book, we have become closer as a result of sharing this experience.

I also want to thank my niece for reading the book and sharing her thoughts and feelings about it.  I have valued our discussions so much and they have taken us to a deeper level of understanding our family and relating to each other.

I Am Thankful For Spiritual Friends

Secondly, I want to thank the personal friends who have encouraged me when I was down, celebrated with me when I succeeded, and bought my memoir, Awakening to the Dance: A Journey to Wholeness, the moment it came out.  I also want to thank you for spiritual discussions and hikes in the woods that have calmed my soul.  I am also grateful for those I’ve met through the Jubilee Spiritual Journey Team and the Open Table Discussion Group and the discussions we’ve shared on deep and spiritual topics.  You’ve been an inspiration.

I Am Grateful For Writing Friends and Technical Guides

Thirdly, I want to thank again the members of the networking group, Freelance Fridays, especially Joe D’Agnese and Brad Swift for your wonderful support through every step of the publishing process.  The exchange of ideas about publishing, promoting, and the business of book selling has educated me in ways no books can do.  Thank you for sharing your real life experience.

Fourthly, I want to thank two technical teachers, Sarah Benoit and James Imes, for their wonderful classes in social media marketing, blogging, and ebook publishing.  Their classes were part of AB Tech’s Small Business Incubator headed by the supportive Duane Adams.  Andrew Plyler has also been a great help leading me through the quagmire of computer challenges I’ve faced, and I understand 90% of what he tells me the first time because he knows how to talk to nontechnical people.

I Am Grateful For Readers And Workshop Attendees

Last, but definitely not least, I want to thank everyone who has bought a book, and I’m especially thankful for reviews you’ve put on Amazon.  I also am very grateful to everyone who attended my “Release Your Fear” workshops.  Each time I teach it, I learn more from those who share their fears and concerns.  You are my teachers too and I have learned so much from you.

And of course, I am most grateful for my wonderful blog followers and readers.  Your comments and support and your wonderful blogs have been a source of inspiration to me.

I Am Grateful For the Abundance of Community

With all these gifts coming into my life, my ability to experience love and joy has expanded.  I have released so much fear and learned I can trust the Universe and Spirit to guide me down the right path.  Something huge has shifted too. There was a time when I would have been extremely uncomfortable accepting so much help. I had to do it all myself.  I was afraid of depending on someone else. Now I’m grateful for the community of generous people in my life and have learned that accepting what is given lovingly is as important as giving.

Was it the gratitude practice that made a difference?  I don’t know, but I will continue it for sure. I like what Eckhart Tolle says in A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose, “Acknowledging the good you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.”

May you have an abundant Thanksgiving.   What are you thankful for this year?  Please comment.

© 2012 Georganne Spruce                                                          ZQT4PQ5ZN7F5

Related Articles:  Eckhart Tolle Quotes, Key to A Happy Life,  The science of being thankful (mnn.com), Eckhart Tolle on Gratitude

BEING GRATEFUL FOR THE SPIRITUAL JOURNEY

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day.  What are you thankful for? If your life couldn’t be better, do you take the time each day to say “thanks?” If you’re having some challenges in life, can you look beyond them to see what is good?  If life is a disaster right now, are you willing to hunt for one simple thing to appreciate?  Maybe it’s the song of a bird or the smile of a stranger you meet on the street?  That one small thought of gratitude can change your life.

“It is impossible to be negative while we are giving thanks.” Donald Curtis

Gratitude As Daily Practice

Since I’ve incorporated expressing my gratitude into my daily life, I find that this always uplifts me regardless of the specific circumstances of the day.  Although I may go over my gratitude list during meditation, I have chosen to take it further than that.  At the moment when something good appears, I say “Thank you.”  The energy of those words seems to uplift the energy of the experience even further.

Creating a Positive From a Negative Experience

What is perhaps the most challenging for us all is to be thankful for the unpleasant experiences in life.  They come into our lives to help us learn lessons although we often only see what we learned in retrospect.  In the 1990s, I had Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.  I had probably had it for two years before I was diagnosed because I couldn’t remember when I hadn’t been exhausted.  Most doctors knew nothing about it or discounted its existence.  Fortunately, I was able to find a wonderful doctor through a friend who had it.

I had to radically change my life in terms of going to bed at 9:00 pm, eating only organic food, eating only certain food, taking dozens of supplements, and avoiding stress.  In order to afford the treatment, I had to continue teaching full-time.  Because I was exhausted all the time, this strict lifestyle seemed overwhelming at first, but it did heal me.  Many of the changes became a part of my life even after I healed and have made me very healthy.  I have none of the physical problems most people my age do and the ones I have are very minor and don’t limit my activity.

When we can learn something from a negative experience and can feel thankful for the lesson, it transforms our memory of the experience.  We can focus on what is good and let go of feeling like a victim.  We can be grateful that what we have learned from the challenge makes us healthier or happier or more competent or more loving.

Gratitude Uplifts Us

Do I wish I had not had to go through this experience to learn how to be healthier?  Of course I do, but that’s not the point.  Like so many things in life, we do the best we can until we learn better.  That’s why I’m grateful for the journey.  I know that if I stay open, I will continue to learn and that always improves the quality of my life.

On this Thanksgiving holiday, may you be blessed by the gratitude you give and receive.  May your spiritual journey enrich your life.  From all the lessons you’ve learned, what is the lesson you are most grateful for?

© 2011 Georganne Spruce

Related Articles:  Seven Practical Steps to Turn Around a Bad Experience, How to Raise Your Vibrational Frequency