Gratitude And Tea

 

It is really cold out there! Perfect time to sit indoors, with a hot cup of tea, a couple of cookies and in front of the computer, contemplating.

I am always contemplating on what-to-do-next. While this habit leads me to be goal oriented, it also has the downfall of creating anxiety, especially when not everything goes they way it was planned, or when the list becomes so large that it is overwhelming.

So taking my time to stop, make myself a cup tea, and focus on gratitude is not only a good idea but a necessity. Exactly that concept of mindfulness and the fact that I need to be mindful in order to function with clarity changed the direction of the book I am working on. Which brings me to the first thing, I am grateful for – the progress I am making with my tea book.

Working title “Happy Tea”, this book demanded to take on a different direction this week, completely unexpected. I thought I would write a book featuring tea traditions, rituals and recipes, but the Universe had something else in mind. Instead, I will focus on the mindfulness of tea, the connection of this beverage within meditation, gratitude and positive living. It seemed like this aspect of tea would serve you better. There are many wonderful books out there, who focus upon the technical aspects of the subject, so I can focus on this direction.

Another thing I am grateful for is the holiday season is almost over.  Yes, celebrations are nice, but they also mean extra work, so I am looking forward to having more time to write.

I am grateful that my daughter gets to see Star Wars with her boyfriend tonight. I am not a fan, but they are, so I am happy for them. I am sure they will have a great time.

I am also grateful for the decorations I have been seeing in the neighbourhood.While people do not seem to decorate as much here as in Tampa, the few who have did a great job. Almost made me want to join in. Then I looked at my to-do list and decided to just enjoy everyone else’s decor instead.

What are grateful for this week?

How do you deal with the holiday stress?

Blessings!

Claudia

This blog post is a part of the following blog hops:

Celebrate The Small Things

Reasons To Be Cheerful

Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday Link Up

 

 

Anger And Gratitude

the anger behind
that sweet smile you always show
is reserved for me

Domestic abuse – a reality many women – and men – experience in their relationship. The fear of those who supposed to be caring for us, making our homes a nightmare, instead of a safe haven is real, and never the fault of the abused.

Why am I choosing to write about domestic violence in a blog post that usually features “Celebrate The Small Things” and “Thankful Thursday”? Because I am thankful to be one of those women who do not have to live in fear, but I am also aware that this puts me in the situation to choose to ignore the plight of others, or do something about it.

While donating to organisations that assist domestic violence victims might not seem a lot, it is something many of us who live a comfortable and safe life can do. Just because we do not experience this type of environment, does not mean we can let ourselves be numb to those who suffer.

Anger And Gratitude

But, I am going to add this for my most eager readers, you should NEVER get directly involved. Domestic violence perpetrators are violent and dangerous, making anyone in their way a target just as much as the actual target they desire. If you suspect anyone you know being abused, or know that they are in need of help, look for local resources they can contact, or call them yourself, and ask them what actions they suggest for the abused to take. Those professionals are trained to assist victims and keep them safe, something that you and I are not.

If you are looking for organisations that help battered spouses, check out the following links:

Women helping battered women
 National Coalition Against Domestic Violence
 Leaving Abuse

This blog post is a part of the following blog hops:

Thankful Thursdays

Celebrate The Small Things

Thankful Thursday (Pepi Smart Dog)

Reasons to be Cheerful

Reflect

 

The above art piece “Anger” is available on RedBubble, and I am donating 20 % of profits of this digital art piece to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Thank you for your support.

 

Releasing Anxiety – Learning To Say No

Releasing Anxiety - Learning To Say No

Overwhelmed, and over-stressed, not just something must of us only suffer throughout the holiday season, but rather all year long. No matter if you are your own boss, an artists trying to create on your time off, or work in your dream job, stress catches up with everyone of us at least every once in a while.

I am not an exception. But I am thankful that I have come across a little trick to keep at least some of this stress at bay – saying no. Not just to what others want me to do. Yes, that is important, because the demands of others upon our time and energy can be draining, but I am also saying no to myself.

There are always so many things I want to do, accomplish and create, that it  can feel like I am drowning in want to do lists, and should do lists. But there is no way I could ever create EVERYTHING I have on those lists, so I learned to tell myself no.

Floral - by Claudia H. Blanton

Floral – by Claudia H. Blanton

I gratefully said no to the following items on my want-to-do list

1. Post every day on this blog (heck, I had the Flu, work almost full-time, and run my own business, there is simply not enough time in the day)
2. Participate in NaNoWriMo.
3. Bake multiple batches of cookies during the week – I limited myself to once a week baking.
4. Have all holiday shopping done by end of November. No one will care when I bought them their present.
5. Work on multiple book projects simultaneously. I am finishing up my Flash Fiction book, publish it and then work on the next project.
6… and many more

This was an important decision to make, one that kept me from re-living those anxiety-filled moments, where I constantly worried about not doing enough. Those moments stole my sleep, and any type of ability to relax, and stay focused upon the most important aspects of my life – my family. It is hard to enjoy someone’s company, I realized, when their attention is on what he or she should be doing instead, making those around us feel like they are not as important.

Taking charge, and saying no to myself allowed me to make that healthy shift from anxiety to true productivity.

Do you feel overwhelmed with responsibilities at times? Are there any items on your list you could let go off?

Christmas Cheer Postcard

Christmas Cheer Postcard

One thing I do not let go off, are my gratitude lists. And because it is Friday, I am adding 5 things I am grateful for right now, to this post:

1. My thick red favorite sweater. That piece of clothing has become my best buddy over the last few weeks. I just wish I had multiples of the exact same one – warm, soft and cozy.
2. Coffee – of course. I am always cold – see above – so a hot cup of coffee is always by my side.
3. The loudest cat I have ever met, but who happens to have chosen us as his family. My goodness, I have had many cats, but never one as demanding and loud as this one. He talks. To me, the dogs and whoever is willing to listen.
4. Sleeping in – I was actually able to sleep in a little yesterday, which has been rare lately. That felt good
5. Silence – at this very moment, it is absolutely quiet in here – no barking, no talking cat – he is asleep – the kids are quietly busy, and the phone is not ringing. Ahh, this is nice!

I hope you have a lot of things to celebrate and be grateful for as well.
Today’s post is part of the following blog hops:

Friday Finds

Share With Me

What Are You Doing – Blog Hop

Inspire Me

Celebrate The Small Things

Appreciation, Flu, And “Winter” Blues

Appreciation, Flu And Winter Blues
Over the last few days I have been MIA from this blog – out of two legit reasons: 1. because my kids and I have been battling the flu, and 2 because this part time job, helping out someone with building a business has been resembling more a full-time job that hope that by the end of next week, all of this will be settled, and I can resume at least a more passing schedule.
But there are also many things to appreciate today. I woke up to the most wonderful notes from my children, wishing me a Happy Birthday, which was so sweet, and then I got to open many emails and social media messages filled with well-wishes and greetings. Every one of those put a smile on my face.
I feel gratitude for the fact that the sun came out to greet me as well, which suits me well, considering the last few days have been dreary, reminding me more of those days when Winter Blues set in, in Germany, and the days were one big sea of continuous grey. Not exactly the best sight. The morning sun, as I walked the dogs, felt like a balm to my soul, exactly when I needed it.
I enjoyed this afternoon’s crumb coffee cake in all of its sweet glory – on top of that, I enjoyed that I did not have to bake it, my family did instead – I am usually the one backing all of the goodies, so that was a nice change in pace.
I am enjoying the fact that I let go of some anxiety that came back this week, with not being able to accomplish as much as I usually would like to, by employing the power of no. I will write about the benefits of this wonderful little tool tomorrow. Let me just tell you now, that it is a sanity-saving tool everyone should apply.
I am  thankful, that my dogs seem to be having no problems with the colder weather, actually I am surprised how much my shorter haired Athena is enjoying it. Still, I am looking for sweater for her – which is harder for big dogs like her, especially for when it gets even colder  than it already is.
A Floral Heart Keepsake Box by Claudia H. Blanton

A Floral Heart Keepsake Box by Claudia H. Blanton

I am also in appreciation that I was able to design a tiny bit. One of these examples is the heart design I started you just saw. When I create something, at least a little bit of something, I feel a little more productive on a personal level. And that feels good.
So what have you been accomplishing this week? Was your week as crazy as mine, or did you have a chance to relax a little more? I hope you, and all of your loved ones are healthy, and I am looking forward to hearing from you all!.
Check out the following blog hops, that this post is a part of and give the other participants some love!

Traditions, Skills And Gratitude

Tradition, Skills And Gratitude

While as a child, having a parent who is very detailed oriented and almost OCD about their space, is not a fun person to grow up around, I did learn quite a few useful skills from my adoptive father’s very exact personality. From how to cut an onion in precise and extra small pieces to careful and detailed gift wrapping, I am grateful for this knowledge and am often asked to teach those little skills to others.

Getting ready for the Holiday season, which in our family happens to be also the season where everyone seems to be having a birthday, I go through tons of wrapping paper and ribbons.

If you are like my friends and family, you probably think a lot less about the wrapping of those presents then the content of them – but I thought you might appreciate a little tutorial I found on youtube that shows a quick and easy way to make your presents more beautiful.

Speaking of gift giving, have you began to plan your shopping for the upcoming holidays yet? No? Me neither, but at least I have a plan in place for everyone on my list. Do you plan your holiday shopping in detail, like I do or are you waiting for whatever is on sale on days like Black Friday (which I do not participate in). I am not I would be able to get everyone a thoughtful gift without this planning ahead – which, by the way, I always do, throughout the year, and make a rule that it has to be done before Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving Floral Magnet
Thanksgiving Floral Magnet – Personalize It!

Another tradition, albeit one that was a lot more fun to learn, was making Christmas cookies. I am grateful that both of my Grandmothers were avid backers and usually provided us with at least a dozen varieties each. This year I have to add some vegan varieties to the mix, so my daughter can eat them as well. I, on the other hand, will for that occasion not restrict myself and stick with tradition.

 

Do you have any favorite holiday skills and traditions that you enjoy? What skills did they teach you, even if at the time you might not have appreciated the learning process as much as you do that skill now?

I am looking forward to hearing from you.

And check out the custom designer Christmas wrapping collection, I created for you. It includes the most beautiful wrapping papers for this holiday season, I could find on Zazzle.

 

This blog post is a part of the following blog hops:

Celebrate The Small Things

No Rules Weekend Blog Party

Share With Me

When Life Gives You Spotty Internet Connection – Read

When Life Gives YouSpotty Internet Connection - Read

Sometimes we make plans and what happens after that is a completely different story. Today, my plan included working some on designs and posting Reiki and Yoga items on social media, my facebook page, and maybe even here.
Instead none of my programs loaded properly, so instead of fighting and getting mad, I decided to go with the flow and find out what other – more peaceful and stress-free – tasks I can accomplish today.

Then I remembered that I have quite a few business books I have to go through in the next few weeks, and because there is no better time for action than now, I will spend a couple of hours reading what I desperately need to know anyway.

Which brings me to the list of things I am thankful and cheerful for:

1. A chance to catch up on important reading materials
2. A warm and comfortable place to do so
3. Strong enough internet connection to write this blog post and connect with all of you
4. The knowledge that if things do not go my way, there are other ways to be productive

 

Now let me ask you this:
How do you deal with situations that do not go exactly as planned? Do you allow frustration to grow and ruin the rest of your day, or do you try to make the best of it? I would love to hear your thoughts, leave them in the comment section.

Oh, and do not forget to check out all of the other wonderful bloggers who participate in the following  blog hops! They would appreciate you stopping by

Thankful Thursdays

Reasons To Be Cheerful

Thankful Thursdays by FrogLilyPad

 

Blessings

Claudia

Gratitude, Halloween And Honoring Those Who Passed

Gratitude, Halloween And Honoring Those Who Passed

On this day before Halloween, I am usually pretty excited and giddy, getting ready to celebrate what is for me as a Pagan more than just a dress up in crazy clothes day. This year, though, I will work instead, and considering that we are in a temporary place, not celebrate with our usual abandon. Still, Halloween or Samhain will be exciting enough, as we celebrate and honor those who have left before us.

Therefore, my gratitude list today focuses on some special people and animals in my life that have moved on.

1. My grandfather
He passed away exactly one week after my 12th birthday, but during the short time I had him in my life, he made a lasting impression. Leaving me with an independent spirit and the freedom to choose my own path (he insisted that I would not be raised in any faith so I could make up my own mind later on), I honor him today.

2. My adopted Father
While he left me with many scars and wounds that will always define how I view the world, he introduced to me the need of taking care of our world around us. He taught organic gardening to many people, including me. He also gave me access to mythology and ancient traditions which define much of my belief system to this day.

3. Angel
Probably the strangest animal I have ever met, but also the most profoundly loving cat there was. After adopting his mother without knowing that she was pregnant, he was one of the 2  kittens (out of a litter of 6) who were completely bald. Sphynx cats are rare, and well, I must say ugly, but he was the most beautiful animal to me. After his death, I had sworn never to get another pet, because the loss was too great. But, I currently have two dogs and another cat. Still, he will always be my true Angel.

I am very grateful for having had many people in my life, briefly or for a long period of time, that made a large impact on me, and brought me to the choices I made to become me.

Whom are you grateful for in your life? Why not share that list via the Celebrate The Small Things Blog hop hosted by Lexa Cain? And stop on by Dory’s Backyard, where everyone is talking about shelter animals.