What cancer taught us about paying attention

In a week of walks along the Deschutes River, I snapped several photos (is it snapped if you’re using a cell phone? shouldn’t it be tapped?). Photos of young guitar player on large boulder; beautifully-choreographed fly fisherman’s cast; fallen tree growing its own lawn.As many times as I’ve walked this portion of the river trail—hundreds of times—it seems there’s always something new to photograph. Like this rock sculpture. ...more



How to Turn a Bad Day Into a Good Day

This week I tried a mindfulness-based practice that I've been calling the daily diary of good things. I was looking forward to this one, largely because it didn’t involve actually doing anything other than kicking back and letting the good times roll....more

Choosing Gratefulness

Choosing to live a life of gratitude sure is harder than it sounds. Everywhere we go, everywhere we look, we are bombarded by our need more and need it now culture. Patience seems to be a rarity. Compassion is hard to come by. Gratefulness is a bit of a mystery. It’s so easy to be sucked into what society says about deserving more and better and it’s hard to step back and say “No. I already have all I need.”...more

Cancer and the way to joy

Snow-shoeing was on the agenda for yesterday. Snow falling cold and beautiful. Warm fuzzy scarf wrapped around my neck. Hot lunch afterward in a fire-lit restaurant with new and old friends.Noticing blessings and naming them is one of the things that saved me while standing watch as Hubby slipped away, as I stumbled into cancer widowhood.Thanksgiving lists. Not just for the month of November, I’m thinking. Rather, a year-round sport.This thought from Ann Voskamp in One Thousand Gifts:...more

Laugh at yourself. Everyone else is.

I don't exchange holiday gifts with my in laws. We usually fly to them for Thanksgiving and time spent together is better than time spent, possibly wasted, trying to find a gift we hope each other likes. So this year when my sister in law told us to keep an eye out for two packages, I couldn't imagine what was coming. The first one arrived in a cylinder shaped box. It turned out to be an original Rocky poster for my husband (yes, Rocky, circa 1976. Pretty cool). So, I was on alert that the next package was "more for Jen." (I'm Jen at home)...more

Three Simple Ways to Practice Gratitude in 2016

Yes, January 1st has come and gone. But it isn't too late to start a gratitude practice. (Plus, consider the "late" start to be a great way to challenge your inner perfectionist!)...more

Happiness: It's Not All About Gratitude

This morning during my usual Internet fix, I came across a motivational blog that claimed to know the secret of happiness. It spoke of something most of us have heard before, and many of us agree with: The key to happiness is gratitude.The blog goes on to explain that if something bad happens -- for example, you spill a cup of coffee on your lap -- you should chuckle and say, "Oh well, at least I have a lap to burn! Some people are born without laps!"I'm exaggerating slightly -- but you get the general gist....more

The Journey to Christmas