Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Book Review: Walking Home by Sonia Choquette


When I heard Sonia Choquette wrote a new book about her pilgrimage on the Camino de Santiago, I absolutely could not wait to get this book in my hands. I had to wait several weeks because it was out of stock, but I knew I needed to read this. I knew it would be phenomenal, and it was even better than I anticipated.

Sonia Choquette is a best-selling author and six-sensory spiritual teacher. Walking Home takes the reader on a journey along with her through a 500-mile pilgrimage over the Pyranees and through Spain called the Camino de Santiago. Yes, she walked 500 miles! This trek has been walked for centuries and leads to the shrine of St. James. In the Middle Ages over a million Catholics made the journey as a way to be forgiven for their sins and begin again. It became known as The Way of Forgiveness.

Sonia decided to make the journey to work through the sudden deaths of her brother and father, as well as the dissolution of her marriage. What I love about this book, is that I felt like I walked with her. She held nothing back in this book, every emotion came forth and I related to so much of it. I loved getting to live every day of her journey through her thoughtful description of the scenery, the food, the people. Everything was portrayed with such clarity, that even my feet were sore after her daily hikes. I also loved the pictures she shared in the book too, that was such a treat.

It was amazing to feel someone's transformation. To see them go from broken to reborn. There were so many times I saw myself in her trials and felt so much better that I was not the only one who felt so many ways that she did. I felt like I was growing and changing along with her. There was anger, yelling, singing, praying, heartache, joy, laughter, and it was all wonderful!

I am humbled by her raw honesty, and truly grateful for Sonia's willingness to share so much of herself. It reminds me of a Rumi quote: "Tear off the mask, your face is glorious." How hard is it to truly allow who you really are to be seen? I mean all of it, the good, the bad and the ugly. What a triumph to be vulnerable and let go of what other people might think! This book is such a gift, a permission to let it all out, and then let it all go.

There was magic in Sonia's journey. So many miracles that she shared, and they became more powerful as the journey came closer to Santiago. This book was pure indulgence to me, and I absolutely luxuriated in it every night. I couldn't wait to walk another day of the journey with her. And as the book was getting closer to the end, I was feeling sad because I didn't want it to end! It has been such a long time since a book made me feel that way. This is one of the few books I know I will be reading again and again, because I know I will receive new insight each time.

This is clearly a movie waiting to happen. I highly recommend Walking Home. It is for those who are going through a struggle, those who need to forgive or be forgiven, those who need to let go of the past, those who need to appreciate the beauty in themselves and others, this book is for everyone. Let the magic begin!

In Gratitude,

Kerri
www.suitablegifts.com

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Book Review: The BIG Book of Angel Tarot by Doreen Virtue and Radleigh Valentine


The BIG Book of Angel Tarot: The Essential Guide to Symbols, Spreads, and Accurate Readings by Doreen Virtue and Radleigh Valentine

I have been interested in tarot cards for quite some time but didn't know where to get started. I attended a Hayhouse I Can Do It! event and had the pleasure to listen and learn as Doreen Virtue and Radleigh Valentine used the Angel Tarot cards. I was hooked. 

Upon receiving my copy of The BIG Book of Angel Tarot, I went out and bought my first set of tarot cards; Angel Tarot of course. They are just beautiful. The artwork is done by artist Steve A. Roberts. They are large, silver edged cards with beautiful illustrations that you just want to touch! I wanted to read the book and work with the cards at the same time.




The book is fantastic. There is so much useful information. Doreen and Radleigh have clearly poured their hearts into this. It is so beautiful to see people selflessly contribute their knowledge to others to spread more kindness, compassion, and love. I also appreciate their in-depth reflection on the history of tarot. They have taken something that was often shrouded in mystery and sometimes darkness, and brought it to light with an approach of loving, uplifting, positive cards and meanings, while still remaining true to its roots.

The book takes you through the history of tarot, the "language" including definitions of Arcana, Court Cards, Jumping Cards and more. It discusses the first 22 cards of the deck called the Major Arcana, the second part of the deck called the Minor Arcana, symbolism, archangels, angel numbers and astrology. Yes, this book is packed with valuable information!

Radleigh and Doreen show how to do a reading, and walk you through different spreads (1 card reading, 3 card, etc). The rest of the book is information, insights and explanations on the meanings of each individual card. For each card, they provide an insight to the possible meanings, the symbolism in the beautiful illustration, the angel number (each card has a number that is related to a message from the angels), and the astrological aspect of the card (Air element, Libra, Venus in Aquarius, etc) and what that means. 



The book is perfect for someone new to tarot as well as someone who wants to gain so much more insight into the specific meanings of these cards. As always, Doreen and Radleigh explain everything with ease and brilliance. It was an honor to read this book and learn from these beautiful souls.

*I am blessed to receive this book free from Hayhouse for participating in the Hayhouse Book Nook program.

In Gratitude,

Kerri
www.suitablegifts.com



Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Book Review: Miracles Now by Gabrielle Bernstein


Miracle Message #44: I begin my day with gratitude and love. #MiraclesNow - Gabrielle Bernstein

Miracles Now by Gabrielle Bernstein is a transformational book. If you are seeking ways to combat stress (and who isn't?), relax, deal with pain, money, addiction, and just about anything that you want to work on in your life, this is the book for you. If you want to bring more joy, peace, abundance, and love into your life, this is also the book for you.

Gabrielle's Toolbox
What I love most about this book, is that is is broken down into short, easy to read bytes of advice that are not only spot-on, but simple to integrate into your life.  I love tools, and she provides them with clarity. Gabrielle supplies concrete methods targeted to the issue at hand. Specific kundalini yoga techniques, wisdom from A Course In Miracles, tapping (a process that has you tap your fingers on specific meridians on your face and upper body to release blocks, anxiety, etc.), meditation, breathing techniques, and on and on. These tools are invaluable.

Coming together
There is beauty in modern technology when it is used for positivity, healing, and spreading goodness. Gabrielle provides in 140 characters or less, a Miracle Message at the end of each short chapter.  She encourages people to be "miracle messengers" and tweet each message with the hashtag #MiraclesNow. It is a beautiful and instantaneous way to share this with the world.

Love it!
Yes, I absolutely love Miracles Now. There is so much information given to help, that I could just pop open the book anywhere and find use on any page. You can read the book cover to cover, but it may be more effective to take a chapter a day, apply the technique, and see how it works in your life. Each chapter only takes minutes to read, but the wisdom in the pages speak volumes. You can also go directly to a specific chapter to help the situation that you need clarity or guidance with.  However you read this book, you will benefit from the sage advice and effective practices. I highly recommend this book.

I received Miracles Now free from Hay House as a participant in the Book Nook program. All opinions are my own.

In Gratitude,

Kerri
Suitable Gifts
www.suitablegifts.com

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Who Is Judging Who?




Lately my stories seem to happen when I'm walking.  It's been quite a road, to say the least! But the road has been paved with wonderful lessons, and I'm looking forward to what is next. 

As I finished up my three mile walk, I came upon one of my neighbors as I was heading back to my house to cool down. With sweat dripping from every pore on me, my neighbor decided she wanted to chat. I'm working on getting myself back into shape, but I certainly am still in the early stages where only I can notice the change.  She started to talk about her knee and how it was bothering her, and then quickly segued into ranting about her husband. She was disgusted by him because he is overweight.  

My first thought was, do you see who you're talking to? I'm literally a hot mess over here! I often take this walk with my husband, and he looks exactly the same as when he started, I look like I hosed myself down and painted my face bright red. I am not exaggerating in the slightest.

My second thought was, how could she speak of her husband this way? From my viewpoint, he is such a hard working man, very kind and loving towards his kids, always ready to help out a neighbor, and never speaks unkind of others.  

I was unnerved as she continued to say how sloppily he dressed, how his belly was hanging out over his shirt, and how he refused to do anything to help himself. She went on and on and on.  I felt the need to gently express the other side, because I have been heavy and thin, and heavy and thin again.  I know how hard it is for some people to lose weight.  I told her the things that I have gone through on my journey, but she was bent on being angry and critical. I told her I would pray for her husband. She rolled her eyes and said "Yeah, he needs prayer alright."

I left feeling upset and angry that she could speak of her husband like that.  I felt righteous in my judgement of her judgement of her husband.  Oh...wait a minute, am I'm judging too?  But my judgment is accurate, right?

No it wasn't.  I wish I could figure out all of these things right away, but honestly I am beginning to enjoy the lessons I am learning.  I have been reading non-stop all summer.  It has been a wonderful treat to myself to take the time to luxuriate in a good book. Most of what I read is of a spiritual nature, and I also love biographies.  The book I am now reading is called Codependent No More by Melody Beattie. It was recommended to me over a year ago. I bought it but never read it. Quite interesting that I picked this time to begin. 

I always thought being codependent referred to those involved with alcoholics or drug abusers. It means so much more.  It is anyone who has allowed someone else's problem to become their own, at the expense of taking care of their own needs.  I specifically read about people who are in relationships with overeaters. It was amazing to have the judgement I had towards my neighbor revealed to me from an entirely new perspective.  The situation impacts both of them.

I read that the codependent often seems angry, critical, hostile, manipulative, and controlling. Wow. Everything that I judged in my neighbor was as wrong as her judgement of her husband. As I read on, I understood more about her perspective, and my view of her "attitude" softened. I thought back about our conversation and I heard her words differently this time.  She was worried about her husband, her kids, her life.  She felt helpless and not in control of the situation. 
  
I also understand myself better.  I didn't realize I was being critical too, Now I notice quicker when I am judging someone, and I stop myself in my tracks and let it go.  I am being gentler on myself too, I know I'm learning.  And now I pray for them both.


In Gratitude,

Kerri
www.suitablegifts.com


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

My Walking Prayer


I began walking as a journey to get back to fitness and good health. I didn't expect it to be a spiritual journey as well. 

I have been finding more and more that the path I'm heading down never leads to where I think it will, and most times it leads to something even more wonderful than I had imagined. I began walking as a way to get back into shape. I allowed stressful thoughts, work, and life wreak havoc on my body. It was getting to the point of being very unhealthy, and I was ready to make a change.

Walking is not my favorite activity. I have extra bones floating around in my feet, and walking or even standing can be excruciating at times. Being outside in the Texas heat is also not a love of mine, I sweat just thinking about it. But I wanted something that could ease me back into better health, so I plodded forward.

I started with a mile and a half a day, the perimeter of my subdivision.  It was quite the trek at first scaling the hilly terrain with the painful feet, underused lungs, blazing heat, and bad attitude. I thought perhaps the attitude was the main problem, still I plodded on.

In the beginning I carried a heavier load than my weight,  I just didn't realize it at the time.  I felt that I was all alone, but all of my thoughts came with me.  They were not good company.  Many times they talked about what bad shape I was in, brought up everything I ever did wrong, reminded me of things they thought I should feel guilty for, or others who upset me.  My mind would race. The blood would be pumping from anger or hurt, not from exercise. I really started to dread the walks. Yet still, I plodded on.

But I was feeling physically better,  and I got my self up to 3 miles a day in a short amount of time.  I had more energy, changes were happening.  But what to do with my travel companions? It was truly time to let them go.  I was ready for that change too.

I thought about all I have been doing towards a spiritual path, and realized that I could literally walk that path every day.  I set aside time to meditate, to focus on what I want to attract into my life, but I never thought about doing that during my walks.  

Once I realized all of the negativity I was bringing along with me, I was able to release it the same way I do when I meditate.  I begin my walk with a mindful presence.  I notice everything around me, especially when my mind starts to wander.  It is very easy to come back to focus when you look at the trees, the butterflies flitting by, or the squirrels chasing each other around a tree.  

The next step for me was prayer.  As I round the first hill and the road levels, I begin my prayer.  I am at the point where I don't care who is around, or if they think I'm talking to myself.  The prayer is what's important, not what others think.  I also don't care if anyone sees me make the sign of the cross to close my prayer, it's something that feels right for me.  

I pray to God, to Jesus, to the angels. These companions on my walks are so much nicer! I thank them for everything in my life, even the things that seem bad.  In fact, my entire prayer is a thank you. I know in my heart now that what looks like a problem, is really a blessing. I just need to trust. 

I pray with thanks for what I want to bring into my life, and I pray in present tense as if it's already here.  I pray for my family, friends, and strangers. I pray for those that I am having difficulty with.  I have learned that the difficulty only lies in my choice to be upset, not in them anyway.  I have also learned that I don't need to have a battle with myself anymore either. Now that I have chosen to be lifted up through prayer on my walks, the pain has been lifted too: from my heart and my feet. And now I march on!


With Gratitude,

Kerri

Friday, July 11, 2014

Book Review: Angels of Abundance by Doreen Virtue and Grant Virtue


Angels of Abundance: Heaven's 11 Messages to Help You Manifest Support, Supply, and Every Form of Abundance by Doreen Virtue and Grant Virtue, arrived in the mail with much anticipation.  Once I opened the package and took a peek at the glittery, angel-winged book cover, I was already hooked. Quite frankly, they had me at glitter, but the thought of angels helping me with my needs and desires, was very intriguing.

My mind was already open when beginning this book. If I'm making the decision to read something with new ideas, or a way of thinking that veers from my normal path, I think it's very important to start the journey from a clear, non-judgmental perspective.  What is the point of being negative? Certainly nothing worthwhile can be gained. It's also a good idea to be honest about what pulled me towards this type of reading material anyway, it was because my current path wasn't working.  I think sometimes we need permission to say it is ok to try something new, to forge a new path, to do something that maybe not everyone else is doing. It is ok.

The book is a gentle read with clear action steps towards manifesting abundance. Abundance comes in many forms including financial, opportunities, ideas, and more. Doreen Virtue and her son Grant Virtue have created a beautiful guide to creating the life that you want with steps including visualization, prayer, positive affirmations, creating a vision board, and the simple act of asking for help from God and the angels. They discuss different types of affirmations, share focusing tools, and provide prayers and meditations to use. There is a beautiful meditation by Grant's wife Melissa Virtue towards the end of the book as well. 

Angels of Abundance also touches on our blocks to manifestation by exposing how we truly feel about money, our fears, and our feelings of not deserving.  There is guidance towards living a healthier life to heighten your energy level and manifest quicker.  Doreen and Grant also share actual stories of manifestation to illustrate what is truly possible.

I received my copy on a Friday from Hay House, and had read and absorbed several chapters towards manifesting abundance.  The next day, another copy arrived in the mail! There couldn't have been any clearer indication of the ability to manifest, than receiving a manifestation book twice! What is beautiful about this, is now I can share a copy as part of a Suitable Gifts give-away! I will be running a contest soon, with this wonderful book as the prize. What I have learned from Doreen and Grant is that there is enough abundance for everyone, and there is beauty in giving and in receiving. This lesson was made abundantly clear when the second book appeared!  I am so excited to share this book, thank you Hay House for your kind permission to do so! 

I was also sitting on my couch reading the book when my husband came home from the local garden supply store. He was buying some saucers for our plant pots.  He came back with an unexpected present for me that is now a prominent reminder on my writing desk. What made him pick out something that said "Believe" on it? I was speechless at not only the kindness of my husband, but the message. It was truly angel sent. 




As I continue on this journey of abundance, I am now more focused on what I wish to bring into my life, rather than focusing on lack.  I notice more and more signs of goodness, kindness, beauty, and abundance.  I am on a positive path that will get better and better. 

I highly recommend Angels of Abundance. It will put you in an abundance mindset in all areas of your life. You can create the life you want and deserve. You will have the guidance and tools to understand that there are no limits, you just need to believe. 

Thank you Doreen Virtue and Grant Virtue.  I do believe, I do.

With Gratitude,

Kerri
www.suitablegifts.com

*This book was sent to me free of charge from Hay House for participating in their Hay House Book Nook program.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Have A Blessed Day




As I continue on my Kindness...pass it on Mission to spread Intentional Acts of Kindness, more and more ideas come to mind.  Kindness isn't just about spending money to help others, there are so many ways to be kind. I think about this quite a bit while I take my daily three mile walk through my neighborhood.  I always seem to come across hearts in the sidewalk, rocks, clouds, and more. I see beautiful flowers, birds singing, stray cats running over to me, meowing as if they can sense how freaking adorable I think they are. They are a reminder to me of love and kindness. They make me smile, and they cost nothing. 

As I walked through my usual trail one day, I thought about something that always is such a beautiful kindness.  I love when someone says "Have a blessed day." Every time I hear that, it  goes right to my heart, I feel loved.  It is always from a stranger, which makes it so very sweet, because it reminds me that we are all connected, we are all one. I have heard it from the cashier at Wal-Mart as I packed my groceries in the cart, I've heard it from the Goodwill attendant who helped me grab my donations out of my car. I've heard it many times and it always sounds so beautiful. As I thought about it that morning, I wanted to remember to write it down so I could share it with you.  As I trudged up the final, steep hill of my trek, my pounding heart and sweat pouring into my eyes led to me to forget about my writing quest. 

To be quite honest, as much as I love to hear "Have a blessed day," I never felt worthy to utter it myself. It's not that I haven't wanted to, I just didn't feel like I had the right to. It's funny how we can accept something so easily from others, feel so uplifted, yet feel that we haven't the same power to reciprocate. I am not sure why I put that block up, but since I believe we are all one, that block needed to come down.

The next day I walked my usual path, and as I passed the exact spot that I had the "blessed day" thought, I noticed an older gentleman across the street. I said  "Good morning," and I'm sure you know what his reply was! "Have a blessed day!" I nearly fell over! I said "Same to you!" My heart was full. And then when I didn't think I could take any more, a sweet kitty ran across the street towards me for generous pats on the head. I trudged the hill of dread and made it home as quickly as possible to write down my experience. Neither sweat, nor heat, nor exhausted legs would keep me from forgetting this!

I had been trying to come with a signature on my Kindness Cards when I leave them for strangers.  I finally have one that feels like me, that feels like the kind of loving thought that I want to touch others. From now on, they will all be signed "Have a blessed day." I am truly grateful to all of the kind people and fluffy kitties who have made this all possible. 


  

With Gratitude,

Kerri
www.suitablegifts.com



Tuesday, July 1, 2014

An Open Letter Of Gratitude To Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

Dear Dr. Dyer,

Last year an intention I had set came true.  Understanding intention, the power behind our thoughts, and so many wonderful life lessons were all taught to me through your writing and lectures. I want to share my experience, express my sincere gratitude, and thank you again for changing my life.

Through reading your books, listening to your CD's, enjoying your movie The Shift, listening to your weekly show on Hay House Radio, and watching you over the years on PBS, I had such a desire (an intention) to see you in person. I wanted to thank you for transforming my life. I kept thinking how can I get to see you? I work and have two boys to raise. How would I get to New York, California or my dream Maui?! I was checking your tour schedule and there it was! It presented itself to me! I had the vision of it, but I didn't expect that for the first time, I Can Do It would be in Austin! It was only an hour away! What a miracle! I was so excited to make the trip. My husband was very supportive and happy for me, because he knows what you mean to me.

I ordered the tickets very quickly and didn't know that Hay House had a hotel selected.  I looked for accommodations closest to the venue, and the first place I tried to book was sold out. Wasn't it a miracle that I ended up choosing the very hotel that was for Hay House, without even knowing it?! Oh those synchronicities just kept coming!

I drove up envisioning an opportunity not only to see you in person, but to thank you for everything you've done to make my life joyful, peaceful and loving. When I arrived at the venue the next morning, I found a nice seat about 5 rows back from the stage. I thought, this is perfect.  I sat down and an usher came over to escort a woman that was having issues walking. One of them mentioned something about seats up front, but she just wanted to sit immediately. I asked if there were still seats up there, and the usher said yes! I went to the first row and I asked one of the ladies if anyone had that empty seat, and one of them said "Yes, we've been saving it for you!" I was just expecting to envelope myself in the warmth and joy of the whole experience, but what I was presented with was four new friends and one of the best seats in the house! It all just kept unfolding beautifully.

Seeing you in person and listening to your divine voice was magic (of course!)! I just could not believe I was sitting there with you a few feet in front of me! Even though I had envisioned it in my mind, I was in such awe to realize I was actually living it! What a wonderful experience. Your daughter sings like an angel! It all was glorious! There were many miracles happening around me. I was talking to one of the ladies about your "I Am" CD for manifesting, and then you handed it right to her!


I started getting to know to all of the women next to me during the breaks, and learned that the lady (Estella) you handed the CD to, also came to the event by herself.  It turned out that she was staying at the same hotel and had taken a cab to the auditorium.  I felt the need to be kind (how can you not feel kind in a room full of love?) and asked her if she would like a ride back to the hotel. She was very happy for the offer and when we got to the hotel, I offered her a ride to the venue for the Sunday session.  We decided to meet up the next morning very early so we could try to get the same seats again for us and our 3 new friends.

So here is where the bells ring, the clouds part and Dr. Wayne Dyer appears floating on angels wings...ok that may sound dramatic, but what actually happened felt more amazing that that! Estella and I met in the lobby early Sunday morning. We decided to have a muffin and coffee before heading to the auditorium. Less than 5 minutes after sitting down, there you were coming off the elevator walking my way. My jaw hit the floor.  You were stopped for a moment by a couple who were also in awe.

I knew you were on your way out (dropping off a letter at the front desk first, I think) and I didn't want to bother you.  But there you were! I couldn't help myself. I looked up and said "Dr. Dyer, I know you're busy, but could I trouble you for a picture?" And you said "Of course!" I handed my camera to Estella, who was a stranger less than 24 hours prior, but was now witnessing my miracle.  I had so much in my mind that I wanted to say to you, but I was in such shock, I'm not even sure I sounded human.  My thank you’s were so minor to what I was feeling in my heart. It just couldn't all come out. 

What struck me the most in meeting you was when you looked me in the eyes. A wave of pure love washed over me. I have never felt such love in my life.  I felt understood, seen, whole, and loved in just a split second.  I could never be able to put into words what that meant to me, but I thank you with all my heart for being so kind, so gracious, so you! (And I must admit, being snuggled up next to you for the picture was pretty spectacular too!) You are love and I will be forever grateful for all you have done to put me on such a beautiful path in life.

After you walked away I burst into tears. It was so amazing to think about how many unexpected things happened to cause this "chance" encounter. Estella and I were both overwhelmed and overjoyed. She was the one you gave the I Am CD to, and now she got to meet you and thank you too!

I know after that weekend, that you gave over 2,000 miracles. All of the people in those seats had an experience,  their own experience, their own magic. It was no less important than mine. And from those 2,000 miracles, they are spread over and over again, because what you teach becomes what we live.

Thank you Dr. Dyer. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

With Love and Gratitude,

Kerri
www.suitablegifts.com

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Book Review: Holy Shift! Edited By Robert Holden, Ph.D.


On October 21, 1965 Jesus spoke to Helen Schucman, Ph.D.:  "This is a course in miracles, please take notes." I don't know about you, but if Jesus spoke to me, I'd be writing it down, recording it, and tattooing it on my entire body. Helen, being of a more rational mind than myself, opted to write it down with the help of her friend and colleague William Thetford, Ph.D. Thus A Course In Miracles was born.

Whether it is a lecture, a book reference, or a familiar quote, A Course In Miracles (ACIM) has been brought more and more into my awareness as I continue on my spiritual quest.  This course offers spiritual transformation! However, the thought of reading a 1,200 page book seemed daunting at best, so I kept on listening to the lectures, the references, and the quotes (I'm not lazy mind you, I just thought my brain might explode).  

What a glorious day it was when I found out Dr. Robert Holden, Ph.D. was putting together a book of daily meditations called Holy Shift!, based on A Course In Miracles! Now I could learn from the brilliant author of Happiness NOW!, Shift Happens!, Authentic Success, Be Happy, and Loveability.  I had the pleasure of listening to one of his lectures at an I Can Do It! event last year, and am an avid listener to his weekly show on Hay House Radio. His messages are so on point, insightful, relevant, and transforming. He has studied ACIM for over 20 years, and his poignant and inspirational messages make him the perfect source to learn about the Course.

Dr. Holden has put together 365 of the most beautiful selections from ACIM to meditate on daily.  In Holy Shift! you will be transformed through poetry, prayer, and meditation. This is a beautiful daily meditation guide. For the purpose of this review, I read the entire book. So many times I would be reading a page and 'Wow!' 'Brilliant!' 'Amazing!' would just fly out of my mouth. I couldn't help myself. There was such beauty, joy, and release in this book. It reminds us that we are truly love, we are never alone, we are as pure as we were created- we just need to remember.  It also is a reminder that we are all one, we are free when we forgive, and what we see in the other is just a reflection of ourselves.  It is illusion shattering, ego releasing, uplifting, and miracle producing.

While I read the book in its entirety, I also took the day's message and sat there with it.  I wanted to experience the daily meditation as well. I read it several times, mostly aloud as a prayer. I asked God to help me absorb and fully understand the message that He wanted me to know from this meditation.  I set my iPhone alarm to twenty minutes, closed my eyes, and meditated.  This was the first time I was able to meditate without music, a mantra, or a meditation CD. I focused on my breathing, relished in the day's message, and was silent.

Do miracles occur from reading Holy Shift!? They sure do! As I continue with the daily meditations, I can feel the shift.  I don't need a bucket of money to fall out of the sky for me to witness a miracle (although I would not turn from it, should it decide to!). There are miracles in every moment, and this book allows you to notice them. Isn't it a miracle to feel peace, love for yourself and others, a gentle letting go of past and future towards living just in the present moment? There is a calm and joy that comes from learning that God loves us just as we are, that we are a part of Him, and we are never alone. 

For me, I feel less fear and I dwell less. I also feel an ease in taking care of the house that holds my soul, which I have not felt before.  This translates to a gentle desire to walk. Since starting the book, I have walked 3 miles a day.  Exercise was a chore in the past, along with a scolding for not taking better care of myself.  Now it feels like second nature, as if I'm not trying at all. I'm really not trying, it's just happening. No more scolding, I accept and love myself as I am right now. My appetite has changed, again, very naturally. I had a nudging to finally start my gratitude journal, and I have added synchronities and miracle observations that are now part of my awareness. It is all so easy, no pressure, just flowing. I also feel calmer and more loving towards others and myself. What I love about this book, is I have a daily reminder and lesson to keep me on this path.  It will always be with me.
   
I highly recommend Holy Shift!, whether you are new to ACIM or continuing on your journey. There are some books that exude power and this is one of them. You can feel it just by holding it in your hands. Every day you will learn more about yourself, the world that you have created, and the power of God within you. The biggest miracle is you will get to really know you- and you will be amazed at how beautiful you really are.  Bless you Dr. Robert Holden, Ph.D. for this exquisite book.

With Gratitude,

Kerri
www.suitablegifts.com












*Please note, this book was sent to me free from Hay House as part of the Book Nook Blogger program. All opinions and commentary in the above review are my own.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The next step.


As my oldest son prepared for his high school graduation, I kept making a fuss about celebrating.  "Why?" He kept asking me. "What is the big deal?" I so appreciate his humility, it is one of the many things I love about him. But as I stare at his pictures on my office wall of his yearly growth from infant to nearly 18, I am humbled and awed at how much there is to celebrate.  Dear Richard, this blog is for you.

Watching you grow from a pure, innocent baby to crawling, walking, and talking...wow it is such a miracle to behold.  Then discovering your beautiful personality, watching you grow and change, yet always hold on to those wonderful qualities that make you Richard, has been such a gift.  

Throughout your life you have dealt with challenges, conflicts, decisions, and you have always chosen a path of kindness, grace, and compassion.  This is who you are at your core, and I am so proud and honored to be a witness to such a wonderful soul.  

Who you are is not a grade, an award, a scholarship (although I am very proud of your outward accomplishments too!).  What is truly important is who you are, and what you put out into the world.  Your gift is what is inside of you, and that is one-of-a-kind and to be cherished.

I have watched you show kindness in the face of unkind behavior.  You are thoughtful and generous in all of your relationships. Your integrity shines through as you go the extra mile at your work, even when no one is watching.  

You have never wavered from who you are, you have always been true to yourself, and that to me, is the most valuable accomplishment you could ever have.  I know you will continue through life this way, even though it's not easy, because that is who you are. And I love you for that.

As you take the next step through the college years, please know that whatever you decide to "be" in the outside world, I will always support you, because I know who you truly "are" lies within you, and it's beautiful.

Congratulations my dear son.  You deserve every celebration, every well wish, every joy and happiness there is in the world.  

Love forever,

Mom

Thursday, May 15, 2014

We're Proud To Announce Our: Kindness...pass it on Mission!




Intentional Kindness is a beautiful thing, not only does it make the recipient feel great, it does the same to the giver.  Best of all, it also makes anyone who sees or hears about the kindness, feel great too! And you know what happens after that...kindness spreads!

That is what this mission is all about, spreading more kindness into the world.  I know it's out there. I know others are doing random and intentional acts of kindness, and now it's time to join in! Suitable Gifts wants to jump start our mission by offering two free Kindness cards. Just send us your name and address on our Kindness...pass it on! page and we will happily send them to you. Our cards have plenty of lines for you to add your message (and you can write on the back too!). The great thing about the Kindness cards, are that they are just the size of a business card. You can carry them in your wallet, leave them in your glove compartment, and use them when the moment strikes you.




You don't need to spend money to be kind. There are different ways to give, and it is always the thought that counts.  Your Intentional Kindness can be to someone you know: a family member, a teacher, co-worker, friend.  It can also be to someone you don't know.  And it's up to you how you want to share it, whether you want to sign you name or make it totally anonymous.  It should be what makes you feel good too! Try different ways, and see what works the best for you. There also isn't a formula for how often you need to do this, every day, once a week. once a month, it's all up to you. There is no wrong way if you are being kind!

Here are some ideas:
Free Kindness:
  • Share a smile.
  • Give a sincere compliment.
  • Open the door for someone.
  • Let a driver in your lane.
  • Let the person behind you get in front at the check-out line.
$5 and under Kindness:
  • Leave a $5 Starbucks gift card on someone's windshield- on the card write: "Free coffee on me!"
  • Feed the parking meter for another- leave the Kindness card on the windshield: "Added some coins to the meter to save you from a ticket!"
  • Pay a toll for the car behind you. Leave the card for the toll booth collector to give to the driver with your note (of course fill out the card before you get behind the wheel!).

$5+ Kindness:
  • Pay breakfast/lunch for the car behind you in the fast food line. Leave the Kindness card (filled out) for the cashier to give to them. "Lunch is on me!"
  • Gift cards- leave a surprise gift card ($5,$10 nothing is too small) for Target, CVS, Walmart, Wendy's, Subway...etc) on someone's desk, windshield, in public for a stranger to find (bus stop, park/grocery store/church announcement board, park bench, college campus, shelter, etc).
  • Bring flowers to a senior center or hospital for someone you don't know. 
  • Re-gift: If you have unused books, candles, journals or small gifts that you've never used, leave them with a Kindness card at a receptionist's desk, doctor's waiting room, on an empty chair in a cafeteria. How fun would it be to find a surprise gift? "To whoever finds this gift, it was meant for you, enjoy!" 
The ways to be kind are endless! Get creative, and share your Intentional Kindness with us!
Post with #kindnesspassiton on our: 
Instagram @suitablegifts

We would love to hear what you are doing, and share it with everyone for inspiration! And if you have additional ideas we could use, share those as well! Let us know how this is making you feel, and how it's inspiring others.  You can also email us any time with your comments: info@suitablegifts.com 

Kindness...pass it on!

With Gratitude,
Kerri
#kindnesspassiton

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

LOVE Monday? Yes you can!

TGIF! Friday is the most celebrated of days. We all can't wait to get there. Wednesday has been deemed hump day, since we are so glad we are getting close to the beloved weekend. But what about poor Monday? Often Monday is the wrath of the most unflattering commentary, whether it's posted on Facebook or shamed in the office on Monday morning.  Poor Monday is the most unappreciated of days.

I think it's time to look at marvelous Monday in a whole new light. It's time to LOVE Monday! For the past month, I've been posting on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram a #LOVEmonday photo and commentary. I have noticed the beauty of creating a rainbow while watering the grass, finding a heart shaped piece of watermelon in a pre-sliced container, a heart shaped out of a jump rope that one of the neighborhood kids left on my front lawn, and more! There is so much to notice, and since I've started this, I'm noticing more love on Monday and every day.  




This project began for me when I walked into my home office on a Monday morning (yes, with a hint of dread, I'll admit it). What I found were two small water fountains sitting on my desk and filing cabinet. They were flowing and so peaceful to behold.  They were placed there, unbeknownst to me, Sunday night from my youngest son. He left for school that morning without saying a word, just so I would be surprised by this gesture. Pure LOVE on a Monday morning! I was so touched, I felt so blessed. I certainly wanted to hold on to that feeling, and to share it also.


Monday doesn't have to mean drudgery, or the start of a long, miserable, draining week. It truly is in our hands (through our minds and hearts) how the week will unfold.  Taking small steps like this, creates a snowball effect of seeing and feeling more loving things. The more you focus on something, the more you see it. You can chose to focus on the dreaded Monday, or celebrate it by noticing all of the good things in the day. 


What will you notice this coming Monday: a new bud opening up on your rose bush, a beautiful butterfly stopping by your bird bath for a drink, the look of accomplishment on your child's face as she finally figures out that math problem? Whatever it is, take a picture or write it down. Keep a journal or a folder on your iPhone of the things you notice.  When you start to feel down or frustrated, look at what a reminder of LOVE you have created for yourself to pick you back up again. And the added benefit to this is, when you begin to feel more loving towards Monday, those around you will too.  It may make all of the days of the week seem a bit lighter and brighter for everyone.


Share with us how you LOVE Monday! Add a comment below, and send us a picture on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook anytime! We would love to share what you LOVE too!

With Gratitude,
Kerri

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Love And A Lizard


What do you see when you look at the one you love? Is your attention on what they didn't do, how they didn't say the right thing, or is your focus on who they really are? Do you ever step back and really look at them?

I was coming in the house from food shopping, arms weighed down with too many grocery bags, when I noticed a lizard (well, actually  gecko) on the ground. It was so cold out and rainy. The wind was pounding against me, causing my hair to fly all over the place and stick to my face. I walked into the kitchen, dumped the bags on the counter, and  told my husband about the cute lizard who was blending in so well with the wet sidewalk, that I almost stepped on him.  

Awhile later I went outside to bring out the recycles and the lizard was still there. He was motionless.  I told my husband about him, and he came outside to look.  He thought maybe one of the stray cats in the neighborhood killed him. He reached down and gently picked up his lifeless body.  He brought him inside to our living room and cupped his hands around the tiny creature to warm him.

I was sitting on the couch and looking up at him standing there, caring for this lizard, and I was just in awe of him. Have you had those moments, where you look at someone and you just see such beauty, their true essence? I do believe that the core of all of us is love, and there it was right in front of me to behold.  It was a beautiful moment, and he didn't even realize how beautiful it was because he was just being kind, being himself, and not aware of the magic I was witnessing. I was grateful for that moment, it was spiritual, it was love.  Little by little the lizard came back to life, his cold dark eyes became bright and clear, he became more and more active, all because of a caring soul. 

Those magical moments are happening all the time, but we can get so conditioned to focus on what's wrong, what's missing, that we miss so much of what's right.  What makes you love a person anyway? Is it how often they take out the trash, or is it their loving nature? And how often do we allow ourselves to appreciate our own loving nature?  Do we notice it enough in our children, friends, family, and even strangers?  

Step  by step we can bring more of those moments into our awareness.  Decide to review your day only choosing the kind and loving moments. Journaling is a great way to instill this more positive view, and on those difficult days, it's a positive reminder to look back at and review. Remember the pure joy your child experienced playing with the family dog, the kindness you displayed letting someone squeeze into your lane during rush hour, your husband who sent you an "I love you" text just because, the stranger who said hello while you went on your morning walk. It's happening constantly, but we get wrapped up in stress, work, the cell phone, and the million tasks running through our minds every day.  But how much nicer is life, when our focus is witnessing and participating in being kind, and being loving?

With a little bit of time and practice, the majority of your view towards yourself and others will be of love, because in truth, love is really all there is.

With Gratitude,

Kerri

Healing Hands

After my Reiki I certification, I went through 21 days of Reiki. Every morning before I got out of bed, I did Reiki on myself along wi...