Heartivations Tale (“A Story that’s Short & Sweet and to the Point ♥” ): Live the Life You’ve Dreamed

Lunch time at last! It had been a long, tedious morning and she was ready to take a break. As she headed for the employee lounge, she could already hear the cackling of the usual lunch crowd and she guessed that the topic of conversation was Denise, a secretary who had just received a huge promotion. Denise was not one of the regulars in the lunch room; she typically scurried in straight to the fridge to retrieve her lunch bag and then rushed out again. She probably always thought she was better than us.

Better go to the bathroom first, she thought. As she stood before the mirror washing her hands, her eyes were drawn to the necklace her sister had recently sent to her after she told her sister how trapped and helpless she felt in her dead-end job. Suspended from a chain was a sparkling, silvery charm that read, “Live the life you’ve dreamed.” It was pretty, she thought, and the Thoreau quote was a nice sentiment. “But how many ordinary people like me are livin’ the dream?” she sarcastically muttered to herself.

As she approached the lunch room again, she heard someone say, “I wonder who she’s sleeping with?” followed by the loud collective guffawing laugh of her lunch buddies. She was feeling down and wasn’t in the mood for this kind of chit chat today, so she turned around and headed for the side door to the courtyard. As she rounded the corner to find a bench to sit on, she saw Denise sitting alone. She wanted to turn and go the other way, but she figured she had already been seen and didn’t want to appear rude. She decided to just say “Hi,” though, and nothing else; she didn’t want to hear Denise gloating over her new promotion. But when Denise looked up, she could see that she had been crying. She instinctively asked, “Are you okay?”

Denise looked embarrassed as she shook her head yes, but then she blurted out, “I’ve been going to night school for five years and finally got my degree. I was thrilled when I received my promotion, but now no one is talking to me. I’m a single mom and I just wanted to make things better for my baby girl and me.”

“Wow, night school,” she said, “how did you do that, work full time and care for your child, too?” Denise dabbed at her eyes with a tissue and between sniffs said, “I studied during my lunch hour and after my daughter went to bed. It was exhausting, but I thought it would be worth it. I really loved the classes.” Denise’s eyes were glowing as she talked about her schooling; it had always been a dream of hers to be the first one in her family to earn a college degree.

As she listened to Denise, her mind was also busy dusting off an abandoned career dream she once had until it was as shiny and new as the pendant dangling from her neck. Glancing at her watch she realized her lunch hour was quickly coming to an end, but she had so many questions to ask Denise, a whole new world of possibilities had just opened up for her. She impulsively said, “Denise, I need to get back to work, but can we get together for lunch tomorrow? I’ve been thinking about going to school, too, and maybe we can support each other with the changes in our lives.” Denise’s face lit up with gratitude as she enthusiastically nodded yes.

Standing up to leave, she put her hand out and sincerely said, “Denise, congratulations on your new promotion!”

See Heart Projects’ Sterling Silver “Live the Live You’ve Dreamed” Henry David Thoreau Necklace on our website, www.heartprojects.com.
Purchase one as a gift to “heartivate” a friend or loved one, or buy one for yourself!

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Heartivations Theme (“An Essay that’s Short & Sweet and to the Point ♥” ): Serve Up a Hearty Gratitude Soup This Thanksgiving

Hearty Gratitude Soup

Hearty Gratitude Soup

A French proverb says, “Gratitude is the heart’s memory.” And I think that’s true. It is a grateful heart that stores wonderful recollections of loved ones, warm remembrances of friends, and pleasant reflections of strangers who have somehow indelibly touched our lives.

The funny thing is, if you search your heart’s memory, I bet you will find that it is the little things that are most impressed there. Small gestures, loving words, helpful advice, pats on the back, pearls of wisdom, and random acts of kindness are all easily recalled. So this Thanksgiving, be aware that it’s not the perfectly set and appointed table, but the radiant, beautiful faces, with all their human imperfections, quirks and peculiarities, framing your table that will make the occasion so special and so memorable.

And if you are looking for just the right accompaniment to go along with your bird this Holiday, may I suggest you simmer up a pot of Hearty Gratitude Soup. It’s not my recipe; it has been handed down by great thinkers, philosophers and lovers of life from generation to generation, and now I am passing it along to you.

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Hearty Gratitude Soup Recipe

First of all, you have to take action if you want to make soup advises John F. Kennedy: “As we express gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”

Meister Eckhart suggests that you start with a rich stock of thanks: “If the only prayer you ever say in your whole life is ‘thank you,’ that would suffice.”

Be mindful of your measuring cups and spoons counsels Eric Hoffer: “The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings.”

After you have added all of your ingredients to the pot, don’t worry that you’ve left anything out assures Epictetus: “He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those he has.”

Add pinches and dashes of seasonings to taste hints Sarah Ban Breathnach: “Simple Abundance has taught me that it is in the smallest details that the flavor of life is savored.”

Simmer the soup over low heat explains Albert Schweitzer: “At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame.” And William Faulkner adds: “Gratitude is a quality similar to electricity; it must be produced and discharged and used up in order to exist at all.”

Garnish with flair asserts Henry Ward Beecher: “Gratitude is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul.”

And finally, the secret ingredient in the soup is revealed by Melody Beattie: “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. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”

But don’t forget, you must announce when the soup is ready reminds William Arthur Ward: “Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” And Margaret Cousins agrees: “Appreciation can make a day, even change a life. Your willingness to put it into words is all that is necessary.”

Now ladle out the rich goodness in everlasting portions and serve with love. Enjoy!

From our Heart Projects Family to Yours,

Happy Thanksgiving!

To see Heart Projects’ Spiritual and Inspirational Jewelry & Accessories, visit our website, www.heartprojects.com

Heartivations Tale (“A Story that’s Short & Sweet and to the Point ♥” ): Be the Change You Wish to See in the World

Was this Cathy’s idea of a joke? She drew her mouth into a tight-lipped smile and tried to convincingly say, “Thank you,” to her friend. The birthday gift she had just opened was a necklace with a simple silver tag that said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” It was paired with a pearl charm that she guessed was supposed to represent the world.

The lunch Cathy treated her to at her favorite restaurant was much better and she did sincerely thank Cathy for it with a hug and an air kiss when they parted. Driving home her mind drifted back to the necklace she had put on to please her friend. She didn’t really get the quote. How could any one person change the world? Cathy was really into that airy-fairy stuff. But she could see what Cathy didn’t—a world where horrific things happened, people who were apathetic and uncaring, and the obstacles and ensuing struggles that life constantly throws at you.

Her short drive home came to a standstill as traffic had come to a halt. It finally started moving at a snail’s pace and everyone appeared to be jockeying to position their vehicles into the left lane, so she did the same. Inching along she could finally see that an accident was the culprit causing the delay, but she would soon be past it. A lone vehicle was trapped in the right-hand lane and she could imagine how frustrated the driver felt as no one was letting her in. Normally she would have driven by too, but for some reason she stopped her vehicle and let the car go ahead of her. The woman gratefully waved her thanks, and she was glad she helped her out.

She was so late now, but she still had to stop at the grocery store; there was nothing to eat at the house. She rushed into the store and quickly picked up the few items she needed for dinner. As she approached the check-out, she could see there was only one line open and three shoppers who had full carts. Great, I’m going to be here forever!

As she took her position at the end of the line, the woman in front her looked back and then said, “You only have a couple of items, go ahead of me. It’s crazy that they only have one aisle open.” She gratefully stepped ahead, and unbelievably the two other shoppers with loaded carts who were ahead of her also waved her by them. She flashed a grateful smile to each and she was back in her car in no time. Looking into her rear-view mirror to pull out of her parking space she could see the necklace reflecting back at her. Hmm, be the change you wish to see, she mused, as she guided her car backwards.

Over the following weeks it had almost become a game to her as she began to consciously interact with people the way she wished to be treated herself. She wore the necklace often, but even when she wasn’t wearing it, the quote had overshadowed her doom-and-gloom attitude, becoming a new mantra for her, an elevated set point for her way of being. She found herself naturally smiling more, paying attention to her words and how they affected others, and she even started offering her co-workers help and encouragement at her job.

The changes were subtle at first, she simply felt lighter, happier, and more optimistic. But then amazing things started to happen. It seemed like she was surrounded by friendly, helpful people more often than not, things came easier and more effortlessly to her, and the higher-ups at work noticed how new-hires were coming to her for help and advice, and she was offered a newly-created training position in her company.

Mulling over the miracles happening in her life she realized that she did see a change in the world—her world—and she wondered if that somehow affected the world in general. Picking up the phone she wanted to invite Cathy to lunch to talk about it and to sincerely thank her, this time, for the gift she gave her—the gift of change.


See Heart Projects’ Sterling Silver “Be the Change You Wish To See in the World” Gandhi Quote Necklace on our website, www.heartprojects.com



Heartivations Tale (“A Story that’s Short & Sweet and to the Point ♥” ): The OM Necklace

Heart Projects' Sterling Silver OM Necklace
Heart Projects’ Sterling Silver OM Necklace

“Cheer up; I’m not giving you a death sentence. I’m just telling you your test results show you need to take better care of yourself and to learn how to relax.” The doctor’s words were kind and meant to soothe her, but she felt devastated. She knew she was a little overweight and she did have a stressful job and hectic family life, but she thought the physical her doctor had suggested was simply routine, the responsible thing to do at her age. She didn’t expect to hear anything except that she was in the best of health.

In her typical Type-A, proactive style, she emphatically asked, “What do I need to do?”

The doctor replied, “Just follow the diet I am giving you and start taking time to unwind. Some of my other patients enjoy a hobby to relax, practice yoga, or meditate.”

She recited the list to her husband when she got home and added, “Who has time to enjoy a hobby or go to yoga classes? I’m lucky if I get to go to the bathroom by myself. They both laughed, knowing that it was actually often the truth. Then she said, “Well, meditation it is, I guess.”

He husband quipped, “Well, honey, I just want you to know that I’ll support you in any way I can, but I won’t be sleeping on a bed of nails with you!” They laughed again, as her husband tried to hide his true concern.

After the kids were in bed and before she did her evening chores, she pulled out her planner—the good book, as she referred to it, because it was of biblical proportions to her. It was her guiding light and a true testament to her busy life. Her eyes scanned the pages to see where she could schedule time for some of the doctor’s suggestions. She would add a few more minutes to her weekly shopping trip, so she could read food labels and make better choices. Then 30 minutes—half of her lunch hour—would be devoted to walking. Meditation time, where could she schedule ten minutes of quiet and solitude? Well, the only time that could possibly work would be in the morning before everyone else was up. She hated to lose even ten minutes of sleep, but she wrote the appointment with herself on her calendar anyway. She would start the next morning.

Each day she met her commitment by getting up early and heading to a corner in the living room that she had designated as her meditation area. A small chair and side table occupied the space and she would sit, as scheduled, for ten minutes and try to think of nothing. But “nothing” turned into school lunches, the kids’ activities, work, dinner, errands to run for her husband—a laundry list of to do’s that needed to be done, including the laundry!

When she expressed her frustration to her husband, he jokingly said, “Maybe you can take up knitting instead!” But he really wanted her to keep at it, so he purchased a gift online that he thought might be an inspiration to her. It was a necklace with an OM symbol outlined by a circle. He thought he had heard that people say, “OM,” when they meditate, so maybe it would help his wife. (Even if it didn’t, it was pretty anyway.)

She loved the necklace and decided to do a little research on the symbol. She learned that OM was thought to be a sacred sound, the sound of life, the vibration of creation; and that it is often used as a mantra that is silently or audibly repeated in meditation. She started incorporating the sound into her daily meditation practice and found it did help to keep her mental to-do list at bay a little longer. And when thoughts did pop up in her mind, she just gently pushed them aside and focused on the mantra instead. She also learned that the circle is the perfect complement to the OM symbol, as it is thought to have symbolic significance, too. It denotes infinity, eternity and boundlessness. More often than she would like to admit to herself, her fast-paced lifestyle left her feeling trapped, restricted and confined, so an awareness and appreciation of boundlessness was a comforting contemplation subject for her.

She began to treasure her alone time so much, she increased her morning meditation to fifteen minutes. Her job was still stressful and her family life was just as hectic as before, but she found herself reacting differently. She slowly began to realize she didn’t have to do everything herself to meet her high standards, and she started relaxing her attitude and accepting and expecting help from her husband and kids. Things didn’t always get done perfectly, but they did get done. And when she could feel the tension mounting up in her at work, she would stop, take a few cleansing belly breaths, visualize the OM pendant and begin tracing the outer circle in her mind. After a few minutes, she would feel a little more grounded, calmer, and ready to go on.

Several months later, delighted with her weight loss and newly-acquired sense of peacefulness, she spontaneously signed up for a weekly yoga class after work. On the first day of class, she called her husband to remind him that she would be getting home late. Then she scooped up her coat and purse and smiled to herself as she walked out the door and thought, “I wonder how hard it would be to learn how to knit?”


See Heart Projects’ Sterling Silver OM Necklace on our website, www.heartprojects.com