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The Power of Kindness

"Happy New Year!" More than just a familiar greeting we hear this time of year, this comes with a genuine wish that the New Year is both happy and successful for you.  One way that we can help ensure it starts out that way is to focus positive thoughts on what we want the year to become.  It sounds simple enough, but is easier said than done; it takes concentrated effort and energy to really focus on the 'positives' in life.

A few years ago, a fine gentleman by the name of Mac Anderson founded a wonderful company called 'Simple Truths.Com -- The Gift of of Inspiration'.  Together with a devoted team of professionals, his is a company that just oozes inspiration; they are a well-spring of positive thought and resources for success. Recently, Mac published yet another book to add to his already huge collection of works, this one entitled: "The Power of Kindness" to compliment a short, inspirational movie on 'kindness' that you can view here: The Power of Kindness - Movie

Kindness is certainly something we can all use a little more of these days.  We can never have too much of it, and we certainly don't have to look very far to find someone in need of it as a means of inspirational motivation.  That's one of the reasons why we launched this blog last year, to add a mix of gentle faith, kind hope, and an abiding love of our Up North experiences for those who've ever visited here but who have to live far away, or who are from big cities with no forested hills to remember -- only a noisy din to maybe escape from -- allebit for the few minutes it takes to read the lines of our 'Up North' blog (and we have been amazed at the places from around the planet people are checking in from for a visit).

On its own, 'kindness' is an adjective with a whole lot of synonyms.  So is the word 'thankful', another inspirational word we could also use a lot more of.  'Thankful' is not only an attitude of the heart, it's also an expression that has its roots in some of the deepest recesses of human emotion.  The key is to draw from it often so that the well will never run dry; the more we use it, the higher the levels of kindness and thankfulness become in our lives, spilling over the brim into the the lives of others.  That is certainly one of our prayers for this coming year: that we may live more thankful lives.

In his recent book, "A Simple Act of Gratitude" author John Kralik (who used to live and work right here in Traverse City) very beautifully and very simply states the case for having a thankful heart.  Rather than being bitter or ungrateful for things we don't have, he suggests having a thankful heart for those things we do have.  In his book, John states -- and I firmly believe this from my own life experience -- that we will never have the capacity to receive more of anything in this life until we more fully appreciate (and are thankful for) what we have now.  It is a thought that can revolutionize how we live and look at life, greatly simplifying both.  To learn how to better develop this concept for your own life, especially as we begin a fresh New Year, I'm sure John would welcome your visit to his website:  Wouldn't it be cool to start the year with a thankful attitude of gratitude -- and keep it going all year long?!

Formally called "365 Thank You's" available in Hardcover or NEW: "A Simple Act of Gratitude" available in Softcover.
A tremendous, honest read.

As of this writing, Northern Michigan has had precious little snowfall; only about 8" so far this season.  But with unusually warmer temperatures this winter, the normally frozen-by-now Lake Leelanau across from us is still open; at the moment, it's as flat and crystal clear as a mirror, reflecting some beautiful hues of blue from the skies as the light of this last day of the old year fades away, to be replaced by the light of a new day in a New Year tomorrow.  But heavier clouds are hovering at a distance, a telltale sign of an approaching winter storm.  Even small flocks of Chickadees are getting a little restless in our nearby pine trees as they scurry around for bugs on this 40-degree winter day.  It has been a gentle winter so far, and for that, we are indeed thankful.

We are also profoundly thankful for you, and for taking the time to stop by for a visit now and then.  Feel free to post a comment on anything you see here in the comments section, especially if you have a favorite memory of your own 'up north' experience that you'd like to share.  As well, if we can help you with any resources for writing your own thank you, birthday or "just because" notes to someone extra special, please see our growing line of uniquely 'Up North' note cards and prints.  Every image was captured on-location in Northern Michigan, and is produced and printed here in the U.S. on the highest quality of fine stationery; many have even taken to framing these cards as pictures.  So for now, we'll finish this entry by the warmth of a cheery fire that's blazing on the field stone hearth of our home, to wish you a very blessed 'Up North' New Year.  Soli Deo Gloria.