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How To Make A Gratitude Journal As A Gift


Here are the directions for creating a Gratitude Journal for someone as a gift.  I hope you enjoy.

Things you will need:

X-Acto knife

scissors

pencil

15-20 sheets of 8 1/2″ X 11″ paper

decorative paper for the cover

glue or double-sided tape

yarn or any decoration of your choice…sparkles, anything awesome and encouraging

 

Steps:

1. Cut your 8 1/2″ X 11″ papers in half, creating 30-40 pieces of 8 1/2″ X 5 1/2″ pieces. Fold those pieces in half.

2. Make a mark 1 1/2 inches from the top and bottom. On 15-20 of the folded sheets draw a dotted line in the center, about two inches long so: on the rest of the folded sheets, make two dotted lines 1 1/2 inch from the top and bottom of the page. Cut along those lines with an X-Acto knife (or whatever works best for you).

3. Take an edge-cut paper and roll one side of it up to squeeze through a middle cut paper. Repeat this until all of your sheets are connected in a bunch of mini booklets.  You’ll follow the same technique to connect the mini booklets to create one main book.  Just take the top edge-cut paper from one mini booklet and connect it to the bottom middle-cut paper from another booklet.  Repeat until the book is assembled.

4. Make the cover!  Cut two pieces of your decorative paper, 5+1/2″ X 12″, draw dotted lines on each paper 3+1/2 inches from one side…Cut the dotted lines with the X-Acto knife and fold the decorative paper into the booklet paper, just like in step 3.  Glue the decorative paper to itself so it will hold together. Repeat on the other side of the booklet to create the back cover.  Voilà…you’ve just created a handmade journal!

If the receiver of this love-filled, priceless gift has a favorite color you may want to get them a pen in that color.

Here are some Tips on how to help you write in your gratitude journal:

1.  Don’t set any guidelines regarding length or number. Setting goals like this will make journaling feel like a task. Welcome having repeats on your list, and know you can write as much or as little as you please.

2.  Focus on people rather than things. Let those people know how much you mean to them and why you are thankful for them.

3.  Keep an open mind and try not to get caught up in self-doubt or self-pity. Make your gratitude journal a positive and uplifting place!

4.  Make it a habit. On average, it takes 21 days for a habit to form, so don’t stop journaling just after a few days. I usually write right before bed or as soon as I wake up, leaving it on my nightstand as a reminder.

Much Love Always,

Sarah-Pink

Lesson #49 Our Choices Reveal Our Character


Choices. We all have the ability to make choices and when I think about it I can see that our choices reflect our character. This is just my opinion based on my life. There have been moments when my ability to choose were taken away. Mainly because I was very small or I was not physically strong enough…things like that. These days I do all I can to avoid being in a position of not being able to choose. I stay away from people and places that are toxic and dangerous for me. I think this reveals some of my character. Abe Lincoln has been quoted as saying: “Character is like a tree and reputation is like its shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.” I love this quote.
If we choose positively over and over again, it will be reflected in our character. The same is true if we keep choosing badly. I really think our character speaks volumes to other folks.
Making good choices adds to our character which is made up of many components. Honesty, reliability, compassion, responsibility, appreciation of others, kindness, faithful, doing and saying the next right thing and more. One of my character flaws in staying in touch with people. I get over 100 messages a day here….and for whatever reason Facebook hides them so I have to hunt for them. I appreciate all the kind messages I receive and do my best to get back to people but I fall short. This doesn’t add to having good character so I keep doing the best I can to answer them.
Choose wisely sweet friends and know that I love you all. I am choosing to send you all a gentle pink hug.

Sarah-Pink Welch ©2013

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Lesson # 47 I Am…….


I am your worst nightmare, I am your dream come true.

I am addiction/alcoholism, I am the solution.

I am your mirror, I am your reflection.

I am the still pond, I am the waves upon the ocean.

I am the loud thunderstorm, I am the rainbow afterward.

I am the dry desert of sand, I am the lush garden of beautiful flowers.

I am the homeless woman sleeping on the sidewalk, I am the wealthy woman playing tennis at the country club.

I am all your hopes and dreams, I am reality.

I am the face of AIDS and cancer, I am the face of hopefulness.

I am the music, I am your silence.

I am am your fears and anger, I am your peace.

I am the greatest lie you ever told, I am the cold, hard truth.

I am the breeze through the trees, I am the tornado.

I am the book you love to read, I am the blank paper where words will never appear.

I am the birds flying in the sky, I am the ostrich that never will.

I am poverty, I am more than enough.

I am tattoos and piercings, I am skin untouched.

I am loneliness, I am the shoulder you can cry on.

I am conservative, I am liberal.

I am the road less traveled, I am the crowded highway.

I am a leap of faith, I am too afraid to try anything new.

I am acceptance, I am rejection.

I am your question, I am your answer.

I am the paradox.

I am the contradiction.

I am undefinable.

We are all connected and separate.

I am you and I am who I am.

Sarah-Pink Welch ©2013

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Lesson #46 Addiction – Depression – How to Navigate the Holidays and Celebrations


Let me begin by saying that when I use the word addiction, I am including alcoholism.  People seem to forget that alcohol is a drug; so addiction is any mind altering, mood changing substance.  I use the word addiction to cover both.

We are in the major season of parties.  Office parties, family get togethers, neighborhood festivities and more.  Then you also have other holidays and birthdays and get togethers.  There is more than a 82% chance that alcohol will be present and depending on where you are there may be drugs.  If you are in recovery, and you attend these functions, it can be a very slippery slope and even more so if you are early in your recovery.

There is no shame in protecting yourself and your recovery by not attending.  I know that sounds harsh, but why risk it?  If you really want to or even must attend the festivities and you are permitted to take someone with you, ask your sponsor to go with you or someone who has shown they are working and living the program and have a fair amount of clean/sober time under their belt.  Another thing you can do is have your own parties and make it clear that no alcohol or drugs will be present.  Invite those who support your recovery!  You are in recovery and you can take your power back in a positive way.

The holidays and celebrations can be a difficult time even for those not in recovery.  But, personally for me they are depressing.  I know that I am not alone all though that doesn’t make it better, it does help knowing that.  The holidays, birthdays, and all those occasions that occur are when we remember who is missing from our lives’;  what we have lost due to our addiction;  even what we have lost – – our families, our jobs, our homes, good friends, marriages/relationships, our children and grandchildren, maybe even our legal ability to drive a car.  When we start thinking about what we don’t have and why we don’t have it or them, the committee that pays no rent but lives in our minds starts playing the old tapes for us.  “See, it doesn’t matter that you’re clean, you still have nothing,” “your family and friends will never forgive you, you know what you took from them-how you used them-how you lied to them and they don’t want you around,” “no matter what you do, you are never going to be good enough or acceptable.”  I encourage you with all my heart to evict the committee without notice.  All they are doing is using lies to stir the pots of our somewhat faulty thinking.  Lies, lies, lies.  If you have made amends and people have decided not to forgive you and move forward with you, that’s on them.  I know how difficult it is to have that happen but don’t spend one nano second wondering what more you can do to get them back in your life.  It’s not about you, it’s about them.

The very best solution I have found for these holiday and celebration times and feeling like I never want to leave my bed or home again is by getting out of my own head.  I am my own worst enemy.  If I did not work smart at this I would be like a turtle, climb in my shell and maybe come out for a bit in late May and that is only if I don’t do something insane like not evict the committee.  All bets are off if they start talking again and I happen to believe them.

Here is what I do and have suggested and encouraged others to do with the sadness and all the temptations at this time.  First, let me say, that Depression is a real medical condition.  If you are truly very sad, unable to eat or stop eating, unable to sleep or sleeping all the time, feeling paralyzed, or even have actual physical pain please see your doctor.

As I said, get out of your head.  How do we do that?  We can serve.  We can put others before ourselves, bring them some joy, ease the load they are carrying and it doesn’t cost us a cent and saves us at the same time.  You can begin volunteering to deliver food baskets to those in need.  You can volunteer at a library to read to children.  You can volunteer at homeless shelters or soup kitchens and serve meals.  You can shovel driveways.  You can ask elderly neighbors if they need help with their shopping or wrapping gifts.  You can go to your local SPCA or animal rescue and volunteer there.  This is my short list of things to do when you are stuck in your head.  Use your imagination and you will quickly find a place where you are needed and wanted.

When negative or sad thoughts pop into your brain, quickly replace them with positive thoughts and truth.  Get to extra meetings.  Watch all the funny movies you can.  Read a book.  Get a box of cool crayons and a coloring book and color!!  Just get out of your head and out of your own way.

You aren’t alone right now and neither am I, even though it may look or briefly feel like it.  You matter.  You are worth it.  You are earning back your own trust and the trust of others.  You have value.  You have purpose.  Don’t give up on yourself now.  The best is yet to come.

Sarah-Pink Welch ©2013

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Lesson #44 Affirmations Change the way you think and speak, and your life will change!!!


Change the way you think and speak, and your life will change!!!

*****AFFIRMATIONS*****

This is what you will need:

  1.   Get some index cards…white or colored…or some paper, a notebook or electronic device
  2.   You will need colored pencils, pens, crayons, or a regular pen
  3.   You will also need tape

When you have decided that there are areas in your life that need improvement or that you need to be rid of something, or you have chosen to change your life for the best, or you’re sick and tired of being sick and tired…affirmations are one of the perfect tools given to us to use to do it.

Words have power.  For we humans, when we see things in print they tend to mean more.  Our minds are the fastest, most up to date computers in the universe.

God SPOKE the world into existence.  He did not say…”sooner or later, let there be light,” He did not say, “in a little while let there be light.”  He said, “Let there be light.”  And we have the world.  Always be cautious when you speak.  I sit each day as people share with me over the phone how bad their lives’ are or how awful their job, marriage, financial situation, self-esteem, etc., is.  So, I always ask if they want to change that.  99% of the time the answer is YES!!!!

Be careful when using certain words and phrases.  I encourage you to erase them from your vocabulary.  Let’s say you want/need to reduce your weight.  If you say, I have to LOSE 20 pounds…you will lose the 20 pounds…the issue is, our minds are hard-wired to find things we have lost.  We go over and over it in our minds, consciously and subconsciously over and over again…I lost _________, I wonder where it is or where it went.  I can promise you, that weight you lost will be found and guess what, it will bring back extra with it.  If you tend to use phrases like…”So and so gives me a headache.”  “I can’t stand this anymore,”  “get off my back,” “so and so, or they are going to give me a heart attack,” “oh this day is off to a terrible start.”  Well, look at folks with bad backs, bad knees, migraines, those who have had heart attacks or strokes,  stiff or painful necks, or watch how their day turns out.  We speak things into existence.

Why is Sarah-Pink not healed of cancer/AIDS etc., if affirmations work and are so wonderful????  I cannot answer that question.  I use affirmations everyday.  All I can say is I am not dead, I am handling the physical pain, and I have a wonderful life.  So, in some sense of the word, I am healed.

Here are some affirmations you may feel free to use or please feel free to write your own.

I am not a mistake or accident.

I have purpose.

I am capable and intelligent.

I have more than enough money continuously coming into my life.  My bills are paid and I have more than enough to help others.

I do not lack anything.

I am a good steward of my money and possessions.

Every organ in my body works perfectly.

My blood pressure is perfect.

Everyday in every way my life is better, better, better.

I have let go and let God.

I have safe and healthy boundaries, but remain flexible.

I do not allow mean or toxic people in my life.

I deserve God’s best for me, in all things.

I am NOT a doormat.

My heart is not a revolving door.

I exercise in some fashion 30 minutes a day, _______days a week and I feel wonderful.

I have shed/reduced 20 pounds and feel good in my own skin.

I have faced my fears and did not die.

I am no longer filled with anxiety.  I am calm and filled with peace.

I have created a family that is not connected to me by blood, but by love and mutual respect.

I remain clean and sober and I am not tempted to drink or use.

I cannot fix or change anyone or anything but myself and my own circumstances.

I have the perfect job, with the perfect pay.  I am a benefit to my employer and the company is a benefit to me.

I am happy and excited about being alive.

I properly take the medicine my doctor prescribed to me and I am in good shape.

These are just some.  Use them as you will, create your own.

Once you have your index cards, paper, notebook or electronic device, write out your personal affirmations.  I have some of my own that are in every room of my home and my car and they stay there until I get it.  It takes 21 days of doing something to make it a habit so some of mine hang on a door, mirror, wall, refrigerator, or in my car for awhile.  Some I have had for 30+ years as a reminder…because I will not allow myself to believe the lies I grew up hearing and believing.

If you need any help, please email me at SimplySarahJazz@fuse.net or inbox me on Facebook at Sarah-Pink Welch and I would be happy to help you.

I love you all very much.

Love & Peace!!!

Sarah-Pink welch © 2012

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Lesson #43 Mars – Hunger – Mars – Homelessness – Mars – Disease – Addiction – Joblessness – Etc…


Last evening I could not sleep, so I went to the city to see my homeless kids and give them some blankets and clothing people had collected for them.  Sometimes, it takes me awhile to round the majority of them up, but not last night.  In all honesty, it was really early morning.  They all wanted to go to a place in the city called Fountain Square.  It’s a really nice gathering place, where some very cool things happen.  This time they wanted to go watch the big screen broadcast of “Curiosity,”  being shown on the Square.  That is the 2.5 billion dollar rover, which was sent to Mars in search of life.  It was 1:32 a.m. EST when it touched down.  I was watching my unusually quiet kids as they watched the big screen wide-eyed.  I flashed back to my days in grade school when we would get the chance to watch Alan B. Shepard, Jr. on May 5, 1961 go into space.  I was in awe as I remember that…but even back then I had a sense that if anyone lived on the Moon, they probably would have come to visit Earth before then.

It was while watching the early morning event with the kids that I had my “AHA” moment.  Here were these kids, who by not fault of their own were homeless, addicted, ill, and basically alone with no help in sight.  Then I glanced to my left and saw a family I met last year.  A man and his wife and their 3 children, who live in their car and eat when they can get to the Soup Kitchen or when the father can make some money doing day labor.  He had lost his job 2+ years ago and then they lost their home.  In front of us, was a teenage boy, sitting in a wheelchair, filled with excitement, while getting oxygen through a cannula.

Things began to become seem overwhelming to me.  I sat there on the Square doing math in my head.  If someone gave me 1/10th of that 2.5 billion dollars it took to send “Curiosity” to Mars, I would had 250 million dollars!!!! 250 million!!!  Do you know what I could do with that money?  I could buy land.  On that land I could build a research facility and staff it, so that we could find answers and cures for diabetes, cancer, AIDS, heart disease, Muscular Dystrophy and more.  On that land I could build a huge elementary school and middle school/high school and staff it.  I could start a job training program that would really work.  I could build a state of the art Detox facility and long term rehab facility and staff it with the best of the best doctors, counselors, etc.  There could have a huge garden, small homes for people in transition to live in, a place for people who lived there to work at some form of craft/building business and sell what was made.  They would have a salary, the community and all of its facilities would have money coming in, and it would be close to self-sustaining.  I would make sure there was an excellent clinic, dentists, eye doctors, etc..  We could even donate money for continued research in The Rainforest, where many many plants and trees are used to create incredible medications.  250 million dollars!!!!!  2.5 billion dollars spent to see if life ever has or ever could be sustained on Mars!!  Is it me?  Have I lost my mind?  Am I some kind of crazy person with absolutely no desire to live on Mars???  As I did my math and I knew I was about to have a super brain eruption, I realized that the money could have been divided among all fifty states…each state receiving 50 million dollars which could only be used for the purposes I listed above.

I don’t think I am so crazy.  I think that as much as I love the United States, I see that we are a very wasteful people, and tend to look away from things that are not so pretty and nice.

There is a saying isn’t there?  “Curiosity” killed the cat.

Love & Peace Always

Sarah-Pink Welch ©2013

Sarah-Pink’s Promise

Lesson #42 Complacency


This Is What I Know For Sure Today:

The world is very complacent when it comes to addiction and alcoholism issues.  I am not saying every single person puts addiction on the back burner, but no one seems to want to make a difference until it touches their lives.  Then everything hits the fan.

The truth is, everyone can make a difference when it comes to helping those with drug and alcohol issues.  It is a disease as much as diabetes, cancer, AIDS, heart disease, poor eyesight, and the list goes on.  Most of us are predisposed to addiction/alcoholism as it tends to run somewhere in the family…just like most diseases.

Yes, dealers need to be dealt with severely.  In their own way, they are killing people.  But, what about the alcohol that has found a place in some child’s home?  What about the prescription drugs that sit on the shelves of their family members?  I am not BLAMING or trying to shame anyone.  I am asking you all to pay attention to those around you.

I spend a great deal of time with homeless youth and women in prison.  They all have something in common…low self-esteem.  The kids ended up in the foster care system, where there are just not enough workers to oversee their care, and definitely not enough wonderful families willing to take on a foster child.  They are abused, used as housekeepers, used as a paycheck…and they go from one home to another with little notice, if any.  Eventually, they trust no one.  They run, they find themselves on the street and hungry.  They meet another homeless child who tells them the best way to get money for food is to prostitute themselves.  Okay, the child has probably already been molested and they think…oh well, at least I will get paid this time.  The act is so disgusting that they begin to get high or drunk or both in order to do it.  The next thing they know, they are getting high to be high.  They forget they are hungry.  And the vicious circle gets bigger.  Most of my homeless kids have every sexually transmitted virus in the book, and I can’t get them help, they are minors.  They will run away if I try to put them back into the system.  They have just given up.  Before you know it, they end up getting arrested.  Eventually, if they don’t die, they will be the women I see in prison.  They have no education, no self-esteem, their health is shot, they have lost their children and the circle continues.

You can help by getting involved.  Write your Congress people and Senators, your Governor, the president.  Write your pastors, your school districts superintendents, your mayors.  Write a letter to your newspaper editor.

Most of us never asked to become addict/alcoholics.  There are many kinds of addiction…

gambling, excessive eating, not eating, sex, video games, shopping, and on and on.

You can help.  You have power.  Those with addiction issues need affordable detox and long term rehabilitation.  Most have no money and for certain no insurance.  Everyday we lose more and more people to this…it is a pandemic.

Please get involved…you will be saving a life.

Sarah-Pink Welch @ 2012

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