• Gratitude,  Health & wellbeing,  Optimism

    Three’s a charm

    “Three grand essentials to happiness in this life are: Something to do, something to love, and something to hope.” ~Joseph Addison, English poet and essayist There’s something to be said for “The Rule of Three” — a time-honored literary device. We’ve got those three blind mice, three musketeers, three spirits of Christmas, and three wise men, just for starters. And of course, in countless fairy tales, the protagonist is granted three wishes or given three tasks. Yesterday I posted a few thoughts on the benefits of Dr. Andrew Weil’s “Three Good Things” journaling exercise. Today, along these lines, 18th-century essayist Joseph Addison gives us “three grand essentials” for happiness. How…

  • Gratitude,  Holidays


    “We must find the time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives.” ~John F. Kennedy Happy Thanksgiving, friends! I’m very grateful for all of you and for the opportunity to share Life Lines. Your comments and emails keep me going — even when I think I’ve run out of things to share. If my writings and photos make even a small difference in your days, I’m twice as grateful. I hope you have many blessings to count today! ~Cindy La Ferle

  • Generosity,  Gratitude,  Inspirational quotes

    The light of gratitude

    “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 within us.” ~Albert Schweitzer Gratitude lists are a big part of the community journaling workshops I teach periodically — and I try to practice what I preach. One of my favorite exercises is to jot down the names of everyone, past and present, who made a difference in my life. My family doctor — who retires this month — is at the top of my list. I wouldn’t be walking pain-free today if it weren’t for his care…

  • Civility and manners,  Communication,  Friendship and relationship advice,  Gratitude

    What about thank-you notes?

    “Thank-you notes are an appropriate way to express gratitude to a friend, loved one, or colleague for any sort of gift or act of kindness….In an increasingly informal digital world, pulling out pen and paper is a way to distinguish yourself.” ~Emily Post Etiquette  “Does anyone still send thank-you notes?” a reader asked me recently. It might seem like a question your grandmother would ask, but it’s worth considering as we approach the season of giving. Etiquette experts agree that a handwritten note of appreciation is “good form” any time you’ve received a gift or enjoyed someone’s hospitality. For a modern primer on thank-you notes, check out this article on…

  • Gratitude,  Health & wellbeing,  Inspirational quotes

    All-inclusive gratitude

    “Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson When we think about gratitude, our thoughts turn first to our blessings or good fortune. But as Emerson suggested, “all things” have made us who we are today. That includes setbacks and challenges such as health crises, relationship problems, or financial troubles. Nobody welcomes bad luck of any kind, yet we all have to deal with it at some point. Sometimes negative events can be catalysts for self-improvement, moving us toward positive…