The Moment

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“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, and today is a gift…that’s why they call it:  Present” ―  Master Oogway

At one point in my life it helped me to understand what living in the moment means and to enjoy my present instead of thinking of the past or the future.  It helped me to be in the “Now”.

I had heard that quote before, but on this particular day it actually spoke to me and made sense.

My boys were excited to go see the movie Kung Fu Panda which had premiered that week.   I was enjoying my boys company and their beautiful spirits as much as I could.  The moment the lights went down and the movie started, my boys had their attention on the screen.  Me, my body was there, but my mind was not. My second marriage was failing and all I was doing was thinking about possible solutions, causes, consequences and all the thoughts that come with marriage problems and potential divorce.

My boys were loving the movie.  Sometimes their giggles would bring me back to the theater, but mostly it would wander back to my problems.  Then the scene came when Master Oogway (Chinese for Tortoise) is talking to Po, the Panda, and he says:  “Yesterday is history,tomorrow’s a mystery, and today is a gift…that’s why they call it:  Present”.

2015-11-20 12.48.18My mind, which had been completely absent to the moment, was captured by what Master Oogway said,, and came back to listen and analyze that specific saying.  I call it my Aha Moment, because something clicked inside of me, something magical that changed me.   If I could describe the change that happened, I would say that there was an inner light that started as a flicker and became brighter and brighter as the quote played over and over inside my head.

The whole meaning of it became clear to me.  I was not taking full advantage of the present by worrying so much about things that had already happened, had not happened or may never happen.  Things that I had no control over were the owners of my “Now”.

I looked away from the screen and into my boys beautiful faces.  Their smiles were so big and their eyes were shining so bright, their minds completely submerged in the movie, the plot and the characters.  Not a worry in their world…and I wanted to be and feel like them.  Their secret? Like Master Oogway said, they were living in the present moment. They were taking advantage of their gift…the Now.

I did my best to free my mind of any other thoughts and to stop thinking, to be there, at the movie theater, body and soul, and love that moment with my boys, to appreciate my present, my gift.

The rest of that day was amazing. I felt free. I felt joy. 2015-11-20 12.35.39I felt peace and love that was so fulfilling because it came from inside me and from the realization of the gift I had.  Since that day, I do my best to stay in the moment.  It is not easy and sometimes it seems impossible.

Over the last few years, I have been challenged in many aspects of my life.  I have been laid off from work a few times. My health turned into a slow roller coaster when my thyroid decided to take on a life of its own and play tricks on me.  Losing my good health created a domino effect on my work, my finances, my home, my social and family life.  I can honestly say that I have so many reasons to worry, to despair, to go crazy.

My natural tendency when faced with challenges, is to go into my past and look for all the reasons why bad things are happening to me.  If I allow myself to do that, then I start thinking about what I could have done differently and I fill myself with regrets and self pity.  I also tend to think about all the consequences and possible outcomes to the future, bringing anxiety, worries and uncertainty to my life, feelings that are unnecessary and a complete waste of my present.  Instead I do my best to stay in the present moment and use that gift to be pro-active and work towards the solutions.

Since I started practicing living in the moment, I have noticed that my life has become rich with peace, calm and acceptance.  I appreciate the little things.  I see beauty in nature and in people in a way that I didn’t see before.  Simple things make me happy.  I feel a deeper love and an absolute gratitude.  I do my best to LIVE every moment fully and completely.  Especially when I am with my boys. Those moments become treasures to my soul.  Those are the little moments that really matter to me and the memories that those moments create are the true inheritance I leave behind.

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Photos by Sandi Gamblin

Edited by Randall Gamblin (randallgamblin@gmail.com)

Gratitude.

 Gratitude:

The quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. (Wikipedia)

Looking bac2015-08-08 12.16.02k on my life experiences to pinpoint the exact moment when having gratitude as my first thought of the day has been difficult.  My siblings and I were taught politeness and culture by expressing gratitude to everyone.  Many times,  if I wasn’t showing my gratitude or saying “Thank You’, I received a strong pinch from my mother.  There is a big difference between learning to express gratitude because you have to, and expressing gratitude because you feel it.

At one particular point in my life, I learned the true meaning of gratitude through a personal and powerful experience of my own. It happened when I was 17 years old, the day my beautiful Dad died.

My father was my best friend.  He taught me to box, the basics of fixing a car, to dance, and to be calm in the midst of conflict.  I loved him so much.  He became sick and passed away when he was 52.  I remember walking into the hospital with my best friend, her sister and my two younger siblings.  Before we got to his room, the nurse came out and without any warning, love, or concern, she announced, “Oh, your father just died.”  I remember running to him and hugging his dead body so, so tight, crying and hurting so much!

I turned around and saw my little brother and  sister with pain and devastation on their faces that was equal to mine.  I realized that my dad’s body was dead, but his spirit and memories would continue forever.  At that exact moment an overwhelming feeling of gratitude washed over me.  I felt so grateful for the few years that I had him as my dad.  I felt like a miracle happened to me when an extremely painful moment was transformed into a loving, peaceful one.  I turned to my siblings and shared my feelings with them.  I asked them to kneel, we held hands and said a loving prayer of thanks for the blessing that he had been to us.  Tears of loss were exchanged for tears of love and gratitude. Gratitude filled us and helped get us through those sad days.  I could actually feel the love of my dad surrounding us.   His big smile came to my mind and took over my heart and I felt his comfort.

The memory of this moment is the one that I use as a powerful tool to transform my life.  I use it to turn bad and difficult moments into positive experiences.  I do my best to make gratitude my first thought of everyday.  That alone, helps me to have a great day, regardless of any  situation or any problem.

Sometimes, I succeed.  Other days, I forget and it doesn’t come to me until later in the morning, but my gratitude is always with me.  It’s not always easy to make it my first thought of the day.

It is not easy to train ourselves to wake up giving thanks or having thoughts of gratitude.  It has taken me time, patience and practice to get to the point where I am now.  More likely, our first thoughts are along the lines of, “I need more sleep!”, or “I don’t want to get up to do all the things I have to do today!”  Sometimes, there is excitement about a new day, other times fear of what the day may bring, or complete indifference to the upcoming day, with no more interest in it than to get through it..mechanically…because it is something to do..like a job.  Regardless of the expectations of the day, if gratitude is at the start of it, life becomes more meaningful and rich in a spiritual way.

If gratitude is not your first thought, it could always be the second, or the third, or the fourth.  What is important is to have that thought at some point in the morning routine.  As times goes by, it becomes easier to remember and eventually becomes a habit.  Then it becomes part of the soul.  One day, I hope to realize that waking up with gratitude is as natural as the sunrise…..every morning.

I don’t look for a big list of amazing things happening, to be able to give thanks. The little things are the ones that matter the most.  Each morning I feel gratitude for waking up; for seeing a new sunrise, or maybe a rainy day; for calling a place my home;  for my family, pets, friends.  I’m simply grateful for being alive!

Feel the gratitude and see the transformation.

If time is taken every morning to feel grateful… for pretty much anything in life, the day will be brighter, smiles will be bigger, and by the end of the day, there will be even more reason to close the day with a feeling of complete gratitude for just being.

Now, let’s close our eyes, breathe deep and exhale with a smile…  Time to start the gratitude journey!2015-07-19 15.26.32

  • Photos by Sandi Gamblin
  • Editing by Randall Gamblin (randallgamblin@gmail.com)

Introduction.

2014-12-27 16.36.03When I came to America. I heard people say, “Things happen for a reason.” I eventually figured out that they meant, “BAD THINGS happen for a reason.”

When bad things happened to me, I found myself looking for those reasons.  You know…the reasons that are supposed to come with the currently happening BAD THINGS.  It seemed to me, that if I looked for the reasons, I could make sense of the bad things.  I wanted to make sense of the bad things that have happened to me…like getting sick, losing my job, divorcing twice, and losing my home.  Most of the time, I don’t find those reasons. I have found some wisdom though.

Now, some people might say that “finding wisdom” is the reason for the bad things happening.  I disagree.  I think that the saying, “Things happen for a reason,” is just a way to comfort ourselves as we go through our bad experiences. I have a choice in how I deal with those bad things happening to me.  I can embrace them, learn something positive from them, and do the best I can to get through them; or, I can reject the bad things, learn nothing, and start hating the world, and feeling sorry for myself.

My life has been full of challenges and experiences, running the gamut from fantastically beautiful to extremely painful. My experiences are uniquely my own.  The “bad things” that I’ve faced have made me grow…in a good way.

Through this blog, I want to share my experiences.  Some, I may not share, because those are either too special, or too painful to share…at least for now anyway.  What I do want to share with those of you who do read my blog are my thoughts, the lessons I’ve learned, and the positive outcomes that I’ve experienced that have helped me to stay alive, to look forward to a new day, and mostly to keep thinking that life is beautiful.

Maybe someone may read something here that they need to read at exactly the right moment of their life that might help them through a tough time.

I want a life worth living and a heart full of gratitude. Yes even gratitude for the “bad things.”

So, here I go…. You are welcome to add, to comment, to share…I would like this space to be a place of sanctuary…to our souls.

About Me…

Hcropped-20160325_101200-1.jpgello!!..  My name is Sandi Gamblin.

I am a mother of three beautiful boys, Jeffrey (23) Joshua (17) and Justin (17).

I am originally from a city called San Marcos in the beautiful country of Guatemala. Since 2010, I have been a citizen of the United States of America.

I love to travel and discover new places.

I love to stay active by dancing, working out, running, walking, and biking on my Groovy Cruiser! I am not a religious or a political person. I do respect others views and beliefs. I consider myself a spiritual person.

I love nature and find my connection to God through it, as well as by meditating.

I love taking photos of nature…flowers, trees, rivers, rocks. I hope to share my thoughts, ideas, and art through this blog.

For many years now, I have been thinking of writing a blog, in order to share my journey of personal growth. Hopefully, your spirit will be uplifted…or you will smile….or your heart will be touched in a positive way.