Tag: grateful

7/22/12 “Simple Pleasures”

Good day, team.

I must admit, I am a nester. I enjoy creating a snug home, a retreat. I’m lucky that I have two nests — one in the country and one in the city — and I enjoy both of them for very different reasons. They each provide me with simple pleasures, which is the theme of this week’s challenge.

This morning, as I was hanging laundry out in the back yard, I realized how much pleasure I find in this activity. I enjoy hanging the clothes just right, so they get maximum sun and breeze. Once dry, I like taking the clothes down, folding them and putting them away. And I love the fresh smell and feel of the sheets as I make the bed. There is nothing more pleasurable than getting into a bed with freshly cleaned sheets that have dried on a clothes line. It is one of my favorite simple pleasures.

I also enjoy cooking. The process of planning a meal, shopping for the ingredients, and creating something healthy, nourishing and good-tasting is another one of my favorite simple pleasures. It’s a daily ritual that makes me happy — and my husband appreciates it, too! This morning, I’m making zucchini bread, a wonderful bi-product of our abundant zucchini crop this year.

Each evening, when we get home from work, my husband and I sit for a while with a glass of wine or other drink and review the day’s events. It’s a simple thing, just a daily check in to talk about work, our family and friends. In the winter, we sit in the living room by the fireplace. In the spring and summer, we sit out on the porch or patio. It’s a tradition that gives us a chance to connect and share simple moments of partnership and support.

I used to have a cat. I enjoyed how he would jump up onto my lap when I was reading and make a few circles to the right and then to the left to find the best spot for a nap. Once he’d found it, he would nestle in, knead me a few times with his paws and settle into a deep sleep. It was a simple pleasure that I miss — that warm, soft feline purring softly on my lap.

Yesterday, in a coaching session, my client and I spoke about the pleasure that comes from staring into space. We each acknowledged what a privilege it is to have the time to just sit and stare in silence. No texting, no talking, no thinking — just sitting and looking at whatever is in front of us. It’s a simple pleasure that soothes me in a way nothing else does.

As I write this, a fresh summer breeze wafts through the screen door and passes over my forehead. The chime outside makes a small tinkling sound. The delicious smell of zucchini bread cooking fills the room. I’m grateful to be here right now, experiencing these simple pleasures.

There is a direct connection between simple pleasures and being grateful. Each time I experience these simple things, I realize that I have more than I need to be happy. My grandfather used to say, “I have a good day when I remember to take pleasure in simple things.”

This week, take time to enjoy life’s simple pleasures. Perhaps it’s that first sip of refreshing, cold white wine or lemonade on a hot summer evening. Maybe you’re watching your children run through the sprinkler on your front lawn. You may find yourself sitting with a colleague having a simple exchange about the weekend’s activities. I often see my neighbor out walking her collie and love witnessing the enjoyment she experiences each time she reaches down to give him an affectionate pat on the head. Whatever it is, revel in these moments that give you pleasure in their simplicity.

As the writer Jerome K. Jerome expressed, “Let your boat of life be light, packed with only what you need — a homely home and simple pleasures, one or two friends, worth the name, someone to love and someone to love you, a cat, a dog, and a pipe or two, enough to eat and enough to wear, and a little more than enough to drink; for thirst is a dangerous thing.”

Have a good week!


Kathleen Doyle-White
(503) 296-9249

© Copyright 2012 Pathfinders Coaching, Scout Search Inc., all rights reserved.

5/13/12 “Revel in Abundance”

Good day, team.
The coach’s challenge this week is about abundance. Look around you. What do you see? Do you have everything you need? Do you have everything you want? What is the difference? Are you grateful for what you have, or do you find yourself constantly longing for what you don’t have?
This reminds me of a novel I read entitled “Shantaram” by Gregory Roberts, about life in the slums of Bombay, India. Most of the characters in this book live in small, handmade huts on the outskirts of the city. They own a change of clothes, a toothbrush, a cup, a plate, a fork and a mat to sleep on. (And these are the lucky ones!) I am amazed at how happy these people are and how they experience abundance in their lives. They are grateful for the smallest things because they have so little. I also read another novel about a young girl who was born into a family of billionaires and has all she’s ever wanted. Her life is characterized by continual displeasure with everyone and everything around her. The contrast between the two stories is obvious: Abundance is not about having more and more things but about our attitude toward the things we have.
We live in a world of enormous wealth and consumerism. The selection of products is overwhelming at times. Do you ever find yourself in the store unable to decide among the 30 brands of laundry detergent on the shelf? The time I often spend analyzing which brand to buy is actually worth far more to me than any benefit I might derive from saving money or getting better quality with the “right” choice. I’m actually happier if I have a more limited selection. Faced with too many options, I chafe for what isn’t available, and then I’m dissatisfied with what is.
Cultivating an awareness of our surroundings is one of the best ways to experience abundance. Right now, we are enjoying the beauty of spring. The power of nature is everywhere. Wildflowers are in bloom, trees are resplendent in many different shades of green, and the increasing warm weather draws us outside to revel in nature’s abundance. Each of us can experience this wonderful season but only if we take the time to see it, smell it, touch it. This time of year, we can be especially grateful for the warmth of welcome sunshine on our skin. Perhaps you find yourself arranging flowers and their fragrance fills you with happiness. Finding ways to experience these delights of the season increases my feelings of abundance and gratitude for what I experience in my life.
This week, take a moment or two to appreciate the abundance in your life. Do you have plenty to eat? Are you surrounded by people who love you? Maybe you live in a beautiful place and always have the wonders of nature around you. Perhaps your home brings you great pleasure as you soak in your tub, spend many wonderful hours in your garden or relax in your easy chair. Whatever abundance is around you, give yourself time to revel in it.
When we feel abundant, we tend to attract abundance. When we cultivate an attitude of scarcity, our minds focus on what we don’t have, and in turn, we attract less of what we need and want. Try finding something in your environment this week that makes you truly grateful. Experience how happy and abundant this appreciation makes you feel. Enjoy life as William Blake expressed it in “Auguries of Innocence”:
To see a World in a grain of sand
And a Heaven in a wild flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand,
And Eternity in an hour.
Have a great week!
Kathleen Doyle-White
Pathfinders Coaching
(503) 296-9249

© Copyright 2012 Pathfinders Coaching, Scout Search Inc., all rights reserved.

12/18/11 “Bailey”

Good day, team,

Back in November of 2006, I wrote a challenge about an amazing young girl named Bailey whom I met on an airplane flight to Portland. I’ve been asked by a few clients to re-publish this challenge as it seems so appropriate for the holidays. Here it is:

I had an experience recently that seemed an appropriate topic for this week since we are officially now in the holiday season.

While flying back to Portland, I sat next to a 10-year-old girl named Bailey. When I first saw her, she seemed just like any other little girl, but as I sat down next to her, the flight attendant informed me that Bailey was a “challenged child” (an odd term) in that she could not speak. However, the flight attendant went on to say that Bailey would understand everything I said to her and could communicate with movement and expressions.

This news made me immediately uncomfortable. As I buckled my seatbelt and settled into my seat, I realized how awkward and confused I felt. Should I speak to her or not? What kind of response would I get from someone who couldn’t speak? Did she even want me to interact with her? It was as if this little girl were made of fine porcelain and if I didn’t treat her very carefully, she might break.

Fortunately, Bailey immediately put me at ease with her beautiful smile and sparkling blue eyes. When I said hello to her, she smiled and waved hello. The plane took off, and I began to read a magazine. The many Christmas advertisements featured pictures of snowflakes, stars, icicles, presents, etc.

Each time that I turned a page and a picture of a star appeared, Bailey pointed to the star and looked at me and smiled. I would then say, “Yes, that’s a star.” Before long, I noticed that I was actually looking for more pictures of stars so we could communicate with each other.

Coincidentally, there was a boy sitting behind us about the same age as Bailey. I realized before long that he talked pretty much continuously, first about the X-Box he wanted for Christmas, then about his friend’s new cell phone, then about school, then about his Dad, and so on and so on.

After awhile, I realized I had toned him out. I may have been open to hearing what he had to say in the beginning, but after so many words, I was no longer interested. And yet, every movement and expression of the little girl sitting next to me, who couldn’t speak a word, kept me keenly interested in what she was communicating.

This experience made me think about our basic need to connect with each other as human beings, and the importance of allowing our emotional beings to reach out to each other in any way possible. When we take up all the space by talking about ourselves and don’t allow the other person room to respond, the connection is lost, and the speaker becomes a nuisance rather than someone we want to know.

Bailey taught me something fundamental about our true nature as human beings. Wordlessly, her communication came through loud and clear. Her loving nature spoke volumes, and our communication had a quality that I don’t often experience when I talk with another person.

At one point, when a picture in the magazine appeared that showed animals around a beautifully decorated holiday tree, Bailey took my hand briefly and pointed my finger to the star at the top of the tree. Her open heartedness moved me with such warmth and joy that it brought tears to my eyes.

This week, try connecting with others in ways that you don’t normally use. Experiment with being more present to someone who is speaking to you so that you can not only hear her or his words, but can also notice expressions and gestures. Perhaps you’ll try greeting someone with a smile and some eye contact instead of a hello. If you find that you tend to talk a lot about yourself, try to ask other people questions about themselves instead. Practice listening more, especially to the words that are not being spoken, so that you can have a different experience in your communications.

And finally, be grateful that you have the amazing ability to connect and communicate with others in so many ways. By meeting Bailey, I understood that some of us are not so fortunate and that many of the things we take for granted, like saying our name, are not possible for others.

During this holiday season, be thankful for your ability to let others know what you think, how you feel, and who you are. And don’t be afraid to really connect by allowing the beauty of your heart to speak out, whether it’s in words or silence.

Have a great week,


Note: The coach will be on vacation for the holidays from 12/24 unti 1/2/12. The next challenge will be published on 1/8/12. Here’s wishing you all a joyous holiday!

Kathleen Doyle-White
Pathfinders Coaching
(503) 296-9249

© Copyright 2011 Pathfinders Coaching, Scout Search Inc., all rights reserved.