Life Dimensions
November 2009
The Relationship Resource
Teaching the Dynamics of Healthy Relationships
In This Issue
Movie In Review
Blueprint for Success
Quick Links
Marriage Fitness




I often hear the phrase "attitude of gratitude" and wonder to myself, what if I wore this attitude daily in my encounter with the world? I know I wouldn't take the people I love for granted.  I would notice more of the little things they say or do for me.  I would want to do more little things for them.  I would pay attention to the small details in my day such as the sun shining through the window and the rainbow colored prism as a result.  I would say "thank you" a lot!   
Living out of a sense of gratitude can initiate more abundant living.  To recognize and express appreciation for the numerous "gifts" given and received in the course of one day is transformative.    Grateful people acknowledge their inner richness and affirm relationships with others.  This is a basis for good health.  A recent study actually looked at three groups of subjects.  The first group had to note only their weekly frustrations. The second group noted all their significant events and the third group had to note up to five items they were grateful for in their lives.  At the end of the study, the group that had noted reasons to be grateful were the ones who felt best about their lives, were more optimistic about the future, felt physically at their best and able to make progress to meet their goals.   
Gratitude connects us with ourselves, others, the world in which we live and God.  As I reflect on that for which I am grateful, I realize that all I have comes from others-for better or worse.  Albert Schweitzer said, "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."  William Blake wrote, "Gratefulness is heaven itself."   Be happy giving thanks.  It is right to give thanks and praise.


A man walked into a bookstore and asked the woman behind the counter where the Self Help section was.  She said,  "If I told you, that would defeat the whole purpose."

inn of the sixth happinessMovie In Review 


The Inn of the Sixth Happiness. A 1958 classic starring Ingrid Bergman as Gladys Aylward, an English woman who becomes a missionary to China.  Inspiring story of one woman's resolve to be of service.  This is truly a story of gratitude!


Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others. 


Don't pray when it rains if you don't pray when the sun shines. 
                                  --Leroy (Satchel) Paige
                                  New York Post, Oct. 4, 1959   
You say grace before meals.  All right.  But I say grace before the concert and the opera, and grace before the play and pantomime, and grace before I open a book, and grace before sketching, painting, swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing and grace before I dip the pen in the ink.                                     --G.K. Chesterton   If the only prayer you said in your whole life was "thank you," that would suffice.                                                                         
                                    --Meister Eckhart


Blueprint  for Success 
Blue Print for SuccessMary Ann Van Buskirk is a  keynote speaker and author and has been selected from a nationwide search to be featured in Blueprint for Success, a highly successful book series from Tennessee based Insight Publishing. The book features best-selling authors Stephen R. Covey (Seven Habits of Highly Effective People) and Ken Blanchard (One Minute Manager.) Van Buskirk, Blanchard and Covey, are joined by other well-known authors and speakers, each offering time-tested strategies for success in frank and intimate interviews.
Mary Ann Van Buskirk, M.A., M.Div. is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Colorado, a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist, a Fellow in the American Association of Pastoral Counselors and co-founder of Positive Coaching with over twenty years of experience as a counselor, trainer and national speaker.  People who have worked with her report vast improvements in their abilities to relate in healthier ways at home and at work.  Success is a result of healthy relationships.

12 Warning Signs of Mental Health--Author unknown

1.  Persistent presence of a support network.
2.  Chronic positive expectations and a 
     tendency to frame events in a constructive light.
3.  Episodic peak experiences.
4.  Sense of spiritual involvement.
5.  Increased sensitivity.
6.  Tendency to adapt to changing conditions.
7.  Rapid response and recovery of adrenaline system
     due to repeated challenges.
8.  Increased appetite for physical activity.
9.  Tendency to identify and communicate feelings.
10. Repeated episodes of gratitude, generosity, or     
      related emotions.
11. Compulsion to contribute to society.
12. Persistent sense of humor.

Relationship Wisdom:
How to stop an argument:  Use the phrase, "I see what you mean."
The words with which we compliment or criticize another are like a mirror reflecting our own virtues or faults.
                                    --Laurel Elizabeth Keyes


Mary Ann Van Buskirk
Life Dimensions