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Spring would not be so sweet if not for winter and so it goes in life too

April 1st, 2014 · Comments Off

 

spring 2014After a long and arduous winter, finally, spring has arrived! With the promise of warmer weather, the budding of flowers and a return of happily chirping birds, we look forward to long sunny days and an overall easier way of living. Winter coats, boots, hats and gloves are no longer necessary just to step outside. No more concern for icy roads and walkways. No more back-breaking snow shoveling chores and no more bone-chilling mornings that turn into short days, as night arrives early forcing temperatures even lower.

It is a wonder that once the bad weather departs and the more inviting weather arrives, we are able to easily transition from one season to the next. We are unencumbered by the change and indeed welcome it. We begin to forget the daily challenges of living through an unyielding winter season and simply bask in the gifts of spring.

As we go about our springtime business, it never occurs to us to detract from spring’s pleasures by reliving the challenges of winter. When sitting on the grass in our bare feet on a warm evening, we don’t remain focused on a time passed when we were stuck inside looking out at a cold, dark night unwilling to leave the comfort of our warm home because road conditions were dangerous and it was too cold outside. We let that season go and simply enjoy the new season. We remain present in the moment as we sit on the grass in our bare feet, feeling a warm breeze on our face and looking up at the stars, showing gratitude for the new season by not looking back at what was and not looking ahead to what might be but simply being present.

Winter, and particularly a bad winter, provides an opportunity to draw on our inner reserves of faith that the season will come to an end and a new and enjoyable season will greet us; confidence in our ability to meet its challenges; and gratitude for the lessons winter teaches and the riches of a new season. Spring would never be so lovely and so welcome if not for winter. The same beauty can be found in the seasons of our lives. It is true that into each life a little rain must fall and sometimes when it rains, it pours, but the sun always comes out again. It is our soul’s purpose to truly enjoy the beauty of life, which could not be fully appreciated if we did not experience opportunities disguised as challenges to grow, see with clearer eyes our many blessings, and welcome new blessings to further enrich our lives.

Therefore, when a challenging season in your life comes to an end, treat it the same way you would a bad winter—learn from it, be proud of how you persevered, make peace with it, release it, welcome with an open heart the change of season, and be present in your new and more enjoyable season. You have earned this new season’s peace and blessings. Don’t prolong the challenging season and diminish the blessings of your “spring” by carrying over the hardships and heartaches of the past season. As you remember to not look back, also remember not to jump ahead to summer and fall and begin worrying now that winter will have to return. It is but one season in four. Enjoy the beauty and wonder of each season in your life for they have helped to develop the person you are today by providing you with lessons and blessings. Remember as you go through all your seasons that life is sweet, no matter what—because your best days are always ahead of you.

 

Comments OffTags: Author and Book Updates · The Power Wisdom

Why the Irish are lucky and how you can be too

March 6th, 2014 · Comments Off

 

St. Pat 2014It has been said that if you are lucky enough to be Irish, you are lucky enough. If that statement was taken at face-value, one may be inclined to think that simply being of Irish descent means a life blessed with lucky breaks and doors opening to one great opportunity after another. However, when you consider Irish history, that statement becomes a paradox. For centuries the Irish battled against a British government that was determined to persecute them in the most dehumanizing manner in an effort to colonize Ireland. During this extensive period, the Irish seemed to be fighting a losing battle. They would gain some ground only to lose it again. Much blood was shed and many families were destroyed before they were able to finally gain their independence. Given those events, it is staggering to understand how the Irish could be considered lucky people. Even more mind-boggling is that through all the tragedy, the Irish, to this very day, have remained a joyful, faithful, grateful people. It would seem that the truth in the paradox is that the Irish made their own luck. They did not let their enemies defeat them, and more importantly, they never allowed their oppressors to conquer their spirit. By remaining positive, they were able to not only overcome their challenges but went on to become well-loved the world over and admired for the many contributions they have made to their families and communities.

The Irish are a living example we can look to when faced with adversity. Their journey is a reminder that the strength of your soul is not equal to but greater than any challenge you may face. Obstacles are not designed to hold back success and happiness but rather are an opportunity to grow into a more self-confident, compassionate person blessed with gratitude for what you have and what will be. Those that are blessed with this knowledge are light souls for they do not carry the useless weight of worry and desperation. They see a glass as half full rather than half empty and can always find a way to smile and laugh because they know that this too shall pass and want to be ready to welcome in their best days, which are always ahead of them. The power of light souls extends beyond securing their own personal growth and happiness. They have the ability to project their wisdom through example to those in their circle. By surrounding yourself with lights souls, the collective power of that wisdom and their joyful, knowing, peaceful spirit allows you to more easily navigate life’s challenges and curve balls. Having a circle of light souls protects against getting mired down by feelings of worry and desperation. The more time spent placing faith in your ability to learn, grow and come out the other side better than when you began, the more you begin to understand how very useless feelings of worry and desperation are because they change nothing and only needlessly extend suffering.

If you are lucky to be a positive thinking person, you are lucky enough. You like the Irish know that you have it in your power to make your own luck by remaining optimistic and staying focused on the opportunities rather than the loss. Take their proven example and build a community of people around you who don’t let life get the better of them but rather make the best of their life and you too will have the luck of the Irish.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

 

 

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2014 Meet the Author Events

February 6th, 2014 · Comments Off

 

Irish Leprechun

I am pleased to announce that I will be at the following “Meet the Author” events where I will be speaking and signing my book. I look forward to seeing you there!

 

March 2
12:30 p.m.
Paperback Exchange
Meet the Author Event during Belmar’s Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade & Festivities
703 1/2 9th Ave, Belmar, NJ 07719
(732) 681-6829
www.Apaperbackexchange.com

March 11
Writestream Online Radio by Dariaanne
Radio interview with Daria DiGiovanni celebrating St. Patrick’s Day and the wisdom of the Irish
Stay tuned for more details

March 23
2:00 p.m.
Sayreville Public Library
Educational session focused on how to become a published author
1050 Washington Road
Parlin, NJ 08859
732-727-0212

May 3
10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Ocean Grove NJ Spring Fling
Comfort Zone
Book Signing
44 1/2 Main Avenue
Ocean Grove, NJ 07756
732-869-9990
www.comfortzone-og.com

August 25-29
Deerfield Spa
Daily Gathering to Share the Power of Wisdom
650 Resica Falls Road
East Stroudsburg, PA 18302
800-852-4494
www.deerfieldspa.com

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Love–the great teacher and the great rewarder

February 3rd, 2014 · Comments Off

love hearts

 

Love makes the world go around. It puts a lift in our step, makes our heart skip a beat, provides an abundance of joy, confidence, security, desire, pride and puts purpose to our lives. Oh, but love is a contrary emotion. It also has the ability to break our hearts, cause us concern, leave us feeling lonely and scared and sometimes tricks us into loving the wrong people–thereby making it the perfect ingredient to help us develop. For love allows us to learn and grow from its very low, lows and rewards our progress with tremendous celebration during its very high, highs.

The reach of love is inescapable. It is apparent in each choice we make–the people we invite into our lives and invest our emotions in, the work we do, the causes we support and even the tone of our conversation and the spirit we bring to all relationships and situations. Therefore, it is also a great barometer for letting us know if we are being authentic with our choices or simply following the wishes of others in the pursuit of false love. Love can also simply elude us or appear to be cruel at times. The pain of disappointment and loss can cause us to feel betrayed or unworthy of love. When those times arise, it is important to take a step back and lovingly remember that everything happens for a reason. No one walks through life untouched by disappointment or pain. These difficult times help us build character and an appreciation for the love we have known or clarity about the love that is right for us. They also provide an opportunity, if we are willing, to become stronger and open to greater love in the future. Healing and growth come when we recognize the importance of loving ourselves. When we remember to love and respect our unique journey, we don’t compare ourselves to anyone else. The grass does not appear greener on the other side and we understand that true beauty is in the eye of the beholder and not in the opinion of another. By adapting this mind-set, we are able to shut out all the noise around us telling us who we are or how to be, and we are able to listen to our own voice and confidently follow it to a place that has been designed to bring the joy our heart honestly desires.

When we love ourselves, we achieve a higher level of consciousness, which allows us to more easily recognize people and situations that do not serve us. This awareness provides the confidence and desire necessary to gracefully remove ourselves from such situations and wish those who do not serve us all our best as they continue on their journey without us. When obstacles are removed from our path, we are able to develop an aura of joy and light that invites people and situations that do serve us, which is just the beginning of a new more loving approach to life. Knowing that we are purposefully being true to ourselves brings recognition of gratitude for the many blessings we already have and makes our hearts even more filled with joy and love. Loving ourselves will not insulate us from pain but it helps us more easily move through the pain because we understand that this too shall pass. We may have some battle scars but we know our hearts will heal in preparation for our best days, which are always ahead of us.

 

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The importance of marking the swift passage of time with a loving heart

January 6th, 2014 · Comments Off

2014As one year ends and a new one begins, we seem to always say where did the year go, how did the time go by so fast and as we age, we notice how each year seems to pass even more quickly. Children, on the other hand, find that time hangs. Perhaps this is because they are untarnished by the demands of life. Instead, they are singularly focused on making it to the next milestone—staying up later, walking to school by themselves, having a double digit birthday, going out without parental supervision, and the grand prize of getting a driver’s license–which all seem to take forever. Each of these milestones represents a step toward adulthood driven by the misguided idea that once adulthood is achieved they will be able to do whatever they want.

Those that have reached adulthood know what a farce this notion is. Adults don’t have enough hours in the day for the demands on their time and they certainly are not dictating all those demands or when they will be completed. And while in hindsight time may race by because we are so busy juggling our “to dos” and the surprises life sends our way–good and challenging–it is the challenging ones that seem to move as slowly for adults as time does for children. However, as adults, we have the power to not prolong our harder days.

When difficult situations arise, it is helpful to remember that this too shall pass and what a precious commodity time is. Like any precious commodity, the best philosophy to remember is “waste not, want not.” Once a challenge has come to its natural end, don’t waste time holding onto negativity so you are left wanting for things your heart cannot make room for. If you allow yourself to become consumed with who wronged you, what you did not get, how you screwed up or how unfair a situation may be, your time will be spent in agony. Instead allow yourself to learn from it. You may have to look hard for the lesson but it will be there. It may not be easy to forgive yourself, but please do. If you are willing to learn, the time spent in challenge will not be in vain. Instead you will have spent your time becoming a stronger, wiser and more receptive to greater happiness and blessings.

We all have a limited amount of time in our life and how we spend that time is entirely up to us. It is going to fly by whether we approach life with a loving heart or a bitter one. There is no doubt that there will be times in our life that will be filled with difficulties, when nothing seems to go right and loss. This is just part of the human condition, designed to help us appreciate the good moments in our life all the more. Through the practice of looking for the lessons in life—and it does take practice–we will not only appreciate the big moments of happiness in our life–achieving our goals, welcoming new family members and friends, sharing the holidays together, but we will also appreciate the many unspoken joys of life, time alone with our thoughts, the sand between our toes, the rain after a long draught or perhaps a warm day in the middle of winter.

As we embark on a new year and recognize how quickly the previous one went by, take a moment to remember what you learned, honor your journey, count your blessings and look to the new year with an open and loving heart so that as you mark the swift passage of time your reflections will be filled with smiles, joy, peace and love for yourself and others.

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The best Christmas presents are not found under the tree

December 3rd, 2013 · Comments Off

It has been said many times that the best gifts come in small boxes. Perhaps this expression came to be because we live in a society where bigger is usually perceived as better. Therefore, we need to be reminded that the gifts we find in small boxes can be the best gifts of all. While small boxes may contain very expensive gifts, I don’t believe that sentiment accurately reflects where to find the best gifts. I think the very best gifts are the ones that don’t come in a box of any size or shape, regardless of how attractively it may be wrapped. The best gifts we will receive this Christmas are the ones we can’t see or even hold in our hands. We can’t take them out and show them to our friends; we can’t wear them; we don’t need to insure them and they can never be lost or stolen from us. These gifts get better with age and are guaranteed to grow in value over time.

These invisible gifts are received by our heart, and they come often throughout the Christmas season. They come as we make our preparations and look forward to spending time with family and friends. They come as we recall Christmases past and remember those that are no longer with us and how they made Christmas special. We take the memories they gave us and carry on traditions as we welcome a new generation of family and friends, hoping that they will adopt these traditions with the generation that follows them. For it is through traditions that–past, current and future–family and friends are all with us during this joyous time of year. We receive these priceless gifts when we remember those that are less fortunate and give of our own treasure, knowing that we helped another’s holiday be a little bit brighter. We receive gifts that light up our spirit when we take a moment to delight in the holiday decorations as we drive through our neighborhood, sit in our living room, or shop in the stores. We feel the warmth of the holidays while Christmas carols play as we cook and bake for our guests. We even chuckle to ourselves as family members talk us into wrapping their presents for them because, as they are quick to point out, we are far more talented at wrapping gifts.  And what about those curious ones that turn the house upside down trying to find out what you bought. Every year we marvel at their resourcefulness and know we need to be a bit craftier about where we hide their gifts. Even though they drive us crazy, the holidays would not be the same if we did not play this game.

The gifts we receive that are purchased with money, whether they come in a large or small box, are wonderful tokens of another’s affection.  We are grateful for these heart-felt presents and appreciate the thought and love that went into purchasing, wrapping and sharing them. However, the very best gifts we receive are the ones that cannot be wrapped and placed in a box of any size. The very best gifts are the ones we privately acknowledge and treasure in our heart–the gift of coming together to celebrate traditions, create memories, remember loved ones, and be of service to family, friends and strangers. Christmas provides the opportunity to count our blessings, create new ones and to remember that money can’t buy happiness. True happiness comes when we graciously accept the gifts of beauty, wonder and love that surround us during Christmas and throughout the year. May you have a very Merry Christmas!

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I think it starts with gratitude

November 3rd, 2013 · Comments Off

I think it starts with gratitude…success, peace, happiness, contentment, a well-lived life.

Many believe that success occurs once you attain a goal. However, if success only happens at the time the goal is achieved, how do you see yourself during the process of attaining that goal, as an unsuccessful person?  Do you then say to yourself, once I achieve my goal and have success I will have peace, which will bring happiness, which will lead to contentment and then my life will have been well-lived. But what happens if a goal you set for yourself does not come to pass?  Are you now a doubly unsuccessful person?  If that is the case, there are going to be many, many long, hard, sad days along your journey.

However, if you start each day counting your blessings and expressing gratitude for all that you have received; you begin each day as a successful person who has been bestowed with much good fortune. Each day becomes yet another opportunity to build on your success. Knowing you are already a success provides you with the confidence needed to take lessons from challenges by rising to the occasion and focusing on the glass being half full as opposed to half empty. You understand that obstacles are there to help build character and prepare you for even greater blessings. By remaining optimistic and refraining from falling into despair, you do not slow down or block future blessings; you invite more.  Knowing that you are inviting more blessings brings you peace, which makes you happy and content while you continue creating a well-lived life.

It is not always easy. Even the most optimistic among us hit periods in life that are excruciatingly painful with no sense of when they will end. It is during this time, that our many blessings become hard to see because the size of our challenge temporarily blocks them from view. When this happens, it may be easier to show gratitude for the beauty you can feel and observe–the breath you can take, the wonder that your heart continues to beat even as it aches, the warmth of the sun on your face, children laughing, the peaceful rhythm of the rain tapping on a windowsill, the family and friends that make you laugh. These thoughts of gratitude will give you the strength and the jolt of peace needed to help you remember that this too shall pass and that your best days are ahead of you.

Showing true gratitude means not comparing yourself to anyone else.  When we use our energy to compare our blessings with the blessings of others, we diminish the greatness of what we have been given. In effect, we are saying that we are less and someone else is more.  Therefore, we are inferior to someone else.  You can’t be successful if you allow yourself to feel inferior to another. Each person comes into the world with specific gifts, talents and challenges that help us create a well-lived life.  You can never know what another has been through or is faced with today in order to gain their blessings.  Instead of allowing yourself to feel inferior to another, channel that energy by wishing that person continued blessings.  By wishing more for another, the blessing blocking energy of inferiority is turned into graciousness, allowing your spirit to regain access to future blessings.

Beyond counting our blessings, it is important to say “thank you” for our blessings. These two little words are so powerful because they allow us to underscore our gratitude. With this in mind, as we get together to enjoy a delicious Thanksgiving dinner with family and friends, let’s say thank you for the many blessings we have today and for the many blessings that are on their way.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Reneé Gatz, Guest Speaker at the Middlesex County Association of REALTORS® Educational Conference

October 11th, 2013 · Comments Off

I am pleased to announce that on November 15 I will be a guest speaker at the Middlesex County Association of REALTORS®’ educational conference held at the Robert B. Meyner Reception Center at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, New Jersey.

My presentation, “Follow Your Inner Voice and Be Patient with Where It Takes You,” will be tailored for realtors to inspire them both professionally and personally to bravely listen to their inner voice by remembering the words of wisdom found in my book Wise Words & Witty Expressions.

Please click here for a press release with further details.

If you would like me to inspire your company or organization with the words of wisdom found in my book, please reach out to me directly at reneegatz@msn.com.

 

 

 

Comments OffTags: 2013 Meet the Author Events · Author and Book Updates · Press Releases

Halloween is all year long for some

October 3rd, 2013 · Comments Off

When I look out my window these days, I am struck by the beauty of the fall season and reminded of its traditions. The days have cooled, colorful leaves are beginning to fall from the trees and collect on lawns, children are carrying backpacks as they head off to catch the school bus and the celebration of Halloween is on the way. Soon children and adults will be dressing up to conceal their identity in an effort to fool family and friends and have a little fun pretending to be someone else. Perhaps they will be a superhero, famous athlete or take a walk on the darker side and play the role of a monster or villain they love to hate. They will imagine what it is like to be that character and do their best to look and act like that person, enjoying the chance to escape from the day-to-day and spend some time in their own imagination. Children and adults may even compete for best costume or who did the best job fooling others. Motivation to win may be prizes or simply gaining bragging rights for top costume. After the Halloween parties and parades are over, everyone will go home, scrub off make-up, rinse color out of their hair, put their costumes away for someone else to enjoy next year and return to being their authentic selves.

Some of those in our circles of friends, colleagues and family, however, do not see Halloween as a once a year event designed to give us an excuse to be someone else. Instead, they practice Halloween all year long for their own self-serving purposes. They don’t put on a costume or physically change their appearance to try and fool others. The costumes they wear are their outward appearance of feigned friendship in an effort to conceal their ulterior motives. These wolves in sheep’s clothing look to play tricks on others to gain the treat of attention, information, a sense of superiority or whatever ends they believe justify their means. These fakers are convinced that in order to achieve their goals they need to pull the wool over the eyes of others. In reality, they are more to be pitied than to be laughed at for their devious behavior. This need for trickery only illustrates their lack of self-confidence and discontent with their true selves. Those that are content and self-confident know that they have the talent, intelligence, perseverance and positive personality required to do whatever they set their mind to. They don’t need to bother with silly mind games to fool others in order to be happy and successful. They are far too busy creating productive lives, genuinely enjoying the company of those they call family and friends and helping others to be successful to waste energy with nonsensical behavior.

Unfortunately, these discontents will fool some of the people some of the time.  Don’t allow yourself to suffer from these fools.  Use common sense when you run into these characters by remembering to consider the source before believing what you are told. Some are too sweet to be wholesome and that’s how they win your confidence. Before you buy what they are trying to sell, check in with your body.  It will talk to you and let you know if this is a genuinely kind person or someone using their powers of persuasion. When you are at a vulnerable point in your life, these charlatans sense it like a shark senses blood in the water. During this delicate time, your temporarily weakened state may not allow you access to the good judgment you usually display. Look to your trusted family and friends for advice and ignore those that you don’t know well.

During Halloween, part of the fun in playing dress-up is looking closely to see if we recognize the person in the costume. We look and search for any clue that may help us.  Eventually, we see it. It could be their smile, a look in their eye, the way they move, or even a cough, but we figure it out. The same is true of those in our life.  If we look carefully, we will see the real person and those wearing masks will reveal themselves.

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Remembering the 12th Anniversary of 9/11

September 11th, 2013 · Comments Off

Today we remember in our hearts and prayers all those that lost their lives, were injured and forever changed by the events of this day 12 years ago. We also remember all those that worked selflessly to restore our nation and the brave Americans that serve in our military everyday to protect us from harm.

May God bless you and may God Bless America.

May we find a way to peace before one more drop of blood is shed.

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