Sedona Hutton's Blog - Posts Tagged "gratitude"

New Age Themes in Nora's Promise

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”
― Mahatma Gandhi

As an author, it’s my aspiration to write stories that not only entertain but also inspire. Given this, my novels include romance, conflict, and family drama as well as a sprinkling of new age, thought-provoking concepts.

One of the key themes in my work-in-progress novel, The Perfect Lap, is the notion that everyone’s doing the best they can from their current state of awareness. In my new contemporary romance, Nora’s Promise, new age topics included are animal compassion, kindness, and the power of now.

Below I’ve provided a selection of Nora’s Promise Book Club questions for your thought-provoking pleasure!

- Steph indicates that “Kindness is a choice.” Do you believe that practicing kindness is a choice? How can you implement this in your life?

- Steph turned to the Law of Attraction for help after she was diagnosed with cancer. Are you familiar with the Law of Attraction? What are your thoughts on this law?

- Nora’s grandfather tells her, “When you dwell in the past, you’re giving away your personal power to create what you want in this moment.” What do you think this means? Do you agree?

- Steph, and later Nora, practiced gratitude to ground themselves. They used a simple technique of closing their eyes and silently listing their gratitudes. Have you ever practiced gratitude—meditatively, journaling, or through another method? How did it make you feel?

- In order for Nora and Davey to make the changes necessary for their happily ever after they both had to grow spiritually. Nora had to learn to focus in the present moment and Davey needed to learn to trust the universe and align with his own values. Do you think spiritual growth is an important component in most relationships? Can you think of examples to support your position?

A full list of Reading Group Guide questions can be found at the end of Nora’s Promise and on my website at: my link text

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“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.”
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Giving Thanks Isn't Just for Thanksgiving

Giving thanks is en vogue during the Thanksgiving season. But we can—and studies suggest we should—count our blessings every day of the year.

Many studies have noted the correlation between gratitude and happiness. In a study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Robert Emmons found that people who kept a gratitude journal were happier than those who didn’t. The study concluded that the journal participants reported considerably more satisfaction with their lives, felt more optimism, and were more connected with others than participants in the control group.

It’s ironic that we need to journal or take a mental pause to give thanks. But these days most of us lead busy lives and it’s easy to get caught up in non-stop tasks or running from one commitment to another. If we don’t make a conscious effort to be grateful, it may not happen.

In my contemporary romance novel, Nora’s Promise, Nora uses a simple gratitude technique. She takes pause and makes a mental list of her gratitudes. Afterward, her mood improves. A brief excerpt is provided below:

"She needed to pull herself together and focus on the now. Using a technique that Steph had taught her, she silently listed her gratitudes. Ben, Davey, Steph, Cruz. Cosmo, Concordia, Chance. Ella and Hud. The mountains and open land around them. Her mood lifted and she felt a smile tug at the corners of her mouth. Her list had barely scratched the surface. With so much to be thankful for, how could she be in a bad mood?"

Practicing gratitude can be that easy—simply make a mental list of what comes to mind. Or you can use a gratitude journal, meditation, mindful walk or any other process that works for you. The key is to keep it simple and focused.

It’s a great way to pass time during your commute to work, while walking the dog, or when waiting in line at the grocery store. Journaling or mentally recapping your gratitudes is a wonderful way to start and end your day.

Regardless of the method used, gratitude is a powerful process that fosters optimism and helps shift your energy from negative to positive. Given the significant benefits, why not make gratitude a regular part of every day?

“Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every moment with love, grace, and gratitude.” Denis Waitley

Nora’s Promise: She trusts animals more than men. He runs through women like tires. Can one orphaned boy force them to change gears?
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The Secret of Shifting from Negative to Positive: A Proven Method to Transform a Bad Mood

This past week wasn’t my best. I had difficult choices to make, a loved one had a health scare, and nothing I did went as planned. After recent rains, my dog dug holes all over the yard and my beloved Preds lost last night’s game. The list goes on, but you get the idea.

I know all about the Law of Attraction and the Power of Positive Thinking. I blog on these topics…I write about them in my novels. But knowing and doing are two entirely different concepts. I believe with every fiber of my being that putting out negative energy creates more of the same. Even so, at times the material world offers adversities that pull me down. Knowing what negativity does makes it all the worse. Wallowing in pessimism is like asking the universe, “May I have some more crap, please?” And so it goes….

Earlier today on my morning walk with my digger, Milkduds, I noticed a small tree at the edge of the woods. Tiny Kelly-Green buds trailed up long branches that just yesterday were bare. Studying the beautiful tree and its overnight growth, an awareness emerged. Today is a brand-new day and a new opportunity to create enhanced life experiences.

I spent the rest of my walk drawing in the beauty of nature and giving gratitude, because being grateful is a sure-fire way to improve a bad mood! Even when things aren’t going my way, I have plenty to be grateful for.

Studies have shown that when one is feeling genuinely grateful, it’s impossible to at the same time feel angry, anxious, or any other negative emotion. For this reason, gratitude has been an important part of spiritual teachings throughout the ages. There’s an inspiring chapter on this powerful process in the book The Secret by Rhonda Byrne.

“What can you do right now to begin to turn your life around? The very first thing is to start making a list of things to be grateful for. This shifts your energy and starts to shift your thinking.”—Dr. Joe Vitale

We are continually creating our lives through our thoughts and our feelings. The Universe simply reflects our energy and returns to us what we put out. Considering this, I let go of the issues that plagued my week and shifted my thoughts toward the positives in my life. It didn’t take me from zero to one hundred, but I’m well on my way toward a happy day.

“Gratitude places you in the energy field of plentitude. Glow with gratitude and see how awe and joy will make their home in you.”—Michael Beckwith

This blog was written by Sedona Hutton, author of women’s fiction/romance novels with spiritual & new age twists.

NORA’S PROMISE, a contemporary sports romance: She trusts animals more than men. He runs through women like tires. Can one orphaned boy force them to change gears? Purchase link:

CLOUD WHISPERS, a contemporary novel: If you like headstrong heroines, heartwarming stories of family and forgiveness, and new age concepts, then you’ll love this mind-expanding novel. Purchase link:

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Recommended Reading:

The Secret by Rhonda Byrne:

Life Visioning: A Transformative Process by Activating Your Unique Gifts and Highest Potential by Michael Beckwith:

Disclosure: The above links to recommended books are affiliate links. If you buy the book through these links, I receive a small commission on the sale. I’ve recommended these books because they’ve been meaningful to me personally and not because of the affiliate program. However, from a legal perspective, I need to identify these as affiliate links.
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8 Spiritual Themes in The Perfect Lap

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”
― Mahatma Gandhi

As an author it’s my desire to write stories that entertain and inspire. To this end, I’m blending traditional romance and women’s fiction with new age spirituality. My novels include plenty of romance, conflict, and family drama, along with new age concepts like the Law of Attraction and Focusing on the Now.

There are many thought-provoking themes in my newly released contemporary romance, The Perfect Lap, including:

 - Non-judgment
 - Everyone is doing the best they can from where they are
 - Giving from a place of love
 - Prioritizing joy
 - Living in the now
 - The difference of one
 - Gratitude
 - No such thing as perfection

Below I’ve included select questions from The Perfect Lap’s Reading Group Guide related to these themes to prompt further contemplation.

1. Non-judgment: Ella has a preconceived notion about the Piper kids’ mother before she meets Clare. After she gets to know Clare, she finds someone entirely different than what she had envisioned. Have you ever experienced this? What did you learn?

2. Everyone is doing the best they can from where they are: AJ’s grandfather taught him this concept. What do you think this means? Do you agree or disagree with this philosophy, and what supports your position?

3. Giving from a place of love: Cruz tells AJ that he needs to give from a place of love. Do you think the reason for giving makes a difference, or is it just the gift that matters? Please explain your position.

4. Prioritizing joy: AJ suggests that Ella make an important job decision based on what makes her happy. What do you think about this advice and why?

5. Living in the now: AJ’s granddad used to tell him to “stop fretting and live his life.” What do you think he meant by this?

6. The difference of one: Ella’s aunt taught her that one person can make a difference. Do you agree? Why or why not?

7. Gratitude: In the New Age Parenting class that Ella and AJ attend, they learn that giving gratitude shifts your energy from negative to positive. Do you believe this? If so, how does this work?

8. No such thing as Perfection:
a. AJ’s grandfather taught him that there’s no such thing as perfection; in racing this translated to no such thing as a perfect lap. What are your thoughts on perfection?
b. AJ taught Ella and the kids that you don’t need to be perfect to be successful, you need to consistently do your best. Do you agree? Why or why not?

A full list of Reading Group Guide questions can be found at the end of The Perfect Lap and on my website at:

This blog was written by Sedona Hutton, author of romance and women’s fiction novels with new age, spiritual twists.

The Perfect Lap—His job is to drive fast. Hers is to put the brakes on him. When sparks fly, will love cross the finish line? To purchase, please click on this link:

Cloud Whispers—The daughter she gave away. The family she always wanted. The journey to redefine her fate… To purchase this mind-expanding, award-winning novel, click here:

To sign up for Sedona Hutton’s Peace, Love, & Joy blog newsletter, please click here:
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