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The perks of brazen gratitude, Part III

“Let gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel to say your nightly prayer.” ― Maya Angelou


Being happy and feeling blessed is Step #1 when it comes to manifesting. As I said yesterday, that’s one chicken vs. egg dilemma that will never be in question.

Last week, when I was in Kenya, loving the heck out of my awesome career, I got this inspiring email from this amazing light named Madeline McCollom. I was so touched by her story that I asked if I could share. It demonstrates Step #1 in vivid technicolor. Enjoy!!

“In 2004 I gave birth to our second child, a son. Henry was born medically complicated (which I’d learned about at 5 mo. pregnant). He spent his first three years in and out of hospitals and surgeries.

“In a desperate attempt to gain health insurance to cover his expected medical costs, our family got poor and went on state health insurance which was a blessing in disguise.

“There is nothing like poverty to allow one clarity on what matters most. So, when Henry was almost one, I was at the local Planned Parenthood for my annual check up. I remember seeing a W fashion magazine as I waited in the reception area. I was so surprised to see one of my favorite high-end fashion magazines here – everything else was family/parenting focused.

“Anyhow, I opened it up and saw that there was an essay contest from Moet & Chandon (my favorite champagne in my early 20’s). I had worked at a Champagne bar down in the Virgin Islands for a year and learned a little bit about bubbly. So, I figured I’d enter the contest. Why not, right?

“The essay question was, “Why is your life FABULOUS?!” My husband couldn’t believe I was entering. We were flat FLAT broke, we’d lost everything we had when Henry was born– our new restaurant, our credit history, our hometown since we’d relocated to Portland for better medical care–and Henry was living on a feeding tube. We also had a beautiful 5-year old daughter who was definitely NOT getting the childhood I’d hope she’d have.

“Well, I thought, what the heck? We have buckets full of love. That’s what made my life fabulous. I said I could open a bottle of the Moet White Star, and for just a moment feel like I could be anywhere in the world.”

Long story short, “I won. My husband and I (an incredibly talented chef) were flown to NYC for a week of fashion shows in Bryant Park! We stayed at a hotel on Central Park!

“Although they gave us a $500 credit card to use, that was seriously all the money we had to our name for the trip. So, one evening we decided to go out to Per Se, a beautiful restaurant owned by Thomas Keller (of The French Laundry). We couldn’t afford to eat dinner, but I thought we might as well have one cocktail. We ordered some obscure Spanish Sherry – as I had learned a bit about sherry and we had sold a few at our restaurant in Eugene, OR.

“Well, the bartender comes over to us, asks us why we ordered sherry – no one ever did – and I told him our story. He shared with us that his fiancee was from the region in Spain where this sherry was made, and they had just recently returned from meeting her parents. He was so thrilled to have someone to talk with about sherry!

“We kept talking and found out we had both worked at the same wine bar in Portland, OR back in the early 1990’s! He asked if there was ANYTHING he could do for us – I’m guessing he could tell we couldn’t afford their menu – so I decided to go out on a limb and asked if we could see the kitchen. He paused. He said no one really got to go back during service. He went to the kitchen manager, shared our story, and led us into their kitchen.

“This is, undoubtedly, one of the most amazing experiences of my life. It was like a monastery. Quiet and beautiful. It was breathtaking.

“So, the last thing I would’ve ever expected as I entered Planned Parenthood in a pretty economically depressed neighborhood in NE Portland – flat broke with a medically fragile little boy–that my husband and I would be whisked off to NYC on an all expense paid vacation and get to see something so magical.”



And, as you can see from the pictures, Madeline’s life keeps getting more magical all the time.

Pam Grout is the author of 17 books including E-Squared: 9 Do-it-Yourself Energy Experiments that Prove Your Thoughts Create Your Reality and the soon-to-be-released sequel, E-Cubed, 9 More Experiments that Prove Mirth, Magic and Merriment is your Full-time Gig.

14 Responses

  1. What a wonderful story! Is her essay for Moet & Chandon posted somewhere? I’d love to read it.

  2. What a BEAUTIFUL and inspiring story! Loved it! It shows that no matter where you are in life that anything/EVERYTHING is possible!

    In my life I have been abused, beaten and so low I didn’t know if tomorrow would come, but in my mind I dreamed of brighter days with lots of love and happiness. Those days did come and visualizing helped me attain them when I couldn’t see past the darkness.

  3. So grateful Madeline allowed you to share her touching story. It brought tears and smiles at the same time!

  4. What a story, it brought tears to my eyes I had to pushed them back because I’m at work. I could bore you with what’s happening in my life but I won’t. I have lots to be thankful for.

  5. I’m finding that I’m needing a thesaurus to find more words for my life and events around me than amazing, oustanding, fabulous, beyond imagining. It’s a good thing to feel lost about…finding the perfect word to insert in my manifesting and gratitude sessions.

  6. wow, that is the BEST story….great things happening to great people. My hope that they keep dreaming and achieving more wonderful, joyful things than they already have. and thanks for reminding me to be grateful every second!

  7. I loooove this story! Thank you to Madeline for sharing it with us. This proves that finding something to love about our current situation (in this case, seeing the richness of the love already present) coupled with engaging our God-given imagination is a magic formula. I hold the vision of an amazing future for this gorgeous family.

  8. Great story and inspiration! Thank you both for sharing. Keep believing, manifesting & living a fabulous life – I am! Love & kindness, Michelle

  9. That is a beautiful story! Thank you for sharing. The power of gratitude is insurmountable and provides so many miracles when our hearts are open..

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