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Lessons in Gratitude

I see this tagged all over town, “What are you grateful for” and it is even in the name of one of the hottest vegan restaurants in Los Angeles. The answer should come easy, right? We are blessed in ways beyond the grasp of most people in this world. It should be effortless to list what we are grateful for. A feeling of appreciation seems quite straightforward, yet, for me, gratefulness didn’t come so easy and it might not come so easy for you either.

Finding gratefulness doesn’t come easy…

I was not the type of person to wake up and say to myself, “What am I grateful for today?”. Those who know me well, understand that my gut reaction is to critique first. I am a perfectionist and I generally live on the principle that myself, and those around me could always be doing better and could be doing more. My expectations often overshadow my appreciations. But, when I look at my work and my life objectively, I have so much going my way. When I take in the big picture, I know that I am incredibly blessed. Now, I understand it is a crucial part of my self-evolution to practice gratitude daily.

How I shifted my consciousness…

The true shift in my consciousness came when I devoted 6 months of daily work on my gratefulness. Every morning, I set out to write as many things that I could think of I was grateful for. The first days and weeks were tough. On the days when it felt that things were not going my way, it was especially tough. I had spent fifty years of my life not focusing on gratitude and it was not an easy transition.

As the days went on and the layers peeled back, my “grateful for” list become richer, more in depth, and had more substance. Regardless of what was happening in my life, my appreciations began to outweigh my issues. I found that there was ALWAYS a long list of things to be grateful for. When things weren’t going my way, I was able, for the first time, to even find gratefulness for those struggles.

I found that even the negative things that were happening in my life could become a lesson and for that I was grateful. Now, this is a daily practice for me.

Surround yourself with gratefulness and abundance will follow…

I found as I practiced mindfulness and gratefulness, I began to gravitate towards the people in my life who had also cultivated their own gratitude. Not only did my life become richer in relationships, but I opened myself up for abundance on many levels. My business began to flourish, the connection I had with my daughters deepened, I felt more in sync with the universe. This change in perception lead me to discover just how true this statement is, “If you are not thankful for what you have, why should you get anything more?”

Gratitude is essential for health and happiness…

In a time where our anxieties and fears are heightened and the stresses of life can seem overwhelming, gratitude is essential. It is not merely a positive feeling, it is imperative for good health and happiness. Gratitude can help us overcome negativity and make life more enjoyable.

Most importantly, gratitude is intended to be shared…

Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.

–William Arthur Ward

Gratitude is a gift in my life and the reason why I am sharing this blog post with you is because I want the same for you.

If you are inclined to experience the gift, I would love to challenge you to start your own daily practice of gratitude. I will be here to join you and and send weekly reminders throughout the month. Can you commit to listing 5 things daily that you are grateful for? It is important to write them down (not just say them) in a journal, type them into your smart phone or on your laptop.

Today, I’m grateful for:

  • The arrival of my daughters back home for their winter breaks. I love having their energy and personalities back in the house.
  • The holiday joy in my home this week, with so many cards from friends far and near, my Christmas tree lit up all day and the feeling of holiday spirit.
  • My new partnership with Body Vibes. I’ve never seen a product like it on the market and I feel so lucky to be a part of sharing it!
  • My team who is already hard at work on 2017 projects, I have a lot to look forward to as soon as I come off of my “me” time and I couldn’t do it without them.
  • Today is my last work day until the New Year. I am really looking forward to releasing the stress and obsession with work and taking time to focus on my family and myself.

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