Give Thanks: A Month of Gratitude

“Gratitude turns what we have into enough”

 

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Did you notice the date on my chosen FALL photo? 3 1/2 years ago. Wow. Watching a little person grow up is great way to cultivate gratitude. I have so much love for this little man & I am truly blessed for every moment I get to share with him.

Focusing on the people & things that we love and are grateful for will bring more goodness into our lives. One awesome suggestion from Tiffany Peterson (life coach & leader of this Gratitude Series) is to make your first conscious thought every morning: “Thank God for another day of life”. You can thank God, your belief of a higher power, or thank the universe – whatever touches your heart. The important thing is that if we begin each new day by giving thanks we are setting up our day (& life) to be filled with happiness & opportunity.

This month I am participating in Tiffany Peterson’s Gratitude Series – check out this link to follow along & be inspired to bring more Gratitude & Generosity into your own life.

And what better time then November? The month of Thanksgiving for all of us Americans. A time to reflect on all we have to be grateful for. A time to give selflessly to others. The perfect time to set a precedent for the type of person we want to be all year round.

Let’s focus on being grateful this month! Here are some ideas & actions we can take to express & cultivate gratitude:

  1. Gratitude Journal: write down at least 3 things every day that you are thankful for
  2. Posts: Take a photo, video or post every day this month to share what you are thankful for (ex: Start your 100 Happy Days)
  3. Tell someone specifically what you appreciate about them
  4. Random Act of Kindness (ex: buy the person behind you their coffee or pick up someone else’s task/chore)
  5. Send a hand written note (consider challenging yourself to write 1 per day all month!)
  6. Donate to your favorite non-profit or charity (ex: Grow a mustache &/or donate to support Movember)
  7. Tell yourself (in the mirror) what you love about yourself
  8. Call a friend or family member you haven’t reached out to lately
  9. Organize or contribute to a holiday food drive

What other ideas do you have for creating a life of gratitude & generosity starting this month? Maybe I’ll save the last piece of pie for someone else this year…

 

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Gratitude Challenge: 100 Happy Days

It’s Monday again. I feel pretty accomplished for a Monday. But maybe that’s because I have a shorter work week than usual. Or maybe because I kept this past weekend free to get things done & relax after a busy week before. Whatever the case may be, I am grateful.

Speaking of grateful… I just finished my most recent gratitude challenge: 100 Happy Days. Being happy doesn’t have to mean every day is perfect or void of hardships. For me, it means living an authentic life, actively engaging & enjoying the process while accepting there will be good days & bad ones. Hard times & joyous times. Understanding that for all the achievements, connections & belly laughs, there will also be frustrations, losses & tears. This challenge was about being mindful & grateful. Choosing one thing every day that brings joy & taking a photo of it. Using that moment (& that photo) to bring focus on something that was good in the day. We are healthier & happier when we show appreciation & savor our experiences. When we focus on the positive in our day (& in our our lives) we attract more of that to us (learn more about the Law of Attraction by watching The Secret – I highly recommend it!)

I could go on (& on) about gratitude and will definitely have future posts on the topic. But right now, I just want to share some of my photos from the last 100 Happy Days…

Happy Day 1: Run or Dye – We laughed, exercised & turned into “Team Smurfs”

Happy Day 1

Happy Day 2: Silver Linings – Car broke down & I got to practice headstand!! Plus so many people stopped to check on us that I couldn’t help but be thankful for all the love in humanity!

Happy Day 2

Happy Day 12: Wednesday Hikes – Connecting with nature & the strong, beautiful women in my life!

Happy Day 12

Happy Day 16: A Perfect Day – outdoors, live music, great friends, & playful innocence of children

Happy Day 16

Happy Day 21: Beach Day – blessed to live on the coast & have this amazing woman as my mother!

Happy Day 21

Happy Day 43: Outdoor Yoga – fresh air & shared energy

Happy Day 43

Happy Day 58: Farmer’s Market Blossoms – simple pleasure in this gift from natureHappy Day 58

Happy Day 62: Hiking in Lake Tahoe – mountain air, endurance & shared adventure

Happy Day 62

Happy Day 87: Mug of Love – Feeling connected to the grandma I never met when I discovered my hand-me-down mug was once hers over 45 years ago!

Happy Day 87

Happy Day 91: Birthday Skyping – technology can be wonderful for reducing distanceHappy Day 91

(Check out the 100 Happy Days Website for more details & consider taking the challenge)

What are your favorite gratitude practices?

End of an Era: Thirty before 30

Twenty-nine years ago today, I was born into this magnificent world. Thanks mom & dad. Today, I still feel pretty young. My parents had four children by my age & that fact makes me feel old. And definitely in awe of the difference between individuals – and generations.  But the beauty of it is that we are all here to live our own truth. That is why this is my favorite quote right now:

Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive. – Howard Thurman

In a world that is too often filled with unnecessary stress, too little time & lots of distractions, it is important to prioritize loving & nurturing our authentic self. Coming up to my birthday, I have been thinking a lot about all the things I have wanted to do, put on my someday “to-do” lists & stashed away as potential “bucket list” achievements. Turns out that now is still the time to follow the heart. With a smidge of planning & commitment, we can tackle the challenges & gain the experiences we seek all while basking in this amazing time called now.

So, with exactly 1 year left on this wild ride called “twenties”, here is my “Thirty before 30” List. Bring on this year of perseverance, growth & fun!

Thirty before 30

  1. Dine on the finest local cuisine: eat at all my “Restaurants to Try” (20 restaurants)
  2. Be in Nature: go on a backpacking trip (3 days)
  3. Read: all the books on my “Read List” (10 books)
  4. Learn: a new skill
  5. Create: my vision board
  6. Detox: 30 consecutive sugar-free days
  7. SUP Challenge: headstand on a paddle board
  8. Add more Music: sing & play 3 songs on the guitar
  9. Wild & crazy: skydive with Phoenix
  10. Indulge: eat at one of Gordon Ramsay’s Restaurants
  11. Laugh a lot: be in the audience for the Ellen Show
  12. Downtime: watch my entire “Movies” list (15 movies)
  13. Build strength: bust out 3 pull-ups in a row
  14. Self-care: get 1 massage every month
  15. Spread the love: surprise someone in a big way
  16. Give: volunteer at a community event or fundraiser
  17. Write: blog for 1 year (at least 1 post per week)
  18. Reconnect: sleep under the stars
  19. Meditation: Complete 24 hours of silence
  20. Unplug: turn off all electronics for an entire weekend
  21. Fan time: attend a professional sporting event
  22. Donate: give blood 3x
  23. Be an athlete: participate in the SLO Triathlon
  24. Face a Fear: do something that scares me
  25. Eat like a cavewoman: eat the Paleo Diet for 21 days
  26. Dance outdoors: attend Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival
  27. Connect: invite someone new on a coffee date
  28. Donate: select 1 item to give every day for a month
  29. Greet the Day: watch the sunrise at the top of an early morning hike
  30. Pay it forward: random act of kindness for a stranger

BONUS: Play in the rain!!

How do you stay true to your authentic self a midst the bustle of daily life & passing of time?

Setting Goals: Summer to-dos

There is something magnificent about being fully submerged in the ocean. The first shiver as toes meet the sea, the instant cessation of other thoughts and emotions as the icy blanket swallows me whole & the inevitable taste of salt that lingers on my lips. I find myself craving this reboot, or symbolic cleanse, when seeking clarity, trying to shake negativity, needing to reconnect with nature, or when looking for a fresh start at the turn of the season.

Celebrating Summer Solstice yesterday by soaking up the last rays of the evening sun

Today, I took a re-vitalizing dip in the Pacific and began thinking about my goals for this summer, the rest of 2014 & the end of an era – my twenties. That’s right – my 29th birthday is this summer!

I have been wanting to start a bucket list for awhile now, but I think I’ve been a little overwhelmed by the task. Hence the procrastination and many “life to-do lists” that I’ve been jotting randomly on every scratch paper in sight. I see a bucket list as a work that will always be in progress. A tool that promotes staying true to the self & living a vibrant, fulfilling life each day.

I will start my official bucket list soon (maybe I’ll re-watch the movie for inspiration), but in the meantime, here are my current goals as I set intentions for a summer of health, love & listening to the guidance of my inner voice. Have I mentioned I love making to-do lists?

2014 SUMMER TO DO LIST 

  • Create a “30 by Thirty” list: set goals for final year of being a twenty-something
  • Surf a wave: on a stand up paddle board
  • Meditate regularly (2x daily): start with 7 days in a row
  • Practice Yoga: attend 2 classes every week & continue #headstand365 challenge
  • Hike Wednesdays: stay committed to 1 new hike per week
  • Play guitar: learn & sing one complete song. It is time to pick it back up – literally!
  • Be grateful: finish #100happydays gratitude practice
  • Read 5 books: Summer is the season I remember how much I love to read & I have a book shelf full of must-reads 🙂
  • Wash the blinds: I really need the accountability on this one!
  • Dine with a view: eat dinner at Nipenthe in Big Sur
  • Paint a picture: put something beautiful on the four mini canvases collecting dust on the craft table
  • Just drive: take a road trip to somewhere new
  • DIY: try out a homemade deodorant recipe
  • Watch “The Secret”: this film on the law of attraction comes highly recommended
  • Play & Laugh: in the sunshine & as much as possible!!!

That should get things started! What will you do to cherish this summer season?

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If you need some goal setting inspiration you can take a Goal Setting Skills Test or find some tips for writing your goals from Psychology Today. I love Matt Cutt’s Ted Talk on trying something new for 30 days. It provides motivation for trying something new off your own bucket list & is also a good strategy for incorporating small changes into our lives one day at time!

The Beginning: first ever blog post!

One love. Bob Marley put it so simply. But somehow everyday life & relationships complicate even simple things. The further I travel down my own path and the more soul searching I do, the more I understand that we are all connected. That’s what this blog is about – or at least how it is starting out. That’s something else I’m learning, that despite our best intentions and well thought out plans, life has a way of throwing the unexpected at us. So I choose to identify & work towards goals while striving to stay open to whatever the present moment may bring.

Off on a tangent already – back to the purpose of One little Peace. To share who I am in this moment & how that changes day by day. Share passion, awesome community resources & wellness inspirations. This will also serve as a handy reference tool as the details of things often allude me (forecast a post on ways to improve memory). I have always been fascinated by human behavior and love everything health & wellness. Seeking purpose & wellness in my own life, I keep coming back to something greater than myself – US! I want to be the best me so that my life has a positive impact on those around me. In a world where so many of us are separated from our loved ones & neighbors by fences, great distances & miscommunications, I hope this blog inspires & contributes to a greater sense of community. Every small action we take to be well & act with love puts out a positive ripple effect into the universe & promotes positive change in ourselves, our community & our world.

You have probably already figured out that I am much wordier than Bob, so bear with me while I back up a smidge. I’m Kelly, turning 29 this year & a seeker of balance. Yoga is one way I do this – I’m currently practicing headstand (more on that fun challenge later). But, I mean balance in life – the bigger picture. Between our jobs, families (see some of mine below), emotional, physical & mental well being and so much more it seems impossible not to feel depleted or out of whack sometimes! My journey is seeking balance & peace in my life.  With One little Peace I hope to share part of myself, provide wellness information/resources & look at the wide array of choices we can make to be a catalyst for positive change in the world just by being happy, peaceful human beings.

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Being silly & playing outside at my brother Stephen’s birthday BBQ last weekend.

If you find yourself laughing along with me, adding momentum to the discussion or trying out a wellness strategy for yourself – I will feel blessed to be a small piece of your journey & grateful that you are a piece of mine.

Don’t let people pull you into their storm, pull them into your peace

Kimberly Jones

(Anyone know more about Kimberly Jones? Maybe I’ll do some research…)