Give Thanks: A Month of Gratitude

“Gratitude turns what we have into enough”

 

fall1

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…

 

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?

Another year older. And grateful.

bdayWow – 29 years. Seems so long. And so short. All at once. Old or young, one thing is for sure, I have a lot of love in my life. I feel so very blessed & want to take a moment to reflect on this beautiful birthday weekend & all the gratitude I feel for the people in my life.

My birthday weekend (yes, I celebrated for three days instead of one) has served as a powerful reminder of who I am. Specifically what I value & look for in relationships: connection, trust, & mutual understanding. I chose to spend my birthday (weekend) doing things I love and having so many people show up & show me love has left me feeling understood, appreciated & so very grateful.

I sort of think I am too old for gifts. But then, are we ever too old for anything? Nah! I was surprised & grateful for all the gifts I received this year and they were a fun reflection of who I am & the relationships I have with the people I love.

  • Fresh, colorful flowers
  • handmade: card, jewelry, food (BBQ, salads, dips, sweets, treats & a fruit platter aka “fruit loot”), drinks, a hoop (yes, a hula hoop), purse
  • farm fresh local cuisine
  • vino & mittens (wine & fashion are fun b/c choosing these myself can be work!!)
  • framed photograph
  • beach, picnic & play with the best company
  • scratchers – I’m feeling lucky!!
  • reflexology/massage (ok, that one may have been a “happy birthday to me” gift)
  • vintage style glassware
  • journal – a place to set goals, self-reflect & express gratitude
  • upcoming dates & travel (I guess I’ll be celebrating longer after all!)
  • cooked & cleaned for all weekend – ahh 🙂
  • lots of hugs, laughs & love

I love receiving & giving gifts that are useful, edible, experiences & a true reflection of a person &/or relationship. I definitely feel that my friends & family understand who I am. And feeling understood, appreciated & connected is the real gift. Thank you to everyone who has showered me with love this weekend & always – I am truly blessed & thankful.

What do you look for when giving or appreciate when receiving a gift?