I get it! Smaller causes need to make a bigger splash – both literally and figuratively, but I’m really over all the Facebook gimmicky challenges. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for finding creative ways of raising money for charity, but I simply don’t have the time to interrupt my day to dump a bucket of ice water over my head. It’s counterproductive when I need to earn money, in order to give it! The point is it’s a reminder to practice charity, and I do.

Feeling the gratitude

Feeling the gratitude

However, the latest challenge making the rounds is one I already make part of my day, every day, gratitude. It doesn’t take long, and I find it’s a very productive way to start my day. You’re suppose to list 3 things you are grateful for every day for 7 days, then nominate 3 friends to do the same. SO, rather than post this only to people I know, I thought why not share my gratitude with everyone I can possibly reach? Today I have a ton of BIG things I’m so grateful for, but sometimes the list is full of much smaller observations. The point is there is always something to feel grateful for – you just need to stop and allow yourself the time to be aware of them. My list today is:

My favorite person on the planet is here with me

My favorite person on the planet is here with me

1). My favorite person on the planet, my daughter Tatjana, is here visiting me for another week.

2). My parents just arrived, so I get to enjoy three generations of my family together, and I am so grateful for the relationship I enjoy with my parents today.

3). My friend Jimmy put a smile on my face when he sent me a simple post card from his journey back east to let me know he was thinking of me. Who else would do that in this digital day and age??? There is something to be said for Jimmy’s style and the power of  tangible thought!

Family art day

Tatjana, Dad, and me

Now, I’m in a really happy place in my life right now, so it’s really easy to make gratitude lists, but I know that finding gratitude can be harder when life is rough. I first started this practice when my marriage had broken up, I had to leave my daughter in England, I lost my home, and someone very dear to me took his own life. Nothing in my world was familiar. I was grieving so deeply I became physically ill. So, my list back then went something like:

1). I brushed my teeth today.

2). I took my dog for a walk and felt the sunshine on my skin.

3). I wrote a letter to my daughter, and sent her a leaf I found on my walk. I hope that makes her feel connected to my day as well.

I know my life has changed exponentially for the better since I started practicing gratitude. I definitely pull myself out of the occasional funk much faster, it helps me free myself of any fears that hold me back, and makes it possible to take that leap of faith to reach for my dreams. That doesn’t mean I don’t still get stressed out, or feel gripped by fear and worry, but I quickly take stock of all that is right in my world to refocus my persecutive on the positive, so I can move forward again.

Taking stock of all I have to be grateful for keeps me smiling

Taking stock of all I have to be grateful for keeps me smiling (and behaving silly at times)

I refuse to challenge anyone into  doing a grateful list, because I believe strongly in the law of attraction. I’m confident you’ll be inspired to try this practice on for size, if you don’t already do it every day in your own way. You may not want to today, and that’s okay. Start when you feel ready to start, but do give it a go for at least a week to really start feeling the results. I hope you have the same sense of peace from tuning into what makes you feel grateful, that being grateful has given me.

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  • September 10, 2014
    8:06 am

    These days, we all live such busy lives that we think we don’t have time to make a list of what we’re grateful for. Even if you don’t write it down, taking a few moments to admire the sunset, cuddle with your pet and enjoying their antics and being grateful for all the friends you have is a really good start. I’m grateful for all the friends I’ve made through the forum here, for having learned that I really can cook because you believed in me, and for having Molly Cat keep me company and make me laugh at some of her high jinks. Life is pretty good despite the challenges and I can live with those challenges, I just need to remind myself that things could be a lot worse. I feel good today. Sure, there are some aches and pains that would be nice if they disappeared, but, I can still get around and create mischief when the mood strikes. I just need to think about all the wonderful things in my life when I wake up each morning. And that’s usually with a furry little bundle sitting on me purring happily or nagging at me to fill her dish with fresh kibble. What could be a better way to start my day? Sending hugs to you and your family, Jewels. I’m truly grateful for your help and advice.

  • September 10, 2014
    8:53 am

    So true Ruthee! It really is a CHOICE to see the glass half full, or half empty. Life can be very hard at times, but it is always more enjoyable when I view my world through the glass half full!