Archive for the ‘Gratitude’ Category
The end of a year is a perfect time to honor the blessings that came our way and acknowledge ourselves for all we have achieved. Because human nature is to focus on what is not working, we often minimize what went well or special moments along the way. I encourage you to review your year with open eyes and an open heart. You might be surprised what you see…
Year End Process
- Create quiet time and space so that you can focus without interruption
- Set a clear and positive intention for your process
Write your answers for the following:
- List your wins and accomplishments for the year (at least 50)
- Write about what you learned from the challenges you faced
- What are you proud of yourself for?
- What are you grateful for?
- What do you want to take away from this year and integrate in the future?
- Anything else that feels meaningful to include
Don’t forget to share some of your wins or special moments by clicking on “comment” below the title of this blog.
It’s always there on some level, lurking in the shadows or making a full frontal attack. Bad things happen. Tornados, hurricanes, divorce, people close to you get ill or die. It would be easy to become immobile with the sadness of it all, but that doesn’t serve anyone.
Here is what I have learned to do:
Check my perspective: I can see it all as tragic or I can trust that there are blessings too. I give myself permission not to understand and even if it feels yucky know that someone, maybe many, are growing from the experience. People support each other in tragedy, families come together when someone they love is dying, and from the ashes new dreams are born. It is not my place to decide what is good or bad, right or wrong, faith or love.
Do what I can: I read to my friend in hospice, support my clients through their challenges, and listen to a friend who just learned she has a life threatening condition. Volunteering and prayer are ways to help on a larger scale. There is always something I can do.
Focus on gratitude: I am a sensitive person and can easily take on the pain of others, but that does nothing to make things better. Instead, I acknowledge my feelings and let them come forward, but don’t let myself get stuck there. The way I do this is by recognizing the ways my life is blessed. When homes are destroyed by acts of nature I am thankful for the shelter I have and when my friend lost her mobility I was clear that my daily walks were a gift. The tragedies of others can bring into the light how lucky I am.
I am not saying that I have this down perfectly. I am human. What I can say is that this practice supports me and it gets easier each time. I wonder if it could support you, too.
I need to be more careful about what I wish for. I was walking to the post office wondering what I would write about this week and hoping something would come forward. It did and it almost killed me.
I was about a third of the way through a crosswalk when a sports car blew through the light almost hitting me. The car kept going and stopped within inches of ramming the driver’s door of a car in the intersection, just a few feet away from where I stood. Once stopped, the speeding driver seemed to be confused and put his car in reverse, heading right back at me. That’s when I ran.
Within one, maybe two minutes my life was in danger three times. My time on this earth could have ended or been permanently altered right there. No more time with my family, conversations with friends, or opportunities to support my clients and others through service. What would have happened to my cats?
My mind went back to that morning when I had expressed gratitude for the gift of the day, not really thinking it could have been my last. It was clear that the close call was bringing forward an awareness of how blessed I am to be alive and live the life I do.
And, of course, I had something to write about.
Something that I hope will remind you to appreciate waking up each morning. Every day, hour, and minute is a gift. You might want to start your days like I do, with a smile, wiggling your toes, and expressing gratitude for the wonderful gift you have been given of another day on this earth.
Your Turn: How will you spend this day you have been given?
A New Year is the perfect time for celebrating wins and focusing on gratitude for the past 12 months. I encourage you to spend some time writing down what you accomplished in 2012 and marinating in the feeling of how amazing you are.
Feel free to share some of your wins and gratitudes by commenting on this post. Sharing them with the world will help solidify them in your heart and ground them in your reality.
It is not unusual for me to recommend my clients journal 5 gratitudes and 5 self-acknowledgments at the end of each day. The feedback I get is that these simple steps can shift energy and change lives.
For myself, I take it to a deeper level. Every week day I keep track of the things that I accomplish throughout the day. It doesn’t matter how small they seem. I list things as simple as eating a healthy meal, going to the bank, or writing a blog. At the end of each day, I look over my list and take a moment to acknowledge myself for what I have done. I then exchange my list with a friend by email. We support each other in owning and celebrating our daily wins.
I invite you to find a special way to celebrate your daily wins and acknowledge yourself for what you accomplish. Self-esteem and confidence come from noticing our successes. And, like me, you just might be surprised how many there are.
- Practice self-nurturing and be gentle with yourself
- Allow yourself a break of a few days if you need one
- And then, start moving – go for a walk, exercise, get your blood flowing
- Do not put energy into resisting the depression – it only makes it worse
- Volunteer or help someone who is in a worse situation than you are
- Focus on gratitude – write 5 things a day you are grateful for
- Journal about your feelings, challenges, and possible solutions
- Bring in the light – open the curtains or go out in the sunshine – spend time in nature
- Put your negative thoughts to the test by asking yourself if they are absolutely true
- Start focusing on possibilities and plans for the future.
- Make a plan and take baby steps, celebrating each one along the way
- Seek professional help if you need it
Every Thanksgiving I write a list of at least 100 things I am grateful for. Here are a few that were on my list this year:
- Finding letters from my granddaughter in the mailbox
- My amazing clients who trust me to support them on their life journeys
- Waking up to the sound of my cat purring
- A conflict that reminded me not to try too hard to figure things out that don’t make sense
- A sense of calm in stressful situations because I know I will take care of myself
- The many special people who touch my life
- My journey of education and growth at the University of Santa Monica
- Discovering I get really excited about supporting people starting new businesses
- Being told I’m too young to eat off the senior menu because they think I’m 10 years younger
I would love to hear what you are thankful for…..