“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.”
(photo credit: The awesome Anne Slattery)
Here is the audio version of this post. Thank you so much for listening.
As we enter upon the annual week of giving thanks, I could not pass up this opportunity to share my thoughts on gratitude, again.
Why do I share so often about gratitude? Simple. It saved my life.
The quote above, gracefully crafted by Melody Beattie, author of several books such as Codependent No More, spoke to my soul when I was at my darkest time, fighting for my life in rehab. So much so, that it is tattooed on the left arm. The whole quote, for those moments, I just may forget.
Recently I have received several questions about “my story”, how did I do it; you know, survive and thrive. Walk away from all the safety, security and notoriety of my career. How did I build Passion Squared? All awesome questions, many of them, being answered in my new group coaching program A(awesome) School, launching in January 2015.
But before anything else, the road to living an authentically awesome life is paved with gratitude.
OMG. So simple. Yet so very difficult for many to grasp.
A UMass Dartmouth study says “There is a complex relationship between thoughts, moods, brain chemistry, endocrine function, and functioning of other physiological systems in our bodies. Daily discussion of gratitude results in higher reported levels of alertness, enthusiasm, determination, attentiveness, energy, and sleep duration and quality. Grateful people also report lower levels of depression and stress, although they do not deny or ignore the negative aspects of life.”
I can attest to this. Living a grateful life does not mean we avoid conflict, issues, pain, or troubles in the world. No, we address those, and work through those. But at the same time, we make a choice, to practice gratitude 365 days a year.
Here are just two examples of how I shift to gratitude in what could be a defeating or stressful situation…
People get so stressed out about traffic. Like you have any control over the road conditions or all of those cars on the freeway. When I get stuck in traffic, I focus on being grateful for the time to catch up on an audio book, catch up with an old friend on the phone, or simply sit in peaceful silence.
This could be a delay of a project, a relationship, a vacation, whatever. I see delays not as denials, but as gifts and messages from the Universe, telling me, slow down, think this through a bit more, it’s not the right time. Thank you Universe.
As I was writing this post, my ADD brain jumped over to Facebook, and then this awesome status update appeared by the beautiful Ginger Boyle…
“Reality is things to do not manifest instantly, there is a wonderful buffer of time that gives us opportunity to redirect our attention to what we want to experience. Have a beautiful Sunday! Start by being grateful.”
You see, we all have choices. I choose gratitude. Not just on the last Thursday in November, but every single day of the year.