Day 15 (40 Days of Gratitude)

The last couple of days I had the opportunity to hangout with my mom. It was a great opportunity to rekindle how grateful I am for family, both biological and the family I choose today. My family has experienced a lot of loss and sadness the last several months, but the gift is it has brought us closer together.

Today I am grateful for the ability to be a part of a family.

Gratitude List:

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Day 13 (40 Days of Gratitude)

(Every Friday we will be featuring a guest author.)

A Light in the Darkness

Recently, one of the founders of Change Your Life Friday asked me if I would be interested in writing another guest post for the site. This would be part of a 40 Days of Gratitude series. Naturally, I jumped at the opportunity. Gratitude has been a part of my daily practice in mindfulness for several years now.

However, as I started to put pen to paper, I asked myself what I could write about gratitude that hasn’t already been said. We already know that gratitude can help us sleep better at night, facilitate new friendships, and cause an overall increase in well-being. Athletes have been shown to have higher self-esteem after practicing gratitude, it has a positive impact in the workplace, and it’s even good for your heart.

While all of these studies show, from a scientific perspective, what gratitude can do for us, I have to point back to my own experiences of how this simple practice has made my life richer and more fulfilling.

Fostering an attitude of appreciation and thanks has become the drumbeat to my every day life, which has allowed me to overcome disappointments, betrayals, failures and the general, run-of-the-mill malaise that comes with being completely and utterly human.

Gratitude has pushed me to cultivate true, fulfilling friendships while being thankful for the people who I had to cut ties with, as they taught me that I deserved better. It has whispered in my ear that my life-goals, drive, and aspirations are valid, while also reminding me that every setback in my career was just a stepping stone to where I am now, and where I will be in the future. Gratitude has taught me that forgiveness is a higher calling than bitterness, hope rules over fear, and love conquers hate.

In a lot of ways, being thankful has made me resilient. It has lifted me through the darkest times in my life while also helping me cherish all of the good times, too.

Ultimately, gratitude has helped me persevere. And for that, I am incredibly grateful.

Today I will use gratitude as a light in the darkness.

Gratitude List:
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Day 12 (40 Days of Gratitude)

Storytelling

This topic has been a reoccurring theme of CYLFriday. I was reminded today the importance of storytelling. I am blessed to have a job where telling good stories is a huge part of the daily work and final product. We watched a documentary today about someone who has become an almost mythical figure in our society, but saw him as just a man who was living a life based on principles he thought were important. The movie reminded me how we can help one another by passing on Life in the form of deep, meaningful, and connected stories; in addition to inspiring me to take a moment to consider my path in life.

Today I get to pick the story I tell, and the choice I prefer is faith, hope, and love.

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Day 10 (40 Days of Gratitude)

Who am I? Why are we here? How does that impact my relationships?

I was listening to a podcast yesterday, and a portion of it was discussing the 3 questions above. It made me aware, that recently, I have not taken the time to ponder these questions. I am grateful for reminders of the important questions in life, and I am grateful that I am interested in asking myself these questions.

Today I will take time to ask the “big questions.”

Gratitude List:

Day 9 (40 Days of Gratitude)

Nature

This past weekend I had the opportunity to spend a couple days at a camp ground with a group of friends. During this time, I was able to unplug and relax. We had time to laugh, meditate, and serve others. It was the opening needed in my busy life to observe how beautiful nature is, and allow that beauty and serenity to run through my veins. This morning I am overwhelmed with gratitude for Mother Nature. Thank You Life!

Today I will take time to stop and appreciate nature and the natural beauty in the world.

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Day 8 (Season of Gratitude)

Day 8

Struggle

Think back to the last time that you walked through a tough time and the person that you became on the other side.  When I look back at my life all of my struggles were so important in the process of becoming the man I am today.  With this knowledge, should we not be grateful and praise our struggles?  Easier said than done I know but that is all the more reason to keep up the practice of Gratitude in my days so that when struggles come I will be steeped in the grateful investments I have be making.

Today I will strengthen my Gratitude muscle every chance I get

Gratitude list

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Day 7

Day 7

Control

What do you really have control over?

In this life we have control over very little around us although we live in an illusion that we do.  One thing we do have control over is how we act and feel.  I can take control over the way that I feel through imparting positive action in my days.  As I take control of that piece of my life I tend to be very happy with the fact that I don’t have to control the rest of the universe because it is perfect the way it is.

Today I give up control of the universe and take control of how I see it.

Gratitude List

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Day 6 (40 Days of Gratitude)

(Every Friday we will be featuring a guest author.)

Giving Thanks!

On November 26, 2015 I received a Daily Inspiration Message:
“The more you practice gratitude, the more you see how much there is to be grateful for, and your life becomes an ongoing celebration of joy!”
don Miguel Ruiz
don Jose Ruiz
don Miguel Ruiz Jr

Thus began a commitment to start my day by posting a daily gratitude for one year – Thanksgiving Day 2015 to Thanksgiving Day 2016. I am now on Day #328 of Gratitude and I have to admit that I had no idea the impact my posts would have on my FB family. One day I did not post by 8:00 a.m. and my sister sent me a text to make sure I was okay. I have had friends begin their own daily gratitude postings as well – focusing on the good and the abundance in life.

Over the last 328 days I have had so many unexpected occurrences in my life. . . . trip to Spain, transition of my parents and father-in-law, my daughter completing her Master’s in Geo-Technical Engineering (I know a lot more about dirt than I ever imagined) and now looking forward to my retirement from teaching at the end of the year and the beginning of the next half of my life. What I have truly come to understand, deep in my bones and soul, is that it truly is all good – joy and adventures, sadness and grief, relief and life shifts.

So I am ready to continue the celebration of all the infinite blessings in my life – one day at a time.

Day 5 (40 Days of Gratitude)

Why?

Why be grateful?

Why look for a positive perspective?

Why take time to focus on what is good?

If I want to be truly happy, if I want to have a better life, if I want to grow and change, it is my responsibility to take the actions necessary to make that happen. I choose to take time to have an intentional life because I do not want to leave my happiness and future up to chance and speculation. I want to take an active role in today loving who I am and what I have so that I am not aggressively seeking outside of myself for things and people to fill me. That is my responsibility.

Today I will practice gratitude in all aspects of my life because I want a grateful life.

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