If we practice gratitude and keep a thankful heart, we’ll automatically extend inspiration wherever we go.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Dalai Lama on Gratitude

“Everyday, think as you wake up, today I am fortunate to be alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others; to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings. I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly about others. I am going to benefit others as much as I can.” – Dalai Lama

Day 31 In Gratitude

News reports read, "Colossal storm for Midwest, Northeast Across the Midwest, South and Northeast, the heavy snow, wind, ice, heavy rain and severe storms rapidly expand Tuesday". This sounds like it's going to be quite a storm this week. My hope is for everyone to be safe and warm. The weather lately has been so unpredictable. My flight home from New York isn't until Thursday evening and my hope is that the storm will have passed by then. But for today, I am grateful to be safe and warm and for my husband, boys and entire family the same.

What are you grateful for?

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Day 30 in Gratitude

New York has been slammed with snow this year! I just flew into the city and driving to Manhattan saw cars parked on some streets in little car igloos while other streets were completely cleared. They're expecting even more snow in the next few days! I am grateful to have had no weather affecting the flight in.

I was watching a new company set up their booth yesterday. I'm attending a trade show with hundreds of vendors promoting and selling their wares. Watching the booth next to ours during set up was very entertaining. 4-5 women, each with their own agenda, their own mission to make the booth look exquisite. They may have come with a solidarity plan, but from an outsiders view, they all seemed to have read the blue prints differently. I'm assuming that each of these women were, in their own right, highly creative. The entertaining aspect of all of this was watching these women try and push their creative ideas of booth design and merchandising on each of the other women. Chaos! Hours upon hours were spent putting up a display only to tear it down within a matter of minutes to put it up all over again. The funny thing is, today - the booth was packed with buyers - packed! After days of chaos and a bit of arguing, this booth was humming with business. I went over today to meet these women. They are all very strong, very smart business women who have nothing but respect for each of their partners. To watch these women the day before the show opened, one would believe that nothing would work out for them. Today, they came together and worked as a cohesive team, like a well-oiled machine. The art of collaboration and compromise was at work and it worked very well for them. I am grateful to be surrounded by such strong, motivated and creative women who have made a successful business for themselves while never compromising who they are and what they believe in. Congratulations!

I didn't sleep very well last night. Waking up at 3:30am in a hotel room when you're exhausted from a travel day is not the best way to start the trip. But tonight, I will sleep. So I am grateful to KNOW that tonight, I will get a great nights sleep, wake refreshed and ready to conquer the day!

What are you grateful for?

Friday, January 28, 2011

Day 28 in Gratitude

So much happening today. We closed on our home in Las Vegas tonight so that chapter of our lives is closed. We've learned much. Much about trust in others, much about acting on emotion. We've made some mistakes, we're licking our wounds and moving forward. I am grateful for every event that has taken place over the past two years. I continue to learn, continue to grow.

I am grateful to have a roof over my head. I am grateful for a warm meal, I am grateful for everything that I've lost in my life, and for everything I have gained. Think about this - Take a good, long look back over everything you've been through over the past years, the good events, the troubling events. Would you change anything if you could? I wouldn't. I feel like my life is like a giant puzzle and each year, I graciously accept another piece to it. The puzzle may never be complete but as each chapter closes I get to see another view of the bigger picture. For that I am grateful.

What are you grateful for?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Obstacles: A Matter of Perspective

For a long time it seemed to me that real life was about to begin, but there was always some obstacle in the way. Something had to be got through first, some unfinished business; time still to be served, a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it downed on me that these obstacles were my life!
~Bette Howland

Webster's dictionary defines an obstacle as "an obstruction that prevents a forward movement or course of action." Do you ever feel restricted by an obstacle - something that stands between you and what you define as a complete and whole life? Do you see the pathway of your life leading to a point at which you will one day arrive, where all obstacles will disappear? If you do, you are in for one long pathway. I don't know of anyone who doesn't have obstacles of one kind or another in their life. As a matter of fact, my observation is that often those who appear to have the greatest challenges in life, with apparent obstacles far larger than my own, seem to see their own challenges not as obstacles at all but rather as growth opportunities for forward movement. Thomas Carlyle wrote: "The block of granite, which is an obstacle in the pathway of the weak, becomes a stepping-stone in the pathway of the strong." In other words, obstacles are all a matter of perspective. Do you see the challenges in your life as obstacles or opportunities? Do you see them through the eyes of a victim or a victor? Either way, let's free ourselves from any illusions: we shall always have challenges. How we see them is our choice.
Excerpt from The Art Of Being by Dennis Merritt Jones, D.D.

Day 27 in Gratitude

I love my dog. Everyday when I come home, it's like he is seeing me after being apart for weeks or months. Tail wagging, prancing around like he's a puppy (he's 9) and wanting to play. I am grateful that he is here to greet me.

I am grateful that my windshield wipers work. We had a crazy rain/ice storm today and without my windshield wipers, I don't know if I would have made it home safe.

I am grateful to be going to bed soon. As soon as I'm finished blogging, I'm off to la la land and I can't wait. The anticipation of slipping into a nice, warm bed with clean sheets is thrilling. I'm pooped!

What are you grateful for?

Day 26 in Gratitude

Self-Development is taking personal responsibility for one's own learning and development through a process of assessment, reflection, and taking action. The first tenant of positive self development is continuous learning. We don't exist in a vacuum, and we are constantly shaping and being shaped by our environment. That was very clear to me today. In my mind, I am poised, confident, calm, keep a positive attitude and stay focused. In reality, I am subject to my emotions, others moods, and the overall atmosphere of the office environment just like everyone else. In a nutshell, I saw and heard myself go down the very path that I try so desperately to stay off of. The dreaded NEGATIVITY PATH! Driving home going over the events of the day I made a pact to myself that the next time a situation arises, I will stop, take a deep breath and tell myself to look at the situation from a new and positive direction. Today, I am grateful that I am on a path of self awareness and also that I realize I am a work in progress.

I have nothing but respect for everyone I work with. I work with a group of creatives and they never cease to amaze me. The process in which they develop and design product is awe-inspiring. I am grateful to be working with such talented individuals.

I had a wonderful evening talking with a young woman who has decided to take her life into her own hands and develop and action plan to add passion and clarity to her life. I can only hope that I will keep her focused and add inspiration to her growth and development process. I am thankful to be a part of this wonderful process.

What are you grateful for?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Day 25 in Gratitude

Be Thankful

Be thankful that you don’t already have everything you desire,
If you did, what would there be to look forward to?

Be thankful when you don’t know something
For it gives you the opportunity to learn.

Be thankful for the difficult times.
During those times you grow.

Be thankful for your limitations
Because they give you opportunities for improvement.

Be thankful for each new challenge
Because it will build your strength and character.

Be thankful for your mistakes
They will teach you valuable lessons.

Be thankful when you’re tired and weary
Because it means you’ve made a difference.

It is easy to be thankful for the good things.
A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who are
also thankful for the setbacks.

GRATITUDE can turn a negative into a positive.
Find a way to be thankful for your troubles
and they can become your blessings.

~Author Unknown~

I am filled with joy tonight. I am so grateful, I am so blessed.

What are you grateful for?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Day 24 in Gratitude

I am grateful to be learning and growing. Every Monday night my husband and I go to a class on Prosperity. Reading the materials, doing the homework, sharing and listening to others share, and putting into practice everything we've learned has been such a rewarding experience for me. For that, I am truly thankful.

Last week while traveling on business I had the opportunity to really connect with my boss. Working with him in an office setting only allows me to get to know one aspect of him. Traveling and spending 12-14 hours a day with that same individual and taking the time to have more in-depth conversations on all topics ranging from politics, religion, family values, etc. I have a better understanding of who he really is at his core. I have a new found respect for him and I am grateful I know him.

I am in awe of my husband and his strength. He had a bad day this past week. One of those days when he digs a hole, jumps in and somehow manages to cover himself completely in self pity. We've all had these days, some more than others but I think we all can attest to the fact that it's not pretty. Some of us can stay in that hole for days on end, set up camp and live there comfortably numb. Not my husband. He allowed himself a few hours of the "woe is me" mantra but then shook it off and went on with his day. He continues to amaze me; he is my teacher, my lover and my best friend. I am thankful for his persistence and positive attitude.

What are you grateful for?

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Day 23 in Gratitude

Walking outside in the cold, crisp, fresh night air, I feel so alive, so full of life. I am grateful to be alive. Watching my dog run around like a nut, he doesn't seem to mind the arctic air one bit. He seems happy just being and it makes me smile.

I am grateful for everything I've gone through. Looking back over the years, the good and the bad, I wouldn't change a thing. Lessons have been learned and there are still many more to come. Bring 'em on!

I am pooped. Today was a long day. Watching the Bears lose, spending time with friends, then going for dinner with my boys for my son's birthday. What a lovely full day. I am thankful for this day.

What are you grateful for?

Feeling Our Life, Finding Our Life's Work

This is an article found on Daily OM that needs to be repeated.

The way we know we are doing our life's work is by how we feel when we are doing it.

Sometimes it takes us the better part of a lifetime to discover our life's work, even though we may have been doing it our whole lives without necessarily realizing it. Our life's work is not always what we do to make money, although we often think it should be, and sometimes this way of thinking prevents us from seeing clearly what it is. It may be the work of having children, caring for them, and running a household. The way we know our life's work is by how we feel when we are doing it.

When we are doing our life's work, we feel an uncanny sense of ease and alignment. This doesn't mean that the work is always easy, and it doesn't mean that it's the only work we have to do; it just means that there is a conviction deep inside us that tells us we are in tune with our innermost self. When we are engaged in our life's work, our bodies feel more alive, because our energy is devoted to a cause that, in turn, feeds us. We may be tired after engaging in our life's work, but we are almost never depleted. We feel grounded in the world, knowing that we belong here and have something important to offer.

When we are deeply unhappy, depressed, or subject to one illness after another, this may be due to a sense of disconnection from our life's work. At times like these, finding the work we are meant to do is an essential act of healing. Most of us remember a time when we felt fully engaged in some act of work, service or creativity, and it is here that we may rediscover the work we are meant to do now. On the other hand, it may be time to explore what inspires us through volunteering, taking a class, going back to school, or just doing whatever it is we long to try. We all have callings, and when we find them, we owe it to ourselves to nurture and protect them, because while they may or may not be our livelihood, they are the keys to our wellbeing.

I feel drawn to my 365 Days In Gratitude blog to be an inspiration to myself and others. My life's work? Probably not all of it but it certainly is a major part. I hope you feel inspired.

Make it a great day and GO BEARS!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Day 22 in Gratitude

26 years ago today I gave birth to a 6lb 12oz bouncing baby boy. 26 years ago...it just doesn't seem possible. I still feel like it was yesterday driving him to and watching his soccer games. Watching him playing the drums, playing basketball, reading a poem on stage, playing baseball in the park with his brothers. I never thought I'd say this but time really does fly. (OMG, I've become my Mother!) I am so grateful to have him in my life. We talk, we play scrabble on-line (actually he humors me in a game of scrabble while he kicks my butt) we go out to dinner and have lively conversation. I treasure every moment of watching him grow to be a wonderful human being with a heart of gold. I love you babydoll.

I am grateful to reconnect with an old friend. Years ago we worked together in the restaurant business and he always dreamed of one day owning his own. That dream has become a reality and I'm so proud of him.

I am grateful to have friends in my life that support me unconditionally. Over the course of 352 days I'm sure you'll see me post this frequently. I have a fantastic support group of friends whom I adore and love dearly. Having friends I can completely open up to, showing them my warts and my inner beauty and who are always there when I need them means the world to me. Whether to just go shopping with to pick out a pair of shoes or having a heart to heart over the phone, I am forever thankful for who you are at your core, I love you.

What are you grateful for?

Friday, January 21, 2011

Day 21 in Gratitude

Today was hard. My husband and I are going through a tough transitional period and it's difficult on both of us. These past two years have been a roller coaster of moving many times, unemployment, losing a house and more. I am thankful we can talk through the more challenging days and try to understand each others feelings as best as we can.

We had plans to go out for dinner with friends tonight but I'm not feeling well. I am grateful to have stayed home, in my pajamas, eating tomato soup for dinner and watching a silly movie.

I am grateful for my life. No matter what the challenges life brings I love my life. I love the ups and downs, the uncertainty, the lessons to be learned, the roller coaster. God gave me a safety belt and a positive attitude to get through anything with a small crying fit and a smile.

What are you grateful for?

Day 20 in Gratitude

I was listening to NPR today as they reported these numbers: The number of unemployed persons decreased by 556,000 to 14.5 million in December, and the unemployment rate dropped to 9.4 percent. Over the year, these measures were down from 15.2 million and 9.9 percent,respectively. I guess one would say these numbers hold some hope that things are turning around. I personally feel they are but as my readers already know, I am an optimist. The unemployment rate fell by 0.4 percentage point to 9.4 percent in December of 2010. The fact remains, these numbers are staggering, shocking and unacceptable. More and more people go to bed hungry, cold and without any jobs to sustain them. For those of you who have jobs whether menial or with prestige, I encourage you to count your blessings. I was without work for almost a year, my husband has been unemployed now for one year and actively continues to look. Currently I have been employed for 4 months and for that, every morning I say THANK YOU GOD.

I am grateful for my health. I have many friends and acquaintances who are struggling to hold on to theirs. What some go through on a daily basis while battling their illness; pain, uncertainty, sickness and fear I pray for your comfort. I wake every morning and forget how healthy I actually am. My feet keep holding me up, my eyes see, my heart beats normally and my breath goes without any guidance. For all that, I am truly thankful.

On a lighter note, For Christmas this year my three boys bought my husband and I tickets to see Wicked.
"A breathtaking success story, of a magnitude the theater has not witnessed since the peak years of 'The Phantom of the Opera' ~ The Washington Post.
"This musical has it all in one 'WICKED' brilliant package, women together with memorable music, clever lyrics, and a heavy dose of humor." ~ Boston Globe.
We were blown away. The best play I've ever seen, my husband enjoyed it thoroughly. You want to skip out of the theater humming the songs with a huge smile on your face. Thank you guys, what a wonderfully thoughtful Christmas gift, we loved every minute of it!

What are you grateful for?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

January 19, 2011 Full Moon

I just had to post one more time before going to bed tonight. Have you looked out your window and taken in the moon in all it's glory?!? It's absolutely breathtaking. I am thankful I have eyes to see such beauty. Thank you, thank you.

Day 19 in Gratitude

How can one person possibly have a lasting impact on the rest of the world? By changing themselves and serving as an example for all those around them. Start small and the whole world may soon follow suit.

I am thankful I am finally home! The flight out of Atlanta this morning went off without incident. We landed safely in Chicago and all I could do was yell "Woo Hoo!"

My honey was at the airport to give me the biggest, wettest kiss in a long time.
I missed him so and am grateful to have him in my life.

I am grateful that this trip was very successful. Even with the weather affecting attendance, we had a lot of positive outcomes.

I am also grateful to be sleeping in my own bed tonight ;-)

What are you grateful for?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Day 18 in Gratitude

My original flight out of Atlanta tonight was for 7pm but due to weather the flight has been canceled so I'll be spending night #7 in Atlanta. I'm bummed but it is what it is, you can't fight Mother Nature. You never see a eagle straining in the wind, he doesn't pick a fight, spreads his wings and just gives in. And so tonight I'm taking a lesson from the eagle and giving in. I am grateful to be safely on the ground.

I am grateful to have had a fabulous dinner in the hotel restaurant. The description for Terrace reads; Enjoy sustainable fine dining for breakfast, lunch and dinner at the upscale Terrace Restaurant overlooking Peachtree Street at the Ellis Hotel in Atlanta GA. Serving delicious American heirloom entrees and supporting local and regional farmers, fishermen and producers, Terrace captures fresh simple flavors. Savor the pure aroma and tastes of natural and organic ingredients bursting with delicious flavors and sustainably-sourced ingredients. If you're ever in Atlanta, you must try it!

I am grateful to be going home tomorrow. It will be a crazy day of flying home, going to work and trying to catch up on everything that's been happening but it's all good. And the best part? Numerous hugs and kisses from my husband, face licks from my furry friend and a great nights sleep in my own bed!

What are you grateful for?

Day 17 in Gratitude

I am so grateful to be going home tomorrow. I don't mind traveling and working on the road but after 4-5 days, I'm so ready to be in the comfort of my own surroundings.

I am grateful to be back in the hotel and off my feet!

I am tired...dead tired. I am grateful to have a nice, soft, comfy hotel bed with crisp, clean sheets to crash on!

What are you grateful for?

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Day 16 in Gratitude

"Your dog threw up all over the house today," was the report I got from my husband tonight. When I'm away it seems my canine friend doesn't handle the stress very well. We seem to be very connected. He follows me wherever I go. If I get up to go to the bathroom, he gets up, walks to the bathroom with me, sits in front of the door and waits for me. If I get up and walk into another room he gets up and follows. I have a permanent shadow when I'm home with him and I appreciate his companionship. But when the suitcase comes out, he immediately starts to get apprehensive. I wish I could reason with him, have a heart to heart, reassure him I'll be back soon...you know, like they do in cartoons. Pets are amazing creatures expressing unconditional love on a continual basis. We have a lot to learn from them. So, I am grateful to have my furry friend by my side showing love and adoration. I just hope he stops puking before I get home!

I am grateful that my life is so full. I was talking with someone today telling him about this and that and he stopped dead in his tracks and said, "You seem to put a positive spin on everything that happens in your life but seriously, you've got a lot going on. Your life should be a sitcom, it would be hysterical." I've never really looked at my life from the outside in. Maybe it would be a comedy, I don't really know but I do know I wouldn't change a thing. Ok, maybe a few things.

I am grateful that this blog project has offered me the change to slow down to be able to appreciate everything in my life. A few years earlier, I seemed to live day to day. Going to work, coming home, eating dinner, watching tv, going to bed, getting up, going to work, you know the drill. I know I didn't take time everyday to express thankfulness for some of the things I took for granted. But now, I am learning to see things in a brighter light and I'm loving every minute of it. Thank you!

What are you grateful for?

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Day 15 in Gratitude

Wow, where do I begin? I have so many things to be grateful for today.

I am grateful to have had the opportunity to purchase a pair of comfortable shoes this morning! Last night, I walked through an Atlanta mall asking a security guard what time the shoe store in the mall opened the next morning, he told me 8:30. This morning, sitting outside of the shoe store at 8:20am there I was, feet still throbbing from the night before in anticipation of some relief. To my surprise, the mall opened at 8:30 but the shoe store opened at 10:00. You guessed correctly, I waited patiently! I was successful. Truth be told, the damage to my feet had already been done but at least tonight, I didn't limp back to my hotel room like the previous night.

I am grateful to have met an amazing women while waiting for the shoe store to open. With both our noses pressed against the store window waiting to try on any and all comfortable shoes was another woman. We started up a conversation and I found this woman to be fascinating. She was running a gift shop in Alabama. Her husband was a pharmacist and she opened a gift shop attached to the pharmacy. As I asked more questions, it turns out, she also owns and operates the local newspaper. After asking a few more questions found that she's also the mayor of that town! We had a wonderful conversation about life and doing what you love. I'm thrilled to have met her acquaintance.

Before meeting this woman who, from what little I learned, runs this small town in Alabama, I met a women from Michigan. We started talking about Global Warming, the importance of treating our earth gently, recycling, etc. Once the conversation really got going we were discussing how we both felt very strongly about the power of oneness and how we are all connected yet some days that thought isn't in the forefront. (Remember, I had 1 1/2 hours to kill) We talked about Oprah and the power she wields. How she can make or break a product and/or book. How she was trying to raise her children with the awareness that there are more important things than getting good grades. That treating people with respect is or should be a top priority. I am so grateful that I took the time to engage all these people in conversation. The more I do this, the more I truly understand and firmly believe we are all together in this. Yes, we do come wrapped in different packages. But we all have the same fears and desires. And even tho we may have different names for what we believe in, we are all connected.

What are you grateful for?

Friday, January 14, 2011

Day 14 in Gratitude

I can't believe it's already been two weeks since I started this endeavor and I'm so glad I did. I've received great feedback and welcome any and all suggestions to make this blog as user friendly as possible. If any readers have suggestions, please know that I welcome them!

Being in Atlanta during the worst snow/ice storm in 6 decades, it is very eye-opening at how much we take for granted in our daily lives. Living in Chicago, when it snows, you wait a few hours, the plows come out and either plow or salt and you're on your merry way. You don't worry about walking on the sidewalks because they've either been shoveled or salted. This storm has really crippled this city beyond your wildest imagination. The storm hit Sunday, Jan 9th and today, Friday, Jan 14th the schools are still closed, the garbage trucks are not working and UPS is just starting to deliver. This has affected every aspect of city life; restaurants, hotels, schools and even their post offices. With the temps climbing, they're relying on Mother Nature to melt the ice on the interstates so things can start to resemble normal. So, I am grateful that I live in a city that seemingly knows how to handle snow removal quite efficiently.

I am grateful for my youngest son who is away at school. He called today to say hi and make sure I got here safely. I love you honey!

I am grateful for comfortable shoes which this week I do not have in my possession. Standing on hard floors, sans carpeting, for 11 hours a day your feet, ankles, calves and knees will start screaming, throbbing and shooting pain messages to your brain pleading for comfortable shoes. I am anxiously awaiting a soft, comfortable pair of shoes to walk in and never want to take them for granted again after the experience I'm having this week.

What are you grateful for?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Day 13 in Gratitude

I am grateful to finally have my heels off...OMG, I may never get them back on my feet again. Anyone who has ever worked a trade show knows the pain of standing on a hard floor for 9-10 hours in heels. It's insanity! I am grateful to be barefoot and walking on a nice soft carpet.

I am grateful to have met some lovely people today. It is always entertaining to me, meeting and talking with people, learning about them, where they're from, what type of work they do. If you ask the right questions, you can find out a lot about people and really get to know who they are in a very short period of time. I find people and their stories fascinating.

I miss my husband. Being away from home has always proven difficult for me. I just miss his smiling face, his hugs, he gives the best 'I love you from the bottom of my heart' hugs in the world. When he wraps his arms around me, all I feel is love and warmth. I am so grateful to have him in my life. I am blessed.

What are you grateful for?

Day 12 in Gratitude

Good morning! I am so grateful to have had a safe, uneventful flight into Atlanta! This ice/snow storm has really paralyzed this city and airport. Cars and trucks stranded on the roadside, people can't get in or out of the city. Mother Nature really did a number here. With all that, the Atlanta city dwellers don't seem too bothered. Smiling and laughing as they tell their travel horror stories to each other, they're very inspiring.

I am grateful to have gotten a good night's sleep. Sometimes I struggle sleeping in hotels longing for my own bed and surroundings. I think I was just so tired, I had no problem whatsoever.

I am grateful to have watched the Atlanta sunrise this morning. Looking out my hotel window which faces northeast, I saw the most perfect sunrise. I always wonder if God boasts every morning when the universe puts on such a display of beauty. Thank you!

What are you grateful for?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Day 11 in Gratitude

Guard your thoughts carefully. The quality of your thinking determines the quality of your life." - Brian Tracy

I am bursting with anticipation on what this blog is going to grow into. I am planting seeds of gratitude and thankfulness in the knowing that it will become contagious. I will continue to post my daily thoughts and will also add articles and interviews from others on gratitude. So, today, I am grateful that I feel so inspired, strong and passionate with a purpose. A purpose to stay grateful in all things and to share my authentic self with my readers.

Today I am grateful that the universe continues to bring to me other inspirational, motivated and confident men and women so that we may feed off of each others enthusiasm and together make a difference in the world.

Tonight I am feeling a bit sad that I have to be out of town for 7 days and away from my husband. He is such a ray of sunshine for me. He's a bit kooky, just one of the things I love about him. He's also an intellectual, another aspect of him that I adore. He always says, "I'm a simple man" which is true and yet, not. He is simple yet complex. So tonight, I am grateful to have someone in my life that means so much to me and I will miss him so.

What are you grateful for?

Monday, January 10, 2011

Day 10 in Gratitude

Every Monday night my husband and I take a class learning more about metaphysics and the power of oneness. We made a commitment to ourselves that this new year we would surround ourselves with like-minded people and we have begun! Tonight in class I mentioned starting my 365 Days In Gratitude blog and everyone welcomed the idea and wanted to hear more. For that, I am truly grateful.

In that same class, there is a woman who dedicates her time to all of the administrative tasks that go into holding such a class. She works seamlessly behind the scenes and I want to recognize her. I am grateful to you (you know who you are) for all the time and effort you put into making that class run like a well-oiled machine.

I am grateful for something that most of us take for granted every morning. This morning when I walked into the living room, the sun was so vibrant it made me smile. I sat on the couch for just a brief moment and basked in it's glory. Normally in January the midwest is inundated with gray skies but not this morning and for that, I am grateful.

What are you grateful for?

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Day 9 in Gratitude

Today has been an amazing day. I had the opportunity to speak with an entrepreneurial woman from South Carolina who is starting an Elite Mastermind Group. She was focused, passionate and driven. I always marvel at the power of women who know what they want and go out and get it - very inspiring. I am grateful to have had an inspiring conversation with such an amazing woman. You know who you are - thank you.

My youngest son was home for a very short time this weekend. I mentioned in a previous post that he was home to attend the wedding of a dear friend of his. I am thankful to have spent the time I had with him, I enjoy him so.

I'm leaving out of town in a few days. I'm not ready to go on this trip. Tomorrow night after work I have a class from 7-9pm. I have Tuesday after work to pack and leave Wednesday morning. My fabulous husband helped me in every way today. He had gone out to run some of his own errands and stopped at the health food store to buy me some of the things I need to go on my trip. Then as I was starting to get my clothes ready for the trip, he came into the bedroom with fresh fruit because he knew I was hungry. I know, I know, you're all falling in love with him...how can you not?!? I am so thankful to have him in my life!! Thank you baby, I appreciate you.

What are you grateful for?

Day 8 in Gratitude

We had friends over tonight and the conversation spanned so many topics I can't elaborate. But, to that point, I am grateful for lively, non-judgmental conversation where everyone had their say and didn't feel threatened by majority.

I am grateful that my youngest son is experiencing one of his good friends entering into holy matrimony tonight. We had in-depth conversation about matrimony and maturity levels. I've learned that marriage, no matter what the age, is a matter of the heart.

I am grateful that my husband painstakingly made a wonderful tray of appetizers for tonight's guests even tho he wasn't eating anything! He is in the process of a full body cleanse and is on day 2 of the liquid diet...thank God there's only 2 days of liquid only. He went to the store tonight, bought food, cut cheeses, meats and other goodies for everyone else never partaking in any delicacies. That's commitment!

What are you grateful for?

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Food, Eating & Gratitude

Last night my husband, youngest son and I were watching a show called ‘The Best Thing I Ever Ate, If This Was Your Last Meal” It’s a show on the Foodie cable channel, a station that seems to be on often in my house.

My youngest son, who LOVES food, and I mean, LOVES food. This young adult will try anything, cook anything and devour anything. He loves good food; Chilean Sea Bass is one of his favorites, and loves junk food; a burger the size of his head with bacon, cheddar cheese, fried onion, etc. So his last meal he was describing a montage of a little bit of everything. He went from gourmet macaroni and cheese to Chilean Sea Bass to a chili, cheese hot dog with french fries on the dog. I can just feel the indigestion. My son ended by saying, "I just love going to new restaurants and trying new food." ...gratitude.

My husband, another guy who loves his food, loves cooking, loves kitchen experiments and having people over to experiment on, and soaks up recipe books like a sponge to water. His Last Meal Menu was more like Kung Po Chicken, Orange Beef, Pot Stickers, or anything Szechuan. My husband ended by saying, "I used to love this restaurant that was in up North in Chicago, that chef offered the best Szechuan around." ...gratitude.

Now it was my turn to answer. I couldn’t think of any one meal, one dish that if I knew it were my last meal, I just had to have. They kept pushing and prodding me for an answer. Indian! No, Ethiopian! I just love going to an Ethiopian restaurant, eating with other individuals whom I’ve never met, sharing a table and plate, great conversation and eating with my fingers. Dining Ethiopian is characterized by the ritual breaking of injera and eating from the same plate, signifying the bonds of loyalty and new-found friendship.

I realize that for me, it isn’t about the actual food, it’s more about the experience. When we go out for dinner with friends or my boys, I never concern myself with where or what we eat, I leave that to someone else. I just soak up the atmosphere of great conversation, love, sharing and laughter. The next day, I am always so grateful to have had the experience. I believe that if we adopt this kind of an attitude, a continual attitude of thankfulness and gratitude, we’ll inspire others to do the same. If we practice daily gratitude we’ll automatically extend inspiration wherever we go.

And so, just another reason I started this blog. I begin and end every day of life with some expression of thankfulness. Whether when waking I offer a quick “Thank you God, for this life, for my body, for my family, friends and loved ones” or at the end of the day when blogging on my 365 Days of Gratitude blog.

Now I think I’ll go make myself some chocolate and strawberry waffles, or banana pancakes…for some reason, I’m hungry. ~Namaste

Friday, January 7, 2011

Day 7 in Gratitude

I am grateful to have made it home from work safe. It was snowing and freezing. The streets were a sheet of ice and one of the main roads was crazy slippery. Everyone was driving no more than 10 MPH. Every time we stopped at a stop light, starting was like trying to gain your footage on an ice skating pond.

I am grateful for my son, driving up from college, made it home safely. I always worry about my boys driving in the snow. Why? I have no idea. My boys were raised in the midwest and are used to driving in blizzard like conditions. I'm the one with the lead foot, not them.

Tonight, when I came home, I made both my son and I tomato soup and grilled cheese. It's such a comfort food! I am grateful for comfort food and the memory of comfort food! It brings me back to when I was a kid.

What are you grateful for?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Day 6 in Gratitude

I am grateful for having friends to share Wine Wednesday with. If you're not familiar, Wine Wednesday is a day where friends get together at the same place, every week to share a glass of wine and anything else that you're willing to share. I have 4 close friends who have been holding Wine Wednesday for over a year. Sometimes is on a Wednesday, sometimes it's Thursday like today.

This WW practice started while I was living in Las Vegas. My cousin and her close friends were doing this and once I moved there, was immediately invited into the group. There's no judgment, there is nothing off the table, every topic is open to discussion. I love it. There are some WW's where all we do is laugh. We don't talk anything personal and some days, we cry together sharing intimate stories over a glass of wine. Women at their best - we are truly amazing beings.

I am grateful for my car that seems, under extreme circumstances, to get me safely to work and back every single day. This car has driven back and forth from Las Vegas to Chicago too many times to mention and has over 140,000 miles. There is definitely something going on under the hood. It's so loud that when I listen to books on tape or just the radio, I have the volume so high you'd think I was a 15 year old teenager.

I am grateful for my soft, funky pajamas my husband bought me for Christmas. Every night, I come home from work, take off the typical 'work suit' and slide easily into these soft, comfy, cozy white pajamas with peace & love printed all over. Sexy? hell no, perfect? YES!
What are you grateful


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Day 5 in Gratitude

Today I went to a wake for a 30 year old woman who gave up her battle to lung cancer. She was adopted as a baby and reunited with her biological family about 6 years ago. Sitting at the funeral home, watching the dynamics of a blended family. Some were mourning the loss of a sister they had known for 30 yrs. Some were mourning a sister they had known for 6 years. I don't even know where I'm going with this thought except to say that I was so moved by all the love in the room.

I am blessed to have my family. They love me unconditionally and I them.

I am grateful for being able to witness the dynamics of that blended family. It gave me such a sense of that same unconditional love.

I am grateful that my husband is feeling better. The antibiotics are starting to kick some bacteria butt. He's still lacking energy but coughing less which means we'll both get a better night's sleep tonight!

What are you grateful for?

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Michael Beckwith on the Power of Gratitude

Day 4 in Gratitude

Today was tough. My day started at 3am waking to my husband coughing his head off! The poor man gets bronchitis every January and this January is no different. I dragged my pillow and my tired butt to the spare bedroom to try and get a few more hours of sleep but sleeping on a trundle bed sucks! (Sorry overnight guests)

Later in the day my husband and I decided to have a knock down blow out fight via email. Ah the power of internet communication. Later in the day one of my biggest accounts emailed me at 4:55pm to tell me we're not QA compliant and the situation needs to be rectified today. That triggers a phone call to my hair stylist to cancel my hair cut! Yes, I will be cutting my bangs tonight before bed.

So...with all that, I will go within and find the light in my otherwise bleak day.

I am grateful that I am healthy. My husband seems to get this terrible bronchitis every single January and it usually lasts a few weeks. I am grateful that, to date, I am mucus free and also grateful that he is on antibiotics to knock it out of him quickly.

I am grateful that I came home to a carry out pizza on the kitchen table - life is good!

I am grateful that during this upside down day, I had a few minutes to IM my middle son and have a great conversation with him. I love talking and sharing with my boys so any chance I have to communicate with them, I take it.

What are you grateful for?

Monday, January 3, 2011

Day 3 in Gratitude

I always feel such a renewed sense of purpose every January. January brings forth new possibilities, new opportunities for growth, change. Every morning I want to wake feeling like I feel every January so that I start my day with the optimism of a child.

I am so grateful to have been blessed with the eyes of a child today. I feel rejuvenated, uplifted and filled with anticipation of what's to come.

I am grateful for the bountiful dinner tonight. Everything was fresh and delicious and enough.

Usually, every night I walk by my bosses office and say goodbye before leaving. Every night he decides to start up a new conversation that usually takes about 20 minutes leaving me in a heap of traffic on the way home. Tonight, I am grateful to have made a conscious decision to leave exactly when I needed to to get home and spend precious time with my husband.

What are you grateful for?

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Day 2 in Gratitude

I am so grateful that my husband is starting to gain recognition for his beautiful music. He was able to play a song today in church and it was heartwarming to hear people telling him how soothing it was. I believe he is realizing that sharing his gift with the world is what he needs to be doing more of.

I am grateful to have my health. A very dear friend of mine lost her 30yr old sister to lung cancer on New Year's Eve. Taking good care of my body temple needs to be a priority!

I am grateful for having the time to spend relaxing today. The Christmas tree and all the decorations were put away yesterday, the house is clean, the laundry is done (ok, there is one load in the washing machine) which frees up my time for reading and blogging.

What are you grateful for today?

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Day 1 in Gratitude

I am so very grateful for friends. My husband and I had a wonderful New Year's Eve spent at home with friends, eating, laughing (there was a lot of laughing) and sharing. Bless you my friends!

I am grateful for the abundance of food that we eat and share. We sometimes take for granted the act of going to the grocery store to purchase food. In a world where some don't have that luxury, I will not take that for granted.

I am grateful to have my new blog up and running! It took a few days of trial and error and I'm sure there will more but I am thrilled to share my gratitude with the world and hopefully, watch gratitude spread.