Can you be grateful and still want more?

Today I Am Grateful For New Friends  –Alyssa, age 4

Today I Am Grateful For New Friends –Alyssa, age 4

Whenever I mention to parents that I wrote a children’s book on gratitude, they almost always say, “That is so needed today.”

Then they tell me about the constant “I wants” they deal with and how difficult it can be to manage expectations, especially around the holidays.

As a gratitude expert, it may surprise you to know that I think this is OK. It is OK for kids to want gifts – lots of gifts – for the holidays. After all, isn’t that what being a kid is all about?

The holidays are about giving AND receiving so let’s not take the receiving part away from them – or yourself either!

I think where the frustration comes in for parents is in the lack of real appreciation when kids do receive a gift. And that’s where I come in.

Being grateful isn’t about wanting less or sacrificing more. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.

One of the biggest benefits of practicing gratitude is that it puts you in touch with what you love most in life. It helps you stay focused on the things that give you joy, and, often without you even noticing it, guides you toward those things so you can have more of them.  

Yes, having more – more of the things you love. More happiness. More joy. More peace. More love. And the more you appreciate these things, the more you’ll find them miraculously showing up in your life.

So how do we create an attitude of gratitude in our children?

One of the most valuable coaching tips I received in my training at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (you can learn more about my experience here) is the concept of “crowding out.” Instead of focusing on what a client should NOT be eating, Integrative Nutrition Health Coaches inspire clients to add more goodness to their diet – more greens, more healthy fats, more water, and more self-love.

It’s the same with kids. Instead of telling a child that they should be grateful, focus on creating healthy habits such as keeping a gratitude jar or asking them to say one thing they are grateful for at meal time or bed time each night. The real key here is p-r-a-c-t-i-c-e. It has to be a regular practice, something you do the same time each day or each week, in order for gratitude to be at the forefront of your mind – and your children’s minds – on a regular basis.

I was amazed at how much kids were able to share what they knew about gratitude at my workshop and book signing this past weekend. I believe that kids truly are grateful at heart, but like the rest of us, they are bombarded with commercial messages that take away from appreciating the good things in life and need tools to help reinforce positivity and appreciation. is dedicated to creating tools to help you practice gratitude all year long as a way to bring more goodness into your life.

Go ahead, say it, “I want more.” It’s OK.

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Practicing gratitude helps me receive more of what I love. @Gratitude2Bliss

What do you want more of? Please leave a comment below!









Light Up Your Life This Week

The afternoon light through my window is bright and intense. Blinding almost. And I am like a plant drawn to its warmth, soaking up as much as I can before it slips out of reach.

The end of daylight savings can rattle even the most grounded of us. Light, beautiful light, is the source of life. Getting by with less of it, I have to say, can make me feel less alive.

Knowing this, I make an effort to bring more light into my life this time of year. Here are a few ways you can too!

  1. Light a candle. This morning, as I was giving my son a bottle at 3 am, (changing the clocks already has him way off schedule), I opted not to turn on the lights. The morning bottle is a sacred time for me and rather than getting annoyed that I was up so early, I decided to light one of my favorite aromatherapy candles and bliss the moment.
  2. Buy some flowers. My friend A has been buying fresh flowers every Saturday and placing them in every room in her boyfriend’s apartment. She says they create more “light.” Using an essential oiler diffuser is another great way to elevate your surroundings!
  3. Check your Vitamin D. Most people are not getting enough Vitamin D and this time of year it’s especially important to get your levels checked. Vitamin D is actually a hormone that your body produces when exposed to sunlight. It affects energy, mood, and cellular growth and also regulates genes. Who knew? Optimal amounts — the key word here is optimal —  can help prevent autoimmune diseases, high blood pressure, fibromyalgia, depression, osteoporosis, and even cancer. One of my favorite teachers at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, Mark Hyman, MD, recommends getting tested for 25 OH Vitamin D and says that the optimal range is 40-65 ng/ml even though the “normal” range is considerably lower. You can find more info here.
  4. Get more Z’s. This time of year you may find yourself craving sleep. Our bodies are especially sensitive to light and as the days get shorter our need for sleep increases. Don’t fight it. Without enough sleep your body can’t heal, repair and restore. Remember this next time you practice your sun salutations at yoga. Thank the sun for giving you an excuse to get to bed early. Your body will love you for it. Oh, and remember to limit screen time to at least an hour before bed. Your brain needs chill time before shutting down.
  5. Up Your Vitamin G. Practicing gratitude activates the part of the brain responsible for producing serotonin and dopamine – our beloved mood enhancers. Getting less sunlight can have the opposite effect. A great way to bring more light to your practice – literally – is to journal by candlelight. A delicious way to end the day!


Now it’s your turn. How will you light up YOUR life this week? Leave a comment, question or gratitude below!

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Light, beautiful light, is the source of life.


Gratitude Now Trending

It’s official, gratitude season is here!

Soon everywhere you look, print and social media will be trending the G word and I think that’s a really good thing.  Because let’s face it – we need reminders.

But have you ever thought about why it is important to you to be grateful?

why should you make an effort to be more grateful?  More importantly, why should you want to?

My short answer:  IT FEELS GREAT!

Being grateful is something I do for myself.  It’s a tool I use, much like getting a massage, to lift me up and calm me down.  With the holidays coming, it’s all about avoiding stress and staying healthy.  And being grounded in gratitude is just the thing to help me with that.

So let’s start now.  What are 3-5 things YOU are grateful for today?  Post in the comments below.

Remember, keep it simple.  Maybe you’re grateful that a new organic juice bar opened up right near your office.  Or that Modern Family is finally back after summer hiatus.  It doesn’t’ have to be monumental.  It’s the often overlooked little things that are most worth appreciating!

Once you have your list, let’s see how these things make you feel.

Gratitude to Bliss Tip: it’s not the thought, but the feeling tied to that thought that matters!

Take a deep breath and really allow yourself to notice how being grateful feel sin your body.  In your heart.  And let this feeling energize you and heal whatever needs healing right now.  Go for it.  You’re worth it.

Here’s my list for today:

  1. Beautiful fall colors all around me
  2. Being able to balance quality time with my son AND creative work that fuels my passion for health and wellness.
  3. My new super gorgeous web site
  4. Getting to yoga twice this week


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