Is something missing?

After years of doing the Oprah Show, Oprah Winfrey began talking to her audience after the show to get a better sense of what women needed.

What she heard over and over was how much women were craving something more from their lives. Despite having an education, a career, and a family, most women felt as if something was missing. 

Can you relate?

Do you find yourself craving something more and not knowing exactly what that something more might be?

Being a spiritual person, Oprah said she knew instinctively that “something more” was a connection to something that’s bigger than yourself.

One of the things I love most about the power of daily gratitude, is how it helps you FEEL connected to that something bigger. It helps you stay connected to what already is. To what you already have. To the life force that gives and gives and keeps on giving.

Whether it’s the dream job, car, vacation, relationship, house, or even a baby, it’s important to remember that those things will not fulfill that need for “something more” in the way that true appreciation does.

So on your journey to achieving all that you desire (and I’m not saying you should give up on your dreams, never ever!), be sure to include an attitude of gratitude.

Make today count.

Smell the flowers.

Look people in the eye and smile.

Walk in the woods.

Talk to the trees.

Search for butterflies.

Money and “things” don’t buy happiness. Appreciation does.  Tweet this! 

Learn the art of appreciation now and that dream house and love relationship will seem all that more delicious once they happen for you.

Please share your thoughts in the comments below!

Thriving Through Infertility With Gratitude

Check out my latest article on Thrive Global!

Thriving Through Infertility With Gratitude: How one small change can make your journey to motherhood healthier and happier

5 Minutes Changes Everything

gratitude101116_blogFive years ago I gave my first workshop on gratitude at a local yoga studio. I had very little speaking experience, so getting up in front of a group did not come easy. I spent a lot of time organizing my thoughts and practicing in front of a mirror. Although the group was small, I was very nervous. Afterwards, the studio owner told me I needed to speak more loudly. I felt awkward and discouraged. I wanted to give up.

But a few months after that workshop, I received this email from one of my attendees:

“I have always had a desire to get rid of my anxiety and depression, however I never knew how to do this – despite years of formal therapy. I started my gratitude journal and could not believe how many negative thoughts I was having on a daily basis. This journaling was significant for me because it showed me that I had all that I needed right before me…My depression/fog has lifted and for the first time in many years I feel alive and with happy, positive energy.”

I am so grateful for her email, because it gave me the reassurance I needed to keep going.

It showed me that the work I was doing with gratitude — writing, speaking, and coaching — had already helped at least one person change her life.

Since then, I’ve received many more emails from people around the world using the Gratitude To Bliss print journal and now the Gratitude To Bliss Mobile App. Here is one of them from a woman in the Philippines:

“My husband died a few months ago and I have two kids. Gratitude To Bliss was a big help to my recovery. I am really grateful I found this app. Again, thank you so much.”

So what is really going on when people practice gratitude? Why is it so powerful? Why is it so easy?

When you make even the tiniest effort to focus your thoughts on all the good in your life, for as little as five minutes a day, you are choosing to see things differently. By doing so, you are allowing a shift to occur that enables you to see the good in more and more things as time goes by, despite your circumstances.

The best way that I’ve found to do this is to keep a gratitude journal and write 3-5 things every day that you are grateful for. Remember to focus on the feeling you get when you think about the items on your list. This will help you get the most out of your practice so that it doesn’t become another list-making task. You will actually feel good while you practice by remembering how meaningful these things are to you.

For example, when I practice gratitude, I don’t just list “my family.” I’ll say “fun times with Aunt Emily” and remember how much fun I had at her house last weekend, laughing and and telling stories about when we were kids.

Gratitude Tip: DO NOT SPEND MORE THAN FIVE MINUTES!

By limiting your practice to five minutes a day, you will increase your changes of actually doing it daily. Spending more time will mean you won’t get to it every day and the effects won’t be as strong. Consistent, daily practice is key.

I often refer to this practice as Vitamin G because it’s extremely nourishing, yet easy to do.

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5 Minutes Changes Everything @Gratitude2Bliss

What could one daily dose of Vitamin G do for you?

Get started today!

Please share your comments below.

Gratefully yours!

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5 Tips to Up Your Happiness This Fall

As I dropped off my son for pre-school the other day, finally enjoying a moment to myself, I realized that I felt a bit off.

It’s no wonder. The “official” end of summer and start of fall is one of the most drastic transitions we experience throughout the year.

Days are noticeably shorter, kids are back in school, and the weather is shifting. Cooler days means the trees will soon be changing colors and letting go of their leaves to prepare for another winter.

And while I love fall, and all its beauty, I will admit, all this change has a way of throwing me off my game.

So, what’s a girl to do?

Here are five tips to keep your happiness alive this fall:

1. First, simply recognize that you and the world around you are in transition. Sometimes we get so caught up in the craziness of back-to-school or back-to-work that we don’t even realize that every other living thing is experiencing a whirlwind of change right now. So take a five minute break today to just reflect on all the change that’s happening. Then take a few deep breaths and know that everything will be ok. Because it will.

2. Get out in nature as much as possible. No matter how old or young you are, saying good-bye to summer can be tough. We are creatures of nature and we thrive on sunshine and being outside. So as the days start getting shorter and the air starts getting cooler, make a point to celebrate this time of year by getting outside and savouring the last few months of sunshine before winter comes.

3. Find something to ground you. Now more than ever you need to make sure you have a solid morning ritual in place. Practicing gratitude for five minutes each morning works wonders for keeping you feeling balanced and alive so you can enjoy the season. Combine this with getting out in nature and you’ll be stronger and more balanced than ever.

4. Don’t let your yoga practice or exercise routine slide. This time of year we can easily feel overwhelmed with all the projects, events, and other stuff we put off until fall. But skipping exercise will throw you off balance even more so schedule that first. I give you permission.

5. Eat grounding foods. While nature throws us for a loop this time a year, she also knows what’s best for us and she always delivers. Root vegetables and squashes that grow in or on the ground hold natural grounding energy within them. So eating these gems “in season” means nourishing yourself with the right foods, right now.

To get you started, check out this simple, savory veggie muffin recipe from my Bliss Cleanse program!

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Mini Veggie Muffins

Ingredients:

1 cup veggies, grated or finely chopped (suggestions: carrots, zucchini, squash, peppers, onions)
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups quinoa or spelt flour
½ cup parsley, finely chopped
1 cup almond or rice milk
Pinch of sea salt

Directions:

1.    Preheat oven to 325 ˚F.
2.    Mix flour and salt in a bowl.
3.    Make a well, add eggs, veggies and parsley.
4.    Mix lightly, gradually add milk. This is supposed to be lumpy so don’t work too hard!
5.    Spoon into a mini muffin tray that is lightly oiled.
6.    Bake for 12-15 minutes.
7.    Remove and allow to set for 10 minutes, then serve with coconut oil.

Tweet Now:
Fall Happy Tips + Veggie Muffins
http://tinyurl.com/ouvkbr2 @Gratitude2Bliss

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Are You Living Your Dharma?

Today we conclude our conversation on Primary Foods, with our focus on Career. (For more on primary foods, check out The Four Areas of Your Life You Need to Be Feeding).

Have you ever thought of your career as a primary food?

According to Joshua Rosenthal, Founder and Director, Institute of Integrative Nutrition,

“Finding work you love is essential to living a healthy, balanced life.”

One of my favorite spiritual teachers, Deepak Chopra, shares the concept of dharma in his book, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success. This little guide has been my go-to source for inspiration and clarity for several years now. In fact, I began using it daily around the same time I started practicing gratitude.

Dharma is a sanskrit word that means “purpose in life.”

According to Deepak, everyone has a unique purpose in life. There is something you can do that no one else can do, and when you match this gift with the intention of serving others, you achieve “the ecstasy or exultation of (y)our own spirit, which is the ultimate goal of all goals.”

In today’s world, a great deal of emphasis is placed on career. Our sense of worth gets all tied up in your career or job and the amount of your paycheck. But dharma is so much more than that.

Your dharma has 3 components:

1. To discover your true self – this is your spiritual journey
2. To express your unique talent – what is it that you can do better than anyone else in the world as a result of your unique talents and experiences?
3. To match your talents with service to others – how can you share your gift in a way that helps others?

Practicing gratitude supports these three areas. As we’ve already touched on in a previous post:

Practicing gratitude helps you stay connected to your true spirit
and help you stay focused on what brings you joy.

This helps you prioritize those things in your life and consciously — or unconsciously — seek out opportunities that make you happier. With this goes opportunities to share your gifts and help others.

This doesn’t mean you have to enjoy every minute of your job in order to be healthy and happy. What it does mean is that becoming more aware of yourself and your sense of purpose in the world, through practicing gratitude, can help you shape your life in a direction that is in alignment with who you truly are.

Sometimes this turns into a paying job, sometimes it is a hobby or a calling, and sometimes your dharma is simply being there for the people in your life, again and again and again.

When my Mom passed away in 2010, I was surprised to learn how many people she had helped at her job as a school secretary. Unbeknownst to me, she was the person at school people confided in and she found great pleasure in helping them find peace and clarity in their personal lives. Her talent for caregiving went beyond her family and was a true example of someone living her dharma.

If you haven’t yet figured out what your dharma is, don’t worry. Pay attention to the voice inside and trust that it will guide you to a place of joy and life satisfaction. Let your gratitude practice be the tool that connects you to your true purpose.

To give you an idea of how this works I will share a testimonial I received from a Gratitude To Bliss  journal user. After practicing gratitude for several weeks, this person began noticing that she often wrote in her journal about how she enjoyed being around people of different ethnicities. (This is why I always say that repeating is OK.) This made her realize a career option that involved working with different ethnic groups and she was quickly able to make a job change that became much more fulfilling for her.

So if you’re looking for a more satisfying career but don’t know where to start, start by practicing gratitude. It will lead you to wonderful things!

 

Gratitude connects me to my true purpose.

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Practicing gratitude keeps you connected to your true purpose. @Gratitude2Bliss

Find out how I connected to my dharma.

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