50 Things

 

Today is my 50th birthday. To celebrate, I give you 50 things I am grateful for in no particular order:

  1. That I get to wake up next to my two favorite people: my husband by my side, and my son who crawls into bed with us every morning – he is the best alarm clock ever.
  2. When my son says, “Mommy, I wuv you.”
  3. An entire year of healing and letting go of things that no longer serve me.
  4. That I get to inspire people to practice gratitude through my workshops, app and books.
  5. My friends. Friends are gold to me. I’ve been so blessed to have many close relationships in my life.
  6. The opportunity to live in these fun places for extended periods of time: London, San Francisco, Sausalito and New York City.
  7. Mocha chip ice cream.
  8. Snugging on the couch with my four year old.
  9. Sleep, beautiful sleep. It wasn’t always possible but sleep is my friend again.
  10. Living on the north shore of Long Island near the water.
  11. The beautiful seasons.
  12. Meditation.
  13. My amazing body.
  14. Cooking healthy, delicious food for my family.
  15. My parents. They have both passed but I keep them in my heart every day.
  16. My struggles. Without them, I never would have discovered the gift of practicing gratitude.
  17. Fall festivals.
  18. Tree lightings. I love going to Christmas tree lightings.
  19. Dark chocolate. I know it’s cliche but dark chocolate has become so sacred to me that I include it in my spiritual ritual each week where I cleanse each chakra, letting go of what I no longer need in my life, then bringing in love and light. The chocolate helps me taste the beauty of life as I breathe it in. Ok so that may be a little weird but now that I’m 50 I don’t really care if you think I’m weird. 😉
  20. My husband for sharing nighttime responsibilities of cleaning up and putting my son to bed every night.
  21. My husband for being such a fun Dad.
  22. My beautiful home.
  23. The view of trees outside my window when I wake up each morning.
  24. That we get to go to Colorado to visit my husband’s family every Christmas and ski and snowboard and enjoy mountain life.
  25. Yoga. It’s my feel-good activity.
  26. Writing. I never knew how much I would love being a writer.
  27. The mess of toys in my kitchen. Each one reminds me how much I love my son.
  28. My waterfall in my back yard. Pure zen.
  29. My trip to Costa Rica in 2011 which helped launch my gratitude career.
  30. The ocean. Being near the ocean revives me mentally, physically and emotionally.
  31. Doing art projects with my son. I love getting messy with him and having fun.
  32. Baking cookies and banana bread with my son. He loves to bake as much as me.
  33. All my mentors, teachers and coaches. Support is all around me.
  34. My sister. The day she was born was one of the best days of my life. We grew up together and now we are adulting together. It hasn’t always been a smooth ride but we always manage to be there for each other. I love her so much.
  35. Our family mantra: “Be kind, be helpful, be happy.”
  36. My nieces and nephews. Children are the world.
  37. Peace and quiet. Appreciating the silence whenever I can helps me stay calm and centered.
  38. Interactions with strangers. I have found that when I am relaxed and I take the time to notice people and really connect to them, my day is so much more fun.
  39. Super clear goals. My gratitude practice has helped me get so very clear on what makes me happy, which has empowered me to get rid of the things that don’t.
  40. Financial freedom. Growing up my family struggled financially. There was even a time when we qualified for free lunch in school. I remember being so embarrassed that I pretended to give the lunch ladies my money even though I didn’t have any. Money needs to be appreciated. If you fear you will run out, you’ll never enjoy it and you’ll never have enough.
  41. My bath tub. I’m going to treat myself to a birthday salt and lavender bath once I’m done writing this list!
  42. Long walks in nature. Science is now proving why this feels so good. Did you know trees emit essential oils into the air? According to a study conducted by Japan’s Chiba University, “Forest environments promote lower concentrations of cortisol, lower pulse rate, lower blood pressure, greater parasympathetic nerve activity, and lower sympathetic nerve activity than do city environments.”
  43. Date nights with my husband.
  44. My health. It’s everything to me and I work hard to preserve it as best I can and to teach others what I’ve learned along the way.
  45. Music. I love how music makes me feel. One of my goals is to learn how to play an instrument this year. I’m thinking the ukelele.
  46. Overcoming depression. Depression runs in my family. It hit me hard in my twenties and thirties. Through food, lots and lots of self work, and mindfulness, I was able to overcome my challenges without medication. For this I am so grateful.
  47. That I get to be a Mom to the most amazing kid ever. I am so over the moon in love with my son every single day.
  48. My freedom. Each day I get to make choices to benefit myself and others. Never has there been so much opportunity to be creative and productive. I may be 50 but I feel like there is a whole new life ahead of me to love and be loved by.
  49. Surviving the birth of my son. I lost so much blood I almost died but we both pulled through and are healthy!
  50. You. Thanks for sticking around!

There you have it! I hope you enjoyed reading my list. It isn’t everything I’m grateful for, just what I am grateful for now, in this moment.

Have a safe and happy Halloween!

Vitamin G Your Food

What’s one of the healthiest things you can do to improve your diet?

Add some Vitamin G.

Seriously, have you ever considered how much is entailed in getting food onto your plate?

From the farmer to the truck driver to the store or restaurant owner, to the chef who cooked it, a LOT goes into filling your tummy with fuel to go about your day.

And whether it’s organic or it came out of can, food that is appreciated provides the best nutrients. Tweet this!

Food nourishes body and soul.

Food brings people together.

Food is one of the ways we take care of others.

Food is one of the ways we take care of ourselves.

My 4 year old and I love to sprinkle Vitamin G over everything we cook together. Then we eat it, together.

Give it a try and most of all, enjoy what you eat.

To yumminess!

Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

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.

Tweet Now
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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