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Inspiration Sunday: Finding Gratitude within the chaos

My whole family minus my older brother and his family, and my Dad who passed away almost 2 years ago. This is from summer 2017 when we celebrated my children graduating from both college and high school, and my son's navy bootcamp send off.

Welcome to my new Sunday Inspiration post. A new Sunday tradition that I'm hoping you will look forward to each week. I have been so blessed in my life, that I am hoping by sharing my blessings with you, it will spread joy further and further as we each pay it forward.

For me, learning who I am has been the biggest challenge for me. You can see I come from a big family. As a child, what I remember most about what was spoken over me was being told all of the things they didn't want me to be that they saw. "you're so stubborn" "you're so difficult" "you never listen" "you have a terrible temper"...even as I write this, I'm even more reminded to speak what I want over my children, not what they are when they are driving me crazy in that moment, because clearly it's powerful to say things over them that are negative, after 41 years it's still here dancing around in my mind. And even as I write this, I'm so aware of how proud my parents are of me. Being a parent is humbling, to say the least LOL.

Anyway, I am a natural complainer. This is a challenge that I've chosen to overcome the last several years. It's so easy to jump into people complaining. I was attracting complaining friends even on facebook. And I realized, if all I was going to do was complain, and not offer a valid solution that I could implement, I truly needed to just zip it. This was because I saw it would snowball into several things. Anger is an easy emotion for me, and complaining and anger go hand in hand, so I would find myself getting angry and joining the complainers. Anger is an easy place for me to hang out, but used to be very hard to escape. It's familiar and it's comfortable, and this has been my entire life until several years ago.

I have personally been able to overcome my tendencies of being a natural complainer and my tendencies for anger doing one thing, being grateful.

It's so interesting that I already had this topic picked out for all of you before last night happened, but I had the privilege of hearing Hallerin Hilton Hill speak last night (a local celebrity and radio show host), and his topic, 'Gratitude Gladiators'. This made me smile so much, because for me, I felt it was confirmation that I was in fact on the right track.

I am Christian, but respect that is not everyone's perspective, and ultimately, that's the beauty of this message. In the end, everyone can be thankful, and no matter where you're going or where you've been, it can quite literally, change your life in the best way, FOREVER.

One of the main ways I began starting my day without complaining, is to verbally say 3 things out loud EVERY morning. Oddly enough, I also ended up adding something I gleaned from hearing Amy Grant speak awhile back:

1. Thank you for waking me up today, Lord, thank you for ordering my steps for me

2. Thank you for the people today that will walk into my life that I need, thank you for the people today that will walk into my life that need me

3. Let me do something significant to move forward today, let me move the Kingdom forward today

For me, this seemed bring a spirit of thankfulness that became something I wanted to share with everyone. My eyes opened differently. I would see people, and wonder, do they need me? Do I need them? Amy Grant expressed the same experience herself. It made me notice people around me more and more. I noticed as I taught my yoga classes, during meditation, I professed letting gratitude wash over them. People who started the class frowning, would come to me after our meditation and thank me with tears in their eyes for changing the trajectory of their day. And for me it was a complete change in how my world ran, as gratitude had become my new super power. There's no religion associated with thankfulness, and yet it's power is immeasurable. Every person has the ability to be always thankful, and by doing so, to change everything about their lives.

Hallerin mentioned a gratitude journal, which I had actually started one from Oprah years ago when she mentioned it while she was still on TV, and then stopped and started the process. Ultimately beginning that again several years ago was a pivotal point on this journey. The gratitude journal had changed her life as well. My pastor stood up and mentioned that his gratitude journal changed his life, even changed how he began to treat his wife and all of his anger, and I was hit again with confirmation.

My Inspiration Sundays with you will revolve around Gratitude.

I'll include a Gratitude Journal model at the end of this, but I want you to know, if YOU are reading this, I'm so incredibly blessed by your presence here. I am thankful to be sitting in front of you, in my pajamas, sipping on coffee, while my kids have a nerf gun battle and bullets zip past my face, pouring my once angry and damaged heart out in a gush of gratitude for you. I am thankful for you. You inadvertently became an answer to my request as I opened my eyes this morning and thanked God just for you walking into my world today. Own that. You are appreciated and loved by me, a single mom who runs multiple businesses from Tennessee in the United States. YOU are wanted and loved.

I hope reading this inspires you to start a gratitude Journal. I do mine every night, even when I've had the worst days. It, for me, diffuses any pain of the day. I'll share what I do, which is incredibly similar to what Hallerin does, and I keep mine by my bed. At first this practice almost annoyed me, just short thankfuls, or repeats because it's been a bad day and I was rolling my eyeballs at adding yet another thing to my schedule. And then it became something I genuinely looked forward to. I would think all through the day the things that I was going to be writing in my journal, sometimes even writing them into my phone so I wouldn't forget! LOL!

I am a girl of 3s. You can ask any personal training client, I am a do thing in 3s kinda girl. Hallerin used 3s as well. Every night write down these things:

1. 3 things that you're the most thankful or grateful for

2. 3 things that actually made the day GREAT or AMAZING

3. 3 things that went really well for you today

Hallerin I think recommended every morning, and that's a great idea, because setting yourself up for a thankful day, can only help your life move forward. Do the best time for YOU! After all it's YOUR gratitude journal. My favorite quote he stated last night was "If you can find something to which you'll be grateful for on your worst day, it will save you on your best day". I had to let that roll around in my noggin a little while. We always remember to smile on our best day, but remembering that thankful moment on our worst day actually makes that best day even more profound, because we remember where we were, and remember where we are going. GRATITUDE is powerful.

Stay grateful. Stay humble. Stay in the mode of always becoming the best YOU! Here's to you and the ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE day ahead of you!

Healthy Looks Good On YOU!


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