Living In Gratitude: Compassion

The human brain has a systematic process to assess information rapidly. Part of this includes taking in and immediately evaluating details presented to us. Most of the time, this data input is so fast that we don’t recognize that we are forming opinions and making snap judgments.

Every single day, we judge situations and people. We make assumptions and, dare we admit, jump to conclusions.

Having compassion for ourselves and others evokes a different response. Compassion requires awareness of our judgmental thoughts and preconceived ideas. It asks for genuine concern and empathy for the plight of others.

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Living In Gratitude: The Gift of Listening

One of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what another has to say. ~ Bryant H. McHill

As with most holiday seasons, many of us will spend time in search of that perfect present, yet we have an amazingly powerful gift we can give to everyone we know. There is no monetary value involved but rather involves patience and practice. That gift is listening.

We were all taught at a very early age how to speak but were we ever really taught how to listen?

By following a few key steps, we will give our family, friends, coworkers and others the validation of truly being heard while we open ourselves up to new ideas, discoveries and understanding.

The four steps to being a good listener are:

1. Respect

By requesting other’s ideas and inputs and validating them as valuable, we open up a free flowing, safe line of communication that allows us to better comprehend that person’s viewpoint. This includes paraphrasing to ensure you are correctly hearing what the other person is saying. Being respectful doesn’t mean we should avoid asking difficult or pointed questions but rather that they are posed in a gentle and respectful manner. This approach will uncover important solutions, ideas and information.  Read more

Living In Gratitude: Caught Unaware

I arrived at the address and honked the horn. After waiting a few minutes, I honked again. Since this was going to be my last ride of my shift I thought about just driving away, but instead I put the car in park and walked up to the door and knocked. 

‘Just a minute,’ answered a frail, elderly voice. I could hear something being dragged across the floor. 

After a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in her 90’s stood before me. She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it, like somebody out of a 1940’s movie. 

By her side was a small nylon suitcase. The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years. All the furniture was covered with sheets. 

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Living In Gratitude: 30 Habits to Cultivate Happiness

It is an understatement to say that 2020 has been a challenge. We are experiencing unprecedented uncertainty and so much of life feels out of our control.

Yet there are still ways to seek happiness even while we collectively experience the grief, stress, fear, and anxiety this year has wrought.

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Living In Gratitude: Heartfelt Apologies Heal Relationships

We’ve all had someone say something that hurt our feelings and we have probably done the same to others.

We have all encountered people acting out inappropriately, either in a personal or professional setting, and some of those individuals never apologized.

Or maybe they said they were sorry but you could tell they really didn’t mean it or their apology was filled with explanations that offered excuses for their behavior.

We are all human and we all make mistakes. Apologizing when we hurt someone else intentionally or unintentionally is a vital skill. 

Apologizing is hard. Admitting we were wrong is hard. Taking responsibility for hurting someone else is hard. Being vulnerable is hard.

But it is also a powerful reconnector.

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Living In Gratitude: 9 Rules To Live By

These “rules” are ones most of us need to be gently reminded of once in awhile.

LET IT GO
Make peace with your past so it doesn’t affect your present. The only day you can change is today.

GIVE IT TIME
Time heals and reveals. Allow yourself space and grace to grieve, hurt, and discover the silver lining.

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Living In Gratitude: Choosing to Live in Ease

There is a difference between living an easy life and living in ease.

Easy means without problems or difficulty. A life devoid of adversity.

Living in ease is striking a balance between effort and the effortless. It is following the rhythmic flow of life. Living in ease is a choice rather than an unrealistic ideal.

We all experience challenging times, periods when we have to stand firm, overcome, work hard, push through. But even during these seasons, we can choose ease.

As humans, we often unconsciously seek out the most arduous path. Our ego thrives off external approval from others. We want to win. We want to be right. We want to impress. And sometimes, we want to avoid. Avoid failure. Avoid being in stillness. Avoid emotions.

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Living In Gratitude: Gratitude Treasure Hunt

There are times – like the ones we are living in now – that stretch us to look for things to appreciate. Each day rolls into the next with uncertainty mounting on what the future holds. That can begin to taint our ability to see that even during dark times, there are always things for which to be grateful.

Below is a twist on the classic scavenger hunt that came from Simple Acres Blog. Instead of simply finding objects pre-hidden by someone else, you will seek out items that have personal significance and each object being something you appreciate.

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Living In Gratitude: Hugs

You can’t wrap love in a box, but you can wrap a person in a hug.

Social distancing. Two words that are now indelible parts of our nomenclature.

Although social separation is very important for all of us to engage in right now for the health of our nation, as social creatures, humans thrive on touch. Our emotional, mental and physical wellbeing is nourished when we connect with others. And hugs are one of the best ways to make us feel connected to someone else.

Studies show that adults and children alike need between three and five hugs a day. And now more than ever, those hugs are vital and mostly virtual.

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Living In Gratitude: The Importance of Silence

Our days are filled with noise. 

Talking. Television. Traffic. Alarms. Phones. Texts. Music. Sirens. Barking dogs. Loud noise. Background noise. We are so accustomed to noise that some of us even need the whir of a fan or a white noise machine to help us sleep.

Noise is all around us, all the time. So much so that when its truly quiet, it is almost unnerving.

There’s been much research around how loud noises are harmful to hearing as well as how noise serves to disrupt focus and productivity, decrease our ability to solve problems, and results in reduced recall in both adults and children.

But there are also studies that indicate just how vital silence is to our brains.

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