Living In Gratitude: Slow Down & Enjoy Life

Sustained busyness is taking a toll on the quality of our lives and our relationships.

Free time. Two words that most people, including children, are unfamiliar with and wish they had more of.

Our free time has been filled with work, errands, chores, extracurricular activities, social obligations, classes, projects…the list goes on. And to top it off, we are always connected. Thanks to technology, we are reachable at all hours, wherever we are, whatever we’re doing. All of these things can lead to feeling overwhelmed, stressed and irritable.

Being ‘on‘ all of the time, always rushing from one must-do task to another negatively affects our health and wellbeing along with our productivity, creativity and ability to focus. Our relationships can also suffer as we don’t have time to communicate and connect. The good news is, you can stop the ‘hamster on a wheel‘ mentality and slow down without falling behind.

Here are ways to slow down, relax and reclaim a balanced life.

Find your sweet spot

We all get to a point when we feel overwhelmed. Instead of trying to function in that state, give yourself time to wrap your mind around the task or situation at hand. Take a short walk, sit outside in the sun, listen to your favorite soothing songs. Give yourself an opportunity to find your sweet spot’, the place where you are both relaxed and productive. When we focus on all the details that need done, we get overwhelmed. Walking away for a few minutes allows us to reset and get to a place of acting mindfully versus reacting out of anxiety and panic. Read more

Living In Gratitude: Taking Risks

You miss 100% of the shots you never take ~Wayne Gretzky

Making a big life change is pretty scary.

But, there’s something even scarier.


Life is all about taking risks. We do it from the moment we are born but as we get older, many of us shy way from things that seem too uncertain. We begin to play the “What if” game and often get caught up by fear of failure, making mistakes or the unknown.

But consider this: Everything we have ever done in life, we’ve had to do for the very first time. If we always played it safe, we wouldn’t be walking, talking, have friends, own a house, traveled, interviewed for the job we really wanted… Each of those entailed risk. And when we stop and think about it, look how much we’ve achieved! Read more

Grateful Traditions for Thanksgiving

Gratitude is the inward feeling of kindness received. Thankfulness is the natural impulse to express that feeling. Thanksgiving is the following of that impulse. ~ Henry Van Dyke

Traditions are meant to be simple yet meaningful as well as enjoyed and remembered for years to come.

Thanksgiving traditions usually include turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie and families huddled around the television watching football. The holiday lends itself by it’s very nature to sharing our gratitude.

Below are a few traditions that will help promote the expression of appreciation and thankfulness.

Leaves/Tree of Thanks

Cut out (or purchase pre-cut) autumn leaves. Have each family member take a leaf or two and write things for which they are thankful. Attach the leaves to a branch using ribbons (a great centerpiece for the table) or tape to a ‘tree’ that has been cut out and placed on a wall or door. Read more

Living In Gratitude: The Right Path is Not Always Easy

Sometimes the right path is not always the easiest one. ~Grandmother Willow (Pocahontas)

Life presents us with many choices and opportunities, some that are simple and straightforward and others that are anything but.

There are times when the decision on which path to take is obvious. And there are times when we are faced with embarking down a road that is fraught with difficulty and maybe even evokes fear and insecurity, yet we know that it is the right one to take.

Seemingly easy ‘shortcuts’ can derail us. They steer us away from our true selves and our understanding of what’s right and wrong by offering a tempting way to avoid the unpleasant. Read more

Living In Gratitude: Authenticity

Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we’re supposed to be and embracing who we are. ~Brene Brown

Being our authentic self doesn’t sound like it should be difficult. After all, we are who we are, right?

Yet there are numerous outside influences that impact us, many of which make us feel we have to modify who we genuinely are. By succumbing to these external pressures, we are not being true to ourselves, our gifts talents and potential. It takes practice to  be true to yourself, your values and ideals rather than bending to what others (be they friends, family, colleagues or the media) want or expect us to be.

Below are 9 steps to living an authentic life and embracing the wonderfully unique person that you are.

1. Self awareness

Acknowledge and accept everything about yourself, both the good and the not so good. This acceptance and understanding of your imperfections creates a deeper comprehension of yourself as a unique individual, bringing you closer to your values and making you more resilient. Read more

Living In Gratitude: Strive To Be Of Value

Strive not to be a success but rather to be of value. ~ Albert Einstein

In Western society, much of what defines a person – at least in their chosen ‘career’ – is their success. And this success usually revolves around the monetary or material as well as ‘one ups-manship‘, that unspoken concept of ‘keeping up with the Joneses’.

We are taught to strive for success rather than to be of value.
Read more

Living In Gratitude: Have Some Fun

Find time today to: sing, dance, skip, be silly. Have some fun. Life is too short for your seriousness.

All too often, we get caught up in the serious things life throws at us.

  • Can we pay our bills this month?
  • The commute traffic that gets worse each day.
  • An argument we had with a loved one.
  • An issue in our job or problem with our health. Read more

Living In Gratitude: Blessings & Lessons

Some people come into our lives as blessings and some people come into our lives as lessons.

Both types of people have their place and both are valuable in their own ways.

The people who offer us love, friendship and support are those we should cherish and keep close. These are the relationships to nurture for years to come. Read more

Iroquois Prayer of Thanks

We return thanks to our mother, the earth,

which sustains us.

We return thanks to the rivers and streams,

which supply us with water. Read more

Living In Gratitude: ‘Thank You’ Has Magic

A simple ‘thank you’ has magic…it warms the heart and creates a moment of connection and peace between two people.

Thank you.

Those two little words hold such exquisite power. Read more