Gratitude is a practice I like to take on on a daily basis… finding things to be grateful for, even in the face of things that may seem like obstacles or challenges. This practice has made an enormous difference in my life, and allows me to live in joy no matter what’s happening around me (for this, I am grateful!).
In the spirit of Thanksgiving, however, I have an annual tradition of making a list of some of the things I’m grateful for. The list is never a COMPLETE list, as that would be utterly impossible… but I’ll share a few highlights with you.
Okay… here it goes:
Things I’m Grateful For This Thanksgiving
I’ll start with a few of the challenges we’ve been facing and the gratitude that comes from those…
1) Universal Guidance
Our car broke down a couple of days ago. It’s a bit of a long story but, to say the least, I’ll just say that the car majorly overheated and I had my 6-year-old daughter with me. For starters, I’m extremely grateful that we were safe… it certainly could have been a lot worse.
We ended up parking the car and going on a hike together while we let it cool down. It was awesome to be able to just be present with my daughter in nature and to practice the art of letting go. After the hike, it’s as if we were guided to a place that took extremely good care of us and offered to take a look at our car even though they were booked for a week and half out (it seems like everyone we spoke to is booked solid right now).
In the meantime, we rented a car… and it turned out to be an amazing experience. It was a brand new fancy minivan with tons of bells and whistles, and since we’re going to be in the market for a new car soon, it was a great opportunity to take a car on a 2-day test drive.
This morning we got our car back… it turns out we were lucky (the head gasket was not affected, etc)… and although it was quite an expensive fix, it certainly could have been a lot worse (and I’m so grateful that it wasn’t!).
And, since we loved our rental so much, Enterprise Rent-A-Car informed us about a program where you can purchase a somewhat new car from them at an incredible discount…. a program we weren’t aware of. We may be getting a new car sooner than we thought. I honestly believe everything happens for a reason… 🙂
2) Mother Nurture
My daughter, Olivia, is under the weather today. She hardly ever gets sick, and it’s hard to keep her down even when she is. I’ve been sitting by her side all day long nurturing and nursing her back to health. It’s moments like these that I really appreciate and am so unbeliveably grateful for the fact that I have time freedom and never have to miss a beat in my kids’ lives. It’s great to never have to miss their school functions and athletic events, etc… but it’s especially awesome to be able to stay up all night with them when they’re vomiting or to snuggle up with them all day when they’re home sick and to not have to worry about going to work for someone else and leaving my kids when they really need me.
I’m also extremely grateful that I have healthy kids. Although Olivia is sick today, for the most part she’s a happy healthy little spitfire (both of my kids are)… and I thank my lucky stars for that. 🙂
3) Lessons From My Children
Being a mother is a gift… a true blessing. And besides all of the incredible (and fun) things I get to experience in motherhood, I have to say that I’m so grateful for all of the incredible lessons that my children teach me on a daily basis. It’s incredible to be able to see the world through a child’s eyes and to get in touch with my imagination on a daily basis. And, one of the biggest daily lessons of all for me has been to practice selflessness.
Before having children, it was as if my life was all about myself and my needs. My children have opened my eyes in a way they’ve never been opened before… they’ve taught me one of the biggest life lessons of all… how to truly (and daily) put the needs of others before my own. For this I am so grateful.
4) Giving Back
Besides being able to give back on a daily basis simply by being a mother, I am so grateful for the opportunity to be able to give back on a worldly level as well. I’m grateful to be in a line of work that allows me to make a difference for people on a daily basis in regard to their health, their finances, and their time freedom. This, in and of itself, lends to my having an extremely rewarding and fulfilling life.
And, more specifically, I’m grateful that, thanks to my primary company’s recent partnership with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, I’m able to use my business to raise money for children in need and give back on an even larger scale. It is such an incredible gift to be able to make a difference in this way. My children are involved as well, and I’m grateful that they are getting to learn the art of selflessness and experience the joy of giving back at such a young age.
5) Business Connections
I have to say, one of the things I love most about the business I’m in (network marketing) is the people I get to meet and hang out with. In the 8 1/2 years I’ve been in this industry, I’ve literally made some of the closest friends I have in my life. This line of work has given me the opportunity to surround myself with like-minded people, and for this I will be forever grateful.
6) Accomplishment & Personal Growth
So much has happened since this time last year when I wrote my gratitude list. It’s amazing how much we can accomplish when we set our minds to it and are committed to personal growth.
A few of my biggest accomplishments over the past year include becoming a published author, being featured in a movie (that’s launching tomorrow!), and the huge advancements that have happened in my business. Just today I found out that my new book (MLM for MOM- Why Network Marketing is a Natural Fit for Mothers) is going to be featured in the next issue of Networking Times. This is literally a dream come true for me, and I am so grateful!
And the personal growth that has taken place over the past year goes without saying… I’m probably unrecognizable from who I was at this time last year. I’m so grateful for the ongoing opportunity to be able to push myself and expand and grow.
7) The Beauty of Nature
Back in February, my kids and I moved back into Boulder after having lived a few miles outside of town for a few years. There’s so much to be grateful for in regard to this move (our awesome house, our beautiful yard, the fact that we can walk to school now, etc).
One of the things that we give thanks for every day is the beauty of where we get to live. We get to look out our windows and see the amazing Flatirons, I get to run out my door and up onto the Shanahan Ridge trails on most days, and there are dozens of amazing hiking trails in our neighborhood. The beauty of the nature that surrounds us is literally a spiritual experience for me… I feel so much gratitude that I get to live every day surrounded by such beauty.
8 ) Empower Network
A very recent addition to my life, but something I certainly can’t go without mentioning is the Empower Network. Empower Network literally just launched a few weeks ago, and it has already given me the ability to make an enormous difference for others, work in partnership with other awesome people in other companies within the network marketing industry, and to create an additional substantial stream of residual income which will continue to make a huge difference for myself and my family.
We just hit a million dollars in sales today (and a million dollars paid out in commissions)… not bad for 3 weeks in. I can’t even think of another example of anything that has ever launched in our industry (or any industry for that matter) that has made such an enormous positive impact for so many people in such a short period of time. I am so grateful for this recent addition to our industry, and to my life.
9) Love & Kindness
I just have to sit back and be grateful for all of the kind people who cross my path each and every day. Human beings are incredible, and there are so many extraordinary ones on the planet that I have been fortunate enough to come to know.
The random acts of kindness that I observe on a daily basis are inspiring and very impactful. I’m reminded on a daily basis how incredible the human race is, and the overwhelming amount of kindness that exists if we are observant enough to see it. I am grateful for all of the love that I experience every single day, and for all of the kind people who have impacted my life deeply.
I know I mentioned my children a bit earlier, but I have to mention them again. My children (Olivia-6, and Ava-3) are AMAZING. I am so grateful to have them in my life and I love being their mother, above all else.
I am also more grateful than words can express for the rest of my family… my amazing father, stepmother, brother, sister-in-law, neice & nephew… all of you touch my life on a daily basis in ways you probably aren’t even aware. Thank you for loving me and accepting me for everything I am (and everything I’m not). 🙂 I love you all with all my heart.
Being able to make a difference in the world is what lights me up more than anything else, and I certainly wouldn’t be able to do that without you. Thanks you for being a part of my orbit, my universe, and my life on a daily basis. I love every single one of you.
Thanks so much for your ongoing feedback… it helps me to know that I’m making a difference for you, in whatever way that is for you. Please keep sending it.
I wanted to share a message I received today from an old friend of mine, Jen.
I ran into Jen a little over a year ago after being out of touch for 18 years. She was struggling with some extreme challenges in her life and I recommended something that has had a profound impact on my life, Vipassana mediatation. I recommended a 10-day silent retreat, and she took me up on it (I love it when people are open to trying new things and committed to themselves enough to step out of their comfort zones!).
Today I received this message (I shortened it a bit):
As I approach a year since my first 10 Vipassana sit, I prepare for my second on 11/30. With everything that has transpired, I look at the 10 day sitting as a way to push the reset button.
I’ve also done a few weekends of service.
I recently reconnected w those from my first sitting. One stayed w me for 2 days and we sat together. One moved close by.
Once again, thank you for pointing me on this path.
It always touches me deeply when I learn that I have made a positive impact on the life of another, in whatever way that may be. Jen’s message brought a tear to my eye, as does every message like it that I receive from each of you.
And, I want you to know, that you make a difference in my life as well. I live for you… and I love you. I am grateful for you. 🙂
Have an extraordinary Thanksgiving. And feel free to share your gratitude list (or a piece of it) in the comments below…