Gratitude

Gratitude – A Solution to Chaos

Sheri here –

I’m sorry. I owe you an apology. I haven’t kept you up to date, it’s been about 14 months since I’ve written to you. Like many people I know, things got crazy during the shutdown and the re-emergence. But there were endless things to be grateful for despite the chaos.

Sanctuary or Chaos

We were sheltering in place, in the sanctuary of our home. But then life intervened in the form of two major water leaks that required I pack up the downstairs of my home and put it into storage. That was packing up the living areas – what havoc. Then that was closely followed by a plumbing repipe which required huge holes to be cut in every area of the downstairs, new piping and then repatching and painting.

What a mess and it wasn’t all nicely contained to a couple of days. It was spread over several months of living in the pandemonium.

Then my husband got shingles and was hospitalized. While we were blessed with no covid for which I am endlessly grateful, I was overwhelmed and went into a deep depression after dealing with what seemed like one crisis after another.

Things did turn around.

Asking for Help 

I realized I needed to ask for help. Asking for help is not always easy (See “Ask for Help: A Sign of Strength”. While all of this was distressing, it was not life threatening and I realized I had a great deal to be grateful for.

Gratitude – A Solution

Gratitude, counting our blessings, is a frequent solution to the chaos in our lives. Counting blessings helps chase the darkness away. Gratitude allows us the space to see where there is good amongst the overwhelm.

We had a roof over our head, the time and the financial resources to deal with all the craziness. What I discovered is that I did not need to deal with this alone. Not only were there friends and family, my Higher Power, my God, was available to support me as I did the work that only I could do.

Things have turned around and as a dear friend reminded me, “Spring follows Winter, and the bleakness leads to buds and flowers.”

I see Spring in my rose garden in the back yard, that flowers beautifully, the garden smells delightfully.

The stories of rebuilding abound, not only my tale, but those of so many others I know, including small businesses that had to adapt to the Covid restrictions. Just look around, the renewal is like Spring, in another form. Then there is the kindness of others. Life is back in session.

One thing I did do while on sabbatical, I spent a lot of time writing, specifically writing a book (more to come in future notes); counting my blessings; and connecting with others over Zoom. Being grateful despite the chaos.

And how about you – how have you fared the last year or so. Leave a comment below and let me know.

If you find yourself in a downturn spot and are looking for some strategies to deal with life or to reinvent your life plans, give me a call here. I’ve got lots of fresh ideas

Til the next time…

Ciao,

P.S. Dreaming and revising our dreams are part of life – part of reinventing ourselves. Sometimes it is easier than other times. If you are looking for some insight and some suggestions, feel free to reach out and let’s talk. Book a call here.

 

The Blessings in Our Life

Sheri here –

Here we are at Thanksgiving – the day dedicated to food, family, friends, football and a big dose of gratitude.

Even in these changed times, those traditions will continue. While some of the regular guests around the table may be missing, a few due to social distancing or worse – there is still much to be grateful for. When we practice gratitude, so many more blessings come our way.

Gratitude is the emotion we feel as we express appreciation and thanks. What are you grateful for?

I’ve heard an abundance of conversations about virtual gatherings whether Zoom, FaceTime or your favorite video chat app. There are lots of creative ways of sharing time with others.

Plans for festivities abound. Within your immediate household, you can express thanks at the dinner table, play games, watch movies, bake sweets and even start decorating your home for the holidays. Include your extended family and friends via Zoom or FaceTime in some of those activities. Try something different like hosting a holiday movie marathon.

Choose to make this Thanksgiving special, filled with love, joy and kindness. Find ways to savor the day and celebrate gratitude and life.

Give thanks for the many blessings in your life. Have an attitude of gratitude!
“May your days be many, and your troubles be few.
May all God’s blessings descend upon you.
May your heart be strong.
May you find what you’re seeking wherever you roam.”
Irish Blessing

Ciao and Happy Thanksgiving,

Sheri

Celebrating Gratitude and A Challenge

Sheri here –

Did you know that September 21 every year is designated World Gratitude Day – since 1965.  A day dedicated world-wide for expressing appreciation for all we’ve got to be thankful for.

Until recently I didn’t realize that Gratitude had an “official” day.  For me, gratitude is a daily practice.  It is an opportunity to pause, look around my own life and acknowledge all of life’s blessings – no matter the circumstances.

Gratitude Practice

Ciscero, a Roman senator and philosopher who lived around 60 BC was an early advocate of gratitude. He called Gratitude “the Queen of all Virtues and the parent of all other virtues.”  While the language is a bit archaic you get the idea!

Gratitude is also basic premise in each of the world’s major religions.  So, there must be something to this gratitude business.

Yet, I was clueless until my mid 30s about this major life principle.  It took some personally tough times to discover the value of gratitude.  But we learn what we need to learn, when we need to learn it – maybe now is your time.

Maybe your experience was different, and you already know about the benefits of a gratitude practice.  If so, then may this just be a reminder!

If not, why not try an experiment?

Count Your Blessings

Try a gratitude practice for 30 days and see if things don’t change for you. What have you got to lose?

It’s remarkably simple.  Once a day, either in the morning or evening or both if you are really ambitious, take a piece of paper and write 3 things for which you are grateful.

These three things could be as simple as having a bed to sleep in, food in your refrigerator, a roof over your head, a beautiful sunset or flower.  You get the idea.

It can be the simple blessings in your life. It could be the kindness of a stranger. The everyday blessings, that you take for granted every day and that go relatively unnoticed until you focus.

When you look closely you will find lots of blessings surrounding you. The more you look, the more you’ll see.

Giving Thanks and The Benefits

Acknowledging your blessings are a way of thanking the Universe, of thanking God, and the more you thank, the more you are given to be thankful for.

What is your response when you are appreciated and thanked, aren’t you likely to be even more generous?  It’s been my experience after using a regular gratitude practice, that the blessings flow – so God or the Universe must also appreciate the acknowledgment.

Maybe we just notice the blessings in our life more; but, maybe there really are more.  Do you want to take a chance on missing out?

Who knows what blessings may come your way when you say thank you?

It’s simple, just try the gratitude practice – writing 3 to 5 things you appreciate for 30 days and see what changes.

Even if your circumstances don’t change, your attitude might be more positive.  Maybe you’ll find you’re a bit happier or you’re smiling more.  A more positive attitude makes dealing with the rest of life just a little easier! Who knows what could happen?

What do you say? I challenge you – keep track in writing for 30 days, 3 to 5 things a day that are blessings in your life. See what happens!

Ciao,

Sheri

P.S. Leave one or two of your favorite blessings in the comment below! 

P.P.S. If you’d like a little more information on Gratitude you can check it out here

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