"Appreciating what shows up in your life changes your personal vibration. Gratitude elevates your life to a higher frequency." -Oprah Winfrey
Today is a new day. Upon awakening, I smile and welcome the morning with anticipation and enthusiasm. Aside from my daily tasks, I never know what the approaching hours will bring.
In the last few years, I've made it a habit to greet the day with appreciation. With practice, it's easy to compliment the day and notice what I am grateful for. Paying a compliment to someone or something opens me up to be more generous and kind. When I express or receive admiration, my heart fills with compassion, happiness and optimism. I have this unending feeling to do good things. For this week - pay a compliment to someone or share your appreciation of something to a friend.
"The deepest craving of human nature is the need to be appreciated." -William James
As I continue to practice gratitude daily, it's easy to notice what I am thankful for. I witness ordinary moments with enjoyment and pleasure. Every day becomes more fulfilling.
One of my favorite ways to express gratitude is to send it. It always makes me feel good to send a card to my parents, a close relative, a best friend. Whenever I write them, I smile knowing that not only will they receive a surprise in the mail but also a letter filled with love and kindness. Even though we are miles apart, a heart-felt message of appreciation is never too far or too close to send. For this week - send a card or write a letter to someone you appreciate. Let them know how grateful you are to have them in your life. :-)
"Whatever our individual troubles and challenges may be, it's important to pause every now and then to appreciate all that we have, on every level." -Shakti Gawain
With the holidays coming up, November is the perfect month to express gratitude. In the midst of our daily routine and responsibilities, we sometimes lose sight of what really matters. We tend to overlook life's little pleasures of happiness. This week, I've learned that there's nothing too small to appreciate. In truth, we have so much to be thankful for. So why not start each day with a grateful heart. :-)
Each week for the rest of the month, I'll share with you the many ways I practice being grateful. I hope you find these methods fun and helpful too. For this week - start your day or end your day by writing five things you are grateful for. Noticing what I'm grateful for not only makes me happier but it also shows me the abundant amount of love and joy in my life.
"Food is our common ground, a universal experience." -James Beard
Up until a few years ago, I never thought that I'd find inspiration in the kitchen - but now I do:-) Cooking sparks my creativity. I love the different colors of spices and the smell of fresh herbs. I enjoy cooking for my family and finding new recipes.
What I love most when I'm in the kitchen is food prepping - chopping vegetables, mincing garlic, measuring the right amount of spice. Essentially, prepping my ingredients relaxes me. I enjoy every part of my cooking experience - the repetitive sound of dicing, organizing my chopped veggies into bowls, choosing the right spice and tasting the way it flavors the food. The mix of smells, sounds and tastes calms my soul.
Aside from prepping, I love finding new recipes. They give me inspiration to start cooking. I love reading my list of ingredients first - the measurements from teaspoon to tablespoon; do I chop or mince, whisk or blend. These new flavors stimulate my taste buds and the delicious smells spark my curiosity. In the end, I always wonder - what will it taste like? Will it be savory or sweet?
"Each year, the Great Pumpkin rises out of the pumpkin patch that he thinks is the most sincere. He's gotta pick this one. He's got to. I don't see how a pumpkin patch can be more sincere than this one. You can look around and there's not a sign of hypocrisy. Nothing but sincerity as far as the eye can see." -Linus in "It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown"
This upcoming Saturday is Halloween. It's the eve of All Saints Day. The word Halloween comes from the Scottish term, All Hallows Eve, which means holy evening. Millions of people from around the world are celebrating this day with various festivities - apple bobbing, carving pumpkins into jack-o'-lanterns, trick-or-treating and visiting haunted houses. It's known as a time for witches, ghouls, goblins and ghosts.
This festive day is roughly based on the old Celtic holiday, Samhain, which means end of summer. The Celts were superstitious of this holiday. It marked the beginning of winter - the darker half of the year. They believed this day was neither in the past or the year to come - it was the day in between. Chaos prevailed on this day. The Celts believed the dead roamed the land, looking for bodies to live in. Hoping to confuse and frighten the spirits away, they would dress up in costumes and march through the streets making loud noises.
What I love most about Halloween are the costumes. They're fun, scary and creative. They vary from the supernatural - devils, monsters, vampires and witches - to popular fictional characters, even celebrities. What do you love most about Halloween?
"By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest." -Confucius
This week I looked back on the past few months. I thought about what I've done right, the mistakes or details that I failed to notice and what I hope to improve. By taking time for self-reflection, I treat myself with more compassion, forgiveness and acceptance.
I recently read a quote by Steve Jobs - "You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards." As I sift through my thoughts and think about my day, I gain a deeper understanding of my emotions and what I want most in life. I often ask myself - how am I feeling today; what am I thinking about; and why do I feel the way that I do? By looking at my thoughts without judgment and discovering what my true feelings are, I learn more about myself. I gradually move forward. I make changes and adjust to make life better.
To grow as people, we make room for improvement. Self-reflection encourages this to happen. We gain a new perspective and become the person we want to be.
"One comes to believe whatever one repeats to oneself sufficiently often, whether the statement be true or false. It comes to be dominating thought in one's mind." -Robert Collier
Changing our lives for the better isn't hard; it's as easy as changing our thoughts. All it takes is one positive affirmation to start.
I love affirmations. They are short, powerful statements proclaiming what is already true. They make you conscious of your thoughts and create favorable impressions in the mind. You can write affirmations or read them; you can say them out loud or silently to yourself. Affirmations brings happiness, calms the soul and increases confidence. By spending a few moments to engage in this practice, you gain a new outlook on life and replace habitual thoughts with new constructive ideas.
Here are a few affirmations I like the most:
"I think it's important to find the little things in everyday life that make you happy." -Paula Cole
We often withhold our happiness for life's unforgettable moments. This week I saw the remarkable in the everyday. I noticed beauty everywhere. All I had to do was open my eyes. Here are a few ways to capture the beauty around you:-)
"You have to allow a certain amount of time in which you are doing nothing in order to have things occur to you, to let your mind think." -Mortimer Adler
This week without meaning to, I practiced the art of doing nothing. I realized that doing nothing is something. It creates balance, encourages meaningful action and relaxes the mind.
Doing nothing isn't easy. We are constantly on the go to get stuff done. We are busy answering the phone; keeping up with social media; responding to emails and text messages - when do we unplug?
The art of doing nothing is about being still and finding peace. Early morning is my favorite time to do nothing. The house is quiet and my mind is free of distractions. I sit and meditate. I welcome the day with appreciation, enthusiasm and an open-mind.
When I start my day like this, I move forward with ease. I fill the day with meaningful purpose and thoughtful deeds. I am grateful for another beautiful day. Doing nothing gives me everything:-)
"Whatever you do, the only secret is to believe in it and satisfy yourself. Don't do it for anyone else." -Keith Haring
What inspires you? There are plenty of moments in our life that offer inspiration - celebrations, undertaking a new venture, witnessing friends do great things. Even the simple pleasures of our day can give us inspiration. Inspiration is everywhere.
Reading quotes from well-known artists, inventors, scientists and writers inspire me. Their words resonate feelings of courage, hope and optimism. When I come across a quote for the first time and it stays with me, I think - the right words found me just when I needed to hear them.
What I love most about quotes is you don't have to go far to find one:-) Here are a few quotes that inspire me:
Hi there! I'm Jessica, painter, creator and avid list maker. I love yoga, reading, journaling and sharing my inspirations with you. I'm so glad you're here!