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Posts Tagged ‘30 Day Gratitude Challenge’

“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.” —”
William Arthur Ward

This has been a challenging period in many ways. Last month we saw the presence of two moons, making the last one a “Blue Moon”.  For many at this time they have reported it as another day, nothing different from  their normal day.  However, there are many more who report upheavals from the simple things to everything in their daily routine.  It can be quite a chaotic and unsettling experience.

I happen to fall into the latter category as my husband would attest. It’s not that I turn into a raging monster but the highs and lows, the swings and turns of the roundabout, can leave you wondering if some strange person has suddenly inhabited  the person who was reasonably sane days earlier.
full moon madness

image courtesy of steppinupx.wordpress.com

This particular “Blue Moon”, and I realize there are those who disagree that this was such an occasion,  was also much more than that for me as I had decided to participate in a 30 Day Gratitude Challenge, put together by the very talented and gracious Nicole Cody.   It was an incredible experience and allowed  me,  and I’m sure many others to stretch themselves as they worked through this  program. At the very least it enabled me to look at areas of my life in ways I hadn’t considered before.  It provided me with a way to view the world around me with fresh eyes.  It challenged me to go further into myself and evaluate what the everyday activities I took for granted really meant, at least to me.

When you are asked to simply sit and breath, pay attention to what is happening within as you do this; to look with new eyes to how your body responds to the simple task of taking a shower, how each action is in itself a miracle, you begin to realize that life, despite its many complexities, is astounding in what we can do. You begin to stop taking everything you do as a matter of course,  something for granted and truly appreciate what we can do each and every  day.  At least that was how I found it.
Gratitude moment

Man has been instrumental in putting man into space, onto the moon and even further afield.  We have athletes who perform what appears to be miracles in what they can achieve with a human body, and we have scientists who make breakthroughs which help people live better quality lives and cure diseases.  We are, as individuals and as a group more than the sum total of who and what we are.

I have been challenged for over a decade with a back and neck injury. It has changed the way I have lived my life. This hasn’t changed, at least not  completely, but it has given me a new way of thinking about what is happening and how I can achieve all that I want without having to compromise my dreams. I can achieve all I ever wished for, and more besides. My dreams have, if anything been expanded.  The possibilities are endless and for that I will be eternally grateful.

Challenge getting to the top of the Eiffel Tower
The Challenge: reaching to top of the Eiffel tower – courtesy of flickr.com

We have examples  around us every day who inspire us with their achievements. Paralympians, such as Matt Cowdrey.    The  many people who are in accidents, in comas who when they finally awaken, fight to be able  to live a ‘normal’ life.  Who are we  not to see the beauty of a sunrise, the pleasure of a smile when a ‘thank you’ is offered, the hope in a homeless persons eyes when you give them a  helping hand.

There is a sight impaired man near a coffee shop I go to occasionally.  I always stop to put something into his ‘can’, not because I have to, but because it warms my heart to  hear the joy in his voice that someone has stopped, someone cares enough to spend a few minutes talking to him. It is such a small thing for me to do but it means so much more to him. I am grateful I can do something so simple which spreads so much happiness because I know that my small act of gratitude for what I have, shared with him, will flow on to others when he goes home later.

guide dog puppy

Guide dog puppy, courtesy of piperbasenji.blogspot.com

I found the experience of. completing Nicole’s 30 Day Gratitude Challenge so inspiring I decided to do it again – immediately. My husband, Ray,  asked if he could also do it.  He had already seen changes in me as a result of finishing the challenge.  It’s going really well. We decided we didn’t want to share the things we were grateful for each day, but rather we’ll share what we felt and learned at the end of the month.  Then we’re going to do it again because we have already learned that the more we acknowledge what we are grateful for the more things we can see to be grateful for.

However I have noticed one thing. Even though we’re not sharing our daily ‘gratitude’s’ there is something incredibly special joining us as we sit writing in our journals at the beginning and end of each day, and that doesn’t even come close to the fun in doing our vision boards. We have our individual board, but what is a dream board for if we don’t also build one for the two of us?

dream boards

image courtesy of larryandlauramorris.com

I’ve included the link to Nicole’s challenge above.  I think everyone would gain so much from doing it, even if it were only in increasing the amount of gratitude in the world today. Great things can happen if we focus on being grateful instead of what we don’t have.

love quote

courtesy of melissadeakin.typepad.com

Life really is beautiful, today and every day.

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