100 Ways

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One of the best ways I’ve found to generate joy in my life is my gratitude practice.

I do it first thing in the morning as part of my morning ritual.

In my dedicated gratitude journal, every day.

I review the day before and create a simple list of 10 things I am grateful for.

Sometimes the items on the list are as basic as being grateful for my gratitude practice.

Other times they may involve something more complex, such as the day after my accident.

On that day, I was grateful for my life, that my children were snug in their beds at the time, and so much more.

Some days it is a challenge, depending on my thought management.

But it always helps me to see things differently.

To find the good, the joy, the beauty in life.

This has not always been easy for me.

In my former life, I saw the glass half empty.

But and what if were constants in my mind chatter and my word.

Now, I look forward to my gratitude practice, the opportunity to start the day with grateful eyes.

I kick started my gratitude practice by creating a list of 100 people I am grateful for.

At first this task felt daunting, so I wrote daily for a week, reflecting each day on my life.

I started with my present life and progressed backward in time…life with kids, life with my husband before kids, adult life before my husband, early adulthood, childhood…

I was amazed to find that when I was finished I had over 125 people on my list.

I am still adding to that list.

And you are on it:)

Wishing you well

Tracy

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Nurturing Creativity

The Magic Of Coloring “You can't use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” ― Maya Angelou

photo-2-2-640x480 My daughter and I took a trip to Michael’s the other day. As we entered the store we were met immediately with a display of coloring books and colored pencils designed for adults. My daughter, a prolific drawer, squealed with delight as we approached the lovely covers of over a dozen coloring books. I, myself, could not contain my “oooohhh” as I zeroed in on the beautiful books that featured mandalas in particular.

This morning I incorporated ten extra minutes into my morning routine to nurture my creativity. I set the timer, as I remember “the zone” pre-kid days, where hours would pass in the loving arms of inspiration. I carefully chose the colors that called to me and set off into the mindful activity of coloring. The stress of the morning quickly dissolved as soon as I put pencil to paper and I felt incredibly present as I chose the perfect pencil to represent each line. When the timer went off I was left with the lovely beginnings of my first mandala, free flowing ideas for my daily writing and a delightful start to what might otherwise be considered a dreary, rainy day.

I used to think that coloring was cheating and that to be creative I had to create something new but with this thinking I wasn’t being creative at all. The beautiful thing about coloring is that it can be done any time whether alone or with your children. What better way to spend quality time with your child than to create something beautiful. I continue to learn that I can do many of the things I used to do pre-kids in more compact amounts of time. A 30 minute walk, 15 minutes of yoga, 5 minutes of meditation, and 10 minutes of coloring now constitutes my morning routine. Yes, I have to get up at the crack of dawn but I start my day knowing that I have given to myself first. This in turn is a gift to my family and anyone else I encounter during the day.

Wishing you well.

Tracy

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Smile

A Simply Profound Gesture  "Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy." - Thich Nhat Hanh

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A few months ago my favorite yoga instructor said something so simple yet so profound.  It was the 3rd morning of a yoga teacher training weekend.  I headed out the door early that day, proud of myself I might add, with the intention of getting settled and centered well before the class started.  I wasn’t five minutes into the twenty minute drive (in a car that I cursed when I got into BTW) when the oil light came on.  Frustrated at having car trouble (and cursing the car yet again) I pulled over and texted her to tell her that instead of getting there early as I had planned, I was going to be late.  Her response was a single word.  “Smile!”  And so I did, through the whole car ordeal and into the studio.  I smiled.  It was a simple gesture with a profound effect.  It changed my whole perception about the incident as well as my energy around it.  I had a great experience that day and it trickled down to the others in the class and then that evening to my family.

It’s easy to smile at a passerby on the street, while reading a heart warming story or at a newborn baby.  Why not try on a smile for the day?  Put it on as you would your favorite jeans.  Try it out in the mirror before you head out the door, get it just right.  Share the gift of a smile with your kids, your husband, your mother in law, your friend, your dentist, a stranger on the street, the guy who cuts you off in traffic…

Wishing you well.

Tracy

Do you need help smiling?  Click Here to schedule your Mini Clarity Session today.

Photo Credit:  woman smiling © Liv Friis-larsen  Dreamstime