(photo credit: WritersCafe.org)
Okay, so anyone who truly knows me knows that I’m an optimistic person with a heart full of gratitude. My gratitude has gotten me through cancer, chemo and divorce, allowed me to remain young at heart while raising two children on my own, helped me to push forward with my studies and is allowing me to steadily and surely manifest the life of my dreams for both my children and myself.
The beginning of 2014 came about in a whirlwind sort of way, leaving behind emotional debris that I didn’t have the slightest idea how I would get through. On December 20th, 2013 I was diagnosed with Stage III Colon Cancer. On December 31st, while so many of my friends were preparing for their big New Year’s Eve shenanigans, I was prepping for major colon resection surgery to remove the tumor that had been found during my December 20th colonoscopy. In February of this year, I underwent minor surgery to have a port put into place. It allowed an easier method of access for chemotherapy, instead of the meds being administered through an IV line in my arm or hand. The same week, my ex-husband moved back in with my children and I. It was short lived. Four days later I told him to leave, realizing that I was no longer the young naive girl who fell in love with him nine years ago. Shortly afterward, my ex-husband’s partner stopped keeping in touch with me. Hurt, I’m sure, that he had moved back in with us when she asked him to leave their home. My finance situation became far more difficult to manage when my ex-husband left his job and I was forced to make ends meet with sporadic child support payments. To make matters worse, I was somehow denied for both disability and SSI. Everything was falling to shit, everything.
The only thing I had going for me, besides the unconditional love of my children and family, was an overseas trip to Sicily, Italy. School was of utter importance. The social connections made between my classmates and I, my professors. I needed it. These people were instrumental to my well being, my moving forward to a place of emotional health and happiness, well being. Ten days in sunny Sicily was exactly what my spirit needed. Combined with the freshest, most delicious food I’ve eaten (so far) and the company of my classmates and professors–it was ten days in paradise. It changed my life.
Upon returning from Sicily, my gratitude increased ten fold. Chemotherapy would become easier to go through in the months that followed. Through daily meditation and gratitude practices, my life started to take the shape of a world I desired. The more I focused my energy on the positive, healthy relationships/friendships in my life–the negative ones began to fall away. The more my emotions and attention were focused on the power of gratitude, the healthier and stronger I felt. Even on the most stressful of days, the most tiresome–I could always (and continue to) find at least a handful of things to be grateful for, if not more.
So now I am issuing a 30 Day Gratitude Challenge to anyone willing to accept!!! I am going to be logging in myself daily and posting my gratitude as well to help with the motivational factor.
Here are some key points when it comes to harnessing the Law of Attraction and using gratitude as a tool to change your daily routine for the better:
(This is from my own personal experience. There are tons of other great references out there if you want to further your interest in the Law of Attraction/the power of gratitude)
1. Begin as early in the day as possible. Ever stub your toe when you get out of bed first thing in the morning? Then you spill your cup of coffee getting ready for work, followed by a traffic jam as you’re running late? The day seems to spiral downward from hitting your toe to the worst day ever. This is why gratitude is of such utter importance! When you begin your day with gratitude, you begin your day with feel good emotions. That’s not to say that something can happen at some point during the day to throw you off balance. But I find that when I begin my day with gratitude, it’s much much easier to handle the little things that life throws at me.
2. Be Consistent. In order to make gratitude more than just a “when I feel like it” kind of thing, you have to be consistent. Just like going to the gym, meditating, studying, any activity that involves bettering yourself–gratitude requires diligence. In Rhonda Byrne’s book “The Magic”, she recommends giving thanks for at least ten things everyday for a period of 28 days. I’m going with five things and 30 days for this particular challenge. I found that for myself, when I was beginning with gratitude, ten things seemed so unattainable. Until I really felt the gratitude flowing that is. Now ten things seems way too low of a number. When you feel more gratitude, the Universe will continually supply you with more to be thankful about. (side note: I highly highly recommend reading “The Magic”. Rhonda Byrne is a great reference source and her book goes into far more detail about the power of gratitude than I do here)
3. Say the words “thank you” with true emotion behind them. Otherwise it’s the same as not saying them at all. It may seem like a corny practice but what I like to do is close my eyes and sit quietly for a moment to truly channel the emotion of being thankful. It is a feeling of sheer joy, bliss, contentment but never complacency. Do what you are comfortable with but don’t force the emotion–let it flow freely.
4. Be patient. Just like with any of the earlier mentioned activities, you may not see results right away. Think of a seedling. When you plant a seed, as it grows, do you constantly dig that seedling up to see if it’s sprouted yet? Well of course not! The same is true with any dream or desire you are working on manifesting. You must be patient. Just because you don’t see the leaves pushing forth through the soil of your gratitude, doesn’t mean the seedling of your desire isn’t manifesting. Often times people will give up or stop believing when they don’t see what they want coming forth to life. This is the most important time for believing! Dreams take nurturing just like anything else in life worth achieving.
I’ll be beginning Day 1 of the challenge tomorrow 9/9/14! Be well everyone and remember to have fun with your gratitude practices. Laughter is the best medicine!