Practicing Gratitude

Practicing Gratitude

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There is a chill in the air, cookbooks are flung all over the table and the holidays are officialy upon us...Thanksgiving is just a few days away! Do you guys remember being in grade school and prepping for the holidays? With all the celebrating and looking forward to holiday vacation, there was truly a certain bug in the air that made this time super special. With the holiday prep came time to let your inner Picasso shine with cooking, wrapping and various art projects.gratitudeDo you remember come November, making paper turkeys by tracing your hand and glueing colorful constructin paper together, where each "feather" of your turkey highlighted something that you were grateful for? Anyone Well, I do...and looking back, it was actually kind of nice. My Mom would hang these on our fridge proudly displaying our work, but also to reminding us of what we truly were grateful for during this time of thanks. We are all so lucky for various reasons, but with our busy lives, work, kids and responsibilities, sometimes its hard to slow down and remember what is really important.

This week I am taking some time to slow down, to reflect on what inspires me, what makes me happy and what I am truly grateful for.FullSizeRender-4 I want to share with you all an exercise that assists in reflecting upon gratitude, creativity and rediscovery of the beauty in your life. This was given to me by a teacher at The Institute For Integrative Nutrition (where I received my health coaching certificate). This practice is inspired by The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity by Julia Cameron. My Mom actually gave me this book in high school and it has been a good friend ever since, hence it being a little worn out. It is something that I always find myself coming back to when things get a little hectic, or I need a reminder to take a breathe and look a little deeper. I hope that you enjoy this practice as much as I do and that you shine with gratitude in the coming weeks ahead. So, find a quiet space and dive in...

There’s a time every morning when we are half awake, half asleep and not quite fully conscious. At those moments, we have access to our unconscious mind and our inner workings. But like dew on the morning grass, it will soon be gone without a trace. Listening to these tender morning wisps allows us to reach into our inner world, the deeper part of ourselves that helps guide us on our path of transformation. Early morning pages are a stream of consciousness written in a journal first thing in the morning. Keep your journal by your bed and reach for it while you are still half asleep. Begin by writing down any memories you may have of your dreams. At first there may be nothing, or simply minor recollections, but as you do this over and over you will build the muscle. You’ll send a powerful message to your brain: I am prepared to accept my unconscious thoughts and feelings, and I accept that more and more will be revealed. You will develop a deep, direct relationship with your inner self. Next, write 10 things you are grateful for from yesterday. Usually our minds focus on everything that’s not going well, skipping over the fact that we live in a peaceful, democratic country. Your mind easily forgets that you have great friends, a place to live, plenty of food to eat, access to education, a job and freedom. Take time for thanksgiving and appreciating what went well yesterday. Next comes the stream of consciousness writing. Write for at least a page, maybe two. Write whatever crosses your mind. Nothing is too petty, too bad or too silly to write down. Nobody will be reading this, so write it all. No censoring. You will be amazed at what comes out of your sweet, innocent mind. Write quickly or write slowly. Find a pace that works for you. All the angry, ugly stuff that you write in the morning would otherwise stand in the way of you being your best you. By doing early morning pages, you get all those repressed thoughts out of your system so you can live your life and realize that you are not your mind and you are not your thoughts. You are a spiritual being in a material world, moving forward toward the life you deserve, which is the life you truly came here to live. Watch your breath. Watch your mind. It’s like a meditation. Be still and just let it all pass from your mind onto the paper.

And with that, I wish you all a stress free start to the holidays. Make sure to make time for a very important important person in your life... aka you.

With love & gratitude, Cat-signature5

 

 

Black rice salad with roasted squash and grapefruit

Black rice salad with roasted squash and grapefruit

Monarchs are making a comeback!

Monarchs are making a comeback!