Gratitude

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Turkey, Tea, McKenna and Me

Here it is again. I love this holiday, not because I love turkey, although I do love me some fried turkey (and the ginger tea that comes after eating too much fried turkey!) I love Thanksgiving because I love the power of gratitude. If you’ve read any of my writing, you know that. This day is the perfect day to give thanks, to share your gratitude and to reflect on what you’ve given to others as well.

In that very same spirit, I want to share with you. This year, I’ve been given a lot of great and not so great opportunities. In the great, I’ve rejoiced both silently and out loud with friends and family. In the not so great, I’ve done my best to move forward trusting I would learn yet another important life lesson and then be granted the clarity and wisdom to share my learnings powerfully with others.

Not listening to my intuition, taking a job I wasn’t sure about and then seeing that spiral into suffering and regret—to put it bluntly—sucked. Mainly because I had been in that precarious position before so I was pissed at myself for being there again. BUT, if that hadn’t happened, if I hadn’t made the choice I made to take that job, I don’t know that I’d be in the position I’m in today.

Today, I’m an honest to goodness entrepreneur. I’m building something that is mine. I’m the boss. If I succeed, it’s on me. If I fail, it’s on me. I like that. I respect it. I thank it for toughening me up and pushing me. I’m grateful to it for knocking me down sometimes so that I can practice getting back up.

I’ve had success publishing a handful of articles in kickass publications. I’ve worked with and continue to work with amazing and creative entrepreneurs who inspire me with their work and devotion to uncovering their purpose and building a brand based on meaning and passion. I’ve been granted research and strategy projects that paid thousands of dollars but more importantly allowed me to speak with people from all over the country. I’m so grateful for all of this. But to tell you the truth, the one thing I’m most grateful for didn’t earn me either of the two crucial things every entrepreneur seeks—exposure and money.

Back in October, I found myself declaring my desire for a dog. So I signed up with a few organizations that look for short term foster parents and replied to an email from one of them a few days later. Fostering seemed like a good solution for a never before dog owner. I could test it out, see how it went and then make a decision from there. You know, the same kind of approach we often take with starting a new business or relationship. This approach is totally safe and comfortable and lacks any commitment, so it gives you a great excuse to get out. “I was just trying it!”

You can definitely try out a business or a relationship. You can keep your options open and wait for something better to come along or just go ahead and nix the whole thing.

Two days after picking up McKenna, I learned you cannot do that with a dog. I fell in love quickly and without much debate. All of a sudden, there was this living, breathing thing that was scared and shaky and counting on me to make everything OK. I had to come up with solutions to problems, super uncomfortable and borderline gross problems I might add, like fleas, worms and digestive issues. Yet, I still loved her, likely from the very first time I saw her. I wasn’t going to give her back and essentially throw her away. So I adopted her. I committed to her for the rest of her life. It only took two days.

I’m not telling you this to gross you out with her poop issues. I’m sharing this experience so that you (and I) can learn the lesson here and apply it to our businesses.

Your business is also manifested from a desire and it too comes with numerous challenges and issues. They are probably far less gross than those associated with a rescue dog yet just as uncomfortable and maddening.

So often in business and life we give up too soon. We avoid going “all in” and doing what we must to make it work because commitment is scary. I’ll go as far as to say commitment can be absolutely terrifying.

I have no idea what I’m doing with my new little girl. But I’m learning as I go, and I’m making choices for her based on love, not fear.

I wish you so much love on this holiday. Be good to yourself today. Do one thing to nurture your life and business and then give thanks to yourself for all that you do for others.

Oh, one last thing. This is McKenna just in case you were wondering …

Thanksgiving gratitude

 

3 Great Gifts To Give Yourself (For Free!)

Oprah is one of my idols. She has taught me about compassion and continues to inspire me towards personal expansion and growth. I was always a fan of her “Favorite Things” episode each year and decided to share of few of my favorite things with you this holiday season. They’re all free apps that friends have shared with me this year and have helped me to keep calm, productive, and happy.

Who doesn’t like presents?! These are all gifts to give yourself, and the best part is you can start enjoying them right away. 

Happier

Gratitude is so important, and yet I still forget to practice it sometimes. Happier is basically an online gratitude journal with social media. Users can post things they are grateful for and the community can “smile” about them or comment. I like it because of the built in feedback loop, which helps me remember to post again. It’s also a great way to document your gratitude each day and check out what other people are grateful for, bucketed in nice little categories like “time with friends” or “chilling out.” And the app shoots you periodic reminders to share in case you do forget. Pretty smart. https://www.happier.com

F.lux

I struggle with sleep so I’m always on the lookout for ways to sleep better, longer, and with less anxiety. The blue light emitted from computer screens may limit the production of melatonin, which can mess up your sleep/wake cycle. F.lux adapts your computer screen to the time of day. For someone like me, who often works at night and then has problems sleeping, the app really seems to help. F.lux minimizes this and allows you to work later at night without side effects.  http://justgetflux.com

Insight Timer

Two years ago I was lucky enough to run into my friend, Emily Fletcher, who had just launched her business, Ziva Meditation. Lately I’ve been struggling to find, or may be make, the time to complete my 20 minutes of meditation in the morning and at night. One of the ladies I coach, and a fellow meditator, introduced the app to me a few days ago, and I have to say it’s been reawakening my inspiration to meditate and keeping me on track.  You can document your meditation and earn milestone points, connect to the app’s meditation community, time your meditations, and see who is meditating at the exact time as you. There are also guided meditations available. https://insighttimer.com

I hope you try these apps, and I hope they help you as much as they’ve been helping me. Wishing you the warmest of all holiday seasons.