Fireworks

Today I am grateful to live in FREEDOM!

What an honor! I met Peggy last night and she included me in her blog. Have you heard of the Law of Attraction? Attracting back what we put out there? Yep, I am attracting other Grateful People into my world! Awesome!! Thank you, Peggy! Be sure to check out her blog – she even has a Gratitude Section! 🙂 xoxo, kk

Santee Oils - Your Health, Just for Today

Finding it hard to be grateful just sitting around in your home?  If offering gratitude for having a roof over your head doesn’t move you then get out of the house and take in the world around you!

I had a rare day off this past Sunday, so I loaded the pups into the car and made the short drive to one of the many area parks near me.  The joys of living in San Diego – there is so much to do that takes no money!  Mast Park has a dog park,  but we skipped that this time and took the Mast West Trail for a 2 mile walk.  I was grateful for the park, for the beautiful day, for having a car to get me there and for the ability to walk the trail!  I spent a year not being able to walk more than a couple of steps without…

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I am reading a book right now called One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. It’s basically the story of how she changed her life/attitude/well-being by making a list of 1,000 little things for which she is grateful. As much as I am interested in her list, I am more interested in a statement that she makes near the beginning of her book.  She offers an unusual, but brilliant  insight into Man’s Fall in the Garden of Eden.  Surrounded by all the beauty and abundance ever imaginable,

Adam and Eve are, simply, painfully, ungrateful for what God gave.  Satan’s sin becomes the first sin of all humanity:  the sin of ingratitude.

What a fascinating concept!  This idea has sparked in me an unplanned research project about gratitude…  I am having so much fun learning about the roots of gratitude!

Hebrew colorFor example, I am learning the Hebrew word for thanks.  It is “todah”.  I got a Henna Tattoo on my arm last night as a reminder!

The Hebrew term for gratitude is hikarat hatov, which means, literally, “recognizing the good.”  (from http://www.aish.com/sp/pg/48906987.html)

Anyway, back to original sin… so many times I have heard preachers and teachers expound on temptation, the role of women in original sin, the struggle between men and women for autonomy and independence…  It can get very complicated.

I like simple.  I like the idea that original sin is as simple as ingratitude.  Isn’t that refreshing?  If Adam and Eve had just been grateful in the Garden for all that God had blessed them with, they would not have taken a bite of the fruit.  SO SIMPLE!  Let us “recognize the good” as we are creating a culture of gratitude™.

My Garden (Kathy’s Garden) is growing Gratitude… Ed’s Garden is growing Purpose.

Ed Dobson

Ed’s Garden

This is an incredible story of courage and I am grateful for it!

Thank you to Robin at inspirationenergy for this video. Happy Friday!

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I am immensely grateful for people like Ed Dobson, who midst great change and challenge are able to GET UP and contniue to seek purpose and be of service.

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When I talk to people about my 30 Day Gratitude Challenge, I usually say, “The first 5 days or so are easy, but by Day 25 or so, you have to dig deep.”

planting-seedsIn my gardening analogy, the concept of planting seeds equates to making our list.  In the 30 Day Gratitude Challenge, we make a list of 30 people that we appreciate; in other words, for which we are grateful.  We start with the obvious:  family members, best friends, significant others…  That’s the easy part.  Then we stop and think.  Some past experiences and scenarios start to come to mind.  Maybe someone who helped out when you were sick.  Maybe a special teacher or mentor that touched your heart.  Maybe an unexpected kindness that changed your life.  You add these to your list.  Now what?  Maybe you have 15-20 on your list.  You think of high school friends that are special to you.  You think of a neighbor or co-worker or …?  Suddenly, it’s not so easy.  It’s taking some work to think of people.  Now it’s time to get creative…

You simply will not be the same person two months from now after consciously giving thanks each day for the abundance that exists in your life. – Sarah Ban Breathnach

The first time I took the challenge, last summer, I was at about Day 25 when I took my teenage son to the DMV for his second behind-the-wheel driving test.  Jesse DLWhen he came out after his test, BEAMING with his new license in his hand, I knew who would be the recipient of my next “Thank You” – the woman who tested him.  Think about it:  every young person between the ages of 15 & 18 walks through the doors of the DMV at some point.  The employees play an important role in shaping our young people ~ and yet, who ever bothers to thank them?  DMV workers are notorious as an under-appreciated population.  I took a picture of my son and put it on the front of a card.  Inside I wrote:

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This felt good to send ~ and I can imagine it felt good to receive.  That is the satisfaction of digging deep! This is why I am creating a culture of gratitude™.

Have you started your list?  I’d love to hear about your planting experiences… xoxo

Fourteen years ago, on Valentine’s Day (it was a Sunday in 1999), I went for a hike in a historic little river valley near my home.  It was a beautiful, sunny day in San Diego and I felt wonderful!  My brother’s family was visiting from out of town, and my boys were happily exploring the terrain with their cousins.  I remember the warmth of the sun and the buzz of the invisible insects hidden in the brush.  The fresh breeze cooling the sweat on my brow and the surreal fluttering movements in my taut, ample belly where my third child wriggled as he awaited his arrival.  I loved being pregnant.  I am so grateful as I remember the blessings of that happy day’s hike.

That night, about 10:30 PM (I remember because it was half-way through a riveting X-files episode and I didn’t want to miss the ending!), I went into labor.

When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world.  ~ John 16:21 ESV

tj strawberries

Three hours later, my amazing son TJ joined our family ~ at home ~ surrounded by family, friends and midwives…  The gratitude I feel for the beauty of new life is full and deep and satisfying… like the most luscious dark-chocolate covered strawberry you’ve ever had the pleasure to melt in your mouth.   Happy Birthday to my treasure.

I couldn’t resist re-blogging this post – Robin really breaks it down into SIMPLE things!! Love This!!

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I take 16 steps to get from my car  door to the door of my home.  I am so grateful to God for everyday that I am allowed to walk those 16 steps through my door to my kids and husband…HOME!

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I smiled the other morning when I received an email from my friend Rebecca with this subject line, “The Culture of Gratitude is spreading!”  Her email included a link to a new Facebook group that encourages its members to post every day something they are grateful for.  “Yes, it is…,” I thought as I read the email.  “Of course it is.”

  grat beachEver since I started my Gratitude Garden, I see evidence of it growing everywhere!  A quick Google search for the word   “gratitude” returns more than 65 MILLION results!  Every day I learn of yet another amazing resource for growing a gratitude garden.  It is my pleasure to share some of those treasures with you:

FACEBOOK:  The Daily Expressions of Gratitude for 2013  group was brought to my attention, as mentioned above, by my friend and business coach Rebecca Garcia.   If you want to participate in expressing your gratitude in a public forum, you may want to check out this group!  Another option is to like the Daily Gratitude Challenge page.

PHONE APP:  If you prefer to record your daily gratitude in a more private setting, check out the One Thousand Gifts app  for I-phone or Android.  It is a handy on-the-go spot to record your feelings of gratitude!  No need to jot down a reminder – carry it with you!

DAILY INSPIRATION:  Receive a daily email from my FREE Daily Gratitude Quote [DGQ] to start your day out with a dose of gratitude and inspiration!  If you prefer to spend $45 for 30 days of gratitude quotes & inspiration, check this out:  Gratitude Adventures by Goodness Gracious Me.

JOURNALING:   There are so many journals available… you can search for them on Amazon.com to find one that fits your “style” – I like this one:  Simple Abundance Journal of Gratitude by Sarah Ban Breathnach.  Of course, if you are participating in my 30 Day Gratitude Challenge, [see more below]  you will want this one. [reference #143359 at checkout]

WALL ART:  I love to surround myself with inspirational phrases and images – I especially love the decorative vinyl expressions available from Uppercase Living.  Search “Gratitude”in the product search box.

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CHALLENGES:  I found several out there!  Whew!  The culture of gratitude IS spreading indeed:

Yes, I would say we are creating a culture of gratitude™ and it is INDEED spreading!  Please feel free to comment below and share any resources you have found!

Until next time, xoxo -KK

So, here I am – talking about gratitude.  Literally, all day long.  Online, in conversations, even as I drive along with my kids in the car.  I mean, they are kinda getting sick of it, I think…

It comes down to this:  “Gratitude – SO WHAT?”  Well, here’s what…  peeling onions

If you have been following my Daily Gratitude Quote emails (which I highly recommend, by the way) you will see that thoughts about the benefits of Gratitude come from all walks of life:  from authors to motivational speakers to feminists to apostles… To me, that signals “Universal Truth” – would you agree?

I believe that intimate knowledge of Universal Truth is always a good thing.  So, let’s start with that as a WHY.

As with any Universal Truth, evidence to support this truth can be found in many environments.  Our society is currently obsessed with scientific proof – so let’s examine that.  In fact, author Dr. Robert A. Emmons did exactly that in his book Thanks!: How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You HappierThere you have it: empirical evidence to support the concept that Gratitude is good for all of us.  What is good for all of us needs to be shared – and my heart has been sparked to share this Universal Truth SO MUCH that I am “creating a culture of gratitude™”.  

Gratitude may seem like a simple emotion, but Robert Emmons argues that it inspires kindness, connection, and transformative life changes.  And he’s done the research to prove it.      – Pay it Forward, greatergood.berkeley.edu

For me, gratitude is like onions (with all due respect to Shrek…) .  It has layers.  My goal is to peel the concept layer by layer to find the deepest, richest clues… I suspect that this deepest layer can be found in the Bible, specifically James 1:2 – “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds”…  WOW, now THAT’s gratitude.

Pure Joy = Trials of Many Kinds?  Yep, gotta peel that onion.

Another resource I have found is Dr. John F. DiMartini’s book Count Your Blessings: The Healing Power of Gratitude and Love.  In fact, my Gratitude Gardener Amazon.com “wishlist” has over 20 books waiting to be ordered and devoured!  During the upcoming year it is my intention to read each of these books and share some insights that touch my heart.  This endeavor, The Gratitude Gardener, is by far the most emotionally ambitious project of my life.  Thank you for joining me on this journey!!  Let’s get peeling!

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It may sound simple:  paying attention & saying thank you every day to the blessings around you.  Every day.

John Kralik LIVED the experience and has shared the results with us.  It’s an incredible story ~ one I admire greatly and aspire to emulate…

 

His website even offers a space where you, the reader, can take a moment to post something you are grateful for.

READ his book and let me know what you think… It’s available at AMAZON.COM How does he inspire YOU?  Are you ready to get started on your journey?  Join my 30 Day Gratitude Challenge and begin creating a culture of gratitude™!  If John can do it for 365, you can do it for 30; especially with my “money back guarantee”  (email me for details…)

In addition, don’t forget to sign up for my FREE “Daily Gratitude Quote” email – it starts your day out with a positive thought!

And, as always, THANK YOU!