The Gratitude List

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Be grateful for:

  1. The pain, the struggles, the trauma and all of life’s challenges. You are a brave warrior ready to face anything on your path. Deep compassion and boundless empathy for others is now engrained in your soul.
  2. Everyone who helped you during your darkest times while hitting rock bottom. Without them, you wouldn’t be here today alive and kicking ready to take on the world.
  3. People who inspired you. Dead or alive. Doesn’t matter. Their inspiration motivated you to act on your dreams and goals. They lit a fire under your belly igniting your passion with courage to accomplish what you desire most.
  4. Your parents. Without them you wouldn’t be here. Plain and simple. Even if you don’t have a good relationship with them, be grateful because they gave you life. If you do have a good relationship, honor it, cherish it and listen to their wise advice followed by action. And always tell them “I love you.”
  5. Your kids. They love you no matter what you look like, what you feel like or if you had bad day at work. The bond between parent and child is greatest thing anyone could ever experience. Hands down. Again, always tell them “I love you.”
  6. Your BFF. They listen to you during your breakups, your complaints about feeling fat, how depressed you are and that your world is going to end. You create memories together filled with once in a lifetime experiences and wild and crazy adventures you both will never forget. The laughs until your tummies hurt, and the inside jokes only you two could understand are second to none.
  7. Your breath. Breathing is life, energy and your source. Focusing on your breathing is natural medicine. It calms and centers the mind, body and spirit creating spaciousness and relaxation. Listening and following your breath is the pathway to peace.
  8. Your body. No matter what your body shape is, the state of your health, your hair color, or the size of your nose… love it anyway. Treat your body as a temple by exercising, feeding it with healthy, wholesome foods and giving it unconditional love.
  9. God, the Universe, Divine Source or whatever you call it gives you grace, healing, mercy and peace. God/Universe/Divine always has your back. You can count on Him to take care of you through the good times and the bad.
  10. Mother Earth. She gives us all gifts of life providing everything we need. Thank you, Mother Earth, for the deep waters, green grass, food sources from plants and fruits, herbs to heal, the trees for cool shades, the blooming beautiful flowers, the chirping and crawling insects and all birds and animals roaming the earth. Most of all, thank you for showing humanity how to live in peace and harmony between nature and the world.

The list goes on further to be thankful for many other things. No matter where you are, what place in life you’re at or what challenges you face, there is always something to be grateful for.

Try creating your own gratitude list that’s personal and unique to you. If you are willing, please share your gratitude list in the comments below. I would love to hear!

In token of my gratitude and appreciation for being a part of my blog, feel free to download my e-book, 31 Days to Soul-Fueled Living.

Photo by Simon Maage on Unsplash

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Be Your Own Guru

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“At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want.”
– Lao Tzu

Your friend will give you advice. Because you need it. Your spiritual teacher will tell you how to pray. Because you need to learn. Your fitness coach will give you a workout plan. Because you need to train without hurting yourself. You read best-selling, self-help books. Because you want to grow and develop.

But, at the end of the day after everyone tell you what’s best for you, there’s only one person who can tell you what’s best. YOU.

No one knows you better than you. No one knows how your body gains weight after one bite of chocolate cake. No one knows who’s the perfect partner for you… or not. No one can tell you the best meditation since you know how your mind works. No self-help book, no matter how well written or if it’s a New York Times best seller, can tell you how to make your life better. Continue reading

Heartbeat… Can You Hear It? Can You Feel It?

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“Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition – they somehow already know what you truly want to become.”
– Steve Jobs

If you want to live a passion filled life – the fire burning in the pit of your stomach, courageous truthfulness, unlimited creativity, big and bigger vision, then feeding and feeling your heartbeat is essential.

What attracts you? What draws, yanks and pulls at your innermost desires? What fuels your burning need begging for attention? What makes your heart beat hard and fast taking your breath away?

Whatever is for you — listen and follow your heartbeat all the way. Maybe it’s fulfilling a childhood dream that always haunts the back of your mind. Or doing something to overcome your fear with a pure act of courage. Perhaps a call to serve humanity in a way that raises your spirit. Or feeling the push and pull of an energetic connection with another human being. Or maybe it’s the wild, out of this world creative idea dying to get out of your head into the real world.

The rhythm and beating of your heart signals to what drives you, motivates you, inspires you and captivates you. When it beats strong spreading warmth throughout your body, it means yes. When it beats slow or normal, it means no. Listen to the sound and feel your body’s wisdom. Then, follow and act on the messages of truth sent by your heart.

Listening and acting upon the thundering sounds within paves the way to live the life you are meant to live. They’re clues, signals and messages to take the next big step and venture into the uncharted. Trust the messages and believe if you follow, you will discover great treasures along the way.

No one said it was easy to listen and do what excites your spirit. But, if you are crying for more wanting to unleash the veil between the ordinary and the extraordinary, you must say go right now. Not next month. Not next week. Not tomorrow. But… Right now.

What is it that thing gripping your heart making it move. Stop and listen. Even just for a second. Can you hear it? Can you feel it? The boom, boom, boom beating of your heart is speaking to you, beckoning you, guiding you to what brings you happiness, passion, wonder and fulfillment.

Listen. Feel. Follow. Go. Do… right now.

Featured photo by Sergio Rola

Angel Gifts

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“It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.”
― Mother Teresa

After a rough night of sparring matches, I walked outside the dojang facing my next opponent… the beastly December weather. Stepping towards my car with light feet as to not slip on the ice, the blistering wind speared into face penetrating into my bones. I didn’t want to go anywhere else but home. Get into my soft jammies and snuggle with my dog as my heavy blanket wrapped around me. Yes, that’s what I wanted.

But wait! There was one more thing I had to do. A very important task. Vital. Crucial. No amount of snow or cold weather blast would stop me from getting this done tonight.

Going shopping for my Christmas angel gift.

At my church, we have a list of needy children given to us from the area schools. These kids come from poor homes and families with hardships so they’re in desperate need of someone buying them a gift. How awful and heartbreaking it would be if a child didn’t receive a Christmas gift. Right?

Anyone at our congregation is welcome to sign up to purchase an angel gift for one of these kids. So, every year I jump at the chance to bring a moment of joy, and hopefully, a smile to a child’s face.

But these angel gifts are much more than material things. They’re gifts of hope. Love. Peace. Excitement. A chance to make these kids feel they are a part of something greater and are not alone. It helps them know they are being watched over and taken care of. It’s proof we are all connected, and God is with them always no matter what their circumstances are.

As I was shopping, this got me thinking (which can be a very dangerous thing!). Why do we have to wait until Christmas to give angel gifts to show we care? What if we gave angel gifts all year round to help spread the message of love and joy? We don’t need to spend lots of money or buy something extravagant. It could be crazy, super simple.

  • Give someone a hug out of the blue just because.
  • Tell the tired and stressed out Walmart cashier with dozens of impatient customers behind you thank you for taking care of your groceries.
  • Calling a friend to say hello or set-up a lunch date to catch up instead of communicating via Facebook.
  • Tell your friend they are beautiful. We all need to hear we are a beautiful. We’re so hard on ourselves on the way we look, aren’t we?
  • Shovel the snow in your neighbor’s driveway.
  • Bake cookies for a family member or cook their favorite dish. Especially if they are experiencing hardships and feel overwhelmed.
  • Send someone a card with a thoughtful and inspiring handwritten message.

The list is endless. Unlimited. A vast ocean of creative opportunities to spread your wings and fly with your angel gifts of love. If you like New Year’s resolutions, add giving angel gifts to your list. Commit to giving these gifts of love, gratitude and service beyond Christmas throughout the entire year.

It will make someone else feel special, loved and connected. Including you.

Merry Christmas to you all!
Jodi

 

Featured image by Ben White