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There this an author that I just love!

Dr. Brene Brown, a researcher and social worker from the University of Houston, writes about shame and vulnerability.  Her theories are simple, practical and so damn applicable to every day life that I find myself constantly saying “Yes!” as I read her books.

One of the things Brene researched (and she is so seriously cool that I feel like I can call her Brene and invite her for tea) is how people are shamed, and what we can do to become shame-resilient.  That’s where gratitude comes in.

In one of her books (The Gifts of Imperfection) Brene says that “every person I interviewed who described living a joyful life or who described themselves as joyful, actively practiced gratitude and attributed their joyfulness to their gratitude practice.”

 

That’s huge!  Who knew that something so simple could be so friggin’ powerful?

I practice gratitude all the time.  Not just whenever I happen to think about it.

I actively, habitually, and intentionally practice gratitude.  Why?

Because that practice has taken me from a place of want and dissatisfaction to a place of knowing that there is great joy right in front of me.

It has shifted me from those gut-wrenching feelings of worry and anxiety to a place where I feel warm inside.

It has taught me that while I can’t always change my circumstances, I can always change how I think about them.

It has shown me that being grateful isn’t all about the good things, but also about my learning from the non-so-good things.

I am as sure as Brene Brown that habitually practicing gratitude is one of the most successful ways to feel good.

And the best part is that it doesn’t have to be a big deal, or take a ton of time.  You can design your practice any old way you want to.

Wanna up your gratitude game?

  • Start your day with gratitude.  Grab a minute or two when you first wake up to think about what you are grateful for.  Maybe it’s as simple as having a bed to sleep in, or the coffee you can smell brewing.  Whatever it is, say it out loud and proud, even if it’s just to yourself.
  • Fit gratitude into whatever you do now.  Like at the dinner table.  You’re sitting there anyway.  Have a go-around with whoever is there.  Cool way to teach your family and your guests that gratitude plays a big part in being happy.
  • Make a family gratitude page.  This one came from one of my beautiful clients.  She invited her kids to join her gratitude practice, coloured markers and all.  Double whammy!  They learned about gratitude and they got to connect as a family.
  • We’re all complaining about how long this winter has been.  Instead of bitching, why not practice gratitude for what the universe is offering you right in this moment?  Go outside and notice all there is to be grateful for.  The whiteness of the snow.  The beauty of the trees.  The safety of the spring growth that lies under the snow.  You’ll decide once you get out there.
  • Hold a gratitude party with your bff’s over wine or coffee, and food…always food.  Women love to connect with each other and are our best supporters.  And unlike all the parties where you are expected to buy something, gratitude parties are free!  Share the support, trade ways that you practice gratitude.  Most importantly, celebrate all that you have in your life right now.
  • Make a “My Gratitudes” calendar entry each day, on your phone if you can.  List them in the notes section and set reminders to practice gratitude and add to your list throughout  the day.
  • Be creative and go beyond the journal.  Try using florescent pink post-it notes to write your gratitudes on.  Then stick them all over your house or your car, in your purse, or in your office.
  • Share your gratitudes with others.  Send them to people who you are grateful for and tell them what acknowledging your gratitude for them, did for you.
  • Start a gratitude theme on your street or in your community by putting a poster with one of your gratitudes in your front window.  Challenge your neighbours to do the same.  You might just start a trend!
  • Make the rest of 2013 a gratitude-themed year, whatever that looks like to you.
Got more?  Share with all the ass-kicking, life-craving women who are part of the Crave More Life community and this blog.
Send me your gratitude practice and I’ll put it in the next post so we can all try them.

 

One more thing.  What am I grateful for as I write this?

You.

Dianna  xo

ps If you are looking for some great reading, pick up Brene Brown’s books “I Thought It Was Just Me”, “The Gifts of Imperfection” and “Daring Greatly”.  And if you read this in time, she is on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday today.  You won’t be disappointed but you will feel like someone has turned on a light bulb.

dianna leeder coach crave more womens life coaching

Dianna Leeder is thewomenscoach@cravemorelife.com.