Tag Archives: gratitude

7 Ways to Harness Your Energy So You Can Truly Shine

Deep down in our core we know we are meant to shine. We know that we are meant to live lives of joy, happiness, and love. However, the problem is that there are many aspects of our lives that don’t support us in that.

We get caught up in the negativity, stress and pessimism of the world, which stresses us out and holds us back from being who we are truly meant to be.

But we don’t have to be stuck in this. We all have the power to transform our lives so we can truly be who we are and experience our true power in the world. Here are 7 ways to harness your energy so you can truly shine:

#1 – Free yourself of negativity

Are you around people who are often negative? Do you tend to often be negative about things?

Being negative lowers our energy. It is an aspect of our ego mind and, therefore, disconnects us from our true selves. So become aware of when negativity comes up in your life and when you notice it, stop and change the subject or exhale to bring yourself into the present moment.

#2 – Process fear by writing it out

When we’re experiencing thoughts of “I’m not good enough”, “I’m not worthy” or “I don’t deserve this” it is our ego mind talking to prevent us from truly steeping into our true power. While we may want to immediately dismiss these thoughts and try to push them away, that can create more stress and strain within us.

So we need to be sure to process these thoughts by externalizing them somehow. A great way to do this is through journaling. By writing these thoughts and feelings on to paper, they become weaker. As a result, we are better able to then tune into our true inner voice.

So when you notice fear-based thoughts coming up, get out a journal and start free writing the thoughts. Don’t stop to think about the thoughts and feelings but just write it out. Do that until you feel complete. Afterwards you should feel calmer and more relaxed.

#3 – Feel happiness, joy, and love right now

Our ego mind tends to think that “If we get X, Y, Z, then I will be happy at some time in the future”. This is nothing but a distortion of the reality. The only place that we can experience feelings of happiness and joy is through the present moment.

So the key in finding happiness is by doing things right now to support you in feeling the way you want to feel. Do activities in your life to support those feelings of happiness. Does playing music bring you joy? Then play music. Does dancing bring you joy? Then dance.

#4 – Be appreciative for what you have

By being grateful, it takes us out of the negative thinking of our ego, and into a mindset of our true selves. It also brings us back into the present moment. So find things that you are grateful for in your day to day life — even in the aspects of your life you may not be so pleased about right now.

#5 – Steer clear of gossip

Gossip often tends to have a judgmental and critical energy behind it. It tends to focus on how someone is “bad” or “wrong” and how another person is “good”. This is merely a distortion from our ego and it drains us of our true power.

#6 – Live with the intention to serve others

At the core of our true selves, we know that we are meant to serve others because at our core we know that we are all intricately connected. When one person suffers, we all suffer. Our ego is what makes us think that it’s all about “me”.

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Click to Tweet: At our core, we know that we are meant to serve others because at our core we know that we are all intricately connected. @jenilyn8705

#7 – Create a morning routine

How we start our mornings sets the foundation for the rest of the day. So if we start our morning with chaos, then our day is going to be chaos.

So start your mornings with activities that bring you feelings of peace, joy and happiness. Maybe that is journaling with a cup of warm honey and lemon water. Maybe that involves taking a morning walk with your dog. Or maybe that involves reading an inspirational book.

Are you ready to truly shine? Check out my 5-week course, Your Power: How to Harness Your Energy So You Can Truly Shine.

I have a new free ebook called, 3 Self-Care Tools to Make You Truly Shine, grab your copy as my gift to you! 

Gratitude Isn’t Just for Thanksgiving

This article is by Ali Katz from AtoZenMeditation.com

We all make a very big deal about being grateful on Thanksgiving, as we should. We have the day off, we are surrounded by loved ones, and we are enjoying a delicious meal together. Sounds pretty good to me! But what happens when the holiday is over?

Practicing gratitude enriches our lives in many ways all year long, like making us more humble, more content, less judgmental, more encouraging, less of a gossip, and it even makes us healthier by boosting our immune system.

When we practice gratitude we are putting our attention on positive things in our life, which makes them feel bigger than our problems. There is nothing too big or too small to feel grateful for. I think there is a misconception that practicing gratitude is only for the big, profound things in life like our health and a roof over our heads. Those are for sure things to be grateful for, and I am every day, but gratitude can extend to every part of your life as well. Goals made at a game, good grades, your favorite foods, a great book, or maybe an upcoming family vacation are wonderful things to express gratitude for.

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Click to Tweet: When we’re grateful we’re putting our attention on positive things, which makes them feel bigger than problems. @AliKatz76 @jenilyn8705

There are many simple ways to bring gratitude into your every day:

Open your eyes and say thank you

I try to remember to make my first words of the day “thank you.” When I open my eyes I silently give thanks for another opportunity to put my best foot forward and live my very best life.

Keep a simple gratitude journal

I suggest people keep a small pad next to their toothbrush and when you brush your teeth in the morning and evening, write down one thing you are grateful for.

If you don’t like to write, put a sticky note on your mirror that says “gratitude” and whenever you look at it think of something you are grateful for.

Have a family gratitude journal

My favorite part of the Thanksgiving meal is when everyone goes around the table and says what they are thankful for. It is such a special, bonding experience to share as a family. So why not do it more? Place a small journal on your dining table, and at family meals record what everyone is grateful for that day. Include the big things and the little things!

Put a reminder on your phone

As important as gratitude is to me, I need to be reminded to pause during my busy day for a gratitude break. Every day at 3 pm a reminder goes off on my phone that says “gratitude is my attitude.” I stop what I am doing, take a few long, deep breaths and think of something I am grateful for.

Shift your perspective

Even in the midst of trying times I think about what I am learning and how this experience is helping me to grow as a person. Doing this turns many challenges into wins.

Make a stress/gratitude list

When I am feeling overwhelmed I often take a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle creating two columns. One side is for stress and the other gratitude. I begin by making a list of everything I am stressed about. Valid or ridiculous, I include it all. When I am finished I then move to the gratitude side and write two things I am grateful for for each item on the stress side. So if I am stressed about ten things, I will write 20 that I am grateful for.

This does two things. The first is that it acknowledges our stress. We don’t want to pretend it isn’t there or sweep it under the rug. It is important to admit how we are feeling in the moment. But then we have an beautiful visual to see that even though we have stress in our lives, we have so much more to be grateful for.

I believe that the more we practice gratitude, the more the Universe gives us to be grateful for, so get started today!

Ali Katz is a self-care coach for women, a meditation expert and author of the best-selling book “Hot Mess to Mindful Mom.” Visit her at www.atozenmeditation.com and be sure to grab her 8 best tips for sleep!

3 Essential Mindset Shifts to Living a Life You Love

Lately I’ve been on a kick in learning all about manifestation and happiness.  Reading books, listening to lectures, hearing about various meditations to try, and so on.

The motivation to really learn about all this has been coming from this deep inner frustration about one thing in my life.  So many other areas of my life I’ve been able to shift and make better, but in one area, for some reason, I’ve continued to feel stuck in this cycle that I’ve been unable to bust out of.

So, I figured, learning more about manifestation and achieving happiness in life would be beneficial.  In this process, I’ve come to several profound lessons where I have been able to feel some drastic shifts very quick.  So here are 3 essential mindset shifts that I think can really help us all live a life we love:

#1 – Realize that it’s not (and never has been) about where you are, but how you view it.

That shitty apartment your living in?  That toxic work environment?  That friend or family member that’s driving you crazy?  Sure, it makes things more challenging…

… but it shouldn’t be preventing you from experiencing happiness.

This was one of my first realizations upon moving to Korea and it’s taken quite a while for it to fully sink in:

It’s not about where you are in life, but about what you’re doing with what you have right now.

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Click to Tweet: It’s not about where you are in life, but about what you’re doing with what you have right now. via @jenilyn8705

If you’re pessimistic and bitter, then of course you’re going to be unhappy.  And sure, you can go ahead and start dating someone else or move out of the country, but nothing is going to change unless you do.  You’ll continue to carry those inner negative feelings everywhere you go until you decide, “Hey, I don’t want to feel that way anymore!”  So change your perspective.

#2 – Gratitude connects you to your soul. 

Always focusing on what we don’t have in life is very draining and keeps our minds locked into this state of fear and lack.  No miracles can emerge out of this if because it makes us blind from seeing the real opportunities that we have available.  It causes us to be trying to swim against the tide rather than to float along with it and trust.

So take some time each day in meditation to stop and connect to what you are grateful for.  Identify one thing — and it doesn’t have to be complicated.  This may be a person in your life, the fact that you have steady income, a pet, or the place you are living.  It could even be something super simple like the fact that the sun came up today or that there are birds chirping outside your window.

In meditation, visualize that person, place or thing that you are grateful for in your mind’s eye and then allow yourself to really feel the gratitude.  The shifts really happen from feeling, because it takes us out of our mind and into our hearts.  So be sure to really tune into that feeling and, overtime, you’ll begin to notice some definite shifts in your life.

#3 – Feel the way you want to feel right now rather than wait for something in your life to change.

A story I came across fairly recently was of a woman who had had a baby and was living on government assistance because her and her husband could barely afford basic cost of living.  Her husband ended up taking a job working at a place like UPS several states away because they were desperate for any money at all.

In her story she said that, while this situation didn’t appear so great on the outside on the inside she felt really truly happy.  She was enjoying life and really truly grateful for where she was at.  As a result, within just a few months she started a new work endeavor and ended up earning enough money in her new work that her husband was able to quit his job and move back with family.

The main lesson?  To start feeling what you want to feel “someday in the future” right now.

When I first heard this story my mind initially went to a fear-based thought of, “But if I feel all that joy and happiness right now, then maybe I won’t really do any actions to make changes in my life.  I’ll just be happy and stagnant”.

Clearly, this thought is really just a bunch of bullshit.

Because the second I decided to start feeling the way I’d like to feel “someday” I found myself feeling strong and confident in making decisions.  I started to feel more in-tune with my own intuition so I more clearly knew which direction I needed to take for myself.

So be grateful and choose to feel those feelings of happiness, joy, love, or whatever it is that you’d like to feel “someday” today, then simply be open for miracles.

Take action now!

Close your eyes and ask yourself: How would I like to feel “someday”?  Connect with that feeling in this present moment, then describe that feeling in the comments below!

10 Super Simple Self-Care Practices to Help You Live a Joyful Life

You wake up early in the morning to sit in traffic for an hour, work for about 8 hours, sit in traffic again for another hour or more to get home, cook dinner and then have just enough time to watch a TV show or two before you find yourself in bed and ready to do it all over again for another four days.

When we’re so much on the go-go-go, the last thing on our minds can be our own self-care and how we can find joy in our day to day lives. But, trust me, it’s much easier than you think. Here are 10 super simple self-care practices to help you live a joyful life:

#1 – Breathe!

So many of us get so stressed out over deadlines, places we have to be, and things that we have to do that we forget about how important it is to just breathe. When we’re stressed out, often our natural tendency is to hold our breaths or to breathe in through our chest.

So whenever you’re feeling strung out, turn your attention to the breath. Exhale. Breathe in through your diaphragm and breath out for a few counts. By consciously making deep breaths for a few minutes each day, you’ll be able to think with a more clear mind, be more resilient to stress, and feel much lighter overall.

#2 – Sing.

Who doesn’t like to jam out to one of their favorite songs? When you’re driving home from work, turn on one of your favorite songs and just start singing. And so what if people in the other cars around you see you! Clearly, they haven’t learned how to enjoy life nearly as much as you.

#3 – Dance.

You know the next best thing to singing your favorite tunes? Dancing to them! So when you get home, spend some time gettin’ your groove on. It’s not only good for a little exercise and to reduce stress, but it’s just flat out fun.

#4 – Meditate.

Have you ever had one of those days where your mind just can’t seem to “turn off”? It’s like the thoughts of your day just keep going on repeat in your mind and you just can’t get it to stop.

This is where the benefits of meditation comes in.

So every day spend a good 3-5 minutes just sitting and focusing only on your breath. If you want, you can also add in a mantra that you can say to yourself over and over again. A very basic one to do could be “so hum”.

If focusing on the breath or doing a mantra isn’t your cup of tea, you could also do a guided meditation or visualization as well. There are plenty of free ones online to try out. In fact, in case you haven’t already, you can get a free copy of my guided meditation for self and relationship healing. This is a great guided meditation to use to help send some love and healing for yourself and then send some love and healing to others in your life as well.

#5 – Eat natural foods.

When we’re running around busy all the time, the last thing our mind and body really needs is a Big Mac. We need to be mindful over what we are putting into our bodies so that we can be better able to tackle life’s challenges.

So try to eat more natural foods. Spend more time buying foods out of the produce section. Be sure to eat a good amount of fruits and vegetables every day. Drink more water and a little less coffee. Try to cut down on sweets and fatty foods. In making these little changes, you’ll have much more energy.

#6 – Be grateful.

Start keeping a gratitude list and every day identify at least one thing that you are grateful for. Once you have identified what it is that you are grateful for, then close your eyes and breathe. Visualize that person, place, or thing that you are grateful for. Visualize yourself sending that person, place or thing your love and appreciation.

#7 – Give someone a hug… or kiss.

When we give someone a hug (or a kiss) we get an instant boost of oxytocin in our brains, which is the brain chemical that creates feelings of pleasure, bonding, and intimacy. So give out some more hugs and it’ll make you and the other person feel better.

#8 – Play… literally.

When we’re so cooped up in our daily responsibilities of being an adult, we forget what it was like to be a kid and just play. Spend some time coloring or playing a game with a friend or with your partner. Dance in the rain. Play in the pool. And let go of the inner critical thoughts like, “I’m too old for this” and just do it. Just enjoy it and have fun!

JustPlay

Click to Tweet: Give yourself time every day to just play. You’ll reduce stress & bring a little more fun and joy into your life! via @jenilyn8705

#9 – Spend time outside.

For the majority of us that have desk jobs and sit in front of a computer every day, we don’t end up getting nearly as much time in the sun as we should be. So take some walks outside, spend time time regularly taking care of a garden, or simply just sit outside and enjoy the fresh air and sun. You’ll feel much better!

#10 – Create something.

In comparison to past generations, we don’t really have that many hobbies. In previous generations, more of us took up things like knitting, cooking, drawing, playing music, dancing, painting, and so on. Today it seems that most of us have exchanged this for working more hours and spending more time mindlessly checking our cell phones and watching cable.

And, frankly, there’s not a lot of joy that can come out of that.

So find a little hobby and start doing it. Start writing. Start knitting. Start learning piano. And no, you don’t have to be perfect and no, you don’t have to work towards “going pro”. Just do it. Not for money. Not for anyone else. Just for you.

Take action now!

Out of this list, which of these are you going to do for yourself today? Share it in the comments below!

7 Ways to Start Your Journey Toward Self-Love

For many of us, we could all use some help in the self-love department.  Our own level of self-love can be detrimental to our success in relationships, career, health, and overall well-being.

Here are 7 ways to start your journey toward self-love:

#1 – Do mindfulness practices.

To be mindful means to be tuned-in to your own thoughts, emotions, and needs.  Many of us struggle with this because we can get so caught up in all of the things going on outside of ourselves that we forget to stop and tune in to our own experience.

To practice mindfulness is a lifelong journey and can be challenging at times, but it doesn’t have to be difficult.  A few ways to practice mindfulness include:

– Focusing intently on the present moment while doing an activity, such as while doing the dishes, cleaning, driving, cooking, or working.

– Taking moments throughout the day to tune-in to how you are feeling in your body.  Check in to see where there is tension, aches, fluttery sensations, and more.

– Taking breaks throughout the day to take deep breaths for a few minutes through your diaphragm.

If you want to start doing well at self-love, then start practicing mindfulness every single day.  The more mindful we are, then the more successful we will become in our self-love practice.

#2 – Nourish your body.

Ask yourself: What have I been eating?  What have you been eating at home for dinner?  What places do you eat at?  How much sugar do you consume?  How many processed foods do you consume daily or weekly?  What are you drinking during the day?  Do you drink sugary drinks or alcohol and, if so, how much of it weekly?

While I don’t definitely don’t think there is a “one size fits all” diet for everybody, I do think it is important for us to focus on how the the things we put into our body affect how we feel.  What foods make you feel sluggish?  What foods give you energy?  What foods make you feel lighter?

Discovering what foods work best for you and your body can be a journey, so try out a few different diets and discover what works best for you.

#3 – Move your body.

Find time every day to move your body each day.  Go for a walk.  Get up away from your desk and stretch.  Take up a new exercise that you’ve always wanted to try.

#4 – Do things that feed your soul.

What things do you feel passionate about?  What activities light you up?  Do you love performing music?  Do you love dancing?  Do you love writing?  Do you love cooking?  Whatever it is, be sure to find time to do it.  The more we do things that feed our soul, then the more we become connected to our soul.

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Click to Tweet: The more we do things that feed our soul, then the more we become connected to our soul. via @jenilyn8705

#5 – Write a list of all the things you love about yourself.

This activity can be very transformational, especially if we are dealing with relationship issues, self-esteem issues, or depression.

Get a journal and put it by your bed.  Every night before you go to sleep write down at least 2 things that you love about yourself.  Overtime, you will definitely notice a shift.

#6 – Become the master of your own self-care.

When you notice that you are hungry, be sure to make it a priority to feed yourself.  When you notice that you are tired, be sure to rest or make time to get extra sleep.  Be sure to give yourself time and space to disconnect from other people’s stress.  Be sure to set healthy boundaries by saying “no” or setting a limit to things that you know are going to greatly deplete your energy.

#7 – Be grateful for the things you do for yourself.

In your journal that you keep by your bed, write down all of the things that you are thankful that you did for yourself at the end of every day.  Bringing gratitude to our self-love practice will bring fuel to to it in a way so that we can become even better in our own self-love.

Take action now!

In the comments below, share at least one thing that you are going to do today to start your journal toward self-love.

Finding Blessings When Everything Comes Crashing Down

About mid-way through the year last year, I felt like my life was suddenly crashing down.

It started off with being notified that I needed to find a new place to live after I had just moved 3 months prior.  This followed with bad news about a chronic health issue that I had been dealing with.  In addition, when it came around to be “that time of the month” my PMS was at the absolute worst that it had ever been in my entire life.  All I wanted to do was lay around curled up in a ball for an entire week.  This all then concluded with a notice that I had been let go by my part-time job.

Needless to say, I panicked.  I freaked out. I was overwhelmed with anger that all these things had to be happening to me all at once. I had a complete emotional and mental breakdown.

I felt like my body was breaking down.  I felt like my entire being was breaking down.  The only thing I could do — or even have the physical energy to do — was to cry.

… and that’s what I did.  I cried.  I cried a freaking lot.  And I did something else too — I stopped trying.

I stopped looking on craigslist for apartments and jobs.  I stopped debating on what actions to take.  I stopped pushing myself to do all these things in hopes to find a solution to all my problems.

Instead, I just did what I could.  I let go and decided to go with the flow.  I stopped trying and pushing myself and decided to surrender and take care of myself.

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Click to Tweet: When your stressed cause everything is falling apart, stop pushing yourself to “figure it out” and just let go. via @jenilyn8705

It was then that I allowed myself to really relax and enjoy all of the incredible blessings that I had experienced around that same time, such as:

… having an astounding result to a TinyBuddha article of mine that I never would have expected!

… making new friends who are also life coaches or entrepreneurs.

… celebrating my amazing boyfriend’s birthday.

… moving forward in my relationship by both of us exchanging our first “I love yous” 🙂

… finding out that my parents were coming to visit me the next month.

… a childhood friend finally having her baby.

… having the time (and living in an area) where I had the opportunity attend group meetings for extra support.

… and so much more!

Often times when we find ourselves in a period of our lives where everything seems to have been uprooted and we have everything but security, we find ourselves all stressed out and caught up with feelings of anxiety and anger over what happened to us.  We find ourselves so caught up in these emotions that we completely overlook all the wonderful little blessings that are going on around us at the same exact time.  We can find ourselves so incredibly focused on all the “bad” that is happening that we cut ourselves off from seeing the “good”.

So what should we do during these moments of high-stress when it feels like everything in our lives is crashing down?

Breathe.

Often times when we are super stressed out, we completely forget about the most essential thing that keeps us alive and healthy: Breathe.  So stop and take a moment to take some deep breaths.  Take a very deep inhale and allow your exhale to be longer than your inhale.

This technique of breathing where we do a longer exhale than our inhale is a great technique to help calm down the body and help us relax.  I have personally used it on the nights where I’m having trouble sleeping to help me dose off peacefully and it has worked wonders.

Take time for yourself.

When we’re super stressed because all of our plans seem to not be working out, we tend to get so focused on fixing all of our problems and life challenges that we have forgotten the most essential aspect for our growth and progress: Our own personal well-being.

So give yourself a 1 or 2 hour break to simply do “nothing”.  For for a walk.  Take a warm bath.  Read a book simply for the joy of it.  Cry… cry a lot.  Eat and really savor a nutritious meal.  Watch reruns of your favorite TV comedy.  Focus on you and what you truly need for the health and well-being of your own mind, body, and spirit.

Reflect on your blessings.

Moments before you go to bed, get out a journal and make a list of all of the blessings in your life.  Is it a blessing that you have a certain amount of money in your checking account?  Is it a blessing that you have a friend or partner to support you during this difficult time?  Is it a blessing that you have made new friends recently?

Write down a list of all the blessings that come to you.  After you finish writing them down, go through each one and say out loud to yourself, “I am grateful for _______” in order to really acknowledge to yourself and to the universe that you are thankful for all these current blessings in your life.

Take action now!

What are some of the blessings in your life?  Share them in the comments below!

How to Create a Gratitude List that Actually Helps You

Back when in my late teens to early 20s I started reading some of my very first self-help books.  Though the advice varied from book to book, there was one bit of advice that seemed pretty consistent: the need to be grateful in order to have a happy, successful and fulfilling life.

And so, in order to practice gratitude, many of these books always recommended to start a gratitude list.  One of the first books I read that recommended this, instructed to write down 5 things that you are grateful for every day.  The author proclaimed that by doing this it will “completely transform your life”.

So at the age of 18 or 19, I took up the challenge to begin writing down five things that I was grateful for every day.  Inside I thought, How hard can it be?  This book makes it sound super easy!  I’ve been journaling every night before I go to bed since I was like 10, so this should be an easy new habit to take up!

The first night came and I wrote down my five things that I was grateful for.  Then the second day came… and then the third day.  By the fourth day things started to get tough.  I couldn’t think of anything new that I was grateful for.  I just kept thinking of stuff that I wrote already.  But I stretched it a little bit to keep my routine going.

Needless to say, after one week had passed of my new habit of writing my daily gratitude list I was pretty well burned out.  I felt like I had completely run out of things to write down and, frankly, I hadn’t noticed any kind of “transformation” that these authors had proclaimed would happen.

So, I stopped — and from that point on whenever I saw stuff about writing “gratitude lists” I thought to myself, Yeah, good idea — in theory.

But then recently I was reading a book that explained this whole “gratitude list” thing a bit differently.  In this book, it was the author instructed that when you write a gratitude list to be very specific.  This made so much more sense to me and by taking this approach it has made it actually possible and beneficial for me to write gratitude lists!

This revelation then led me to start writing down things that I was grateful for that really truly resonated with me.  The process then led me to other little realizations on how to write gratitude lists that were truly beneficial to me.

So how can we write our gratitude lists so that they are more effective?  Here are a couple tips:

Avoid writing all the stuff that you feel you should be thankful for, but you’re really not.

So if you feel like you should say that you are thankful for your job, but you really truly aren’t, then don’t!  Many times we do this because our parents or grandparents or whoever told us when we were kids that we should always be thankful for these basic things.  And so, if we don’t say we are grateful for these things then we feel ashamed and start to think we are a bad person.

As a result, we are just writing the things we are grateful for on auto-pilot and the results we get from writing our lists feel just kinda “meh”.

So if you’re honestly not thankful for your job or for your living situation — then don’t write it down!  Strive to be honest with yourself.

When you write a gratitude list, focus on what you are grateful for from that specific day.

The problem for me when I first tried out writing gratitude lists was that the things I wrote down were things that I was simply just “grateful for in general”.  It never correlated to what I was specific for that day.

So at the end of the day when you sit down and write your gratitude list, reflect on all the  moments that were really gratifying or that really helped you.  Maybe it was a sweet comment that made you smile or the super tasty meal you had for lunch.  It could even be the simple fact that rush hour traffic really was practically nonexistent in the morning — or, on the flip side, maybe you enjoyed the traffic jam cause it gave you time to be alone with yourself and reflect and that’s a moment you’re grateful for.

Whatever it is focus on the specific moments and events from your day that you are really grateful for — and the more specific the better!  So saying, “I’m grateful for smelling the fresh forest from my hike today” is so much better than saying, “I’m grateful that I went on a hike today”.  You see the difference?

GratitudeList

Take action now!

In celebration of Thanksgiving this week in the US, share 5 things that you are grateful for from things that have happened today or yesterday in the comments below!  And remember: Be specific and be honest!

3 Ways to Bring More Love into Your Life

We all want happiness, fulfillment, and love in our lives.  It’s the one thing our souls strive for, yet, for some reason, it seems so much easier said then done.

For many of us, it seems that there is always something in the way that prevents us from finding love.  Always finding the “wrong” people to date, not feeling supported by friends or family, or simply feeling a lack of passion or purpose in life.

What we often fail to realize is that love isn’t something that is going to come from finding something outside of ourselves — the “right” partner, perfectly loving and supportive family and friends, or a career that you’re truly passionate for.

In fact, it doesn’t come through finding anything.  Rather, it comes from taking actionable steps in your life to create more love into your life.  So here are three ways to help bring more love into your life:

Savor each moment.

Love is everywhere.  It is all around us — in the morning dew, in a warm breeze, in the sweet smell of jasmine flowers, in a piece of art, and so on.  Take the time each day to really focus on these things and take in the enjoyment of it.

When we allow ourselves to really focus intensely in the present moment, we can open ourselves to unlimited joy, happiness, and love.

Express Gratitude.

Make it a daily habit to be appreciative about everything — food, shelter, plants, books, friends, a job, a car, and whatever else.  To be appreciative is a loving action, so when we put forth the action step to express our gratitude we, in turn, acknowledge the love that is within us.

Gradually, over time of expressing more and more gratitude, we end up finding more love in our lives because we have been giving the loving action of thankfulness.

So you may want to start every day or end every day with writing down a list of things you are grateful for.  Another option would be to mentally say, “Universe, thank you for ______” (or using whatever language you prefer) every time something happens in your life that you are appreciative of.

Give without needs.

Often times when we feel as if we’ve been giving too much it’s because, deep down, it’s coming from a place of fear.  We give and then feel like we haven’t gotten anything in return because there’s this feeling that “Something is being taken away from me” or to be quickly focusing on what one is getting rather than to really focus on the joy of giving.

When we let go of any expectations, shift our mindset to “I am good enough and it’s okay for me to be big in the world” and release any fears of vulnerability and rejection, we can then allow ourselves to give from a place of genuine love.

A great place to start with this is to donate your time to a cause or to do some kind of work that can help those in very challenging situations.  For instance, you may want to volunteer at an orphanage or help kids with special needs.  It could also be something simple like helping an old lady cross the street or giving something to a co-worker in time of need.

And you know the extra bonus to volunteering or doing work for a special cause?  It can actually become easier to be grateful — which is exactly one other thing we need to bring more love into our lives!

Ultimately, remember this:  Love isn’t something to look and search for.  It’s something that we open ourselves to.  It’s a matter of finding the love that is already within us and expressing that out into the world so that we can create the love in our lives that we desire.

Bring more love

Click to Tweet: Love isn’t something to seek out. Rather, it is something we must choose to open ourselves to. via @jenilyn8705

Create more love in your life today!

In the comments below, list three things that you are grateful for in your life right now.

5 Practical Steps to Living a Happier Life

Happier Life
Image courtesy of Danilo Ruzzuti/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

As humans, we are creatures of habit and many of our daily habits separate us from achieving a happier life. If we change our habits, we can improve our level of happiness. Here are 5 simple steps that we can integrate into our lives on a daily basis to live a happier life and to feel more emotionally satisfied.

Never complain without a reason.

We all have our stressful days and many times we simply need someone to vent our struggles and to have someone empathize. The trouble is that if we complain too much we place ourselves in this self-defeating cycle of negativity, which not only negatively affects our mood but can also drain the energy of our loved ones. So rather than complain for the sake of complaining, make this new pact for yourself: “I will only voice a complaint only to seek methods to improve the situation.” Changing your way of thinking in this way will not only minimize the negative energy you give out, but it also influences you to be more proactive, you feel a greater self of power within yourself knowing that you can change the outcome. So next time you voice a complaint, be sure that you are asking for advice and support in how to make this situation better… and, gradually, you’ll start to create a happier life for yourself.

Instead of thinking “This is what I don’t have”, think “This is what I do have”.

This simple shift in thinking shifts your thinking from scarcity to prosperity. When you focus on all the good things you do have, you become more grateful and positive about life.  In other words, if you focus on the idea of “I can never live a happier life” then how can you ever actually live a happier life?  You make that little mindset shift.  Once you do, you begin to find joy in the little things like your morning cup of coffee or the wonderful convenience that the internet and cell phones provide us.  You may begin to find joy in the sound of birds chirping in the morning or the creative wonder that movies can provide.  When you find gratitude, love and joy in the little things in life, it’s nearly impossible to NOT be happy!

Stop depending on others for your own happiness.

This can be a tricky one for many people because, as a society, this has become a bad habit for many of us. The reason this doesn’t work is because when you hold expectations for how others should please you, then people will often times fall short. Holding expectations doesn’t allow others to be who they are at that point in time, but rather how YOU think they should be. And the irony is: When you rely on other people for your happiness then you prevent yourself from living a happier life because, in doing so, you are not allowing yourself to fully be you.  In other words, how can you really make yourself happier when you’re constantly focused on other people?  It just doesn’t work.  Take care of yourself!  Eat healthy foods, exercise, give yourself a nice bubble bath, take a short vacation by yourself, start a new craft or hobby (not matter how off-the-wall it may be), write a book, take a dance class — all of these things and more can help you emotionally recharge your batteries and feel a greater sense of self-empowerment without depending on someone else to do that for you.  The second you focus on how to create a happier life FOR YOU rather than by relying on other people or worrying about whether other people are happy… then you’re already there.

P.S.  Are you a female who REALLY struggles with this?  If so, check out the various ways you can Work With Me.

Surround yourself with people who give genuine unconditional support and who accept and appreciate you as you are.

This can be, perhaps, the trickiest one for people but it is possible. If you hold on to people who don’t support you and never seek the support you deserve, then you stay in this self-defeating cycle that prevents you from living a happier life. Only you can find that support for yourself. If you can’t find any in your current circle or local area, then look online. Search for meet-up groups or online communities.  The best part of the internet is that we can all easily connect to anyone in the world with a click of a button. Seek out forums, groups, and websites of those with hobbies and interests similar to yours. Eventually, with some diligence and patience that support will come around.

KNOW that you deserve the best!

As I said before, don’t settle for anything less that you deserve. To live a happier life, you need to know that you deserve love, appreciation, support, and acceptance for who you are. You are a wonderful human being! If you know that and fully believe that, then the more positive things will come to you. What you believe on the inside is what exists on the outside, so if at any time you feel a lack then give yourself some more internal pep-talks about how great of a person you are.

The time to take action is RIGHT NOW!

So where do you feel you need the biggest mindset shift?  What can you start doing TODAY to start living a happier life?  Share below!