Gifts & Gratitude.

Do you find yourself working in a reactive state most days? Spiraling in the midst of well-laid plans gone awry? Have you been told to think happy thoughts or take a moment to be grateful for something and it would help to shift from a reactive place to more proactive thinking? If nothing else, it would "help you turn that frown upside down"...

I have. And I doubt I'll finish reading A Thousand Gifts

2017 Gratitude Jar

In chasing this concept of gratitude + proactive pivot, I set an intention to live more gratefully this year. I implemented the use of a gratitude jar (my homemade attempt is pictured to give you an idea). As we're well into 2017 - now celebrating longer days with the onset of spring - I can honestly say my intention of gratitude has been challenged more than once. Yet these trials act as a multiplier of a pursuit to hold myself accountable to live gratefully regardless of the circumstances.

There is power in recognizing the gifts - whatever the size - in your life. How?

The short list is 1) Pause. You have to take time to think and this leads to some sort of time to reflect. This pause, wherever it leads, is priceless for us (particularly if on a mission of deeper meaning or best self!). 2) Appreciation. In seeking something to be grateful for, you are forced to actively appreciate. Appreciative inquiry is magical (and a topic for another day). 3) Reality. We get caught up in the fires of the moment all too easily. We let the flames burn us: scorching the positive, painting harsh perceptions of what is not fully real. Don't get me wrong here: reality is not all rainbows (quite the opposite); yet our tendency is towards fear. Taking a moment to see all of reality - the good and the bad - is healthful recognition, offering us wiser perspective.

So get out of your head.

Actively "count" gratitude with something like a jar or journal. The inventory you build is a lovely visual reminder of all the beauty in your life (it's hard not to soften when you see it). If nothing else, speak aloud your gratitude as frequently as you can. Hear yourself. Heal yourself...and I should add that, for me, I have seen how grateful I truly am for what I used to think derailed me indefinitely.

Try it on with others too! & if you've done this or consider yourself a master of gratitude-living, I'd love hear from you about what trends you observe in the habit of gratitude, and the gifts that keep on giving!

2017 Neuland Kitting @ Casa Chiri

For me, a gift that just keeps on is markers. NEULAND markers to be specific. For all my visual practitioners, this is old hat knowledge. For anyone new to Neuland, get on board. Not only are these markers fabulous, the owners have the largest hearts and most giving souls. If you need proof, join us for a workshop this April at Casa Chirilagua. This workshop is the result of donations made by Neuland during #IFVP2016. As you can see from last Sunday's photo of marker kitting, we are well on our way with preparation. Our intention in this workshop, supplied fully by Neuland donations, is to share the gift of art with the next generation of Casa Chirilagua; we will be teaching the kids about how to use art as a way to express themselves and build confidence in co-creating a mural for Casa's new home.