Day 27 – Gratitude Challenge

“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”
~ George Bernard Shaw

Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and go do it. Because what the world needs is more people who have come alive ~ Howard Thurman.

Life is not a career path! Life is a glorious opportunity to explore, to grow, to learn and to become.

No matter whether our lives currently reflect the way we want to live, or whether we have a long way to go to realise our dreams, we can begin to be happy where we are.

The more we find to be grateful for, the more good stuff starts to show up in our lives.  Transforming our energy and our attitude is as simple as cultivating that attitude of gratitude.

If you were to ask me what your purpose was for this lifetime, I could answer this in just two words – Be Happy.

If you needed a longer explanation, then I would say to you that happiness comes from using your natural talents and gifts to express yourself in the world.  Maybe your talent is to be a surgeon, maybe it’s to sew incredible curtains, you might be a natural parent, a brilliant writer, a nutty inventor, or a magical gardener.

In each twenty-four hour period, are you devoting ANY energy to doing things you enjoy and are good at?

Life doesn’t have to be a career path, although for some people it turns out that way. Sometimes a job is just the mechanism that provides the security and pays the bills, so that you can devote the rest of your time to doing what really makes your heart sing.

What makes your heart sing?  What makes you come alive?

Today, give thanks for those energies in your life, and do all you can to incorporate a little more of that activity on a daily or weekly basis.

And for some people, the thing we love and give attention to, grows to be able to support us financially anyway…

Image from desktopia.net

Now let’s build up some more of that delicious attitude of gratitude with our regular practice…

Counting Our Blessings and Using our Gratitude Rock

If you need a detailed reminder of our daily process, you can review it here in Day 1 of the Gratitude Challenge.

  1. List five Blessings in your journal, explaining why you are grateful for each one.
  2. Count your Blessings off on your fingers, summoning positive emotion and saying Thank You from your heart for each one.
  3. Choose from one of the following phrases, write the words on a piece of paper and add them to the ones already under your Gratitude Rock : I embrace my passion.  Thank You, Thank You, Thank You. ~ My dreams are becoming clear to me.  Thank You, Thank You, Thank You. ~ I am open to happiness and flow.  Thank You, Thank You, Thank You.  ~ I understand that I deserve to be happy.  Thank You, Thank You, Thank You.
  4. Tonight before you go to sleep, hold your Gratitude Rock and affirm I am richly Blessed. I have an Abundance of Good in my life. Visualise one thing you have been grateful for today. Swell that positive energy up in your heart like a beautiful golden light, and give a heart-felt Thank You, Thank You, Thank You to the Universe, then imagine a tiny shower of golden light travelling from your heart into your Gratitude Rock.
  5. Still holding your Gratitude Rock, bless your fellow travellers on this Gratitude Journey by sending them golden light, and saying Thank you.  I Bless You.  I intend for you Love, Miracles and Abundance. Know that as you are saying this for them, they are also saying this for you. Feel that connection and gratitude and know that there is real love and support for you here.

If all you do today is these five steps, know that is enough.

Today’s gratitude challenge is about energising yourself to actions, activities and opportunities for you to feel good…

Living Happy!

Close your eyes, and think of a time when you were really happy in your life.  What were you doing?  What music did you listen to?  What food did you eat? Who did you hang out with? What was it about this time in your life that made it so magical?

Dwell on that time for a moment, and really feel the happiness, really feel that strong emotional connection and positive energy. Then build up a sense of gratitude in your heart.  Say a heart-felt Thank You to the Universe for the Blessing of happiness.

Image from daniel-wong.com

Now think of an activity that always engages you, relaxes you, makes you feel good…  It could be surfing, sewing, singing, writing, cooking, dancing, bushwalking, researching the family tree, painting or renovating, solving complex maths problems…  It doesn’t matter what it is – it only matters that you enjoy that thing!

See yourself doing that activity.  Feel the pleasure and satisfaction, feel the usefulness, feel the mental engagement or the sense of freedom. Just absorb yourself in thinking about this activity in a pleasurable way, so that it leaves you wanting more. Remember to say Thank You to the Universe for this gift in your life.

Image from blog.babazeka.com

And when you’re done with day-dreaming, take your diary and schedule a little time for reconnecting with this activity in your life.  Plan to buy fabric, or go to the library and get a relevant book, or make some time to simply DO this thing in your life. Just for the love of it.  Just for how it makes you feel.  Life is for living, and for enjoying the journey. Make sure you make time to do something that you LOVE.

Bless  ♥ xx

What makes you come alive?

Image from peaceandprojects.com

Don’t ask yourself what the World needs

Ask yourself what makes you come alive

And then go and do that

Because what the World needs

Is people who have come alive.

~ Howard Thurman

Last night I was talking to a friend about art.  It comes easily to her, and she’s so good at it – and getting better all the time. A sketch can pour out of her pen in under ten minutes.  A few more of those moments to shade in some colour and she’s done. When I met her she was writing.  She struggled with the flow of her writing, although she enjoyed it. But writing never lit her up the way art does.

Often the things that come most easily to us, the things that we enjoy and find rewarding are also the things we value least in ourselves, precisely because they DO come easily.

I have another friend who is totally passionate about restoring old cars. He’s an accountant by trade, and loathes his day job.  He only comes alive at weekends, when he’s out at swap meets or car shows, or tinkering in his back shed. People seek him out for his knowledge, and are constantly asking him if he’d custom-make items for them. He usually says no because he doesn’t have enough time to do their work and his own. He’d never consider leaving his day job. There’s a certain security for him in being an accountant, even though he hates every minute of it.

I made a discovery a few years ago.  Life is precious.  Life is also fragile.  We never know when this crazy wonderful ride might end.  We certainly can never be sure how much time we have left, or when something we value and take for granted might be taken away from us.

These days I live with some clear priorities in mind. I write.  A lot.  My blog, an assortment of book manuscripts, and my spiritual and psychic courses and workbooks. And I cook, hang out with the ones I love, and squeeze travel into the gaps.  All those things have made me come alive again, after feeling burned out and nearly dead for longer than I care to remember.

Sometimes I get to combine all the good things – travel to a cafe, be with people I love, eat tasty treats and drink tea, write!

So now I have three questions for you. It’s okay if you don’t have an answer straight away, although you might. Here they are:

What comes easily to you?

What are you naturally good at?

What do you enjoy more than anything in the world?

If you truly don’t know, ask the people who know you well.  Weirdly, the people we love can often see the things we are blind to. (You know it’s true!)

If you still can’t work it out then dedicate time to finding out – consider it your personal quest. Sometimes life and the thing that will make us come alive finds us!

 

Case in point: I have another friend who is a successful farmhouse cheese-maker.  He did a weekend cheese-making workshop back when he was a schoolteacher, at a time when he was feeling dissatisfied and directionless in his life.  That weekend changed his life. He found out that he loved the entire process of making cheese. (And he’d only taken the workshop to avoid a wedding he didn’t want to go to on the same weekend!) Over time he did more and more workshops, travelled overseas to learn about the art of cheese-making, and finally stepped away from his day job to follow his new-found passion.

Image from aoap.com.au

There is something in the world that makes you come alive.  There is something, that when you give it room in your life, will let you shine.

Find that thing. Live that thing. Life’s too short to waste it on pursuits that will never make you happy.

Image from indulgy.com