December Gratitude Challenge

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‘Tis the season of giving Thanks.

This month I invite you to join me in trying something a little different:

gratitudeI want you to join me in completing a month-long Gratitude Challenge.

Sign up by sending me an email to let me know (that way you can hold yourself accountable). Just by signing up, you will be entered to win one of three amazing prizes (your choice!): a gratitude journal, an amazing Paleo cookbook, or a 2016 inspirational planner (so you can keep track of gratitude and your acupuncture appointments). Read on to find out the What and the Why of the Challenge.

I started thinking about crafting this Challenge for myself last month when I realized that I had been kind of down without much reason. Ok, it is possible that the descending of the gray, the beginning of the rain combined with daylight savings time might have played a role in my less than stellar feelings. The fact is that I live a great life. Are there goals I have yet to meet? Sure. Do I want my life to be even better than it is now? Absolutely! Really and truly, though, my life is pretty charmed. I have a great family, incredible friends, and I have a career that I am in love with that also does a lot of good for people. What occurred to me was this: I had gotten out of the gratitude habit.

Instead of focusing on the things that I love about my life, I was focusing on the things that I would like to see change. In short, I was complaining. A lot. Mostly silently, mostly to myself, but also out loud. I kind of felt like the grayness compelled me to do it. It can be difficult to show gratitude during this time of darkness. Sometimes this is all you have:

“Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so, let us all be thankful.”   Buddha

Once I realized I had a complaining habit I also noticed that I wasn’t the only one. Fall in the Pacific Northwest is not an easy seasonal adjustment for a lot of people. You get sleepy, you get a bit depressed, you lose your motivation, it feels like it is chronically 4:30 in the afternoon. It gets easy to feel a bit down. When you feel down, you are much more likely to complain, to wallow in the down-ness. And once that starts, it becomes a habit that is hard to break.

I want more for myself, and I want more for you! So let’s shift the focus from sadness into JOY.

“It is not joy that makes us grateful; it is gratitude that makes us joyful.” — Brother David Steindl-Rast

Are you still with me? Here is all you need to do to join in the Gratitude Challenge with me: First of all, you need to make a real commitment to yourself. The best way to do this is to also tell someone else about your commitment (that would be me) so that they can help you be accountable. Shoot me an email to let me know of your intentions to practice gratitude this month. If it helps, you can also share with me your Why and/or your What — Why did you choose to do this, and What are you hoping to get out of it. Then I will send you a daily email. Nothing big. It will have a quotation about gratitude and a question or action step to focus your gratitude for the day. If you get behind, it’s ok. You can always catch up —

there is no limit on how many times a day you can show or express gratitude.

That’s about it. I will help you focus. Just email me with your intentions, and you’ll start getting daily emails through December.

I can’t wait to hear how this changes your world!