The holiday season is officially upon us! I get a giddy feeling of joy and appreciation this time of year. I think there is naturally an enhanced excited kind of energy from Thanksgiving through New Years than the rest of the year. We are reminded of the small things that we may take for granted most of the time, especially the gift of family and friends.

Since last Christmas, when a good friend gave me “The Secretgratitude journal for a gift, I have been writing down my gratitude’s daily (with exception of a few days here and there). Here are a few “ah ha’s” I encountered from my yearlong focus on gratitude that may seem really simple, but have really hit home on a deeper, more profound level for me than my previous understanding.

§ Some days, when I wrote my gratitude’s down in my journal, my heart would feel so full. But it would only last as long as I was thinking about those things I was grateful for at that moment in time, then I would get caught up in the ups and downs of my day and forget about them. My big “ah ha” this year was when I realized that appreciation is not a 10-20 minute a day “program”, but must be an on-going all day process if we are to create more to be joyful and appreciative about in our lives! So I began going into my day consciously looking for things to be grateful for all day long. This was kind of fun, because the more I would find, the more that seemed to appear for me to appreciate! At first I would keep forgetting to do this, but, the more I practiced it the easier it became. I still have my days, but for the most part, I do go through most of them feeling happy and appreciative for all the wonderful people, situations, opportunities, things, health and love I have in my life.

§ The next “ah ha” came when I would hit a snag-a challenge, disappointment or frustration I had to deal with. Boy it’s hard to feel grateful in those moments! What I learned was, its ok to feel disappointed and frustrated, these are natural human emotions and they are important in helping us wee what we truly desire instead for ourselves. There is always something to be grateful for even in those situations! It comes down to the “Law of Opposites” where we can always find an equal and opposite “want or desire” in everything we encounter that we don’t want! The goal then is to focus on the solution, not the problem, the “want” instead of the “don’t want” and remind ourselves of our goals.

§ The next “ah ha” I’d like to share came to me very recently when we had visitors from MN. They were so appreciative of our home and its “resort” feel and how comfortable they felt here. I felt so much more appreciative of my home through them than I normally do, which was fun, but I also thought how easily we take things for granted. So I decided I am going to be a “visitor” in my own home as often as possible so I could continue that feeling of appreciation. I thought too, if I can do that with my home, why not do it with other things in my life? When people tell me how wonderful my husband is-I take a moment to appreciate who he is. When someone tells me I seem really happy, I really let that sink in. When someone says I inspired him or her to start exercising, I appreciate my lifelong ability to stick to a fitness program and enjoy it! I now add “compliments” to my way of reminding myself how much I appreciate things I may be taking for granted about myself and my life.

Author's Bio: 

A life and spiritual coach, Debra is the founder, president and CEO of Amazing Journey Life Coaching Services and MyPath2Freedom Blog), a personal and spiritual development coaching company and on-line community for midlife women. Her work as an entrepreneur, wellness director of a large YMCA, author, speaker, and coach has resulted in her being recognized as an expert in personal and transformational success.

Debra has combined her education to suit her lifelong desire to know and understand the Spirit-Mind-Body connection and how universal laws work in our lives. She has a Bachelor’s degree in wellness education with an emphasis in behavioral psychology, a Master’s degree in community counseling and a Doctorate in metaphysics. Debra speaks to a variety of audiences on spiritual principles for awakening the power within to create positive life changes. She is the author of the e-book “Awakening the Power Within to Create Your Best Life”, along with several other e-books and e-courses.

In addition to the above, Debra’s new adventure with an online personal development business based in the law of attraction is the perfect fit with her background, experience and education and she is excited to be a part of such a powerful network of leaders in the personal development business. For more information, please visit Amazing Journey Coach.

Debra is happily married, and is the proud parent of two biological sons and one stepson ages 24-28. She resides in her dream geographical location-the west coast of Florida! She is a health and fitness enthusiast, an avid reader of spiritual and metaphysical literature, and is committed to helping others grow and create their best lives.