Monday, November 1, 2021

November 01, 2021 0

30 Days of Gratitude November Challenge

What better way to kick of the month of November than with a 30 Day Gratitude Challenge! If you missed the value of a gratitude jar or gratitude journal post--take a minute and check out that post! As an effort to refocus and let go of some of the negativity that settled in over the past several months, I have decided to focus on a daily gratitude theme each day in November!


 

To get things started today, I will reflect on the good, positive moments of the morning--and that is not always easy on a Monday morning, is it? Hopefully, this little daily exercise in gratitude will allow me to be more mindful of at least some parts of my day--and find some positive points of gratitude in aspects of my day that I may have missed in the moments! 

 

Whether you are keeping a gratitude jar or journal--or simply sharing a grateful post on social media--join us this month as we document things that make us grateful and celebrate 30 days of gratitude! 

 

Ready to Join Us in the 

30 Days of Gratitude November Challenge?

 

I am going to be adding my daily moments of gratitude to a gratitude jar and, below, you will find a printable list of 30 days of writing prompts to help you journal as well as a simple, printable theme list for daily gratitude reflection and social media sharing! 

 

Journal Writing Prompts for the 

30 Days of Gratitude November Challenge?

 

Day 1.   This morning, I was grateful for...

Day 2.   I saw three things made me happy/smile today...

Day 3.   When I smelled ...  it reminded me of....

Day 4.   The best tasting food/drink that I had today was...

Day 5.   I had forgotten how ... the ... felt until I touched it today.

Day 6.   The most wonderful sound that I heard today was...

Day 7.   I am grateful for my family today because...

Day 8.   I said thank you to ... because...

Day 9.   This afternoon, I was grateful for ...

Day 10. Today, I saw (this animal) and it made me feel...

Day 11.  During a walk ... I saw...

Day 12. I am grateful for the food at (breakfast/lunch/dinner) today because...

Day 13. I am thankful for the water that I ...

Day 14. Today, I took time to practice self care by ...

Day 15. I love this part of my home.  It makes me feel...

Day 16. Today, I laughed because...

Day 17. This evening, I ... and it made me feel...

Day 18. Although it was a challenge today, I am glad that I ...

Day 19. The best gift that I received today was...

Day 20. I learned/remembered a valuable life lesson today--and it made me realize...

Day 21. The most inspirational story I heard today was about...

Day 22. I am so happy that I accomplished these three things today...

Day 23. Today, I remembered...and it made me feel...

Day 24. One dream that I have for the future is...

Day 25. I went outside at night and was grateful for...

Day 26. The most beautiful thing that I saw today was...

Day 27. The one thing that brought me peace today was...

Day 28. I was thankful to have time to enjoy (this hobby) today

Day 29. I was the happiest today when...

Day 30. Today, I was grateful that my career gives me...

 

Print the Journal Prompts for November!


 

Daily Themes for the 

30 Days of Gratitude November Challenge?


I am so looking forward to taking some time each day to reflect on the daily gratitude themes we chose for the month!  While I doubt I will post daily reflections on the day's theme every day of the month--I do hope to share some highlights of each themed day on Instagram and our other social media spots!

 




Print the Daily Themes for the 30 Days of Gratitude November Challenge

 

 

If you opt to follow along on social use #30DayBalancePeaceGratitude and enjoy your month!


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Sunday, October 31, 2021

October 31, 2021 0

What's the Point of a Gratitude Journal?

You are showing gratitude, giving thanks, counting your blessings. No matter the phrase you use, it seems that making a note of the people, places, and things that make you thankful is a popular activity. Do negative thoughts bog you down? Do you feel lost and caught in a daily cycle of dread? Do you feel like you live in a constant battle with Murphy's Law? It may be time to change your focus from the things wrong in your life to the things that bring you peace and joy. Many turn to a gratitude journal to help them refocus their attention and moods. What is the point of a gratitude journal--and should you be keeping a gratitude journal too? 

Person Sitting on a Mountain Overlook
 
2020 brought a lot of negativity to our lives from so many directions! We have all struggled to various degrees adapting to a host of "new normals" in our lives--even as we near the end of 2021. I will be honest--2020 brought many unhappy, difficult moments to my family, and it has been a long road through the healing and recovery! Through most of November, I will be focusing on finding the light in my days as I seek peace and balance in my home and family's life. You have probably heard a lot about gratitude--and the benefits of focusing on the positive things that happen during your day rather than the negatives.  

Oh,  is it ever easy to get so weighted beneath a few heavy negatives that you miss a whole load of positive, uplifting moments! How many times have you had one bad thing happen early in the morning that just seemed to launch a snowball effect of negativity throughout your day? Too many to count, right? Well--this morning, I wondered if that "snowball" really moved by its own power through my day--or if my thoughts were helping it grow and plow over the good things happening around me. What if I changed my perspective, and instead of noting how awful the day was, I made notes about the many things for which I should be grateful and pleased?  
 
Pinnable Image with a nature themed gratitude journal


Taking time to reflect on the positive things, the blessings, the joys--no matter how small--is the point and purpose of a gratitude journal. Whether you believe in Murphy's Law or The Law of Attraction or not, it seems to hold true that if you expect bad things to happen, you see more of the bad things happening than the good things. What if we focus on the good stuff? The positive, happy moments of our day?

 

Wouldn't it seem that good things could be given that snowball power too? 

  Pinnable Quote About Abundance with water background

What if we could change the course and energy of our day by changing the focus of our thoughts?

This is where a gratitude journal comes into play!

What is the point of a gratitude journal?

  • Gratitude Journals Offer Health Benefits.  Research shows that journal writing offers powerful mental, physical and emotional health benefits.  It improves mood, reduces stress and even improves memory and cognitive function.  
  • Gratitude Journals Increase Positive Energy.  Focusing on just a handful of positive thoughts goes a long way toward reducing negative thoughts, boosting self esteem and having a more optimistic outlook on your life.  
  • Gratitude Journals Improve Sleep, Happiness and Perspective.  I find that when I think about the people, places and events of days with gratitude... I smile.  I relax.  I feel happy! When I am relaxed and happy, I sleep better, I dream more and I have a different view of my daily life. 

 

So.  I don't know if keeping a gratitude journal is all its hyped up to be.  I don't know if devoting time and effort into a daily logging of thankful moments will significantly improve my life as I close out another year.

 

But--what if it does?  

Pinnable Quote About Gratitude with scenic background

What if the simple act of keeping a gratitude journal does help me create the positive perspective and energy necessary to achieve the peace and balance that I have been missing for so long?

 

I am not sure if I will keep an official gratitude journal--or something less formal and artsy like a gratitude jar--but, I think it is time to see if being just a little more grateful offers just a little more peace?   

 

Not the official launch of my gratitude efforts--but, this morning, I am thankful...

  1. For fresh lemons and limes in my water.
  2. That Louise the cat adapted well to life as a house cat.  (She is the semi-feral cat we brought home from my mother-in-law's house after she passed away.)
  3. That the breakfast burritos I made turned out well 

 

Tomorrow morning, I will be posting a 30-Day Gratitude Challenge so you can follow along with my month of gratitude!  Stop back tomorrow and download the challenge--and follow along on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook with #30DayBalancePeaceGratitude too!

 


Friday, May 1, 2020

May 01, 2020 0

Rock Bottom--or a Solid Foundation to Rebuild Your Life?

It has been a tough couple of years for me personally.  It literally seemed that every single time I thought that things couldn't possibly get worse--they did.  Sometimes things became A LOT worse.  That downward spiral, for me, began in the fall of 2018. My health landed me in critical care in the hospital.  My marriage was on the rocks. My husband's company closed his division--leaving him unemployed unexpectedly. My daughters were all facing personal, physical and health challenges that affected so many areas of my own life.
I thought I hit rock bottom SO many times during 2018 and 2019! 

Then.  

Along Came 2020.  

January was tiring.  My father-in-law nearly died a few days before Christmas in 2019.  He spent most of January in the intensive care units of a hospital a couple of hours drive away from us.  My husband made many drives to the hospital over that month.

In February, my mother passed away.  My father-in-law passed away as well.  On the same day.  
Let that sink in for a moment!  
My husband and I each lost a parent on the same day--within hours of each other. 
 My daughters lost two grandparents on the same day.  

Grief is a crazy thing.  It was a tough time.  

We all thought that we had hit rock bottom.

Then.

Along Came COVID-19.

In March, everything stopped/changed/transformed into a new isolated state of normal.

April felt like a bad, dystopian movie.  

My husband kept his job--but, his commissions were certainly challenged.

I own my business.  My clients, many international ones, disappeared for most of the month.  

My 8th grade daughter lost all of her activities immediately.  Club soccer stopped.  Acting classes and auditions stopped.  Her class Washington D.C. trip cancelled.  She was chosen to represent at the Ohio Model UN Conference--and it was cancelled.  The gifted camp that she was accepted to was cancelled.  The classes that she worked so hard to earn A's moved online and became pass/fail graded.  The library where she volunteered as a tutor for ESL students closed.  She is isolated from her best friends and teachers and coaches.

My 11th grade daughter lost all of her activities immediately.  Her track season stopped.  Modeling and acting auditions dried up.  She takes classes at Ohio State University.  Those classes moved online and the workload quadrupled.  Her hours at her part time job were reduced to a few hours per week.  The HOSA state competition that she qualified for with a presentation was cancelled.  National Honor Society events and Global Scholar events were cancelled.  Prom was cancelled.  Graduation was cancelled as we know it for so many of her friends.  She spent most days working on classwork--with only virtual contact with friends and her boyfriend.

 So far, 2020 has hit hard--with a lot of punches!

But.

Instead of seeing this new low as a life delaying, rock-bottom pit to dwell in--we have to see this as a temporary place.  This is an opportunity.  

An opportunity to reflect.  An opportunity to plan.  An opportunity to change.

This may be rock bottom--but, it is a great place to lay a new foundation and rebuild your life.

Piece by Piece.

Remember--

Thursday, April 30, 2020

April 30, 2020 0

What is a Balanced Life?

Today, I am sitting here after almost a month of having our usual normal life turned upside down by COVID-19 and statewide stay at home orders. I have had a month to reorganize the flows of my family's lives into something managed from home. It was initially a culture shock to see everyone's lives, activities, and habits come to such an abrupt halt. When I began this post a month ago, I was still trying to balance 8,000 of life's balls in the air! Health, work, family life, relationships, home responsibilities, goals, and dreams all seemed to be different puzzles with 1000 puzzle pieces each--with each piece from each puzzle fighting to fit into all of the other puzzles of my life. For much of my life, it has been impossible to find any balance with all of these pieces rolling and bouncing and fighting for my attention at the same time. After a month of adjusting to a temporary, new normal state of existence as a family--I have had even more puzzles and pieces thrown into my balancing act.

What is a balanced life?  


If I had finished this post a month ago, would my answer have been very different than my thoughts this morning? A month ago, I would have said that a balanced life means working a little on each area of my life--every day, every week, every month--to reach my goals and dreams for each of those areas.

What are my thoughts about balance today?  

I realize that my definition of a balanced life is the same. A balanced life, to me, is a life that lets me find peace and contentment in each area of my life--knowing that I set goals and action plans into place and work on those areas piece by piece to find that peace of mind. A balanced life still means working a little on each area of my life.  Every day, every week, every month--to reach my goals and dreams for each of those areas.

What changed over this month?  

While I still have the same vision of a balanced life--the pieces and priorities of that balance have changed. For example, I had images of how my ideal home would look. As I spent a month existing mostly at home--with my family living/working/surviving from home full-time as well--we began to use spaces differently. My visions for my ideal home began to change. The same happened with my health, my relationships, my career goals--and even my bucket list.

My balanced life puzzle is still composed of multiple puzzles with 1000's of pieces--but my life's many puzzles look a little different than they did a month ago.

My visions for the various areas of my life have changed.

I am refocusing my vision for my life--and I am ready to begin to balance my life, balance the peace of my life with every piece of the various puzzles that need to come together to form my overall completed puzzle of life!

That is what this site is all about. 

Balancing Life and Balancing Peace--Piece by Piece.