Why an Attitude of Gratitude can change your life

Simply put, focusing on gratitude makes me a happier, calmer and kinder person. Why? The experience of feeling grateful immediately shifts my focus from my head – with all its self-centered stories, annoying worries and self-defeating anxieties – to my heart. When I focus on gratitude, I feel good – my heart opens – and I start looking for more and more things, people and situations to be grateful for… it’s like a chain reaction of positivity. I become progressively happier, more relaxed, enthusiastic, optimistic, and resilient to stress.

Keeping a gratitude journal is a simple and effective way to increase our awareness of gratitude. It has been shown that even 5 minutes a day of simply writing down what you are grateful for that day has measureable and increasing benefits to your health and happiness.

What have you got to loose?

So just to give you an example; today I am grateful for the hawks nesting in our pine trees, the sound of the wind in the leaves, a lovely visit with my daughter, the bounty at the farmer’s market on saturday mornings, my new keens, the happy memory of our recent getaway to Lake Tahoe with my son and grand-daughters, a telephone chat with my mum 6,000 miles away in England. Once I get started… I could go on and on, and I become increasingly aware of just how much I have to be grateful for.

If you'd like to express your gratitude to someone, click here to send a free card, on me.

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You Can Reinvent Yourself.  I Did At 60
Juggling All The Balls In Life

Juggling all the balls: mother, grandmother, wife and entrepreneur

I’m a person who LOVES to spend time with my family. I adore my husband, cherish my three kids and am madly in love with my two granddaughters.

I’m also a freelance translator, interpreter and interpreter trainer, I’m building a business marketing wellness products and a greeting card service, and I am learning how to get an online following. Plus I spend quality time with my husband ,take the time to cook healthy meals from scratch, devote time to spiritual practice, go for hikes,  hang out with my friends…. So, how do I keep all these balls in the air?

Family first

Well, let me be the first to say that I don’t always keep all the balls in the air. Sometimes, something just has to give. Unfortunately, back in my early days, I didn’t do such a great job at all, and my family got the short end of the stick. Nowadays, my priority is clear – do what has to be done to keep things going, but family comes first and foremost, always.

A day in the life…..

Last week, I had an interpreting assignment in Oakland, and I was spending the evening with my amazing daughter in Berkeley, where she is living for the summer while she completes an internship in Oakland before heading back to S. CA to complete her Ph.D. Wow – there is a lot of information in that one sentence! Anyway, I was working on my computer, waiting for her to come home from work, settling into my weekly conference call with my on-line marketing mastermind group. I get a text from her - Bart is on strike, so she might be 1-2 hours late getting home because all the buses are going by full. So of course I offer to pick her up, jump into my green bug, and head off to downtown Oakland. Map quest directing me on my iPad, conference call continuing on my iPhone until I disconnected when I got to downtown Oakland so I could focus on being with her. We had a lovely evening preparing dinner and catching up over a glass of wine, I caught up on the rest of the call by FB messaging later on… I just love that my entrepreneurial lifestyle and modern technology makes it possible for me to combine my passions, my work and that oh so precious time with my loved ones.

I get by with a little help from my friends….

This week, my husband and I are taking a few days off to spend time with my son and granddaughters in Lake Tahoe… again, so grateful that we are both self-employed and able to arrange our own schedules. And of course my trusty iPad will be coming with me, so I can continue my blogging assignments – from my best ever blogging coach - putting into practice the tools and tricks I used in a recent seminar on “Using your iPad for business” from my dear friend and mac lady extraordinaire to keep up with my various business ventures from the beach.

So if I had to sum it up, here my 7 tips for juggling multiple roles:

1. Be clear about your priorities

2. Know when it is Ok to drop one or more balls

3. If you drop a ball, pick it up again (or decide to throw it away if it no longer serves you!)

4. Keep your sense of humor

5. Learn to use technology judiciously

6. Be flexible

7. Get by with a little help from your friends!

PS Of course, this all works best when you are your own boss!

You may also enjoy reading "You can reinvent yourself at 60, I did."

You can reinvent yourself. I did, at age 60

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had, or should say, I’m having, a wonderful life– I’m blessed with a loving husband, an extended tribe of family, kids, grandchildren and other kindred spirit whom I adore, good health, beautiful natural surroundings, a wonderful spiritual community, meaningful work… so what is missing? Well, it’s that elusive prosperity that has always been just around the corner, just beyond my reach.

The big 60 

Ever since I left the comfortable security of my parent’s home at 17, finances have been at best ok and often a downright struggle. As a free spirit entrepreneurial type, I’ve never worried much about the future, always thinking it will work out; it always has, somehow, well kinda’. But things changed when I turned 60. Perhaps it was the realization that I’m not going to be around forever. The question of how do I want to spend my remaining years? What do I want the rest of my life to mean? The thought that maybe I don’t want to be buzzing around town in my green bug interpreting when I’m 80. Perhaps it was one time too many of wondering where the mortgage payment was coming from.

A big decision

So, I made a big decision. I decided that now, in my 60’s was the time to really do something to change my financial landscape. So here is what I am doing…..

[From About Julie]

A venture into Network marketing

About the same time I started working independently, I became involved with network marketing. Because of my own health sensitivities, I have always sought out natural solutions to environmental health challenges and this approach seemed like the perfect vehicle for my passions for health and education. My appreciation of gratitude as one of the most positive and powerful emotions we have access to, and finding an easy was to express this, inspired me to add a greeting card service to my business endeavors.

So far, although these products have helped people tremendously, I have created wonderful educational workshops and presentations, and I love and believe in the products I sell, I have not been able to generate anywhere near the kind of income that I know is possible, and that I have dreamed of. I also realized that the techniques I was taught to build this type of business – one-to-one meetings, home presentations, networking events, are extremely time-consuming, which conflicts with my desire for more time freedom and spending more time with my family. Granddaughters grow up too quickly! And so I have explored marketing classes, webinars, seminars, books, you name it, trying to find the answer to success......

Healing my relationship to money

Until it dawned on me that no amount of marketing approaches were going to work until I healed my convoluted relationship to money. Some themes that stood out for me: guilt, shame, embarrassment, a sense of failure, brightened with periods of a sense of accomplishment at being able to overcome difficult circumstances. Other thoughts: I'm happier spending than saving, often giving more than I have to give, thinking more for today than tomorrow, valuing present experience more than future security. And to keep things in perspective, although poor in dollars, I feel richly blessed with joy and love in my life.