Hi friends! I'm so sad the KAL is coming to an end. This is my last creativity blog post but I'll definitely be around until every person is finished and happy with their project, so just holler as always if you need a hand. I plan to do a big round up post in the coming weeks as well, when we feel like most of us have completed our work! If you're interested in seeing my finished pieces, head on over to the FB group where I'll be sharing those. 


The theme this week is gratitude, which I know sounds so cheesy but bear with me a little. People all the time say it's important to feel grateful for what we have and to spend time each day writing these things down. About a year or so ago, I had a pretty strong practice of writing down what I was grateful for most mornings. After a meditation, then gratitude writing, you are in a fantastic place and ready to rock your day. However since we moved the boys we have a new morning routine. I have to be out of the house by 7:15 which pushes everything to an earlier start time. I just don't have the hours to fit it in, at least it feels like! There's part of me that misses it and part of me that is just ok with my morning routine evolving to where it is now. I just try to fit in my meditation and then do a quick review of my personal goals if I have time. The idea of practicing gratitude and making it a part of my life is still present. As much as I can, I try to slow down to appreciate simple things with the boys and in nature. Just us driving to school and singing Moana (or whatever!) or the incredible roots of a tree I saw while on a jog. Within my business, I also try to see the best wherever I can. There are so many things to be thankful for and when I make a mistake or something goes wrong, I make an effort to see it in the best possible light. What can I learn? How can my business improve? What can we do to make this customer's experience better? I often feel like I have so far to go in my business for it to be "successful" or where I want it to be but just stopping to appreciate where we are right now is so nice. Even with the kids, sometimes it's those little things that fill me with the most joy. When I practice feeling grateful, I find that I sweat the small stuff less and am better at knowing that the things that bother me will pass. What things small (or big?) can you find time to slow down and appreciate?


This is an example from a blog I wrote about 2 years ago but a classic one I want to share today as well:


I have a funny example of how embracing gratitude has helped me on a day to day basis too. Last week, the manager of our apartment building called us down for a meeting. The tenant below us is unhappy because of the noise they hear from the kids running around in our apartment above. The building was built in the late 1800's and I have 2 toddlers, so it's not a big surprise and I feel for her. This is a common problem in our building. BUT the manager made a rude comment about the way I parent. She said something along the lines of you have no control over your kids.  I think she feels this way because I often let the boys run around in the hallways or courtyard to burn off some energy. They love to run. I was so offended. She also told us they want to put in wall to wall carpeting to make the noise situation better- of course I thought barf to that. SO it was a terrible meeting that really upset my day but I coped with it in a new way I've been practicing. I try to think of all the things I'm grateful for as they apply to the particular situation instead - so why I appreciate this manager (she's been really lovely over the years and does have a very hard job) but mainly why I love this building - the high ceilings, great light and location. I also thought a lot about how this building has been so perfect for Trammel and I to live for the past 6 years and start a family. It shifted things inside so that I could just let go of what she said about my parenting and stay open to the seemingly hideous carpet situation. I don't want to hold on to those negative feelings or make her feel badly for upsetting me and get revenge somehow. I just switch it to gratefulness and let it go. It's helped a lot. I can't say I'm 100% there yet with letting things like this go quickly, this one took me a while to work through but I notice progress. I used to just hold grudges forever. I have no interest anymore.


So that is what I want to leave you with for this side of the KAL, the power of appreciation and gratitude. I'm better able to cope with all the hard stuff that comes up, put it in perspective and just let it go. Let me know if you have a gratitude practice. I'd love to hear all about it! AND, if this side of the KAL was interesting to you, let me know here or by email. It will help me make a decision about how to plan the next one. Thank you so much for joining me here! Lots of love, Amy