THE GIFT OF GRATITUDE

Yesterday, on New Year’s Day, our family celebrated our 2nd Annual Gift of Gratitude. That is, throughout the year, we wrote down things we were grateful for and collected them in a gift bag. While the kids got drunk on sparkling cider (read: sugar high), we passed the bag around, each pulling out a slip of paper, reading the things we had been thankful for in 2014 and reminiscing on each of the blessings that had come our way this past year. Anything from family activities we had done, having food to eat, to times of peace and quiet, that as a parent, are greatly appreciated. Each one of us had been thankful for the library–the gift of a wealth of books to check out for free, fun summer activities and programs, and their summer reading program, which allowed the kids to earn prizes each week to local restaurants. We were grateful for the members of our community, who helped us pack and move in August, during the week my mom was in the hospital with a blood clot and life threatening infection. Whose generosity toward our family helped give my kids a bright Christmas. There were so many things to be thankful for! Even our black cat, my familiar, Jezebel, was thankful for a warm house, food, water, snuggles, and the occasional tuna as a treat! I am grateful that I am teaching my children the gift of gratitude — the ability to pause, take notice, and give thanks for the abundant blessings in their lives. We look forward to this special New Year’s Day ritual, full of lots of laughter and memories.

I realized when the bag was empty and we were all done, that I should have included the hardships, as well. I feel like they were left out, though intentionally, at the time. But I realized that each of those trials and painful experiences were a gift. They taught me lessons, allowed me to grow, made me a stronger person. My goal for this year is to include those difficulties in our GIFT OF GRATITUDE. Then on New Year’s Day 2016, I can reflect back on how those obstacles benefited me in the end.

Struggling with fibromyalgia and PTSD, I focus on my limitations and my suffering more than I should. I forget to be grateful for my health in other ways. After my car accident that left me in a wheelchair for six months, I realized how much we take the ability to get up and walk around for granted. To be able to use your arms to carry things or shower on your own. When I get sick or have some other temporary issue going on, I’m reminded how much I take for granted the times when I’m not dealing with those problems. So, despite my chronic illnesses, I am going to focus on the health that I do have.

Some of you may have experienced incredible loss in 2014. As you continue to heal, I send you my love, and hope you’re able to recognize the shimmer of light amidst the darkness.

I encourage you to do any variation of our GIFT OF GRATITUDE. Many people do a ‘Gratitude Jar’. Keep a Gratitude journal. Acknowledge what you are thankful for. Focus on your blessings rather than lack. Adopt the attitude of gratitude. Allow the power of gratitude to magically transform your heart and your life; manifesting all that you need and more.

I’d love to hear from you! What are you grateful for?

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VISION: REACHING YOUR GOALS FOR 2015

What does it take to reach your goals?

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Well, first you need to have a vision. That might seem obvious, but for some people, that may be the hardest part. In the free oracle card reading for this week, I gave some suggestions on how to clarify your vision.

Many people enjoy creating a vision board. Here is an example:

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I created this vision board 10 years ago. I’m still working on achieving all the aspects I included but I still feel like it speaks true of who I am today as I was 10 years ago. Obviously, you can re-create, change, or modify your vision board as often as you like. The categories in my vision board are: Relationships, Family, Emotions, Travel, Health, Finances, Education, and Career. Then I added words, images, and quotes that symbolized what I hoped to achieve in each of those categories in my life.

You can also write a letter to yourself, describing everything you want to achieve as if it already happened. Really imagine what it would feel like to have reached your goals and realized your dreams. Have fun with it. Then allow the Law of Attraction to work for you by holding onto those feelings so the Universe can deliver to you the energy you are putting out.

Once you have a clear vision of what you’d like to achieve, you can break it down into three easy steps:

DREAM: This is your ultimate destination. Maybe your dream for 2015 is to buy a house, go back to school, get a new job, start exercising, take a vacation, learn to be more positive, mend a broken relationship, or begin a new relationship. Whatever it is, create a vision that makes you want to jump out of bed in the morning. Passion is what will keep you on coarse. Also, how will you know your dream has come true? Spending the first night in your new house? Digging your toes in the sand in Maui? Fluent in Italian? Write it down.

GOALS: Once you’ve clarified your dream, you set goals. Goals are the stepping stones on the path to achieving your dream. In order to buy a house, you need to have an idea of what kind of house you want, the location, your price range, pre-approval, find a realtor, etc.

OBJECTIVES: Next, break each goal down into concrete action steps with clear, measurable time tables. In order to find a realtor, maybe you talk with friends/family/co-workers/neighbors who have already purchased a home. Maybe you read reviews and research online. Or just flip through the phone book. Whatever the objectives are that will help you reach your goal, put a date that you’d like to accomplish each objective. Many people’s lives pass them by, always intending to pursue their dreams, but never actually accomplishing them. I get it. Life gets crazy. Life gets hectic. But by putting a timeline on your objectives, you can make it a priority to include each little step into your daily, weekly, or monthly “to-do” list.

Clarifying your vision and reaching your goals can seem overwhelming. But I hope that by breaking your goals down into simple steps with a deadline for accomplishing those objectives, you’ll find achieving your dreams to be much more manageable and realistic. If your dream is a destination on your journey, then your goals are the road map, and the objectives are your driving directions.

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Lastly, the most important step is GRATITUDE. Be thankful for what you already have and be grateful for what the Universe is sending you. If you can’t enjoy the gifts you already have, how will having more change anything? Remember, the Universe sends back what you put out, so if your heart is full of gratitude, you will receive more things to be grateful for. Surround yourself with happy, positive, supportive people.

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I would love to hear your thoughts, comments, questions, or what your plans are for 2015!

Have a Safe, Healthy, & Prosperous New Year!

Brightest Blessings
Heaven On Earth Ministries

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