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Simple Ways To Practice Gratitude


Since it's November, gratitude is on many a mind this time of year. Practicing gratitude is one of the best ways to change your life; I know that sounds dramatic, but it's true! Our perspective is totally changed when we focus on ways we can give to others and recognize the many blessings we've been given. Ready to practice some gratitude? Here's a few simple ways to do it.


1. Make a gratitude journal.
This is something I've been building into my everyday routine for the last year or two, and it's been a wonderful habit. Take a few moments each morning or evening to reflect and jot down a list of things that you're grateful for. I've found that it causes you to be more mindful of your environment or the little moments in life.


2. Clean out your closet and donate your unworn clothes.
Each season, I like to do a edit of my clothes, and clear out pieces that just aren't getting worn anymore. Find some local organizations to support, who are accepting clothing donations, instead of going to consignment or Goodwill.


3. Write someone a thank you note.
It's easy to think kind thoughts about someone, or even to admire their hard work or dedication from afar, but instead, tell them! A handwritten note is one of the simplest yet often most cherished gestures. You know that person who is always doing things for others, someone who takes good care of you or provides excellent service, a friend who has been there--good times and tough times, yep, that one. Let them know how much you appreciate them! It will make their day (and yours, too)!

Gratitude is something that shouldn't just be reserved for one month or one holiday. It's a year-round practice that truly makes life worth living.

November Inspiration




Happy November! It's almost the start of the holiday season, and with a new month, comes new goals, new inspiration, and a new focus. Here's a few ideas that are serving as inspiration and creative fuel to me this month! I encourage you to take some time to look over your goals, think about what you want to achieve this month, and do what it takes to make things happen.

Dressing The Part



It recently dipped down into some cooler temperatures over the weekend, and that got me thinking about all the sweaters, scarves, jackets, and boots I'd like to wear. Usually it's still quite warm this time of year, so hopefully the fall weather sticks around for a little while! This season it's all about beautiful fabrics, luxe detailing, animal prints, jewel tones, neutrals and shades of black and gray. While it's definitely still not cold enough for a coat, here's a few autumn pieces that I think would be perfect for this time of year.

Opportunity Awaits

I've been thinking a lot about opportunities and how often they come disguised as something else. Sometimes it is the challenging situations, or the seemingly mundane tasks that are there for us to discover an important lesson about others or ourselves, if only we are open to learning. I love how Morgan Harper Nichols (her work is amazing, btw!) says that gratitude and hope can teach us something everyday. Perhaps the moments spent waiting on someone or something, the everyday routines, and things we take for granted are opportunities for hope and gratitude to be a teacher. May they allow us to slow down, savor, and be present. May we see lessons and not hinderances, hope and not frustration, gratitude instead of taking things for granted. Perhaps this perspective shift will show you that there's opportunities all around-- if only we are willing to pause and ready to receive them. I challenge you (and I) to allow gratitude and hope to be our lens through which we see the world. 

The Questions I Always Ask...


Lately, my schedule has been so full that I've hardly had a moment to sit down and do some personal evaluating. Typically, I like to do this at the beginning of the month, or even at the end of one before the next starts. Autumn is a great season to reflect. With everything going on in the last couple of weeks, I'm just now taking a moment or two to do some journaling, taking a personal inventory of habits, routines, etc., and making a quick edit or two to some goals I'm working on. I was reminded of this post that I wrote some time ago, and found the questions posed there to be rather pertinent to some of what I'm thinking about at this present moment. If you're looking for some other good questions, this one also has some that I frequently add to my monthly checkpoint. Perhaps these will  be thought-provoking posts for you as well.

How To Be More Positive


A positive life is something that we all desire; I have yet to meet someone who truly wants to be miserable day in and day out. I've encountered so many people who express their desire to become more positive or recognize the need for a better outlook on life. Here's the truth: Our lives go in the direction of our strongest thoughts. 

Sometimes, we may find ourselves in different circumstances than we planned, or perhaps are facing an unexpected challenge, and it can be easy to fall into a 'reactionary' type of mood. Most of the time, those reactionary moods or thoughts are not taking us in a direction of positive growth, so it's important to know how to switch directions quickly! If you want to take your life to the next level, a positive mindset is essential. Here's three simple tips to help you become more positive and less stressed!

1. Edit your environment. 
This is such a great starting point because our environment dictates so much of who we become. Look at the music you listen to, movies you watch, people you invest time with, books you read and social accounts you follow. What sort of messages or ideas are you filling your life with? A negative environment will produce negative attitudes. We live on the level of our input--this is a great time to make some changes. Cutting out the clutter of mental junk (bad music, movies, tv shows or negative self-talk, etc.) will make a major difference in your life. Remember to replace it with good things like new goals, encouraging words, and positive people. You may encounter all kinds of thoughts, but remember, it is always your choice of which you'll entertain. 

2. Get outside. 
It is so simple to get caught up in all the activities and work of the week that we miss spending a moment or two outdoors. There's something so peaceful and refreshing about the sunshine on your face, a cool breeze, a hike in the woods, the sound of the waves, or the brilliant colors of sunrise and sunset. If you start to feel overwhelmed or stressed with all that's on your schedule or perhaps need a boost, a few minutes outside will do the trick. Personally, I like to head out to the beach for a sunset after a hectic day; the waves and beautiful colors can transform even the most trying of moments. 
p.s. Leave your phone off for a bit--it's ok (encouraged, even!) to disconnect from tech and reconnect with yourself and nature.

3. Make a gratitude list.
Don't wait for Thanksgiving. It's never too early to start thinking about gratitude. When we take the focus off ourselves and whatever problems we may be facing, it's amazing how our perspective begins to change. One practice I've enjoyed cultivating in my own life is a gratitude journal. I like to take a few moments each day to list 5 things I'm grateful for. In doing so, it places my focus on celebrating the many blessings and great moments I have been given. When you look for the good, you'll find it. We will see an increase in wherever area we place our focus. 

October Inspiration


Happy October! After an incredible weekend filled with wonderful friends and adventures, September came to a delightful end. As we begin a new month, here's some thoughts and things that are inspiring me lately.


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