This week's Monday "Show Yourself Some Love" sesh is a good one. This past weekend I had the opportunity to spend 2 days in the Pheonix, Arizona area soaking up some gorgeous weather, with a couple of my favorite people, as we explored the works of one of my favorite men of all time, Frank Lloyd Wright.

 Taliesin West

Taliesin West

Now, don't worry, you don't have to be as big of an architect nerd as me to get something out of this post because the self-care principle that I am going to focus on today is that of

gratitude 

because even if you are unemployed, or things aren't going your way. Even if you have financial burdens and don't know what to do. Even if you are going through medical hardships or a relationship just ended or you're miles away from home and feel like you are in your darkest days, there are still SO many beautiful things to be grateful for.

Now, don't get me wrong.... I don't believe in foo-foo fluff and pretending that things aren't hard if they are, we all go through some tough sh*& and it's okay to be sad about it for a minute, but I promise you, life gets a whole lot better when you focus on the things that are going RIGHT instead of wallowing in all the things that are going wrong. 

Let's get real. Life is hard, but OH SO GOOD.

Frank Lloyd Wright was an American architect, interior designer, writer, and educator during the early 1900's. He designed more than 1,000 structures, 532 of which were completed. His style was that of "organic" architecture where he designed his buildings using natural elements and taking inspiration from the beauties of the natural world. His work truly was ahead of his time, and was 100% timeless, which is why it continues to be admired and loved today. He said,

 Taliesin West

Taliesin West

"If you foolishly ignore beauty, you will soon find yourself without it. But if you invest in beauty, it will remain with you all the days of your life." 

So... you have a choice. To be grateful and see the beauty's in your life, or to ignore them. They are there, all around you actually. It is up to you to see them. 

A couple years ago I was NOT happy. I was grasping for more, totally unsure what my next step in life was to be, had just quit my job, and literally spent every second being angry and miserable and unhappy. A good friend taught me a routine and I'm about to teach it to you because it changed my life. 

Goals and Gratitudes

Every morning when I woke up my first thing I was to do was to pull out my notebook and write down 7 things I was grateful for and then 3 things I wanted to accomplish that day. I took this routine even a step further and at the end of the day I went back to my list and checked off the three things I had gotten done as well as write down 7 more things I was grateful for. 

It only took a couple days of doing this before my perspective changed, and life was seeming to change overnight. I got offered a job. An opportunity to work a conference in San Francisco came up. Then an opportunity to live in San Francisco for next to nothing came up. Then I moved and life got better every day. Things were still hard. I had zero dollars and every day was a question for whether I was going to have money. I didn't get a full-time job for a while and working for the temp agency was tiring and unpredictable at times. I missed my friends and life that I had left behind and was finding it hard to break into a new life, but one thing I knew for sure.

By focusing on the things that were going right in my life, I was happier, had more drive and motivation to problem solve, work hard, and make things happen for myself, and I was more attractive to others and was more fun to be around. 

And guess what... the gratitudes don't have to be big grandiose things... my first list consisted of this... 1) music 2) my computer 3) Rachel 4) institute 5) scriptures 6) sunshine 7) getting my oil changed for a good deal. The next day I listed, 1) family 2) a car, 3) my friendly personality 4) mountains 5) opportunities 6) games 7) phone. See.. not that hard to think of 7 things. The hard part was not stopping at 7!

It is scientifically proven that gratitude has these seven benefits:

  1. Gratitude opens the door to more relationships.
  2. Gratitude improves physical health.
  3. Gratitude improves psychological health.
  4. Gratitude enhances empathy and reduces aggression. 
  5. Grateful people sleep better.
  6. Gratitude improves self-esteem.
  7. Gratitude increases mental strength. 

and that is just to name a few! There are so many benefits to being grateful. So.... this week I challenge you to add Goals and Gratitudes to your morning and nightly self-care routines. (and if you don't have a self-care routine, ADOPT one, starting with this). 

  1. Wake Up.

  2. Pull out notebook next to your bed.

  3. Write down 7 things you are grateful for.

  4. Write down 3 things that you want to get done that day. (It is also proven that 3 is the magic number of things a person can realistically plan to successfully accomplish in one day)

  5. Smile at all the beauty that surround you.

ALSO, you know what has given me the greatest lesson in gratitude of all? Learning to find beauty in the desert. I am a country girl from the beautiful mountains of Northen Utah. I love trees and mountains and rivers and lakes. I also am a true California girl at heart and I love the ocean and flowers and everything green. Living in the desert for the past 3 years has been a huge lesson in seeing the beauty in unexpected places!

Let me know how incorporating this routine benefits you in your life! I promise it will! 

"Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude."

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