Moments that Matter

Gratitude

October 31, 2018 by Jennifer A. Barefoot Chief Brand Officer

After the tragic events of September 11, 2001, I began my gratitude journey.

Today it’s a deliberate and daily practice that I continue to refine. Since having children, I’m even more inspired. For me, gratitude helps put things in perspective – to accept and appreciate my life as it is right now.

I now start my days with time and space to reflect. I get up before the rest of my family and sit on our patio, and I “mind-set” for my day in gratitude. It’s amazing how this simple morning exercise sets a positive, calm tone that carries through the rest of my day.

And my family has a favorite dinner-time ritual to end our day: Roses and Thorns. We share at least one thing we are grateful for today and also one thing we didn’t care for but learned from. The resulting conversation is always powerful and rewarding.

What has gratitude taught me?

I realize what I have.
My life is not perfect. I have challenges, that’s for sure. But practicing gratitude has changed my perspective for the better. My life is full. And I am quicker to identify and celebrate the goodness that is plentiful in my life.

I have more joy in my life.
Practicing gratitude has taught me that when I see the good, it becomes more difficult for me to complain. It has prioritized how I want to spend my energy, so that I am less bogged down in things that don’t really matter to me and my family in the long run. And I have inner-strength to block and tackle toxic and negative emotions that surface reducing my stress, strengthening my relationships, and bringing me more joy.

I am focused on the present.
Practicing gratitude helps me feel more comfortable with uncertainty. No longer do I take things for granted. I appreciate what I have and what I am experiencing right now. In fact, this moment is the only moment we have. Gratitude roots me in the present moment, enabling me to be a greater participant in my life. I notice more, value more, and have more magnified experiences.

With gratitude.

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