“There is always, always, always something to be thankful for.”
Point to Ponder:
What things are you grateful for?
by Neissa Brown Springmann
I don’t know about you but I am having a really fun time with our #gratefulgram challenge. I do not find it challenging to post something I am grateful for each day, rather I am finding it difficult to post only one thing that I am grateful for each day. The study I referenced in last week’s journal suggesting that expressing gratitude releases the feel-good neurotransmitter dopamine is playing out exactly as the study said it would for me. The more I express gratitude, the more grateful I feel! And interestingly, last week was busy so I was up very early each morning so I could get a head start on the day. Now that I think about it, I had no problem getting up and moving and I absolutely think this early morning energy is directly related to my looking for the positive in each day.
Because expressing gratitude has instant positive impact on our lives and the lives of everyone around us, this week we encourage you to take the time to write down exactly what you are grateful for. If you attend any of our classes this week, we will provide you with the opportunity to physically write down what you are grateful for. If you are unable to attend class, print out the handout at home, fill it out and post it somewhere you can see it everyday. I promise this gratitude exercise will ignite your spirit and leave you feeling blessed and amazing!
Finally, if you are like me, sometimes I find myself hesitant to express certain things I am grateful for, simply because they seem silly or superficial. However, where there’s gratitude there is a grateful spirit that is spreading goodness in the world. So, I encourage you to not judge what you are grateful for and just write it down, as our iGnite leaders did below.
“I am grateful for…
“I am grateful for bicycles! Mine, my husband’s, and my kids’ bikes! My husband commutes to/from work every day by bike, about 35 miles round trip, and he arrives home every evening already having exercised, feeling refreshed and energized from his second “workout” of the day, and ready mentally, truly “present” and “turned on,” for his family. My kids also commute by bike to/from school, and our ride home together every afternoon is my favorite part of the day; as we enjoy cycling through our neighborhood, they tell me about school and friends, we “race” and do “stunts” (all completely safe ;)), and we laugh and connect with each other in a way that just can’t happen in a car. Of course we also enjoy family bike rides to/from town lake and/or our neighborhood parks on the weekends. Cycling is such an important part of my family’s daily routine, and it adds so much to our quality of life, that I can’t imagine life without our bikes!” -Alli
“I am grateful for 32 years of receiving yellow roses from the love of my life!” -Amy
“I am so thankful for music, especially music that is at least 140 BPM and makes you want to dance your heart out, fling your hair back while the sweat rolls off your back and dance like no one is watching! I am thankful for music that makes me think I can sing, even though my children have differing opinions. I am grateful for the music that allows my beautiful daughter to dance. I am thankful for the bass, because ‘It’s All About the Bass!’ ” -Betty
“Laughter, plain and simple…that is one thing for which I am crazy thankful. Laughter lifts, and it eases. It cleanses and it soothes. It fills you up and carries you away from the nooks and crannies of life that you might prefer not to be in at the moment. It sings to your heart like pearl-coated raindrops. Laughing is a full-body and soul experience, radiating and erupting from a place so deep inside you that you can’t even say where, it’s just all over — it’s true, watch your body the next time you laugh! And the other little thing I’m thankful for — laughter is best when it’s shared.” -Cary
“I am thankful for BOOKS and the freedom they give me to learn about absolutely anything I want! An evening spent wandering around a bookstore picking up anything that strikes my fancy and thumbing through the pages just makes my heart sing, I can’t imagine not having that ability!” -Catherine
…my health and fitness.”
“I am grateful for my health and fitness! I think this is something we all easily take for granted until it’s gone… I am so thankful to be able to teach and participate in iGnite and that I can do so many activities because of my strength and fitness abilities! Life would be so different without that and I am always thinking how grateful and fortunate I am to be strong and fit. Specially being able to rock climb like on the Monarch Escape after never doing it in my life…” -Jill
“I am thankful for my boat. It brings me so much joy! It also brings Brad and I so many fun date nights and afternoons together. Bonding friendships have started on the boat and are still blossoming. It is also a place of adventure! Trying new things on the water is exhilarating! Just gliding across the water on a ski, wake board or surf board makes my heart sing!! It is a family gathering place where everyone loves to meet for the day. Did you know if you are ON, IN or NEAR WATER you are 90% happier??!! It is true! I am so thankful for our beautiful Lake Austin!” -Kathleen
“I am grateful for arabesques! I know this sounds weird, but growing up a dancer and still a closet one, some of my best times with my family are posing and attempting to do arabesques! This pose is currently a challenge with my back, but still brings a smile to my face as I see my girls develop theirs. So, I guess what I am really grateful for is time, time to enjoy the little things.” -Meg
“I am grateful for the condo and location of our condo where Clayton and I live. I am so grateful my parents chose to keep it and not sell it so that we could live here until we are ready to buy a house. I tend to question Clayton a lot and ask “When are we going to buy a house?” Can we afford to do it soon?”, even though I know we’ve discussed this topic numerous times and came up with a timeline, which is not now. 🙂 (I am “trusting the process” and learning to enjoy it!) I know I am blessed to live in central Austin, where it only takes me minutes to get to work, to a restaurant or to meet a friend. I have come to accept we will be in our sweet and cozy 900 square foot home for a couple more years, and I’m very thankful I have a roof over my head and a safe place to call home.” -Molly
…glasses and chapstick.”
“I am grateful for my glasses and Chapstick. At the end of each day there is nothing more satisfying than taking my out my contacts (which I am grateful for) and putting my glasses on to give my eyes a break. Then, I slather Chapstick all over my lips. Actually, I have Chapstick with me at all times so I am regularly moisturizing my lips which feel soooooo good! In fact, if I were on a deserted island, my glasses and chapstick would be two of my top five items. I love them both!” -Neissa
“One of the things I am grateful for is our boat. Our boat is like a mini retreat for our family and we love being on it together. We use the boat several times a week to ski, or wakeboard which is fun, but one of the main things we enjoy is inviting family and friends to join us for a relaxing sunset cruise and picnic. We often jump in too. Just being on beautiful Lake Austin, surrounded by nature brings a lot of peace and joy to our busy lives. When we’ve been out on our boat for the evening, we feel like we’ve had a mini vacay!” -Sha
This week, take the time to physically write down exactly what you are grateful for. If you are unable to attend an iGnite class this week, print out the handout at home, fill it out and post it somewhere you can see it everyday.
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