the magic of gratitude

the magic of gratitude

It’s been a while now that I began tapping into the power of gratitude. It all began years ago with Sarah Ban Breathnach attributing gratitude with all around joy, satisfaction and abundance. I knew it sounded like a great idea but it wasn‘t until I actually won a small orange (and quite magical) gratitude journal. As I began to use it in the mornings before I launched into my day I noticed a big shift in my daily attitude. Something as simple as starting the day with reflecting on what I’m thankful for, whether it be a long list or just one humble little thing, made the difference palpable.

It has been unfortunate that in the far from lazy, super-crazy days of summer I got out of the habit of writing in my gratitude journal. No time to myself has translated to not grounding myself in gratitude, which has wreaked havoc on my state of mind. I have been attributing my mood swings to merely being out of the normal school year routine. That part of things is obviously out of my control. But what about the routine I enjoyed during the school year that I can control? Like spending 20 minutes getting myself into the right frame of mind through gratitude? I could still do that, of course, but for some reason, trying to carve out that time amidst summer chaos feels futile. More than anything, I’ve known I need some quiet time to myself.

The good news? I have found a new way to get both! I know, I know, its super-awesome. I have begun walking the neighborhood on a regular basis. I used the term regular loosely as I have never really embraced any kind of regular exercise. So, what’s the good news part? I have begun to consider my walks Gratitude Walks. Just a small perspective change that has transformed my dread toward having to walk to dog into something I look forward to. Who knew it could be that easy?

As I begin my walk, I begin to notice my breath, slow, steady and deep. I feel the air on my face, close my eyes for a moment and then as I begin to move I smile to myself and think about all the things I’m grateful for. I have found that being in motion helps me think of things that I can so easily take for granted. The sky, the ground, the whimsy of dandelions. My house and neighborhood. My legs, my heart, my mind. Sometimes I take my camera and walk slowly with the intention of focusing simple beauty (especially in the early evening hours) but mostly I just walk at a steady pace feeling the soothing rhythm of my steps. My Gratitude Walks are working wonders for my heart in more ways that one. Oh, have I mentioned my magic Gratitude Shoes?

A few weeks back New Balance came knocking on my virtual door asking if I’d like to try out a pair of their new TrueBalance toning shoes. Being the non-exercise type, I was hesitant. That was until I realized I have never had a pair of real athletic shoes. Then I thought about my Gratitude Walks and how I, in fact, was exercising, in my own way, for my mental health and that was inadvertently good for my body as well. I love it when the unintentional “fringe” benefits are as awesome as the intentional immediate benefits. When I heard more about what New Balance whole wellness message was and I thought about how perfectly synchronic the timing and even the name of the shoes was in relation to my personal journey (seriously, if I could have chosen a name of these shoes myself, TrueBalance would have probably been on my list!) I took it as a big affirming nod from the Universe,

Keep walking in gratitude Tracey. Just keep walking.

My new shoes were delivered nearly 2 weeks ago now and I am smitten. A lovely aqua blue; bright and cheery enough to keep me mindful with every step. They not only remind me to keep stepping into gratitude they help me feel more grounded, true, and yes, balanced. See what I mean about magic?

Please share where your steps are taking you this week. What are you grateful for? It’s Monday after all and Monday’s are about sharing around here!

32 Comments
  • Adirondack Mama
    Posted at 18:05h, 16 August Reply

    My moments of gratitude come in the form of long bike rides on my new bike that my husband gifted me with. It gives me time to clear my head and to just enjoy the gorgeous surroundings of the mountain town that we live in.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/julesinsearch/4882729431/

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/julesinsearch/4883334660/

    I love this Tracey and I LOVE those sneaks!

  • Adirondack Mama
    Posted at 18:05h, 16 August Reply

    My moments of gratitude come in the form of long bike rides on my new bike that my husband gifted me with. It gives me time to clear my head and to just enjoy the gorgeous surroundings of the mountain town that we live in.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/julesinsearch/4882729431/

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/julesinsearch/4883334660/

    I love this Tracey and I LOVE those sneaks!

  • mosey
    Posted at 18:56h, 16 August Reply

    Tracey, somehow you and I were on the same wavelength. I just posted this yesterday:

    http://moseyalong.blogspot.com/2010/08/putting-on-my-shoes.html

    which is unbelievably tied in with this. I think we've been sneaking into each other's dreams. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I'm grateful everyday, although I struggle with melancholy in my life. I read someone's comment recently on a post relating to the pursuit of happiness – which said that although the person wasn't necessarily always feeling happy, they were always feeling blessed. I love that.

    cheers.
    kim

    p.s. just signed up for Picture Fall – looking forward to it already!

  • mosey
    Posted at 18:56h, 16 August Reply

    Tracey, somehow you and I were on the same wavelength. I just posted this yesterday:

    http://moseyalong.blogspot.com/2010/08/putting-on-my-shoes.html

    which is unbelievably tied in with this. I think we've been sneaking into each other's dreams. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I'm grateful everyday, although I struggle with melancholy in my life. I read someone's comment recently on a post relating to the pursuit of happiness – which said that although the person wasn't necessarily always feeling happy, they were always feeling blessed. I love that.

    cheers.
    kim

    p.s. just signed up for Picture Fall – looking forward to it already!

  • Michelle Kennedy
    Posted at 19:38h, 16 August Reply

    What a nice followup to last week's post. I have also let my journal writing lapse and have been meaning to get back into it. And New Balance is great – they are the only running shoes wide enough for my feet! Great insentives to get moving again.

    I've been blessed this summer with a pretty free & easy time. I'm hoping it continues into Fall. I'm going to try out this HTML linking thing – here's my post for Best Shot Monday

  • Michelle Kennedy
    Posted at 19:38h, 16 August Reply

    What a nice followup to last week's post. I have also let my journal writing lapse and have been meaning to get back into it. And New Balance is great – they are the only running shoes wide enough for my feet! Great insentives to get moving again.

    I've been blessed this summer with a pretty free & easy time. I'm hoping it continues into Fall. I'm going to try out this HTML linking thing – here's my post for Best Shot Monday

  • Michelle Kennedy
    Posted at 19:42h, 16 August Reply

    well that didn't work. Maybe this time … Gratitude – best shot monday

  • Michelle Kennedy
    Posted at 19:42h, 16 August Reply

    well that didn't work. Maybe this time … Gratitude – best shot monday

  • Michel
    Posted at 19:43h, 16 August Reply

    I love the meditation walk. it so calms me. I have been attempting a quiet balance with a home filled with renos. this last week it has been raining a lot in the evening but then it stops before dark. I have been using this time to escape the house for some quiet grass lurching and alley walking time. I find such peace with my macro lens.
    http://www.wishfulthinkingblog.com/wishful-thinking/2010/8/16/water-microphone.html

  • Michel
    Posted at 19:43h, 16 August Reply

    I love the meditation walk. it so calms me. I have been attempting a quiet balance with a home filled with renos. this last week it has been raining a lot in the evening but then it stops before dark. I have been using this time to escape the house for some quiet grass lurching and alley walking time. I find such peace with my macro lens.
    http://www.wishfulthinkingblog.com/wishful-thinking/2010/8/16/water-microphone.html

  • Hope
    Posted at 20:55h, 16 August Reply

    Just found your blog via BPS and already inspired! Thanks for your post. I just started (well restarted really) to walk in the mornings around my neighborhood. When I did it a while back I couldn't get over the opportunities that were presented to me to become a part of the lives of my neighbors. Not sure what happened and why I stopped (except life I guess) but I am so glad to have started it up again. Love those sneakers. I have some neon green on mine and they do make me happy. Blessings! ~Hope

  • Hope
    Posted at 20:55h, 16 August Reply

    Just found your blog via BPS and already inspired! Thanks for your post. I just started (well restarted really) to walk in the mornings around my neighborhood. When I did it a while back I couldn't get over the opportunities that were presented to me to become a part of the lives of my neighbors. Not sure what happened and why I stopped (except life I guess) but I am so glad to have started it up again. Love those sneakers. I have some neon green on mine and they do make me happy. Blessings! ~Hope

  • Megan
    Posted at 22:01h, 16 August Reply

    I am grateful for all the love in my life, including what I share with one of our wonderful pets… Sunny, the birthday girl and star of "My Best Shot Monday" ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Megan
    Posted at 22:01h, 16 August Reply

    I am grateful for all the love in my life, including what I share with one of our wonderful pets… Sunny, the birthday girl and star of "My Best Shot Monday" ๐Ÿ™‚

  • kalanicut
    Posted at 23:15h, 16 August Reply

    Super fabulous! Thank you. It's been a discouraging day, including an encounter with an unhappy person. I felt sorry for that person, because they obviously feel a lot of fear in life and do not know the beauty of abundance. But their bad energy has been tough to remove from my sphere today.

    Just this morning I woke up thinking about Simple Abundance and how I needed to pull that out and make it part of my daily agenda again and make sure I'm taking time for gratitude. It's SO easy to get stuck in a vision of all that is not going your way instead of all that is. Life is good! I am so blessed. I have so much love in my life. I must enjoy all the good and let go of thoughts that are not helping me welcome abundance into my life….I'm throwing my arms up in the air, breathing in and saying THANK YOU for all the beauty and good in the world that I enjoy each day. Love the shoes, btw. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • kalanicut
    Posted at 23:15h, 16 August Reply

    Super fabulous! Thank you. It's been a discouraging day, including an encounter with an unhappy person. I felt sorry for that person, because they obviously feel a lot of fear in life and do not know the beauty of abundance. But their bad energy has been tough to remove from my sphere today.

    Just this morning I woke up thinking about Simple Abundance and how I needed to pull that out and make it part of my daily agenda again and make sure I'm taking time for gratitude. It's SO easy to get stuck in a vision of all that is not going your way instead of all that is. Life is good! I am so blessed. I have so much love in my life. I must enjoy all the good and let go of thoughts that are not helping me welcome abundance into my life….I'm throwing my arms up in the air, breathing in and saying THANK YOU for all the beauty and good in the world that I enjoy each day. Love the shoes, btw. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • AnnGeeDee
    Posted at 02:39h, 17 August Reply

    I am grateful that I've found photography as an outlet and passion. It has opened up a new world of creativity and joy that I had been missing. Sometimes just the act of taking pictures can feel like meditation for me as I concentrate on finding the hidden beauty around me. Thank you for helping foster this habit with your sites and classes.

  • AnnGeeDee
    Posted at 02:39h, 17 August Reply

    I am grateful that I've found photography as an outlet and passion. It has opened up a new world of creativity and joy that I had been missing. Sometimes just the act of taking pictures can feel like meditation for me as I concentrate on finding the hidden beauty around me. Thank you for helping foster this habit with your sites and classes.

  • Aia
    Posted at 04:26h, 17 August Reply

    wow! i get the same feeling during my runs. simple exercise turns into a reflective period. great for the mind ๐Ÿ™‚

    my best shot monday: http://www.flickr.com/photos/aclamp/4899784473/

  • Aia
    Posted at 04:26h, 17 August Reply

    wow! i get the same feeling during my runs. simple exercise turns into a reflective period. great for the mind ๐Ÿ™‚

    my best shot monday: http://www.flickr.com/photos/aclamp/4899784473/

  • golightly
    Posted at 07:01h, 17 August Reply

    It has been a crazy summer with not much time to slow and relax. good for you for carving out some time to yourself. that's what I need to do – get some new walking shoes… and maybe a dog to walk. LOL
    I suppose you could say my post about our vacation could be my version of gratitude.

  • golightly
    Posted at 07:01h, 17 August Reply

    It has been a crazy summer with not much time to slow and relax. good for you for carving out some time to yourself. that's what I need to do – get some new walking shoes… and maybe a dog to walk. LOL
    I suppose you could say my post about our vacation could be my version of gratitude.

  • Cara
    Posted at 12:42h, 17 August Reply

    I walked over to my son's daycare to participate in Cirlce Time and It was the best part of my day.

  • Cara
    Posted at 12:42h, 17 August Reply

    I walked over to my son's daycare to participate in Cirlce Time and It was the best part of my day.

  • Hannah
    Posted at 15:00h, 17 August Reply

    I am so grateful that my career is also my passion.

  • Hannah
    Posted at 15:00h, 17 August Reply

    I am so grateful that my career is also my passion.

  • Meg
    Posted at 11:01h, 19 August Reply

    I've lost my balance this week and have been yearning to get back on center. Again, thanks for such a timely post. Focusing on my kids and husband have been helping me realize that I am grateful. I'm going to try to capture that today ๐Ÿ™‚ xo

  • Meg
    Posted at 11:01h, 19 August Reply

    I've lost my balance this week and have been yearning to get back on center. Again, thanks for such a timely post. Focusing on my kids and husband have been helping me realize that I am grateful. I'm going to try to capture that today ๐Ÿ™‚ xo

  • meg
    Posted at 12:57h, 19 August Reply

    Back to say, "thank you", Tracey. XO

    http://teaandbrie.com/blog/?p=928

  • meg
    Posted at 12:57h, 19 August Reply

    Back to say, "thank you", Tracey. XO

    http://teaandbrie.com/blog/?p=928

  • Debra P
    Posted at 15:58h, 19 August Reply

    Since the beginning of the year, I have written a daily entry on my blog under "Everyday Gratitude." (right column) I've always been a glass half full person, but this excerice has had a tremendous impact on my daily point of view. I walk through my day thinking of all the things I am grateful for, and what I'll write about that evening. Something so simple can create a marvelous shift.

    And today, I am grateful for my wonderful day care provider who is going back to teaching this fall. I love this series of pictures, especially the last hug shots. Tonya adores all these kids, and the feeling is clearly mutual!!

    http://everydayextraordinary1.blogspot.com/2010/08/saying-goodbye.html

  • Debra P
    Posted at 15:58h, 19 August Reply

    Since the beginning of the year, I have written a daily entry on my blog under "Everyday Gratitude." (right column) I've always been a glass half full person, but this excerice has had a tremendous impact on my daily point of view. I walk through my day thinking of all the things I am grateful for, and what I'll write about that evening. Something so simple can create a marvelous shift.

    And today, I am grateful for my wonderful day care provider who is going back to teaching this fall. I love this series of pictures, especially the last hug shots. Tonya adores all these kids, and the feeling is clearly mutual!!

    http://everydayextraordinary1.blogspot.com/2010/08/saying-goodbye.html

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