Issue #6 – Thursday February 28, 2013
We have something very special for you in this issue. The main essay is about what you can do when life puts you in a tough spot. It’s written by someone who has undergone the whole trip from the top of the world to her small one-room apartment. I have learned so much from her, and I hope you will as well.
This issue’s Quick Tip is about how to nourish your heart with the feeling of gratitude.
Take a Moment for Your Breath
Breathing will help you enjoy the reading process,
release stress and feel more centered, even in just 30 seconds.
Exhale completely, then inhale deeply from the belly. Repeat 3 times.
A healthy mind has an easy breath. ~Author Unknown
A Twist in Life & on the Gratitude List
by Nancy Depcik
Have you ever tried keeping a gratitude list, simply taking some time every day to write down things for which you feel grateful? The one I did had a little twist: you have to write down everything you are grateful for each day for 30 days. That’s the key: 30 days. The promise is if you stick with it, at the end of the period you will feel more peaceful, confident and content with your life.
When I first heard about this, I was in a very dark place in my life. I had lost everything. My 15 year relationship suddenly ended, which resulted in me losing my business, my home, and worst of all, my self-esteem. Everything in my life fell apart. At that time, in order to pull myself together I was ready to try anything, and I mean ANYTHING.
One day a friend of mine told me about this gratitude list, and encouraged me to try it. I thought to myself:” this sounds simple enough. I can give it a try.” So I pulled out a pad of paper and a pen. Sitting at my small table in my empty room, I asked myself:” what am I grateful for today?” I had no idea what an daunting challenge it was for me given my situation at the time. After sitting there for I don’t know how long, I came up with nothing, nada, zilch! A bit longer, still – NOTHING! I didn’t realize when you were experiencing such a shock in life, your mind could hardly think, let alone feel gratitude. All I could feel at the moment was pain and loss. Gratitude, what’s that?
Still I was determined to give it a try, because there was nothing else for me to do. So, after sitting there for a while, I assumed my school teacher role and said to myself:” Nancy, you are not getting up from this table until you think of three things you are grateful for. That’s all I ask of you – three things.”
It took another goodness-knows-how-long, but eventually aha, ureka! I got something. I got my list of THREE things: my bracelet, my shoes and my car. Having lost everything, I did feel sincerely grateful that I still had these three things.
Well, that was a major breakthrough for me. After that , every day I would pull out the same pad of paper, and ask myself the same question: “Nancy, what are you grateful for today?” Believe it or not, with each passing day, the list grew a little longer, and the things I was grateful for came easier.
Then about half way through the 30 days, I noticed a significant shift. The things I wrote down when I first started were kind of superficial:” Thank you for my shoes. Thank you for my pretty bracelet. Thank you for my car.” But as time went on, I wrote things like:” Thank you for the support of my friends. Thank you for the love of my family. Thank you for my perseverance.”
That was when I realized my mindset, without my noticing, had shifted towards recovery. It’s as if my mind started saying “Look, there are things I cannot lose. These are the things that cannot be bought with money, and cannot ever be taken away from me. No matter what happens, no matter who walks out that door, these things will always stay with me. ” That was a big aha moment for me. I knew then I had stopped the downward slide, and began to make my way to a new life.
I wasn’t expecting much when I began the practice, but this gratitude list really turned my life around. It is VERY powerful, and I recommend everyone to give it a try. Take it as a 30-day challenge. Don’t let yourself quit before the end of the period. You will experience an amazing shift in your mindset and in your life, I promise.
Bio: Nancy Depcik is a nationally recognized speaker and trainer. After losing everything – her job, her home, a relationship she cherished, and worst of all, her self-esteem, Nancy learned the secrets to transforming unwelcomed change into unshakable success. Through her personal stories, Nancy shares the lessons she learned along the way that helped her to create a new life, one that is happier and more fulfilling than she could ever have imagined.
This Week’s Quick Tip
In recent years there has been a lot of research done on gratitude and its benefits which include not only mental emotional but also physical, social factors.
Here’s a practice to help you absorb the nourishment each feeling of gratitude brings. Whenever you feel grateful, or after you’ve done your gratitude list, place your hands over your heart, and allow it to go into your heart. Breathe deeply, exhaling and inhaling as if through the heart. Just a few breath cycles are good enough. Usually there is a sense of sweetness. Enjoy!
“Gratitude enriches human life. It elevates, energizes, inspires and transforms.
People are moved, opened, and humbled through expressions of gratitude.”
~ Robert Emmons, Professor of Psychology at University of California, Davis,
who has been working on the topic for over ten years
If you want you can also play this healing music album in the background. It is created by Dr. J. M. Levry who has developed many self-healing techniques for the heart, including music especially composed for the heart. This particular album Lumen de Lumine is particularly well received by thousands of raving fans.
What Did You Think?
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Copyright, Breathing HappinessTM.
Disclaimer: Nothing in this e-mail should be considered personalized medical advice. If you have any health condition, please consult your doctor before trying a health practice.