Claudia Cooley

Be Your Best Self .. Don’t Fall Apart

“Be Thankful and Renew”

“We need quiet time to examine our lives openly and honestly – spending quiet time alone gives your mind an opportunity to renew itself and create order.” Susan L. Taylor

How do you renew and re-energize yourself?  Do you take some time away…a weekend retreat or a three-hour walk at the beach?  Or is listening to soothing rhythms of jazz refreshing for you?

I find taking an occasional break from building my business to breathe and spend time with my gratitude journal is my happy place and revitalizes me like no other activity. Also, grabbing a cup of tea and a good book while some soft music is playing and feeling a breeze coming through my door or whispering in the trees is just about as perfect as it can get.  I love hearing water moving and when I requested a fountain to be close to my patio and kitchen back door, my husband made that wish a reality.  This is one of those amazing gifts that just keep giving.garden

“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.” — William Arthur Ward

Start the day with a thankful attitude, and end the day with it. It’s in the Bible, NKJV. “It is good to give thanks to the LORD, and to sing praises to Your name, O Most High; To declare Your loving kindness in the morning, and Your faithfulness every night.

Being the time of year when we come together with family and  friends, we often share our gratefulness and then soon forget about those gifts.  I want to share a story I recently stumbled over that was shared by a colleague, Cary Schmidt…this is humorous and includes a life lesson.

Two old friends met each other on the street one-day.  One looked forlorn, almost on the verge of tears.  His friend asked, “What has the world done to you, my old friend?”

The sad fellow said, “Let me tell you:  three weeks ago, my uncle died and left me forty thousand dollars.”

“That’s a lot of money.”

“But you see, two weeks ago, a cousin I never even knew died, and left me eighty-five thousand dollars, free and clear.”

“Sounds to me that you’ve been very blessed.”

“You don’t understand!” he interrupted.  “Last week my great-aunt passed away.  I inherited almost a quarter of a million from her.”

Now the man’s friend was really confused.  “Then, why do you look so glum?”

“This week . . . nothing!”

That’s a problem with receiving something on a regular basis.  Even if it is a gift, we eventually come to expect it.  The natural tendency is that if we receive a gift long enough, we come to view it almost as an entitlement.  We feel hurt, even angry, if we don’t receive it any longer.

It is the same way with the blessings God gives us every day.  I don’t deserve my comfortable home that I live in, the beautiful scenery around me, the clean water I drink.  But after receiving these gifts (and a multitude of others) for years, I sometimes fail to be grateful.  I’ve come to expect these good things.  And when one of them is removed for a short time (like water or electricity or internet going down), I get upset.

Let’s make an effort today to recognize the blessing we’ve come to take for granted.  Focus on what we have rather than on what we don’t have, and see if it doesn’t improve our attitudes.

This is a challenge I’d like to leave with you this week and one I intend to do myself.  This clever idea came to me and it’s a must share idea.  Take all of the letters of the alphabet and put them down the left side of a lined piece of notebook paper.  Then for each letter, connect a gratitude word or something your thankful for that aligns with that letter.  When you have completed this activity… you will have enriched your life 26 times.  This is an example: A= afternoon sunsets, B= BBQ Hamburgers, C=children and chocolate, D=dreams that come true, etc. etc. etc.

Do you see how easy and fun this will be?  Why not invite your family, friends and colleagues to give this a whirl also.  This could be a great tradition to start around the Thanksgiving table this year.

As you “Renew and focus” on your blessings, your life, business and relationships will thrive…

And your 2017 will prosper like none other.

God Bless you this time of year…I’m grateful for all of you.  Thank you for being part of my community.

November 22, 2016
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