9 Gifts of Gratitude

“Gratitude is the portal through which abundance flows.”

Writing and talking about gratitude is one of my favorite topics, as I have written blogs, articles, and chapters about the virtues of thankfulness. Every year, I cannot help but revisit this topic again. It warms my heart to see the 30-day challenge many people have taken annually. I see tweets and posts with gratitude expressed each day for someone or something in other people’s lives. Woohoo!How about a SUPER CHALLENGE of finding what we may be grateful for with a challenging individual? In that difficult situation, try to see the spirit in them; or how we might be grateful for the lessons we are learning from that difficult person or situation. If we find it difficult to locate the gratitude with a person or scenario, perhaps forgiveness is an option. Forgiveness is a powerful door to open the flow of gratitude.You know how much I love to use acronyms, so here goes one for gratitude:

GivingReceivingAbundanceThankfulnessIntentionTogetherUnconditionallyDirectedEveryone

When we are in a state of gratitude, we give and receive love and abundance. We are thankful for the intentional way we choose to live our lives. This awareness brings us together to unconditionally direct our love and gratitude to everyone, all of our brothers and sisters.In a previous episode of Dr. Maria TV, titled, “3 Simple Steps to Abundance” I shared with you three strategies to cultivate gratitude.Another fun activity in which many of my clients participate is posting a gratitude board in a prominent place in the home. This could be a chalkboard or a white board. List anything on the board for which you are grateful, and invite family and friends to participate too. The board serves as a visual reminder each time you pass by it. Writing on the board, and practicing gratitude has become an integral thread in our family.Another activity to cultivate gratitude in your life is to write a letter a day for one year to different people, indicating why you are grateful for him or her. This activity is beneficial to so many people on numerous levels. Your generosity will move and touch the hearts of all of the people that receive letters from you. You, too, will receive joy and love in your heart all the while you are writing the letter, shifting your energy to love and gratitude each day while you are thinking about that person and completing the activity.Finally, what you sow, so shall you reap. Do you have other ideas? To which gratitude challenge are you willing to commit?As always, I love to hear from you.Maria

9 Benefits Of Blending Leadership & Gratitude

I love the phrase, An Attitude of Gratitude. What exactly is an attitude of gratitude? In basic terms, gratitude is thankfulness. We usually remember to give thanks when we feel great. However, living in a state of gratitude is much like living in a state of awareness, it is a way of being. Gratitude may be an activity, but you will live a much fuller life and lead others more effectively, if it becomes your natural state and not just an occasional activity.I’m not just talking kittens, rainbows, and rose-colored glasses. It is smart for you to practice gratitude; think of it as a best practice. Several studies conducted by Dr. Robert Emmons and Dr. Michael McCollough1, extol the benefits of a grateful mind and heart. One of the studies concluded that regular daily practice of gratitude increased happiness by 25%. Emmons also found in a separate study that patients with debilitating health conditions slept better and were optimistic about their life when they focused on gratitude. These studies reflect the fact that grateful people report higher levels of alertness, enthusiasm, determination, optimism, energy, health, wellness, and love.In addition to the health benefits of gratitude, it is also an abundance magnet. The power of attraction applies; abundance creates more abundance. The challenge with abundance thinking is in the scarcity cycle many of us have found ourselves to be. Let’s face it, we have been taught scarcity since childhood.Scarcity thinking is focusing on lacking such things as finances, health, relationships, opportunities, and so on. The very important fact of this matter is remembering that on whatever we focus our thoughts and attention, it becomes our intention, and the universe conspires to manifest that energy into reality; you become what you think about, stated Earl Nightingale. It does not matter if you are thinking scarcity or abundance; it will become your reality.Sometimes scarcity thinking shows up in the form of accumulation and greed. I have to get, get, get, and keep, keep, keep. People who hoard, are deeply immersed in this mental model. Fear of letting go and fear of surrender, block love, abundance, and joy from flowing. If we hold on to something, anything, too tightly, our hands cannot be open to what may be coming. We focus on doing instead of being, on getting instead of giving, and on differences instead of commonalities.Sometimes we fear a perception of vulnerability attached to gratitude giving. We fear that if we are free-flowing with our appreciation to someone that we may be taken advantage of or give too much and not get anything in return. The downside of this scarcity mental model is by withholding the flow of gratitude, appreciation, and love, that is exactly what he person will receive more of – a withholding of gratitude, appreciation, and love.See how this works?What does practicing gratitude mean to you?With love and gratitude,Maria 1 Emmons, R. A. & McCullough, M. E. (2003). Counting blessings versus burdens: An experimental investigation of gratitude and subjective well-being in daily life. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84(2), 377-389.