Give Yourself the Gift of Gratitude

The mouth watering experience of dining on Baked Alaska often begins days in advance with the creation of a delicious sponge cake (even better if it is given time to dry out a bit), is then topped with ice cream that must be baked but not melted (wrap your mind around that for a moment) and finished with meringue which requires just the right whipping of egg whites and sugar to create a frothy, delicate display. All of this is served flaming to add both spectacle and a crisp crust to this labor of love.

Whether you adore Baked Alaska like I do, or are not a dessert person at all- you can not deny that there is a lot of love and an investment of time that goes into the experience of each bite.

“But what does Baked Alaska have to do with gratitude, and celebration, Therese?”

I am glad you asked! 😉

It’s the end of another year, and I find myself reflecting on the goals I set out for myself, while also contemplating what 2017 holds.

I could easily check off the list the things I did and call it a day: gave birth to a beautiful daughter, launched Radical Leadership Certification, more than doubled my coaching roster, traveled, and flew weightless with indoor skydiving to name just a few!

Or I could turn my focus and pressure myself about the goals I have for the upcoming year. Such as attending church 3 times a month, expressing my gratitude daily, and running more corporate Radical Leaderships than ever before, enjoying time with little Kira as she grows and calling the people I love to connect each time I think of them 😉

Or I could even focus on the things that I wish I had done but missed the boat on, like dressing my daughter in a costume for her first Halloween, repainting the interior of my house, meeting up with my new neighbors for dinner, or cleaning out that one room that has accumulated a bunch of junk!

But if I simply left it at a list of what the year has accomplished, what I am going to accomplish, and what I failed to accomplish- I am missing much of the gold I have been such a generous recipient of! Not fully indulging in the joy that God has so masterfully filled my life with. Much like having the experience of Baked Alaska delivered to your table while you are blindfolded, and have such a terrible cold that you can not taste the flavors to fully enjoy the love that went into creating it.

Tragic, right?!?  Baked Alaska is created to be enjoyed, just like your life!

So instead, I am using this period of reflection to be intentional with my gratitude for the coming year.

Personally,  I find that my days are more joyous, and I witness more smiles on the faces of everyone I encounter (family, friends, as well as strangers) when I’m intentionally filled and overflowing with gratitude.

I invite you to do the same.

Here is a framework for GRATITUDE that I will be using as a structure to expand my capacity and intentionality with the gratitude I experience. 

Generous

I am generous with my gratitude. I am grateful for the big and small things and do not keep feelings of gratitude to myself. I recognize that the life I experience is created by the love and dedication of God, those around me and many of those that I have never met.

Reflective

I take time to reflect each day on the people and things I’m grateful for.

Action

I bring gratitude to every action or interaction throughout the day and it transforms my experience of life. I’m grateful for the impact these actions have, even when the results surprise me.

Timely

I share my gratitude about others with them in a timely fashion. Using a text message, a thank you note in the mail, or a Voxer message, I share my gratitude openly.

Internalize

When I’m the object of someone else’s gratitude, I internalize the love with more gratitude. I do not deflect the gratitude, but rather accept it with a “thank you!”

Transform

My gratitude both delivered and received by me powerfully transforms me and those I touch and invites the world to Essence.

Utility

I recognize my gratitude has utility in my own life and those around me. Gratitude is not just a warm fuzzy emotion that pops up now and then. I see the usefulness of gratitude in getting more of what I want out of life for myself and others.

Daily

I exercise gratitude daily as a willing habit that revs my engines. When I focus on gratitude daily, I take the time to be grateful for the things that I often take for granted. Much like the people in this video.

Experience

For the tragedies and roadblocks I encounter in life, I am grateful for the experience they provide to me.

Over the next year, join me in taking on the Gratitude Challenge. Expand your depth and make experiencing the joy of feeling grateful for every little thing your default.

I notice that when gratitude is my default, I experience the world in technicolor! I am grateful for the baker that created the sponge cake that went into my Baked Alaska, I am grateful for the heat in my house on a chili winter day, I am grateful for my sweet husband as he prepares us dinner while I take care of the baby. These are all things that would happen with or without my awareness and gratitude for how they impact my life. However, when I allow myself to feel gratitude for each of them, I feel like a kid opening presents on Christmas.

Will you experience every day this year like a kid on Christmas morning? Even if you come up short, what would happen in your life if you created this experience half of the time?

How would your 2017 be different? Let me know with a comment below!

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