Significant life change starts with a simple change of perspective and is sustained through the practice of unconditional gratitude. -Carly Benson
I just got back from an amazing trip to Cabo San Lucas, where I was celebrating my commitment to major life change, exercising constant courage and the anniversary of my retirement from a deep-seeded career in alcohol and cocaine in 2008.
Throughout the trip, I kept hearing this voice inside me saying gratitude.
Practice more gratitude.
Show appreciation for what is special and important.
The more I thought about it, the more I experienced an inner desire to actively participate in not just thinking about what I’m thankful for, but expressing it as well.
I turned 33 this year, and for anyone that knows me well, you know this number is very significant to me. Not to mention, three plus three is six, which represents the years of sobriety I honor this year. Sobriety has taught me so many things about life, the (sometimes grueling) practice of real self-love and overall the inner workings of myself. As I reflected on what I’m thankful for, I realized that sobriety taught me to be thankful for these things.
- Radical transformation. I’m talking about world shifting, upside down, 180, soul reconstruction. It’s magic and it’s absolutely possible.
- The feeling a relationship with God brings into people’s lives. The miraculous answers and epiphanies that come with knowing our creator is mind-blowing.
- Friendships that know no boundaries and become a part of your heart as if they were birthed alongside you.
- Deep conversations with strangers. Getting down to the nitty gritty with someone you just met can be so profound.
- Adventure. Whether it’s through travel, prayer, meditation or the journey within. I respect any voyage that brings meaning or new perspective.
- Yoga. It’s not just a fad everyone is talking about. This stuff is powerful. Yoga is a sacred practice of balancing your mind, body and soul and also artfully and delicately embracing both the light and darkness within. It creates peace and energy that can carry you farther than you can carry yourself.
- Music that makes your soul dance and sends cosmic vibrations of love and happiness through your body. When it’s deep and it just moves you. There are no words for it, only rhythm and motion.
- Human connection where the spoken word is unnecessary because the eyes say everything. When you’re vibing on that level, everything else just seems to melt away.
- Reverence for a solid hustle. Whether it is my own or someone else’s, I really admire a burning fire inside. Not only that, but it’s contagious.
- Honesty. No bullshit. Just real authentic people, conversations and self-acceptance. It lights me up when I’m in an experience of this.
- Watching someone else just get it. How their eyes open as if you can see their brain exchanging signals as they step into a new breakthrough or reality.
- The ability to create change and sustain it. We are creatures of habit. Everything is based on a habit and a feeling. This concept is life changing.
- Being comfortable doing absolutely nothing with no one. When you can sit in silence and be at one with yourself, you have reached a level of self-awareness that some never achieve.
- Genuine gestures and acts of kindness with no strings attached and no expectation of reciprocity. The place where giving feels like receiving.
- Those fleeting moments of present and mindful instances where the past and the future are not in control or even in sight.
- A good hug. Nothing more, nothing less. You just feel for those couple of seconds that the other person is right there with you.
- The realization that our bodies truly are our temples and they should be treated with the utmost care. Eating for fuel, not pleasure. Exercising for wellness, not the ego. Eliminating toxins so that we are performing at optimal levels. The wealth of health is immeasurable.
- That feeling you get when you finally let it go. Like, wow, I’m over it. Like really over it. And I’m at peace with it.
- When something touches your inner workings and creates chills or even tears. That’s the Holy Spirit at work. I always tell people that faith is a feeling or sensation of just knowing.
- The rawness of forgiveness. We all need it and we all have to give it. The process offers such an inviting space for expansion once we understand this.
- The vast and almost effortless amount of information available to us at all times to promote constant learning and evolution of the mind at unconscious levels. We all have an inner genius if we tap into it.
- When you meet someone and you are instantaneously magnetized to each other by uncovering similarities and the “no way” moments of synergy. So delightful.
- Grasping that our time on this earth is short compared to our time in heavenly eternity and that one single belief in God can deliver us there eventually. Our time here is meant for love only. To give love, to be love and to be opened up to receiving infinite amounts of it.
- Recognizing and gracefully accepting that we don’t always get what we want because sometimes we are better off with only what we need.
- The seasons of life that bring people and things into our surroundings only for the time they are needed and for the purpose they are serving in our journey. Finding the reason in the season is an illuminating practice.
- That inner guidance and intelligence that knows beyond a shadow of doubt. The key is listening to it, following it and cultivating discipline to act solely upon it.
- The notion that you are on to something great. When a passion is ignited it’s like an endless tank of fuel.
- Family bonds that, even though we come in different shapes and sizes with diverse views and personalities, can never be broken. They may get tattered along the way but that bond of blood is forever. When the bottom line hits, families rally together.
- How scents can trigger emotions like the smell is talking directly to our heart or dialing up to the memory bank in our head. It’s so interesting how a scent can nostalgically transport us temporarily.
- Perception and perspective can truly determine our reality. What and how we think about what we see, feel and accept about life drive our actions. Proactively adapting them can alter entire lives, permanently.
- Action. Plain and simple. Wanting only becomes achieving with doing. Get after it. Now.
- Laughter and how it can change or enhance just about any situation. There is something to be said about making others laugh.
- Creativity in all forms. It’s amazing to inspire and be inspired. It makes the world go around. Create stuff. Contribute to humanity. The globe needs you.
My challenge to you is to sit down and write out 33 things you are thankful for. Commit to acknowledging and spending time with your gratefulness. You just might be surprised with what you find and where your mind goes.
When we are thankful, we give indication of what we want more of. Gratitude creates room for more. It’s a spiritual inventory.