The Power of Gratitude

Focusing on what you have can bring more abundance into your life

Gratitude is the practice of acknowledging and appreciating the good things in our lives, both big and small.

It is a way of cultivating a positive outlook and recognizing the many blessings that surround us.

But what does it really mean to practice gratitude, and how can we do it in a way that is meaningful and impactful?

For me, gratitude is something that I try to incorporate into my daily routine. Every day I take a few minutes to reflect on the things in my life that I am grateful for. Sometimes it’s as simple as having a roof over my head or food on the table. Other times it’s the people in my life who support and love me unconditionally.

When I pause to take time to reflect, there is ALWAYS something I find to be grateful for.

Even on the worst of days.

In addition to my gratitude reflections, I also keep a gratitude journal.

Every night before bed, I write down three things from the day that I am thankful for. Some days it’s a beautiful sunset or a good cup of coffee, and other days it’s a meaningful conversation or an accomplishment at work.

Practicing gratitude has been a game-changer for me.

It has helped me to shift my focus from what I don’t have to what I do have. It has also helped me to cultivate a more positive outlook on life and to find joy in the simple things.

In the midst of a devastating heartbreak three years ago, every day on my drive home from work I would see a rainbow.

For me, this was a powerful reminder of the beauty and majesty of nature, and of how uplifting those natural moments are.

So, I started looking for and paying attention to small moments like these and recording them.

These moments for which I am grateful far outnumber and outweigh those for which I am not.

But don’t just take my word for it.

There is actually scientific evidence to support the many benefits of gratitude. Research has shown that practicing gratitude can improve our overall well-being, increase feelings of happiness and satisfaction, reduce stress and anxiety, and even improve our physical health.

So how can you start incorporating gratitude into your own life? Here are a few practical ideas to get you started:

  1. Keep a gratitude journal: Just like I do, take a few minutes each night to write down three things you are thankful for from that day. This simple act can help shift your mindset and help you focus on the positive.
  2. Practice gratitude with a friend or loved one: Start a gratitude conversation with someone close to you. Share the things you are both grateful for and encourage each other to find joy in the present moment.
  3. Send a thank-you note: Take the time to write a note of thanks to someone who has impacted your life in a positive way. It could be a family member, friend, coworker, or even a stranger who has shown you kindness.

Incorporating gratitude into your daily routine may take some practice, but the benefits are well worth the effort. Not only will it help you cultivate a more positive outlook on life, but it will also help you to find joy in the present moment and appreciate the many blessings that surround you.

So, my friend, I encourage you to give gratitude a try. You may be surprised by just how powerful this simple practice can be.

With love and gratitude,

Your Trusted Friend ❤︎


I can’t help but wonder about the complexities of identity.

Who we are is not always easy to define, and our sense of self can be shaped by a multitude of factors.

But as we navigate the waters of identity, there is one aspect that often goes overlooked — the relationship with ourselves.

How we view ourselves, our self-esteem and our self-worth can greatly impact our interactions with the world around us.

If we view ourselves as unworthy, undeserving, or unimportant, we may struggle to form healthy relationships or pursue our dreams. But if we see ourselves as valuable, capable, and deserving of love, we can create a life filled with purpose, joy, and fulfillment.

So, I ask you, how do you view yourself?

Do you see yourself as worthy of love and respect? Do you value your own thoughts, feelings, and desires?

Or do you put yourself last, sacrificing your own needs for the sake of others?

If you struggle with self-worth, know that you are not alone. Many of us struggle to see ourselves as valuable and deserving of love. But it is never too late to start cultivating a healthier relationship with yourself.

Begin by acknowledging your strengths, practicing self-care, and setting boundaries that honor your needs.

Remember, you are worthy, valuable, and deserving of love, simply because you exist.

And when you start to see yourself in this life, you can create a life filled with purpose, joy, and fulfillment.


Your Trusted Friend ❤︎

The Stages of Love

Love, just like our own growth, evolves and matures over time.

There is the honeymoon stage.

This is the stage where everything seems perfect, carefree, and fun.

You’re infatuated and smitten, and everything seems and feels perfect.

When many people think about ‘falling in love’, this is the stage that they are thinking about.

When I consider the beginning stages of love I cannot help but think of my daughter as a preschooler.

Every day when I dropped her off there would be tears of genuine angst and horror at the thought of me leaving her and every day when I went to pick her up she would be watching for me at the window, waiting to run and leap into my arms.

This love was precious.

It doesn’t look like this anymore.

Just like romantic love, it’s evolved and grown.

The high we experience in these early phases of romantic love is the result of chemicals in our brain – primarily dopamine.

This romantic ooey-gooey love is mostly subconscious due to a chemical reaction.

As dopamine levels return to normal, oxytocin and vasopressin increase (these are the hormones associated with long-term attachment and comfort); we enter into the passionate stage.

This is when the blinders come off and we start to notice all those things about our partner that annoy us.

They chew too loud, talk too much, fold their towels the wrong way, and put the toilet roll on backward.

Most of the time these things were there all along, but maybe we didn’t see them due to the excitement of the honeymoon phase.

Now we are aware of everything, and this is when we experience our first major conflicts and we start to ask ourselves if this is someone we want to envision our future with.

I see this as the prepubescent stage of love.

It’s awkward, uncomfortable, and swivels rapidly from emotion to emotion.

Many relationships suffer their demise during this stage.

Growing pains are substantial, and it is often over the course of this stage that the navigation of the first crisis occurs.

It’s an inevitable part of relationships, that there will be some sort of crisis along the way and conflicts that will require successful resolution.

Crossing the finish line successfully together has the potential to bring couples together in a powerful and meaningful way.

And, finally, a mature companionable love arrives when you see and accept your partner as who they really are.

Many of those in the early throws of romance look forward to the comfort, calm, and – what appears to be – ease of mature companionable love.

In the early stages, there is excitement, allure, pull, and intoxication but there is also often uncertainty and anxiety due to the fact that you don’t yet really know one another.

Maturity in love means that you know one another well.

You have a shared history of ups and downs, inside jokes, and have perhaps even had the opportunity to watch one another grow and change, evolving both individually and together over the course of your relationship.

Love is meant to evolve, to grow, and to change of the course of the relationship.

Relationships are not meant to stay in just one of these stages for the entirety of the relationship, though these stages last varying lengths for different people.

Can you imagine being in just one stage of maturity for the entirety of your life?

Each stage is meant to be savored and enjoyed, and built upon the bones of its predecessor.

This will be a stage of staying in love.

A love based much less on the highs and lows of passion, and instead based on stable affection, mutual understanding, and commitment.

This is a love built on familiarity and not a subconscious chemical reaction.


Your Trusted Friend ❤︎

New Beginnings

How beautiful to be in a constant state of new beginnings.

Did you forget?

Did you forget that you get to go through the chrysalis stage again and again and again over the course of your life?

To change from one state to another just like the butterfly, albeit maybe not as visibly obvious.

The caterpillar, when it is full-grown, unbecomes inside a cocoon of silk, this stage lasting from a few weeks, a month, or even longer.

So much like our own pupa stages where we withdraw, go inward, and unbecome.

Releasing those things that are no longer for us, no longer resonant, or supportive as we transition from the caterpillar into the butterfly.

As we transform we can be thankful for all the old parts of us, for they – just as the original larva cells provide energy for the growing adult butterfly – fuel and inform the new person that we are becoming.

As uncomfortable, and sometimes painful as an unbecoming can be, we can celebrate what this will bring and foster in our future.

Our transition can bring a new purpose, future, and possibilities.

Just as the caterpillar’s primary purpose changes from that of eating and growing, to mating and laying eggs as we change our purpose changes.

Long-term transformation happens when you’re able to use your experiences as a resource for wisdom.

Our growth and evolution prepare us to do and be more.

It prepares us to be in community, build relationships and plant our own seeds.

The seeds of knowledge that have been fostered, and grown when we were just caterpillars.

Now, though, we have wings.

When you have wings, you are meant to fly.

Your Trusted Friend ❤︎

Love Cannot Rescue

If we are looking to other people, places, things, or experiences to bring us happiness, peace, joy, and love we will always end up disappointed and let down.

While all of these things, particularly our relationships with others, have great potential to enrich our lives in numerous ways, none of these things can ultimately offer fulfillment

We can only do that ourselves.

This was modeled for me in one of my earliest romantic relationships.

I watched a man say, “If only I was able to get rid of this car payment, I’d be happy.”

He worked hard to replace his high car payment with a lower one, but still found himself frustrated and unhappy.

Then he said, “if only I could get a different job, I’d be happy.”

I helped him draft cover letters and resumes, did mock interviews with him, and then celebrated as he got what seemed to be the job of a lifetime.

Only to still be unhappy.

When these things failed to bring him happiness, he looked to me.

“I’m not happy in our relationship,” he said, “if I was single, I’d be happy.”

So we broke up.

He still wasn’t happy a couple of months later when he contacted me and tried to arrange for us to have dinner together. He’d made a mistake, he said.

This experience created an awareness of those situations in which I and others start to look outside of ourselves for validation, love, and acceptance in order to feel happy, complete, and whole.

To be able to validate and love ourselves is key.

It’s ongoing work and often results in one sitting in discomfort, but in this space, we can explore what brings us joy, contentment, and fulfillment on a deeper level.

Once we can answer these questions for ourselves, we can realign our goals with our values and choose to live a life guided and informed by our inner compass.

We need to build our lives on our terms and find our own paths to contentment and peace.

As long as we rely on something external of us, we will always be off course of what will bring us happiness.

The same is true of the people around us.

When we find ourselves in relationships with people who are struggling with self-worth and self-love we cannot “fix” them.

We cannot pour more love, attention, compassion, and understanding into someone else and expect that to magically make another person feel complete and whole.

That is not our role.

We cannot fix other people, nor can we love someone into loving themself.

The love that we give to others should be a wonderful addition to the love that they already have for themself, but it cannot replace it.

Love cannot rescue.

There is no shortcut that one can take in order to avoid doing the inner work to find individual peace, joy, and contentment.

Your Trusted Friend ❤︎

Breathe and Decide

There are some words that just capture the things that matter so well.

Like many things, media is a powerful tool that has the ability to give us a lens into ourselves… but it can also be used to manipulate and separate.

It’s easy for me to focus on the things that I hate about media… but then I remember the ultimate power of media comes from within and what we allow to hold space.

I don’t watch a ton of television anymore, but I remember being pulled into Grey’s Anatomy just like so many people and the character of Meredith is relatable in many ways.

She’s human.

She begs a man to love her, while also being a strong capable woman…

No woman wants to see herself in a situation in which she begs a man to love her, yet many of us find ourselves in just that position.

Because, ultimately, we do want to love and be loved. We want to be chosen.

Until we learn to adequately love and choose ourselves, we look for this validation from outside sources.

Once we learn to choose and love ourselves it doesn’t hurt quite as much when others choose not to.

Not to say it still doesn’t hurt, it does – but we recognize that we don’t WANT someone incapable of choosing us AND we know that not everyone can or will.

Since we do have this limited life experience, we do want to choose wisely what we do with the time that we have.

What kind of life do we want to live? Who do we want to love and be loved by? Are we the best version of ourselves that we can be?

Deciding can be hard… it means choosing a course of action… but as long as we FIRST choose ourselves our actions will be in tune with our flow state and with our heart’s resonance.

So, breathe in. Breathe out and decide.

Your Trusted Friend ❤︎

My Body, My Palace

I have been working on my relationship with my body, and a part of that requires looking at the messaging that I have received that has helped to form that relationship in order to systematically confront and dismantle what isn’t serving me.

Growing up young girls start receiving comments on their bodies and the pressure to look or to appear a certain way.

There was a time in our youth that we played with wild abandonment, not carrying if our belly had roles when we sat or about the hair that grew between our eyebrows.

Other people at some point made us feel that these things (and so many more) were wrong, unattractive, and needed to be fixed.

Instead of being people, we became objects to be viewed.

Not only to be perceived by others, but we also started to view ourselves through the perceptions of others…

trying to see what the people around us saw in order to ensure we were the most visually pleasing version of ourselves that we could be.

Instead of living and playing and being, we started perceiving.

This often translated into telling ourselves we would be happy and content with ourselves IF….

if we fit into a certain size of clothing.
if our breasts were less saggy.
if we had fewer wrinkles.
if our body was smooth and hairless.
if our stomachs were flat.
if our cellulite were gone.

if, if, if…

so we start buying products, clothes, and creams, get procedures, and stuck with needles in search of that place where we will finally be happy and satisfied.

Perfectly pleasing, beautiful, and desirable.

There is nothing in need of fixing, except perhaps the relationships we have with ourselves and the way in which we view and carry out the relationship with our bodies…

as the home of our soul…

the thing that makes you, you.

Your Trusted Friend ❤︎

It’s Not Fine, But It’ll Be Okay

It’s not fine, but it’ll be okay.

There was something so reassuring and affirming about hearing those words.

Countless times throughout the day we are asked how we are and many of us respond automatically with those simple two words,

“I’m fine.”

Or, how many times have we been treated in ways that are the opposite of fine, but when asked what’s wrong instead of an honest exchange we say,

“It’s fine.”

How many times is this your response when you are not fine, or it’s not fine?

And why are we not allowed to claim it?

What prevents us from really sharing how we are?

What we’re thinking?

Or how we feel?

I’ll never forget when I drove through a coffee drive-up window and the barista, with a big smile, leaned out the window and asked me how I was doing and I didn’t say I was fine.

I couldn’t say that I was fine.

Instead, I cried.

Then I told the cherub-faced barista with a smattering of freckles across her nose that I’d just learned that my boyfriend of three years had cheated on me… from his daughter.

It just spilled out, and as it did I instantly said that I was sorry and covered my mouth with my hands… my eyes wide in terror.

“I’m so sorry,” I reiterated, “I’m fine.”

Without missing a beat, this girl responded to me, “It’s not fine, but it’ll be okay,” then refused my payment for my coffee and said some other pleasantries that I do not remember.

I do remember, however, the power of those words.

It’s not fine, but it’ll be okay.

There are times when we are not fine.

When we are sad, angry, hurt, disappointed, let down, anxious, or scared.

There are times when people will do things that cross our personal boundaries

that result in feeling unwanted, unappreciated, undervalued, or dismissed.

It doesn’t have to be fine. As soon as we allow ourselves to not be okay, we can work towards the healing that needs to take place in order for it to become okay.

I recently had an appointment canceled on me with no warning.

My first impulse was to take care of the other person and to ensure that he didn’t feel bad for letting me down.

It wasn’t fine that I wasn’t treated in a way that honored my time and energy, however, by honestly talking about that it could become okay.

Apologies and reparations could have been made, but only if I am honest in claiming when it isn’t fine.

It’s not fine, but it’ll be okay.


Your Trusted Friend ❤︎

To Live

Let’s live.

So often we become robotic clock punchers.

Living our lives by routines and obligations.

All the things on our to-do lists become quiet bossy dictators of our time, and take over our minds with frantic worrying.

Let’s decide what we think.

Push the worries aside…

the pile of laundry or dishes that await, the paper that needs to be written, the grass that needs to be mowed…

whatever it is that is worrying decide, right now, to stop letting these things consume you.

Because you know what?

They’ll get done, and then you’ll have to start again.

These sorts of never-ending tasks, the never-ending ‘to-dos-, are not worthy of our worry.

They don’t deserve to take up that much space in our brains.

They don’t deserve to become a source of tension and argument within our relationships.

They don’t deserve to have our energy reserves and leave us fuming

Because it’ll all get done, and then we’ll have to start all over again.

So, for now, let’s live.


Your Trusted Friend ❤︎

Mile Markers

Photo by Malachi Brooks on Unsplash

We live lives full to the brim with various events and doings, but only a handful of them are mile markers.

Events that mark a significant period of time, events that veer us off course, and – if we were a house – these are the ones that gut us down to our studs leaving only the frame.

Thus giving us the opportunity to rebuild from scratch.

At the moment it always feels like an absolute shit-show, though.

We cling to the comfort of what is known, even if what is known isn’t good for us or is something that we’ve outgrown.

Change is deeply uncomfortable and, as a result, often comes at the impetus of a soul-shaking event.

Research has shown that major life events, that completely throw our usual lifestyle or routine out the window, can give us the best opportunity for making real, long-term changes in our behavior.

These are the mile markers.

Those life events which result in a dismantlement, so that we can be reinvented.

The unexpected breakup that forces us to get more deeply in touch with ourselves.

The job loss that invites us to look for other possibilities to provide for ourselves and our families.

The death that reminds us of the importance of investing in the people and relationships around us.

The accident or illness that revealed the strength and resolve within us.

These markers always served to bring me back to myself, or they tried.

I have been reinvented again and again by the significant periods that have washed over me and torn all the comforts away from me.

These are the times and moments that are my mile markers, because my life was on a predictable comfortable course – only to be redirected.

The markers signify a memory that often means so very much in the direction that my life took, the path that led me to not only where I am, but the person that I am.

I’ve been redirected, often forcibly, to explore the direction of my life and who I am.

At the moment I’ve often felt defeated, broken, lost, lonely, desperate, and hopeless.

Looking back, though, I can experience almost a fondness for the events which broke me so that I could be remade.


Your Trusted Friend ❤︎