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The Gift of Thanks!

By Julie Zeff

November is here! The minute November hits, all I can think about are crunchy fall colored leaves, crisp air, friends and family, vacation from school, and the fact that it would be great to focus more attention on all the things I’m grateful for. (Like being together with my family on a hayride – see picture!)

As a busy mom, I tend to get caught up in the day-to-day activities and dramas – work, laundry, meal planning, play date planning, homework time, forgotten lunches, sibling squabbles, etc. Too often I go to bed without noticing all the amazing things I am grateful for in my life. I know they are there, but I often give more attention to my to-do list and the drama in my life. I forget how inspiring and uplifting gratitude can be.

Gratitude is a powerful emotion. When you focus on things you are grateful for, your energy and life can shift immediately in little and big ways.

Try it now. Notice the sensations that are present for you as you are sitting here reading this. What is your breathing like? What do you notice in your shoulders, your chest, your face, and your heart?

Now think of one thing for which you are grateful. What sensations do you notice in your body now? Did they shift for you? They sure shifted for me!

At first I noticed that my eyes were fixed (on my computer screen), my breathing was short and shallow, and I felt pressure on my shoulders as I was typing. Then I thought of one thing I am grateful for – the warmth of the sun – and a smile spread across my face. I took two deep breaths. My heart felt open and my shoulders relaxed. Ahhhh! That feels so nice! I’d like more of that. What about you?

You can bring more gratitude into your life this month. Here are some ways to do it. Pick one way listed below or try them all if you wish. Feel free to get creative.

· Thanksgiving Sticky Notes. Put up five sticky notes around your home or office that say “Thanksgiving” on them. Whenever you see one of those sticky notes, think of something you are grateful for in that very moment and take a deep, slow breath to breathe it in.

· Butcher Paper Gratitude. A client covered a kitchen wall with butcher paper and all month long she, her kids and her husband drew pictures and posted words about all the things they were grateful for.

· Drama Be Gone. Any time you feel yourself getting sucked into a “drama” thought or situation with family, friends or colleagues, shift your attention to one thing you are grateful for in that moment and focus on that instead. Maybe even share it and see if it shifts the mood even just a teeny bit.

· Daily Gratitude. Every night before you go to bed or each morning before you get out of bed, name three things for which you are grateful.

· Mega Gratitude List. Write down 100 things for which you are grateful.  You can make your list all in one sitting or, if you don’t think you can come up with a list of 100 at once, then start small. Write down two things, five things, or ten things for which you are grateful. You may be surprised at how your list starts to grow once you get going. Feel free to add to this list over time. Or you can start by adding three items every day for a month. This is my personal favorite! If you think of three different things you are grateful for each day, by the end of the month your list will be almost complete.
What are you grateful for in this very moment? Please post. We’d love to hear!Happy Thanksgiving!Peace and Love,Julie

Julie Zeff is a Life Coach for busy and working moms, author of Vivid Living for Busy Moms: Coach Yourself to an Extraordinary Life, and a trained Forest yoga instructor. She helps moms love their entire life and themselves as much as they love their kids. Request her FREE report –Top 10 Tips to Vivid Living or receive her FREE “Monthly Coaching Tidbits” and “5 Anytime, Anywhere Breathing Tips” by visiting: http://www.vividliving.net. Download a FREE peek of her book,Vivid Living For Busy Moms here: http://vividliving.net/julies-book


About Julie Zeff

Julie is a certified life coach, yoga instructor, author, and speaker who believes that absolutely everyone can live a vivid and extraordinary life. Her goal is to spread this belief and the tools to actually live it around the globe. Julie has worked for over 14 years in the personal growth and mental health fields. She brings the body (and often specifically yoga) into the coaching work that she does and brings life coaching into the yoga that she teaches. Julie teaches her clients to access the wisdom of their body and mind to help them transform their lives. Her professional mind-body journey began in 1998 when she worked as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Massage Therapist. She persistently tried to find a way to combine the two. But, it wasn’t until 2002 when she found Life Coaching (CTI, Certified Professional Co-Active Coach – CPCC) and Forrest Yoga (yoga teacher training) that there was a natural and passionate union that transformed her life and career forever. As a busy working mom with three children herself, she understands the challenges of trying to find that sweet spot in a busy world of work and family. She uses her own coaching tools each and every day to help her live a vivid and extraordinary life she loves! Whether through life coaching over the phone, or in a yoga class on a mat, Julie helps her clients tap into the innate truth and wisdom of their body and mind. They learn to make decisions with clarity and confidence. She guides them to courageously shed limiting patterns and beliefs. She helps her clients envision, design, and live their own unique, vivid, and extraordinary life. Julie was born and raised in a suburb of Chicago and now lives with her husband and three children in Atlanta, Georgia.

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