Tag Archives: Gratitude

day 1 - gratitude list

 

#AugustLifestyleChallenge, DAY 1, August 1st - Write a gratitude list. In the words author Melody Beattie, “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.”

Today, the challenge is to write a gratitude list. I want you today to begin a gratitude practice. Here is how:

  1. Write down 5 people in your life to whom you are grateful. Imagine their faces as you think about them.
  2. Write down 5 positives in the negative. Life is one big choice, success seeds disruptions, loving risks loss, creating risks failure. For example, adversity powers transformation. Look at your struggles as necessary hiccups or full-on face plants placed in your life to help you grow. What went right when things when wrong?
  3. Write down 5 pieces of gratitude in the mundane. This could be your comfy bedspread, the palm trees outside, 8-hours of sleep, or the aroma of your morning coffee. Cultivate gratitude for the simple things.
  4. Say thank you to 5 people who seek your help. By asking for your help, they improve your self-esteem and it encourages you to act with virtue. Also, research suggests it improves our physical and emotional well-being. Loved ones can be counted twice, because it’s a reciprocal relationship of giving and receiving love.
  5. Write down 5 aspects of your life that you are blessed to have...for millions of others don’t have what you do. Think...food, clean water, children, friends, eyesight, a job, teeth, a healthy heart, a car, or a roof over your head. If these aspects of your life were taken away what would life be like? Fill up with gratitude.

***Be as specific as possible gratitude works best when you are able to find something tangible and real. Be grateful for your significant other for the lovely flowers they gave you on your birthday, for your coworker who greeted you with a smile yesterday when you needed it the most, the list will go on and on. Have fun!

Don’t forget to tag me (@lauramaryyoga) and #AugustLifestyleChallenge and your local supporters: @lululemon, @drinkjugolife, @noelanihawaii, @poweryogahawaii, @corepoweryoga, @bananbowls, and @dreamfloathawaii. Happy Day 1 of the challenge, I will post daily the night before!! Reach out to me with questions at info@lauramaryflynn.com.

A gratitude practice does not mean that every day from now on is going to be roses and butterflies, no. It means that you will notice the abundant blessings around you and by doing so you will feel contentment (santosha) in the moment. Each of us has a happiness set point to which we will gravitate towards throughout of lives (Brickman & Campbell, 2013).

No matter how much we acquire or whatever feats we reach, you won’t feel lasting happiness. Our brain is wired to continue acquiring more, researchers refer to this as the hedonic treadmill. Others propose a model of happiness as a thermostat, where after we acquire something, our expectations adapt to the new state, and happiness falls back to the same level as before. Though research also suggests that this fleeting happiness has the benefit of keeping people motivated to incrementally seek higher goals, a gratitude practice can enhance the whole experience.

Practicing gratitude for what we have (even as we acquire more) helps your mind, moment-to-moment find happiness. Most strikingly, 40% of the variation in happiness is determined by intentional activities (Diener, Lucas & Scollon, 2013) aka a gratitude list. One of the simplest and most rewarding intentional activities you can do each day to increase happiness is...a daily gratitude practice. On an even more awesome note, happiness that originates in gratitude makes your loved ones happier (Amit Sood, 2013). Your efforts will multiply the effect for your whole family.  

What are you waiting for? Start your gratitude list today!

With Gratitude,

laura mary

Hello November,

I am not quite sure how you arrived so quickly. Let’s not talk about how long it has been since I’ve posted!

Life can get busy. We are all guilty of rushing from one thing to the next, always piling more onto our ever busy and overwhelming schedules. Even if you love what you do, sometimes, you need a break. When an unexpected break is handed to you, take it! Whether that break is a sweat session on your yoga mat, a trip to the gym, to your meditation cushion, to the beach, or to a coffee shop … s.a.v.o.r the time. We don’t allow ourselves enough breaks, where we can truly pause in soak in the feeling of treating ourselves and clearing our mind of all the clutter of life. Pausing to feel grateful for even being here in this world and to truly enjoy our lives.

This week, I had a few unexpected breaks; the universe will hand you ‘me time’ for a very important reason, so when it happens, enjoy it. Go bury yourself in a good book, write in your journal, go for a run, fold/twist/bend/handstand on your yoga mat, and smile as you enjoy some sacred time for yourself! That’s right, I think you should go nourish yourself! No, it isn’t selfish. In fact, by devoting time to yourself the time you spend with others becomes that much more valuable to both you and them.

Step back and reflect on how good you really have it. You are here, breathing, living, and surrounding yourself with people you love and in some manner sharing your love through your passion(s). Fill up on gratitude for all of those goodies that you already have in your life.

I didn’t have to search high and low for my gratitude-fill this week. This has been one gratitude filled week. Even though life has been quite busy, I am incredibly grateful for my life: my loving guy, my family, my forever friends, my students, my body, my health, and beautiful Oahu.

Love List for October/November:

1) Homemade soap (thank you Tawney), the soap is way bigger than it appears in the photo, she gave me a huge chunk!

The Sacred Pause

2) Homemade vegan baked treats (thank you Jules), these were indescribably delicious. She also made vegan pumpkin donuts at the Wine'd Down with Laura Mary class that were equally as drool worthy.

The Sacred Pause

3) Homemade CDS grouped by genre (thank you Larina and Shelley), this was the sweetest surprise present.

The Sacred Pause

4) Magic Island Beach Yoga Class (Thursday at 5:30), my favorite class of the week!

The Sacred Pause

5) My beautiful and adorable niece, Catalina (the ladybug).

The Sacred Pause

6) Vacations to Maui and epic adventures and discoveries (including this tidepool on the side of this cliff) with Kaho'olawe pictured in the background.

The Sacred Pause

7) DoTERRA- I use Deep Blue rub on everyone in yoga class, it is truly amazing! I actually liked it so much that I signed up to sell it. If you want some DoTERRA products/oils, let me know and I can order whatever you want. Here is the link to my page to place orders.

The Sacred Pause

8) Ava Anderson- The most transparent cosmetic company. I use all of their toxic-free products (shampoo/conditioner/facewash/chapstick etc.). I also liked this company so much that I signed up to sell it. Let me know if you are interested in anything from my site. Here is my page too place orders.

The Sacred Pause

Have a beautiful week!

With Love,

laura mary

North Shore Sunset

Everyone has someone in their life that has transformed them and changed their life forever. I was touched to hear that my favorite Skidmore College professor is retiring. Hearing this news, has re-inspired me to reach my highest potential and beyond. Mary Ann had (and continues to) inspire me. Who can you reflect on today? Who in your life has left an imprint on your heart? Reach out to them today and express your gratitude.

A tribute to Mary Ann,

In all my time as a student, I have never come across such an influential teacher.

I feel so fortunate to have met Mary Ann during my junior year at Skidmore. I needed her signature as the chair of the psychology department, because I was applying for the American Psychological Association (APA) Summer Science Fellowship in Washington DC. During the following semester, I was placed on the waiting list for her Cognitive Psychology course, it was reserved for seniors. I was quite eager to take a class with Mary Ann, I saw her in the hallway before the first day of class and thankfully, she let me in!

Class after class, I listened to her in awe; she was (is) so brilliant. She would break down and describe scientific studies with such ease and made complex studies comprehensible to students. It was crystal clear to me that Mary Ann was passionate about her research and her teaching.

Out of all of my professors at Skidmore, I felt the strongest connection and bond to Mary Ann. I knew that she really wanted me to learn and succeed. With the help of a strong letter of recommendation from Mary Ann, I was awarded the very competitive APA Summer Science Fellowship.

I was completely honored that Mary Ann wanted to work with me on a senior honors thesis project. Mary Ann believed in me and that, more than everything I learned in college, was the most valuable lesson. By believing in me, she instilled within me a sense of confidence, that same confidence that she held while lecturing in class. She believed that I was smart and could conduct high quality research. I thank Mary Ann from the bottom of my heart.

My favorite academic memory from Skidmore was the completion of my senior honors thesis. It was hard work, but I completed it with the help of a strong, compassionate, and brilliant mentor, Mary Ann. Skidmore will be losing one of their greatest professors.

I am very excited to see what is next for Mary Ann, but more than anything, I would like to see her take time off to enjoy life in all its glory. I know that her next steps will be nothing short of brilliant, I have faith that she will continue to affect and shape the lives of everyone that comes across her path, just as she did to me.

Mary Ann and I have kept in touch since my graduation in 2009, even though I now live in Honolulu, Hawaii. Mary Ann’s interactions and emails with me were always so pleasant, she was extremely positive, and taught me that I have within me all the tools I need to succeed.

I was (continue to be) completely inspired by the fact that Mary Ann had found a life’s work that she was passionate about, and as a young graduate, I was eager to find my passion in life as well. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Mary Ann!

More than anything, I would like to tell Mary Ann, I believe in you.

With Love,

laura mary