By Sarah Sparks
What have you done for you lately? Are you living in gratitude? Or are you rushing around the day without giving notice to the air you are breathing, to the birds chirping, to the beautiful sun radiating down upon you as you are strolling down the street?
When was the last time you took a moment to simply breathe in the freshness of the day? As a mom, business owner, wife, friend, spiritual guide, and so forth and so on, I used to believe I didn’t have the time for me. Then I realized that when I believed I didn’t have time for me, I would make sure that I didn’t have time for me.
Fast forward to one morning when I recognized my first thought of the day was a simple thank you. In that instant I came to truly understand the power of gratitude. You see, my whole day shifted. In a matter of one moment, the simple statement of thank you shifted my existence. I began to feel the strength from within me grow. I began to see the greatness within me. I began to let go of the expectation that others needed to be grateful for all I do for them. I simply said thank you while knowing, feeling, and embracing how grateful I was of myself and for my existence.
We are often taught to have an “attitude of gratitude” for the external, materialistic items surrounding us so we can create more of what we desire. Instead of looking externally, I suggest we look internally for the positive attributes we exhibit and express daily. Instead of being grateful for the home, car, boat, etc., etc., we have, let’s be grateful for the powerful qualities we possess—the thoughts, feelings, and emotions that make us whole. Let’s be grateful for the YOU that brings the reality of YOU to life.
Let’s be grateful for the good YOU bring to the world.
A spiritual practice I do and invite you to do as well is to write five attributes or characteristics you are grateful for each day. At the top of the page in your spiritual journal write, “I am grateful I am ___________.”
Each morning as you arise, take a moment and ask yourself, “What are five characteristics within me I am grateful for?” Listen for the answer and then list the five characteristics you heard in your spiritual journal. When you are finished writing the words down, choose one word from that list. Go with your gut. What word pops out at you right in the very moment? Go with that word.
The word you choose is who you are choosing to be for the day. For instance, this morning I asked the Great Spirit within me, “What are five characteristics within me I am grateful for?” I heard: I am pleasant. I am happy. I am loving. I am true. I am honest. The word that pops out at me today is honest. I am going with my gut and trusting Spirit. Therefore, in all conversation, experiences, and interactions today I am honest.
I know, with every fiber of my being, I am gut-wrenching honest. I am honest with myself, about myself, and to myself for myself. Why? So I am able to be honest with others, about others, and to others for others. I first must BE before I am THAT for and to others. And friends, it all began with gratitude, a simple thank you.
I leave you with questions to ponder:
- What are five attributes within you that you are grateful for?
- Who do you choose to be today?
- What is your first thought as you awake? Is it simply thank you?
Namaste friends, Namaste.
Sarah A. Sparks, MPA, is the speaker and relationship mentor for Create The Spark, LLC. Sarah has her BA in Human Resource Management, a certificate in Training: Design and Development from the University of Northern Iowa, as well as a MPA from Drake University. Sarah worked as a leader for two local governments in Iowa from 2004-2010, in the capacity of an Operations Transit Supervisor and Safety Coordinator, and as a Parks and Recreation Director. While serving these communities, Sarah mentored and trained numerous employees. Through this experience, she discovered the belief in one’s self is what limits someone from creating the life she desires. From that point onward, Sarah made it her mission to guide those who want to be mentored to create the life they desire by having the confidence and trust in themselves to make the right decision and say what they need to say, with love! Email Sarah at email@example.com or visit www.createthespark.org.