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When life starts to feel overwhelming, it’s easy to give in to anxiety and let it breed frustration, anger, disappointment, and the worst of all, indifference.

We want to live out an amazing story! I want you to live the life you’ve imgained!!! Gratitude is the key.

Recently, I watched a Tedx Talk by Hailey Bartholomew. In the midst of immense indifference about her life, she sat down with a nun hoping to get a new perspective or some golden nugget of wisdom! Here’s what the nun said:

The secret to happiness is reflection and gratitude.” She told her for ten days to watch out for and recognize the things she was grateful for… NOT the things she was supposed to be grateful for, but the things that actually made her feel joyful!

Daily gratitude exercises have been proven to make people happier, more joyful, more self-disciplined, able to achieve goals, and frees them from emotional pain. By practicing gratitude every day, we tap into our brains and can actually CHANGE them!

After Hailey’s 10 days, she knew that this was exactly what she needed! So she decided to continue the project and take a picture every day of something that she was grateful for. At the end of her 365 day project, she realized a few things that really spoke to my heart and hopefully will speak to yours as well.

Her Expectations on Other People

She realized that “[her] expectations on other people prevented [her] from appreciating them for who they are.” Specifically, she talked about the new way she was able to see her husband, and appreciate and love him more deeply than before.

I teared up when she told a story about how after dinner one night she was looking around for something she was grateful for that day, and noticed her husband scooping out pie for everyone. He put the biggest piece on her plate, and in that moment she realized that he was putting her first. She had never thought him to be romantic, but in that one moment, because she was looking for it, she began to notice all the little things he was doing especially for her every single day. 

As A Mom

As a stay-at-home mom, she said, “This project showed me what a delight and honor it was to be in their company.” 

That one really struck a chord with my heart. SOOO many days just feel overwhelming and frustrating. My three boys are so loud and crazy. Who knew that some day I would have to be lecturing, “Boys, we don’t wrestle on the floor at the grocery store!”  or “Please don’t run outside naked.. People can SEE you!” 

I want to fully recognize “what a delight and honor” it is to be in their company every single day. These years won’t last long and I want to soak in every single one that I get to spend with my sweet boys.

It’s Within

Last, she said this: “I see delight, I see beauty, I see a life I’m incredibly rich and grateful for… It isn’t happiness on the outside of me; it’s within me.”

In the simple act of practicing gratitude, it changes us from within. It changes the way we see the world, and the way we see our own life.

Before we start working toward creating the life we’ve imagined, we must stop and appreciate what’s right in front of us. And then, from a new way of looking at the world, we get started!