Filtering by Tag: gratitude

“Who can say if I’ve been changed for the better… I do believe I have been changed for the better. Because I knew you…I have been changed…For good.”

Who can say if I’ve been changed for the better… I do believe I have been changed for the better. Because I knew you…I have been changed…For good.
— Stephen Schwartz, Wicked

This past weekend, I traveled to Boston for my 10-year college reunion. 10 years?!?! Crazy! It was nostalgic to be back on campus, re-visit the studios I spent hours of my time working in, have a drink at the local watering hole, and see all the new facilities the school has to offer. Even though it has been 10 years and the school did look different, it also felt the same. There was an energy and comfort of being back at a place I considered “home” for a pivotal part of my journey.

In the evening, there was a performance (typical Emerson College) and a dance party (even more typical Emerson College). I spent the night dancing and singing with old friends and some new additions. It got me thinking of the song “For Good” from the show Wicked. I remember using many of the lyrics from this song as I signed people’s yearbooks during senior week (I know…crazy musical theater kid). As I listened to the song on my drive back, the lyrics hit me even stronger. There are people who aren’t as big a presence in my life now as they were in college, but they will always be a part of my story and who I am today. There are people in my life now that have a huge presence that weren’t even in my life 10 years ago, but I look forward to how they continue to help me write my story.

People come and go throughout our lives. Sometimes not always in a happy way, but it is important to remember that everyone we meet has a purpose in our lives. If we are open to receiving what they have to offer us, even if our time together is short, it will be meaningful. Relationships can also change over time, and that is OK. Just because your relationship with someone may not be as strong as it was in the past does not mean that it is not important. If we can approach these shifts with understanding, love, and openness we can then continue to find space for the relationship in our life, even if it takes on a different shape.   

The next few days as I continued processing what was an amazing weekend, I realized the expectations I had for myself by my 10-year reunion. Of course I would be married, have at least 1 child, be successful in my chosen career, and maybe finally be able to give back a donation to the school that actually had an impact. Though none of those expectations have been met to the extent I had hoped for, I wasn’t bothered by it. In that moment, I realized how much I have grown in the last 10 years. The younger Stephanie would have gotten depressed and felt like I had failed. I would have compared myself to all the friends I reconnected with who did have some of those things and wondered what was wrong with me. Instead, I stepped back and gave thanks for all the amazing adventures, opportunities, jobs, and people I have been blessed with since that graduation date. I realized that what I have now is actually much more than what I could have ever imagined 10 years ago. Maybe the path hasn’t always been completely straight or even a noticeable path at times, but it has been the perfect path for me.

I am so happy and proud of how much all my college friends and I have accomplished in just 10 years (now it doesn’t seem like that much time at all). We have all grown into wonderful, kind, impactful artists, parents, activists, and voices in the world. I can’t wait to see what another 10 years bring for each of us! Emerson College is more than just an institution. It is a place where I, among many other enthusiastic students, was challenged creatively, academically, and personally. “So much of me is made of what I learned from you.” There is not a day that goes by in my life that I am not utterly thankful for being part of such a beautiful community.

 

Do you need guidance and support navigating the shifts of your path? I would love to help you through your process! Email me at steph_e_simpson@yahoo.com to set up your FREE 30 min discovery call and to hear more about packages.

“An optimist stays up until midnight to see the New Year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves. “

An optimist stays up until midnight to see the New Year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves.
— Bill Vaughn

I always find it interesting (especially now with social media) that in the matter of a few days people’s posts go from pictures of family and friends, holiday decorations, words of love and encouragement to posts of desperation for the current year to end and proclamations for what has to be a better year to come. Why does this shift happen? Are we programmed to look back at things and only see the negative when an “end” is coming?

A few years ago when I was reading a lot about energy frequencies and the Law of Attraction, I began to think about New Year’s differently. I used to be one of those people who couldn’t wait to get rid of one year and truly believed the New Year would provide all that was lacking. However, it became clear to me that even though the ball dropping is a magical moment that I love watching, that ball doesn’t have the power to help me release my negative feelings and help me focus on positive ones. Only I was capable of doing that. If I truly wanted to step into the New Year and attract new opportunities, happiness, health, etc., I needed to leave the previous year radiating on a high/positive energy frequency. This meant I needed to make a major change in the way I viewed my life on a daily basis.

The easiest way to start shifting our mindset is gratitude. There are several ways to start a gratitude practice, which I have already highlighted in a previous post. However, there is one practice I started specifically in relation to New Year’s. Each year, I start with an empty mason jar and throughout the year I write on little note cards and post-it notes enjoyable moments. They range from vacations I went on to professional achievements to impromptu game nights with friends. On New Year’s Eve before celebrating, I read each moment and spread them out on my bed. It’s amazing the amount of things we forget even over one year, but truly incredible to be reminded of them. You can’t help but feel happy, full, thankful, and excited to continue to live this journey you have been given. This practice is so simple and easy to do on a daily basis, yet its payback is so great.

A new practice I am starting this year is to write myself a letter with the intentions I would like to set forth for the New Year. I am not a big fan of “resolutions” as I believe many times resolutions are just statements and not actual goals. This letter will serve as the basis for the goals I would like to set, but more importantly will be a private letter to myself reflecting on this past year and giving encouragement for the intentions I set for the New Year. I will then seal this letter and open it at the end of the year. Reflection is a useful tool in our journey and this letter will be a fun new way for me to do that.

I hope you all have a safe and happy New Year! I leave you with this link, which I hope helps to inspire your positive energy frequencies as you approach 2016.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/daves4/2015-was-okay

 

And don’t’ forget, I’m currently having a special on Intro Packages. I would love to help you get clear on your goals for 2016 and support you in your journey! Email me at steph_e_simpson@yahoo.com to set up your FREE 30 min guided meditation or discovery call and to hear more about the package.

 

“10 things to help you enjoy the holidays”

10 things to help you enjoy the holidays

1. Take time for yourself. This could be through guided meditation, visualization, journaling, or just sitting still. Taking 10 min a day for yourself can change your mindset and keep you balanced. 

2. Practice mindful listening. Being present in your conversations will make your time spent with family and friends more meaningful. 

3. Connect to your breath. Your breath is your life force. Breath exercises can help to relax, energize, and balance you. 

4. Redirect your negative thoughts. The holidays can be stressful at times and your negative self talk can start to take over causing a downward spiral. You can choose to stop the negative thoughts and replace them with positive ones.  

5. Be thankful. Gratitude is the greatest gift you can give yourself and those around you. There is always something to be thankful for. 

6. Stay hydrated. Drink a glass of water when you first wake up. Try to get to 8 glasses a day. You can always add lemon or cucumber to make it more exciting. 

7. Be active. During the holidays our routines are altered and we tend to be less physically active and more indulgent of the goodies around us. Take the time everyday to stretch or do 20 min of cardio or yoga. Moving your body helps to clear the stale energy out. 

8. Rediscover your inner child. The holidays are a perfect time to connect with your inner child and remember that life is truly magical. Play a new game, laugh with friends and family, make something, etc. 

9. Be kind. Do something everyday that gives back to the community. Maybe it's small like helping someone with their bags or maybe you volunteer at a local shelter. 

10. Smile. Smiling will not only make you feel better but you never know when it will brighten up the day of someone around you as well. 

 

I’m currently having a special on Intro Packages. Treat yourself and start 2016 on a positive note! Email me at steph_e_simpson@yahoo.com to set up your FREE 30 min guided meditation or discovery call and to hear more about the package.

“It is not happiness that brings us gratitude, it is gratitude that brings us happiness.”

It is not happiness that brings us gratitude, it is gratitude that brings us happiness.

Earlier this week, I was having coffee with a friend when an alarm went off on my phone at 9 am playing a whimsical melody. Confused, my friend asked what it was. I explained it was the reminder to write in my gratitude journal. This sparked a conversation about what a gratitude journal was and then the question, “what if you don’t have anything to be thankful for?”

This week’s focus is on the practice of gratitude. Gratitude is defined as the “quality or feeling of being grateful or thankful.” For some, this practice may come easy and for others, there may be some challenges because we are used to talking about all the things we don’t have and all the things we wish were different in our lives. The great thing is that we can use our positive replacement tool to help us see our lives through a different lens.

Years ago, I started a gratitude practice where I bought a special journal (there is nothing better than buying a new journal) and I wrote on the first page, “Things I am Thankful For. No Negativity Allowed.” I made a commitment to myself to write every day at least 10 things I am thankful for. At first, this was hard, especially on the days when I was struggling with who I was and where my life was going. I forced myself to dig deeper and always came up with 10 things. Then there were other days when I couldn’t stop writing things I was thankful for. I started realizing that after a while I looked forward to writing things down and that my overall outlook on life had shifted.

There are many ways to start a gratitude practice. You can dedicate a journal to just the things you are thankful for and decide to write in it every morning when you wake up or right before bed. Nowadays, with technology there are apps that are digital gratitude journals where you can even upload a photo to each day’s entry. (This is what I actually use now since I travel a lot.) Another practice I started a few years ago was on Jan 1st to take a big mason jar and throughout the year write special moments, exciting accomplishments, etc on colored post-its and place them in the jar. On New Year’s Eve, I open the jar and spread the post-its out on my bed and read each one of them. It’s amazing the amount of things we forget over the year, and I love getting to relive each memory even for just a second (not to mention the different colored post-its make an aesthetically pleasing collage).

I did answer my friend’s question, “what if you don’t have anything to be thankful for?” There is always something…waking up each morning, being able to eat, having a loving family, supportive friends. Living in NYC, I am always reminded to be thankful that I have an apt with a bed, heat in the winter, and air conditioning in the summer. These may sound like givens, but for many they are not. Even when it feels like everything is going against us, every experience offers a space to grow emotionally, mentally, and spiritually, and for that we should be thankful.

The small amount of time it takes to stop and be thankful will be rewarding in so many ways. I challenge you to start a practice of your own and after a week reflect on how you feel, how you view your life, and how you see the world around you.

 

Are you ready to shift your lens and live a more fulfilled and authentic life? I'd love to help you! Email me at steph_e_simpson@yahoo.com to set up your FREE 30 min complimentary coaching call!

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