The Power of Gratitude

Many years ago I was in one of those “dark night of the soul” places. I seemed to be going nowhere in every aspect of my life. I had just broken up with a boyfriend, I was cleaning houses for a living, I had no opportunites for singing or expressing myself, and every door that I tried to open seemed like it was locked shut. I dealt with the stress by eating badly, not exercizing, and surrounding myself with people who would agree that life basically sucks. Sounds fun huh?

I stayed in this self-imposed, self-fulfilling place for quite a while until a few miracles happened. First I got sick and tired of feeling this way and made a decision to do something – anything – to change how I was living my life. The first miracle was being open to a suggestion my sister had for me: “Go swim.” I hadn’t  been in a pool for years, vowing to never put myself through the stress of competing again. I found out there was adult lap swimming at the local high school and decided to try it once. Just once! Within minutes I was hooked – the feel of the water, the effortlessness, the calming effect. I came out of the water and my mind had a re-boot. All my problems were still there, but I was changed. Swimming gave me that one glimmer of hope, and I haven’t stopped swimming since.

The next miracle was simple and profound. It was simply a word. Gratitude. I had been invited to a New Thought church and that morning the minister spoke about the spiritual practice of gratitude. The idea that focusing on just one thing you can be grateful for can change everything. It sounded so simple but I realized in that moment, how I had been waking up everyday with a mantra of how hard everything was for me. I hadn’t even realized how much, everyday, I was affirming how hard my life was by focusing on these negative thoughts. When I shifted my focus on what was working in my life, and what I was grateful for, everything started to change.

Pretty soon after my “awakening” I wrote a simple chant called ” I Am So Blessed”. It was inspired by my friend Rev. Mark Vierra, who shared about going through very challanging times and yet continuing the practice of seeing one good thing, one blessing in it all. Seeing one flicker of light when maybe it seemed like there was no hope. This chant reminds me to focus on the good, even if it’s just one small thing.

So, with Thanksgiving coming up this month and gratitude the main theme, I take the time to drop into my heart and give thanks for it all. I feel so blessed for my friends, family, my health, my career, and all of the people who listen to my music and support me to keep going. To you I say, Thank You – I am SO blessed!

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