“Thankfulness is the beginning of gratitude. Gratitude is the completion of thankfulness. Thankfulness may consist merely of words. Gratitude is shown in acts.”
-Henri Frederic Amiel
We all know that what we appreciate appreciates, and that practicing gratitude 'should' be a part of our daily routine, but are we practicing in a way that truly lifts our spirit and our vibe? The whole purpose of gratitude is to align ourselves with the same energy of what we want to create but if we're not actually FEELING grateful then we're not in the same energy. To better understand how to amp up your gratitude to the 3.0 level, it's helpful to first see how being thankful has evolved from a reactive pleasantry to a proactive practice.
Gratitude 1.0 - Saying "thank you" when something good happens. Saying 'thank you' when someone does something for you, offers you a compliment or gives you a gift is the starting point of gratitude. Most of us were taught to say "thank you" at a young age (I'm certainly emphasizing this with my 3.5 year old twins) as a pleasantry and as the foundation of good manners.
This is the birthplace of being grateful; however it's an outside-in approach. In other words, something we perceive as 'good' has to happen and THEN we say thank you. This is reactive gratitude. Please, continue to say thank you as a pleasantry, AND add in the next couple of steps to actually LIVE in gratitude as a way of life.
Gratitude 2.0 - Saying & thinking "thank you" when nothing happens. If gratitude 1.0 is a reactive practice, this level of gratitude is choosing to intentionally focus on gratitude as a way of life. In this step, we write down 10 things we are grateful for in our gratitude journal each day, add a note at the end of the day to our 'joy jar' and look around for things to marvel over as we walk through our lives. We notice abundance in nature, bless the kindness of strangers, see joy in the eyes of children playing and appreciate it all. Our hearts swell and we feel a warmth inside of us that reminds us that this IS an incredible life we live.
Gratitude 3.0 - Expressing gratitude from where you are. Gratitude 2.0 is a fabulous practice when you're in a neutral to positive mind and heartset; however, we all have days where we're just not feeling it. The gratitude is difficult to find and the "thank yous" feel misaligned and inauthentic. Instead of giving up with the hope to start again tomorrow, in this level of gratitude you meet yourself where you are. If you're feeling high vibe, intentionally saying "I am grateful" and "thank you" will amplify your energy and align you with more to be grateful for. If you're feeling crummy or you've had an interaction or experience that irritates you, instead of "I am grateful," try "I wish I were grateful for this." That way instead of forcing an emotion that you're just not feeling, you're still imprinting your subconscious mind with gratitude but it doesn't feel fake.
A combination of these 3 levels of gratitude will ensure you FEEL the appreciation in your heart, keep your energy high and support you in manifesting your desires. Since everything we desire will lead us to feel grateful, gratitude is THE emotion of feel to create our lives from the inside out. To hear more on this practice, listen to Episode 22 of The Morning Light Show.
May you be abundantly blessed!
If you want to be the best version of yourself, first, you have to spend time figuring out what the greatest version of you looks and feels like. And since most of us have jam-packed days full of obligations and responsibilities, the best time to reflect on that is at the crack of dawn before the world wakes up and influences your energy and focus.
I've always been a big fan of mornings, waking up early to meditate, journal and drink my coffee in complete silence for the last 10 years. But lately, I've amped up my practice by waking up at 4:30 every day, meditating, journaling and podcasting all before the sun comes up. I'm feeling so aligned in those first two hours of they day, that I start my days energized and ready to take on whatever comes my way. It has been an awesome experience. I don't always feel like waking up in the dark, but I'm always glad I did. I'm proud to report I haven't hit the snooze button in over 2 weeks!
To start the quest of better understanding the greatest version of you with an early morning routine, first, set your clock 15 minutes early and get going without hitting snooze. Then spend 10-20 minutes meditating. I love Headspace and Insight Timer as tools - both free apps that make it easy to meditate and track your progress. Next, make your coffee and then get out your journal and favorite pen. For more on the what and why behind my journaling practice, listen to Episode 11 of the podcast. Once you're with your journal, ask yourselves some questions:
What is the greatest version of me?
Who am I when I feel my best?
And my favorite everyday question to ask of my inner self is:
What will you have me know today?
Write and see what you come up without judgement or censorship. This may not be easy at first, but the more you do it, the better you'll get.
Once you have an idea of what the greatest version of you is, step into that place for the day and see how it feels. Yes, you will have good and bad moments throughout your day, but if you can you spend even one more minute today in your greatest mind and heartset than you did yesterday, then you've been successful.
For more ideas on morning routines, read this blog post and for inspiration and insights to start your day off light and bright, subscribe to my podcast, The Morning Light Show.
Here's to becoming the greatest version of YOU one morning at a time.
Not too long ago, I wrote a post on my four-step morning ritual, which I've been doing one version or another of for the last 10 years. This quiet time alone has led me to completely transform my life in the best way possible.
Since I'm always looking to spice up my routine (and get bored way too easily), I recently decided to add a new piece - a 5-day a week, 10-15 minute podcast called The Morning Light Show. The episodes aim to offer you morning inspiration & insights to free your spirit, open your heart and start your day off LIGHT and BRIGHT!
They're great to listen to in the morning while you're drinking coffee, getting ready for the day ahead or driving to work.
Have a listen for yourself on any of the platforms below, and if you like it, add it to your morning routine by subscribing. If you feel so moved, I could certainly use some reviews too!
Here's what my first reviewer had to say about the show:
"This is a great way to start your morning! Awesome idea to take 15 minutes to yourself to listen and reflect on how you're going to begin your day and be your best you, you can. Highly recommend!"
Yesterday marked a momentous occasion for my twin mom friend Kelly and I. Our twin girls are 9 months apart, and a day we've been longing for and dreaming about finally happened yesterday. We've had play dates and dinner dates as a family since the girls were sitting in high chairs. Back in those days, when we were chasing crawling little ones, changing diapers and cleaning up spit up, we'd say to one another, "One day, they'll sit together and eat their dinner and play with each other without us having to intervene and stay on top of them."
When we said that two+ years ago, it felt like that day would never come, almost like we were longing for something that would never be real. Well, it finally happened. She and I caught up over wine while she cooked, the girls played outside with their dads and we actually got to have a real conversation with few interruptions. We even put them all in a bath together and brought Joy and Coral home in borrowed pjs.
As I reflected on what a great night it was, I realized that manifesting our desires is no different. When we start to imagine something new in our lives, it feels out of reach and like it will never happen. In the short term, we continue living many of the realities that we're looking to release. But, if we keep the faith and trust the process, goals will unfold and dreams will come true.Things that seemed impossible at one point in our lives will become the very reality we are living!
When life seems impossible and my dreams feel far, far away, I'm going to remind myself of this fun night with our friends and the life lessons our growing girls teach us.
Every morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most. – Buddha
Ever since I truly learned, connected with and understood that my thoughts create my reality, I have committed to spending time in quiet contemplation every morning. For the last 10 years, as a result of this quiet time, I've gotten to know myself really well and better understand my strengths & shortcomings. From this quiet space, I have birthed everything from books to babies (sounds dramatic but it's true - from this quiet place I decided to seek help for my infertility), and made quantum leaps in my personal growth, career and relationships. I've written to my twin daughters while I was pregnant, healed troubled relationships without ever communicating with the other person, manifested unexplainable synchronicities, forgiven people who used to take a lot of my energy and created a deeper, more spiritual trust in everything that happens in my life. I have seen a continuous unfolding of benefits and rewards and now can't imagine NOT having this morning ritual.
Many people start their day picking up their cell phone to check Facebook, email or Instagram, instantly giving their energy away to someone or something else (jealous thoughts about their frenemy's trip to New Zealand, angry thoughts about the last minute deadline from their boss, frustrated thoughts about whatever political BS shows up on their feed). When you start from that energy, the day tends to unfold aligned with that same energy. You feel disconnected from the moment you wake up, spend much of the day arguing with and judging your thoughts, and lose touch with the miracle of the present moment.
By starting your day in quiet reflection, you intentionally mold your energy into what it needs to be to respond to all the outside forces competing for your energy throughout the day. You choose your energy and focus v. letting it choose you. This isn't to say that you won't get a jealous twinge, or angry or frustrated thoughts; however, you will notice them quicker and bounce back faster.
Though I've had many iterations of this morning quiet time, I've settled on 4 practices that I believe are essential in creating a day of peace, productivity and joy.
1. Meditation - As much good feedback and sound research as I'd heard on meditation over the 10 years I've been actively awakening, it wasn't until four months ago that I made a strong commitment to meditate every day for a minimum of 20 minutes. It was Joe Dispenza's book Becoming Supernatural that gave me the push and evidence I needed at the time to make the commitment:
"By the time you are in your mid-thirties, if you keep thinking, acting and feeling the same way without changing anything about yourself, the majority of who you are becomes a memorized set of automatic thoughts, reflexive emotional reactions, unconscious habits and behaviors, subconscious beliefs and perceptions, and routine familiar attitudes. In order to create something significantly different in our lives, we must find a way to pull the mind out of the body and change our state of being, which is exactly what meditation is designed to do."
If there is a new state of being or material reality you wish to create, you MUST become no-body, no-one and no-thing in the space of infinite possibilities through meditation to shift your state of consciousness. Doing this helps you stop the cycle of bringing the past into the future (95% of our thoughts are recycled thoughts from yesterday!) and allows you the space to manifest consciously. I use various meditation styles, but prefer a guided meditation, background music or chanting instead of mere silence. Joe Dispenza's meditations are very powerful. I also like Wayne Dyer's I AM meditation and Jai-Jagdeesh chanting.
2. Mind Movie - This is another tool I learned about from Becoming Supernatural. I've also heard about the power of mental rehearsal in creating what we want in our lives for YEARS, but never had a good tool or sound discipline to follow through consistently. This tool allows you to choose photos, videos and affirmations (or upload your own!) to create your very own mental rehearsal of the life you want to create. It even allows you to put music to it so that any time you hear the music, you're reminded of the future life you're creating. Unlike visualization, which is watching a movie screen in your mind, mental rehearsal involves all 5 senses and engages your whole body in the experience so that your body releases the same chemical responses in your brain as if you're actually having the experience. This prepares your body for this new state of mind, and draws you closer to the reality of it. Mental rehearsal also primes your Reticular Activating System (the filter of your brain) to notice new resources, people and circumstances that align you with your future desire. Check out this awesome resources at www.mindmovies.com
3. Mirror Chat - Even though I now meditate first and then watch my Mind Movie, the mirror is what led me to commit to those two practices. After a particularly trying start to this year, I dedicated myself to a practice of self-love and forgiveness for the month of February. I re-read Louise Hay & Robert Holden's book Life Loves You, hung heart decals all over my house, wrote "life loves me" on all of our mirrors AND most importantly, bought myself a cute little travel mirror to start my daily self-love practice.
Every morning, I looked into my own eyes and said "Adair, I love you and I forgive you" over and over again for 3-5 minutes. Sometimes I would switch it up and add in other affirmations. It was not easy at first. I felt silly and didn't really see the point. My ego wanted me to fold that mirror up and put it away for good. But I persisted for 30 days. After a few days, I also started forgiving other people in my life - those who I both felt some negativity toward and those I loved with all my heart. It wasn't long before during the practice I would actually feel my heart soften and get warm. That's when I knew something was a about to shift. All real change starts on the inside, and then manifests on the outside.
Two very significant things happened as a result of this 30-day practice. 1. I found Joe Dispenza (again!) and committed to meditation and 2. I completely healed a difficult relationship with a loved one. Before when I was around this person, I would feel anxious and bitter. After 21 days of self-love, I could be around the person and feel completely neutral and even twinges of love and compassion. TOTAL TRANSFORMATION!
Most of our negative thinking and mental blocks result from the thought "I am not good enough." We weren't born with this belief, but after years of conditioning from the outside world (aka people who were also taught "I'm not good enough"), we came to believe that in one way, shape or form we are not enough. There is nothing further from the truth. Saying "I love you and I forgive you" into the mirror reminds that deeper part of our souls that we are indeed lovable and worthy of the life we desire.
Gratitude - Writing ten things I was grateful for was the start of my morning ritual 10 years ago. It took me 5-10 minutes total, and then I'd move on with my day. Just like with the mirror work, my ego tried to convince me that it was a "waste of time," but as I kept my focus on gratitude, I had more in my life to be grateful for.
Gratitude is the ultimate receiving mechanism. Think about it. What emotion do you feel after you manifest something you want? Gratitude! By choosing gratitude now, you align with the same elevated emotion that you want to feel once you've created something you desire and thus, just like with the Mind Movie, you draw that experience closer to you and prime your body for the experience. As much as meditation, Mind Movies and mirror work have transformed my life, I feel a deep sense of appreciation for my gratitude practice because it truly was the starting place of my morning ritual. I can say beyond a shadow of a doubt, that many of the best people, circumstances and events I've created became my reality because of my commitment to appreciation.
When I notice I'm off-kilter, I go back to gratitude. If you're hesitant to start a morning routine because you don't want to commit too much time or wake up earlier, just write down ten things your grateful for every day. Two books that I absolutely LOVE on the topic are The Magic by Rhonda Byrne and Thank and Grow Rich by Pam Grout, and both guide you through a daily gratitude practice complete with exercises. I highly recommend them!
So, that's it. Other things you should know are:
1. I wake up by 5:30am (or earlier) every morning to give myself plenty of time before my daughters awaken to do my routine. I go straight into meditation, and then I get my coffee and finish my routine (Mind Movie, mirror and gratitude).
You will likely have to wake up earlier to do this BUT you can start small - 10-15 minutes earlier to begin with. Commit to a finite period of time (30 days is good) and then you can re-evaluate if you want to continue. If it doesn't change your life in magical ways, by all means STOP.
2. You can also do this at night right before bed if you're a night owl.
3. Your ego will try to talk you out of this in the most sly of ways. Because it is unfamiliar to you, it will be uncomfortable at first. It's just like riding a bike, the more you do it the easier and more unconscious it gets. That being said, the ego is as sly as a fox so be on the lookout for any myriad of excuses that it throws your way.
Comment with any questions and get the scoop from the 5-minute video below.
A former coaching client called me today because she was feeling out of sorts and wanted a pep talk. I love giving a good pep talk because usually I need one too.
Her particular struggle was not only complete overwhelm with so many work tasks on her plate, but also an overall feeling of inadequacy and self-doubt. It became clear as we talked that she was allowing her boss' bossy, overly direct energy to throw her off balance, which is exactly what he wanted. By doing this, he felt a sense of power and inevitably took away some of hers. But it doesn't have to be this way.
I asked her instead to focus on how she wants to feel at work. She said "excited, like I'm on an adventure." Awesome! What a fabulous emotion. I asked her when she feels this way, and she said when she's got the weekend before her and has no definite plan of what to do. She knows the excited, adventurous feeling well. She's experienced it many times before. And if she will focus more energy on feeling that NOW no matter what, she will bring more of that energy into her world because like attracts like.
Our energy is the fuel of our intentions. Even if we don't know exactly what we want, we know how we want to feel, so LABEL that emotion and FEEL it by remembering times you've felt that way, by doing things that make you feel that way NOW, and by imagining new scenarios where you will feel that way. Your mind doesn't know the difference between a real experience and an imagined one, so you actually change your body chemistry and energy field as a result.
Lead yourself first by being fully committed to the emotions you want to feel. Change your inner world, and you'll change your outer world.
Can you be so committed to the way that you want to feel that you don't let anyone or anything throw you off? And can you be OK with doing that imperfectly?
Sometimes being stuck means not knowing what to do or which direction to head. Other times, being stuck means feeling completely paralyzed by our anxious thoughts. As someone who suffered from anxiety for many years, even taking medication to find relief, there's not much that breaks my heart more than someone who is SO anxious that they can't see a way out of their own head, much less a path to their big, bright beautiful future.
When we live in anxiety we can't hear our wise inner voice for all the shouting we're doing at ourselves to 'stop freaking out' and 'calm down,' or for all the pep talks we have give ourselves just to get through a triggering event like crowds or traffic. Yet the irony is this very resistance to what we're experiencing in the moment is what mutes the inner wisdom and keeps the habit loop of anxiety locked in place.
This week, instead of moving a coaching client directly to think about what she really, really wants to be, do or have, I asked her to consider how she wants to FEEL. When she identified that feeling state, from there we created a plan to have her access that feeling so she can begin to move towards it NOW.
In her case, she wants to feel more peaceful, and for her she feels peaceful when she practices yoga, takes walks outdoors, reads and meditates. Her focus now is to do more of those things every day, even if it's just 5-10 minutes to start out. As she accesses that feeling place of what she wants, she leaves the habit of anxiety and can now see more possibilities for her life. From there, she's in an empowered place to create a vision and an intention for what she really, really wants. This will lead to the mind and the heart working in unison, and when our thoughts and emotions are aligned, we have an unstoppable ability to create what we desire.
Spend a few moments in quiet reflection and ask yourself "What do I want to feel?" Think about all the experiences you can have right now to feel that way. And if you have clarity in what you want, you can ask yourself "What do I really, really want?" Envision the change you want to create as as a feeling AND a thought and watch the magic unfold.
It’s been a rough season for flu and other illnesses and if you and your family have steered clear, consider yourself lucky. In our house over the last 2 months, we’ve had colds, sinus infection, strep, flu, RSV and pneumonia that required one of our daughters to be in the hospital for 3 nights. Very scary! And this is a family that rarely gets more than a common cold.
In times like these it’s easy to let life’s circumstances derail us from not just our day-to-day to-dos and goals, but also to question our priorities and our purpose. Am I on the right track? Is this really worth it? If you’ve ever doubted yourself during a difficult time, one surefire way to get back on track is to spend time practicing gratitude every day. Even in the toughest of times, there are things to be thankful for.
For our recent experience with our daughter in the hospital, I felt so thankful to have a children’s hospital within 10 minutes of our home as I drove back and forth, wonderful doctors and nurses caring for her, friends and family that checked in constantly, our nanny who was by our side the whole time doing whatever was needed, gifts and flowers from some of the most unexpected people and extra long cuddle time with my girl that I know I’ll miss one day.
Gratitude is a foundational practice that I recommend practicing at least one time a day – Start your day writing down 5 things you’re thankful for every morning, no repeats! End your day writing down the 5 best things that happened during the day right before bed.
Give it a try and be blessed with the gift that keeps on giving.
I help people be true to their inner calling and lead the life they love.