Gratitude Matters

As we start the off 2020 it’s hard to plan, set goals and focus on our own lives when theirs people in the state of NSW, SA, VIC & QLD losing their homes. Our country is burning around us and it’s sad to read, hear and see what’s happening. I don’t know about you but I feel helpless.

There are so many amazing human beings fighting these fires, providing serves to those in need and helping save homes, animals and businesses. It is truly a courageous effort by many Australians. It’s in moments like these that we need to look at our own surroundings and be truly grateful. We may complain how dirty our cars are, how brown and dry the grass is, how the quality of the air we are breathing is so poor.

But just for a moment before you complain about anything, take a moment and be grateful. Be truly grateful you have a roof over your head, clothes on your back, food in your cupboards, a car in your driveway, and a place to call home because there are people who have lost everything and some that have lost their lives. Only when you are truly grateful your fear disappears and abundance appears.

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With my heart full of gratitude, I started my day with a 20-minute meditation listening to the sounds of rain from my phone hoping for the real sounds of rain from mother nature. I took my daughter’s dog Marlie for a walk which turned into a little bit of a run. She is a big dog. She is a Rottweiler cross Bull Mastiff. I’ll tell you about my walk with her in a moment. I prepared my lunches for next week. A low carb gluten free Konjac Noodle Pork Stir-fry. It’s delicious. Since Christmas, I’m sure like many of you, my eating has been disgustingly bad. Pizza, hot chips and a lot of chocolate.  It’s now it’s time to get back on track. I’m back to a full timetable and I need to lead by example. I do enjoy my break between Christmas and new year. It gives me time to look at my business and see what and where I would like to change or improve. And because I’m not working every day, I was able to go for a run or a walk with Marlie. It wasn’t enough to burn off the excess calories but something is better than nothing. And besides my best ideas come when I’m running so it gave me a lot of time to think and come up with ideas to help empower the lives of the women I train.

During my run with Marlie I came up with the idea to write this blog but it was also inspired by a book I’m currently reading.

My goal this year is to read one book a month which will equal 12 books in 1 year. Last year I became a member of a book club as part of a business program I am in. Each month I travel to Sydney to a business called COM Marketing. They help trainers in the fitness industry grow their business.

Once a month I attend a workshop with COM with other like-minded business Men & Women in the fitness Industry and we learn strategies, tips and lessons on how to scale our business as well as our mindset. As part of this program we are asked to read 10 pages of a book of our choice every day. By the time we meet again in a months’ time we should have completed the book, depending on the length. We each choose a different book and each book is about personal growth, leadership, business, mindset or inspiration.

The book I recently finished was called The Portal by Tom Cronin. I received this book as a gift from my last work shop before Christmas. My goal was to complete it before I went back to work. It was over 285 pages long and was about different stories from people all around the world who have been through some major adversities in their life and found the help of meditation.

Each Month we have a topic of the month and last month was about Mindset. After attending my last workshop, I started meditating. I’ve never been great at meditating. I didn’t know how to do it; I couldn’t sit still and try to shut off my mind but what I’ve come to realise with mediation is that there is no right or wrong. It doesn’t matter if you sit or lay down. It’s impossible to shut our minds off completely. We have over 70 000 thoughts a day. How do you stop that? Meditation is about distracting the mind from the thoughts and focus on just being in the present moment, focusing on your breath and a mantra. Not engaging in those thoughts but merely letting them pass by like clouds in the sky.

There are different ways to meditate. I am currently using an app called insight timer. I started out with 2 minutes once a day and worked my way up to 20 minutes twice a day. I have been meditating for 20 days now. I can say I am calmer and more relaxed. And during mediation I am able to control my thoughts better. There are good days and bad days but I don’t het disheartened. I take it for what it is and keep going.

I also like to use running as a moving meditation. When I run I’m focusing on breathing, my technique and enjoying being in my surroundings. My best ideas come when I am running. I actually thought about this blog during my walk / run today with Marlie. And I also wanted to tell you about the next book I am reading. It’s called How to win friends and influence people by Dale Carnegie. I decided to read this book because I’ve been told its good and a lot of podcasts and other books, I’ve read have reference the work of Dale Carnegie. In the book, the author suggests to read each chapter twice, highlight any points that stand out, stop frequently and think about what you have just read and ask yourself how and when you can apply each principle.

So, after reading the first chapter and using my highlighter here is what I learned from chapter 1.

The first principle is Don’t criticise, condemn or complain.

When criticising someone we are only creating resentment. Rather than criticise, praise and reward people and this applies to animals as well.

So today when I took Marlie for a walk I thought about this book and what I had learned from chapter 1.

At times, when I’ve taken Marlie for a walk’s her behaviour can be frustrating. She tries to chase after bikes, sniff’s every little bit of grass, wants to play with every dog or chase after the birds.

Today I tried a different approach when walking her. I decided I would praise her every time she did something good like listened to me or just for walking. I continually patted her on the head, stopped and gave her pats and cuddles and next time, I’ll take treats. But my point here is she was better behaved than ever before because she was praised and not yelled at. I really enjoyed walking her.

So, my first take away from chapter 1 is next time you talk with someone or take your dog for a walk before criticising and reacting ask yourself first, am I criticising or condemning this person or situation. Will my reaction cause resentment? Have a look in the mirror and think before speaking.

“Any fool can criticise, condemn and complain – and most fools do. But it takes character and self-control to be understanding and forgiving” – Dale Carnegie

I hope to bring you more blogs in 2020. As I often go for a run on a Sunday and all my best ideas come when running I thought I would write a blog as soon as I get back from my run as it will be fresh in my mind and upload it on Monday for you to read.

Sending light & love,