Untitled Document
The Art of Being Grateful
As a teenager I did not have the best self-esteem. I would have to say, I was depressed. I had very few friends. However, being good in sports pulled me through High School and gave me the strength to keep going. I also suffered from Dyslexia, before anyone knew how to help people like me. In twelfth grade, I read on a fifth grade level and wrote on a third grade level. I was smart enough to know, I was not getting the help I needed from the High School curriculum. So I enrolled myself in the local community college and began taking courses to help me with the basics.

My life has had many different paths with many experiences. Now that I am 40 and have lived a life full of ups and downs, I can say I would not trade it for anyone else’s. I made a deal with myself a few years ago that my life would stop reading like a soap opera. What does that mean? I cannot really stop life throwing me a curve ball, but I can certainly keep from striking out. How? Gratitude, “The Art of Being Grateful.” Now, that doesn’t mean you cannot feel mad, angry, sad, jealous or rebellious... or any of those other emotions society claims are “bad emotions.” You can! And I will tell you right now, there are no bad emotions. It is how we deal with our feelings and what actions we take where we need to be careful.

So let’s break the word Grateful down letter by letter and see how it can help us live a healthy and happier life.


G - Gratitude

R - Rock and Roll

A - Attitude

T - Tenacity to succeed

E - Exercise

F - Family Fun

U - The U factor, knowing that U are sacred just as you are

L - Live, Love, Learn


How can you be grateful when you just got a divorce? Or you have just lost a love one? Maybe you are suffering from depression or your home is under foreclosure? My secret to happiness and sanity is being grateful, here is what I mean.

I have a very active family. My Mother was a junior national springboard diver and came 4th in the Olympic trials. She taught physical education all her life, and has won over 100 medals in the Senior Olympics. My Father ran 50 miles at the age of 50. Despite how active and in shape my parents were, they still needed quadruple bypasses. My family has a long history of heart disease. My Grandfather died of a massive heart attack at the age of 45. My Mother, Father, Aunt and both of my Uncles have received quadruple bypasses. And my husband's Aunt just passed away because of a massive heart attack.

Now that I am over 40 and keep myself in good shape, chances are I will still have heart disease, and my children are also at a high risk of having heart disease.

How can I be grateful for this legacy of heart problems? I know a grateful heart is a healthy heart. If I dwell on what might happen out of fear, I will be adding stress to my life and this will increase my chances of having a heart attack. Instead, I choose to be grateful that I know my family history. This way I can educate myself and my children on how to take care of our hearts.

I am grateful for the Heart Association and the Go Red Foundation for giving me the resources to become educated about Heart Disease. I am grateful for the past 30 years of medical advancement, so that if I do have a problem with my heart, I can get the medical treatment necessary. I am grateful to have seen my family recover from bypass surgery and still live a happy fulfilling life.

Through exercising, a healthy diet and education, Heart Disease can be controlled and does not have to inhibit my quality of life.

Life has given me my fair share of obstacles to overcome, but once I started to change the way I view my life, it was easy to have a grateful heart.

Sometimes in our lives we are so busy worrying about all the things we don’t have, that we fail to see the beautiful gifts that are right in front of us. Once we stop complaining for what we don’t have, we can start to live a life of gratitude!

This is how I changed my attitude from poor me to lucky me. I try and find something every day that is good. I started small and found little things to be grateful for, like a cookie or even a nice sunny day.

At first, I was only able to come up with one thing, but then I worked up to five. I tried to do it throughout the day. Whatever it was, I kept thinking it or saying it often too myself. This changed my mind frame from the negative to the positive. I began to have a more positive outlook on life. When I projected positive energy from my thoughts and actions, good things started to happen. The little things that used to bug me easily were suddenly not as big any more. This was the first step in looking at the glass half full and being a happier person.

Rock and Roll

Rock and Roll is learning to discern when to rock the boat and when to roll with the waves. In other words, when to speak up and when to walk away. When I was young and had low self-esteem, I really never spoke up. Because I didn’t feel confident in saying something and was too afraid of the consequences. Eventually without some kind of release, I would sink into a depression or wanted to scream until I exploded - most of the time on the wrong person. I eventually learned how to speak up in an unobtrusive and assertive way; to defend myself and share my opinions while protecting my feelings.

Speaking up or walking away can help monitor your anger and depression and live a happier life. How do you do this? Speak up before you get angry or wait and let your anger dissipates. This way you take control of your thoughts and actions. Try to start with a clarity statement when addressing the person. Did you mean to hurt my feelings with that statement? I am sorry you feel that way, but I have a different opinion. Speak to people the way you would like to be spoken to.

I am the first to admit, I’m not always right and people are not always going to see my point of view. I also had to learn how to roll with the way others think and want things done. Many times rolling is the only way to bring peace and harmony to the situation. Not all of the arguments need to be won; however, I want the option to let others know how I feel. Now days, I choose when and where to speak my mind. From this perspective I’m more in charge of my emotions.


The right attitude is a very important part to our personality. Ask yourself, do you like to be around someone who is fun and has a spark for life or someone who is always moping around the house and singing the blues?

The Law of Attraction, defined by Abraham Hicks states that, “You attract whatever your attention and energy is given to, whether wanted or unwanted.”

Knowing how to work with the Law of Attraction, you’re able to attract and create more abundance and joy to your life. Do you see good things happen to positive people, while others who are negative, just have the worst luck? Well, this is what the law of attraction is all about. How do we become a positive person? By stopping the negative energy and thinking we are doing and start finding the good in life.

I read a quote. “To believe that the worst will happen is more significant than age, weight or heart condition in increasing your risk of dying from heart disease.” People who are happy in their daily lives have healthier levels of good key body chemicals, than those who are not happy. Unhappy people have been found to have higher levels of a stress hormone that is linked to type 2 diabetes and hypertension. Being Unhappy causes lower counts of an essential blood clotting protein, and in high doses is an indicator of future heart disease.

Your energy or attitude is based on your thoughts and beliefs. And you have been working on your belief system since you were a baby. The great thing is if you don’t like it you can change it. Start by changing your attitude for 2 hours a day. If you catch yourself putting yourself down or picking on your children, try to rephrase your statement and put a positive spin on it. Even if you don’t believe it, start thinking it and saying it. According to Einstein “To regard old problems from a new angle, requires creative imagination and marks the beginning of real advances.” Remember optimists are less likely to die of heart disease then a pessimist. Be creative, have fun and be positive, you can do it.


Your body is your temple. How are you going to take care of your family if your heart is weak? The Heart Association encourages people to exercise. It is one of the best things you can do to insure a healthy heart.

I exercise for many reasons. One, I like to eat, therefore, I gain weight without it .Two, I use exercise to help my mental health. When we are upset, the cells in our body carry charged emotions and by releasing these emotional imbalances which exercise does, we are able to be physically and mentally healthier. Evidence has shown that exercise also raises the levels of certain mood enhancing neurotransmitters in the brain. Exercise boost feel good endorphins, release muscle tension, and helps us sleep better according to the studies.

I use exercise to help me relieve stress as well as other benefits. Working out is my way of dealing with and getting rid of stress in my body. If I spend 45 minutes working out, I’m more patient and more pleasant to be around. Plus my kids love playing with the other kids in childcare at the gym. I just need to do it! If I missed too many days everyone knows it, not by the way I look, but by the way I act. I know it’s common to think we don’t have time to work out. But in reality, we need to make time in our busy days. Just start, if only for 15 minutes and then work up to the Heart Association’s recommended 30 minutes, 5 days a week. Our mental well being and health certainly depend on it.

Tenacity to succeed

  • I was recently told a story of a man whom had far more defeats than victories.
  • Failure in business1831
  • Defeated for Legislature in1832
  • Second failure in business in 1833
  • Suffered nervous breakdown in 1836
  • Defeated for Speaker in 1838
  • Defeated for Elector in 1840
  • Defeated for Congress in 1842
  • Defeated for congress in 1848
  • Defeated for Senate in 1855
  • Defeated for Vice President in 1856
  • Defeated for Senate in 1858
  • Elected President in 1860
As many of you know, this is the story of Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States who truly helped form this country. He fought against slavery, because it was wrong, it was dividing the country and he had the courage to take a stand. He knew he had a voice; he needed to be heard and would not give up. This man certainly had Tenacity.

In today’s society we are faced with many different problems. Many businesses are losing money, jobs are being lost. Others are working hard to recover after a major surgery or other health problems. How do we get motivated to get up and face a new day, to overcome these problems? When I have a goal that is overwhelming, I break it down into sections. I like to tackle one section at a time. I used this same principle to overcome my learning disability and even solved my debt problems. I found it can be anything, think of the little steps you have to do to improve the situation. After each little step congratulate yourself and start on the next step. Eventually you will reach your goal. Don’t get overwhelmed, take it one step at a time and don’t give up.

Family Fun

My Life is busy running here and there, I feel like a chauffeur, a maid and even a banker all in the same day. Sometimes the fun factor is not there. Family fun is not just a time for the kids to have fun, but time for everyone to enjoy the outing. Having fun is extremely important to living a great life.

What does your family do for fun? When was the last time you sat down on the floor and played with your children. Kicked a ball around the back yard with your son or daughter? Not just watched them play, but enjoyed an activity with your children. They may not remember the dirty dishes in the sink. But they will remember the good time you all shared playing twister. Caesuras Paves once said, “We do not remember days, we remember moments.” So I ask you the question, how offended do you do fun things with your family? Because once you start sharing in the fun as a family, the smile on your face grows.

The U Factor

I love this story of a woman who dreamed she died and went to heaven. When she arrived, she saw presents everywhere. They were all wrapped up neatly with beautiful bows. She asked what are in all these beautiful boxes. They answered, “The gifts you were given to pursue your dreams. But you were too busy to open them, so here they sit, all wrapped up and unused! How many times do we say tomorrow, I will start that exercise workout, or that special computer class at the community college?

Put your dreams as a priority! As I have gotten older I have realized how fast time flies. I feel like my weeks fly by like hours. When this keeps happening, I try to stop my busy train and do something for me. If I don’t, I never will take the time to open the presents God gives me to discover, while I'm here on earth.

Remember, finding time for you is as important as anything else going on in your life. This can be something you always wanted to do. You do not have to save the world or start a new business, my Uncle took up skiing when he was 55 and skied almost every day of the winter until he died at 86. He loved to ski and felt it was a true gift. My Husband just began to learn the piano at 52. He loves practicing and holding concerts for the family. He now has inspired my Mother at 82 to begin learning how to play the piano. Something she has wanted to do all her life. What are some of your dreams that you never made time for? Don’t worry what others think! Just do it for the fun of it, because it brings joy in your life. Is there a vacation you always wanted to take? Have you always wanted to learn a new language? Decide and make time for it now. “Some people merely spend their leisure time; others enjoy it.” Quote, anonymous.

Live, Love, Learn

Don’t take life too seriously! I truly believe we are supposed to enjoy our time here on earth. We cannot do that, if we take everything so seriously. I love the game of golf and sometimes take it too serious. With two toddlers and holding my life together, I don’t have much time for a round of golf. Last summer, I had an opportunity to play golf with my cousin and my mother, who at 82 is very competitive. Now, not only will she count her own score, she’ll count yours as well. There are no give-me's on the putting green with her. After the first couple of holes, I could tell that this was not my day for golf. I was embarrassed, frustrated and not having any fun. I decide I was going to take the pressure off and enjoy this round. On the third hole, I hit the ball into the bushes. I felt my blood begin to boil with frustration. Then I put it in perspective, this lost ball is not going to ruin my life or my day. So Chill out! At the end of the hole, they ask me my score. I told them L; they said “L”, yes for lost ball. Every hole after that, I gave them a letter, “S” for Sand Trap. “G” for Great Drive, after a while it was, “P” for Par. They never knew what letter I was going to give them next. I ended up having a really fun day and enjoyed my day off. Now I take opportunities like that to lighten up and make life fun.

This is what Grateful means to me.

G - Grateful

R - Rock and Roll

A - Attitude

T - Tenacity to succeed

E - Exercise

F - Family Fun

U - The U factor

L - Love, Laugh and Live

I hope next time you are feeling overwhelmed, you can draw upon the principals of this word Grateful and begin once again, Enjoying Our Adventure Called Life.