Gratitude Journaling

I discussed Emily P. Freeman’s podcast The Next Right Thing in my last post about listing what is life giving and life draining. You can read more about that here. This morning I’m going try a new strategy that she talks about, which is gratitude journaling. Jen Riday from the podcast Vibrant Happy Women also discusses the importance listing what you are grateful for each day.

For a long time I’ve been hearing happy and successful women discuss their morning routines, and many of them mention that gratitude journaling and reflecting is a part of it.

This morning I decided to get up a half hour before my husband so that I could have the quiet house to myself. There’s something sweet about the stillness of a sleeping house. In this moment of quiet I did two meditations, one from the Meditation Minis podcast and the other from Mindshift Meditations podcast. These helped me feel more connected with my body and begin to start to wake up.

The next and final step to my morning routine that I want to start is to start gratitude journaling. There’s no rules other than list what you are grateful for. I can’t think of a more positive way to start the day.

My Gratitude Journal

August 31, 2017 

  • My husband is making breakfast
  • My lap is the first place Brody, my loving pitubull, wants to be after waking up
  • I’m journaling!
  • I feel healthy
  • I slept well
  • I managed the will power to wake up before everyone else
  • I met a friend for coffee yesterday
  • I am no longer a teacher
  • I feel more fulfilled today then I did a season ago
  • My husband supports me and challenges me to be happy and a better person
  • I have food in my fridge and a roof over my head
  • I am grateful for the support from the food study community from N equals many
    • My body is grateful that I gave up dairy and feel 100% better all around
  • I am alive another day on this Earth, and I get the opportunity to make it the best day possible

Wow! Expressing what your grateful for does put a positive spin on your day. Cheers to this feeling lasting until tomorrow for my next gratitude entry.



Life Giving, Life Draining

I stumbled upon a new podcast called the The Simple Show with Tsh Oxenreider. I love this podcast because she talks about living a minimalist lifestyle, but not in the traditional sense of owning 4 shirts and 2 pairs of pants, bare minimum kind of way (not that there’s anything wrong with that!). She interviews people about living simply and what that looks like for them. Through her podcast I have stumbled upon many other podcasts that I also love, one being The Next Right Thing with Emily P. Freeman.

Emily is an writer, and I can tell from her podcast style that I’m going to really enjoy her books as well. In episode 3 she talks about making a “life giving and live draining list” instead of the typical pro/con list. I loved this idea of meditating over what filled you and what did not over the past time frame. She recommends doing this seasonally, but you could do it more or less often to fit your needs.

I find myself feeling so inspired by my podcasts, but have been “un-actionable” (not sure if that’s a word!). Well by golly I’m tired of filling my cup, feeling so energized and uplifted, and then letting the rest of my world take over. Spiritually and emotionally I need to start taking and using the wonderful advice that I’m given and crave; otherwise it’s all for not. Emily recommends making the life giving/life draining list seasonally, and although summer isn’t quite over I figured this would be a good time to review the summer season.

So here it goes…

Life Giving and Life Draining List

Summer 2017

Life Draining

(Because I like to end on a positive note, I’ll start with what was draining)

  • Cleaning the house to sell
  • Re cleaning the house because it seems like we can’t keep it together
  • Trying to keep my plants alive without a green thumb
  • Feeling anxious about leaving Brody (my pitbull!) at doggy daycare for boarding for an extended weekend for the first time
  • Not setting clearer boundaries with the length of family visits
  • Complaining about a problem longer than solving the problem actually takes
  • Feeling like the household chores and duties are not divided evenly between my husband and I
  • Not keeping a morning routine
  • Learning the quirks of working with my husband from home
  • Balancing working from home and living at home
  • Still feeling like I don’t fully treat myself like an adult or trust myself

Life Giving

  • Leaving the teaching profession!
  • Donating all of my teaching clothes and then some
  • Journeying through self exploration
  • Finding my passions
  • Listening to my podcasts
    • Soul Searching and Personal Development: Vibrant Happy Women with Jen Riday; The Simple Show with Tsh Oxenreider; The Next Right Thing with Emily P. Freeman
    • Entrepreneurship: Masters of Scale with Reid Hoffman; Screw the Nine to Five Podcast; The Soul Fueled CEO; Bringing Business to Retail with Salena Knight; Flipped Lifestyle Podcast with Shane and Jocelyn Sams
    • Just for fun: The Longest Shortest Time; Serial; S-Town; How To Be A Girl; Invisibilia; Snap Judgement; This American Life
  • Traveling to Colorado for my best friends wedding
  • Hiking the Flat Irons in Boulder and the waterfalls in Upstate New York
  • Painting the kitchen with mom and staging my house
  • Blogging again!
  • Walking Brody and taking him to the dog park
  • Buying noise cancelling headphones
  • Having my parents down for visits
  • Starting the n = many zero carb study
  • Checking my blood sugar again and being more strict with what I eat
  • Meeting up with a friend for dinner and coffee twice!
  • Talking on the phone more with my best friend
  • Saying no to hand-me-downs or “third party clutter”
  • Feeling independent in my work and like I’m starting to own my duties
  • Working with my husband
  • Being a stay-at-home dog mom
  • Visiting the animals at the SPCA

I’m sure I could keep going. Doing this made me realize that it was much harder to write what was life draining than life giving. This was not on purpose, but it gives me a sense that overall I’m feeling more positive than negative. I predict that had I done this for the winter or spring it would have been the opposite because I was so undeniably miserable in my profession.

I can tell a huge difference in my self-esteem, confidence, outlook, mentality, and stress level from leaving the classroom. It was definitely one of the best decisions I ever made, and I wouldn’t change it for the world.

If you’re feeling like you need a mindset adjustment or a check-in with yourself, I recommend making a Life Giving and Life Draining list. You might just feel a little lighter.


Just Smile ☺️

Today I was walking into a store and I simply smiled at the person coming towards me. She smiled back and my smile grew. I continued smiling at others and noticed how happy it made me feel.

Usually I keep my head down, not wanting to make eye contact that can be awkward. I don’t want to catch the eye of someone creepy. Today I met no “creepy” people. I did not feel awkward.

I felt confident, happy, and smiley. With each smile it got easier for the next one. I may not have been teeth smiling, maybe next time, but I was smiling.

If you need a little pick me up, just smile at others and notice how you feel. It may just give a little pep in your step!

Smiles! (Even dogs do it!)


Closer to Happiness

Whoa it’s been awhile since I wrote last! Being that locally it’s the first day of school I thought it was fitting to check back in. As I mentioned in the past I was an elementary school teacher by trade. Each year I never was fully happy and constantly wondered if this was what I was supposed to spend my life doing.

This spring I took the jump and did not sign my contract that I was coming back the following year. The following school year is now here, and I am beyond grateful to my supportive husband and family for giving me the courage through this decision. I am 100% happier, less stressed, and positive. This is the best decision that I have ever made, and I wish I would have made it sooner. To be honest I could not have done it financially without having another opportunity to step into. I now work from home with my husband on a passion project of his that he turned into a business a few years ago. It’s so rewarding to see all of his hard work and ideas come to fruition.

It’s only been three months of not teaching, but both my husband and I have noticed a difference in me. I haven’t fully found my passion, but I’m getting there. I’m not perfect with being secure and confident. I’m probably about 85% of the way there, feeling like I treat myself more like an adult and that I think for myself without asking for permission. I can only imagine how annoying and unattractive this is for my husband. Thank goodness for his love and patience!

Today is also momentous because it is our four year wedding anniversary! We’ve been together for almost 12 years. Gosh that seems so long yet not long at all! I think it’s kind of funny that the first day of school that I’M NOT ATTENDING and my wedding anniversary are on the same day. I truly am so incredibly thankful for his encouragement to follow my heart, push to do what makes me happy, and hand to hold when it gets a little scary. Today is a great reminder that I married my best friend who will support me endlessly and be my number one.

Cheers to following your happiness and a lifetime of love!


Kenny & Jesse-194

Photo credit to Ruby Sky Photography