An Exercise in Gratitude.

by CHERYL GNAD on September 10, 2014

1x1.trans An Exercise in Gratitude.

An Exercise in Gratitude

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.”  — Melody Beattie

Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/gratitude.html#sVV8QTqrujOSS0HA.99

The Challenge

In an effort to be growing and looking forward to my future optimistically, I must be thankful and full of gratitude for my life, the way God has given it to me. Recently, on Facebook, there is this challenge going on. One must do this Exercise in Gratitude by posting 3 things that you are grateful for and do it for 7 days in a row! Then you also nominate 2 others to do it too. Since I do my social media management everyday and it consumes my time, Facebook games and “challenges” like this take my time and focus away. However, I was nominated by one of my best friends to do this challenge. I sadly declined. Then the next day my other friend who has been a huge influence on my life also nominated me to do this challenge. Ok, is God trying to tell me something?! Funny thing – both of these ladies are psycho-therapists and they know me very well and know that I am going through lots of disruptions in my life right now. Maybe I need to do this. So I dare not say no twice!

Gratitude Isn’t Easy

Do you know how difficult it can be to focus on positive things in your life? You probably do know. It is like the question you receive at a job interview – “Name your top 3 strengths.” But you rehearsed that question MANY times, until you were able to rattle them off easily! Right? So, why do we not do that for gratitude? It is vital for the “job” of life that you already have and never mind that interview for it! It already has happened. So what does GRATITUDE do for you? 

Gratitude Has Science Behind It

Here is a little bit of the science behind it. All to often, we get mired in negative thinking and negative self-talk. Often we find ourselves drowning in our life’s negatives! We didn’t ever take in consideration as to whether we HAD to deal with those negatives or just “choose” to let them go. We just “reacted” to them without thinking. Soon, we found that because of that reaction to the negative, it snowballed into something more. We never stopped to take care of the FIRST negative let alone the ones that dove-tailed off of the first one! So, important note: AWARENESS is vital! 

Your Brain Doesn’t Know the Difference

Many of you are familiar with the Law of Attraction. Not to say that this is useless, but our state of being, our frame of mind, our self-talk, all plays into how we view our world! If you are’t feeling good on any given day, your “frame of mind” for joyfulness and gratitude is very narrow! What is very interesting in the way of looking at this scientifically is, your brain doesn’t judge a your thoughts. It just will have them! Judgement is attached to our past experiences that relate to the thought. Your BRAIN doesn’t KNOW the difference from a “good” thought or a “bad or negative” thought. Our history will color it – good or bad! Once you are aware of your past influencing your now, you can then realize that YOU can change how it governs you. Your past has already happened and you can make a NEW now! This is where gratitude can step in. YOU get to choose to be grateful. Pretty soon, you will choose to see more positive things than negative things to be grateful about, because you are “looking” for them! Much like saying “don’t pay attention to the red cars that drive by” and all you can do is SEE each red car from that point on! 

Repetition “Does You Good”

Lastly, by repetition of thinking of positive thoughts or points of gratitude, you can FILL your mind with thoughts that make you feel good – more often than  when you mired yourself in the negatives of life. These “feel good” moments actually will stimulate endorphins to flood you being and you DO feel better! This is better than any “upper” drugs that one might experiment in! Why – it is free and it won’t harm but help you!

In Summary:

Why do an exercise in gratitude?

1. You can choose to do gratitude over being negative.

2. Just as negatives can snowball, so can positive thoughts or gratitude!

3. Your brain doesn’t judge bad from good, our past, not the present, does. Our past isn’t the reality of NOW.

4. When you look for gratitude, soon you see more reason to find it! It gets easier!

5. Gratitude can give you an “natural high”. It is well worth it!

My Challenge To You

What are you grateful for today? Share one with me below in the comments. Tell me YOUR story!

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Expectations – Yours or Theirs?

by CHERYL GNAD on September 8, 2014

Expectations – Yours or Theirs?

“I went through life doing what was ‘expected’…” – Cheryl Gnad

 

“I went through life doing what was “expected” and I wanted to please these folks.” I began a post early this Sunday morning and it had some much of what I find incredible, and important to share! How are you living your life? Whose expectations are you fulfilling?

I anticipate that the way I grew up might seem rather “normal” to many people. Yes, of course, others had very traumatic lives. Their stories, I would say were extremely horrible. What about mine? What I thought was normal was far from normal or let’s say, wholesome and healthy. All too often we grow up in the cover of privacy with trauma that no child should ever experience. My life could have easily taken another turn and became a nightmare for others to watch, but I “appeared” to be ambitious and very smart and ok. But that was the “expectation”! My parents expected me to be  “smart”, get the best grades, make honor roll, be top of my classes in math and science, and others for extra boost! I did do well, but I did it out of fear of failure! Failure was insulting to my parents. Just don’t do it!

Along the way, I found the need of having Christ as my best friend. I clung to my faith in God from when I was in lower grade school. I wanted to serve the loving God with my life! I saw the movie “The Nun Story” and I was then determined to become a nun! I had a Catholic friend and she introduced me to Catholic life, but I understood little about it up to 5th grade, but devoting one’s life was very alluring! By the time I reached high school I knew that I would pursue God’s Plan through my love of Christ to serving the youth. I didn’t know how yet.

In college, I followed my parent’s dream of me pursuing medical lab technology or something in chemistry as my degree! What parent wouldn’t be proud of that!? But my heart wasn’t in the pursuit of the hard work it took to rank at the top in the class! Oh, I worked hard and did fair to good, but not great, which wasn’t “expected” of me! I realized that my “dream” of working with kids was in my love of teaching music! I was GREAT in my endeavors as a musician, and I knew I could be personally fulfilled in pursuing music education instead! After all, I could be a positive influence on “youth”! Years later, I had a “ah-ha” moment! I remembered a specific moment when God spoke to me while in bible study during my high school years and being specifically and very “spiritually” called to serve Christ to the youth! He told me I would serve Him, through Christ, to the youth! Wow! God knew all along! But what now? I was selecting my college 3rd year course work and I didn’t want to do science stuff! I had to break my parent’s approvals and let them down! I felt like I was a failure for not living up to their expectations! I knew my mom would rant and rave over my changes, and I cried about it to the college counselor, (lucky him! And lucky me, to have had him to lead me in the right path!) He said I “need to follow MY desires and dreams for MY own course choices! Not my parent’s, because they aren’t doing the work or living the career”. So I made the change! Now to go home and tell …. (I chose) my dad. I avoided the “rants and raves” of my mom and faced the “silent disapproval” of my dad. Actually, it was very scary, but my dad over his breakfast newspaper only said “ok”.  I was on my way to MY dreams and love and serving God!

Was it the right choice then? Yes, it was! I have since changed “ministries” from being a music teacher, choir director, and instrumentalist – even in that short time, I have saved at least one student’s life, and feel that I have been that “Christian” and good influence to many others! I still have a huge heart for “serving my Beloved God in Christ”! Many lessons are still being learned and tried! I have had lots of battles with hearing my parent’s voice saying, “if you don’t do well, you are a failure” indictments. It was extremely hard to plug my interior ears to those voices, in fact, it hasn’t been but recently that I’ve come into hearing “be the success you want! YOU ARE awesome! YOU ARE God’s creation! YOU ARE LOVED – by God and many more!”

1x1.trans Expectations   Yours or Theirs?

Believe in yourself and all that you are. Know that there is something inside of you GREATER than any obstacle. – Christian D. Larson GoodTherapy.org

Now, I hear over and over, “you are on the right path, keep going, you are God’s child serving Him” and many more affirmations that uplift me! I’ve gone through lots of therapy to get here, but I’ve always listened to His Voice but struggled to always believe Him and His continual Love for me and NEVER leaving me! I now have my own expectations. Because of this holding on to Him, I am who I am today! Through all of my past, present and up to now, I do His service. I share His calling to others.

Whose “voice” are you listening to? Whose expectations are you trying to fulfill? God has a plan for you and He knows you inside and out! Your past is gone and done now. Today, you can make a new beginning and start to pursue what you locked away because of doubt, fear, or fear of disappointing either yourself or others! Give yourself permission to #BeMore! God has!


 

Having a life coach or business coach that helps you find your dreams and helps you grow to #BeMore is beneficial. YOUR expectations for your life are fulfilled faster with someone who believes in you! Social Focus by CG is that help. If you desire to know more about receiving Personal Development Coaching – Contact Cheryl through this contact form —

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