Sunny Skies & Grateful Hearts

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This past weekend I went to Naples, Florida with my mom and two sisters for a quick weekend getaway to soak up the sun and shop 'till we drop! My grandma has a house just a few blocks from a beautiful private beach, and to say spending these past few days under the sun was absolute paradise would be a complete understatement. We ate delicious food, got a little sunburnt, and laughed for hours on end reminiscing about old memories as we made brand new ones.

There's just something about the Florida sun shining down upon the crystal blue water that makes you feel like you've departed from all known realms of reality and entered into this perfect place where all the little problems you burden your mind with just start to slip away. I've got one crazy summer ahead of me full of work travel and weekend excursions, but this trip was the perfect occasion to just, chill out.

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While lying on my beach chair, squinting through the sun's warm rays, I got to thinking how truly blessed I am to live this life. I'm healthy & I'm happy, and all the rest is really just noise. I started feeling overwhelmingly grateful for my circumstances, and my daily stresses about the here & now started to vanish. I began to wonder what my life would be like if I stopped my anxious apprehension for the unknowns of tomorrow & instead started each day with a grateful heart for my life as it is right now. Suddenly those incessant worries about my future that I always seem to lug around didn't seem so pressing.

Wouldn't it be beautiful if we thanked God for our blessings more often than we asked Him to fulfill our shortcomings?

If we could cast our worries and anxieties to God, then we'd be completely trusting that he'll provide for our life. And trust me, He will. Living a life with a grateful heart will change the way you view your days. It will make you feel like what you're doing is enough, and on top of that, it will make you less focused on what you don't have and more in tune with all the things you've worked so hard to get. It's such a shame that we put everything we have into creating a fulfilling life for ourselves, and yet many of us still feel like it's not enough. We fret about insignificant worries that have no relevance to what's happening at the current moment, endlessly trying to change matters that are completely out of our control.

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I say it's time we actively start shifting our focus on the positives in our life, because our mindset is something we do have 100% control over.

Summer Challenge: (hint- you should try it with me!)

This summer, I'm going to end each day by picking one thing that I'm grateful for. My hope is that I start living my life with eyes that are open to good, not shielded by angst. It's a crazy feeling once you realize that the power of our minds can ultimately determine the prosperity of our lives. And at the end of the day, it really is that simple: change your mindset, and you'll change your life.

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Okay, so maybe that sounds a little daunting and perhaps you're thinking that it's much easier said than done. And though I may talk the talk, it really can be difficult to walk the walk. But try starting small and find the joy of your heart's smallest of pleasures.

Relish in your morning cup of coffee, soaking in the calm moments as your day just begins. Really own that alone time, and gift yourself with twenty minutes all to yourself. Do some quick yoga, meditate, read scripture, and put your phone down. Use your morning commute in your car or on the train to silence your chattering thoughts and instead of dreading that Monday morning meeting, point to the fact that you have somewhere to go. Smile and be thankful for the irritating co-worker, friend, or family member that causes you trouble for they instill patience upon your heart. Be grateful for financial hardships because it makes you stronger and more equipped for what struggles may come. And above all, find joy in your day to day tasks, because you've been given this beautiful life to live and no one person on Earth can give you the gift of positive thinking except you.

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Today as I'm gearing up for an out of town work trip, I found myself complaining about how tried I am because I've been on an airplane 3 times in 5 days and how exhausting the week ahead of me will be due to my jam-packed event schedule. But I'm a new me today, and starting right now, I'm shifting my mindset to gratefulness.

Today, I'm grateful for my healthy & happy family that I got to spend this past weekend with. I'm grateful for my job that grants me the time off to do the things I love, and for allowing me to do work in a way that helps me grow. I'm thankful for this blog that allows me to write down my silly little ideas to share with those I love. And lastly, I'm grateful for my exceptional hair day today, because aside from these brand new Steve Madden platform sneakers I'm wearing, I feel absolutely fabulous.