After a tough 2018, on new years day, I gathered with 7 other powerful women and together we spent time in the divine feminine, reflecting, releasing and goal setting. I felt a palpable shift. A shift that this year could be fantastic and I could safely move into 2019 with greater happiness and gratitude for the trials 2018 brought.

So here’s what I want to share about hard times and gratitude and happiness.

It doesn’t happen when we’re in the middle of it.

It happens after we’re out of the middle of it.

I can’t say I’m totally over the challenges of 2018, but I do know I’m out of the middle of it, and I know a lot of you are in the same spot. I had a huge out pouring after my December note where many of you shared that 2018 had been challenging for you as well.

So now is when we really need to focus on gratitude and the other intentional activities that bring happiness. I’ve been using them to keep me grounded (some days just sane) through the struggles, but often in the middle of the struggle, we’re just hanging on. Just hoping to get through.

Just waking up and doing the best we can on that particular day.

But once we’re past the middle of it, that’s when we use the skills we’ve learned to get us back to a solid, grounded HAPPY place.  

That’s where I am. I’m on the other side of the middle. So I’m really excited about focusing on those things that I know will make me happy – and specifically GRATITUDE!

There are 2 parts to gratitude: recognition and acknowledgement.

Recognition that there is lots and lots of good outside of ourselves to be grateful for.

And then acknowledgement of that good and ALL the good that exists in the world.

See I’m real good at the recognition part. I can make a long list of good things for 2018 – I had 2 more grand-babies born and I was privileged to be in the room at each of their births. Some really GREAT things happened in my work and I connected with WONDERFUL people. I saw Pretty Woman live with my precious sister. The hottie and I went on a trip to Florida with one of our daughters & her family. I got healthier. I got to see both of my brothers 3 times in one year (hasn’t happened since college!)   I finally found a comfortable pair of shoes I could wear on stage! (May not sound like a big deal…..but I’ve been looking for years….) My youngest started his senior year of high school. We moved to a smaller house! All good stuff that I want to recognize.

But the piece I haven’t focused on is the acknowledgment piece. Like really letting it settle into my marrow that, even though the year was fraught with some tough issues, there was really good stuff that happened too. And let that acknowledgement go deep. Not just a list I rattle off the top of my brain, but something I feel and acknowledge as worthy of deep appreciation.

So that’s what I’m doing as I ease into 2019. I’m looking back and recognizing all the good from 2018. And then I’m REALLY taking time to acknowledge that good. I’m journaling about it. I’m remembering it. I’m reaching out to acknowledge the people that were a part of that good – a phone call or hand-written heart-felt letter.

So I want to thank and ACKNOWLEDGE each and every one of you, who takes the time to read these posts, many of you who even take the time to send me back a little note – THANK YOU! I appreciate you letting me into your lives.

So as you ease into 2019, where in your life can you RECOGNIZE and ACKNOWLEDGE there is good?

Even if it’s just past the middle of pain….