How and Why You Need to Create a Gratitude Board

I am a HUGE believer in the power of Vision Boards.  I believe that when we have a clear picture of what we want to attract or create in our lives, those desires manifest more easily and effortlessly.
I actually have several vision boards.  What started out as a small paper vision board has evolved into one huge poster sized vision board…and then I created two more. (Hey, a girl can never dream too big, right?)  I post my vision boards in the exercise area of my house–a place where I can look at them regularly.  Every morning, I wake up and “run” towards the life of my dreams–completely oblivious to the dreamy life I already have.
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This morning, I realized that something REALLY BIG is missing from my practice.  In order to attract and create the life I most desire, I must FIRST bring my energy to a higher vibration.  How?  Gratitude.
Oh, don’t worry…I already practice gratitude daily.  I THINK of at least one thing I am grateful for before I get out of bed in the morning and again before I go to sleep at night.   I also WRITE in a gratitude journal, which I keep next to my bed.  My gratitude journal is where I document the events and experiences during that day that I am truly grateful for.  My gratitude journal sits shut on my night stand most of the time–except for the rare  occasion when I read and reflect on the many joys in my life.
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Today, I was inspired to create somehthing I will SEE...a visual reminder of the many blessings already present in my life. A Gratitude Board, if you will.  Images are so powerful.  One picture can trigger a flood of emotions.  My intention for creating a Gratitude Board is to easily spark a flame of intense love and appreciation.  When we are in a space of love, we can more easily give this love to others, thus opening a space to attract more into our lives.
I spent an hour looking through my Dropbox and Shutterfly albums printing pictures that stimulate a deep sense of joy and gratitude when I look at them.
I printed images representative of:
1.  My basic needs–shelter, transportation, food, rest.
2.  My loving relationships–including family, friends.
3.  The beauty of nature that surrounds me both plants and animals.
4.  My successes–my job and creative accomplishments.
5. My experiences–both everyday moments like making a fort under the kitchen table and more exotic experiences such as rafting down a waterfall.
After all the pictures were printed, I arranged them into a collage on a piece of poster board. The activity brought me happy tears on more than one occasion as I remembered and felt those memories.  Looking at those pictures made it so easy for me to feel appreciation for all of the blessings in my life.
Gratitude Board
#gratitudeboard
My Gratitude Board is now posted in a place where I will see it first thing (and frequently) everyday.  My plan is to take a few minutes to let myself acknowledge and feel gratitude for everything I have…my health, family, friends, pets, my job, shelter, transportation, my community, food, my successes and many experiences of joy and adventure. My hope is that this practice will expand my heart and increase my energetic frequency to help create a space in my life for my love, more relationships, more experiences, and more of all of the things on my Gratitude Board.
I invite you to create your own Gratitude Board.  I’d love to see your finished product and hear how your Gratitude Board has supplemented your Vision Board and current gratitude practices!
#GratitudeBoard
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Toilet Meditating for Parents who Barely Have Time to Poop

As a parent in a busy household, one of the wishes I have each day is for just a few moments of peace and quiet and solitude. As a mama also aspiring for enlightenment– a few moments of meditation would be equally awesome.  But, let’s be honest.  Finding peace and quiet is a rare commodity in a busy household–unless you wake up at the crack-of-dawn and disappear to the solitude of the basement before those little feet pitter-patter down the hall squealing, “I’m hungry”. 

Of course, you could wait until the house is quiet in the evening after the kiddos are in bed and your spouse has finished blaring his nightly Netflix episode of Breaking Bad on the TV …if you can stay awake that late.  I don’t know about you, but it seems that my house is abuzz with activity from dawn until midnight. 
So, what is an exhausted mom seeking a slice of solitude to do? 
We all know the “escape to the bathroom trick”.  Oh, come on, don’t act like you have never used the bathroom as a getaway.  Once you are in there, hunched down holding your head in your hands, how do you maximize those precious moments of “me time”and bring your energy from zero back to hero?  
Toilet Meditation.  
Yes, you read that correctly…Toilet Meditation.
It can be done, and it can be glorious.  We take time to “lighten the load”, but what about our emotional and energetic load?  We owe it to ourselves and our families to pause a few extra minutes on that porcelain throne to enlighten our minds and not just our behinds.
The benefits of mediation are comparable, if not better than a good BM, so why not squeeze a MB (meditation break) in after your BM?

Consider these benefits of toilet meditation:
1. Provides a sense of calm and balance
2. Increases energy
3. Reduces pain and enhances the body’s immune system
4. Reduces stress
5. Relieves muscle tension

Follow these 10 Steps to Master the Toilet Meditation:
1.  Secure the area (that’s basically the lock yourself in the bathroom technique aforementioned).  
2.  Get loaded.  The toilet provides a wonderful support for you to sit grounded with your spine erect and your feet flat on the floor.  No need to try the lotus position in the loo. 
3. Close your eyes and bring your attention to the space between your eyes.  
4. Get your brain from Beta to Theta.  I personally love listening to Dr. Joe Dispenza’s “You are the Placebo” meditations (available on iTunes).  However, if you are locked and loaded and you left your iPhone and earbuds in the kitchen, the hum of the bathroom exhaust fan is the next best thing to the harmonious binaural beats.
Follow this handy-dandy brainwave map to get you there:
  

 5. Do not attend to any knocking, hollering, barking, ringing for 5-minutes.  Imagine that your body is not a solid mass, but instead that it is made up of millions of tiny atoms (because it actually is). Feel the space between the atoms expanding and filling the room (kind of like a fart). 

6. Breathe.
7.  Ignore that pounding on the bathroom door and the “Moooooom, are you in there?”
Bring your awareness back to the space between your eyes.  Keep your eyes closed.  
8.  Stay in that Toilet Theta State as long as you can…but not too long.  You don’t want to end up with ring-around-the-toilet thighs (especially during tennis-skirt season), or worse yet, have your legs fall asleep!
9. Bring your awareness back your body.  Open your eyes.  Can you feel your toes?
Your legs? Your arms? Feels good, Right?
10. Don’t forget to flush and wash, and while you are in there, go ahead and give yourself a wink in the mirror and say, “I’m good stuff!”