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Natural Awakenings Naples and Fort Myers

Letter from Publisher: Gratefully Rich

Oct 30, 2015 08:50AM

Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.
 ~ William Arthur Ward

As I released a deep, restorative breath at the end of my yoga class, I felt satisfyingly rich in health, love and creativity, simply grateful to be in this fine moment of life. Recent travels to points north and west to bathe in magnificent autumn landscapes were still reverberating.

Yet I believe the truest reason is that I’ve recently become more disciplined in being grateful for everything and everyone all day long and then recording daily blessings in my gratitude journal. It’s created an upward soaring spiral that invites even more reasons to be grateful.

What inspired this was meeting local Life Coach Mary Lynn Ziemer and inviting her to speak at our magazine’s spring Publishers Conference. I was so impressed with her presentation that I asked her to assist me in turning my normal gratitude lens into a microscope for everything. In addition to the “usual suspects”, I regularly praise my car and computer, and manage to find a silver lining even in a situational hiccup. It’s all providing unparalleled adventure.

The value of an attitude of gratitude isn’t new to most of us, including Natural Awakenings’ 95 publishers nationwide, but many of us that are now recommitting to it as an ongoing exercise are feeling more empowered than ever in creating the life we want. You’ll find Ziemer’s tips for keeping a gratitude journal in this month's issue.

Judith Fertig’s timely feature article, “True Wealth: Living a Life We Love is Real Affluence,” on page 42, explores the dynamics of riches that go far beyond money. I’m reminded that “time affluence” suggests itself as a scarce commodity when most of us feel continually time challenged.

We often hear “I’m too busy,” “I feel overwhelmed,” or “I don’t have enough time.” I admit to being among the afflicted. In his book Faster: The Acceleration of Just About Everything, James Gleick calls it “hurry sickness.” Researchers name it “time famine”.

Feeling like we’re experiencing a personal time famine has consequences from increased stress to diminished satisfaction with life. On the flip side, it’s possible to enjoy time affluence, the feeling of having enough time and even a surplus. Studies have shown that feeling affluent in this way is powerfully uplifting—more so than material wealth—improving personal happiness, physical health and civic involvement.

Marci Shimoff reports that when interviewing hundreds of people for her bestselling books, Happy for No Reason and Love for No Reason, she discovered that those that are happiest and most love-filled have a unique relationship with time. They tend to be fully present and engaged in the moment, recognize the importance of “right now” and have often mastered their relationship with “getting things done.”

I’ve now added creating a new relationship with time to my to-do list. A helpful first step is becoming present and grateful for even the tiniest of things that greet me during my day. These little awakenings fill me with joy and somehow expand my perception of having more time and always discovering more to be grateful for.

Happy Thanksgiving,

Sharon Signature
Sharon Bruckman, Publisher

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