Developing gratitude

We tend to wait until November to think about why we are thankful. But even then, our thoughts are clouded by the gift-giving season. Why wait to develop gratitude?

I have been really struggling with this blog. What voice I want it to have, what audience I want to impact the most, what topics to cover, what subject I should portray myself as the expert of. I spent so much time worrying and judging myself that I didn’t write.

I let ideas come and go. I gave myself excuses as to what was causing me to “not have enough time” to write. I thought, maybe it’s better for me to stop writing until I have “figured the blog’s platform out.”

But, that’s just an excuse. When has anyone really started a creative adventure and had everything figured out? Creative adventures change, detour, fall, fail, and eventually evolve.

Yes, I would love to be a professional writer, aka paid enough to live happily ever after. But, in a way, I only have so much control over that. If I spend most of my time trying to categorize myself, and doubting all the ideas that randomly pop into my brain, then I gain nothing positive.

If I just push myself to word vomit at least once or twice a week, then I’m still growing and nurturing my abilities. It may result in dolla dolla bills y’all. Or, it may result in just another online diary. Regardless, I am thankful for the opportunity.

Thankful that I even have a platform to write to the masses.
Thankful that I have the ability to receive positive or constructive feedback from the audience.
Thankful that I can continue to try to improve, to create and to inspire.
Thankful that I live in a country that doesn’t oppress free speech.
Thankful that I was able to continue my education into my 20s, allowing me to learn even more than if I had been forced to stop while still a young teen.
Thankful that there is potential to profit from this platform.

We tend to wait until November to think about why we are thankful. But even then, our thoughts are clouded by the gift-giving season. Why wait to develop gratitude?

I recently decided towards the end of October to designate a space near my bed where I will write down one thing every day that I am thankful for. It is a practice that my mom started with me when I was in high school & struggling to see the positive. By challenging me (or in my mind at the time, forcing me) to do this, my outlook went from glass half empty to glass half full. It is a challenging practice to maintain, but I swear it works.

It turns out that my idea to promote more positivity & gratitude into my life was on track with others. Recently, I discovered from a colleague of mine that she was participating in the Thanksliving Workbook. This idea is the brainchild of she works His way, an organization that encourages wisdom for women to pursue Christ, serve their families well & use their gifts to bless others. While there are people who have had negative experiences with religion & Christianity, I encourage you to still check out this wonderful workbook. It does not judge, condemn, or pressure. It builds you up, loves you, and strengthens you.

Personally, I was raised Christian. I went to a variety of Christian churches, but spent the most time in the Lutheran congregations. I was also very lucky in that I went to a high school that had us study world religions, morality and ethics. I have friends of different faiths. My spiritual relationship is my own & still a work in progress.

Regardless of my questioning, I still find inspiration in religious services, traditions, texts and individuals. I believe that exposing oneself to a variety of experiences will only make you a better member of humanity. Therefore, I believe the Thanksliving Workbook can be used by everyone & shaped to their own experiences. If you’re interested in using the Thanksliving Workbook, and would also to be a part of a virtual community while participating, leave a comment below and I will get you set up with the private Facebook group that I am a member of!

If you’ve reached the end of this longer than usual post, thank you. It’s your readership that keeps me accountable. Until the next post… I challenge you to write down 5 things you are thankful for at the end of today & share them with your friends & family online! End 2016 on a note of positivity & start 2017 with a new mindset!


Facebook, the new FBI?

Facebook privacy settings

For those of us who have a Facebook account we are used to the constant changes that the Facebook creative team keeps making every few months or so. While it is quite annoying to have to keep adapting to the changes, they haven’t been that major. A new layout here and there, a different news feed option, a compressed friends page, etc.

A recent change has not only caused concern among the general public but it has also PISSED ME OFF.

What is this change? Facebook is now releasing private information from members’ pages to outside sources, also known to many children as STRANGERS. Now, this can be changed in the settings section of Facebook but MANY people did not know of this change until countless media outlets informed them.

Now, why am I pissed off?

Because ever since I learned of this change and changed my settings I have been receiving COUNTLESS calls and text messages from telemarketers and robots about winning a free iPad, gift cards, and cash. Since my phone is a cell phone, I am listed as a DO NOT CALL on countless lists and my provider does not release my number to ANYONE. So I think it is safe to say that the recent information change in Facebook is connected to my recent accumulation of “winning” text messages and voicemails.

While I may be wrong about the Facebook and robot telemarketer connection, I have a hunch that they are related. Why is it that Facebook is becoming the new probe in people’s personal lives? The even better question to ask though, is how much probing will the general public allow Facebook to do before there are repercussions?

Yes, I am annoyed with this recent barely-informed-and-acknowledged “update” but I can change the settings, therefore I will still keep my Facebook account. But how many more robot telemarketers will I be willing to deal with when the next “update” comes around?

Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg

I don’t understand why Facebook is thinking this new change is a beneficial one to anyone but themselves. Mark Zuckerberg, you are just continuing to piss off a lot of people and yes, I understand you are laughing all the way to the bank but do you really feel like a well-rounded human being while pissing off countless people?

You cannot complain Mr. Zuckerberg that The Social Network portrayed you in a negative light because it seems to me that their depiction was pretty damn accurate with you just thinking about how you can advance “The Facebook” and create more opportunities for yourself.

Let’s just say I will never “friend” you, sir.