Welcome to the first day of the Gratitude Project Blog Summit! I am so excited that this day is finally here because it means we’re another day closer to the Gratitude Project on November 18th! You can find out all about it here!
To get the summit started, I want to introduce one of today’s wisest minds (and a close, personal friend of mine), Barbara Biziou. Barbara offers necessary tools for creating prosperity, love, joy and success in the 21st Century. She integrates her extensive knowledge of global spiritual practices, rituals and psychology into your life – transforming you from merely surviving to THRIVING. She is the renowned go-to expert for high-end, custom ceremonies, global rituals, weddings, and the celebration of all life’s passages. She is also the revered author of The Joy of Ritual and The Joys of Family Rituals, as well as a respected national TV personality who has worked with clients ranging from Donna Karen to Equinox Gym to Barney’s New York. You can learn more about Barbara by visiting www.joyofritual.com and you can connect with her via Facebook and Twitter.
The Key to Happiness
By Barbara Biziou
The only way I know to sustain real comfort in these times of collective anxiety is to practice living in the moment.
Appreciating what we have is the magical tool to creating harmony and joy. Gratitude is a key that turns the lock and opens the mind and heart. It reminds me of what I do have and allows me to shift focus from scarcity to prosperity.
My 93-year-old mother is a perfect example of this. When I spoke to her this morning and asked her how she was, she responded with a simple answer of what was right in her life. Even though she fell yesterday and is banged up, all she told me was, “the sun is shining today and the fall could have been worse”. She has the ability to be totally present in the now and looks for the good in any situation. Like a small child, she is aware of the beauty and magic in everything around here.
When I am able to slow down (not easy for a New Yorker) enough to see and appreciate the beauty in life, I transcend the ordinary and my spirit opens to joy. Life becomes simple again and I am more than able to cast away my tendency to over worry and over think life.
I know that it is up to me to change how I view the world. There is a freedom in being in the present moment. In this place I can bless every gift the Universe sends me from the love I already have in my life to a friendly smile from a stranger.
This does not mean I am a Pollyanna and unaware of the realities of life. It just means that I more easily accept the challenges life throws my way. I am consciously aware of my current reality, but do not let it define my future. In this way I gain greater energy and an increased capacity for joy.
I have learned that whenever I show appreciation, I actually reinforce the good that I bless and it increases and grows. When I criticize (especially myself) I reinforce the bad that I don’t like and it also increases and grows.
My friend Donna Henes once told me, “Whenever you find yourself criticizing yourself, apologize and pat yourself on the back!” This has become one of my favorite rituals to share. Thanks, Donna!
Today, I give thanks for all the people in my life who have given me love, support and caring. I bless the Earth and all who live on and in her who have added to my life.
Sometime in the next week, make sure to call and/or write to share your appreciation with the special people in your life. Don’t wait! Life is a gift and we need to appreciate each moment.