How to Have an Attitude of Gratitude

how to have an attitude of gratitude

Hi friends!

Each week, in my Facebook group, The Stress Free Society, we celebrate Thankful Thursdays where we do a weekly gratitude blast and share what we are grateful for. (Click here to join us if you haven’t yet!)

This week, as I was going through my own gratitude list, I was reminded of the quote, “The things you take for granted, someone else is praying for. Be thankful.” – Unknown

I quickly realized that looking at our lives in this way is one of the fastest ways to be grateful for what we have.

Here is an exercise that you can do right now to shift to an attitude of gratitude.

  1. Think about the things that most stress you out about your life.

  2. Shift this circumstance into a positive, by looking at it from the point of view of someone who is currently praying for the very same thing that you are currently experiencing.

  3. Now that you have adopted this new mindset, there is no going back! Take a moment to feel grateful for your life… ALL OF IT. Exactly as it is right now.

Here are some examples of how you would put this into action:

Maybe you are frustrated that you are single, while everyone around you seems to be getting married and living happily ever after. Instead, think about all of the people who are praying for the courage to leave dysfunctional relationships. Think about how much they would love to feel independent and not have the weight of a relationship that’s not working holding them down.

Perhaps you are stressed out by your job. Think about all of the people who are praying for the security of a weekly paycheck.

Maybe you are annoyed that you live with your parents. Think about all of the people who would love nothing more than to be able to go back to their childhood home or be supported by their families.

There is always something to be thankful for if you search deep enough.

If you want to take this one step further, look at your current circumstances and see where in your life you are currently experiencing the very things that YOU once prayed for.

Have you accomplished your life-long dream of having babies and being a mother? Are you able to support yourself and live on your own without having to depend on anyone? Have you accomplished your goal of becoming a teacher, getting a raise, or owning your own business? Are you in the happy relationship you always hoped for? Are you living in the beautifully decorated home you always pictured yourself in?

In our world, it’s very common to accomplish our hopes and dreams, and immediately move on to the next goal that we want to accomplish, without taking the time to celebrate all that we have already achieved!

Take some time this week to hit pause. Look back on all of the things you once prayed for. Notice the ones that have become your reality. Be grateful for that. Stop wishing for more for a moment, and take a minute to enjoy all of the beautiful gifts that you already have.

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” – Oprah

Be well,
Ambar

 

The ONE Question that will ALWAYS Help You Make the Right Decision

one question to make decision making easy

Hi friends!

I spent most of the day yesterday at a half day yoga retreat and it was so wonderful! Taking this uninterrupted time for myself to practice yoga, connect with my spirit, and meet other like minded women was exactly what my soul needed.

However, I almost didn’t go… I had signed up for this event a week in advance, and as it got closer and closer I started second guessing myself and asking myself if I really wanted to go. I started to feel guilty that I would be missing out on a whole morning of activities with my husband and daughter. I started worrying that I didn’t really know anyone going to the event and would feel awkward or uncomfortable. I was a little anxious because I had never been to a retreat like this before and didn’t really know what to expect.

Does this happen to you before doing something new? Maybe you can relate…

But, then I asked myself the one question that always helps me get clear in situations like this:

“Who do I want to be?”

Who do I want to be?! I want to be a woman who goes on yoga retreats! I want to be a woman who takes care of her mental, spiritual, and physical wellbeing. I want to be the kind of mother that shows her daughter that taking good care of herself is absolutely necessary. I want to be someone who takes time to nurture her own needs, wants, and desires. I want to be someone who has local friends who are interested in yoga, spirituality, and share similar interests. I want to be someone who is brave enough to try new things. I want to be someone who knows that taking good care of herself is just as important as taking care of others. I want to be a woman who has a strong connection with God, who knows how to quiet her mind, who listens when she is being guided.

These are all things that yoga does for me… and so, from this place of looking at the person I most want to be, it became crystal clear that I needed to go on this retreat!

This could have gone a different way… If my answer to the question, “Who do I want to be?” was something along the lines of: I want to be someone who spends every waking moment with her family. I want to be someone who feels safe and comfortable and isn’t interested in trying new things. I want to be someone who has a solid home yoga practice and doesn’t feel the need to be part of a community… if this had been my truth, then it would have been clear that this retreat was not something that was in alignment with the person I want to be.

It all comes down to asking the question, “Who do I want to be?” and then taking time to answer it truthfully. Deep down, we all know who we most want to be… what our best selves look like. We just need to make the space in our lives to answer this question and then do the things that help us move forward as this true version of ourselves. When we do this, we can rest assured that we are making the right decisions. Our desires are always guiding us in the right direction.

And so, after spending the morning at this yoga retreat yesterday, I am feeling peaceful, connected, and inspired. I am proud of myself for trying something new. I returned to my family feeling refreshed and spent the afternoon being fully present with them. I am glad that I took this much needed time for myself.

Next time that you are feeling a little stuck or anxious about doing something new, ask yourself this question: Who do I want to be? And then go forward and do whatever you need to do to start being the person who you most want to be! This is the path to fulfillment.

Be well,
Ambar

 

What are your “Bad Habits” trying to teach you?

what are your bad habits trying to teach you?Do you ever notice yourself falling back into your bad habits and wishing that you could make them go away? I know I do! It wasn’t until recently that I realized that my bad habits aren’t really so bad after all… and that the reason that they keep reappearing is because they are trying to teach me something. Let me explain…

If you’ve been reading my blog for awhile, you know that I’ve had a stressful few months with my grandmother being in the hospital. This last week we made the decision to bring her home, and while it was the best decision, it was also an emotional one. I spent every day this week traveling back and forth trying to get everything settled for her to come home, and then checking in to make sure things were running smoothly once she was discharged. When I wasn’t at my grandparents’ house, I was still doing all of the things I do on a daily basis to make sure that my own life is taken care of; spending time with my husband and daughter, cleaning, running errands, making dinner, working on my blog, meeting with clients, etc.

My week was so busy that I had very little time to do anything for myself, and each night I found myself feeling depleted and exhausted. On Wednesday night, as I was driving home, I decided that I wanted to find a drive-through Dunkin Donuts so that I could get a hot chocolate. This in and of itself, wasn’t really a big deal… it was cold out, and during the winter I occasionally like to get hot chocolate as a treat. But then, when I found myself wanting hot chocolate again on Thursday, and then on Friday… I knew that something was up.

That’s when I realized that I was trying to use hot chocolate as a way of filling myself up, because there was something that was missing from my life. I realized that I hadn’t been making time to take care of myself this week; that I had been running around trying to take care of everyone else, and leaving myself running on empty. I was trying to fill this emptiness with hot chocolate!

Sometimes, when we find ourselves craving sweets, it’s a sign that we need to treat ourselves in other, more fulfilling ways.

Here is my 3 step process for noticing when this is happening to you and using your “bad habits” as opportunities to learn how to take better care of yourself.

Step 1: Notice your habits

In the story I just described, my “bad habit” was my sugar craving. At other points in my life, my habits have been a craving for wine every night after dinner, or a desire to veg out on the couch watching the Real Housewives. For you, they may be something entirely different. Only you know what your own bad habits are. Start to notice the ways in which you find yourself wanting to numb yourself out from the world a little bit. Notice when these habits start to become a pattern.

Step 2: Ask yourself what you really need

Our bad habits are really trying to teach us something; to help us tune in to something that we are missing. Once we start to look below the surface, we can find the deeper meaning behind our habits.

Take some time to sit quietly. Place one hand on your belly, and one hand on your heart. Close your eyes and take slow deep breaths. Then ask yourself, “What do I really need?” Keep asking this question until you get an answer.

You might discover that a craving for sweets is a sign that you need to treat yourself more sweetly; that you need to devote more time and attention to yourself. A craving for wine every night might be your body’s way of telling you that it needs more down time. A compulsion to watch the Real Housewives for hours on end may really mean that you are feeling stressed out and need some time to relax and unwind.

What are your habits trying to tell you? What do you really need?

Step 3: Change your habits

Now that you know what it is that you really need, you can start to change your habits and fuel yourself with activities and habits that make you feel good.

Once I realized that my desire for hot chocolate every day was really trying to tell me that I needed to take better care of myself, instead of turning to hot chocolate each day, I started finding ways to step up my self care. I started going to sleep earlier. I got back on track with my morning yoga routine. I started going for walks everyday. After just a couple of days of taking better care of myself, I started feeling better, and my craving for sweets started to go away!

So, next time you find yourself falling into some “bad habits”, have some compassion! Your bad habits aren’t there to annoy you or frustrate you. They are a sign that there is something deeper missing from your life. Become a detective and start to uncover the lessons underneath your habits! I know that you’ll start to feel so much better once you start building healthier habits and giving yourself whatever it is that you truly need.

I hope that you find this helpful! Have you had any revelations about your own habits while reading this? Please share in the comments below!

Be well,
Ambar

 

How to Take Responsibility for Yourself and Learn to Love Your Life

How to Take Responsibility for Yourself and Learn to Love Your Life

Hi friends! If you’ve been reading my blog for awhile, or you follow me on social media, then you know I’m a pretty positive person. I truly love life and try to always focus on the good stuff.

But, this wasn’t always the case. I have learned to greatly appreciate all of the wonderful things in my life, because I spent many years being stuck in darkness. For many years, I felt like life was just happening to me, and that I was a victim of my circumstances.

It wasn’t until I learned to take responsibility for myself that my life started to change for the better, and little by little I’ve become one of the happiest people I know.

Learning to take responsibility for my life helped me end a dysfunctional relationship and create space for the amazing marriage I now have.

It helped me stop drinking, smoking, and numbing myself from the world, and instead start experiencing life as it is meant to be experienced.

It allowed me to stop making excuses and move to the beach where I always wanted to live.

It lead me to decide that the time was right to become a mother even though it felt out of my comfort zone at the time.

It guided me to start this blog and start doing work to support other women.

It helped me decide that working full time was no longer right for me and guided me to quit my job to focus more on my family and other interests.

Learning to take responsibility for myself has become my guidance system. It has helped me develop trust in myself and my intuition and know that it will never lead me wrong.

But, it is not always easy. Taking responsibility for ourselves requires us to make massive decisions that are not always easy to make. It means taking complete ownership of our lives and deciding that we will not be victims to our circumstances. Many times, it means we have to step outside of our comfort zone and do things that feel hard.

Taking responsibility for yourself is not always about major life changing decisions like making a big move or having a child. It is a decision you make everyday. Taking responsibility for yourself might mean having a difficult conversation, setting some boundaries, or taking better care of yourself. It is about taking ownership over the kind of life you want to live and the way that you want to feel.

Taking responsibility for yourself means knowing that you alone have complete power over your feelings, thoughts, and actions.

I’ve developed a 5 step process for taking responsibility for ourselves and improving our lives. Follow the steps below and you will be well on your way to living the life you desire.

1) Notice how you feel.

Our feelings are our central guidance system. When we feel good, it is because we are on the right track. When we start to feel a little off, it is often because we are not listening to our desires and needs. For me, my go-to feeling is anxiety. Anytime I notice that I am feeling anxious, it is usually a sign that things aren’t working in some aspect of my life. Anxiety is the feeling that comes up most often for me, but for you it might be anger, sadness, or even dissatisfaction. Noticing that you are not feeling as good as you would like to feel is the first step to making positive changes.

2) Pay attention to how you are talking to yourself.

When times get tough, it’s easy to find ourselves wallowing in negativity. Paying attention to the words we use to describe ourselves and our current situation is the next step towards change. Even during challenging times, phrases like “I’m so anxious”, “I feel terrible”, or “This sucks” aren’t particularly helpful. If you find yourself repeating these negative phrases over and over, guess where that will get you? Yep, you will end up feeling anxious, terrible, and stuck in a sucky situation. Watch your words, because the stories we tell ourselves become our reality.

3) Change your words.

Now that we’ve noticed the negative thoughts we’ve been having, and the stories we have been telling yourself, it’s time to switch them into something more proactive. So, instead of saying “I’m so anxious”, you might say “I am managing my anxiety in creative ways.” Instead of “I feel terrible”, you might try, “I find small ways to feel good everyday”, and instead of “This sucks”, you might say “I am doing my best during a difficult situation.” Do you notice how much more empowering these words are? Make these new phrases your mantras, and repeat them to yourself over and over again until you start to believe them.

4) Focus on what you can control.

Many times, when we are facing challenges, we start to feel out of control. Many of life’s biggest challenges are completely out of our control, yet we spend so much time and energy fixating on these things that we cannot change. The best thing to do is to focus on what you CAN control. Even in the most seemingly hopeless situations, there is always something that is within our control. Sometimes, we may not be able to control the things that happen to us, but we can control the way we react, and the ways in which we choose to participate in our lives.

Noticing that there are parts of our lives that we CAN control, and taking ultimate control of them, is the best way to feel better during challenging situations.

5) Make the necessary changes.

At this point, you have recognized that you are feeling a little off, changed your self-talk, and noticed what is not working in your life. Now that you have this awareness, it’s time to make some changes.

For me, many times, the necessary changes that I need to make start with taking better care of myself. No matter what my circumstances, I can always make sure that I take a little bit of time for myself each day, and take good care of myself by meditating, exercising, and eating well so that I don’t make my anxiety even worse. I can talk to a coach, a therapist, or my husband about my feelings instead of keeping them all bottled up inside.

After my self care needs are being met, I am in a stronger mind space to make any bigger changes that need to happen in order for me to live the life of my dreams.

By being purely reactive to life circumstances, we quickly feel hopeless. Being proactive about the things within our control is the only way to live a happy and healthy life.

I have used this 5 step process to get me through many difficult times in life, and I know that they will continue to help me. I hope that this process is helpful to you as well.

Take responsibility for yourself, your feelings, and your actions, and your life will inevitably improve.

Be well,
Ambar

P.S. If you are noticing that you need to make some changes in your life, I would love to work with you to support you in taking the necessary steps. Working with me as a life coach means that you have me in your corner for support and encouragement. A life coach is a non-judgmental person who helps you look at your circumstances in new ways and pushes you to make the changes necessary to live your best life. If this sounds like something you’re interested in, I’d love to be that person for you! Fill out the contact form below, or send me an email to mamabirdwellnest@gmail.com for more information.