Have you ever bought a lottery ticket hoping that you would score big and get rich? I will confess that I have probably bought enough lottery tickets in my day that I could have gone on a nice overnight stay in a hotel somewhere with that money instead. I have since shifted my mindset around lottery tickets - especially since knowing the stats - by the way when you buy a ticket for 649 you have a 1 in 28.6 million chance in winning. So honestly - save your $6 bucks.
I recently went to an event called the Atelier where I heard a number of inspirational entrepreneurial women speak and one of those women happened to be Melissa Leong. Now Melissa is the financial adviser to The Social and has been featured on many media outlets and has written for the financial post. She had such great wisdom to share that I bought her book at the conference and even stood in line like a groupie to have her sign it!
As soon as I saw what she wrote in my book I was so excited to dig into the pages - she signed it "Make Life Rich!" And I just knew that somehow gratitude would be somewhere in her book. I was right. In it she says “Instead of comparing ourselves to others, we need to be grateful for what we have, focus on the opportunities ahead of us and turn off our phones and get a life outside the glow box.
When you are constantly moving through life jumping from task to task it makes it difficult to see the true wealth that you have accumulated throughout your life. Not to mention if you’re constantly distracted by what you see online and in social media - you start to get stuck in the comparison trap of keeping up with joneses. You could even fall into that feeling where what you have is never enough. And that is where I want to start.
If you want to get rich or feel more wealthy it’s just a matter of stopping to look around you at what you already have and how far you’ve already come.
Now yes you could take stock of all of the “things you have” but in Leong’s book Happy Go Money she doesn’t point us in that direction. In fact, she touts study after study that demonstrate that true happiness comes from social connections and community with others.
So, let’s start by looking at the rich connections that you have with others. Now again this doesn’t mean that you look to your instagram or facebook account to see how many friends and followers you have - in fact it may be just a handful of deep connections with people that truly get you or that you feel joyful to be around. It’s in those relationships and connections where we find happiness - not in how much stuff we have!
Another way to get rich with gratitude is to look at the experiences that you’ve had in your life - or even just today. For example, I am grateful that I have created self discipline for myself on Monday’s to work on the Podcast and to add to that I am so lucky that the Quinne’s grandma lives so close to us that she goes to her house on Monday’s while I work on the Podcast and she gets grandma time. It’s a win win experience that happens every week and while I could sluff it off as being just part of the norm, I’m choosing to see the deep value in this Monday experience for everyone involved.
But you can think of any experiences that you’ve had. It could be the time you travelled with friends or the time you went to that museum exhibit that you were so excited about. Studies show that when we take the time to recall the experiences that have brought us joy in the past that we can actually ignite those joyful brain centres again and again while reflecting upon them! It’s like watching a movie of your own happy life whenever you want to!
In Melissa’s book Happy Go Money she recommends spending money on the following things - experiences, and time savers.
I love these categories so much because they can both be linked to gratitude.
Being grateful in the moment of an experience is an incredible gift that you can give yourself - even if it’s a daily experience like Quinne going over to grandmas. But you can also look at big life time experiences that you’ve done or maybe even something that you’ve gotten through and be grateful that it helped shape the person that you are today.
Spending money on time savers is something that I am a huge fan of but that some people resist. For example spending money on house cleaners or landscapers is one way that some people save time. I personally am not good at organizing or cleaning and therefore I have no problem spending money on having people come and help me do this. One reason I like to do this is because it also holds me accountable in that I can’t let the house get out of control and have to stay on top of tidying for the cleaners to be as effective as we want them to be. Now some people might say “wow, isn’t that so nice maybe if I had more money” And I get it it seems like a luxury but I look at it in a few ways - one it allows me to spend more time being happy and content with my family. When the house is a disaster I am irratble and can’t focus - clutter does this to me. I feel better and I am better able to connect with my loved ones when the space is clutter free and clean. Two, the people I am paying are in it to make money and I love helping and supporting local businesses to make money. Honestly it’s a win win! The fact is we have to get over the notion that we have to do it all - instead let’s be grateful that there is someone who is really specifically talented in an area that you or I am not and that we can hire them to benefit everyone involved!
Look all I’m trying to say is that if you want to be rich the fact is that you probably already are - and it’s just a matter of taking a look at what you already have and where you’ve already come from.
May you always have the courage to be yourself - until next time.
As a new mom I felt like I had been hit by a truck. I was told that nothing can really prepare you for the birth of your new baby and I just want to say that whoever told me this was right. I thought I had my ducks in a row so to speak but when she arrived I was really thrown for a loop both physically and mentally.
I have been a yoga instructor for 4 years now and I was surprised at the toll pregnancy and birth had on my otherwise limber body. I have extensive training in Psychology and Psychotherapy and I was still absolutely overwhelmed by the flood of hormones the seemed to hi-jack my mental and emotional state.
I like to do things well and have a tendency to put pressure on myself so when my new baby and I weren’t getting the hang of breastfeeding right away I felt like I was failing. My post partum anxiety took off like a bat out of hell. I would be fine and relaxed one minute and then extremely anxious the next. I didn’t like being in crowds with baby and I really didn’t like other people holding her. In those first few months I honestly couldn’t understand why people didn’t see that what she needed most was me and what I needed most was her - it just wasn’t helpful for my anxiety for them to hold her.
Once I was given the clear to start a post-natal movement routine I was so looking forward to getting out and about and to join mommy and me classes.
Let’s just say that the mommy and me classes were few and far between. And dare I tell you about a mom and baby yoga class that I took where the instructor actually had the splits in her sequence. THE SPLITS. I was shocked, insulted and upset at the possible injury that myself or other post partum moms could acquire. I just couldn’t find a mommy and me yoga class that felt “right”.
So, I went searching online and came across MOGA. I immediately reached out to Amy to find out more about the programs that MOGA offered and was so impressed by her personal attention and consideration to me.
I have since purchased the MOGA online Mom and Baby Yoga and have found it tremendously beneficial for those days when my baby and I can’t make it out of the house and because it has been so difficult to find a Mom and Baby Yoga class that legitimately takes into consideration the careful attention needed for post partum bodies.
The cool thing is that since I contacted Amy to find out more about MOGA back in the Fall, we have kept in touch and she has been so supportive of my Podcast: My Gratitude Attitude and just my own personal motherhood in general.
Both Amy and I have similar passions for supporting those who might be struggling with their own post partum (or otherwise) mental wellness and have become cheerleaders for one another in creating our own unique avenues in doing so. That’s what the MGA Podcast is all about - giving listeners brain changing tips to use Gratitude or other strategies to shift into a more positive mental mind set as well as interviewing inspiring women (most often moms) who share their own stories about life and overcoming difficult times.
I was fortunate to interview Amy on the My Gratitude Attitude Podcast and I’m touched by her vulnerability and level of sharing because I know that she does so with the intention of holding space for those listening who might also be feeling or have felt the same way in their post partum journey.
Now fast forward almost half a year since first contacting MOGA I am getting ready to take their teacher training and become a MOGA Mom & Baby Yoga Instructor myself. I want to create an accepting space where moms are safely supported through movement and connection with themselves, their bodies and their baby. It’s literally my job to find help others shift their mindsets using gratitude, but I can honestly say that I’m so grateful to have this MOGA online class at my fingertips as a tool to shift my own mindset when I need it.
Use Promo Code GRATITUDE to receive %20 off of the Mom and Baby Yoga Class with Hannah!
I met Stef when she worked at Press Juice and I was honestly going there far too much that I'd like to admit. While I was pregnant I craved fruit and juiced nice conversation - and that I would find when I ran into her at my favourite juice and smoothie shop. Stef is the writer and creator of lokaldigs.com which is an incredibly savvy and delectable blog about all things Georgian Bay. She has an eye for culture and her recommendations are on point not to mention the photos of food are drool worthy to boot! She let me interview her and honestly she has such a way with words that I kind of didn't want the interview to end! Read on and find out about Lokal Digs and Stef's views of Gratitude.
If someone were to meet you at a dinner party for the first time and they asked you about yourself and your life what would you say?
First, they’d have to steal me away from the hors d'oeuvres. I live for dinner parties – simply for the food but also for the good conversation. It feeds my soul if you will. Most people see my life through the lens of Instagram or my blog, and in reality that’s only a tiny spec. Of course I highlight all of the wonderful things this area has to breathe but I am a growing human and I’d be kidding myself if I said everything was amazing. It’s pretty darn close though! I’ve learned that genuine, creative and real people are the secret to MY happiness. Without these relationships flooding my every day with the most amount of joy, seeing a Georgian Bay sunset, dining out at my fave restaurant or hiking through the escarpment simply wouldn’t be the same. I live for the connections (little and big) and this little place we call home is just bursting with curious beings. I can’t see myself leaving anytime soon.
What inspired you to start your blog Lokal Digs?
Would you believe me if I said two girls and a brunch date? Seriously though. During a really hard time in my life, I met these two wonderful friends who inspired me to do great things. There were parts to me I had yet to explore and it was a neat feeling. I 100% credit them for introducing me to the person I am today. Eggs, beans, guac and a few glugs of sriracha later, we came to the conclusion that I should write a blog and document my undying love for the area. Who knew almost three years later and I’d still be chugging away. The love just keeps on growing!
Since you could be called an “expert” on all things southern Georgian Bay - what would you say is THE best part about living here?
The people and Georgian Bay. That feeling that good friends and a good ol’ sunset makes you feel is irreplaceable. Living mere footsteps away from everything you need to make a bad day turn good is such a luxury. Those who don’t live here understand, and those who live here just need that reminder.
Can you share a time or times when you had to dig deep to find gratitude?
If I’m honest, I dig deep for gratitude quite regularly. I’m notorious for filling my plate with projects and commitments and every so often I hit that sweet spot of exhaustion (more times than I’d like to admit). I can be very hard on myself, and during those times where I’m crying to my peers, nursing a killer headache or when I think that I have failed myself yet again, I try to think of all the good that has come with the bad, and the opportunities that I have made for myself. It comes full circle and I enjoy looking back and knowing I can do it all. Appreciating the lesson and the reminders that life brings is a vital part of growing. Be good to yourself and appreciate the process.
What is your version of a gratitude attitude?
Keep an open mind. We have no idea what the future holds or where we will find moments of gratitude or when we will need them most. I believe in the classic phrase “treat others how you want to be treated”. Be a good person, and hopefully someone will be good to you when you need it most. Every choice, decision or act accumulates to who you are in this present moment. Be proud, be raw, be vulnerable and don’t shy away from telling people when you appreciate them. It means more than you’d know.
Check out Stef's blog at LokalDigs.com and follow her on Instagram @lokaldigs
I first met Meghan at the School where we teach. I used to come into her classroom once a week to teach Health and at the time I was just back to work after a leave and she had a very challenging class. I found her to be incredibly supportive and helpful towards me in her classroom and in the staff room Meghan was always so positive. It is easy to be drawn to her energy and passion for teaching!
I was delighted when she agreed to be interviewed on the blog about Gratitude and of course about her love of New Kids on the Block!
If someone were to meet you at a dinner party and asked you to tell them about yourself and your life - what would you say?
Im originally from Tillsonburg. I’ve lived in Collingwood for the last 19 years. I’m a teacher, and love it. I’ve been with my significant other for the last 10 years and I have two teenage step sons.
You have this insatiable joy for the New Kids on The Block in fact, when you talk about it your energy is contagious! Can you tell us what it is about this group that lights you up so much?
I have a sweatshirt that says “it’s a blockhead thing, you wouldn’t understand” it’s hard to explain. I have loved them since I was 13. Maybe it’s a first love.... that never broke my heart. Maybe it’s pure innocents, never been jaded, by a single negative experience. Always 100% a positive. It’s hours and hours and hours of thoughts, over a life time... they have been apart of my life for 30 years. As a kid I worshiped them. I remember at a concert, Donnie split the audience, one half chanted ‘drugs’ the other half chanted ‘suck’ (goosebumps) I was never tempted to do drugs because of that moment. I can honestly say they have been nothing but a positive influence on my life. I have met so many amazing people along the way (including the band) some of my very good friends I met standing in line at a nk’s concert. It really, really is pure joy!
Would you share a time or times in your life that you had to dig deep to find gratitude?
There have been so many. I have had a lot of big (traumatic) events in my life; deaths, accidents, financial, legal, family...And for a long, long time I always just marched through. So many times people would say to me, ‘you’re so strong’, ‘you’re so positive’. I don’t know that I was...I used my positivity to cover it all up. I think I was (am) an expert at stuffing. Stuffing it all away. As I type this I can feel it welling up.... It’s only just recently that I have begun to dig deep... and not by choice. You see when you stuff it away, it doesn’t go away... it gets worse. Recently, last spring I crashed and burned, after years and years of feeling numb. I felt it all, emotionally, and physically. I couldn’t avoid it any more. So, I took time off of work, I went to counseling and lots of it. I took everything off of my plate, so to speak. And it was really, really hard. I went to yoga. I breathed . I walked and walked and walked on the beach. I picked up driftwood and I created. I painted. I am still a work in progress... I have a lot more digging to do. But I feel again, I can breathe again. I know I am on a path that is rocky and not always stable. But I will keep trying.
What is your version of a gratitude attitude today?
This is a work in progress for me. It doesn’t come naturally to me. I was much better at it when I was off work and had more time. But, I try to find time in my day to breathe. Because for a while there, it felt like I couldn’t breath. I have always been a positive person. I am trying to find a balance between being positive and feeling those, not so nice feelings. I do take time daily... well sometimes weekly to write in my gratitude journal. I ask my family and friends what they are grateful for. I try to be more present, and mindful during moments in my day. And... I need (working on adding) more yoga back in my life.
Thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to participate and be part of the blog Meghan!! I believe that everyone’s story is valuable to someone and that by sharing we help each other in so many ways.