Gratitude Archives - Dale Darley

Category Archives for Gratitude

Days Of Gratitude – Music

Gratitude for the power of music

Where do you find your memories? Music is one of the most evocative ways, at least for me. I can often find myself in floods of tears or up dancing as soon as I hear something that pulls me back through time.

Recently I started to listen to music before I work again. This is something I haven’t done in a long time because I like to write to silence, a clean desk and some nice smells. But right now it is energising me. I also put music on before a Zoom call to give me energy and put me in a great place.

Music touches us emotionally, where words alone can’t – Johnney Depp

Music has the power to take you on amazing trips, along lanes, roads, highways and byways to destinations once lived and now forgotten.

I remember sitting in class many aeons ago, and the teacher played music from the Grand Canyon Suite. In the far right corner of the room were pictures of the Grand Canyon and we were invited to write stories about what we saw, felt and heard. I don’t know what I wrote, but in that moment I was lost, and it became a dream to visit this wondrous place.

One Christmas my then partner and I went to Las Vegas for a relatives 60th birthday, and on Christmas Day I flew over the Grand Canyon in an epic and exhilarating helicopter flight with music blaring. The music this time was more rock than classic all designed to fire up your emotions and connect you to the movement of the helicopter, the vast ocean of red rock, floors of bobbly green brush and striated skies of turquoise and pale blue. A veritable feast of pleasure.

By contrast in my party days, my most gorgeous friend and DJ Leroy would play my favourite songs – he would know, it was always Wonderland first, then during the night Whole Lotta Rosie, Come Up and See Me and Carwash. Sadly, he committed suicide and they played Imagine at his grave. In my memory, he is forever in Wonderland. Both Wonderland and Imagine and make me cry. I am sad that he took his life, but also they are tears of gratitude to have known him.

Silly songs like Haircut One Hundred – Fantastic day remind me of my first husband. He thought it was hilarious to come back into the bedroom to find me lying in bed somehow dancing to this, under the sheets.

What about throwing the curtains wide to Elbow – One day like this, whilst singing

“So throw those curtains wide
One day like this a year would see me right
Throw those curtains wide
One day like this a year would see me right”

And anyone who knows me knows that Nirvana and licking Kurt Cobain all over while he strums The Man Who Sold The World gets me every time.

How I wish I could sing and be on stage rocking my stuff out. Words and music really do have the power to move us.

If you are looking for inspiration for your writing and journaling and want to be taken back to another time period, compile a playlist, get up and dance, scribble down whatever words come into your head, have fun, laugh, cry, scream,  but most of all capture what it was like to be you then.  Please do share your golden musical memories with us.

Be inspired and have a beautiful day.

Journal Gratitude and Music Prompts

Listen to one of your favourite songs before you start to write. One of mine is Nirvana and the David Bowie classic – The man who sold the world. When you get your journal write 3 things that you feel gratitude for which are inspired by the song. Ask the following questions and finally, say thank you for what you have…

  • Where does this song take you?
  • What feelings does it evoke?
  • Who does it remind you of?

I hope this brings some joy to your say. Music takes me to some incredible places.

If you love writing and journaling come and join me in Writing To Heal pathway.

Days of Gratitude – Failure, feedback and being fabulous

What happens to you when you see or hear something about you which screams FAILURE? Or makes you recall feelings of failure?

What is your first reaction?

Mine is a tightness in my chest, in my heart and I feel my body, especially my shoulders and neck aching – as if I have the weight of the world on my shoulders. And then the thoughts come.

  • “How *bleep* dare they!”
  • “Who the *bleep* do they think they are!”
  • “Right I am going to tell them what I think.”
  • “No one will speak to me again when they see how useless I am.”
  • “I am a failure, I might as well give up.”
  • And on and on and on and on…

It’s like a never-ending mantra which is actually doing you a favour.

Hear me out…

When the words come, explore them.

I do this by sitting quietly and first connecting my heart to the heart of Mother Earth, and breathing gently in and out. Then connecting my heart to the heart of consciousness, and breathing gently in and out.

Then I bring to mind the event and experience and muse, allowing my mind to wander.

Finally I write in my journal.

I might ask a question ‘what if I didn’t give up, who would I be?’

The sins of the teacher visited on the children

In the playground, the teacher touched my father’s arm and said: “I am sorry but she will never go to university.” I wasn’t sure at the time what that was, but I knew that wherever we were being channelled I wasn’t good enough or clever enough to go there.

The playground swirled around me and my head throbbed, I can still recall the blur whipping around me. In that instance, that teacher had condemned and labelled me a FAILURE.

Not long after, my year ran a competition, I don’t remember what the point of it was, but there were 50 questions that we had to answer, some we knew and some required that you use your initiative, undertake research or ask your mum and dad.

Something in me said I will win this and I did.

But getting on stage to receive my prize of a packet of felt pens was not a success, I felt that everyone was looking at the girl who wasn’t going to university and thinking, she must have cheated.

At 16 I was expelled, I was bored, classes were too slow, and why would anyone want to spend time helping a disruptive child? Just before getting expelled one teacher took me under her wing and I adored her, she really made a difference, but it was too late and not long after I was out on my ear.

I lurched from crap job to crap job and ended up in the civil service, mind-numbing work, and people whose job title dictated who they would talk to and how.

I hated it.

And there, in the midst of it all was Mrs Glover, she saw a spark and set me free. I was allowed to go to college to study, and I loved to learn again.

Later in my 30’s, I went to university, and I got an MBA.

But you see that wasn’t good enough and I just kept on taking courses and always hard ones, I had to prove that I could and I was not a FAILURE.

In 2009 I took my last two courses, at the same time – ILM level 7 executive coaching and mentoring certificate and an NLP practitioners certificate – I passed – of course, I did, I worked hard…

And then I saw two more masters courses that I fancied one in therapeutic writing and one in business psychology and these I thought would make me more successful.

I don’t know what stopped me, perhaps it was the FEEDBACK I was getting from my peers, customers and friends, perhaps I had stopped for a moment and smelt the coffee, perhaps I was starting to believe in me?

I’ll tell you now, recognizing my gifts has taken years… But it has to start somewhere.

What do you do when you get feedback?

I am always grateful for the lesson and the feedback. These are gifts.

Gratitude will shift you to a higher frequency, and you will attract much better things. – Rhonda Byrne

Day 8 Gratitude will shift you to a higher frequency, and you will attract much better things. – Rhonda Byrne

What do you hear when you get verbal feedback from a client? Or read a testimonial?

I can tell you what happens with me. I smile and sometimes cry. I stare at the words and think – that’s me.

What I always do is to say thank you. I put my hands on my heart and feel into the appreciation.

If you have 15 minutes to spare, here is a video about gratitude.

Take a moment to think again about how you feel about feedback and testimonials.

I loved the course. It’s the perfect blend of inspiration and challenge. The units are well thought out to stimulate healing and growth. The meditations are both beautiful and powerful. Dale’s energy and compassion shine through throughout so that you know you are held and heard in a truly safe space. I have emerged, changed and empowered.

Did you hear (or read), wow what you did there was amazing.

Or

Did you hear, blaaaaar  – fail, failure, doomed?

How we give and receive feedback is so important, and I am going to stick my neck out and tell you that how you receive feedback, is vital to your personal growth.

It is, of course, your responsibility to choose your response, to ask what does this really mean to me, and how can I learn from this?

If the feedback was not so great, same questions and…

What needs to change (or not) or to simply acknowledge that someone else didn’t like what you did, in their opinion.

I know it takes a brave person to suck it in, let it settle and to then see the learning to be gained and that this is an opportunity.

When someone slated an early book of mine, out in the open, on the internet for all to see.  At that moment I wanted to die, runaway, join a circus, change my name, anything but to be reading their sarcastic rude comments, and in the next moment I smiled, yes I smiled. I said it doesn’t matter why and what they said what matters now is what I do with it.

The book was course material that I put together to give my students – and print on demand was an easy way to get copies and so I put it out there, changed it a few times and forgot about it. Life got in the way. I know foolish, but hey, we all do stuff that comes back to bite us on the bum.

I have learnt from this, of course, I have and I want to thank everyone who has ever given me feedback, positive and negative because you have helped me to:

  • Become who I am
  • Feel comfortable with mistakes
  • Accept that being imperfect is ok
  • Learn my craft better
  • Help my clients in ways I could never have dreamt of because I can put my hand on my heart and say ‘yes me too, been there done that and got the T-shirt’

Hold this in your heart, turn hearing FAILURE into FEEDBACK and you will feel FABULOUS.

It can be a hard path putting your hurt aside, but when you do and look for the lessons, you will see the gifts and you will know just how fabulous you are.

With love, enjoy being fabulous.

Today think of the gratitude you feel when you consider what you have learned through apparent failure (which is only feedback).

Grab your journal take just 3 minutes to write 3 things that you are grateful for which the tough lessons have taught you. If you watched the video, you will see that there is a bit more to gratitude journaling than just saying I am grateful for…

Journal Gratitude and Being Fabulous Prompts

When you get your journal out bring these to mind and write about what you feel grateful for:

  1. What has been the biggest thing you have learned about an apparent failure?
  2. If you could go back what would you tell yourself?
  3. How will you use this learning going forward?
  4. What are you most grateful for in this learning?

Grab yourself a copy of The Little Book Of Gratitude Journaling Prompts and keep it by your bed for inspiration.

The Little Book of Gratitude Journaling Prompts
Books

Days Of Gratitude – Nature

Nature is often something that we can take for granted. It’s just there. The trees and flowers simply exist.

But that’s not true. Nature is an incredible ally, here supporting our lives and breathing out love in every moment.

When I am out walking, I’m often caught in surprise by a smell or a tiny flower pushing it’s way up through the rocks.

I remember one day stopping because of the overpowering smell of lavender, when I looked I was in a circle of it. It was quite magical. The smells always get me, perhaps it will be rosemary that seems to grow everywhere, fennel or thyme. Or there is that dank smell of wet earth after the rain. Sometimes I swear I can smell ginger biscuits cooking, but that is impossible.

I adore being in nature. Most days I walk my dogs at least three times and often four. It’s not only for them, but I also get such peace from being outside. Being in nature helps me to clear my mind and it allows whatever ideas and inspiration need to come to me.

I’ll stop to talk with the trees, placing my hand on their strong bodies so that I hear their great wisdom. Or to simply just rest my back against the bark to feel the energy connect and flow through me.

And what about the trees?

Have you ever looked at a tree? I am sure you have. They are fascinating.

Just this morning I noticed that the figs and nispero are starting to bud and the poppies are dying away. Just a few weeks ago there was a sea of poppies as far as the eye could see.

The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn.  Ralph Waldo Emerson

Trees stand tall because of their healthy root system and grow towards the sky, where it has space to breathe. The roots on a tree bring nutrients and water to feed and nourish it. Which, in turn, helps it to grow. By creating strong roots, the tree has a robust foundation to help it withstand the storms of life.

Under the roots of all trees is Mother Nature which extends downwards to the centre of the Earth and for us the centre of our Universe. This is the place of beginnings. It is where you begin your journey to discovering you, creating strong roots and foundations to carry you through life.

When your roots are strong, you can anchor yourself, and with the right nourishment reach towards the heavens to be anything you want.

And what about you, where in nature do you find joy?

Most people instinctively head outside when their minds and souls need quieting. Being with the dogs, if you have any is the perfect way to find joy in the moment.

For you it could be:

  • A response to the stress of the day
  • An impulse to get away from a difficult encounter
  • That you just need some time to reflect

Perhaps our urge to merge with nature when feeling out of sorts has something to do with our internal “fight or flight” programming. “Flight” sends us looking for an escape route.

In nature, we are free. The return to freedom as we become one with the natural world makes a soothing balm for our vexed souls. It works for me every time.

Think about what utter delight nature brings to the senses.

There is a sense of homecoming, of finding our rightful place in the world again, when we connect with nature and engage all of our senses. In nature, we are healed. In nature, we can find joy. In nature, we are at one with ourselves.

No matter what spot on the map you call home, or even if there’s a nip in the air, you can always escape to the great outdoors when you’re in need of peaceful moments.

Even in the most bustling town or city, there will be a beautiful park to take a walk and hopefully a wonderful café to rest your bones in and grab a delicious cuppa as you witness the world.

For me, a bit of heaven lives in nature, and this calls to our souls to aid the replenishing process.

Today think of the gratitude you feel for what Mother Nature provides. And get out there (if you can) and enjoy it.

How to bring nature in

There will be times when you can’t get out, but you can bring nature in. I’m not a fan of uproot plants because in a short space of time they will soon be dead. Rather look at other ways.

  • Open the windows and let the fresh air in
  • Sit in the garden, on the terrace or with the window open and listen to the birds
  • Collect some stones, which you can paint
  • Take photos and frame them
  • Hang natural art (take a look at Deb Burrows art)
  • Create an indoor herb garden
  • Add in some house plants (remember to water them)
  • Use natural materials for home decorations, floors, walls, etc.
  • Display crystals – I have them everywhere
  • Make frames or wall hangings with drift wood
  • Craft a mobile made from things that you have found

Whether you can get out or have to stay in, nature can be with you all of the time. So make time for her abundance.

Grab your journal take just 9 minutes to write 9 things that you are grateful for which bring you peace in Mother Nature

Journal Gratitude and Nature Prompts

When you get your journal out bring these to mind and write about what you feel grateful for:

  1. At least one visual impression that leaves its mark on your memory (for me it’s when the poppies are alive and there are carpets of red everywhere)
  2. A favourite sound that soothes your spirit (I adore the birds)
  3. An aroma that evokes a special feeling for you (usually lavender or fennel and then holding some to my nose to bring calm)

Grab a journal on Amazon

Days Of Gratitude – Simplicity

Simplicity is the key to a peaceful life. Be grateful for the simple things in life

I wonder what simplicity means to you? To me, it’s about getting rid of stuff, saying no to things, not buying stuff that I don’t need and enjoying the simple things in life. Having a simple life is not dull, but sometimes it may seem that way. That is until you start enjoying a simplified version of how you are currently living.

Ask yourself – what would happen if I did lead a life of simplicity?

Right at the moment, everyone worldwide is being forced to live a simple life. In my country we are on lockdown. For me, not much is different. I live in a remote hamlet, I work from home and apart from walking my dogs, I don’t go far.

I believe that when you simplify, you’re left with a life filled with meaning, and a life that is lived on your terms. You have the time to pursue your interests and to create the life you truly desire. How does that feel? What if when you lived a simple life, you were able to find true happiness?

To create a simple life, it pays to consider your needs. You can start this by thinking about what is important to you. Ask what do you really need?

I know when I thought about how I was living, I, for example, found that I didn’t need so many shoes, handbags and clothes. I also discovered by planning my meals properly; I no longer bought food that used to end up in the bin.

Again right now, this is highlighted even more as I do not want to visit the supermarket, more than I have to. Last night I found a jar of something in the cupboard. Thinking how convenient it would be to make a massive veggie curry and freeze it, I set about creating some I thought would be yummy.

I was gutted. I reacted badly to the ingredients in sauce and itched all night. I ended up throwing my precious food away.

I am becoming EVEN more conscious of my choices. That has to be good for me and the planet.

To live a simpler life, examine what’s important to you, and acknowledge your choices and their impact on your life’s needs. There is peace to be found in the simplest of pleasures. Think about all of the activities you participate in each day.

My simple pleasures include walking the dogs and I am so grateful that I am still allowed to do this. Being remote I rarely meet a soul and I have worked out how to avoid everyone.

Today think of the gratitude you feel you let things go and enjoy the simple things in life

Grab your journal take just 9 minutes to write 9 things that you are grateful for which living a simple life brings you

Journal Gratitude and Simplicity Prompts

When you get your journal out bring these to mind and write about what you feel grateful for:

  1. What does simplicity mean to you?
  2. What could you do today that helps you to live a simple life?
  3. What are the simple things in your life that you are grateful for?

Days Of Gratitude – Affirmations

The mind is a powerful thing, and what you tell it becomes our truth. Imagine that we can tell ourselves stuff and it becomes true. The main problem is as you already know is that we often tell ourselves rubbish things. Things like I have fat knees, my arms are ugly, who would love someone like me, people are judging me, I am unlovable and many, many more.

An affirmation is a strong, positive statement that something is already so. – Shakti Gawain

An affirmation is a strong, positive statement that something is already so._ Shakti Gawain

I know how harmful these things are because I hated my body for years. I thought I was fat and ugly and my arms they were horrendous. None of it was true, but I believed and so it was.

After many years of living like this, I was woken up rather rudely. Stuff had happened, and I realised that I needed to learn to love myself before I could change my life. I embarked on a massive self-love journey which supported me when my spine fractured. One thing was for certain I needed to believe in not only myself but that the body could heal itself given the right ingredients.

Back in 2018 and when the proverbial shit hit the fan, I started using daily affirmations in a range of ways. One year later, I created 101 days of being me which used daily affirmations to help me and now countless others to get better connected to who they are and to enjoy being their beautiful, wonderful selves.

What Are Affirmations?

Affirmations are things that you affirm to be true, in other words, positive statements. These statements describe something positive that you want to achieve. They are usually short sentences and are something that you can easily repeat during the day.

What they do is to tell your unconscious mind that something is true. Your unconscious mind will see these positive statements, and it will be triggered into action. Try this – I have a beautiful smile. With any luck, you immediately smiled and forgot that perhaps you didn’t like your teeth for example. It’s that simple and so infectious.

When you repeat affirmations, your mind finds these motivating and inspiring and trots off to obey you. Like the good computer that it is, it will embed these programs into its every day ‘you’ code, and it becomes true.

Affirmations are wonderful for designing and building new habits and for healing the body. Two of my big affirmations or mantras as they are also called when I was healing my spine was, I have strong, healthy bones, and my bones are healed. I still have these written on my fridge with magnetic letters.

Surprisingly people use affirmations every day without realising it. Usually, these are the not so useful ones. You may have heard others talk about limiting beliefs? That’s what these are. You tell yourself that you are can’t do or be something often enough your mind says oke doke, I’ll add that to the program, and it will be true, and before you know it you can’t do those things, or you procrastinate.

Now that you know that you can choose to do something about it. Ok, I know that years of negative programming can mean that you have a bit more work to do. But here’s the secret sauce, while you may struggle to start off with, guess what, it won’t take long before you are smiling to yourself as you catch those words daring to come out. Soon you will find yourself looking in the mirror and saying yes, I know I did it again, here’s what I meant to say.

When I worked in an office and found myself in a situation that meant I was repeating negative stuff, I’d head off the bathroom and look myself in the eye and say something positive. I’d also pull faces, as long as no one else was around. The face pulling was to make me laugh and then I could say an affirmation, anchor it in and go back to face the day.

When you notice your affirmations coming alive, the next positive step is to say thank you for your blessings.

Today I am affirmations

  • Today I am healthy and happy
  • Today my body is strong and powerful
  • Today I am calm and balanced
  • Today I am love
  • Today I have the perfect [insert] for me
  • Today I attract happiness and peace
  • Today I am inspirational

Journal Gratitude and Vision Prompts

When you get your journal out write 5 powerful affirmations, then ask the following questions and finally, say thank you for what you have…

  • What do you want?
  • Where do you want to go?
  • What do you want to create for your life?

Big questions, aren’t they? If you focus on them and ask them each month, the answers will become clearer, and you will gain more clarity of your desires for this life.

Get a journal for the journey and have fun. 

I have a selection of gratitude journals on Amazon

Cultivate An Attitude Of Gratitude And See Your Life Expand

What do you think when you see the word gratitude? Is it another one of those nice to have trendy things that spiritual people bang on about.

Oh darling you must simply practice gratitude, when you do, wonderful things happen like new Jimmy Choo’s come your way.’

I used to think that way. Here we go another thing to add to my journaling practice.

At that time I was healing demons and I wanted to expunge the five headed monster from my brain. I was on fire with the purge and it felt good.

And then one day, as you do, I didn’t want to do that any more. I’d played fantasy revenge and killed the ex-husband in so many ways it had become boring.

I needed something uplifting.

So I began…

  • I am grateful for the dogs
  • I am grateful for my mum
  • I am grateful I own my house and I am mortgage free
  • I am grateful there was on banana left
  • I am grateful that I remembered to put fuel in the car

I was soon bored. I was grateful for these things, of course I was, but ya know, there was no substance to it.

I was a functioning gratitude journaler. I wanted more.

One day I wondered, why was I grateful for the things I had and were bestowed on me, how did that make me FEEL and what did I learn from it.

I’m also a big learning freak, I want to know why. I do also go with the flow, but I like to explore and go on adventures with my understanding of my inner freak.

Instead of writing just the mundane, which I still do, because these things bring me joy and inner peace, I also look for the magnificent and everything along that spectrum.

Today I write between three and nine things, as I write I feel into them and write about the why. When I have done this I think about one thing I learned about me that day.

And there is always something to learn.

Just last week I learned I am rubbish at receiving. My mum said I was an independent little miss and a nightmare to give to. That hit me quite hard as I had thought as a giver, I was awesome at being open to receiving.

I am open to receiving all of the abundance that the Universe has to offer me

Turns out I have been fooling myself for years.

Along with my gratitude journaling and lesson learned I looked at my affirmation practice and decided to change that.

Now, quite frankly I am a smug little gratitude, lesson learned and affirmation freak – and I like it.

It has meaning and I feel so much joy when I have scribbled with meaning.

So what is this gratitude thing?

Gratitude is our way of saying thank for something we value, for blessings, miracles and unexpected gifts. It’s a feeling that emanates from the heart and therefore from a place of love.

Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow. Melody Beattie

Every culture in the world has a word for thank you. It is often a word that we take for granted. Consider when you go for a meal, and the waiter or waitress places your food in front of you, I assume you would automatically say thank you. Just as you would if someone held a door open. What about when you receive a gift?

Do you send thank you notes? Do you remember as a kid having to write endless notes to people to say thank you for your gifts? But in your frenzy to open them you didn’t notice who they were from. Yeah me too…

Gratitude is a feeling that comes from the heart and reaches all parts of your body. Of course, it is also a choice, you can choose to be grateful for what you have, or you can take it for granted and assume you will always have it.

What do you notice about the way your life changes when you express gratitude for what you have? What do you notice about others?

It is through gratitude for the present moment that the spiritual dimension of life opens up. Eckhart Tolle

Gratitude creates learning and change. When you start to see life through a new lens, you can choose to change how you do things. I also thing that the changes creep over and into you gradually so that you may barely notice. You just are a better person for it.

Gratitude creates connections – within and with everything around you. It strengthens the bond you have with your mind, body, spirit and soul and with others that you meet. It creates a powerful energetic resonance.

Can you even tell if someone practices gratitude? I think what I notice about others is that they seem to be humble, kind, generous, content and have an air of inner peace. Gratitude is something you feel, as we said a feeling that comes from the heart and bathed in love. And it is also an attitude – a way of being where you do not take things for granted, and it shows up in the way that you are.

People who practice gratitude are often generous and the kind of people who do things like random acts of kindness without any expectation of getting something back.

Gratitude and your chakras

Practicing gratitude can raise your vibration, help to open and balance your chakras as a result. A gratitude practice can attract more abundance, happiness, health, peace, love, meaningful relationships, and other positive attributes into your life.

Start your journaling practice today

It’s not that hard. Grab a journal or have a look at the gratitude journal from me.

Set your intentions, and every day write at least three things that you are grateful for.

Consider the source of your gratitude and consider why you feel the appreciation that you do.

For example – You may be grateful for what it does to support you, without fully appreciating that from the tiniest cell that every tissue, organ and system is finely calibrated to keep you moving.

In this journal, we are focusing on our roots and foundations.

Find inner peace with this gratitude journal

  • Start the month by focusing on what you want to create
  • Every day start with an affirmation
  • Consider nine things that you are grateful for
  • And one thing that you want to bring into being
  • At the end of every week and the month reflect and consider how you want to move forward being your best self

Give it a try, see the results! Improve your health and well-being and discover a healthier and happier you!

Unlike other gratitude journals, you will be working on creating the shift you need to make real change happen; make this month your magical month start living the fulfilled life you desire.

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