“Feeling grateful or appreciative of someone or something in your life actually attracts more of the things that you appreciate and value into your life.” – Christiane Northrup

Now that the Holidays are in full swing, I wanted to dedicate my final blog of 2014 to one more facet of the power of gratitude that has made a huge impact in my life this year. That is Acknowledgment.

As I shared last time, my family and I are feeling SO grateful this particular holiday season because this year we have received “avalanches of abundance” following five long years of real financial struggle to survive the Great Recession. During those tough years, my husband’s real estate business collapsed and my coaching practice slowed way down. We lost two homes and a car, went through personal bankruptcy and found out what it’s like to live paycheck to paycheck with no savings or credit cards to fall back on in an emergency.

As hard as it was, I can truly say that we received many blessings from this experience, the greatest of which is that we learned the power of GRATITUDE to help us focus on all the good in our lives, which gradually caused that good to grow. Over that time, we started saying grace at dinner every night and I kept a Daily Gratitude Journal, in which I listed 10 things I was grateful for each day. Getting the bills paid and making the rent every month was a nail-biter, but we focused more and more on the many blessings we DID have – our health, our beautiful rental home, our love and the support of so many people in our lives.

It Takes a Village

Were it not for the kindness and generosity of many people, we would not be ending this year with a healthy savings account, health insurance for every family member, current on our taxes, and enjoying traveling in style to places we love like Yosemite National Park a couple of weeks ago and a wine-tasting trip this coming week to Solvang, California. (Next Fall, we are looking forward to going to Epcot and Disney World in Orlando.)

I believe that one of the highest forms of gratitude we can express is acknowledgment. Therefore, I want to acknowledge just a few of the many special people whose support saw us through the tough times:

  • Randy, our wonderful landlord and friend, THANK YOU! Without your generosity and belief in us we would not have this beautiful roof over our heads.  Thank you for believing in us and trusting us with your lovely home.
  • Steve, thank you for the incredible generosity and trust you showed by giving us significant personal loans to bridge the gaps when we had big expenses like moving that just couldn’t wait for the next commission check to arrive.
  • Thank you, Harley’s Garage, for your generosity and trust in allowing us to delay paying for some hefty car repairs until another commission check came.
  • Thank you, Jennifer Weiss, for allowing us to put the critical marketing tool for Rick’s business, his monthly newsletter, on the “tab.” You not only didn’t ask to be paid for your wonderful design work, but you actually paid for the printing out of your own pocket until we could pay you back!
  • Thank you, dear friends Judy and Janice, for connecting Rick to key sources of secondary income that kept gas in the car and food on the table during our toughest times.
  • Thank you, my Prayer Circle friends — especially Jodee — for your prayers of support AND for the extremely generous gift card to our favorite place – Disneyland! Your thoughtfulness gave us several much-needed “carefree” breaks that we otherwise couldn’t have afforded.
  •  Thank you to my BFF, Lisa, for several plane tickets you bought for me to come visit you. Our Girls Weekends helped us stay connected and let me “get away from it all” when I needed it most.
  •  Thanks to my dear friend and hair stylist, Peggy, for allowing me to pay less than your going rate in “installments.” You always make me look and feel great about myself.
  •  Thanks to my dear friend, Mallory, for your ongoing, “What can I do for you?” attitude. Your surprise messages of love and support are cherished always.
  •  Huge thanks to my dear friend, mentor and colleague, Leslie Zann, for hosting — as we now call it – our annual “Girls I Ching Weekend” at your beautiful home in San Diego. And thank you, too, Hilda for making the most scrumptuous feasts for us. This has been my biggest Holiday treat for several years running and I can’t thank you both enough. I am most grateful, too, Leslie, for helping my coaching practice to thrive with your many referrals to wonderful new clients.
  • Thanks to my extraordinary coaching colleagues Sue Koch and Tim Kelley.  You have partnered with me and helped me grow my skills and fulfill my purpose, as well as putting much-needed money in my pocket!
  •  Thanks to our amazing accountant, Charity. We can never repay you for getting the IRS to wipe out our large tax debt with a settlement we could afford. You have given us a new sense of peace regarding money that has enabled us to revive and thrive.

To ALL my wonderful clients and faithful readers, I will never be able to repay YOU for the financial support you have provided and the opportunity you have given me to make a difference in YOUR life. I cannot adequately express the sense of joy and fulfillment I get each day from helping you achieve your Big Goals.

Because of the many blessings that my family has received from our own trials, I completely understood the surprising emotion that a client expressed to me recently. She said that, although she is going through a very challenging time in her life, she feels blessed because her family crisis proved to her just how deeply her friends and parents love her and the lengths to which they will go to support her.

Put YOUR Gratitude into Action

I urge you to give a unique gift to the important people in your own life during this special Season. It is a gift that some of my coaching clients already bestowed at Thanksgiving, which drew a very positive response from their friends, customers and business partners. It’s a simple yet powerful way to express sincere GRATITUDE to those who have helped us, supported us, inspired us, made us laugh or made our life better in some way this year.

Send an “I’m grateful for YOU” card to acknowledge those who have supported you emotionally, physically, mentally or financially. Don’t send them the standard Holiday greeting card with just your signature.   Instead, WRITE a personal message of authentic gratitude for who they are and what they have contributed to your life. I can’t imagine a more valuable gift you could give them than a tangible acknowledgment of their unique and special worth that they will treasure forever. (By the way, you can do this for ALL your loved ones and family members, too. Just acknowledge their special qualities you love and tell them you are grateful they are part of your family or circle of friends!)

P.S. Feel free to pass along to them the quote I gave you last time found in the book of Proverbs in the Bible: “The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed. Those who help others are helped.”  Tell them you know they will be richly blessed in return for all the good they do in the world!

A Cup of Caroll will return on January 4, 2015 to share a proven method you can use to create the next year to be everything you want it to be! Until then, Happy Holidays to you and yours and thank you for being YOU. 

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What do you want for your life? My “job description” as a coach is simply this: I help you get what YOU want. I invite you to schedule a complimentary phone consultation where together we’ll explore your Big Goals and determine if coaching can assist you in reaching them. I have programs and coaching specialties for every need. Learn more at: http://practicalprosperitycoach.com or contact me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com or toll free at 888-503-8145. Contact me TODAY to schedule a complimentary phone consultation!