30 DAYS OF GRATITUDE (DAY #16)

Welcome back to our celebration of 30 days of gratitude. Each day we will focus on one area of our life to be grateful for. If this is your first day doing this I invite you to go back and do the days before this. You can do them in your head, write them down and home, but it is my hope you decide to share what you are grateful for with our community here on Secret2anamazinglife.com. There are no rules. Do one day or do all 30. Let us now look at today’s area of gratitude.

This can be a difficult one for a lot of us. Body shaming seems to be too popular in the news today. It can seem uncomfortable to mention anything good about our physical appearance. Some of us even feel guilty if we mention any aspect of our body in a positive light. There are those of us who have absolutely no problem doing this, but I digress. Today it seems we are told to focus on what areas of our body may seem ‘unsatisfactory’ by society’s standard and begin at once to work on correcting them.

While it is good to want to be healthy and fit, no matter what your body looks like there are beautiful aspects to it. I think a smile is one of the most beautiful things you can wear. Eyes that sparkle with passion and joy are hard to resist. A heart that is caring and compassionate is truly something to be grateful for. A mind filled with positive solutions and ways to better the world? That would make the gratitude list.

Here is another thing to consider, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Some people prefer people who are tall. Some fancy shorter people. Have hair? Don’t have hair? There is someone who is looking for someone just like you. I know is can be hard when you are not feeling good about the body you have. Trust me when I tell you that you are beautiful just the way you are. If you haven’t heard that from someone in your life lately, you may need to add some new people there. Everyone of us has many beautiful aspects to us. We may have a hard time appreciating them, but they are there and we are beautiful.

If you are having a hard time finding an answer to this one, it might help to ask the love of your life. If you don’t have a special someone in your life, ask a close friend. Blame it on me. “Neil has us doing this gratitude list. What about my body do you think I should be grateful for?” The answer may surprise and delight you. You may discover ways and things about you that you had not thought about appreciating. You may not like the way your feet look, but as Gandhi once said, “I cried because I had no shoes, then I met a man who had no feet.” Even aspects of our bodies we don’t think of. Our nerves that let us sense danger. Pain that alerts us to something being wrong. Our circulatory system that delivers all of the nutrients to the different parts of our body.

As you can see there is so many different ways to approach this question and so many different ways to be grateful for your body. I would love to hear which way you decided to go with your answer.

CLICK HERE TO GET NEIL’S BOOK FILLED WITH IDEAS TO MAKE YOUR LIFE AMAZING!!

THE PATH TO ETERNAL BEAUTY

Look in any magazine or watch any reality show and you will run across the same thing, everyone is trying to find the key to eternal youth and beauty. There are ads for creams, lotions, even cosmetic surgery has been refined to an in and out process. There is a new cool laser that can make your fat cells disappear. People spend millions of dollars a year on both hair removal and hair restoration. No matter how many advances or your financial ability to obtain them, one thing is for certain, eventually they will fade.

Do not misunderstand me. I believe there is plenty of physical improvements that make sense to do from not only an appearance stand point, but from a health stand point as well. Having dental work done will not only increase your chances of smiling, adding beauty right there, but help your health in many ways. Engaging in physical exercise will not only have your figure looking fit and trim, but help your heart and circulatory system run efficiently as well. Choosing a healthier way of eating over a crash fad diet will pay dividends for years to come.

Considering the amount of money we spend on items in the first category that serve only as a temporary cover up at best, we certainly could do better. Even the time, energy and effort we spend on items in the second category will only take us so far if we continue to ignore the single most important category to increase our physical appeal. The area of our life we should address first is often relegated to an after thought.

What is the area of our life that will bring us the greatest return on investment in regards to our beauty? It is our spirit, our heart, our inner peace. This may sound a bit cliché to many of you, but it is true. How many times have you come across someone who may not be your normal physical ‘cup of tea’ as it were, but something just attracted you to them? We all like to be around people who make us laugh, smile and enjoy life more. On the flip side, even if the person we are with has graced the cover of a million magazines, if they suck our spirit dry and leave us feeling emotionally drained there is no way we would want to be around them.

How do we invest in this portion of our lives? The answer is simple. Invest in ourselves. When we work to become better as individuals, we have more to offer each other and the world at large. Do something to refresh your spirit. Discover new ways to cultivate joy, engage in activities that make you smile. Foster an attitude of gratitude. Always look for the best in others. If you do these simple things and any others that will lead to an improved you, before long you will become more beautiful from the inside out. The upside here is the more you do this, the greater the beauty becomes. Keep it up and this beauty will never fade. No pills, lotions, fad diets or insane workouts needed.

A NEW AVENUE EXPLORED

Recently, I had the honor of being part of an inspiring publication. See Beyond is a wonderful magazine that tackles the gritty issues facing our youth and does so while encouraging and inspiring them.

In this issue, I had the great pleasure of joining other authors while sharing the challenges I face in my career as a writer. I appreciate the opportunity to be a part of such a unique and thought-provoking publication. I am already looking forward to contributing more.

CLICK ON THIS LINK TO READ MY ARTICLE ON PAGE 32 OF THIS MONTH’S ISSUE

GREAT PEOPLE DOING GREAT THINGS

We interrupt our usual material to bring to your attention a great opportunity to help impoverished children in both India and the U.S.

My amazing friends Sonny and his wife Ami are taking part in an event to raise money for children needing help in both Atlanta, where they live as well as India. I encourage you to click the link below to help them out as well as sharing this article to reach more people who can help. My heartfelt thanks in advance.

CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE AND TO DONATE

SENSE OF PURPOSE

romantic7

It has been mentioned in this blog how important a sense of purpose is for attaining goals and living an amazing life. For without a destination even the most detailed map will be useless. Even without a map, if you know where you are going and pay attention to whether you are getting closer or not and keep trying you will eventually get there. All of these facts hold just as true in your relationships. We are focusing on intimate relationships, but this can go for any type of relationship you can think of.

So what is the purpose of your relationship? It is a question many of us may have never thought of. Perhaps you are saying “My relationship doesn’t really have a purpose. I just want to enjoy it” That is fine, and you should enjoy your relationship to the fullest. However, having an individual and joint goals within your relationship will add another dimension of closeness. You don’t have to solve the world’s problems, or run for the highest office together. Still defining goals that you can accomplish both on your end and working together can develop an additional bond that can turn a good relationship great. So what are some examples of both individual and couple oriented goals? Let us look at the individual side first. What goals do you have to bring to your partner? Notice I said bring to your partner. You should focus solely on what you can bring to the relationship. Often times if you notice your partner has a particular challenge perhaps offering some encouragement in that area would be helpful. I suggest writing a few things down. There is something about seeing things in black and white that helps remind us and stay focused. One of the things that should always make it to your list is making your partner feeling attractive. We touched on the benefits that this can bring to your relationship. Ask yourself “What have I done to make my partner know how attractive they are to me?”. Did you make them your screen saver on your cell phone or computer? Did you mention to them that you have a picture of them on your desk or in your locker at work? Did you simply tell them how beautiful or handsome they look that day? This idea, if done with sincerity, cannot be overdone. Think of how you feel when someone tells you that you look nice? Wouldn’t you want to give that feeling to the one you love? You can even turn it into a fun game trying to come up with new and creative ways to show your partner how enamored you are with their appearance. This is made much easier if you are fortunate enough to have a creative partner. Which leads us to our next goal that should make any list, let your partner know what it is about them you enjoy. Is it the fact they are creative? Do you enjoy their laugh? Their view of the world? There are a million different things to enjoy about anyone and letting them know will only increase their love for you and your closeness with each other. There are other things you can add to your list. Make my partner laugh or smile is a good one. Help out a little more around the house is another that is always appreciated. You know your partner best so you know good goals to focus on. The key here is to write them down and review them at least once a week. You will see your relationship come alive.

So couples goals. What could they be? There are big things such as starting a business together, but that is not for every couple and can even have the potential for additional stress. So focus on what you and your partner both excel and are good at. Do you both like frozen yogurt? Perhaps you could start an online blog about great frozen yogurt places you have visited. My personal favorite is finding ways that both you are your partner can work together to help others. Could you help out once a month at a homeless shelter? Could you have an online forum that helps people who are feeling down? To simply noticing people who you come into contact with who have lost their smile and working together to bring it back. Quite often individual goals can also turn into couples goals. Does your partner have a hobby or business of their own? Helping them in whatever way you can could not only be a personal goal but also lead you to experiencing a great moment and sense of accomplishment as a couple.

So decide what your purpose of your relationship is. Decide what you can do both as an individual and as a couple. Write it down and begin to act on it today. You will be amazed at the miracles that will happen!