Are YOU A “Thanking Queen”?

New Years Eve 2012, I decided to make a resolution. I know you’re all like “uh, big deal Elana, we all do”, but I am not that chick. I’m the chick that works through holidays and rarely pays attention to the typical American traditions.I’m the chick whose eyes are glued on the future and furiously paddling to“what’s next?” I’m the chick whose eyes glitter at Christmas lights and jack-o’-lanterns, but you’d never find them up in my own home .

I guess you could say I pace through life quite quickly. So, in 2012, I dug my heels into the ground (don’t worry, they were marked down 75%) and decided to SLOW DOWN and spend time APPRECIATING my life. For 366 days (It was a leap year. Don’t worry, I haven’t lost my marbles…yet), I set an alarm that rang every night at 10pm to remind me to write down in my phone-notes one thing I learned that day and one thing I was grateful for. And guess what, I made it until the end! But, that wasn’t the best part; it was the impact it had on my life. Let me tell you why…

Like most people in the world, I spent my days always wanting more. How can I make more money? How can I live in my dream home? How can I spend the majority of my time traveling the world #JetSettingGirl? How can I get that guy to be my boyfriend (and then get out of it for a different relationship when I do)? How can I buy those shoes? And if I get those shoes, how can I buy that dress that matches it so well? I was always wondering how I could become bigger and better.

So,let me start by saying, I believe in progression and I still try to achieve new heights regularly. BUT, prior to this little experiment, it hindered me so much from appreciating what I HAD! And I HAD it! I was living in one of the most beautiful countries on the planet (New Zealand), I had a stunning, sensitive, golden-hearted boyfriend, I had a newly earned Bachelor’s Degree, an incredible group of sisterhood-like friendships,toured internationally as a dancer with a leading artist, directed and choreographed for a dance company

I could go on and on. See, in retrospect, this all seems phenomenal, but at the time, all I could think about was “what’s next?” I so quickly would pass through life and forget all of the astonishing things that were happening, which in return would cause me to continually slip into a“nothing is going on” attitude. Even if people would gawk in admiration, I’d shrug my shoulders in disbelief and move on to being googly-eyed about the wondrous woman striding down High Street who seemed to have it all!   (Ya, I know, talk about spiraling down are dundant and hypocritical black hole.) And when that is all you are focused on, you don’t even SEE the magic happening in your life, NOW.

Anyways, throughout 2012, I made a promise to myself to acknowledge the greatness that was going on in my life every single day.. and guess what? It brought me even MORE. Call it manifestation or whatever you will, but it worked! Not only did it make me recognize and remember all of the checkpoints I was passing, goals I was achieving, and once-in-a-lifetime moments I was experiencing, but it created a haven to collect even more of what I wanted. And it is as simple as that! RECOGNIZING what you HAVE and being GRATEFUL for it all.

Turns out, Ungenita has been doing the same! She shared with me that she keeps a gratitude journal and writes 10 things that she’s grateful for everyday. “I didn’t always have this daily practice. Rhonda Byrne author of ‘The Secret’book “The Magic” changed my life. I’m now a ‘Thanking Queen’EVERYDAY.” Great minds THANK alike .So…what are you grateful for?