As I reflect on the first two months of 2017, I can’t help but have a giant ball of exploding gratitude ready to beat right out of my chest.   I am writing this as I sit on the roof of an incredible home overlooking the warm Pacific waters of Costa Rica.

Photo Credit: Charlotte Reeves Photography

I feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to teach the “barkas” in amazing locations that are straight out of storybooks.  I feel so lucky to have become great friends with incredibly passionate and successful pet photographers, seriously they are my people.  I feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to share my passion for the art and business of pet photography with photographers from all over the world, to help them move one step closer to living out their dreams.  This ALL causes said gratitude explosion.

Photo Credit Sam Haddix

It’s easy to want “more”.  Our culture tells us that things are the answer.  More money.  More stuff.

Photo Credit Charlotte Reeves

I’m guilty of this sometimes too, “As soon as I do this I can slow down and enjoy that.” 

Spoiler alert….there will always be something else or ‘just one more thing to do’.

Photo Credit Sam Haddix

The key to happiness is to be unabashedly thankful for where you are and what you have RIGHT NOW.  Actually, it’s not just happiness that expands when you practice the ‘attitude of gratitude’, but you will notice better health, deeper relationships, and even become more productive!

Photo Credit Charlotte Reeves

So, how do we move from the stressed out, overwhelmed, hurried place that society teaches us we should remain to a place where we live in the moment, are fulfilled by our work, and thankful for each and every day on this rock hurtling around the sun?

  1. Practice gratitude daily.  Create a gratitude journal and list 5 things that you are grateful for each and every night.  Here’s the kicker…no repeating!  No matter where you are or what your life looks like right now.  If you have the ability to be reading this blog, I can guarantee that you have things to be thankful for.
  2. Start each day with intention.  Literally get up and tell yourself that today is going to be a good day!
  3. Take a walk outside and breath in the beauty of nature.  Watch the sun dance across the sky, listen to the songs being sung by the birds, and breath in the fresh air.
  4. Smile.  This literally changes the chemicals in your brain.
  5. Pay it forward.  Thank someone, help someone, lift someone up.  You will be rewarded 10-fold!

If you really want to jump in head first into practicing gratitude and seeing where that can take your life, I HIGHLY recommend this book that I just devoured. 

Thank and Grow Rich by Pam Grout.  If you read it I would love to know how you enjoyed it!  Leave a comment here or tell us in the Hair of the Dog group!

Oh, and if you want to be notified of the next incredibly fabulous location of our ‘Barka-‘ retreats, sign up to be on the email list here.