Yesterday I wrote about simplicity starting with Me. Of course I meant MY simplicity starts with Me, just as Yours begins with You. My path will not be the same as yours, but I hope it can inspire you. I've mentioned the book Simple Abundance a few times. Its daily meditations keep me focused so that I may discover my authentic self and the life I am intended to live. The exercises, too, reinforce my course. Using your hands to create a tangible version of your inner, authentic self, stamps on your memory a snapshot of your soul. This book is essential for Any Woman or Creative Man.
Your path will begin with "gratitude." After evaluating yourself -- who you are, what you like, etc. -- you are asked to list up to five things you are grateful for today. I started doing this in November 2009, about a month before I received the Simple Abundance book as a birthday gift. My daily gratitude list has been key to coping with external stresses in my life. The list shifts my focus from the negative influences I can't control to the positive aspects I can appreciate. This mood and tone of my mind, then, begins each day with thankfulness and optimism. Not a bad way to kick off the morning, eh?
It isn't enough for me to simply feel grateful. I want to share my gratitude with others. Recently I thanked my parents for moving us to Plano during my 6th-grade year. At the time, I was miserable because I had left all that was familiar to me: friends, neighborhood, school, dance studio. All people and places I had always known. We moved to a place that was different in every way from what I had always known. It was a difficult place to fit in, and for nearly three years I begged them to move us back "home." Eventually, though, I found my niche. Today I have a massive network of friends from childhood, friends from work, and scores of friends and acquaintances I have made through building NativeDave.com. Growing up in a suburb renown for its intensity and pressure on students to excel has offered opportunities not available to me in Nashville. Although initially I resisted Plano, as an adult I am grateful I survived it. Living there inspired me to aim high, to set impossible goals, and to pursue them despite any obstacles that might appear on my path. I will keep striving for my version of success. Thank you, Mom and Dad. I love you both very much.