Lessons Learned

Andrea Chilcote, Erik's Hope

Has this week held any challenges for you?  Read more, as Andrea shares lessons learned and her thankfulness for grace.

by Andrea Chilcote

Gratitude is a subject I have written of many times before. It never gets old. Today I am grateful for lessons learned.

In this week that held many challenges for many people in my life (and I’m betting some of yours too) – illness, strife, imbalance – I am thankful for the grace around me. That grace surrounds all of us.

For most of the week, I had the privilege of working with a diverse group in a unique experience designed to create personal insights, which led to personal transformation. (And just so you know, it was not always comfortable, tidy or easy).

No one had any idea of what the experience would bring before it began. They didn’t know what would appear before them next.

And that begs a question, what happened to you this week? What tested your mettle? What triggered your survival instincts? And, what triggered your ingrained patterns of behavior that might not serve you today?

Today, I am personally grateful for the full range of experiences I have collected in my life. (That is not easy to admit). Each has transformed what follows.

Do you seek transformation? If you experienced difficulty in the last several days, ask yourself these two questions:

  • For what is this experience a metaphor in my life?
  • What can I release that is no longer relevant?

We are either on this earth to grow in consciousness and reap the rewards of doing so, or it is a random existence in which some get lucky and others get by.

I’m betting on growth, over the lottery. How about you?


This post appeared originally on The Spirited Woman where Andrea is a blogger. Enjoy it!

(Another) Gratitude Prayer

by Andrea Chilcote

The following post appeared originally on The Spirited Woman where Andrea is a weekly blogger. This summer, followers of this blog will enjoy bi-weekly archived posts that have appeared on The Spirited Woman but never before on this site. 

Many times I have written of my gratitude for a blessed life. Tonight, as I am full (and very tired) from a week of good work, good friends and good fortune, it’s all I have left to share.

At the risk of being repetitive, I wish to offer my prayers of gratitude to you today as catalysts for your own. It doesn’t matter if this has been a tough week or an easy one, a full and rich expression of life or a rather dilute or convoluted one. It’s my belief we all have something to be grateful for, and in expressing that feeling we draw more of it in.

Here is my list. Add to it as you wish, or create three new items as I did.

  1. I am grateful for the open minds and hearts my clients brought to our work this week. In what way (large or small) did your work open a small window for someone?
  2. I appreciate the small kindnesses I was shown in the midst of a busy schedule. What small kindness were you offered (or did you have the honor of contributing)?
  3. Tonight I am warmed with gratitude for the kind people who help me rescue another death row husky. And I’m even thankful in advance for all the help I’ll get with her. Is there something you did this week that felt exhausting but necessary? Look for the gifts that were given to you along the way.

I will sleep more soundly tonight having acknowledged this small yet important grace. If you are feeling anxiety, stress or even simple weariness, try gratitude as an elixir. It just might give you the boost you need.

Gratitude

by Andrea Chilcote

Today’s post consists of an exercise – if you dare. Want to feel more empowered and alive, regardless of the state in which you find yourself right now? Practice gratitude. I’ll be with you all the way.

I’m feeling grateful today, and I’m expressing it as prayer. Oh, not a prayer in the purist sense perhaps, but a prayer as I define it. It’s an earnest expression of a strong emotion, intended to connect to others in a positive way. How’s that definition? Here we go.

Today I am grateful for Arthur’s health. After celebrating a milestone birthday this year, he is preparing for many more. I could focus on fear of the future, but instead I focus on what’s true today. He is healthy and whole.

Who in your life is model of health and longevity? Who inspires you to care for your physical body even when you’re tired?

Today I am grateful for all of the clients who entrust me with work that is important to them. I am, right now, feeling a “flow” of work that is meaningful and important. I could grouse about the hours and the stress. Today I choose to be thankful for the abundance.

What is “flowing” forth in your life? What abundance is blessing you?

Today I am grateful for the love of my playful dogs. No matter what they need (or demand) when I’m too busy or too tired, fulfilling it creates a spark of energy.

What calls you to play? What distraction gives you the energy to persevere? Give thanks for that.

Today I am grateful for this opportunity for connection – connection with all of my cherished friends and colleagues, and with each one of you who is reading this message. If ever I feel alone, I can reach out to you.

Who are you thankful for today? Who gives you a lift when a lift makes all the difference?

Perhaps my list was not complete. It’s simply my list, this one day. Make your own. What are you grateful for today?