My father passed away when I was eight. My son turned six last week, and it dawned on me that he is only two years younger than I was when my father left this earth.

That made me shudder.

I’ve had this thought before, when Kaiden was two and again I remember when he turned four thinking to myself, “He’s half the age I was when my Daddy died,”. Its not something I think about often, but when I do it reminds me how precious each moment I have with my son really and truly is and how I should never take one second for granted. 

As I started contemplating, it dawned on me how interesting it is that something sad and life altering like losing my father has really helped me grow up with an attitude of gratitude! Losing my Daddy and experiencing many hardships as a young girl made me tough, made me strong, made me conscious of the impermanence of things…somehow, without even knowing, these lessons have helped me evolve into a being that is almost always thankful and appreciative for what I have. I know for sure I would not be the woman I am today If I had not had such a traumatic loss at such a young age. It helped shape and define my character, my nature and what matters most to me. For that I am grateful. 

I work with vision boards and meditation and various other tools to constantly keep focused on the things for which I’m grateful - with work, friends, family, relationships, you name it. Everything I do on a daily basis I do in an attempt to be the best version of me I can be so that I can give as much of the best parts of me to my son and my students and clients and friends and family. I believe it is really important to carve out time each day to think about and thank about the things that give meaning to our lives.

Do you do that?

If you don’t or don’t every single day, I encourage you to set aside three minutes each morning when you first wake up to give thanks for ALL the things in your life you are grateful for. All the people that matter, that love you and that you love….All the moments you’ve enjoyed in your past, recent or distant…All the moments you have to look forward to in the future…All the accomplishments you’ve made, the failures you’ve endured and grown from…The dreams you carry in your soul…the weather, your health, your body, your mind, your hobbies, your house and your car and your job and you passions…write them all down, and keep that paper with you at all times. Bring it out when you need a reminder, read it out loud or quietly, and remind yourself how lucky you are, how much you have, how great life really is.

What I do know for sure…My happiness is up to me. My state of mind is my responsibility. My attitude and my gratitude make all the difference.


In Gratitude,

Krista Shirley