It seems that the world can get busy or better yet, make you believe that you’re busy that you don’t have time to enjoy what you have. More importantly, be grateful for what you have. One thing we started in my family is keeping a gratitude journal. All of us have our own and the goal is write in them daily. The entries can be thoughts, a poem, or even a picture. And it can be from the current day or a realization you’ve had about something you had taken for granted. The goal is to make us all more aware how fortunate we are and appreciate what we have. By taking stock daily, we have become more aware of each other and ourselves.

“If you concentrate on finding whatever is good in every situation, you will discover that your life will suddenly be filled with gratitude, a feeling that nurtures the soul.” — Rabbi Harold Kushner

Here’s a simple nighttime routine that will help increase your awareness.

How do you show gratitude?


The Importance of Family

“The love of family and the admiration of friends is much more important than wealth and privilege.” – Charles Kuralt

As we are in the midst of the holiday season, I thought it would be good to reflect on family and how it shapes us. Family doesn’t have to be restricted by blood. I remarked to Dwayne aka Rollo once that even if my parents didn’t instill the importance of family to me, I would have learned it from all of the gangster movies I watched. No family is perfect, but they become perfect for us.

Strengthening Bonds
The little nuances families have are what makes them ours and special. From the extra advice to the constant support, family is always there. The key is making sure we are there and present for our family as well. I say a prayer each day to be a better father, husband, son, brother, and friend. With the hope I can continue to provide what is needed for my family. I know I fall short but I am still striving to be better. For me, I do best when I take things in pieces and that’s what has been helping me. But sometimes when I put too much energy in one place, another lags behind, which is very frustrating. But I started to acknowledge the gains I’ve made and the relationships I’ve strengthened instead of looking only at the faults. As they say, when you do one thing well it is evidence you can do more things well too. The Our Great Pursuit project is a great example. The idea sprung from me getting to know Rollo better and seeing how our conversations were helping each other. It began by asking tough questions and sharing stories maybe never told before. When that much trust is given, a bond is made stronger. One of the highest compliments Rollo ever paid me was saying I was someone he would want to know and hang out with even if we weren’t family. Sounds small, but it had a great impact on illustrating how he valued our relationship. And that has made us both better in the process.

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