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small change Wings of Gratitude

Updated: 7 days ago

After recently retiring from four decades of service in the health field as a nurse and public health administrator, I created the small change Toolkit, a set of transformational tools designed to help women build and maintain a consciousness of health, one small change at a time. It’s the missing piece of the health and wellness puzzle.


One tool in the toolkit is my small change Wings of Gratitude Blog. I created the blog to share my passions, knowledge and 40 years of what I’ve termed “blessons” (a combination of lessons and blessings) with anyone interested in improving their overall health and well-being, regardless of the circumstances.


Gratitude is the most powerful tool in my small change Toolkit. Why? Because it has taught me that everything I’ve encountered in life - the good and the bad, the pleasant and the unpleasant, the joy and the pain, have all been blessons that have shaped who I am today and left me no choice but to share them with others.


Although gratitude is often described as an emotion we feel towards people, places or things that have done us a great favor or brought us some form of pleasure, it is so much more. Gratitude is life-changing. It’s been scientifically proven to have a multitude of health benefits. Studies show that people who regularly practice grateful living have better physical and mental health, increased energy levels, improved sleep, and overall increased life satisfaction.


In The Psychology of Gratitude (2004), edited by expert psychologists, Robert Emmons and Michael McCullough, scientist Barbara L. Frederickson, professor of psychology and principal investigator of the Positive Emotions and Psychophysiology Laboratory at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, posits that “through experiences of positive emotions, individuals can transform themselves, becoming more creative, knowledgeable, resilient, socially integrated, and healthy.”


I know the power of Gratitude and have blessons to prove it. I tapped into its transformative power when I began gratitude journaling over twenty-five years ago when heartbreak knocked me to my knees and forced me to do the “heart work” of self-discovery. It was a simple gratitude list that connected me to a Myrtle that I had forgotten existed and introduced me to the power of learning to live grateful, one small change one small changed at a time.


Ten years of research has taught me a lot about gratitude and everything I’d learned about it was tested in 2017 when my daughter, Mia, suffered a massive stroke. She was only 37 years old. The stroke left Mia with right-side paralysis, extensive damage to the language and memory centers of her brain, and visually impaired. Within a matter of minutes, she went from being a vibrant nurse to a young woman who had to revisit everything she had learned in kindergarten. I, on the other hand, became a caregiver and teacher, something no mother ever imagines having to do for her child.


Yes, life had thrown us a curve ball, but gratitude had taught me to be grateful in all things; to look for the good in what appeared to be the worst situations. So I thanked God in advance for guidance. I dug deep into what I knew. And I watched the blessons unfold, one day and one small change at a time. They put Mia on the road to recovery. They gave me strength as a mother and caregiver. They inspired us to share our story in our book, The Stroke That Touched My Heart (2019).


What we learned through grateful living is testament to what world-renowned 13th century philosopher and mystic, Meister Eckhart had to say about gratitude: “If the only prayer you said was thank you that would be enough.”


There is not a single person on earth who can’t benefit from living grateful and the small change Wings of Gratitude Blog is here to help you get started. But here’s a word of caution: It’s not a quick fix. Why? Because quick fixes don’t work and if you’re honest with yourself, you know it!


Let’s use dieting as an example. If diets worked, Americans would be the skinniest and healthiest people on earth. But we aren’t. According to the 2020 report from the Bloomberg Global Index, a study that ranks 163 countries based on variables such as life expectancy, environmental factors, and health risks including malnutrition, high blood pressure, and tobacco use, America was nowhere near the top. It ranked 37th in terms of overall health, primarily due to obesity and unhealthy lifestyles. So if you’re looking for a quick fix, you’re in the wrong place! If you’re ready to finally take charge of your health, I’m here to help.


So, ask yourself this question: “How am I doing when it comes to my overall health?”


Are you......


….struggling to manage a medical condition? A DOSE of Gratitude can help!


…. battling to maintain a healthy weight? Try the Gratitude “LOW DOWN!”


….stuck in revolving doors of incarceration and addiction? Gratitude holds the KEY!


….heavy-laden wearing the “Super Mom” cape? Gratitude LIGHTENs the load


…. “sandwiched” between children and aging parents? Gratitude is a TIME saver


….stressed by life’s uncertainties? Grateful living is PEACEFUL living

If you answered “yes” to any question above, the small change Wings of Gratitude can help!


Click below for your first free small change download "How to Start a Gratitude List."

3 EASY STEPS TO STARTING A GRATITUDE LIST 2-25-23
.pdf
Download PDF • 366KB

P.S. If you’re ready for more in depth services, go to my small change Toolkit at https://www.myrtlerussell.com/ or email me at smallchange@myrtlerussell.com


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