Be Grateful For This Moment, This Moment Is Your Life!

be-grateful-for-this-moment.jpg

The power of gratitude is simply AMAZING! We have definitely experienced gratitude’s power first hand many times throughout our lives. In fact, we believe in gratitude so much, we even created a whole blog category on our photography website dedicated to gratitude. Recently, it was the unexpected gratitude of a reader of our site AMAZING LifeTogether that truly blew us away.

Before we share that story, we need to give a little bit of the back-story of AMAZING Life Together first. My wife Liz and I have been wedding photographers for 5+ years now. Having photographed 100+ weddings, we’ve had the amazing opportunity to celebrate and document one of life’s most amazing moments, getting married, with some really amazing couples.

Be-grateful-for-this-moment-this-moment-is-your-life-smallestHowever, we’ve also seen a lot of the hype and materialism the wedding industry has placed on a single day. Each of our couples is truly special to us and we wanted to help them not only have an amazing wedding but also an amazing marriage and life together.

To do so we started the AMAZING Life Together site. Our goal was simply to inspire couples to do more of the things that made them fall in love with each, create an open line of communication about what marriage is like, and to show that even if things do get tough it’s still possible and worth it to work through those challenges to create an AMAZING Life Together.

As we put more and more time and more and more effort into the development of our site, we began to wonder if we were really making a difference in people’s lives. Or if anyone was even reading and watching what we were creating.

A few months back we were letting the fear and doubt monsters really get to us. They made us wonder if our efforts were worth continuing. And then we received this email that rocked our world with gratitude:

“You are saving my marriage. Literally. He wouldn't go to marriage counseling & I was on my way out. But he has been doing this challenge with me and it has us communicating again & more importantly, connecting. You have no idea what this means to us. You guys are doing amazing work & I am so grateful to have found you.” –Wife, Atlanta, GA

That simple email of gratitude, just 62 words, erased any doubts and fears we had. We knew in that moment that if we were able to help save one couple’s marriage, then no matter what, AMAZING Life Together was more successful than we ever could have dreamed it to be. Simple messages like that have continually given us the energy and passion to continue our AMAZING Life Together mission.

Our own experience isn’t unique. In fact there are numerous studies that have shown how powerful just being and feeling grateful can be.

According to a Wall Street Journal Article Published in 2010:

Adults who frequently feel grateful have more energy, more optimism, more social connections and more happiness than those who do not, according to studies conducted over the past decade. They're also less likely to be depressed, envious, greedy or alcoholics. They earn more money, sleep more soundly, exercise more regularly and have greater resistance to viral infections.

One of our favorite studies was an experiment in which participants keep gratitude journals.

Those who kept gratitude journals on a weekly basis exercised more regularly, reported fewer physical symptoms, felt better about their lives as a whole, and were more optimistic about the upcoming week – Gratitude: A Key to Happiness

In Nate’s original introduction to the 30-Day Gratitude Challenge he suggested starting and keeping your own gratitude journal. It turns out he was really onto something! J If you haven’t started your own journal, start today, it’s never to late.

The last thing we want to leave you with is something we think about often when we start feeling down or if we are failing to see as Nate says “the good in life.”

We all have one life, and no matter what, in this moment we have a choice that we can make. We can choose to be grateful and happy. Or we can choose not to be.

We choose gratitude and happiness.

What will you choose?

[jbox title="About the author:" border="5" radius="15"] Liz and Ryan are millennials, story tellers, wedding photographers, dream believers and AMAZING life inspirers. They are high school sweethearts, married for 7 years, and business partners for 5. Their dream is to inspire all couples to live a more AMAZING Life Together. Click here to learn more.

[/jbox]

See The Good Then Be The Good

see-the-good.jpg

Welcome to the 30-Day Gratitude Challenge!

Just typing that word "challenge" makes me a little anxious. Does it stress you out to read it?

Maybe you're excited about the challenge! The timing is perfect, and you were just thinking the other day how you could use a little gratitude in your life. If that's the case, awesome! Welcome aboard!

Maybe you're thinking, "Great, a 30-Day Challenge. One more thing to add to my list. I probably won't even make it past the first week." If that's the case, awesome! Welcome aboard!

Maybe you're here because someone you care about (or someone you haven't spoken to since high school graduation) posted a link on their Facebook feed. If that's the case, awesome! Welcome aboard!

I know it might sound a little crazy... but I want to make you a promise: Regardless of why you're here, what attitude you arrived with, or the trials life has handed you, if you have the guts to spend the next 30 days immersing yourself in gratitude YOUR. LIFE. WILL. TRANSFORM.

It scares me to make a promise like that, especially without knowing you or your life circumstances. But I stand by it. That's how much I believe in the power of gratitude.

How To Get The Most Out Of The Challenge

To get the most out of this challenge, I have a few suggestions. They are simple and powerful. If done regularly, they will help you along this month-long journey... and you will be glad you did them.

  1. Read every post from the 30-Day Challenge. Whether that means you visit the blog ever day, or you get the messages delivered to your email, read every post. Some of my favorite people will be sharing some very personal and very powerful stories with you. It is my belief that personal stories are incredibly powerful teaching tools. They allow us to see ourselves in others in the most honest, beautiful, and sometimes terrifying ways.Use these stories as a mirror.Open your head and heart to being taught from the experiences of others.
  2. Write down your daily gratitudes. Get a journal. It can be a spiral-bound notebook, a deck of 3x5 cards, a moleskin notebook, a journaling app... you decide. Every day, write down something or many things you're grateful for. Challenge yourself. Dig deep. Start with easy stuff if you have to, but don't be afraid to look for reasons to be grateful for the tough things in your life, like that breakup, the death of a loved-one, an insecurity you've struggled with your whole life, or the betrayal of a friend. As you train yourself to see the good in everything (and yes, I mean EVERYTHING), you will see that everything in your life becomes good.
  3. Express your gratitude for others. Everyone loves to feel appreciated. When people express gratitude for me, I feel full. I get this ball of energy in my gut, and it shoots through my chest, and floods my arms and legs and head till it fills my entire body. When someone I love tells me how much I mean to them, it makes me feel like I can conquer the world. I get a desire to be my very best self for them. It makes me want to do more and be more. Simon Sinek, author of Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action said, "There are only two ways to influence human behavior: you can manipulate it or you can inspire it." My belief is that gratitude is one of the purest forms of inspiration. Express gratitude this month and watch those around you begin to live as the very best version of themselves!
  4. Join the Facebook Group. If you want to share your story, or if you want some extra accountability or encouragement, there's a Facebook Group for that. The people in this group are fantastic. They are the best kind of people. They will be there for you just as you will be there for them. If you want that extra push, join the group and interact. You'll get out of it what you put into it.

Thank You

Before I wrap up, I wanted to thank you... and not just the collective "you" that is the internet, but you. The you that is reading this right now at this very second.

Thank you for reading to the end of this post. Thank you for participating in this community. Thank you for making The Loveumentary what it is. Without you, all of this - hundreds of blog posts, days worth of podcast recordings, countless Facebook updates and emails - would be completely empty and meaningless.

Without you, I wouldn't have crossed the country in search of so many amazing people with such incredible lessons. These amazing people wouldn't have shared their stories. And I would be working a desk job wondering what to do with my life.

Thank you for giving me purpose. Thank you for giving me meaning. Thank you for showing up and making a difference. By reading this today, you have given me something that I could not have given myself. For that, I love you.

Now, go be grateful! Choose what you love then love love love love love what you choose. Love it with everything you've got!

Love,

Nate

[jbox title="More 30 Day Challenge:" border="5" radius="15"]

If you want to get these emails sent directly to your inbox, just fill out this little form:

[gravityform id="2" name="Subscribe" title="false" description="false"][/jbox]