The Missing Piece: Gratitude

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This weekend, I shared with you my anxiety mixed with optimism as I began working through a transition in my life. I am on a path of growth–I can feel it–though I don’t have all the answers right now. And I am trying to “let life happen” which is a real challenge for a control freak like me.

Although I don’t know quite yet what the transition is or where I am heading exactly, I do know that I left out the most important piece of the puzzle.

I knew something was missing as I worked through my emotions of loneliness and insecurity, optimism and excitement. I knew there was something that I was supposed to do, a very first action I was supposed to take. But I just couldn’t quite put my finger on it.

It just took hearing my 7-year-old  talk about Sunday School over lunch to make it crystal clear.

Duh…The missing piece was gratitude. That’s right…GRATITUDE! I was supposed to be counting my blessings. And, yes, I do practice gratitude on a regular basis. I have told you all about my gratitude journal and have shared many times about how having an attitude of gratitude is what keeps blessings coming my way. But when we practice something everyday it sometimes loses its luster or its meaning; the practice goes stale. So the Universe was telling me to not just say “Thanks,” but to LIVE thanks!

Yes, I think that God and the Universe got out a bullhorn yesterday (in the form of my daughter’s voice–and, yes, sometimes I think she is as loud as a bullhorn! LOL) and told me to take my gratitude to a whole new level. Probably even a 10X level.

So here goes…it may be the middle of November and yes, I didn’t start perfectly on November 1st with this like a good blogger and gracious person would. But that’s ok. Nobody’s perfect, right? (another lesson I am currently teaching my sweet girl).

So I’m starting today, November 12th, with a month’s-worth of gratitude. That means I have 12 days to get caught up on and here they are.

Today I am GRATEFUL for…

1. My Daughter–The person who brings me joy each day, who always wakes up with a positive attitude and a smile on her face. The reason I do all the things I do in life is my daughter. Without her, my life would be meaningless.  I am so thankful for her.

2. My Husband–this guy doesn’t get enough credit. He is so supportive, easy-going with respect to my job and my life, and meets me in the parenting role 50/50 or more. And my daughter adores him just as much as she does me. I am thankful for my husband and all he does to make our life great!

3. My Mom–those of you who know my mom, know how lucky I am. She could literally win the “World’s Best Mom” award! Yesterday I was watching Joel Osteen on TV and I swear my mom and Joel were cut from the same cloth. Her advice is priceless and her love and support unending. I am grateful for my mom!

4. My Home–It is so easy to take things for granted or to always want more. But after seeing the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, now is a time to be thankful for shelter. My home isn’t huge or lavish, but it’s gorgeous and comfortable and a lovely place to make family memories. If this house is the only one I ever have, it will be enough…In fact, it will be just perfect! I am grateful for my home.

5. My Job–What a joy and a privilege to get to go to work every single day and do what you love. How grateful I am to be able to live and work in my passion. I am one of the lucky ones and for that I am thankful.

6. My Team–I’ve had much bigger teams than what I currently have, but never one that was better. I get the joy and honor of working with 5 women that are as passionate about my company as if it were their own. They make me look good; they are responsible for many of the things that you all give me credit for. And they are loving and caring to boot. I am so grateful for this team of women, “Team Tobi,” and today I am saying a prayer of Thanksgiving for them!

7. My Clients–Without these people, none of my life’s work would be possible. I am so thankful for the many people who have allowed me to make their homes a more beautiful and functional place to make memories with those they love. And I am equally thankful to all those designers and creatives to allow me to work with them on their businesses and their lives to shape them into something fulfilling and inspiring. I am thankful for each and every client that allows me to do what I love day in and day out. I can’t thank you enough and for each of you I am truly grateful.

8. My Kindle App on iPAd–I am a student. A lifelong student. It is through years of constant study that I am able to bring insight and wisdom to my clients, employees, family and friends. And this little piece of technology in the form of an app keeps a plethora of valuable information and resources right at my fingertips at all times. So today I am thankful for my Kindle app and to the great Steve Jobs for his vision for the iPad so I could be a forever student anytime and all the time.

9. My morning quiet time–About 2 months ago I began getting up early (5 am) and spending some quiet time in my home by the fire.  This special time to start my day is when I meditate, Bible study, catch up–and inspire others–on social media and just have an all-around positive start to my day. It is precious time that I now find essential to staying calm and focused for each day ahead. I am so thankful for this time each morning.

10. My running shoes–Yes, I’m a shoe girl. But, I never felt so much love for a pair of shoes as I now do my running shoes. Thanks to getting healthy over the last 18 months, I have finally formed a habit of exercise and I have to admit that I am really starting to like it (yes, I admitted it and that is a huge shift for me). So thank goodness for those running shoes that get me on my feet and moving every day and are a huge part of my stress relief.  And I can assure you my family and my staff are thankful that I run everyday, too. It makes me a much calmer person. 🙂

11. My friends–I had the joy of spending a few days last week at my Camp Tobi Fairley Design from A to Z experience with 4 of my favorite friends in the world. I am so lucky to call many creatives around the globe my true friends. Each time I see them we take up right where we left off as if we see each other every day. And then there are my friends here at home that I cherish and should spend more time with (I see a resolution coming on). So today I am thankful for those friends in my life that feel just like family. My life is better because of them.

12. Travel–There are times in my life that travel feels like a burden. Most months, I am out of state at least once and sometimes 2-3 times. During those times I miss my family and miss being in the office and can hardly wait for a time to come that I don’t have to go anywhere. But as the saying goes…”Be careful what you wish for”, right? If I didn’t get to travel so often to amazing and inspiring places around the U.S. and around the globe, I feel certain that my life and work would be less inspired. And some of my most important thoughts come to me while sitting on an airplane. So let me not forget all the blessings that come with travel and be thankful for it today. And over the next 3-4 months while I get to stay home for a while spending quality time with family and friends, I pray that all my travels of 2012 will keep me inspired until I hit the road again.

Wow, that feels good! And this is just the beginning. I am going to spend this entire month of Thanksgiving (my favorite holiday by the way) learning new, fresh, and meaningful ways to express my gratitude to the world.

So tell me, for what or whom are you grateful? Put it out there in the Universe. Shout it from the mountain tops.

Especially if you are going through a “Season of Change” or major transformation in your life, meet it with an attitude of gratitude. I now remember (after being hit over the head with the proverbial 2×4 from my little girl) that when I am unsure of where I am heading, or what to do next, or what I want in life, there is only one answer: GRATITUDE! Counting our blessings for all we have been given will make all our new blessings fall right into place.

So meet me back here for the rest of the month as I share with you many more things for which I am Thankful. Let’s take this Walk of Gratitude and Journey of Change together . It’s much easier than going it alone. And come the new year in just a few weeks, we will have such clarity on what our next steps should be that we’ll be ready to take the leap.



P.S. To Find all these inspiring quotes and others that move me, check out my Life Solutions Pinterest Board.

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8 Responses to The Missing Piece: Gratitude

  1. love this tobi… I’m going through a similar shift… I feel a narrowing happening, really zoning in on a few key things, the ones that have made me happiest over the last year… next year will look different for me, because it’s not all about “work.” i realized that when i create more space for things i love, like piano, hiking, teaching yoga, “work” takes care of itself. in fact, better opportunities than I could have thought of, simply appear. I’m going to try your gratitude list and I’ll share a mantra that I incorporate into my yoga practice… i exhale, “grounded in gratitude” and inhale, “open to grace.” it truly reminds me to stay grounded, content with whatever “is” at the moment… yet open, flexible and welcoming to whatever life might bring…

  2. Thanks for reminding me that I need to be mindful of what I’m grateful for. It’s easy to get caught up in what we want, and to forget to practice gratitude 🙂

  3. Tobi – what a lovely post – exactly the reminder I needed to today. Thank you!

  4. Whitney says:

    Tobi, I’ve recently caught up on and cleaned out my reader and I’m enjoying reading through this phase of your journey! I feel like I’ve been going through something very similar. Even blogged about gratitude today! I hope someday we get to meet in person and chat over a glass of wine about these adventures! Warmly, Whitney.

  5. love hearing this! A thankful heart. Thanks for a great post, Tobi

  6. Franki Parde says:

    You’re definitely on the “right track” kiddo!! Couldn’t agree with you more. Keep it comin! franki

  7. What a great reminder. Thank you.

  8. Monica says:

    Needed this….I especially like the Fredrick K Happiness message. so many times I feel..”if I could have this item or event happen I would be happy”. You are right feeling grateful fills the void…now to only meditate everyday and sink this in my brain…that is the hardest part!!