Happy World Gratitude Day!
Gratitude has played a major role in my life since January 2013 when a simple act of kindness by a stranger on a bus led me to create a gratitude practice, first for myself, then with friends before sharing more widely. I love hearing about people’s individual gratitude practices and how gratitude has impacted on their lives, so I have decided to embark on a series of interviews on one of my favourite subjects and what better day to begin sharing this project as World Gratitude Day? As usual, I have no idea where this project will lead, but if feels so good. Each interviewee will be asked a series of questions, the final one being a prompt to my next interview. I trust that this will lead to connections over gratitude with a wide range of people I would not otherwise have met and that feels super exciting!
The first interviewee is the wonderful Judith Morgan. It was her honest and direct manner, paired with a gentle and nurturing spirituality that first drew me to Judith as a mentor. Gratitude regularly shows up in Judith’s Facebook posts, in her newsletter and blog and in our conversations. I am grateful to be able to share our conversation with you.
Julia Elmore: Tell me about yourself and what you do.
Judith Morgan: I used to be an accountant, but I’m alright now! Now I am a business coach and I work with small business owners who work for themselves, mostly from home, one woman and one man bands. I help and support and coach and mentor and teach and advise them how to turn their entrepreneurial and creative ideas into something which will look after them financially and look after their loved ones too. And it is my intention that my clients have a wonderful life too, at the same time as they are learning how to be successful in their self-employment.
JE: When do you remember first consciously feeling gratitude?
JM: Gosh! This is a really hard question. My memory of my early years is faint and far away. I mostly look back in gratitude rather than remembering it at the time. I guess I must have been grateful for Christmas and birthday presents and pocket money, but I cannot say I remember that. In hindsight, the things I am grateful for in my childhood are that I was brought up as a military child with all the discipline that involves because this has made me very self-disciplined as an adult which is incredibly helpful in my work as an entrepreneur myself. And my parents found a way, perhaps of necessity, to give me a cracking education. I am thankful for that every day.
I was grateful to achieve my independence as a young adult. Grateful for the purchase of my first home and car, grateful for wonderful friends and delicious holidays, self-employment. I guess I am saying I’ve been much more grateful for adulthood than I was for childhood, so far as I recall. Do I wish it were otherwise? Possibly, but then I’d not be the person I am today and I am very content with whom I am.
JE: What does GRATITUDE mean to you?
JM: For me it is deliberate process of taking time to remember and be thankful for all the many blessings in my life and work. It is a spiritual practice and a daily habit.
JE: Gratitude features regularly in your social media posts. How do you integrate gratitude into your daily life? Is it a conscious thing or does it come naturally?
JM: No, it didn’t come naturally although I am a very upbeat and positive person by nature. It is both a conscious and an unconscious thing and it becomes more natural the more I implement my daily habit.
JE: Do you have a regular gratitude practice?
JM: Yes. I change it now and again. Right now I write down everything I am grateful for in a journal every day. It is a dated book which someone gave me. It is called The Simple Abundance Journal of Gratitude by Sarah Ban Breathnach who wrote a wonderful book I love called Simple Abundance; this is the book that always makes me think of you, Julia.. At earlier stages I’ve done your gratitude course which got me to list my gratitudes daily and share them in a Facebook group with others. And I’ve participated on GratitudeLog.com – “the happiest place on the internet”!
JE: How does gratitude impact on your daily life?
JM: What you appreciate appreciates. The more I notice how much I have to be thankful for, the more I am given.
JE: Does gratitude feature in your business?
JM: I teach my clients about the importance of it and I appreciate my clients very much indeed, both singly and together. I sometimes take the time to think through each client by name and list what I love about them. And each one is ideal in his or her own way. And even the rare one who is harder to love is a gift. I often list in my gratitude journal the clients who have been in my diary today.
JE: What do you love most about what you do?
JM: I love that each client is unique. That my business is virtual and global so I can live and work from anywhere in the world. I love that I get to make a difference and that those I help make a difference and so those ripples spread outward across the world like loving, healing tentacles. There’s an expression about ‘if you can make it so that one person can breathe more easily because you’ve lived, then you’ve done good in the world’ or something like that. That’s my intention. To help just one and for that one to pay it forward.
JE: What are you grateful for today?
JM: I too am an entrepreneur through and through. A fantastic business opportunity has come my way which I am enjoying. It is bliss that it also allows me to help others create their own little business. And, at the time of writing, I am grateful for gorgeous evening sunshine, and always for my pussy cat Mitsy and the beautiful noisy birdsong in my green and pleasant garden. I have so much to be grateful for today that my heart is full almost to bursting.
JE: Who should I interview next and why?
JM: Barbara Winter. I only know Barbara online. I’ve never met her. But we are good FB pals. I’ve interviewed her just like this on my own blog. I just knew I would find the person I would introduce you to next via social media and this morning the first post I saw about gratitude was from Barbara, so that’s why I am sending her onwards to you.
You can find Judith Morgan online at http://judithmorgan.com/
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Gratitude Daily begins November 2. If you would like guidance and support in creating your own gratitude practice, sign up now and join a group of like-minded folks in sharing the things they are grateful for every day.