Two weeks ago Kasia, M-Powered’s work-life balance practitioner, invited our community to a 7-day mindfulness challenge. One of these days was devoted to gratitude.

According to Harvard Medical School giving thanks can make you happier.

“The word gratitude is derived from the Latin word gratia, which means grace, graciousness, or gratefulness (depending on the context). In some ways gratitude encompasses all of these meanings. Gratitude is a thankful appreciation for what an individual receives, whether tangible or intangible. With gratitude, people acknowledge the goodness in their lives. In the process, people usually recognize that the source of that goodness lies at least partially outside themselves. As a result, gratitude also helps people connect to something larger than themselves as individuals — whether to other people, nature, or a higher power.

Gratitude is a way for people to appreciate what they have instead of always reaching for something new in the hopes it will make them happier, or thinking they can’t feel satisfied until every physical and material need is met. Gratitude helps people refocus on what they have instead of what they lack. And, although it may feel contrived at first, this mental state grows stronger with use and practice.”

You can read about gratitude in the article How Gratitude Changes You and Your Brain.

I don’t know about you, but I often struggle to feel truly grateful, especially at the end of a bad day.

However, the last 6 months has deeply changed my attitude to gratitude. As you might already know, in December 2019, I was diagnosed with cancer (you can read more about my fight here). Thanks to my family and friends,I am staying positive throughout my treatment and responding well. I’m so grateful to them for their love and support.

However, this experience has also inspired huge gratitude in me to all the people and businesses who have supported my company, including photographers, graphic designers, course venues, and especially our loyal clients, who themselves have become informal ambassadors of the M-Powered brand.

As part of our celebration of gratitude this week, we have put together the following list of all the people and businesses who have contributed our little company over the last three years. A huge thank you to all of them for their support!

1. Photographers Marcin Przybylski and Klaudia Wąsik for amazing photo sessions of the M-Powered team.

2. Dawid Paleń, the talented graphic designer who designed our logo and merchandise. We absolutely love them!

3. Killary Adventure Co., the best outdoor centre in Ireland!

4. Misunderstood Heron for the healthy and delicious food they serve during our courses in Ireland.

5. Hacienda Cristoforo for being M-Powered’s Tenerife home and training centre.

6. Desde la Tierra for wonderful vegan cuisine provided for our groups in Tenerife.

7. Akademia Ruchu Libra, especially Kasia Pytka, for training Kasia Piecuch and I to conduct physical activity sessions during our work-life balance courses.

I also would like to express my deepest gratitude to our loyal clients who are our best ambassadors:

8. The Children’s University Foundation, which has participated in M-Powered courses since 2017.

Their mission is to foster children’s creative and intellectual potential to enable them to understand how to act in the surrounding world by following their talents, knowledge, and possibilities. So far over 21 thousand children have participated in their classes. It’s an honour (and so much fun!) to work with the foundation staff! I would especially like to thank their board member, Bogusia Łuka, for always being open-minded and full of creative ideas!

9. M’am’aloca, an NGO from Czech Republic

with its idealistic leader Jiří Stuchl, who is always willing to help and cooperate. It was such a pleasure to train such like-minded people!

10. Zdzisław Socha and the two organisations he introduced to M-Powered: Zespół Szkół Kształcenia Ustawicznego w KrośnieandKrośnieński Uniwersytet Trzeciego Wieku.

So much positive energy! We loved hosting you in our courses In Ireland and Tenerife.

11. PlinEU, a Polish NGO, whose work is very close to our heart

SylwiaTałach-Kubas, Jola Nosal, Magda Moskal, Agnieszka Dudka and the whole team – thanks for being with us!

How to cultivate gratitude:

I love these tips by Harvard Medical School on how to cultivate gratitude on a regular basis:

Write a thank-you note. You can make yourself happier and nurture your relationship with another person by writing a thank-you letter expressing your enjoyment and appreciation of that person’s impact on your life. Send it, or better yet, deliver and read it in person if possible. Make a habit of sending at least one gratitude letter a month. Once in a while, write one to yourself.

Thank someone mentally. No time to write? It may help just to think about someone who has done something nice for you, and mentally thank the individual.

Keep a gratitude journal. Make it a habit to write down or share with a loved one thoughts about the gifts you’ve received each day.

Count your blessings. Pick a time every week to sit down and write about your blessings — reflecting on what went right or what you are grateful for. Sometimes it helps to pick a number, for example, three to five things, that you will identify each week. As you write, be specific and think about the sensations you felt when something good happens to you.

Pray. People who are religious can use prayer to cultivate gratitude.

Meditate. Mindfulness meditation involves focusing on the present moment without judgment. Although people often focus on a word or phrase (such as “peace”), it is also possible to focus on what you’re grateful for (the warmth of the sun, a pleasant sound, etc.).

Take care! I hope you’ll cultivate gratitude regularly 🙂

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