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1 - Introduction to Small Wonders That Change Everything

Updated: Feb 27, 2019

Living a gratitude filled life by appreciating all of the little wonders around

Getting a hot dog in your wedding dress...also changes everything!

I was shocked to hear what my husband had to say about me during his wedding speech. The first surprising part was that he wasn't reading his speech. This was not his plan. As most wedding days are slightly on the chaotic side, ours was no different. Hair and makeup bright and early, followed by a flurry of wedding photos taken at different locations, and then finally arriving at the scene of the crime. I mean, the best day of my life. My body was so full of excitement, love and butterflies, when I got out of the Uber at our venue, I completely forgot that my bag was in the trunk. My bag, which was full of makeup, hair products, a change into my favourite red cowboy boots for dancing, and yes, our speeches. Oh, and our rings were in the bag too.


“Don’t panic. Don’t panic. Don’t panic”, said my inner voice. “Your makeup and hair are already done, you can dance in bare feet, you can borrow someone else’s rings for the ceremony, and you know what your speech says anyway. No problem. PIVOT.” That’s what I say when circumstances change outside of my control - PIVOT!

One of the things he talked about, in front of our closest friends and family, was that on any given day, they would hear Jaime exclaim in sheer joy and excitement, “THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING!”

My husband was getting mentally prepared to speak from his memory and his heart when our Uber driver returned our lost items at the last minute. However, without knowing his speech would be retuned, he was already in the mindset to speak in the moment; his truth about us, and me. So when he got on stage, that's exactly what he did. One of the things he talked about, in front of our closest friends and family, was that on any given day, they would hear Jaime exclaim in sheer joy and excitement, “THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING!”


Which is true, although, I never realized how often I do it. For example, one day he came home with the Magic Bullet from Costco. Until that day, I’d been making smoothies in a full-sized blender, which required a significant cleanup every day. The Magic Bullet, however, was the perfect size for one smoothie. The blender itself was the cup so you didn’t have anything extra to clean up. And it also had a lid so that you could take it to go. Now, I ask you. Does that not change everything?

It’s the little things that can change everything. Like the first time my stepdaughter, at two years old, finally let me take her out of the car instead of daddy.

It’s not the big things. It’s the little things that can change everything. Like the first time my stepdaughter, at two years old, finally let me take her out of the car instead of daddy. Or the first time my stepson, unprompted, said, “Jaime, I love you.” It’s acknowledging and showing gratitude for the small moments in life that can have the greatest meaning and value.


Gratitude isn't just a nice notion...it's scientifically good for both your body and mind

#Gratitude improves physical and #emotional #health. Grateful people experience fewer aches and pains and report feeling #healthier than other people, according to a 2012 study published in Personality and Individual Differences. They are also more likely to take care of their health, with physical activity and regular check-ups. Gratitude reduces a multitude of toxic #emotions, from envy and resentment to frustration and regret.


Gratitude also enhances #empathy and reduces #aggression. Grateful people are more likely to behave in a prosocial manner, even when others behave less kindly, according to a 2012 study by the University of Kentucky. Study participants who ranked higher on gratitude scales were less likely to retaliate against others, even when given negative feedback. They experienced more sensitivity and empathy toward other people and a decreased desire to seek revenge.


Gratitude improves #sleep and self-esteem. A 2014 study published in the Journal of Applied Sport Psychology found that gratitude increased athletes’ self-esteem, an essential component to optimal #performance.


Gratitude can also increase #mental strength. For years, research has shown that gratitude not only reduces #stress, but it may also play a major role in overcoming trauma. A 2006 study published in Behavior Research and Therapy found that Vietnam War veterans with higher levels of gratitude experienced lower rates of post-traumatic #stress disorder. A 2003 study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that gratitude was a major contributor to resilience following the terrorist attacks on September 11. Recognizing all that you have to be thankful for —even during the worst times—fosters resilience.


Clearly there are a number of benefits to actively practicing gratitude. So I decided to challenge myself. For one year starting on my birthday (today), I’m going to share one small wonder that lead me to say ‘THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING’ with you, starting with MOVIE THEATRE POPCORN WITH KETCHUP SEASONING in my next blog. I would love for you to share your moments and small wonders with me as well. So feel free to send me yours. Let’s challenge each other for an entire year.

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