“Gratitude is alchemy. It changes powerlessness, fear, and resentment into grace, determination, and unrelenting badassery.”

~ Unknown
This past year and a half for me have been about “No Fear!”  Not so much about “bravery,” but No Fear!
No fear to change. No fear to exercise. No fear to health. No fear to love. No fear to audition. No fear to perform.
No fear.
The other day, something interesting happened. I belong to Deborah LeeAnn’s Leadership Academy (I can’t recommend this program enough – you can check it out here!) and we had a group call where we completed our Character Strengths. This personality survey measures 24 character strengths that fall into six buckets – or Virtues, as they call them: Wisdom,  Courage, Humanity, Justice, Temperance, and Transcendence. And, each bucket is subdivided further to reveal traits such as bravery, creativity, appreciation for beauty, humor, perseverance, perspective, leadership.

So I took the survey and it was revealed that my #1 Character Strength is Gratitude…

If Gratitude is your top strength you are aware of the good things that happen to you, and you never take them for granted. Your friends and family members know that you are a grateful person because you always take the time to express thanks.

I thought – that’s kinda lame.  I didn’t need to take a survey to know that!

Guess I wasn’t displaying gratitude well, was I?

Then I started digging a little deeper.  Gratitude is part of the “Transcendence” virtue according to VIA Institute on Character that hosts the survey.

Gratitude falls under the virtue category of Transcendence. Transcendence describes strengths that provide a broad sense of connection to something higher in meaning and purpose than ourselves.

Higher in meaning and purpose than ourselves… hmmm. A broad sense of connection.  Now that I liked. But it still seemed that I was missing the bigger picture. 

I do feel an overwhelming sense of Gratitude. 

Grateful for so many, many things in my life. For so many people in my life. Grateful for life experiences. Moments. Situations. A new outlook on life. 

It was all these things wrapped up in a stream of such abundance that made me see how it was being grateful that allowed me to remove the fear I had felt before. The stifling fear of simply being was gone. 

You can’t feel fear when you feel gratitude. There is no room for fear for your heart is always full of appreciation, determination. 

When you feel gratitude it fills your heart with hope. Peace. A calmness that fear cannot dimish. A determination that cannot be dimmed, allowing you to exceed your usual limits… transcendent. 

I heard it said once that practicing gratitude is an art that can provide you with a feeling of “greatness.” But not an ego-filled greatness. More of a fullness to everything that is possible. 

Fear cannot live where there is possibility and possibility is everywhere there is gratitude. 

I do practice gratitude. I start every morning with simple meditation. I meditate on what I am grateful for, or what I want to be grateful for that day or that moment or in the future. I’m always grateful for my family. So I meditate on my family being happy, healthy, fulfilled.

A new friend of mine lives this more than anyone I have ever met. He is grateful for and celebrates good things in his life before they even happen. That’s a skill – a way of being – that I aspire to and he is a wonderful example for me to learn from.  I am grateful for him. 

I am continuing to learn that I have the power. The power of change. The power of transcendence. The power of being fulfilled. The power of gratitude. And, there is no room for fear. Only grace, determination and unrelenting badassery!

What are you grateful for? 

No, really… I’d love to know. Comment. Let’s show gratitude and be badass together.

I’m so grateful for you!

Carmen Garcia writes about stuff… life as a single mother, dating, weight loss, performing, and other random experiences. Sometimes it makes sense. Other times, not so much. You decide.
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