Awesome Stories 344 – Thanksgiving Edition

This week Awesome Stories focuses on the power of gratitude. I love the Thanksgiving Holiday and the reminder to appreciate my life and its many blessings. gratitude, blessings, autumn

Gratitude by the Numbers

In case you’ve been hiding for the last 10 years, the transformative power of gratitude has been demonstrated. The research of Robert Emmons (and many others) has shown clearly that gratitude boosts our mental, emotional, and physical health.

And speaking of numbers, this week I passed 3000 subscribers!celebration, blog success

When I first started blogging, I was very focused on how many people were signing up for my blog. Gradually my focus shifted to the simple joys of writing, sharing, and connecting. I am both humbled and immensely grateful for all of you who follow my blog. When I began blogging in 2011, I wasn’t even sure I wanted to blog or write. I started blogging on a whim and suggestion from a friend. Thank you Eric Huber! Truthfully, the community, love, and support are what keep me going. I never imagined that I would still be blogging 6 years later. I have met and connected with so many wonderful people in this WordPress community. Thank you for touching my heart and life.

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!!!  🙂 3000 WordPress subscribers

Here are some other benefits of practicing gratitude:

  • improved immune system and heart function
  • increased optimism and emotional resilience
  • increased energy levels
  • decreased stress
  • improved self-care

Cultivating Gratitude

The most common way to cultivate gratitude is in a journal, writing at least 3-5 items that you are grateful for each day. Doing this for at least 30 days can help you to both create a new habit and reap the benefits. Research suggests that journaling your gratitude for even two weeks can bring benefits for up to 6 months.

Other ways to cultivate gratitude:

  • conscious breathing
  • saying “Thank you” often to people
  • meditating on gratitude
  • sitting and appreciating the feeling of gratitude

These and other gratitude practices help train the brain for positivity and gratitude, creating new neural pathways in your brain!

Gratitude for the Heart

Like Everyone Matters, this was the first video I ever posted on my blog and ended up putting it first on my inspiration page. I’ve shared it several times, including this tribute to gratitude called Open Your Heart to Gratitude. Louie Schwartzberg created one of my favorite videos of all time. The photography and cinematography are stunning by themselves. But paired with the hypnotic voice and words of Brother David Steindl-Rast, the video becomes a sublime feast for the heart and soul. And a powerful reminder of how much we have to be grateful for. As Brother David reminds us, today is truly a life-giving gift. Enjoy!

May we open our hearts to gratitude and allow the blessings to flow. Happy Thanksgiving!


69 thoughts on “Awesome Stories 344 – Thanksgiving Edition

  1. Congrats Brad. 3k subscribers! But even more impressive is that you’ve continued to curate and create inspiring and insightful content for us for 6 years. My understanding is that the average lifespan of a blogger is about 6 months, so your 12x more successful than us aspiring newbies.

    In closing… I’m grateful for you Brad. Namaste

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A beautiful post and a wonderfully inspiring way to live. Congratulations on your blogging. I agree though, it’s not about the numbers, it’s about the interaction, friendship and community. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A wonderful post and reminder to remain connected within, Brad. Only then can we appreciate all that is without.
    We don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, as such, here in Australia. However, it is certainly a lovely tradition; one I enjoy reading and knowing about..
    Happy Thanksgiving!


  4. Reblogged this on Anything is Possible! and commented:
    Open your heart and “… train the brain for positivity and gratitude…” with this wonderful, healing message and video from Brad at “Writing to Freedom.” Congratulations, Brad, for 3000 plus followers and for the joy writing has brought to you and others.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Brad, I hope you are having a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday my friend.. And yes, so much to be grateful for and this post another outstanding addition to your Awesome collection my friend..

    I am so grateful to know you, and so thankful there are those like your good self who go that extra mile in bringing such love and inspiration into our Blogging world..

    And a great BIG Congratulations upon your 3,000 subscribers.. WOW.. that is AWESOME.. ❤ 🙂 🎉🎆✨🎈🎇👍✨💕🥂

    Liked by 1 person

      • Oh we are rising.. ever higher Brad.. Which is why so much is coming apart at the seams in the world.. As we rise, so much has to be left behind and New Beginnings forged 😀 as we let go of the old ways of being and embrace the New..

        Liked by 1 person

      • I know.. Because we are shown so much negative. But when you get past that snippet of the window we are being shown.. And understand for every one person whose heart is out of alignment. There are 100 who only want Peace, but 60 of them are fearful because of the 1% of shown.. Learning to turn our hearts around is only a matter of perspective.. And like you with your Awesome Stories, and then the Good News Channel.. 🙂 Lots happening behind the scenes which are helping us rise.. But because we are bombarded with that percentage, our perception believes the world a bad place.. It has within it many of us who are struggling with the concept.. But there are also many Grandmothers out there too embracing the Light.. 🙂 And each of us are playing our part how ever small we may feel it to be.. Each are helping raise our Earth vibrations.. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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