Thankful Thursday: Are Your Eyes Open?

For you newcomers to my blog: welcome and bienvenidos!

Every Thursday I share at least three things I’m thankful for to keep myself accountable for recognizing the upsides in life, both big and small.

Sharing my gratitude journal last year was a cathartic experience. The therapeutic release of expressing gratitude for the good things in my life helped me gain perspective, especially when I needed it most.

2013 was a murky year filled with loads of detours. I felt like the Griswolds in their car getting stuck in one of those British roundabouts in European Vacation.

Yeah, this was me, on a perpetual loop.

Sometimes I struggled with thinking optimistically about my future, but focusing my attention on the good in the present moment allowed me to open my mind up to the potential that lay beyond my own limits.

A recent post by Ozioma of Burnbright Lifeworks, reinforced what I learned this past year:

Many of us lead exceedingly complex lives where millions of bits of information pass right before our very eyes, much of which we will never retain. This phenomenon causes our minds to focus on what appears to stand out: the BIG things. BIG shows of love, BIG spikes in sales, BIG, BIG, BIG. Before we know it, we fall out of gratitude and forget about the small wins we experience every day. Over time, what would have been milestones on our journey become meaningless and what would have been cause to celebrate is now seen as cause to compare.

I once learned that if you do not celebrate your achievements, both big and small, it’s as if they never happened.

On our journey to live big dreams, we can’t forget about the small acts of kindness, the small triumphs, and the small steps of progress we take everyday. If you truly want to enjoy the life you have, while working towards what your life can be, it’s important that you learn to celebrate your wins, no matter how small. ¹

She sums it up pretty nicely, no?

This week was filled with crazy highs and lows for me, but after a year of living in gratitude and looking at the upside, it was much easier for me to cast aside the  negative in favor of the moments that left me feeling ecstatic and appreciative of this life that I’m shaping each day.

So, without further ado, here are three things I’m thankful for this week.


Have I convinced you to start your own gratitude journal yet???

No worries, I’ll be back here each Thursday sharing my journey and hopefully getting you to see the advantages to being grateful for the life you’re living now.

Until then, think about what may be blocking you from what you truly want for yourself. What are those barriers? How can you move past them? What puts a smile on your face each day? Consider those answers and open your eyes to the world around you.

As always, keep paying it forward. Stay healthy! 🙂



¹How to Live the Life of Your Dreams Entheos Academy

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Thanksgiving Thursday: What I’m Thankful for this Year


I plugged in this holiday just to share this very short list of what I’m thankful for this year. I plan to be back here soon to give this past year even more thought, but I’m starting with what is closest to my heart today.

I have an embarrassment of riches. There are so many things, good and bad, that I appreciate because they all came together to bring me to this moment of utter joy.

I have a heart full of love and whats even more amazing is that I am finally open to receiving love for what feels like the first time in a long time.

I’m about to unplug again to get back to my family and loved ones and to take part in the traditions that make me truly happy.

I wish all of you a wonderful holiday filled with love and happiness. I hope you find yourself surrounded by those that make you grateful for this amazing life. Smile, laugh, eat, and partake.

Many blessings and cheers!!

Keep paying it forward,

Maribel 🙂

Thanksgiving is More than Black Friday

It’s that time of year again.

That’s right. Thanksgiving.

Our excuse to be major gluttons while watching football games, dodging familial landmines, and sleeping off hangovers in time to catch the early deals on Black Friday.

If you’ve been following my site, you’ll note that there’s a lot going on in that last statement that doesn’t fit into my picture of the holidays.

Thanksgiving can be and should be so much more than what it’s become.

Black Friday disturbs me. The one time I worked retail on that particular day was enough to haunt me for the rest of my life. I quit my job shortly thereafter.

Does owning that new television at half the price truly make you happy? What makes this year’s deal better than last year’s deal? Why are you cutting the quality time with your family short so that you can engage in bitter sometimes violent battles with others over something you don’t actually need?

Maybe I’m coming off a bit righteous. If so, than I don’t apologize.

I’ve spent the better part of this year digging into the why’s and how’s of happiness to try and get a better understanding of what makes me tick. It’s an ongoing process that often leaves me feeling confused, but that level of self-awareness has opened me up to thoughts that typically fall outside the lines. I grasp at the potential for something bigger and much more profound. Life is meant for living, and pursuing money for the sake of owning things isn’t living.

Sure, I have material wants, and as much as I hate it, money is a necessity. But I’ve found the moments that bring me the most joy and truly made me feel full, had nothing to do with a deal on a pair of boots.

Watching my best friend walk down the aisle with her mother on her wedding day will be a memory I hold forever. Sitting down and wrapping my arms around my knees as I take in the breathtaking beauty of the rocky landscapes in Utah brought me a deeper connection with nature and the world around me. My mind was never clearer as it was in those silent moments of observation.

If you’re one of the millions who is anxiously waiting for Friday, I won’t tell you to stop what you’re doing. And despite what this post sounds like, I’m not judging. Do you.

But don’t sacrifice the opportunity to experience some truly wonderful moments that will stay with you forever in favor of something that’s fleeting.

I shared most of my gratitude journal with the public this year as a way to keep me grounded and focused on the power of saying thank you on a regular basis. There are times when it’s a challenge to find the upside, but when I finally do, it’s always worth the effort.

This Thursday is the big one for gratitude and when it’s your turn to say what you’re thankful for, take full advantage of the chance to share what’s important to you with the people you love.

Put all of yourself in that time. Eat. Laugh. Share. Be present.

Make the choice truly celebrate the holiday from beginning to end. You’ll realize as time goes on that the parts that stick with you are the ones that didn’t cost a dime.

How are you celebrating Thanksgiving?

What are you thankful for this year?

Note: I spent last Thanksgiving sharing a live feed of my healthy recipes throughout the day. As much fun as I had posting pictures and recipes, I realized that I could not and would not repeat that format this year. It goes to my point: Thanksgiving is about spending time with family and creating memories. That doesn’t include me whipping out a camera every five seconds. I’m stepping out from behind the keyboard and my phone to share an inside joke with my sister or to learn cooking tips from my mom. And you should do the same! Unplug for a little while! We’ll all meet up back here eventually.

If you’d like to take a look at some of these healthy dishes for Thanksgiving, then go ahead and check them out here.

If you’re looking for something different for dessert, then take a look at this chocolate pumpkin torte!

I’ll be back here to share my gratitude journal on Thursday. I hope you’ll feel inspired to share yours as well.


Keep paying it forward, now and always. 🙂


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