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GRATITUDE LISTS

GRATITUDE LISTS

In her last coaching session with me, my client, Alexis, asked me if I knew which of the exercises I had given her to do over the years had made the biggest difference in her life.  I could think of many assignments I had given her, but none stood out.  “It was when you told me to start writing gratitude lists,” she said.  “I realized that I had a horrible habit of complaining and saying that nothing was ever good enough for me.  When I started writing those lists, it helped me see how many little and big things I take for granted in life.  I realized how fortunate I am and started to become more positive and grateful.  My fiancé actually told me the other day that two of the qualities he finds most attractive about me are that I have such a positive outlook on life and am always appreciative of the things he does for me.”

One of the simplest ways to begin to appreciate who you are and what you have to offer a partner is to start making gratitude lists.  Each day for the next 30 days write a list of 30 different things you’re grateful for.  You cannot repeat anything on the lists.  You can say, “My friend, Tiffany” on one day and “Going shopping with Tiffany” another.  You can include something as deep as “I have loving parents” or as simple as “I love the new color of my toenail polish.”  If you cannot come up with 30 things each day, write as many as you can.

My Gratitude List for Today

I am grateful for/that…

  1. My husband, Benjamin, who is the finest man I have ever known
  2. My two adorable dogs, Cosmo and Milo
  3. My dear friend, Peggy, who agreed on a sort of a whim, to help me finish my book, Naked Dating, and opened up her heart and her life to me
  4. Ted, Peggy’s husband, who has been so wonderful in allowing me and Naked Dating to invade his life
  5. The acupuncture is working and Cosmo can walk again
  6. I work in a career I love
  7. The little cabin I have rented in Guerneville and the time I have spent there writing my book, Naked Dating
  8. All my clients
  9. My beautiful home
  10. My wedding ring and the diamond “love” pendant my husband gave to me
  11. The 13 in. MacBook Air that fits in my purse
  12. Second chances
  13. My friends
  14. Having found true love
  15. Turning my life around
  16. Colors
  17. All the trips I took with my grandmother to Mexico as a kid
  18. My Aunt Ruth and Uncle Sid who are the mother and father I never had
  19. Mechanical pencils
  20. All the teachers I’ve had along the way
  21. The Shins
  22.  Sitting in the hot tub in Guerneville staring up at the towering redwood trees
  23. My beautiful office in my home where I spend most of my time
  24. Fall
  25. Who I am today
  26. Anthropologie
  27. Online shopping
  28. The Internet and my website
  29. Creating my dream
  30. Popcorn with real butter

 

Notes from a Los Angeles Dating Coach in Guerneville, CA

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The Bathroom

Notes from a Los Angeles Dating Coach in Guerneville, CA:

Clearheart Grove, the little cabin I have rented where I am going to work on my book, lies about a mile past the town of Guerneville, just off the main road.  I have no idea where I am going, but my GPS takes me straight there.  It’s already dark when I pull over, get out, and push open the gate that shields the property from the street.  Then, I drive in, park in the ample front yard, and close the gate behind me.  When I turn to look at the cabin, my heart leaps.  Unlike many Internet dates who do not look like their photos, this girl doesn’t disappoint.  On the outside, she is every inch as adorable as she was in the pictures she’d posted on RussianRiverRentals.com.

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The Bedroom

I punch in the code I’ve been given to the lock box and two small silver keys leap into my hand.  As I slip one into the lock, my heart begins to race.  I’ve driven all this way from Los Angeles and paid a full month’s rent in advance.  What if I don’t like her?

I jiggle the lock and the front door flies open.  This is when I remember that I have to pee—badly.  I’d consumed several liters of water on the way up and hadn’t relieved myself in hours.  I race to find the bathroom, forgetting the cabin completely.

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The Kitchen

I collapse into a puddle of gratitude on the toilet. When I am done releasing what seems like the entire contents of my body into the bowl, I look around the room and another wave of relief washes over me.  The bathroom—with its old pedestal sink and pull-chain light above the mirror—is absolutely charming.  I flush, step out into a bedroom, dart into the kitchen, and then run back into the living room.  One room feels cuter, cozier, and more “cabiny” than the next.  There’s warm wood everywhere—on the floors, the walls, and the furniture—and picture windows, too.  Even the doors are mostly glass, allowing me to see out in every direction.  A quilt-covered daybed tucked into a corner provides a perfect view of the ivy-carpeted yard that is pierced by towering redwoods.  In the living room, a welcoming wing back wicker chair waits patiently by the fireplace.  Other touches like an antique stove, roll top desk, and splashes of red, white, and green gingham—complete the picture.  Sigh. I am in love!

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The Wicker Chair

Now, I am sitting  at the old oak dining table in my Northern California dream cabin writing this blog.   I wish you could see this place.  It’s perfect.  It’s Little Red Riding Hood and Hansel and Gretel all rolled into one.  Even the name, Clearheart Grove, sounds like something borrowed from a fairy tale.  I feel completely content.  This is how I felt when I first laid eyes on Benjamin.   I felt like was home, like I was where I belonged.  I felt like I could stop looking for something better because I knew I would never find it.  It could never get any better than this.

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