10 Things to Be Grateful for in 2020
Many people reflect on occasions like Thanksgiving and Christmas. One thing I have learned in 2020 is to focus on gratitude moment by moment and day by day. This one mindset shift has impacted everything from what I focus on to how I react and who I create with.
Last year, when I shared 10 Things to Be Grateful for in 2019 I never would have imagined a year like this one. I know I am not alone. A global pandemic, racial unrest, and extreme economic instability wasn't on anyone's vision board. Yet, there are still miracles in every moment and billions of things to be grateful for.
When I started shifting my focus, it impacted me spiritually, mentally and emotionally in every way. In 2016, I started creating and sharing my 90 Day Plan: 7 Steps to Success including everything from the spiritual to the financial.
2020 hasn't been the easiest year by far for any of us. It has forced us to face ourselves like never before in every way from the inside out. Not only that, but things we often took for granted on a local, national, and global basis have been stripped from us in ways we never would have imagined.
Ironically, last year my word for 2020 was revealed to me exactly at this time - Joy. It has helped carry me in more ways than one. God has used it powerfully to shift my perspective. My word for 2021 is Love, and I have no doubt will impact every area of my life as well.
In 2019, my word was Freedom. I faced shifts in every way and every area of life to create freedom from the inside out. This year - focusing on joy - is doing the same. Last year, when I wrote this post on Gratitude, I literally sat pool side in Mexico.
This year, my environment at my desk in Atlanta looks quite different. Yet, I feel gratitude, joy and contentment like I have never felt for this year and for the future I am creating.
What are you grateful for this year? Grab a journal and write down 10 things you are grateful for now.
What do you want create for your life? How do you want to feel in 2021? When you think of gratitude what do you think of? How could you choose gratitude even and especially in the hardest circumstances?
How could you transform your mindset and look for hidden treasures? Are you celebrating daily? One new practice I implemented in 2020 included writing down gratitude twice daily in the morning and evening, as well as keeping track of my "Celebrates" daily.
What I've learned is the more I focus on celebrating, the more I have to celebrate no matter what.
You will love these reflections of 10 Things to Be Grateful for in 2020.
Gratitude for 2020
Whether you are a 9-5er, an entrepreneur, and/or a community creator building a brand, gratitude is will transform you in every way. I started practicing gratitude consistently in 2011 and my methods and depth have transformed.
The most important thing I have learned is to be consistent day in and day out no matter what.
I won't sit here and pretend it is easy to return to gratitude in each moment something happens. I get it. It isn't easy to deal with internal and external struggles. We aren't promised an easy life without tests and trials.
Yet, I do and we do have a choice to choose to turn pain to purpose. I remind myself to reflect on the love, joy, and abundance I do have and not the temporary challenge. I choose to reflect on how the trail is chiseling and cultivating my character. I look for the ways I am stronger and calmer.
These 10 Things to Be Grateful for will help you put things into perspective for your gratitude list. It is in your free will to choose in the midst of it all to focus on what is pure, lovely and praiseworthy. One of my favorite verses is Phil 4:8 in the Bible.
This gratitude list includes themes I practice including spiritual, mental, relational and financial. I challenge myself amid chaos and circumstances to grow in every way.
I've often asked myself this year - what may I be grateful for today, how is this challenge changing me for the better, and how may this situation be used to help others?
When you choose to turn pain into purpose powerfully, our potential to help people on the planet is limitless.
1. Closer to Our Creator
I thought I had faith before 2020. At the same time, when I look at how my faith has grown, I am blown away. With all the added time granted this year, I evaluated how I use my time even more.
This year, I spent more time with God than ever both alone and in community.
I invested more time than ever and resources in time alone, nature walks, prayer, meditation, Bible Studies, journaling, books, fasting, and a spiritual retreat, What I found interesting is the more I prioritize time to Him, the more He multiples my time exponentially with simplicity, scaling, and community in every way.
Daily and Weekly: I increased my quiet time, prayers, and nature walks.
Throughout the year, I made time for studies, community and events including:
20/20 Vision Bible Study by Christine Caine
Armor of God Bible Study by Priscilla Shirer (2x)
Trustworthy Bible Study by Lysa TerKeurst
David Bible Study by Beth Moore
5+ Studies via Lifeway on the Free Ones Offered
Fervent Event with Priscilla Shirer and Anthony Evans
Lifeway Live with Beth Moore, Priscilla Shirer, Jackie Hill Perry & more
Woman Thou Art Loosed with TD Jakes
Girl Pray with Lifeway & Beth Moore
An incredible surprise blessing I encountered included a gift of a retreat from my friend Silvana on Captivating - by Stasi and John Eldridge - for 4 days near Dahlonega, GA. The focused time with women, time in nature, and dedication to breakthroughs and prayer catapulted so much in my life.
I reflect often on
Proverbs 29:18 "Without vision, people perish".
Like many of us, this year and the last several years, I've faced things I never thought I would. The situations have increased my faith and taught me humility, patience, and love like nothing else.
Without a shadow of a doubt, I know that I would not have the faith, hope, and love I do without God.
Perhaps, you believe in God. Perhaps, you don't. I understand. I used to try different paths or straddle the fence with belief systems. In 2010, 2016, and 2019, I had come to Jesus moments. They each progressively showed me God's love, strength, and limitless way.
All I know is that when I used to try different paths or straddle the fence apart from God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit - nothing came close to satisfying challenges I faced like God does.
2. My Incredible Health
I am beyond grateful for my health. This has been an incredible year of consistency with my health in every way. I took care of my body in every way. 2020 definitely brought some shifts in how I do it.
I stayed consistent with eating healthy, Herbalife Nutrition and working out regularly. My workouts started in 2020 like in 2019 with lifting weights at the gym 4-6 times a week. yoga, and dancing.
From March on, some things shifted. They included workouts from home, outside and downstairs I created, as well as using Peloton App and reaching 10,000 minutes and over 700 workouts this month. I spent more time than ever on walks and in nature at Chastain Park this year. This month, I added in Steezy Dance App as well!
I made sure my health stayed a priority in the midst of creating an all in one lifestyle brand no matter what. I think we may all agree that this year showed us how important and profound our health is.
3. My Mom and Dad
I am very grateful for my family. This is something I reflect on daily. This year I especially became extra grateful for What's App and the ability to call family instantly. The last several years have challenged us all to new levels of growth. If you didn't know, my mom and dad moved to Bulgaria from Houston, Texas after retiring in 2015. We've faced unexpected tests and trials in health and wealth.
If you are connecting with our community for the first time - I truly have a transformation story of a lifetime. My story includes being conceived in Bulgaria, born in Poland, in a refugee camp in Italy at 6 months old, and in the USA before age two. Our family has taken exponential leaps of faith to say the least.
I would literally not be here without them. They have helped me in ways I never would have imagined the last several years. My humility, grace, and compassion have grown towards myself and others because of the pain I have faced. The choice to turn pain into a purpose for people is powerful.
I am taking these leaps of faith further by giving up my lease in Atlanta next month and going to Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Mexico from December to July minimum in 2021. Originally, I planned to travel exponentially in 2021-2022 on a sabbatical year tied into 7 Continents transformational Retreats and Creator Camps.
In August of this year, I began to contemplate impacts of environment, weather, and community further. In addition, I imagined possibilities further with projects in media, wellness, business and travel online and live. I compared cost of living here in Atlanta currently to a global adventure. From every way, my leap of faith gave me peace from the inside out.
4. Limitless Adventure in 2020
I am grateful to be here in Atlanta this year. I love it in Atlanta for many reasons. At the same time, I love to travel. I am beyond excited to head to Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Mexico and create communities globally in 2020 and beyond.
In addition to online and wellness communities, I have planted seeds that are sprouting now in travel on platforms like Workaway, Wanderful, Travel Massive, Retreat Guru and more. I received several surprises and blessings this week aligned to Costa Rica.
I visited Costa Rica in 2016 when I led a transformational retreat near Liberia. I knew the retreat demonstrated only the beginning of my exploration of Costa Rica and Central America. I kept my eyes and ears open for Costa Rica reopening to all of USA and prayed about it. My prayers were answered in Oct-Nov of this year.
Currently, I am planning on spending Dec 31-mid February in Costa Rica, mid Feb-May in Nicaragua, and May - August in Mexico. In Costa Rica, I will likely be in three different destinations - beach, mountains and rainforest to increase my safety and minimize travel and exposure. In Nicaragua, as well as Mexico, I will most likely be in 2-3 stays and locations at most.
Regardless of the pandemic, I have increased my simplicity of travel and love slow travel and exploring a location in depth near me. At the same time, this fits great with being mindful of safety, travel, and exposure.
I plan on traveling with Delta Airlines, who has increased cleanliness aboard aircrafts, extended middle seats being vacant to March of 2021, and waived change fees currently. I love Southwest Airlines as well. However, currently they are not flying to Costa Rica until at least January.
While I have family in Europe, I did not feel it was wise to travel in 2020 with a minimum of 3-4 airports and 3-4 planes to get to my destination in the midst of current global circumstances. Not to mention the potential risk to myself and my family.
In addition, the cases are climbing in the USA and Georgia and I won't be surprised if another lockdown is implemented before year-end like in Europe. I felt going on one - three flights in a 6 month window is more than worth the risk. Not only that, I evaluated the impact to myself with increased sunshine, adventure, and community while being in countries with lower cases.
I will be traveling with a mask, face shield, and practice social distancing for myself and others.
Flashback to Our Adventures in Our Airbnb Adventures in 2019 with community.
Some of may know I became a Community Manager volunteering with Airbnb in 2019 in Atlanta. I love to create a community and help people create a life and business they love. As a gift, Airbnb provided a hosted trip to Community Leaders globally. One of our stops on our Airbnb Adventure was One Day in Holbox Island, Mexico
With my leaving Atlanta for 21-22, it made sense for me to open up the Community Manager role to someone new with Airbnb Atlanta experiences locally.
I love Airbnb, and asked about options to be a Global Nomad Community Host with Media. I've stayed at Airbnb homes globally myself with stays and staycations from Austria to Los Angeles to Atlanta. I love to travel and have incredible experiences globally. Since 2016, I started creating retreats with private stays at villas via Airbnb as well.
Leo Parias Photo in Costa Rica with @postcardstoseattle
I've hosted mastermind events and retreats in Costa Rica, Cuba and Barcelona. Our Transform and Travel retreats for entrepreneurs, influencers and creators include hands-on wellness, media and entrepreneurship experiences.
Coming up with my adventure in Costa Rica, I will be staying near the beach (figuring out either Punta Uva or Nosara right now), in Sonafluca, Provincia de Alajuela, Costa Rica near La Fortuna at Dragon Fly Properties, and La Finca Amistad Farm (maybe adding one more spot too!)
Each and every location offers it's own experience and feeling. I will be sharing each location and my experiences step by step. I absolutely love the beach - the sand, the sea, the ocean speaks to my soul.
Another location I will be staying at will be the Dragon Fly properties near La Fortuna as well. One experience I will be having is visiting Arenal Volcano, Hanging Bridges, and Rainforest Adventures. While I was looking for a great place to stay near La Fortuna, I discovered Dragon Fly Properties.
I almost couldn't believe my eyes. It's like seeing something come to life I didn't even know I needed or wanted! I love their story of living and working in LA, visiting Costa Rica, and deciding to create this beautiful compound near La Fortuna, Costa Rica. You can feel the vision, love, and community expressed through the images immediately, wouldn't you agree?
Immediately, I could see how it is ideal for rest, relaxation, and retreats. Not to mention, it's absolutely Instagrammable location for creating content with photos and videos for social media, my mastermind, and envisioning a retreat here!
Dragon Fly Properties Sonafluca, Provincia de Alajuela, Costa Rica near La Fortuna
I love creating community and this week I have traded beautiful and heartfelt messages with the ladies as well. I will be staying at one of their villas in January - February of 2021, and sharing tons of behind the scenes, stories, blogs, and show! In addition, I am eyeballing the location for one of our Creator Camps in 2022!