_“People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in their true beauty is revealed only if there is light from within.” _-Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

The other day, I wasn’t feeling so great. It was one of those days where I went through the motions, while still wondering where my life was heading. Sure, I stuck to the habits I’ve made and yes objectively I could say I was doing powerful things. Given everything I’ve accomplished, I couldn’t believe I was feeling as down as I was. Wait a minute Anthony.. you were down? Yes, I am a human too and even though AuthenticGrowth has been such an outpouring of love for me, I still had my doubts about what I was doing. It is often the down moments when we’re able to find solutions that elude us when the light is shining.

In this “personal downtime” I was given an opportunity to recount my growth experiences and rejuvenate my self-appreciation.

I discovered that I was not following one of the key tenants of the Authentic Growth factors, and the “downtime” I was feeling was a personal reminder that I needed to recover quickly. After sitting in meditation, depressed when I should have been peaceful, it dawned on me. I was not taking time to appreciate all of the growth and achievements I had made throughout the year. I was taking for granted the fact that I was making progress in my personal life, and definitely not taking time to credit myself.

Reflecting on the things I accomplished this year changed my mood and outlook entirely.

I started by sitting down, lighting a nice sage incense stick, and writing out all of the things I should be grateful for year to date. Take your time doing this. I wrote for a little more than half an hour, all the while feeling that I could keep going if I tried. If you’re having trouble getting started, write down something small. I wrote down that I was grateful that I started enjoying lime on my pad thai earlier this year. Lime is so good! I can’t believe I never squeezed it on before this year (seriously, try it!). After that the wheels were spinning and I had a whole host of things I was finally appreciating about my year.

Taking time to thank yourself for who you are and what you’ve done is a habit you need in your weekly schedule

I’ve decided from this point forward to add a weekly self-gratitude session. I plan to do it even more frequently, say once every three days. During this time I’ll simply set aside 30 minutes to write, talk out loud, or whatever feels right to express the latest greatness in my life. In The How of Happiness, Sonia Lyubomirsky tells us that studies show those with a frequent gratitude practice are shown to be happier than those who don’t have this practice. Science is saying it and so is my personal experience, so what’s stopping you from getting your gratitude in? I’m so glad that I had the low that I was feeling so that I could remember what I’ve already learned about this practice. Take the time to enjoy who you are and you’ll undoubtedly find more things to enjoy about yourself.

These types of powerful shifts are what we strive to experience daily following an Authentic Growth life.

Nothing is better than feeling the positive effects of an action you’ve purposely committed for your growth. Working with a self-gratitude session is a gift you’re giving yourself. I prefer to write out my list but you can perform this review anyway you’d like. Personally I find writing it by hand is much more effective than typing it on a computer, but that’s just me. Take whatever time you need, in the next two or three days, to write down a list of the things you’ve enjoyed and accomplished this year. Whether its large or small, once you get the ball rolling you will be set to make the rest of your year amazing.

-Anthony From AuthenticGrowth.com

Links for increasing your self-love and self-appreciation: