Gratitude 101 - Creative Hero University Gen. Eds.

For the past six months we have been unpacking the journey of a Creative Superhero. Each stage leads into the next with it's own set of challenges and opportunities. No matter which stage of the journey you are currently in, our next topic is a set of core principals that every Creative Superhero needs in order to reach the ultimate goal of Walking In Power to Change the World. We call these principals the Gen Eds of Creative Hero University.

The first class that is required for all Creative Superheros is Gratitude. Intentional gratitude is an incredibly powerful tool. Gratitude does not require any additional resources; it is accessible at any time, by any person, in any situation. Gratitude can shift our perspective from stress and negativity to peace and hope, allowing us to find beauty even in the most mundane and even painful circumstances. An intentional practice of gratitude creates a place of strength in us that can carry us through hard times in our creative journey.

We have written many times about gratitude because it is an essential part of the creative process and is a requirement for advancing into Creative Leadership. Just as Creative Leaders have reached a level of mastery in their creative expression through intentional practice, gratitude can be developed into one of our Creative Superpowers. Focusing our attention, gratitude reveals not what we lack, but all of the possibilities present in this moment. Even inspiration, that age old tease of the artist, is ever available when we are willing to exercise gratitude as it forces us to engage with the beauty around us in this present moment.

We find gratitude to be so important that we wrote an entire chapter on it in our Bright Ideas Book, here's a taste of what we had to say:

Living with constant awareness of the tangible goodness of God in our lives releases us from anchors that have held us back, propelling us forward. Gratitude allows us to rejoice in beauty everywhere, from the tiny petals on the flowers beside the road to the grandeur of cathedrals. Thanks flings back the curtains and opens the windows of our souls to fresh air and life in previously closed spaces. It gives room for light and sound and color to invade our consciousness. Gratitude adds spice, intrigue, flavor, adventure, and mystery to the mundane. It invites us to step out of the rush of life and frees us to live fully in this right-now moment.

Action: start regular exercise - take 1 minute every day this week to quickly jot down at least 3 intentional gratitude thoughts. You might be surprised how much beauty is around you right this moment. If you need help, we love Ann Voskamp's free Joy Dares - simple prompts to help you find gratitude every day.

Emily is a creative entrepreneur, loving life in Virginia Beach, VA, by way of DEN, CLT, & NYC. As the co-founder of Bright Ideas she spends her time doing freelance photography, writing music and blogs, designing pretty web things, drinking coffee, experimentally cooking, and exploring her city. You can listen to Emily's music, follow her adventures on Instagram or Twitter, see what inspires her on Pinterest, check out her photography on Facebook, or hire her here.