Manifesto 8.4: Overwhelming regret with gratitude by Emily Lewin

design The most effective way that I have found to live my life fully, engaging in the world around me, is to live in a constant state of gratitude. Gratitude is a powerful tool in our creative arsenal, requiring us to be present and aware of our surroundings. Giving thanks requires that we soften our hearts, engage with beauty, and allow our hearts to be moved in a positive way by our environments and situations. Gratitude is active, always on the look out for thanks triggers. Thankfulness can start with beauty or kindness, but to reach it's fullest potential, gratitude must return to the ultimate giver of good things: God. Gratitude connects our hearts to beauty and so connects our hearts to the beautifier, the Ultimate Creator.

Here's a little taste from our chapter on gratitude in the Bright Ideas Book:

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.

Connecting our hearts to beauty, life, and God in our present moments creates a wave of gratitude that overwhelms the disparaging discouragement of regret and doubt. Turn off regret's programing and allow your heart to create it's own soundtrack of gratitude for the life you're in right now. This is your time!

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11709673_10155712342880304_364978038189091847_oEmily is a creative entrepreneur, born in the South, raised in Colorado, and loving life in Brooklyn, NY. As the co-founder of Bright Ideas she spends her time doing freelance photography, writing blog posts, drinking black coffee, experimentally cooking, laughing, playing minimalist puzzle games on her iphone, exploring NYC, and working a lot of odd jobs. You can follow Emily’s adventures on Instagram or Twitter, see what inspires her on Pinterest, check out her photography on Facebook, or read more of her posts here.