Being thankful for the small things can be ‘life changing’
A Rigaud author who launched her first book yesterday is trying to help people tap into the well-being that comes from taking the time to be grateful for things large and small.
Carolyn Flower has been a public relations and rebranding specialist for more than 20 years. It was while navigating a divorce, however, that she consciously began to focus on the brighter side of life even when everything was not going so well in her own. Flower, who lives in Rigaud and has an office in Vaudreuil-Dorion, wrote “Gravitate 2 Gratitude” while working on another book which focused on what she’s dubbed the blended, extended family she ended up with after she and her ex-husband, who remain great friends and who even vacation together with their current spouses, children, pets, and so on, moved on with their separate lives.
A chapter in the book “Family Ever After – Collaborate Life After Divorce ,” which will be released sometime next spring, led Flower to write “Gravitate 2 Gratitude: Journal Your Journey ». The book was launched on Sept. 22. “This book came out of chapter about collaborative divorce and the gifts of gratitude,” Flower explained. She and her former husband entered into a collaborative divorce process. Flower says the process that’s recognized in more than 20 countries involves creating a team consisting of lawyers for both sides, child care specialists, mental health specialists, financial agents, and more. The team work out the details of a divorce outside of the courtroom. “It’s for families choosing to conduct themselves in a way to benefit the family in the long run and leave the courtroom for people who want to battle it out,” she explained, adding that collaborative divorces are not for everyone. Though she admits going through a divorce is never easy for anyone, her inspiration for “Gravitate 2 Gratitude: Journal Your Journey” was based on taking a moment each day to be thankful for even the smallest things. “As I was doing it, I thought to myself, wouldn’t it be great for families going through this to write down the things they were grateful for,” Flower explained of her thought process. And she conducted an experiment to back the philosophy up. In 2014, while dealing with the loss of her father, settling his estate and helping care for her grieving and ailing mother, Flower wrote a gratitude journal entry every day for 365 days. For her it came easy since she had always been in the habit of looking on the brighter side of life. Those who are not, she noted, can learn. And benefit. “Finding the gratitude isn’t the challenge, the challenge is for people to reframe their thoughts,” Flower said.
“Gravitate 2 Gratitude”, which is divided into five sections, teaches people how to refocus their thoughts. It begins with stories from folks across the globe who use gratitude to enrich their lives. “Gratitude completely changes your focus,” Flower said when asked why people should try to change. Another experiment she conducted while visiting California last year involved asking 100 people what they were grateful for during otherwise normal conversations. “Here they would be talking to me about their busy lives, their hectic schedules and I would ask them my question and it completely changed their focus… the transformation was immediate,” she said, noting that people leave the “chaotic chatter” behind in an instant. “You’re asking them instead to think about things that bring them a sense of calm and appreciation,” she said. “Gravitate 2 Gratitude” includes a 180-page journal that readers are encouraged to use every day if possible. “You take the time to write down what you’re grateful for that day…if you can do that I can guarantee that your life will change. It’s not magic, its the way your thoughts get processed,” Flower noted. The book is available through Amazon, and most online book stores. It can be found at some stores in Hudson, including Centre Decor Hudson, as well as through the book’s webpage: www.gravitate2gratitude.com. Flower says those who order from the website can win prizes donated by other authors, and get a free companion book.