Monday, December 3, 2012


Hey everyone,
One thing I wanted to talk about before the end of this year is Gratitude.

For my friends and followers in the US, you have just had Thanksgiving, a special time where you think of all the things you are grateful for.

In Australia we don't have such a day, and I thought this December, in the lead up to Christmas, was the perfect time to think and talk about gratitude.

This year I have truly discovered the importance of gratitude. I have to start by telling you about how I came to this little epiphany. One day when I was shopping, I came across a book. This book was called "The Magic" by Rhonda Byrne, and its not what you may think it is. For my Christian friends who started to freak out at the word of "magic", I need to clarify that this book is about gratitude and how through gratitude we start to see things like we were when we were kids, where the world was magical and all things were possible. It talks about the 'magic' of gratitude.

This book has had a wonderful impact on me. "The Magic" acts like a 28 day work book to help you get out of a negative head-space and encourage you to see the world filled with possibilities. It is 28days so that it becomes a good habit. It goes through various religious scriptures and discusses them alongside quotes from theologists, thinkers, writers, philosophers, historians, presidents, songwriters, poets, journalists, anthropologists, business men & women, emperors, physicists, activists, teachers, coaches, artists and famous personalities

I started doing this in March, and you may be curious as to why it has taken me this long to share it with you, but i have shared it with my family and some friends to see the impact it has on them before i shared it with my online community. Some of you may have already read this book and done the activities, and if you have I would love to hear how its made a change in your lives! I am now happy to share it with you and some of the great things that have happened that have been "magical" to me.

I have really struggled with remaining positive in my life. I don't know how far back you have read these blogs so I don't know if you remember that both my parents have different disabilities. My dad has a rare brain disease called CerebralAmyloidAngiopathy which affects the white matter of his brain and has consequently led to him developing Frontotemporal Dementia.  My mum on the other hand has spinal damage and after several surgeries to help, things have gotten worse not better. And as such I have had to take on the role of Full-Time Carer for my mum. My dad is in high-care in a nursing home which we visit regularly. Both parents also have diabetes, so pain management and BSL management are two things as a carer i have to balance.

These realities have not changed. But my outlook towards them since reading "The Magic" has.

I wake up every morning and thank God/the universe that I woke up at all.

I also wake up and am grateful for even the smallest bit of sleep I had because a few years ago I was diagnosed with Insomnia and any sleep is precious.

I am grateful that I still have both my parents, because even though they aren't in peak physical/mental condition they still encourage me to be the best I can be.

I am grateful for the love and generosity they both bestow on me because they still can.

I am truly grateful for my sister, brother-in-law and their kids, because they remind me that I am loved. And that my life is sometimes very simple because I don't have to worry about kids, work times, school times, sport times, mortgages, etc.

I am grateful for my sister & Brother-in-law because they also look after mum when I need a break, or have other commitments.

I am grateful for my best friend, Tanya, because no matter how many times I share the same issues and troubles, she listens and provides suggestions. She doesn't judge me for some of the choices I have made along the way. She also encourages me to be apart of big volunteering events (shes the one who got me into Telethon and Relay for Life), and encourages my health & fitness (she started a netball team that I now play in) and she supports me when I struggle in the simplest ways.

My adoptive aunts are two women who I am grateful for. Both of them have supported me financially in the past with bills and unexpected travel expenses. Without them I would have drowned under financial pressures. Not to mention their love and support of mum and I.

I am grateful for all those people in my life who listen to me, encourage me to be positive, who listen when I am at breaking point and who stand with me, when I feel like I will fall.

I am truely blessed that I have 365days-of-kindness to focus on, because it continues to surprise and encrouage me to make a difference in the world.

I am truly happy that I look at this Blog and see how many people check it out in one day, how my exploits are travelling across the world, how I get excited when people "Like" the 365days-of-kindness Facebook Page (can you believe im at 79 "likers"? AWESOME!)

I am grateful that my attitude to money has changed because saving has become a priority and luxuries (that honestly, i don't really NEED) have to come second. I am no longer ashamed of how my money comes to me because I used to think that people would look down on me if they knew that I was paid by the government through Centrelink (the welfare agency in Australia). I earn my money, I am not a "dole bludger", as I have been called in the past.

I am grateful that i have the ability to look after mum because of Centrelink and that we have such a supportive agency in Australia.

Every day I sit down and write 10 things I am most grateful for in the day. Sometimes I write more than ten (because I just can't leave out any of those awesome things). I also record my kindness for that day after all my blessings. It looks kind of like this...

This is a photo taken from my Gratitude journal! Sorry about the quality, and the terrible handwriting! :) lol!
My life has not changed greatly. But there are a few things that have. I am now debt free. I owed about $3000 to family and I have finally paid that back (the majority of the money i have paid back since March!) and still have managed to save money ready for next year when i have an international wedding to attend. I am excited as its 5 years since i have been debt free!

Also, when I wake up in the morning I am no longer afraid to face the day. I used to wake up and be afraid of the "next disaster" to befall our family! But I now wake up and think of the good things I have before me, not the possibility of horrors. To me these are the miracles I have gotten out of the book.

I am so grateful for my life, my passions, my family, my friends, my communities, and people like you who read this and are inspired to do kind things in the world! :) Kindness and gratitude make the world a better place, even if its just our perception of it! :)

Thank you for reading this blog. I hope you get as much out of it as I do. It is a motivation that keeps me going on hard days. Brightening someone else's day also brightens your own! 

Have a wonderful day,
Luv Daena x

p.s. If you want to get a copy of "The Magic" and live in Australia - they are the cheapest ($10AUD) at Target! :) Or you can check out this link to the book depository (FREE INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING! yay).

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