I was recently asked, by my dear friend, to answer a few questions for a project he's about to launch in September. I did not know the questions in advance, therefore I could not prep for what he was about to ask me. In my mind I have performed in front of complete strangers for years,  read and write all the time, have MANY in depth conversations with people about several different topics, so surely answering his questions would be no big deal.  I would be fine.  He sat to the right of the camera, asked me if I was ready to begin and called action. "Please, define gratitude in your own words."

  Again, not write down a paragraph or two on the subject but verbally define the word in front of a camera, beneath strong lights, against a white backdrop, facing my two friends and a microphone.

I completely froze. Searching for words, concerned about the order in which the words would come out of my mouth, if they would even make any sense...what was I even trying to say. I knew the meaning of the word but I had never been asked to explain it. Eventually I said a few things but felt all over the place. Maybe I should take some public speaking classes, I thought :p

So after the interview I came home and thought that I would use this forum as a fifth chance to define this word clearly (yes, it took about four takes lol).

Gratitude, to me, is more than just being thankful. It's a deep appreciation and acknowledgment for what you currently have and where you are in life. Our situations influence what we are grateful for tremendously. As human beings we are prone to taking things for granted, not always living in the moment and not appreciating what we already have because we are so busy chasing what it is we think we want. We forget that every breath, our ability to walk, talk, smell, touch, see and having complete use of our limbs aren't promised to us. We aren't in control of any of it and we should be grateful for ALL of it on a daily basis. 

Gratitude is a feeling of overwhelming joy and happiness for the people that surround you, realizing the influence/impact they've had in your life. Anyone from family, friends to teachers and complete strangers.

Gratitude is doing a self evaluation and identifying life's gift. Also taking ownership of the role you've played in steering the course of your own life by making certain choices.

Today I'm grateful for knowing God and the role he plays in my life. I'm grateful for my amazing family and my core group of friends. I'm grateful for who I am today and who I'm becoming tomorrow. I'm grateful for the experiences I have had and the dreams I have yet to realize. I'm grateful for knowing what I now know and the ability to learn and apply the teachings. I'm happy and appreciative of the countless blessings that have been strategically placed in my life. For all of it...I'M GRATEFUL!!!

*** Interview coming soon:) ***