What I Know for Sure About Gratitude

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Catherine Hughes

Director of the 8 Women Dream Project at 8 Women Dream
Catherine’s dream is to make 8 Women Dream the premier online publication for women looking to pursue their dreams. She is a published author, a freelance writer, and a guide for those who want their dreams to come true online. Catherine would someday like to be invited to speak at TED about her observations about her 8WD project inviting women to take a chance on their dreams. Wine was required... Catherine posts on Sunday evenings and fills in dream stories as needed. If you aren't sure how to comment on this story, click here.

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What I Know for Sure About Gratitude  - Gratitude is the sun that drives winter from the heart quote

Hello Thankful Thursday dreamers,

Dreaming big dreams doesn’t protect you from life. If anything, doing something about your big dream amplifies just about everything that happens in your life. It doesn’t protect you from setbacks or disappointments — you will still experience life — but dreaming does give you something to cling to when life is kicking your butt.

Just like the seasons, there will be winters happening in your life while you work on your dream. There will be loss. There will be pain. You will feel discouraged.

This is true for everyone who dreams big dreams, so you are not alone. What is important to recognize, as you slog through your own personal winters, is that spring does come around again, followed by summer.

Life can change for the better.

But dreaming big dreams does not insulate you from long, cold winters in life. It’s part of living on this earth. Part of being in the I-want-my-dreams-to-come-true club is that you must put on your thick coat during the winter times and tough it out until Spring arrives.

Hanging in there will richly reward you with an amazing and beautiful story of your own life.

What I Know for Sure About Gratitude - Prosperity and happiness comes from a state of gratitude

But how do you hang on when the winters of life are getting you down?


When you are in a period of winter in your life, gratitude can be the small heater to warm your heart, help you rest and remind you that even in the coldest, darkest situations, there will be warmth of the soul.

Practicing gratitude while you are feeling vulnerable and struggling through the days is like using dry oak to create warmth from a fire.

There is the danger of falling asleep when you are in a winter of your life where you lay down your dream and let it go. It’s often replaced with a haze of fruitless activity that appears to be keeping your heart warm when they are actually robbing you of precious time spent challenging yourself to be more.

Hang on, for spring will always show you signs that it is just around the corner — if you stop to notice what fortunes actually exists even when it feels like you are alone. You have your eyes in which to read this, your hands that pulled you up to this computer screen, and the body that supports you right here, right now.

You would miss your abilities if they suddenly became unavailable to you.

What I Know for Sure About Gratitude  - If a flower could tell their story in gratitude - adapted from Lucy Larcom

Promise yourself to begin being grateful for five things today and every single day until your winter season has melted into spring. Notice the flowers already appearing in your life from the kindnesses of strangers, the help of a dear friend to the feet that are carrying you through this day.

Use gratitude as the fuel to help you make your dreams come true. Be grateful for the challenges and setbacks. Be grateful for what the roadblocks teach you.

Everything changes. It’s the cardinal rule of life on this planet — nothing stays the same. We must stop and be grateful every day so that we don’t miss a moment of this wild ride we are on.

Gratitude helps you accept the changes and find peace in your journey.

To dream is really about the dream journey and the best way to remember every season of it is to be grateful for the one you are in. Because once your dream comes true, you will talk more of how you survived the winters while dreaming and not about the spring.

And that is what I know for sure.

Catherine (for Sue – thank you Sue!)

If you have a gratitude story that you would like to share on our Thankful Thursday, we’d love to share it with the readers of 8 Women Dream. Please send it to Catherine AT 8WomenDream DOT com