Gratitude means thankfulness, counting your blessings, noticing simple pleasures, and acknowledging everything that you receive. It means learning to live your life as if everything were a miracle, and being aware on a continuous basis of how much you’ve been given. Gratitude shifts your focus from what your life lacks to the abundance that is already present.
I found it interesting that on the same day I was writing about gratitude, my girlfriend posted the above-mentioned quote (by Marelisa Fabrega, author of Abundance Blog) on Facebook. It’s such a beautiful quote and summed up perfectly what I was trying to communicate that I opened this post with it.
I live by this credo today. It wasn’t always like that though.
Let me start by paying homage to my mother, Patricia Balsofiore. One of her favorite things to say to me, especially as of late, is “be grateful for the things you have, Kristin.” I never really got what she was trying to say until this year. This journey has opened my eyes up in so many ways.
When I feel overwhelmed or down, I start to list all the things I’m grateful for in life. There are so many people worse off than you and me. People who don’t have good health, a roof over their heads, food to eat…. How can I complain?
I’m thankful for so much, and as time goes by here, the list keeps growing and growing. What am I grateful for?
For one, I appreciate the simple things now. I never did before. I overlooked so many of life’s wonderful little joys.
What else? I’m grateful for my accomplishments and the progress made since moving to LA. Due to events that took place in 2010, my priorities shifted (for one, health and happiness superseded money and career). I came here to have a more balanced and richer life, to enjoy a higher quality of living, to find my inner artist, to pursue a dream, and to experience another coast. Check. Check. Check. Check. Check.
Also, the people! I touched on this in a recent post. I want to express my deepest appreciation to some wonderful people. Each and every one of them has helped me in some special way. Some were small favors that folks did out of the kindness of their hearts. Then there were more profound gestures that opened doors and led to amazing opportunities.
With that, I want to thank:
- my family, friends and boyfriend, who all supported my decision to embark on this journey and have offered continuous words of encouragement
- the handsome, charismatic actor, Alberti, whom I met at Margie Haber Studios; he brought me to WEHO and is now my guardian angel
- my first female friend in LA, Kari, who provided me with a safe and beautiful home when I first got here, and since then, has become a dear friend
- my first acting coach, Eden, who pushed me to question things, ask difficult questions and realize what I truly want out of this experience
- my old colleague from the Northern VA tech community, Pamela, who offered me a great writing opportunity
- Steve, a talented and successful web designer and artist, who built Damn the Odds practically for nothing; he continues to demonstrate patience when I approach him with my IT-related questions
- my local tech guru, Kurt, who helped me navigate the local tech scene; it was because of him that I landed my first PR client in LA
- Emilio, a BMW sales executive and beloved family man, whom I dragged out of a grocery store to fix my old Benz; he’s helped me more than once now on my car-related issues
-Robih, owner of a body shop, who fixed my convertible top at no charge
- Michael, the nation’s top reality entertainment lawyer, who let me pick his brain on the industry and introduced me to a successful casting director
- Karen, a successful casting director, who let me tag along an intimate lunch with friends and gave me some invaluable insight about the biz
-Cyrus, a talented filmmaker, who always extended an invitation to me when I didn’t know anyone
-the Nashville-based financial wiz, Michael, for his time and advice
- Miguel, the hardest working actor I know; he’s what motivated me to kick it up a few notches
I’m a very lucky girl to have people like this in my life. I have a feeling this is a living and breathing list, and that I will be adding to it regularly.
Listen, everyone has hardships. Times get tough. Trust me though, if you appreciate what you have, you’ll be a much happier and more positive person. I’m not telling you how to think, I’m just telling you what has worked for me. Do what you want with this advice
If you want to read more about this philosophy, here’s a good post.