Love Notes & Intentional Gratitude (or how I was Inspired by Chanel)

There is a lovely little-known tradition in Chanel stores around the world; if a man purchases the classic Chanel handbag for the woman in his life, he is asked to write a love note to her.  For on the inside of the front flap of the bag, there is a little zippered pocket, put there by Coco herself, for the express purpose of hiding love notes.

I was lucky enough one Christmas a few years ago to receive one of these purses from the Husband (it was December 24th, he hadn’t purchased my gift, he’d known I’d always wanted one, it was the first Christmas post tumour and we were in a celebratory mood . . .).  Anyway, as I unwrapped the gift, and realized what he had done, the first thing I did was to look for the love note.  As I unzipped the little pocket, there it was, on a small piece of white paper . . . a lovely little declaration of his love for me.  And every time I use that purse, I am reminded of the little note that’s there and I feel, well, I feel loved.

So, a year ago, I was inspired by something I read to write love notes to the Husband and the kids each day for a month.  I thought it would be an awesome way to show the three of them just how much I love them.  The first day was easy.  The second, wasn’t so bad either.  By the 3rd, it was starting to get challenging.  And by the 4th, I had reduced my goal to just getting through the week of my challenge.

That is not to say that I don’t have an infinite amount of love for the Husband and the kids.  But rather, it’s hard to put pen to paper to describe these feelings – or in other words, to put the intention behind this kind of all-encompassing gratitude that I have for them.

As I continue to work with this idea of pairing my gratitude with intention, I think I will try this love notes experiment again.  Perhaps I won’t be as lofty with my goals . . . perhaps I will try a challenge like the one I ready on the Art of Manliness blog (this is an awesome post, by the way) because one note a week seems infinitely more do-able . . . perhaps I will rotate who gets the notes each week . . .but regardless of how I end up carrying out this project, it is already making me smile.  Because I know much those few words on a scrap of paper hidden in the inside of a purse can make me feel . . . and I want to give the three most important people in my life that feeling too.

Gratitude – With Intention

I haven’t posted in a few days.  I have had lots of little thoughts, but nothing that coalesced into something bigger, worthy of an actual post.

When I got to the gym this morning, they had this amazing Tony Robbins quote up on the chalkboard wall, which got me to thinking, which lead to the idea for this post.

I am a lover of lists.  I use all manner of products to produce my lists – depending on what I need the list for – and I usually have multiple lists going at all times.  This weekend was a particularly busy one with halloween and my son’s family birthday party (which seems to be getting bigger each year with new babies coming almost every year for the last little bit).  Anyway, I know myself well enough now, that I was aware of the potential of turning into a whirling dervish by 10am if I didn’t sit down, take a few breaths and map out exactly what it was that needed to get done.  And so I did . . . a took a fresh clean piece of paper and wrote about 6 different lists on it.  As the day progressed, the Husband and I, without talking about it, went about our business, efficiently ticking things off the list.  And as we sat down to lunch at noon with the kids, we looked at each other and acknowledged that we had gotten the ENTIRE list done.  Before noon.

And with that, I finished my lunch (cauliflower soup with leftover sausages sliced up and thrown in – sooooooo good), and headed upstairs for a little quiet time.  And while I lay down, I turned on one of the Sounds True podcasts – one featuring Danielle LaPorte.  In the podcast, Danielle talks about the importance of gratitude.  But that gratitude itself is not enough; you need to understand the intention behind the gratitude.  For example, I’m grateful for the coach that introduced me to crossfit BECAUSE in turn, that lead me to completely changing my life for the better.  Long story short – it’s an awesome podcast – you should listen to it!

Over the weekend, I had the opportunity to have some interesting conversations with a variety of people about “nutrition” (aka what food I choose to put in my mouth and why) and the WHO study about bacon and processed meats.  Most people I know, and this isn’t a criticism or a judgement, choose not to think about the QUALITY of the food that they ingest.  They may think about the quantity and the composition of it (i.e. they will choose more veggies over candy), but no one is really interested in going deeper and experimenting with what a change in what you eat might do to how you feel.

Which brings me to my point.  I am extremely grateful for the Coach (who is also a nutritionist) for introducing me to the idea of wholistic nutrition BECAUSE it has changed the way I feel and the way my body responds to my chosen lifestyle (I prefer to workout every day, that makes me feel better, and the food I eat can positively or negatively affect my performance in the gym, never mind in life).

But, I am confounded as to why it takes pain for people to change as opposed to joy.  Look, I won’t lie – fertility issues, a pituitary tumour and a brain tumour primed me to look for ways to minimize my changes of getting “sick” in the future.  But why does it take disease for us to look at what we’re eating, our lifestyles?  Why can’t we look, enjoy and feel grateful for all that we have now, and look for ways to ensure that we continue to feel that way???  When will we stop looking for the cheapest, fastest, most efficient ways to feed ourselves, and instead, look for the healthiest, cleanest, most enjoyable means of sustenance?

So that, well, that’s my big thought for the day.

I hope you are able to find some gratitude, understand why you’re grateful for whatever it is that you’re grateful for, and make something really good, clean and TASTY for yourself!

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