My belief is we should live every single day as if it’s Thanksgiving. When I shifted from a lifestyle of constant complaining to one of thanks + gratitude — EVERYTHING CHANGED. Not only was I blessed with more goodness to be thankful for, but I began living with more joy, peace and overall happiness. What is your level of gratitude today? Do you focus more on the things you don’t have? Could I have a bigger house? Heck yes. Do I want more shoes + handbags? Umm, of course. But, I am so grateful to have a roof over my head, a warm bed, my cute reliable Jeep and more than enough shoes and handbags…that I never even wear.
Make the shift today and change your focus.
To help you get started, I collected some great quotes:
“No duty is more urgent than that of returning thanks.” ~ James Allen
“You can’t live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you.” ~ John Wooden
“Make it a habit to tell people thank you. To express your appreciation, sincerely and without the expectation of anything in return. Truly appreciate those around you, and you’ll soon find many others around you. Truly appreciate life, and you’ll find that you have more of it.” ~ Ralph Marston
“Be thankful for what you have, you’ll end of having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” ~ Oprah Winfrey
“It is impossible to feel grateful and depressed in the same moment.” ~ Naomi Williams
“A tree is known by its fruit; a man by his deeds. A good deed is never lost; he who sows courtesy reaps friendship, and he who plants kindness gathers love.” ~ Saint Basil
“You simply will not be the same person two months from now after consciously giving thanks each day for the abundance that exists in your life. And you will have set in motion an ancient spiritual law: the more you have and are grateful for, the more will be given you” ~ Sarah Ban Breathnack
“If we magnified blessings as much as we magnify disappointments, we would all be much happier.” ~ John Wooden
“None of those material possessions do anything to make your life any better… I know a lot of people who have a lot of everything, and they’re absolutely the most miserable people in the world. So it won’t do anything for you unless you’re a happy person and can have peace with yourself.” ~ Lenny Kravitz
“Life is an echo. What you send out, comes back. What you sow, you reap. What you give, you get. What you see in others, exists in you. Remember, life is an echo. It always gets back to you. So give goodness. ” ~Unknown
Wishing you and yours a beautifully blessed Thanksgiving! Create memories, eat that 3rd helping of green bean casserole and hug your loved ones a few seconds longer.
The aspect of SOS I love the most is when women who reach out sharing their heart and journey with me. It’s like a beautiful gift I get to unwrap when I open that email or message on social media. The love and inspiration exchanged comes back around to me full circle reminding me we are all in this together!
One message I received yesterday just had to be shared here with you all. The day after the #RHOD reunion aired, I posted the above bridge photo with the caption, “a walk in nature is all that’s needed sometimes to reset our spirit. This bridge is symbolic to me today…MOVING ON. What bridge do you need to cross over today and move on from?”
A lovely lady who follows me on Twitter began reading and watching my SOS content as the Bravo show was airing. She wrote me this yesterday and it touched me. It’s truly a testament on never giving up and how to face our circumstances head on with positivity and gratitude instead of getting stuck and depressed by them….
Hi Tiff!! First let me thank you for posting REAL pics on social media showing that you live what you teach and preach! Not pics of you and Aaron partying or wearing fashions that women like me want, but can’t’ afford. You show us how to do it on a budget!
I get up everyday and look at the picture you posted of the bridge.
I cross over it and forget about my broken heart, my relationship with my son and how I may never have one with him because I blew it and how my mom gets worse everyday with her MS.
I cross over the bridge and minute by minute forget the man who broke my heart and thank God for restoring my relationship with my son and thank Him that I can be here for my mom.
It’s easier some days than others!
God has truly given me this time to get healthy and put my life in perspective and to prepare me for the man He has for me.
Like your tweet said a few days ago, “I’m a VESSEL not a VICTIM!”
I pray this encourages you to pick up your feet and pick up your chin. I view God as the bridge toward our Destiny! Who wants to stay on the wrong side forever? Yes, moving on and crossing the bridge takes courage, trust and faith. Aren’t you curious what life is like on the other side? For me, it has been a life of more joy, more freedom, more love, more adventure. That’s my hope for us all.
Who is excited for Thanksgiving week? ME! We get a short work week, quality time with those we love, yummy food, naps without guilt and time to focus on what we are truly grateful for. I’m looking forward to sitting on my mom’s couch, turning off my brain and catching up on magazines together. Have I mentioned how much I love being in Texas and able to jaunt down to Houston to see my folks? This Thanksgiving Day marks our 2 year anniversary living in Dallas.
Time has flown.
So much has happened.
Amazing doors have opened.
My heart is full.
I have to say, this is one of the greatest gifts I am grateful for this week. Like any big move, we’ve had our share of wonky moments- but Dallas has become home and we are grateful for the beautiful souls in the city who have embraced us with open arms. It proves stepping out into the unknown is always rewarding.
Thanksgiving week is the perfect lead in to the holiday season and end of the year. What’s better than ending the year full of gratitude?!? This mindset and practice will set you up for success in the new year. Hello 2016!
Does expressing gratitude come easy to you or do you find it difficult to focus on your blessings in the midst of your burdens? Practicing gratitude has become a daily part of my life, but it wasn’t always that way. I was a chronic complainer and my life was a reflection of it. I was a mess, my life was a mess and my thoughts were a mess. It all starts with your thoughts so if you need a little help getting started on living a life of gratitude and changing the way you think- keep it simple with an A to Z list. We all have so much to be grateful for and the more you focus on those things, you’ll unlock an abundance of blessings to flow to you and chase you down.
Join me in creating a fun list. I am grateful for:
A- Accessories. They are my obsession and add an exclamation point to any outfit.
B- Bible. My favorite ‘self help’ book! Joyce Meyer has a great amplified version:
C- Coats. They keep us warm on chilly days like today. (If you live in DFW, please drop off your gently worn coats to the Campbell Agency on Oak Lawn & Blackburn for their coat drive)
D- Dogs. My little Zoe has been the best companionship. She’s also been in a pain in the butt, but I love her. She’s a bundle of love.
E- Encouragement. Just this morning I received the most heartfelt email from my Spiritual mentor. Not sure what I would do without her encouragement! #GodSend
F- Faith. Without it, we remain in a hopeless state. Being filled with Faith gives you strength to face each day.
G- God. Without Him, I would be a drug addict, dead, depressed and totally defeated.
H- _________________( fill in the blank)
I- Independence. At times I can be too independent, but I’m so grateful my parents raised me to be an independent woman. It’s important to know you can rely on yourself!
J- _________________(fill in the blank)
K- Kale. It makes my morning smoothie super yummy and packed with antioxidants.
L- Love. My life is overflowing with it. #Blessed
M- ________________ (fill in the blank)
N- Naps. I love them and will take them any time I can!
O- “Oceans”. My all time favorite song by Hillsong.
P- Patience. I’m always running low on it, but getting better with age. Being patient takes away so much stress!
Q- Quinoa. It’s healthy, yummy and a great rice replacement.
R- _________________(fill in the blank)
S- Sisterhood. The women in my life who love me just as I am, call me out on my s@&*, help me shine brighter and pray for me when I’m weak are the sisters God let me choose. Also, this SOS Sistahood has changed my life!
T- Truth. Authenticity and honesty in people are the most attractive attributes to me. I’m always so grateful for people who keep it real!
U- Underwire Bras. Go ahead and LOL… gravity is taking over and they help the “girls” stay cute and perky! Here’s my favorite daily bra by DKNY:
V- ________________(fill in the blank)
W- Walks. My natural anti-depressant. I started taking long power walks around 12 or 13 when I was approaching my treacherous teen years. Helps keep me sane and organize my crazy creative thoughts.
X- ________________(good luck with that one..fill in the blank)
Y- Yellow. One of my favorite colors. Brightens even the most dreary day.
Z- Zzzz’s. Did I mention I love to sleep? I’m so grateful when I can catch up on sleep on the weekend.
You’re probably thinking,
“Only on Tiff’s blog can you talk Bibles AND Bras !!”
Hey, I keep it real. They are 2 things we can’t live without.
Please share your ideas and what you filled in the blanks with!
Are you bored with the topic of gratitude yet? Everywhere you turn this month people are talking/posting/tweeting about the subject. WooHoo…that makes me very very happy especially for you cynical sistas who think it’s all just a rah rah month long pep rally. Those are the people who need the reminders most. Never underestimate the power of a grateful heart. By the end of the year, I need this reminder as well. October was a challenging month and I felt myself slipping into my whiny complaining mode. It’s a slippery slope that begins the minute we begin to talk about our problems & burdens more than we talk about our blessings. The pollution began to cloud my mind and judgement. Duh! Stop counting your burdens Tiff. Who feels me?
If you’ve been on the SOS Facebook Page at all this month you have seen my gratitude posts. I’ve got to tell you- focusing on fine tuning my gratitude practice has been a beautiful experience. After a difficult month in October, this month has been down right glorious. Yes, I said glorious! How about you? Did you join in on the 30 Day Gratitude Challenge? I would love to hear your insight and experience. Make a comment!
It’s not magic. It takes deliberate focus and a mental shift which leads to a daily practice and lifestyle. I never share or teach concepts that I haven’t worked through myself. I began years ago with a simple, childlike gratitude list which expanded to the details of why I was grateful for something. Check out some of the Facebook posts. Try it. Please.
A disciplined practice of gratitude truly is the key to a joy-filled & abundant life.
READ THAT AGAIN.
A disciplined practice of gratitude truly is the key to a joy-filled & abundant life.
Don’t you want to live the life of your dreams? To be truly happy and filled with joy on a regular basis not just sometimes?
That’s what you deserve and YOU can make the change, sista.
I am grateful for all of you.
Thank you for choosing to be better today than you were yesterday.
Thank you for allowing your light to shine among the darkness.
Thank you for seeing all the beauty around you in the midst of much ugliness in this world.
Thank you for loving you.
Thank you for feeding your soul instead of starving it.
How was your first week of November? I am loving getting to experience an actual Fall and the change of seasons for the first time in many years. In LA, it still feels like Summer at this time of year. If you’re active on theSOS Facebook Page– you know I am posting 30 Days of Gratitude this month. Everyday I am sharing one thing I am grateful for. The intention for this exercise is to recalibrate our thinking, our level of joy and how we approach life. Please join us and if not, I encourage you to focus on your level of gratitude and thanksgiving on your own – especially if you’ve allowed the busyness of life to keep you in a mode of complaining & whining.
On a daily basis, do you find yourself living consistently in an attitude of gratitude or in the opposite realm of seeing the negative in everything and then complaining & whining about it?
I am the first person to admit that I battled negative thinking for years. You could have called me Tiffany ‘Moan & Groan’ Hendra! Just like positivity, negativity and complaining is contagious. If you are raised around complainers, typically you will grow up complaining too. This is why it is vital to be conscious of the people you surround yourself with. I’ve mentioned the importance of gratitude several times on the blog and in my candid video blogs on my YouTube Channel. This is because I believe with every fiber of my being that living in a state of gratitude is life-changing. One of the first things I have my private coaching/mentoring clients begin doing daily is to create a gratitude list. It’s amazing how quick someone’s life can change when they realize how blessed they are.
SOS is all about guiding and instigating changes we need to make in order to be the best women we can be. When I created SOS, I wanted it to empower women on many levels not just with beauty and fashion tips. Let’s face it, if you are resonating in a place of ingratitude – no amount of lipgloss or Louis Vuitton’s will bring you true joy.
Your outer reality corresponds to your inner reality! Gratitude creates a miraculous and beautiful inner reality that radiates outward. Then, our outer reality will inevitably change for the better.
Therefore, no whiners or negative Nellie’s are allowed on this internet real estate! It reminds me of that great saying Oprah has on a sign when you enter her office, “Please take responsibility for the energy you bring into this space”. Make sure to join us on the Facebook Page this month and together, we will raise our level of joy and blaze into 2015 with a beautiful, radiant, peaceful & powerful outer reality. Our light will shine brighter than ever and remember, the world needs YOUR unique light.
Never forget that!
Example of 30 Days of Gratitude:
Today, I’m grateful for my sis and that I get to be a big sister! Like most siblings, we’ve fought like cats & dogs and had the typical growing pains- but our bond keeps getting stronger & stronger as we get older. Natalie aka NatCat is a powerful soul and bright light in this world. I’m so proud of her! WHO ELSE IS GRATEFUL FOR THEIR SISTER (sibling) TODAY?
Dawn walking in the “Dress4Yellow” fashion show, which celebrates cancer survivors.
Bad hair days. Ugh! We’ve all had them, right? You spend 45 minutes drying and curling your other-wise stick straight hair and single-handedly deplete a portion of the ozone layer with hairspray to keep your ‘do in place. Then, you walk outside only to be greeted by Mother Nature who whips up the wind and challenges the humidity to reach an all-time high, and you can almost hear her sarcastic laugh crackling in the wind as you feel your curls succumb to the elements.
Yep, it stinks.
But, everything is relative.
What if your bad hair day began when you took wig tape and stretched it across the perimeter of your bald head while you prayed the tape would be strong enough to withstand Mother Nature? Losing your curls to the humidity is one thing. Losing your wig to the wind is…well, a nightmare.
And, the bad hair day continues as you try to recreate the eye brows you once complained about having to wax so often. The cu-de-gyres, of course, is gluing false lashes to your eye lid without the guidance of a single eye lash. You get so frustrated, you consider giving up until the thought of continuing to look like an alien surpasses your urge to quit.
I wish I could tell you I’m describing a scene from a bad movie, but the truth is I was the star of this real-life nightmare. I was 46 years-old, married to my soul mate and husband of nearly 25 years. Together, we were raising our12-year-old daughter and 14-year-old son, and I was enjoying a successful career as a fashion stylist. Then, one day I woke up with a lump on my sternum. It, literally, grew overnight. I had been to several doctors prior to that day because I was having difficulty breathing and received a series of inconclusive diagnoses. But, this time, I knew something was wrong, really wrong.
Dawn & her family shortly after diagnoses.
The next day I was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and had about a quart of fluid drained from my lungs – fluid that wasn’t draining through my lymphatic system because it was no longer capable of doing its job. Instead, the cancer-filled lymph nodes formed a 9-centimeter mass between my lungs, and the lump on my sternum was the outward manifestation of that mass. Within a week, I underwent a biopsy of the mass, a biopsy of my bone marrow, a PET scan, and had a port placed underneath my skin through which I began my chemotherapy treatment. I was given a 70% chance of making a full recovery.
Eventually, I had a 100 hours of chemotherapy treatment. It rid my body of cancer and, simultaneously, it rid me of my femininty and my dignity.
As a fashion stylist, I’ve often said, “The way you look on the outside is a reflection of who you are on the inside.” So, what does a 9-centimeter mass of cancer-filed lymph nodes positioned between your lungs look like? I don’t think anyone wants to know the answer to that question.
Yet, despite everything I’ve just written, the most ironic thing happened to me during the first few months of my treatment. Although I was on a sabbatical, I decided to attend a book-signing party given in honor of one of my clients. A woman, not just any woman, a 6-foot-tall, redheaded fashion icon, said to me, “You look radiant.”
With supportive husband, Jon.
I was speechless. I just stared at her until her very polite and intuitive husband broke the awkward silence between us and commented on..well, truth be told…I don’t know what he said, but his voice was exactly what I needed to hear in order to find my own voice.
Radiant. Now that was an interesting choice of words, I thought to myself. You see, she didn’t know about my diagnosis, she didn’t know I was wearing a wig, she didn’t know how it took every ounce of strength I could muster, mentally and physically, to be standing in front of her at that very moment.
Then, of course, I told her. Our conversation from that point forward is one I will always treasure for many, many reasons. But, perhaps, the most important reason is that I came to realize the deeper meaning behind the advice I had been dishing out all these years.
With beautiful daughter, Erica – rockin’ her wig.
Despite the fact that I was a cancer-filled mess, standing a death’s door, and fighting for my life, I was spiritually stronger than ever before. I felt the presence of God in a way that I’ve never really been able to capture in words. I felt like I had been chosen – like so many of the biblical figures I’d grown to admire – I’d been chosen to glorify God. He knew that I would credit Him for healing me; I would lead others to Him through my unshakable faith; and I would be a living example of His power and grace.
A toast to good life at the “Eternally Grateful” party Dawn & her family threw for everyone who helped them on this journey.
Dawn speaking at the 2013 St. Valentine’s Day Fashion Show & Luncheon – sharing her journey and encouraging others to give to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
So, I was radiant after all. Radiant from the glow of the Holy Spirit shining so brightly that even my wig, my penciled-in eyebrows and my false eye lashes couldn’t overshadow its glow, and shedding a new perspective on the adage, “The way you look on the outside is a reflection of who you are on the inside.”
Dawn with her family, including her mom, at the 2014 St. Valentine’s Day Fashion Show & Luncheon when she received the “Heart of Gold” award.
As I sit tonight and write “thank you’s” to everyone who blessed me on my birthday, I thought it would make a great topic for a post. I love to send handwritten thank you cards and it’s an etiquette my mom taught me at a very early age. How about you? Do you take the time to write a note or do you rush and think a text or email will suffice?
Here are the top 3 reasons it’s so important to me:
1) STRENGTHEN THE BOND between you and the receiver. Whether it’s a business follow-up, personal thank you for a gift or hospitality at a dinner party- people want to feel appreciated. From writing the heartfelt note, stamping then mailing it tells that person you took the time for them.
2) BE UNFORGETTABLE and stand out. I cherish the handwritten thank you cards I receive from friends, family and clients. I received a lovely monogrammed one recently from a dear client which I have sitting right here in front of me on my desk. Her handwriting is beautiful and her words- so very generous and encouraging. I’ll remember her forever.
3) SHOW YOUR PERSONALITY and choose a card that reflects you and your style. When the receiver opens the envelope and pulls out the card- it’s like receiving a little piece of you and your heart. I always look for thank you cards in random places and find cute ones at Tuesday Morning, TJ Maxx and even Target. It’s great to take it a step beyond and have cards designed with your name, logo and/or company. But, I always seem to find unique, fun styles and like to keep plenty in my desk at all times! I think I’ve always been a bit obsessed with stationary. The ones in the photo above are so me and SOS – don’t ya think? They are byRoobee by Mara-Miand I found them at TJ Maxx for $4.99.
Obviously, a text or email is better than nothing, but it’s really the lazy girl’s way out. Expressing gratitude is so important so why not go above and beyond to show your appreciation. Be of excellence. It’s another way we can practice ‘walking tall’ sistas. Everything is so instant these days with technology, but the art of a personal handwritten thank you note is an etiquette we should never allow to fade away.
Share, tweet, comment and give me your two-cents on this topic!
Do you sense that the path you’re on is taking you in the wrong direction? Whew, I was way off track!
Do you secretly desire a new career path, but the fear of the uncertainty paralyzes you? Fear was my middle name for years!
Do you numb yourself and the fear with over spending, food, alcohol or too much television? I did all of the above!
I’m honored to have been asked to share my life experience and a few deeper parts of my journey to creating SOS – on the hit iTunes radio show, RELAUNCH! with Joel Boggess and Dr. Pei Kang. Joel is a life coach and the author of the #1 Amazon bestselling book –Finding your Voice.Pei is a business executive and a gifted endodontist (root canal specialist) and yoga instructor.
I know Joel and Pei would love it if you subscribed and shared theiriTunesshow with your friends who need this type of inspiration!
As much I love working on camera, radio sure was fun and can be done without makeup! Holla! This is a special episode to me as I have only shared some of these experiences here on the blog with you…so I would really appreciate if you made a comment and let me know your thoughts on the subject. I know God is opening the door and giving me the courage to share more of my story publicly.
Please don’t go another day living with your dreams dormant inside you!
Release the fear & relaunch, sista. If you need my personalized, private mentoring to guide you in this area-please contact mefor details and pricing. Serious inquiries only. If you are not ready to do the work it takes to create lasting results – a coach or mentor will not help you!
On this final day of 2013, I encourage you to take some time to close your eyes and give thanks for last year. Give thanks for the blessings as well as the hardships because ultimately the tough times turn to blessings. SAY WHAT TIFF? Yes, the tough times become blessings in the form of lessons learned, wisdom and strength! We do not gain strength and wisdom when everything is easy breezy. Also, take the time to get alone and write out your 2014 intentions, goals, resolutions and COMMITMENTS. Most people putter out and give up on their resolutions by the end of January so I prefer to think of them in terms of commitments and intentions. We make commitments to our loved ones nearly everyday and feel awful when we don’t keep them. Being committed equals being dedicated, faithful, devoted and loyal.
WHAT COMMITMENTS DO YOU NEED TO MAKE TO YOURSELF IN 2014?
Go beyond the simple goal setting of “I want to workout more” and set to goal/intention with details like “I will workout for 45 minutes, 4 times a week”. Make your goals doable so you stay motivated. Take the time to really think about how you want 2014 to look. Do you want to lose weight, have more confidence, build deeper friendships with people, land new clients for your business? Recently, I read this about goal setting and loved it:
Focus on the outcome of you fulfilling your goals. See the end result and RECEIVE the weight loss, RECEIVE more confidence, RECEIVE deeper friendships, RECEIVE more clients!
I pray over this community and for each of you to have a blessed year full of health, happiness, beauty, style and commitments + goals received!
REMINDER: I will be taking new mentoring/coaching clients in January. If you are serious about committing and investing in yourself, please take advantage of my offer of COMPLIMENTARY 15 MINUTE SKYPE OR PHONE CONSULTATIONS through Wed, Jan 15th. If you are interested, please feel out the contact form on the SERVICES PAGE. Those who take advantage of this January consultation will receive a 25% discount on all packages or single sessions. *If you are not committed to your personal growth, a coach or mentor will not help you. Again, serious inquiries only!