with gratitude...

each year we ponder: what does thanksgiving mean? what am i most grateful for? there are so many things to be grateful for but this year i've decided it's time.

my wonderful mother is in the battle of her life. so time. time to spend with her, time to cherish, and time to love as hard as i know how. every second, minute, and hour. i am utterly thankful for each one.

in daily life we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy. it is necessary, then, to cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. there is always, always something to be thankful for. for me, it's my family and all the people in my life. happy thanksgiving. ~peter

my beautiful, classy, sassy, SMART italian grandmother used to say, "you don't have to run to get there in time." when i was younger i understood what she was saying, but i was still determined to accomplish this and do that and check, check, check things off my "life to-do list." i am so grateful for her words and wisdom now, when i can fully grasp what she meant. i have learned that it's also okay to take a breath, let go a little bit, and let life unfold and fall into place as it will. we all get there. thank you, grandma. ~tyler

this is one of my favorite blog posts as it makes us reflect on what's important. i try to live my life with an attitude of gratitude as i truly believe that what we think about we bring about. this year in particular has been challenging so i must say i'm thankful for my ability to find things to be grateful for in any situation. it's so easy to get caught up in what's wrong, or what we'd like to change and focus on the problem instead of finding something in the situation to be grateful for and holding on to that feeling, even if it's fleeting...that attitude can change those things and literally transform our lives. many years ago i read and watched "The Secret" and i totally connected with it. this quote sums it up: "gratitude is a powerful process of shifting your energy and bringing more of what you want into your life. be grateful for what you already have and you will attract more good things." ~lisa

when i think about what i am thankful for this year, it is the power of perspective and having appreciation for what comes with each new, unexpected moment in life. i have always tried to be a subscriber to positive thinking; my parents raised me to be a glass half full kind of person, and i believe in the laws of attraction (positive thinking attracts positive outcomes). but as we all know, it is easy to be appreciative and to have a great perspective on things during the exciting, happy, celebratory moments of life. however, it can be extremely difficult to do the same when things do not seem to be going the way you had expected or hoped for. during those unexpected moments of major frustration or disappointment in life, taking a step outside oneself and the situation, and recognizing that while it may be a challenging situation for me (or a friend, colleague, or loved one), it could also bring about an important lesson or be part of a larger plan that was intended to take place. in those instances, i have learned to have an appreciation for that particular moment, to step outside of myself to gain perspective, have faith in the larger picture, and shift my attitude toward figuring out how to make the best of the situation. it is in these moments that i am most thankful for the power of perspective and appreciation; and with that, the ability to help boost myself (or friends, colleagues, or loved ones) into a state of faith, hope, love and support for one another, and overall gratitude for whatever new, unexpected journey life my bring. ~sara

this year, i am thankful for something that i am usually so resistant to: change. and in particular, i am thankful for the possibility and renewal that comes with change and each new chapter of life. i'm grateful for the way fear and uncertainty have been replaced with the peace that comes from seeing that with change, there is chance for love to deepen, adventures to inspire, lessons to be learned, and for growth to take place. in the past year, i have been humbled by the way my plans have shifted and unfolded in ways that i could never imagine. i've married my love, moved back to malibu, and become part of the amazing team and family that is kai fragrance. it's safe to say that with a spirit of gratitude, change is a very good thing. ~katie

as i near the halfway mark of my final year of college, i've realized that i'm most thankful for opportunities; whether they be the opportunity to grow, to learn, to explore, to live, to make mistakes, or to laugh; none of which would be possible without the support and care of my loving family, who give me so much to be thankful for and yet so few words to express that gratitude. being 3,000 miles away from home has changed my definition of family; i am appreciative beyond words for the people and places that have become a part of my family over the years - my friends (and their parents!), my professors, and of course, my kai angels. this thanksgiving, i'm fortunate enough to be in this place i call home, but more importantly, with the people that i love most. ~lauren

with my graduation date quickly approaching, this year i am thankful for education. i thank my parents for giving me the gift and fortune of being a student for almost 21 years (because let's just say, some days i don't wake up grateful for my 8 a.m. class). i have really grown to recognize that education is a privilege and i have been blessed to receive quality schooling that has challenged me, introduced me to lifelong friends and mentors, and given me irreplaceable opportunities. I have had brilliant and influential professors who teach beyond the classroom by teaching through example with strong morals and values. my education has introduced me to the world; it has given me travel--from san francisco to bueno aires, malibu to spain--and a global perspective that is invaluable to me. most of all, i know that where ever it is that i end up moving after graduation in six months, my first steps into the real world will bring more incredible people, exotic places, and so many more learning opportunities along the way. ~natalie


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