by Andrea Cota, a member of the SkillCorps DR October 2015 team

A few years ago, around Thanksgiving time, I saw many of my Facebook friends participating in “30 Days of Gratitude,” where for each day of November they posted something that they were thankful for. Their posts inspired me to think of those things in my life that I was grateful for. Since then, over the past few years, I have tried to continually change my day to day thoughts to remember to be thankful for the people, experiences, and things that I am fortunate to have in my life.

But being grateful is a choice, a prevailing attitude that endures and is relatively immune to the gains and losses that flow in and out of lives. ~Robert Emmons

It was easy for me, as it probably is for others, to get swept away by the stress of day to day life. I often found myself overwhelmed and in a bad mood because of all the things I had to accomplish in a single day. I was too busy to think about the wonderful things happening in my life and was only focused on those stressors and demands.

Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.
~ William Arthur Ward

Since I’ve begun living a more grateful life, I have found myself more content, less stressed, and more present in what is happening in my life at the moment. Gratitude truly changes everything. Knowing that SkillCorps emphasizes gratitude, I was excited to be a part of it. During this trip, the team members have all taken time to share what they are grateful for and to write notes of gratitude to our loved ones who helped make this experience possible for us.

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While I am, of course, grateful for this opportunity, and for my family, friends, and coworkers that made it possible, I am also grateful to this SkillCorps team, who I just met two weeks ago, for being amazing and for helping to inspire me. I needed a little inspiration. So, thank you to Ambar, Brittney, Sara, Sarah, and Teresa for that! This experience would not be the same without you all. I am very grateful.

At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.
~ Albert Schweitzer

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