30 Days of Gratitude 6×8 Mini Album Project #30DaysofThankful

For more on past 30 Days of Thankful projects, check out my 2012 Album, 2013 Album, and 2014 Album – as well as all of my posts – under the tag “30 Days of Thankful”.

Every year, in the month of November, I participate in Cathy Zielske’s 30 Days of Thankful project. It’s a welcome opportunity to practice gratitude.

And, man, do I need more of that.

You see, the month of October was a busy month: I developed and launched Little Paper Projects’ first class #LPPLoveWhereYouLive, took and shared a TON of pictures, listened to two amazing audiobooks, designed and taught my first yoga classes, networked like crazy, and hustled my way to see both new businesses make their first dollars.

It was absolutely amazing.

It was absolutely exhausting.

So while the month of October was all about my business, the month of November – consequently – is all about investing in me.

We recently entered into one of those new seasons of parenthood where everything – and I mean EVERYTHING – is so incredibly hard. Naps are gone. I have no time for myself. And the few moments that I do have I'm too exhausted to stay awake. I don't know that there has ever been a month in my life where I have needed to practice gratitude more than I need to right now. And that's why am so grateful that this month @cathyzielske is hosting #30daysofthankful. I truly need it. I need to rediscover the daily practice of writing. I need to indulge in gratitude. I need to be reminded of all the good things in my life. | If you're not signed up yet, I believe the class is on sale through tomorrow. So if this post speaks to you, join me and @czdesigndigitals in practicing gratitude – and make a cute mini album – this month. 🍁💕 #30minutesfor30days #cz30daysofthankful #mythankful30 #juliesprojectlife #juliesminibooks

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I need to consider myself – and my needs – more. I need to get back into healthier habits that sustain me. I need to reconnect with the hobbies and interests that make me feel whole. I need time for myself. I need to take care of my body, mind, and soul. And I need to do all of it so that I can take care of my family, my home, and my yoga students.

30 Days of Thankful 6x8 Mini Book 2015 Gratitude Project by Julie Gagen, How I Sustain Blog

You know how life goes: work, life, responsibilities can require a lot of yourself, at times, and when that happens, you give up your needs for the sake of making other things happen. To be honest, that’s okay for short bursts of time. But after a while, it starts to dig into your soul a little bit. And if you don’t address it, it eats away the best parts of you. Until, over time, you find yourself getting grumpy. Snapping too quickly. And you quickly develop a short fuse, get frustrated, start yelling at the people you love most. Maybe you retreat, avoid social engagements, and keep your growing frustration quiet.

Until, one day, you’ve had ENOUGH ALREADY. And you just can’t take any more. And that’s around the time you get mean, or sad, or some combination of both.

And that is when you need to take one giant step back and give yourself the kind of advice you would give to a good friend. You know: the type of advice that sounds like “you need to make time for yourself,” “maybe you should go get your nails done, get a massage, take an afternoon for yourself,” and “go to yoga, eat healthy food, splurge a little.”

It all boils down to the same thing: you need to give back to yourself. You need to build up what was lost, sacrificed, or ignored while everything – and every one – else took priority over you. You need a moment, a new habit, a new way of viewing your life, that has balance.

So this month I’m developing new routines. And I’m committing to #30Minutesfor30Days. And I’m scheduling yoga via the yoga studio app on my phone, every morning, at 6:10am. And I’m taking time to be creative. And I’m making this awesome #30DaysofThankful album.

Because I need to.

Not just for me.

For everyone in my life.

If that sounds appealing to you, I highly recommend checking out Cathy’s class. And check back here under the tag 30 Days of Thankful to see my daily album entries.

Happy November, friends!





Julie Love Gagen

After unexplained illness, with no diagnosis, forced me to take medical leave of absence in college, I chose yoga as a path towards healing. For me, it was a gentle way for me to get back into my body. And the experience, and practice, gave me the confidence I needed to believe I could heal. It worked. And it’s been magic ever since. In 2012, I chose to do a personal wellness challenge – 30 days of Hot Power Yoga – in celebration of my 30th birthday. The studio I picked was Baptiste Yoga in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The studio which, just a few years later, would be the inspiration and the setting for my RYT 200-hr Yoga Teacher training. The style of yoga I teach is a little different from what you’ve seen before. In my class, we focus on strengthening your core, elongating your spine, and finding the ideal position for each body, regardless of what it looks like.