What is gratitude?  According to the dictionary gratitude means thankfulness or gratefulness.  From the Latin word gratis meaning pleasing or thankful; It is a feeling of appreciation felt by and/or a similar positive response shown by the recipient of kindness, gifts, help, favors, or other types of generosity towards the giver of such gifts. 

howluckyami was founded on gratitude.  It is deep sense of gratitude that comes from within, and in a meaningful way, shows us that life is special here on Anna Maria Island, Florida.  Being here is an acknowledgement that it’s great to be alive.  This bountiful emotion that life is abundant makes a person feel grateful towards loved ones, animals, and of course Mother Nature.  Mother Nature has a way of showing us that gratitude comes from outside yourself; when you notice and relish the pleasures that one feels while sitting on the beach and staring in awe at the ocean.  Taking time to notice, contemplate, and express gratitude can make everything far more meaningful.  Gratitude is healing and helps you replenish your soul.  Gratitude acknowledges connections to oneself and the world around you.  When we contemplate our place in the intricate, independent network of life we feel wonder and joy.  That realization can lead us to express thanksgiving. 

Gratitude or thankfulness is also manifested towards those we love and care about.  Without those people in your life who would drop everything to be by your side in good times and bad, life would certainly by very empty. These people are gifts themselves.  Taking time to notice the people in your life can also make life more meaningful.  Gratitude is a supportive healing emotion even if you’re struggling with unwanted or unneeded drama in your life.  I know from experience that at times it’s hard to express gratitude when it feels like things are going all wrong. It’s also my experience that having friends and family to lean on during that time makes it easier.  They may not be able to make an issue go away, but they certainly can make it bearable.  You can express that gratitude back to them as well in so many little ways.  It’s telling them that you love them, or just acknowledging their feeling.  It doesn’t take gifts to express how much you care.  However, let’s be clear: presents are always good!  Many people in our lives have helped us in one way or another.  Have you thanked them?  Consider sending a letter or a card to someone telling them what their actions meant to you.   

Gratitude means paying attention…taking notice of all the good things in your life; not just the big things but all the little incidental things as well.  Gratitude is not a personality trait.  It is a state of mind that has to be cultivated.  Unlike hope and happiness, gratitude is inherently rational. It reaches past the person experiencing it and into the social realm.  It is gratitude in large measure that inspires people to acts of kindness and that strengthens your bonds with other people and the huge abundant world around us. 

Practicing Gratitude can be difficult as we all get mired in the day to day mundane things we do in our lives.  I have to check myself daily, or sometimes even by the second to remember how grateful and thankful I am for it all.  It helps me redirect my emotions from feelings of victimhood to the generally happy, outgoing, optimistic person I really want to be. 

There are so many ways to make practicing gratitude part of your daily life.  Some people just practice it mentally throughout the day. Notice all the good things you normally take for granted.  Some people choose to meditate.  Others choose to journal.  Writing can help you organize thoughts, accept experiences, and put them into context. 

Given that howluckyami was founded on this principle we are going to be instituting our own gratitude tree at our 5416 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach location as well as on our Facebook and Instagram page.  How does this work? If you come into the store or post on our pages what you are grateful for in regards to Anna Maria Island we will keep a record of all those posts and at the end of the month one will be chosen at random and that person will be given a $10 Gift Certificate towards a purchase at howluckyami.  Our Goal is to spread gratitude all over Anna Maria Island and beyond! 

howluckyami wishes to express their gratitude and thanksgiving for all of our customers, fans, and supporters.  Without you our brand would not be where it is today.