Wendy Gladney (File photo)

Most of us are used to living a fast-paced lifestyle that we cannot keep up with.  We try to get all we can, can all we get, and then eventually we just sit on the can because we are so tired to enjoy all the things we worked so hard to accomplish.  

To have and enjoy the lifestyle we all desire and deserve, we must start by understanding our meaning, message, and mission.  For years, I have talked about understanding one’s purpose to live out their best life.  We can look to others as examples or as role models, but we must not compete or compare ourselves to the accomplishments and successes of others. Comparing will cause us to take our eyes off the ball for our own game plan and happiness.  

Also, we must be careful to respect and applaud the achievements of others and not become envious.  Be genuinely happy for others so when your time comes others will be happy for you as well. 

Embracing a gracious lifestyle is unique and special to every individual.  What may be important or special to you may not carry the same meaning for someone else. One’s personal lifestyle is made up of a combination of internal and external factors.  These factors shape our habits, behaviors, values, and choices.   

It is believed embracing a gracious lifestyle involves adopting behaviors and attributes that focus on being kind, generous, graceful, forgiving, discerning, dignified, and a level of refinement and sophistication. It involves learning who you really are and what makes you happy and fulfilled, while respecting others and their personal choices.  

Although things such as one’s culture, education, economic status, mindset, and possibly even geographical location are a few of the things that help determine our lifestyle preferences there are some components that are timeless and key to all of us in embracing a gracious lifestyle. One such factor is caring for all mankind. 

There is also the idea of how nature versus nurture fits into the picture of what makes us content with our lives and feel a level of peace.  I grew up with my paternal side of the family and there are several family members that say I remind them of my grandmother, Mother Dear. I know I have many of her ways, and it brings me much joy when someone tells me that I act just like her.   

One of my grandmother’s gifts was her green thumb. She was a member of a local flower club, and she was very proud of her beautiful roses and various flowers in our yard.  Although I do not have the gift of gardening, I remember running outside and picking the flowers and placing them in one of our jelly jars or pretty glasses and then putting them in the middle of our table when we had Sunday dinner.  This was the beginning of me embracing a gracious lifestyle based on what I was exposed to and what was available to me. 

Over the next few months, I will share various ideas that can help us understand more about what it means to embrace a gracious lifestyle and cultivate a mindset and approach to life that prioritizes kindness, generosity, elegance, and empathy in all our interactions and endeavors.  In our own search for embracing a gracious lifestyle, we can also help add beauty to the lives of others through our actions and attitudes towards others.  

The process of figuring out what you really like or what brings you true joy is not necessarily a destination but rather a lifelong journey. Sometimes, it takes a while before we understand what lifestyle we really want or need.   

I have learned the beauty and joy of being content, not complacent, but true contentment with the simple things of life. This brings me much joy.  It is a growth process that can be fun if we embrace what each day may bring. Slow down a bit and learn to smell the roses.  


Healing Without Hate: It’s a choice. It’s a lifestyle. Pass it on. 


Visit www.WendyGladney.com and www.forgivingforliving.org to learn more. Wendy is a life strategist, coach, consultant, author, and speaker.