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COVER STORY

Living the Big Stuff with Gratitude WORDS VANESSA FINNIGAN | PHOTOS ROBYN HILLS PHOTOGRAPHY

IT’S NOT EVERY DAY YOU GET TO TALK WITH TWO SUPER STARS ON SKYPE! I’M REFERRING OF COURSE TO BRISBANE-BASED GRATITUDE QUEEN, KIM SERAFINI (INTERNATIONAL ENTREPRENEUR, COACH AND BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF “I AM GR8FUL FOR YOU”), AND KRISTINE CARLSON IN THE U.S. (WHO REALLY NEEDS NO INTRODUCTION), BEING THE CO-CREATOR OF INTERNATIONALLY ACCLAIMED BOOK, “DON’T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF” DISTRIBUTING OVER 35 MILLION COPIES WORLDWIDE. BOTH ARE SHINING BEACONS IN THE WORLD, BOTH HAVE HAD MANY CHALLENGES IN THEIR LIVES AND STILL BELIEVE HAVING AN ‘ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE’ HELPS TO MOVE THROUGH LIFE WITH EASE AND GRACE. 14

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f I rated my level of gratitude speaking with Kristine, I’m sure it was ‘off the Richter’ especially given her personal circumstances at the time. Kristine’s daughter was due to give birth to her third child in a week or so and just days before we spoke, Kristine’s dear motherin-law passed away which was the last family connection to her late husband Richard. As many are aware, Kristine and Richard shared a great love with a deep connection living and working together with spirit and bringing two beautiful girls into the world, so it was a shock and tragedy when Richard died seven years ago from a pulmonary embolism while flying on a plane. Kristine and her family were grief-stricken and also left with an international book series and brand to manage. With time, they found the courage to process their loss and Kristine released a book, ‘Heart Broken Open’,

which has touched people all around the world. It was such a privilege for Kristine and Kim to share their personal experiences with me so candidly. Kristine’s grace and serene calm was palpable and she demonstrated what gratitude and being present means in daily life, which was very inspirational. She said, “Unless we can access our gratitude, we can’t have true abundance. Gratitude for me is about noticing what you have and focussing on what you have rather than what you want. To be able to look at your life and look at all the aspects of it that are wonderful, even in the midst of difficult circumstances helps foster resiliency in life.” Kim added, “For some people gratitude is a specific activity, but for me it’s a natural way of being. It’s not something I do, it’s something I am. I don’t do ‘thank-you’ because it’s a way to express appreciation, I am thankful, all day every day.” Kim went on to explain the science of gratitude which she shares with international audiences… We know when we feel a deep appreciation and genuine sincere thankfulness, a couple of processes happen physiologically. We know we get an increase in oxygen absorption in our cardiovascular system. That is medical proof. So it’s a healthy emotion to indulge in and we also get an increase in collagen production. What gratitude does, is it starts a cascade of chemicals so there is a cocktail that your body is being saturated with through the endocrine system. Of all the emotions, gratitude is the healthiest to experience on a regular basis. So being grateful is a mindset and you can completely change your life by shifting your focus; from being negative to being in gratitude. For most of us it’s not a straight path, it’s a winding road with peaks and valleys. Kim’s the first one to admit her life has not been without challenges. She has experienced loss, tragedy, illness and said she went through a significant issue last year with a personal relationship ending. What she discovered in the process was the power of gratitude and asking questions to set herself free: “What do I need to see or know that this is in the best interests of my higher self? If I had to be grateful for this, what would I be truly grateful for? What aspect could I be

| SEPTEMBER 2014 | Holistic Bliss

8/20/2014 7:22:17 AM

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Holistic bliss sept vol 61  

Australia's premier holistic lifestyle magazine created on the Sunshine Coast