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November is National Gratitude Month

As seen in Valley News Group

Did you know that November is National Gratitude Month?

Did you also know that gratitude can lower your stress levels thus potentially extending your life expectancy? If you are having a rough week, this might be a very compelling reason to look towards the power of positivity to change your outlook on life. In my experience, gratitude is the best place to start.

My grandmother was a wonderful woman who lived until the age of 98. During her long life, she was rarely ever in a bad mood. Her bright and sunny demeanor was known to everyone around and it came so naturally to her. I know that for me, I am most tolerable when I am alone or maybe after a few strong cocktails, but my Grandma was ALWAYS surrounded by people and she was ALWAYS happy. The truth is, she had every right to be as mean or as crotchety as she wanted. Grandma had outlived two husbands, two children and countless friends. Yet, if you asked her about her life, she would look directly into your eyes and pointedly tell you that she was grateful for her life. Without blinking or diverting her gaze, she would earnestly explain that she was the luckiest woman in the world and that her life was a gift. And Grandma knew that to be an absolute fact. She was wholeheartedly grateful for every experience, for every moment that she was loved, and she was always looking forward to the adventures still ahead for her. Gratitude was my Grandmother’s fuel and though I could never come close to ever being as incredible as she was (Oh would she scold me for saying that!), I would like to show some gratitude in her honor.

This week, I was lucky to have attended the 2019 Extraordinary Women in Leadership luncheon hosted by VICA and CSUN. What a room full of powerhouse women!! Wendy Greuel, Lisa Gritzner, Nury Martinez and Maryam Brown were just some of the incredible leaders in attendance and you could just feel the room buzzing with excitement and determination. Women entrepreneurs are an underserved and underappreciated demographic and I for one am thrilled to see the tide shifting in our favor. I am proud that we have some unbelievable female entrepreneurs right here in our very own community! Have you stopped by Bonnie Abel’s Nothing Bundt Cakes bakery in West Hills lately? And I am not just talking about for a free sample. Every cake you purchase goes to making her dreams come true. When your pipes are clogged at your house, have you called Star Tomlinson at The Drain Co? Star is a fierce female business owner who cares more for her community than herself most of the time. Glass windowpane broken? Josephina Duran, owner of Glass Etc, is famous for her stellar customer service experience. And this newspaper you are reading right now is owned by one of the most wonderful women leaders in our community. Kathleen Sterling is often only ever on the receiving end of angry, bitter and scary vitriol. In my opinion, her newspapers take our vastly diverse and ever-expanding behemoth of a city and make it feel like a charming haven with a quaint, hometown feel. So, thank you to all of you extraordinary women entrepreneurs, named and not named. I see you, I believe in you and I can’t wait to see what you are going to do next. For you, I am grateful.