March 10, 2022

The Quick and Easy Way to Change Your Attitude for the Better with Sharon Saraga-Walters


Have you been wondering if there's a way to get more from each day and perhaps even every experience? Are you wondering if there's a way to empower yourself to fulfill your potential and go for your dreams? Today's guest, Sharon Saraga-Walters, has been on a mission to share her message about the power of gratitude in developing a life of both health and wellness in the broadest sense. In this episode, you're going to hear how Sharon has developed a personal gratitude practice and how she's been sharing this powerful tool with others through her programs and her books. And also by serving as an example of someone who has benefited from using the power of gratitude. 

 Sharon has over 35 years experience operating and promoting her own businesses in health and wellness. She is the creator of Graticise™365, and is a lifetime student, expert, coach and Fitness Trainer of Gratitude. Sharon has a passion for sharing all good things. She's the lead creator of The 28 Day Gratitude Workout™, online course, book and workshop, and the Grati-Fit™ System. Sharon has witnessed exercise and gratitude impact her life and the lives of others, and the results motivated her to publish her books, "The 28 Day Gratitude Workout" - a daily introduction to practicing gratitude for four consecutive weeks and "Thursday's Note" - a commitment to exercising gratitude every Thursday for one year. Her newest book, "Graticise™365" will be released in 2022 and will go even deeper, with 365 daily exercises.

 Timestamps:
• [5:19] Sharon shares how she went from couch potato to fitness trainer…  
• [7:56] “So I do think it's really being intentional, and being aware.”
• [18:35] Sharon discusses the snowball effect that occurs if you find just one thing to start being grateful for… 
• [23:15] “I just really made a choice that long ago that I just knew that the quality of my life, I wanted to have it be positive and having it look a different way. And through exercise and positive thinking and law of attraction and gratitude…all those things have given me that.”

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Dr. Christine Li -
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Sharon Saraga-Walters -
Website: https://www.graticise365.com/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/graticise365/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Graticise365
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sharonsaragawalters/

Transcript

Christine Li  0:01  
Welcome back to the Make Time for Success podcast. This is episode 65. Have you been wondering if there's a way to get more from each day and perhaps even every experience? Are you wondering if there's a way to empower yourself to fulfill your potential and go for your dreams? Today's guest, Sharon Saraga-Walters, has been on a mission to share her message about the power of gratitude in developing a life of both health and wellness in the broadest sense. In this episode, you're going to hear how Sharon has developed a personal gratitude practice, and how she's been sharing this powerful tool with others through her programs and her books. And also by serving as an example of someone who has benefited from using the power of gratitude. She has over 35 years of experience operating and promoting her own businesses in health and wellness. She's the lead creator of the 28 day gratitude workout online course book and workshop, and the Grati-Fit System. She has seen how exercise and gratitude have improved her life and the lives of others. And she's taken these results and published her books, The 28-Day Gratitude Workout, Thursday's Note, and her newest book Graticize-365, which will be released in 2022. We're going to learn a lot from Sharon's experience and journey in developing this gratitude practice. So let's go listen to this episode now. 

Hi, I'm Dr. Christine Li, and I'm a psychologist and a procrastination coach. I've helped 1000s of people move past procrastination and overwhelm so they could begin working to their potential. In this podcast, you're going to learn a powerful strategies for getting your mind, body and energy to work together so that you can focus on what's really important, and accomplish the goals you want to achieve. When you start living within your full power, you're going to see how being productive can be easy, and how you can create success on demand. Welcome to the Make Time for Success podcast. We're back today with a lovely new guest. Her name is Sharon Saraga-Walters, and she is here today to teach us everything that she knows about gratitude. Thank you for being on the show, Sharon.

Sharon Saraga-Walters  2:45  
Thank you so much. Appreciate it.

Christine Li  2:49  
Great. So can we start by just hearing a little bit about your backstory, how you got to be an expert in gratitude and the things that you enjoy doing these days? Oh,

Sharon Saraga-Walters  3:01  
thank you. Yes, so gosh, my so my background, I was in the fitness world. I was a fitness trainer, I started out with that. And I always say that the two things that I have really found in my life. At this point in these beautiful later years of my life have been an exercise in gratitude that the two things that really impacted me the most, it's made such a remarkable difference in my life. And I've always been the kind of person that whatever has moved me to such greatness, that I always like to share it with the world. And so about five years ago, I wrote a book called the 28 day gratitude workout, I combined both my my fitness area and then with the gratitude. And from there, it has just continued to live on and grow. And I wrote another book called Thursday's note after that a year later, and I'm getting ready to finish my third book called gratifies 365. So I gone from 28 days to 52 weeks to 365 days, all around gratitude and all around exercises to help increase your gratitude muscle as I say, and it's just been an amazing journey that I had no idea any of it would take place. And it's just been wonderful.

Christine Li  4:24  
Terrific. I am curious if we go back to the beginning with the fitness part of your journey. Was there a reason why fitness and you were a great match and did fitness fill a need for you in your life when you first started?

Sharon Saraga-Walters  4:40  
Great question. Yes. You know, for me fitness. You know, I always say that fitness just was I loved it. Well actually, I shouldn't say that. Because at first I really didn't. I'll never forget I was in college and a friend of mine got me into trying some running and it was hard and I didn't like it but I stuck with it. Fitness just it really empowered me, it made me feel powerful and healthy. I transformed as a person, when I got started with fitness,

Christine Li  5:11  
or transformed from what, to what?

Sharon Saraga-Walters  5:13  
Well, I was kind of a tomboy growing up as a child. And then I went to a couch potato, and high school, and I really did nothing for fitness. And then as I got to college, having that the fitness the just the, to do the fitness, to see the results of it to see my body changing and the energy that I had. And just the empowerment factor to a fitness, all those things came to mind. And I just, I couldn't stop doing it. And from that, I got a degree in health promotions, I was wellness, and I became a fitness trainer, I had my own company, I was a fitness trainer for eight years. And I also became a marathon runner I have done probably 10 or more marathons. So it just led so into that line into that journey. And to this day, I still enjoy fitness. And it's, it's, it will always be a part of me.

Christine Li  6:11  
Beautiful. And I think that's a great habit to have. It sounds like you're really stuck with the running. Now, can you let us know? How did the gratitude piece enter into the picture? Sure.

Sharon Saraga-Walters  6:26  
You know, in writing my next book, I've been starting to talk about that more and more. And truly, what I realize is that, like, I always believe that gratitude. I was born with it. I feel like I was born with it. But I also in writing my newest book is that it really was dormant for me for quite a while up until in my 20s when I started getting into a lot of personal growth work. And from that point, it awakened the gratitude part back in me again. And it just hit me the same way that fitness did. It just felt so at home, it felt so empowering. And I love the person and I was becoming on a emotional level spiritual level, when the gratitude piece started coming more live to me.

Christine Li  7:18  
Terrific. How would you say you've seen gratitude be absent for the people that you're working with? Or the the general public? What is missing? When it comes to gratitude and everyday life?

Sharon Saraga-Walters  7:37  
You know, it's good question, I would say that it's just awareness. It's just intention and awareness that, that not only people myself as well, because it's it's a constant journey of intentional, putting the emphasis on of seeing around us what we have to be to appreciate. So I do think it's really being intentional, and being aware,

Christine Li  8:00  
what are the blocks to our being able to see what can be appreciated?

Sharon Saraga-Walters  8:07  
I think it's within ourselves. It's it's the life happens. And if life turned takes us another direction with it, that gets us off the path of sometimes it's hard, you know, sometimes we have things that are really hard in life that hit us, and it's very hard to, to get into that gratitude space.

Christine Li  8:25  
Okay, and how does gratitude transform our experience of hard moments or hard periods of our lives?

Sharon Saraga-Walters  8:36  
You know, I think for me that it helps me to feel it to feel the moments, those hard ones, it really gets me into feeling it. But then after I have felt what is happening, it's just this great other piece that helps heal and become more one with the whole experience in a way in which I can move past it. But yet I've been I've done the work that I need to and I feel my body and self feels heard of the sadness or whatever that was, but then it can kind of have another piece that just really completes it has some kind of nicer closure.

Christine Li  9:15  
So could you take us through an exercise of this kind where, let's say something that is unfortunate or stressful or unwanted has happened? How would you take your clients or yourself through the process from the negative, unwanted experience to a space of gratitude and healing?

Sharon Saraga-Walters  9:36  
Sure, well, the main thing one of the things that I have them do and I do for myself as well is journaling. You know I have them really just journal all that that needs to be said all bats are feeling and I really have them get that all of that out as much as they possibly possibly can. And then afterwards, what I have been doing is writing out the gratitude around it you No, I'm so grateful I recognize this I'm in and it just flows all the gratitude that comes through from their writing. It just comes full circle and allowing there to be this beautiful closure of it all for now. And it may come there may be more that comes back later. But I really say the journaling and finding the gratitudes from the writing.

Christine Li  10:20  
What about when we're feeling really stuck? Or perhaps depressed or hopeless? And we're feeling like there is no way to feel grateful. Are there ideas that you have for those moments that are really low, really dark?

Sharon Saraga-Walters  10:38  
You know, because we've all been through different places, I just say it's to stay with it. You know, I just say that, to not keep trying to find something. We had a summit that we did. And on that global gratitude Summit, there was a woman, her name is Kelly Buckley. And Kelly Buckley wrote a book, it was called one, I have something about just finding one small thing. And she got a call from, she got a phone call, and her son was in a horrible accident in a lake, and he drowned in this lake. And so she went to the lake to find him and to be there. And I'll never forget. And she said, while she was there, she didn't know what to do. She couldn't breathe. She just did not know what to do. And what she's found is she goes if I can just find one small thing to feel gratitude for. And what that one small thing was to thank the divers that were in the lake trying to find her son. And so she's now had a she has a support group, and she's written a book about it. So you know, even for someone like her, just trying to find one small thing, and just keep trying to find keep trying to find keep trying to find something.

Christine Li  11:51  
That's a powerful story. It sounds like she will likely have an incredible influence on other people.

Sharon Saraga-Walters  11:56  
Oh, she she does? Yes. Yeah.

Christine Li  11:59  
What have you found has been the effect of teaching people gratitude?

Sharon Saraga-Walters  12:08  
Well, I will say two things. Selfishly, it's been an amazing journey. For me, it really has, because I did this work for me. And I've continued doing it for me, and I learned so much from it. And as I share it with other people, you know, I just remain open to seeing how they respond to it. And there'll be endless ways that people will do the work. But it's been, it's been an amazing journey. You know, one story I will share, this is kind of a new one for me that that actually just recently happened, I have a mastermind partner that I work with. And I had a challenge in July for the gratitude workout, as it was a 28 day gratitude workout challenge. And she wasn't crazy to do it. But she said she would join. And it was really hard for her, like gratitude for her did not come for her. She just didn't go for the word nothing about it resonated for her. And so recently, I had my own life opportunities. And so we were talking and as I got to share myself with her, and how I handled it similar to what I was telling you with the journaling, how I would, I would just really be real and get it all out and write about it. And then I would come to the other place of gratitude from her hearing that from me sharing and expressing that totally shifted her way. And she grasped about gratitude, how gratitude can really fit in. So I really got quite an amazing wake up call about how important it is for me to really express my life experiences with other people. So that is one thing that I've taken now with me very much. And because I used to feel like I had to be up I had to be on and gratitude and, you know, on and on and on constantly. But wow, she really helped me learn about, it's really important for me to share my life experiences as well.

Christine Li  14:06  
Yes, I think that's a lot of why I bring everybody on to the podcast, you never really know whose energy is going to affect whom. And that one person affecting many or even just a precious one person is well worth the effort. So thank you for sharing that lovely story. And I'm glad it is helping you to feel really enlivened in your work to

Sharon Saraga-Walters  14:33  
Oh, yeah, I mean, absolutely, I mean every I will share that. One of the things gratitude is has done for me is it makes me more out there in the world. It opens my heart up so much more really taking me from my head to my heart. I usually am more of a heart based person but but now it's even more vulnerable and more. I come out more from my heart and when I express things to people, and so even today, I don't do a lot of videos. It's my new choice. I'm really stretching out there more. And I'm, I'm doing them and I'm they're getting easier and I'm enjoying them. So I posted even this morning and I want to share this with you that I shared about I said that my gratitude gifts because I do call them gratitude gifts. And I said that I'm really grateful for today being doing this podcast today with you. Because, for me, it made me really recognize how alive I feel and how excited I got about expressing about my gratitude work. You know, and sometimes I may not be expressing it as often. And I realized the excitement and aliveness that that came from that. And the other gratitude gift, aside from you, I so appreciate me being on here, but was to Tammy Miller, who was the one a dear friend who got me on here. So those are things that just occur when I'm doing gratitude now in mind you, I've been doing this for intensely for five or so years. So I am like, very much into gratitude. And it's, it's really my, it's my breath, it's my breath work, it really is, it's that important to me. So I know not everybody is going to feel quite like this. And I understand. But it really is, I do have many ways that I constantly use it. In fact, one of the my next book is about how to exercise and I call it exercise it because all my terminology is all around the workout and exercise. But how to exercise gratitude from the time you wake up throughout your day until you go to bed. So I've been practicing this for about two years now, this practice that will be in the book of how I do that. And it's it's doesn't take a lot of time. It's very intentional. It's changed my life, and it continues to.

Christine Li  16:47  
That's beautiful. It's very powerful. It's very apparent, I'm looking at Sharon on video, and the glow that she has is really I think a part of this. I also want to thank Tammy Miller, who happens to be my podcast, producer and assistant for recommending that Sharon come on to the show. Because I'm grateful for Tammy. And I'm grateful that she created this lovely connection between us here. Let me ask you now about things like dreading things. Because the opposite of being alive in our expression and how we communicate our zest for life is when we're dreading the things that we have to do in life. I'm thinking about exercise, I'm thinking about learning new things. I'm thinking about completing difficult projects, or maybe even sometimes being with people that we don't necessarily want to be with these kind of things in everyday life that happened to not exactly fit with our needs. How do you help people to transform a feeling of dread or resistance into a greater feeling of this is actually what's bringing me life? This is what's giving me the opportunity to be more of myself today?

Sharon Saraga-Walters  18:07  
Hmm. Well, you know that what comes to mind around that is one is to have them find things that they do like, like, whatever that is like it's exercise, okay, find something, something about exercise, what would you like doing what would be the first thing that comes to mind that you that you enjoy, and, and even with anything, if situations or people, you know, finding something in that person that you can be grateful for, I think that's a really big one. And for many of those situations, if you find just one thing to be grateful that it starts to snowball, that's the path that starts to change at all, you know, finding that one thing, and, you know, you would know more than I but how the mind changes this the shift that goes on, when we start to put that into play. And a lot of people when they start the journey of gratitude, and yes, you'll go off the path, but you can very easily get back on, you know, and especially once you start it, something that really shifts and feels so good. A lot of people my experiences, they don't go away from it for long. I mean, I come from a place with rose colored glasses, most of my life I really do. I've been working very much for 20 years of thinking positively I really have so I know I'm different in that level. But even with that the 20 years of positivity that I've been doing, coming to this place, it's even gone higher, deeper, even better. So you know, I think there's always room for us to keep going better, better, better finding ways. And it starts with it just just getting started. You know finding some somewhere how you can get somebody and to see what that word what that example what that something is to get them there.

Christine Li  19:55  
I think you're doing very powerful work. I am going Go on the for some reason I'm going in the negative today. But I think there's a reason and I'll explain. Okay, I do believe that our culture here in America does include a kind of negativity bias, or a negative bias towards complaints, dreading things, avoiding things. And I'm wondering what your thoughts are about the cultural component. And if you feel that as a gratitude proponent, that you're actually pushing against a tidal wave of other people's feelings like, Oh, that's not important, or who has time for that, or whatever else you encounter.

Sharon Saraga-Walters  20:45  
And, you know, thank you for for doing this, because I don't usually hang in that what you're saying here, so this is good. You know, honestly, I think what comes to my mind is I don't I don't put myself if other people feel that I don't think actually I don't think I've really attracted too much of those people to me. But if I do I know that I'm too. I'm to see what I can do. I really don't attract that to me, because I don't, I'd My world is just not in for so long. And he's just not been there. It. I mean, really, for a long time, it just has not been there. I guess that's what I'd have to say about that.

Christine Li  21:23  
So I guess your message is that with gratitude, you can actually change what is happening in your life and who is coming to your life?

Sharon Saraga-Walters  21:33  
Yes, I mean, gratitude, positive thinking, you know, on a law of attraction, all those things, you know, all those type of ways of doing it. Yes. And I love that I personally choose that way for myself. And I think just like my mastermind partner, you know, who was not really on board with me. I think that by the work I do, people who are open a little bit to it are going to be the people that come to me. Okay, and and I'm open to the other ones, anybody in general, but, you know, it's not something that is for it's just, it's for whomever is drawn to do that?

Christine Li  22:15  
Yeah. And I think everybody's on a journey of exploration of some sort. And I agree with you wholeheartedly, despite the fact that I've been arguing for the negative this entire episode, that a positive mindset will really make things easier will make the journey lighter will bring positive people to you, like Tammy has brought to me by helping me invite you on to this show. And that this is energy being transmitted from us to the world, that when we decide to start with a lightness of being with appreciation for this opportunity of life that we have, things tend to feel like they're more fun.

Sharon Saraga-Walters  22:59  
Yeah, yes. Yeah. And you know, and I think too, like, I wasn't always just positive person. You know, like I said, up until, you know, 20, I would say, you know, I was not so i It's not that I have not experienced the other side I have. And I just really made a choice that long ago that I just knew that the quality of my life, I wanted to have it be positive and having it look a different way. And through exercise and positive thinking and law of attraction and gratitude, and all those things have given me that. And I just want to share that with the world. And in that way, not forcing it on anybody by any means. But, you know, I think the more people that can have that light and send that message out into the world, it certainly is helping the world.

Christine Li  23:51  
That is beautiful, and a beautiful way to leave your life. Thank you so much, Sharon, for describing your journey describing your transformation and describing the importance of your work. Could you please tell us how our listeners can stay in touch with you and work with you?

Sharon Saraga-Walters  24:08  
Sure. So I have a Facebook page called Graticize365. And every day I give a different gratitude exercise which I call Graticize. So there's a new exercise every single day. And also I have a website graticize365.com.

Christine Li  24:27  
Beautiful, that sounds like something that we can easily join and easily get the benefit from and I want to wish you all the best in your work. Thank you so much for your upcoming book. I know that is a big deal to put your energy into words for publication. So congratulations on that too.

Sharon Saraga-Walters  24:48  
Thank you so much, Christine. I really appreciate it.

Christine Li  24:51  
All right, my friends. We've got another podcast episode in the books. I will see you next week for our new episode that drops on Thursday. Bye! 

Thank you for listening to this episode of The Make Time for Success podcast. If you enjoyed what you heard, you can subscribe to make sure you get notified of upcoming episodes. You can also visit our website maketimeforsuccesspodcast.com for past episodes, show notes and all the resources we mentioned on the show. Feel free to connect with me over on Instagram too. You can find me there under the name procrastination coach. Send me a DM and let me know what your thoughts are about the episodes you've been listening to. And let me know any topics that you might like me to talk about on the show. I'd love to hear all about how you're making time for success. Talk to you soon.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

Sharon Saraga-Walters Profile Photo

Sharon Saraga-Walters

Author/Gratitude Coach/Fitness Trainer

Sharon has over 35 years experience operating and promoting her own businesses in health and wellness. She is the creator of Graticise™365, and is a lifetime student, expert, coach and Fitness Trainer of Gratitude. Sharon has a passion for sharing all good things. She's the lead creator of The 28 Day Gratitude Workout™, online course, book and workshop, and the Grati-Fit™ System. Sharon has witnessed exercise and gratitude impact her life and the lives of others, and the results motivated her to publish her books, "The 28 Day Gratitude Workout" - a daily introduction to practicing gratitude for four consecutive weeks and "Thursday's Note" - a commitment to exercising gratitude every Thursday for one year. Her newest book, "Graticise™365" will be released in 2022 and will go even deeper, with 365 daily exercises.