Today, I woke up and realized that for several days, I have been more in a state of attitude than gratitude. During these past nine months, I have made it a goal to be intentional about practicing gratitude, even in the midst of challenge and frustration. Overall, I would chalk it up as an imperfect victory-until last week when I just seemed to fall off the wagon. The blah factor took over and I sort of lost my gratitude-mojo. Let’s face it, if asked, most of us could spew a litany of frustrations and grief endured over the past months—and justly so. Many are counting the days-38 to be exact-until 2020 is well on its way. Again, justly so. But wait! What I have learned in my 30 or 50-ish years of life, is that it is filled with duality and paradox. Life can be good AND rough at the same time. This means that along with all the #!@! we have experienced in the past nine months, there have also been good things happening in my life, and yours, and all around us. This is good news!
How so? We have entered into the week of Thanksgiving which naturally has us counting our blessings, AND we also have time before 2020 ends-thirty-eight days to be exact—to focus on gratitude and what is good in our lives. We have the opportunity to finish 2020 in a more positive state; physically, mentally, and spiritually. If you are skeptical, I get it! Start small and find the smallest of things/people or situations that you appreciate having in your life. If you can’t think of one, I would be surprised; but breathing is a good place to start!
There is a phrase by an unknown author that states; “gratitude turns what we have into enough.” The more you practice, the more you will agree, and the easier it becomes to notice the good things in your life; big and small. They are all around you.
The way in which people practice gratitude is as varied as our experiences. While this is true, there are predictable benefits for all who regularly practice gratitude. Physically, our blood pressure and heart rate decrease, we manage stress more easily, we sleep better, and as a result, our immunity is boosted. Mentally and emotionally we experience less anxiety and depression, are less triggered, and experience an overall sense of well-being. Spiritually, we become more empathetic and more connected to our inner selves as well as the community outside of ourselves; often with the understanding that we are connected to something far greater than our own experiences. Gratitude packs a mean punch and results in a better quality of life and increases our resiliency. What a way to head into the COVID/Holiday Season! Personally, I need all the calm and resiliency I can get.
There is no risk incurred by practicing gratitude. It is free, has virtually no learning curve, and can be done anywhere at any time; by anyone. It is simple; just begin. Start simply by naming physical things in your sight or within earshot—family, birds, music, etc. Or, keep a journal and list a few things each day-or write about why you appreciate those things that you notice. If you are feeling deeply inspired, be bold, and let someone know how much you appreciate them or their work. Good things will happen.
In choosing to practice gratitude, you are laying the foundation for a healthier, happier life. Minimal investment with a fabulous rate of return. Who can argue with that?!
As we count down the remaining days of 2020-thirty-eight to be
exact—I invite you to take a minute or five, to reflect on what is truly good in your life. As I move away from the blah and into a better headspace to reflect, I would like to start the ball rolling by thanking all of you—my family, friends, clients, veterans, teachers, neighbors, and those who offer a simple smile as I pass by. I am grateful for you!
Many Blessings and Be well!