Tomorrow marks the annual day of giving thanks in the US. Families will be gathering and eating a variety of foods all day long, while watching a variety of football games, parades and other holiday films. (Can we say Hallmark made-for-tv movies?) At some point during the festivities, there may be a round of “what are you thankful for this year?” And then everyone will go back to stuffing their faces with more cranberry sauce or pumpkin pie. But what if you try something a little different this year?
What if you try to make the gratitude last for more than a half a second between helpings of mashed potatoes? What do you think would happen if you brought gratitude to your life every day for the next year? Something truly astonishing!
There’s more to being grateful than the spiritual or philosophical side of seeing the glass half full. It literally rewires your brain when take even a few minutes to list out things you are grateful for. Yes, I know. Gratitude is now a buzz word for all the hippy-dippy folk who want to find easy ways to alter their realities. However, sometimes a cliché is a cliché for a reason. And this is one of those times. Gratitude really can change your reality, whether or not you believe in the law of attraction.
Through all the struggles and terrible times I’ve faced, I’ve still maintained my gratitude for the things I did have. Being grateful for the roof over my head, even if that roof was in danger of being taken away. Being grateful for the support around me in tough times, even if I didn’t always reach out and ask for it. Knowing it was there when I did need it was just enough to keep me going. And of course I’m extremely grateful for all the experiences I’ve had traveling abroad. Even when I was stuck in Ukraine because I couldn’t afford, on my standard Ukrainian salary, to buy a ticket out of the country again.
The point is to appreciate all the ups and downs, because that is how you know you’re really in the game of life. If you were just going along not feeling anything at all, then what’s the use in even getting out of bed? Love the hard times as much as the good, because that is where you grow into who you are now.
So grab a notebook, piece of paper or even your smart phone and start writing down at least three things you are grateful for. Try that for a week and see how you feel at the end of it. If you’re having a hard time coming up with ideas, check out this awesome guided Gratitude Journal by Soulful Journals. (The have a wonderful line of guided journals for those new to the craft.)
And in the meantime, tell me one thing you’re grateful for on this holiday weekend?
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