Last November one of my friends suggested we list one thing we are grateful for each day for the month of November in the WhatsApp group that the three of us shared. The first few days were a breeze for me – it was something new and exciting. I could have listed 10 things if that was what we agreed upon but as Life began to happen during the month, at times it was difficult to find one thing I was grateful for – on the shitty days I would post I’m grateful for food or for my warm bed (of course I was grateful for those things) however the idea was to find something in our daily lives to share. On the beautiful days (you know the ones where everything turned out just the way I wanted or I woke up feeling amazing) I could have written a book about gratitude.
As we are approaching Thanksgiving Day 2017, I find myself reflecting on November of 2016 and the change it brought about in my life. It thought me a few things and I will be forever grateful to my friend for suggesting we do that exercise. It was such a learning experience…I not only learned things about myself – I learned about life in general.
November 2016 thought me I lead a very reactive life ( I know you’re thinking but don’t we all) yes we all do but some of us in a good way – others in not so good ways). I realized I spent much of my day reacting to things or situations that were taking place daily in my life with negativity, unkindness, stressfulness, sadness, feelings of hopelessness, defeated or unworthiness. I learned that I wasn’t being as productive as I thought I was being, I learned that finding beauty and gratitude in my Life would only happen if and when I choose to react in an understanding, kind and positive way to myself and others when
- situations and things don’t go as expected
- things happened that I didn’t want to happen
- things weren’t favorable (in my opinion)
- when I felt like someone wronged or hurt me.
Every day is indeed a day to start anew – I still struggle to react to my day with kindness, understanding and in a positive way but when we learn things about ourselves that are doing more harm to our lives than good then we have to make the effort, we have to make tough decisions to be, do and want better for ourselves. Each day I open my eyes, I say thank you, smile; and I get out of bed I remind myself that Joy, Love, Peace, Happiness, and Kindness are fundamental in my life – they aren’t things I have to strive for…they are a part of me, I just need to remember that always and activate them daily. When I remember that, it sets the tone for my day… I’m grateful and I go through my day looking for things that I am grateful for.
Don’t believe or think I don’t get angry anymore, that I don’t have days I find nothing to be grateful for or I’m no longer stress…all of the above still happens however I now handle it differently – there are some days I feed into it (what can I say I’m a work in progress ?). Now I keep a gratitude log in my bullet journal where I List one thing that I’m grateful for each day – that one act makes me smile and sometimes it brings tears to my eyes.
I wanted to share this little story with you, hoping that you will Make gratitude a part of your life on this Thanksgiving Day and every day going forward – you may not want to specifically list what you’re thankful for daily or you may not want to keep a gratitude log but simply saying thank you will make a huge difference in your life.
I know we’re all here to live our best lives, it will take some of us our entire lives to figure that out while many of us will not figure that out in this lifetime…understanding that gratefulness is a stepping stone to realizing so much more about ourselves.
My Thanksgiving wish for you and your family is that the day will be filled with Love, Joy, Happiness, Laughter and delicious food ?.
I will close with one of my favorite quotes by Maya Angelou
“Let Gratitude Be the pillow upon which you kneel to say your nightly prayer”
(This Beautiful Photo is by Daniel Frank)