'Tis the season. We live in a world where we go from Halloween to Christmas faster than a narcissist loses their shit over being called out on their actions. It's a wild ride. We are thrown from one extreme to the other so fast that we forget to create space for ourselves and focus on what matters. Gratitude.
'Tis the season for gratitude everyone and it seems that some of you have forgotten that. Well, lemme enlighten you people. If you choose to not be grateful for what you have right in front of you, you are setting yourself up for a world of disappointment, heartache, and a victim mentality. I challenge you to read the rest of this blog with an open mind and try a thing or two. Who knows, by the time you've untassled your tinsel, maybe, just maybe, you'll be less stressed and more blessed.
1. Change the way you think.
Ikikik.. easier said than done. Trust me. I KNOW. I understand. I challenge you to begin to shift your focus from lack or, “The Gap,” to an abundance or, “The Gain.” There is a fab book my husband & I started reading called The Gap & The Gain by Dan Sullivan. We started to read it way back when for a multitude of reasons. WE are always striving to be better parents and I am always striving to be a better business professional and coach. We are also both highly ambitious which is both a blessing and a curse. It really drove home that unsuccessful people focus on what they don’t have or, “The Gap,’ while successful people focus on what they do have or, “The Gain.” The book comes complete with homework assignments, and I have one for you..
Start a gratitude journal.
Each day for one week, write down 1 to 3 things you are GrateFULL For. These 'things' could be things that made you content, happy, or proud. If you feel compelled, also write down how these things came into your life. At the end of the week, create space for yourself to reflect on how you feel. Do you feel less stressed? Do you feel more grateful? Is there a mood shift occurring?
2. Choose a Gratitude reminder.
A gratitude reminder is anything you choose that you will see several times a day. It will remind you to be grateful. The gratitude reminder could be artwork, a picture, a sign, again, whatever YOU Want it to be. I am not so secretly OBSESSED With capturing memories/moments with photos, whether I am the photographer or not. Certain photos hold a LOT Of meaning to me. I often have these converted into artwork to be hung around my home. Some of my favorites are obvious; our wedding photo, one of Matty’s Senior photos, and a candid a dear friend captured of my husband and I at my sister’s wedding. I have had these converted and hung around our home and every single day when I see them, I am reminded of how grateful I am to have this family I have. I am reminded why I work so hard and will continue to work hard. Now onto your homework assignment.
Choose YOUR Gratitude Reminder.
Remember; this is anything YOU CHOOSE it to be! If you feel comfortable, share what it is in the comments below or via social media and tag me in it! ..and remember every time you see it think of something that you are grateful for.
The word meditate gets thrown around like confetti on New Year’s. Traditional meditation would consist of finding a quiet place to lie or sit, with your eyes closed, and focusing on your breathing, while you clear your mind, and let your thoughts go for several minutes. I am bad at meditation. Extremely bad. I think my meditation record is about 41 seconds. Then I start thinking about that one time in 2006 when I was 23 and I did that thing and than that one time last month when I said what I said and then I wonder if forgot to pack something for our upcoming vacation... You see why I'm bad at it? Gratitude meditation actually encourages you to actively think. Well. Sign me up because that is precisely what my brain was put on this earth to do. Think. Think more. Over think. This is the time to think about those, ‘things,’ I previously mentioned, but you don’t have to write them down.
Find a quiet or loud place to lie, sit or stand, with your eyes closed or open, and focus on your breathing or don't, (just keep breathing,) and go crazy with thoughts of gratitude. What big or small, experiences, past or present, people or things in your life are you grateful for?
I truly hope you are able to create space for yourself and practice at least one of these gratitude challenges and feel less stressed and more blessed. Life IS Good my friends.