We are eight days into the month that is most often associated with gratitude. As we near the holiday season, and quite possibly one of the busiest times of the year, we often find our to-do lists getting longer, stress levels getting higher and schedules overflowing with commitments. Prioritizing can be a challenge, and saying “no” can feel impossible as we try to spend time with family and friends, keep up at work and make time for ourselves.
For some of us, we often move ourselves down the priority list as we put others first. Significant others. Children. Family members. Employees. Clients. When we do not make the time for ourselves, we risk increasing the chance of doing the exact opposite. While what that crucial “time for ourselves” looks like may be a little different for each of us, it plays an imperative role in the quality of our lives and the relationships that we cherish most.
Similarly, as we take time to appreciate everything and everyone that we are grateful for, we often forget about ourselves. It sounds a little selfish, but self-gratitude is just as important as the gratitude we have for all of the people that we appreciate and positively impact our lives. In order to best serve them, we need to allow ourselves to be the best version of ourselves.
It can be easier to complain than praise, recognize the wrongs rather than the rights and focus on the shortcomings of ourselves and others rather than all that we have accomplished. Ending each day by consciously acknowledging several things that we are grateful for, no matter how big or small, has the power to shape our attitude and consistently create a positive energy. Writing these things down or sharing them with someone else can only increase their power.
Oprah, someone who may know a thing or two about setting a good example, kept a gratitude journal for 10 years. She realized that when she stopped, she no longer felt the joy of simple moments. When she was going through her day looking for things to be grateful for, something always showed up. She also noted, “I know for sure that appreciating whatever shows up for you in life changes your personal vibration. You radiate and generate more goodness for yourself when you’re aware of all you have and not focusing on your have-nots.”
In the article that I am referencing, she shared her entry from 10/12/96:
- A run around Florida’s Fisher Island with a slight breeze that kept me cool.
- Eating cold melon on a bench in the sun.
- A long and hilarious chat with Gayle about her blind date with Mr. Potato Head.
- Sorbet in a cone, so sweet that I literally licked my finger.
- Maya Angelou calling to read me a new poem.
While I am pretty disappointed that I have not had the opportunity to get a call from Maya and have a poem read to me, I can most definitely identify with a good workout, enjoying healthy food, chatting with my bestie and eating ALL the desserts.
Today, I am grateful for:
- Braylon being on board with being in his bouncy seat for 45 minutes so I could get a living room workout in.
- Spending time with my cousin and Aunt…and it didn’t hurt that they came with my favorite pizza!
- Memes and video clips that were sent to me by several friends. Amidst all of the seriousness and stress, a laugh here and there throughout the day really keeps me going…so keep ’em coming!
- Blue Sour Patch Kids.
- The opportunity to see another day.
It can be really hard not to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of things and allow our mind to divert down a negative path. I know for myself, I can often react too quickly, and at times, overreact (ugh, my Mother is probably reading this saying, “SOMEtimes?!”) when there really is not a need to. A lot of the people I know, myself included, are often going a million miles a minute and could use to slow down a bit. There is so much to be grateful for. Identifying and acknowledging the little things while expressing our love and gratitude for the big things can truly enhance our quality of life.
“At times, our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.” – Albert Schweitzer
To all my family and friends who continue to add a spark to my day I cannot thank you all enough. ❤ ❤ ❤