Being Grateful for Gratitude

gratitude
[grat-i-tood, -tyood]
noun
1.
the quality or feeling of being grateful or thankful

Gratitude is such a simple, quick, effective way to easily improve our life but I bet if you asked 10 random people how many of them keep a gratitude journal there might only be a couple. I know this because I used to be one of the ones without one and I never heard of anyone I knew writing in one. Sure I was thankful at Thanksgiving, Remembrance Day, Christmas etc. but I never took the time every day to list 5 things I am grateful for. Now I have an app that reminds me on my phone every 6 hours!

When I first started really getting into personal development a few months ago, gratitude was one of the things every great speaker and mentor talked about. I started to wonder about these people and how they always came up with new things every day. I figured that obviously it was easy for them since they had lots of money and therefore had more things to be grateful for! Then as I listened to the things they were grateful for, hardly ever did they mention material items.

Being grateful is the foundation for abundance and positivity. You can’t receive new things to be grateful for until you recognize what you already have. I also realized that it was one thing to say “I am grateful for my house because it provides me shelter” and a totally different idea to really take the time to feel what that feels like. It’s easy to take 30 seconds to run through 5 things you are grateful for when we first wake up or when we go to bed. It’s when we really take the time to feel how each of these things makes us feel right down to our core that we experience true gratitude. That’s when we begin to see the benefits of being grateful.

One day while I was driving to work, I noticed the sun shining brightly just to the right of the windshield. I remember thinking “I am so grateful for the sunshine and what it represents in the world” and I could feel within myself this calm peacefulness and I began to smile.

Start with small things and repeat the same things every day if you have to. Be grateful that you could open your eyes. It’s hard sometimes to always think of something new. It’s the habit of just doing it that will help you recognize new things you can be grateful for. When you do find something I encourage you to take 10 seconds and really feel how it makes you feel. That 10 seconds could change the tone of your whole day. You will find that once you start doing this your mindset will shift and you will start looking at more things in your life that you can express gratitude for. It will become easier. It’s addictive! Every situation in life, even if it seems like the worst possible thing at the time, can be an opportunity to express gratitude. Be grateful for trying times, they help you appreciate when times are good. Perception is everything and having an attitude of gratitude is what will get you through anything.

Today I came across this Tedx talk by Louie Schwartzberg. The video he plays at the end with the child and the elderly man really exemplifies gratitude. I watched the video and focused on the words of the man, the people and their expressions. Truly heartwarming.

I think I will find 10 things to be grateful for when I go to bed tonight 🙂

What are you grateful for?

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Starts with M

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My first blog post! Thanks for following along with me. I have no idea where this blog will go except I do know I’m not following any specific rules. I won’t be posting on certain days, but I will try to write a few times a week. Since I am a Gemini, I can be chatty and long winded as I like to make sure I explain everything, but I’ll try to keep the posts at a decent length. I can’t guarantee I will stay on topic. Topics will be interesting things I uncover about personal development. I’m going to step out of my comfort zone and be real. I’ve spent a lot of time hiding in my comfort zone and therefore not living my life to it’s greatest potential. Being afraid of what people think is one of the biggest areas I need to work on.

So as a background for the blog, why did I recently give up watching hours upon hours each week of reality TV and replace that time with hours of personal growth? There’s a few reasons which I’ll get into later, but good thing I did because my knowledge of reality TV shows was ridiculously amazing. I knew more about the people on TV than I did about myself. Did you know Kim Kardashian used her sisters breast milk to treat her psoriasis? True story, google it. Also, I don’t know how many more Real Housewives of ___ I could keep track of!

The thing is that I’ve always been interested in learning more about myself and why I am the way I am, but never felt a deep need to actually take the time to dig further (scared of what I would find perhaps?). Throughout my life I’ve read a book here and there, learned some things in university but never really read these things and thought about how I could incorporate what I was leaving into my life. I was definitely one of those people who felt that life was the way it was and that was it. I led a happy existence and who was I to want more from life when there were others in much worse situations than my own?

Exactly 3 months ago I was presented an opportunity and I feel like a light switch was turned on in my brain. All of a sudden I couldn’t read or listen to enough about self development. I became obsessed! All of a sudden I could care less about KUWTK, RKOBH, and RHOC (if you don’t know what shows they are then you’re already a step ahead!).

I wanted to share all these new ideas I was learning with everyone, but I knew if they were anything like my former self they would see it all as unrealistic and “fluffy”.

The last 3 months have opened my eyes to so much. The biggest thing is learning to dream again. Not just dreaming of getting a new purse or shoes, but dreaming of grand things I can accomplish no matter how far fetched they seem. What happened to the huge imaginations and dreams we had as children before we were exposed to the harsh realities of life? Before we heard the word no so many times that we stopped looking for yes. Why do we accept such mediocre lives as “normal”.

In my adult life I have developed such an “employee” mindset. I was so focused on success as being getting a better job with a bigger salary that once I realized that wasn’t true success I felt ashamed and embarrassed that I spent all of my 20’s chasing that dream. My new definition of success is being able to do the things I want, when I want, where I want, with who I want. Money will always be an important part of life but now I see it as enabling me to have the time freedom I require to live the life I desire. No more trading hours for dollars just to make someone else rich.

They say that fear and lack of money are the biggest factors that hold us back from doing the things we truly want to do. So, I want to know: what is the one thing you would do if money and fear were not an option?

“The journey of a thousand miles starts with one small step ” – Lao Tzu