On this #ThankfulTuesday, let’s take a moment to appreciate the power of gratitude. When we choose to be thankful for the people, opportunities and/or circumstances in our life, we are not focusing or giving any energy to the negative. Skies seem a little bluer, smiles come more easily to our faces, and we tend to react less when we take time to appreciate all the goodness in our lives. And no matter what is going on in our lives, there is always goodness.
How can we actively develop and practice an attitude of gratitude? My favorite way is maintaining a gratitude journal. It's easy and takes only a few peaceful moments a day. I strive to be thankful for 4-5 specific things per day. It can be as simple as “I am so thankful I got that ideal parking spot at Cosco!” Admittedly, some days finding things to be grateful for can be tough but other days, I can go on for pages.
I have to add that there is just something about writing that makes this practice particularly effective for me. It leaves a little indelible imprint on my soul whereas my thoughts can be fleeting and forgotten
Do you already keep a gratitude journal? Great! Please share with our community if this helps you in any way. If you don’t, why not give it a try? If taking pen to paper is not your thing, why not use your social media and spark a gratitude revolution? Need some inspiration? There are some great online gratitude journals such as welovegratitude.com or onlinegratitudejournal.com where you can post publicly or privately.
How is this as a start… Can everyone leave one gratitude statement below? I would be so THANKFUL if you did!
"What is really hard, and really AMAZING, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of BECOMING YOURSELF." -- Anna Quindlen
The best part of that quote is what came to me next: ..."And realizing that you are amazing."
Yup. Flaws and all. Cellulite and all. Less than ideal balance in the bank... and all.
Giving up on perfection is like quitting the hamster wheel. It's utterly exhausting. You think you have to run it and finally, you jump off.
I've been letting go of a lot lately. Like dieting. Mind you, I am eating healthy but I am allowing myself a treat here an there, wine with dinner, an occasional bite of chocolate. And the irony is, I haven't gained a single pound.
In the process of letting go, I've been consciously ALLOWING.
I'm allowing a very sweet man be kind and generous to me without trying to prove my worth to him. He thinks I'm great. So, who am I to question or try to top that?
The unforeseen result of this is that I am much more present in my life. In the process of letting go and allowing (aka JUST BEING ME), I am having new and fun experiences, am much more relaxed and care less about what others think.
Now, don't get me wrong. It's not all rainbows and unicorns. In fact, I just had a really craptastic week. And as a result, everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, fell by the wayside. So I gave myself a day to recover. Did I get up at dawn and go for a run? No. Did I cook our family meals for the week? Don't be silly. The perfectionist in me was nowhere to be found. I slept in. I went for an easy hike in a beautiful park with my sweet man. I read my book while I treated myself to a pedicure. I meditated and wrote this post. And yes, I tidied up, did laundry and went grocery shopping as well. Like I said, it can't all be rainbows and unicorns.
What about you? Are you ready to jump off that hamster wheel? Yes, I am singling you out because believe me, the world needs wonderful YOU. Not some Stepford Wife version of you.
Learn to appreciate and honor yourself. Your quirks, your imperfections...even your penchant for bad reality TV. WHO CARES?! Embrace it. Own it. Marinate in your own magnificence.
After all, the most important relationship you'll ever have is the one you have with yourself.
What does balance look like for you?
For me balance means exercising and eating right, being mindful over my finances, spending quality with my family, being successful at my job and dedicating my time and creativity to Inspired Elephant. I can’t have it all every single day, so it’s about making choices and trying to fit it in however and whenever I can.
During the month of October, I felt very UNbalanced. I was overcommitted and my children overscheduled. I was exhausted, late to everything, and was met with some upsetting news about people I care about. That really threw me off.
It’s during these crazy times that I’m reminded that balance is not really a state of being but more of a moment-to-moment decision making process. I can choose to say no to an obligation – even if I’ve already said yes. (YES! You really can do that!) I can choose to ask for help with my children. I can choose to take a few deep breaths and tell myself, “This too shall pass.”
Yesterday, I declined an invitation to an event I had already planned on attending. Instead I went for a 2 mile run. Let me tell me, it was the best run of my life!
In this instance, I chose to take care of myself before taking care of obligations. As a result, I felt calmer, energized and more equipped to handle life.
Little by little, I am regaining my balance. One choice at a time.
How do you achieve balance in your life, especially when things seem to be spiraling out of control?
Please share your comments below!
Inspired by: Carolyn Duarte