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Monday
Nov192018

What Happens When You Focus on Gratitude?

We are in the season. What season is that? I’m not talking about fall or winter, even though we are transitioning from one to the other. I’m talking about the season of gratitude that as humans we experience. You might say that every day and season should be filled with gratitude. It's hard to disagree with that. However, there is something about this time of year. It is a holiday, friends, and family-filled period, and it makes me feel that deep sense of gratitude even more. Is it just me or do you experience something similar? 

 

Where is your gratitude opportunity?

We have an opportunity each day to notice, thank, and appreciate those around us. We can be thankful for the challenges that make us grow and the successes that allow us to feel that growth. We have an opportunity each moment to be grateful for the ability to make the changes we seek like organizing our lives to support us, or altering the inner script to be positive rather than negative, or to finding quiet amidst our busy and noise-filled lives. We have the chance each day to acknowledge the cheerleaders in our lives, the cherished friends and loved ones, and the strangers that extend a kind smile or graciously hold open a door for us.  We have the ability each day to be grateful for the senses that let us feel, smell, see, hear, touch, and taste the beautiful world we live in.

 

What are you noticing?

I know there are so many things that aren’t right in the world. We see and hear about them from the news and casual conversations. We can quickly go down the rabbit hole of doom. There are so many more things, however, that are beautiful, right, and quietly positive in the world. They are there for the noticing. When we focus on the affirmative, gratitude follows. There are some are simple things that I notice like that cozy feeling of getting into bed at the end of a long day, or the flood of happy emotions I feel when I hug my loved ones after being apart, or the satisfaction of folding the laundry into neat little stacks. There are nature’s wonders to enjoy like the crunchy, morning frost on the leaves or the unexpected snowstorm that covers the ground with a blanket of white, or the sun-filled days that intensify the beautiful colors and shadows of the landscape. 

 

Is gratitude timeless?

Gratitude is for the past, present, and future. We can be grateful for the people that have touched our lives but are no longer with us. We can be thankful for the mindful presence of being in the moment with the people we care about. We can be grateful for the friends, family, and loved ones that we will share time and experiences with in the coming months. Gratitude is timeless.

 

What happens with gratitude during the holidays?

Holidays can be a stressful time. When our stress levels rise, our gratitude levels tend to decrease. This week, like me, many of you are preparing for Thanksgiving. We’ll be hosting. Some of you might be traveling to see family or friends. Some of you might be hosting your own celebrations. Perhaps others will be flying solo this year. Whatever you’re doing, wherever you’ll be, remember that there is always something, someone, and someplace to be grateful for. Allow yourself to notice the brightness. It’s waiting for you to see and feel it. I wish you and your family a happy, joyous, and gratitude-filled holiday season.

What are you feeling grateful for right now? I’d love to hear your thoughts. I invite you to come and join the conversation.

 

 

 

 

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Reader Comments (8)

Gratitude is a habit that needs to be cultivated. Once you begin, it becomes as natural as breathing. I often wake up and thank God for blessings before I leave the bed - like the fact that I woke up! Today I am grateful for my daughter, who is home from college and sitting next to me. I'm grateful for the Costco Heat Dish that is nearby, keeping me warm. I am grateful for the client I will work with this afternoon. It really is endless, and it feels so good to be grateful. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, Linda!

November 19, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterSeana Turner

I practice gratitude in my daily living. I begin each day reviewing the day before and writing down in my gratitude journal the things that happened, that I noticed for which I am thankful. This practice (I've been doing this for a few years now) helped me from diving down into gloom and doom. I was determined not to do that as, historically, I've been a glass half-full kind of person. I'm very happy that I started recording the little wonderful things that happen each day. Have a very Happy Thanksgiving, Linda!

November 19, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterDiane Quintana

@Seana- I love what you said, "Gratitude is a habit that needs to be cultivated." That's beautiful! As you shared, you have done just that and by doing so, see the wonders all around you. Your habit of starting your day with intentional gratitude is such a gentle, positive way to ease into the day. Enjoy the warmth of having your family (and the heat dish) close. Have a wonderful time hosting Thanksgiving and being with your family. I know you'll be prepared and was impressed by the detailed "getting ready for Thanksgiving" list that you shared this week on your blog. Way to go, Seana!

November 19, 2018 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

@Diane- What a positive, joy-inducing morning practice you have with your gratitude journal. Even those of us that tend towards the "glass half-full," can cultivate (as Seana mentioned) our gratitude practice. We can easily walk through life asleep and not notice the beauty around us. But waking up to see is a beautiful thing, and you are experiencing and feeling its benefit. I admire your dedication to the practice. There have been periods where I've kept a gratitude journal. That practice has morphed over time to feeling and expressing gratitude through other outlets. I wish you and your family a wonderful Thanksgiving.

November 19, 2018 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

Being grateful helps me stay positive in my daily activities. I am now asking the question to my children more frequently too. This hopefully reminds them to be grateful each day not just this time of year.

November 19, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterSabrina Quairoli

@Sabrina- Modeling gratitude is a beautiful way to inspire others (including children.) It's lovely that you incorporate gratitude practice into your daily life. I love that you're expanding your habit to help your children do the same. That's a great gift that you're sharing that will make their lives and all the people they touch to feel better.

November 19, 2018 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

I have so much to be grateful for, but at the moment I'm thankful for the excellent healthcare system we have in Canada, and especially here in Hamilton where I live.

November 19, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJanet Barclay

@Janet- That's great how you are aware of gratitude and its abundance in your life. You are fortunate to have an excellent healthcare system especially one that is accessible. We could learn a lot in the US from the Canadian system. We have a long way to go. We currently are insured through Steve's job (thank goodness.) It's not inexpensive, but it is affordable. The care is pretty good for our current needs. However, when we were both self-employed and had to pay 100% out of pocket for our health insurance, the premiums were ridiculously high as in $25,000 per year. That was just the premium. On top of that were copays and other non-covered out of pocket expenses.

November 19, 2018 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

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