It’s almost Thanksgiving Day here in the U.S.— the day that invites us to sit down and focus on being thankful for those who radiate love & the gifts that bring joy into our lives [all the while indulging in a fabulous array of savory foods, yum!]
Another awesome thing about Thanksgiving is that it’s a national holiday; a day to let go of the worries and struggles of “every day life,” and focus on what really matters.
But this blog post isn’t about becoming happier by Thanksgiving Day.
I’m here to tell you how you can cultivate true fulfillment through consistently thanks-giving; making it an ongoing daily or weekly ritual.
First step: Get a Journal and make sure it’s one that you really like. Next, pick a specific time, (evening tends to be best for a lot of people) set an alarm on your phone to remind you. Put your journal somewhere that encourages you to write something before you go to sleep each night, like on your nightstand.
Write down lists, be sure to elaborate on the most important people and experiences you’re thankful for, paste in things like photographs and concert tickets, write poems if you feel inspired… The more conscious and creative you are, the more benefits you will receive!
Here’s one of the pages in my gratitude journal. The little polaroid picture is way underexposed, but the leaf in the photo was vibrant red & green. My friend gave it to me one day just because she’s silly and sweet. It was a major highlight in my day.
I wholeheartedly believe everyone can find something to be thankful for in the context of their own lives. And the more thanks-giving is practiced, the less you feel burdened by the never-ending struggles of being human. Be thankful for the simple things like having clothes and shoes. Food and water. A bed to rest and sleep in. A goldfish who is a good listener.
If you feel like your life is in shambles, a mess of uncertainty, despair, or tragedy…
Remember: everyone is fighting some sort of battle.
Andrew, a cross-country star, a college student, who got into a car accident, paralyzing him from the waist down;
Melissa, a pregnant woman who lost her husband to cancer;
Esther, the homeless elderly woman sleeping on a bench;
Mark, the surgeon whose amazing wife left him because he was constantly at the hospital;
Owen, the soldier who hasn’t seen his kids in a year…
There’s astounding adversity in the lives of so many human beings out there, but amidst all of it, there’s always something to be thankful for.
Andrew— Life itself; the body parts that are functioning perfectly
Melissa— Memories. Moments of pure passion and joy. The gift of new life and motherhood.
Ester— The kindness and generosity of strangers when it’s needed the most.
Mark— Contributing to the greater good by pursuing special talents, skills and passions
Owen— Comrades & friendships. Relationships that warm the heart no matter the distance.
But…What happens if you can’t think of anything to be thankful for?
What happens if you’re caught up in a web negativity?
The only way to get over it is by taking action. Don’t wait for the “right time” to start a gratitude journal. START TODAY. Even if it’s just one tiny thing that you write down, like your toothbrush & toothpaste… start somewhere. Today.
Here’s something to keep in mind though… being mindful of the things that are most important, the people and experiences specifically, energizes your soul.
In practicing thanks-giving we grow stronger, more connected to the divinity in the universe, and ultimately transform into more compassionate, positively motivated versions of ourselves. You can become a person that changes the world for the better by radiating light, love and hope.
P.S. A tip if you really get stuck…
Things you may include in your gratitude journal: the gift of life in general, something new that you’ve learned,love, surprises, memories, happiness, goals, passions, relationships, your career, successes/triumphs, health, physical body, opportunities, adventures, material items.