Gratitude

Gratitude – it’s a game changer. It’s amazing to me how I can be having the most emotional and overwhelming week, yet still somehow gain the perspective to turn my attitude around and “about-face” to step toward a more positive direction.

Yesterday was another overwhelming day back at my old job. Having been away for a month and a half attempting a different job altogether, I am back filling a more comfortable and familiar position that I literally helped create. There have been a ton of changes in that short time, though, plus there are processes and details that have been complicated due to errors left un-corrected. But they are all things within my power to fix, they are all details I am more than capable to look after. And THAT, that makes me grateful.

I am overwhelmed with gratitude today – grateful to have a job I love, with amazing clients, working for someone who has vision and direction and is very approachable. I am grateful to feel empowered through this position, with a sense of “mastery” or being good at what I do, entrusted with responsibility. I am grateful today to wake up filled with gratitude.

So that is today’s topic: gratitude. Do you wake up grateful every day? Why or why not? If you don’t know, perhaps it is time you do some personal inventory and figure it out. Our thinking dictates our feelings and actions. You can literally re-create your life through the process of affecting your thoughts. So what are you waiting for?

The best thing you can do is start small. If you’re anything like me, it is way too easy to get overwhelmed by a current state of negative emotion. So start by noticing the little things. Deal with each moment as it comes. And once per day think of one thing you are grateful for.

Over the years I have lived through days after which I couldn’t think of ONE positive thing for which to be grateful. My brain was just so focussed on the negative that I couldn’t see past it. So on those days I stuck to recording a gratitude journal with just one detail per day for which I was grateful (and some days I wasn’t even grateful to be alive, so even that was a stretch). Eventually that grew to a simple list of 3 things, and then 5 because I couldn’t contain the list. I think you see where this is going.

Even further down the line, my gratitude practice has become so big that I have days where I am literally overwhelmed with this new positive emotion. I’m sure my friends and family shake their heads some days as I gush with words of thanks and appreciation. I’m not just posting Facebook updates, I’m writing entire blogs about it! And my gratitude practice is so “accessible” now that I can literally change my entire mindset mid-day or mid-task simply by making conscious choices to be grateful, noticing the small things. It’s pretty cool.

Of course it doesn’t mean I’m not ever frustrated or sad or angry with life or the people in it – you’ve heard some of my daily struggles! But why dwell on those things? With a grateful heart, I’m glad I don’t have to.

…this is my life…

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