Gratitude

 

I have surely missed you, Besties!  My Waiting Place has really taken it’s toll on my entire spirit.  As a result, I haven’t had words to share on this outlet for some time now.  Somewhere along the way I lost my happy place.  It has left me unmotivated to do much of anything.  The holidays do not make it much better.  This jolly time of family, friends, joy, and cheer can be the worst time for people dealing with the “grumpies”.  I think it is so important to say, because you never know what someone is going through, which is why checking on and loving on those that matter to you most is so vital…especially during the holiday season. 

 

Getting through a valley season isn’t ever easy.  It wouldn’t be called a valley if it were.  Finding quick, temporary shortcuts don’t help either.  They often prolong the healing.  Leading you right back to the beginning of the tough storm.  Going through the valley, and allowing time to heal your heart and mind is often the best option.  Through the darkness and pain, there can be joy…if only in moments.  Remembering that even at your lowest point, you still have choices.  You can completely succumb to your pain, or you can choose life and abundance.  Finding joy, can be difficult, especially when your pain is real, live, and in color.  Focusing on the things that make you feel alive and blissful shift the atmosphere.  In an effort to choose happiness, I am pushing past pain through gratitude.    

 

Gratitude is having faith in life itself.  It is the tiny seed that cultivates peace.  It creates space for love and joy.  Gratitude is simply being thankful for even the smallest of blessings.  It opens our hearts and mind to all that is good and wonderful.  In recognizing the things that sustain us, we set our energy to receive life and love.  It is endless and immeasurable.  You can show gratitude for a job promotion, or every tiny breath that enters your body.  It doesn’t even have to be only about you.  You can express gratitude when others are blessed.  We have so much to be grateful for, wouldn’t you agree?  Life could always be worse.  Finding space and time to express thanksgiving for the blessings we have received centers our thinking on happiness.  It makes room for more blessings.

 

I have started a gratitude journal (thanks Mama Oprah), but you can express gratitude in quiet meditation or on the ride to work.  Here are a few things I try to keep in mind as I fill my pages each day:

 

Be specific.  There are things what we are all thankful for like our friends and family.  In order to break the monotony of always expressing the same gratitude, think of who or what you are showing said thanks.  Say their name.  Say the exact action.  Try to include the “why” so that you can fully explore the emotion.  Being more intentional in your gratitude will open your eyes to more things to add to your list.

Focus on things lasting, not temporary.  There is no limit to what we can show gratitude for.  Material things are very helpful in sustaining our lives.  If it weren’t for my car, it would be a lot harder to get to work for which I am grateful!  But try to find balance.  Pinpointing things that are lasting (like the people in our lives) verses fleeting things can deepen the experience.  I would like to eventually start writing gratitude letters to the people in my life as a way to say thank you and spark even more things to be thankful for. 

There’s only one rule.  Be consistent!  Beyond that, you are limitless.  You can write in a journal or think it over coffee.  There is not minimum or maximum amount.  One day you may have 10 things, others only one.  You might do it the morning, before you go to bed, or at various points in the day.  You set the pace and time, but create a routine and stick to it.

The storms in life can be rough…brutal even.  But, in pain, there is so much around us that bring us joy every single day.  Concentrate on those things that are good.  This doesn’t only apply to those in a valley season.  Being thankful during your seasons of plenty often times keeps you in that season!  As I stated before, we ALL have so much to be grateful for.

 

For this platform to express my words and thoughts.  Gratitude.

For the life or lives it touches and changes.  Gratitude.

For my mother’s phone call everyday.  Gratitude.

For my student’s smiling faces.  Gratitude.

For nearly 35 years of life.  Gratitude.

For laughter and love.  Gratitude.

For lessons learned.  Gratitude.

 

What are you grateful for?  How do you express gratitude?  I would love to hear your story in the comments below!

 

 

Love WITHOUT Fear,

Veronica