gratitude

Yeah, sure we’re all very thankful.  Are we?  When was the last time you were actually, out loud, thankful for something?  We teach our children to say “please” and “thank you” (some people prefer the more succinct “please and thank you”, but its not my fave, and does not ring genuine), but do we teach them to truly BE thankful for what they receive?  Are WE truly thankful for what we receive?

My yoga instructor, the amazing Asia Nelson, challenged me to begin a gratitude journal – write down 5-10 things that I am thankful for…every day.  She promised that I would be amazed at what happens next.

journalShe was right.  When I began to dissect my days and pull out the events that occurred for a positive outcome, I started to notice more and more of them.

There are big moments: a college graduation, a child returning from a trip, a loved one beginning to heal; there are smaller moments: I met a goal, I had a nice chat with my son, a sweet text from a special friend.

I realized that the more I focus on the things to be grateful for, the more I find to be grateful for.  I catch myself leaving a situation and almost subconsciously reviewing and pulling out the gems: the machine I wanted to work on at the gym was free, someone went out of their way to tell me a joke, no one ate the yummy leftovers that I wanted for lunch….Happy

I found that the easiest days to be grateful are the fun days AND the hard days.  The routine days are the ones that offer up the most challenges – but there are reasons to be thankful in EVERY day.  Printers didn’t jam today? Smooth drive into work? Didn’t go hungry? Have a super chatty husband who likes to share his crossfit routine with you every day?  BE THANKFUL!

Here are seem tips for starting your own gratitude journal:

  • Set a routine – I write in mine as soon as i climb into bed.
  • Be thankful for ANYTHING – no rules – people, scenery, words, lessons
  • Elaborate – point form is fine, but the exercise works better if you give a bit of detail
  • Feel the depth of your gratitude…I truly AM thankful for having sweet friends

You can also use prompts if you are feeling stuck:

  • people in your life that you are thankful for (…and why?)
  • your favourite places to go, or dream to go
  • important lessons you’ve learned
  • funniest moments of your life
  • best meals you’ve ever had
  • favourite childhood memories
  • things that made you smile
  • freedoms your country allows you
  • interesting people you’ve met

The list is limitless – its your life, you can be grateful for anything.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

it takes a village…

I always admired the idea of an entire village working together for the betterment of raising a decent human being. I assume this still happens around the world, in fact I know that it does – I witnessed it in a Masai village in Kenya. But you don’t often see that here, in urban-ish North America.

I didn’t think we had a village. All along, it has been the hubs and me making all of the decisions, occasionally bouncing things off of friends, teachers, colleagues. One day, my son announced that he would be performing at a high-profile club in Toronto – of course we were going to go, this was so awesome!!! At the last minute, friends of our asked if they would be able to get tickets. We managed to snag some from the performers (it was a SOLD OUT show!) everyone made the 90 minute drive into Toronto. The show was fantastic, our son shone in his performance.
It wasn’t until the drive home that it struck me how amazing it was to have people in our lives who cared about our family, and were celebrating our sons success. It brings me to tears. I have never known this feeling before. We have often gone to see friends kids play baseball or hockey and of course we cheered them on and congratulated them after the game, but never have we ever had someone go out of their way to not only support one of our kids, but to genuinely wish them all the best, being as proud as their own parents. That night, I felt “the village”.

I felt “the village” again a few weeks later, when our family needed one – and if you know what I’m talking about, then you are part of my village. We love you and thank you for being a part of our lives.

When you are grateful for the wonderful people in your life, they just keep appearing.
I am so very grateful.