“Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”
Have you ever had one of those days that just starts off bad from the moment you peep out from under the blankets? One where you spill Starbucks all over your new outfit, forget to send an email that was important, and stress out about getting home in time to let your dogs out? I call this a good, old fashioned bad day. But, is it really a bad day? Somewhere along the way, in the midst of all these *negative* moments, I manage to look around and feel…thankful. Thankful that your still breathing, noticing at a nice sunset, catching a breeze, or coming home to a hug from your beau. (not to mention those cute little fur babies that you kept waiting). What I would like to challenge everyone to do, including myself, is feeling more of these little, thankful moments and less of those *negative* ones.
It’s in the small, mindful, and completely simple times that we begin to develop gratitude for life and discover what are top priorities in life should truly be. Some of my greatest memories are so insignificant on the scale of amazing things that I have done or accomplished. All the wonderful traveling, food, fashion and fun I have experienced means nothing to me if I can’t have that tight squeeze at the end of a regular, mundane Monday. You see, we take for granted the small things. Think about how much happier we would be if we just gained a little perspective.
Instead of feeling bad that you don’t fit into your skinny jeans right now, take a quick sec to be glad that you have legs at all. Then, get to the gym and run like a mad woman because you CAN and some people CAN’T. Let THAT be your motivation instead of losing weight; if you happen to lose a couple lbs, that’s icing on the cake. SHIFT your reasoning by shifting your perspective. Instead of being upset when your pup has an accident on the floor, be so so glad that you have a little pup at all! (and remember to get home a little earlier next time – guilty as charged.) When your friends make you upset, take a deep breath and move forward. Be glad you have people who challenge you!
An interesting thing you can do to jump start your journey to becoming more grateful and gaining perspective is creating a list of things to remind yourself to cherish. It can be as little as your car starting in the morning, or as significant as your husband. Take 1 minute (I know you’ve got one), and jot down the first 10 things/moments you appreciate at this very moment. I 100% guarantee you will be a happier person. Not only that, but you will be much less easily swayed by negativity when it does happen for you, because it will seem much less overwhelming. I’ll go first:
- My parents en route from Tyler for the Cowboy game tomorrow.
- An amazing project in the works that I’ve dreamed about my whole life.
- My husband who just microwaved my favorite soup.
- This computer that is actually working after crashing last week. (i thought my life was over)
- My friends who understand what I’m saying when I use the wrong words that don’t make sense.
- Advil to help my headache from having one too many glasses of champagne yesterday.
- Dry shampoo so I can go one more day not washing my hair.
- 20/20 eyesight after being blind for 35 years until I had Lasik
- Fletcher’s corny dogs at the game tomorrow.
- Save the best for last: My kind and Savior, Jesus Christ, who unconditionally loves me and carries me through the most unbearable days.
There are 3 most important things in life that are ACTION steps that will allow you to achieve all of your goals and priorities in life:
- THINKING positive
- BEING thankful
- CREATING gratitude
Notice these are verbs – action steps – you must take to attain your dreams and achieve what is important to you; they don’t just fall in your lap. The minute you become thankful for things is the exact moment that more goodness starts coming into your life. It is a lot harder than it sounds to continuously block yourself from negativity (because sometimes your gosh darn car keys get lost), and sometimes you will slip up, but having tools to recover is all you really need. And guess what, practice makes perfect, and this kind of practice is one of my top priorities in life because it lays the groundwork for everything else.
So here is the plan of action. Pour yourself a glass of wine, ask yourself – what is the most important thing in life? Then grab a pen and make your list of top priorities in life. Text some people in your phone a little “hey gal, I love you.” message. Schedule a time to call your mom and dad. Write your spouse a love letter – just because. Pay for the person behind you at Chik-Fil-A (or McD’s…You do You), and compliment the cashier. Finally, (and this is sometimes the hardest of all) be kind to yourself. Run a bubble bath, and take some time to think about the balanced life you lead. Or want to live because you are selling yourself short.
Remember what the most important things in life are, and give thanks for them.
Give thanks for everything: the good things, the bad things. the upsetting things. the nasty things, the unsettling things, and even the unfair things. You know, the “rip your heart out of your chest” things. Be thankful for them all. Because, here’s some truth folks: You are alive. You are loved. You are not alone. Most of all, you are being taught the importance of perspective. And that’s what is important in life.
If you want to share your list of your top priorities in life with me, I would be so honored & happy to read it! Follow me on instagram to see my moments of gratitude @hellowhitneyblog and share this with any friends you think would like to take the journey to gratitude as well.
I love you, and I am thankful for you!