I get it! Smaller causes need to make a bigger splash – both literally and figuratively, but I’m really over all the Facebook gimmicky challenges. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for finding creative ways of raising money for charity, but I simply don’t have the time to interrupt my day to dump a bucket of ice water over my head. It’s counterproductive when I need to earn money, in order to give it! The point is it’s a reminder to practice charity, and I do.
However, the latest challenge making the rounds is one I already make part of my day, every day, gratitude. It doesn’t take long, and I find it’s a very productive way to start my day. You’re suppose to list 3 things you are grateful for every day for 7 days, then nominate 3 friends to do the same. SO, rather than post this only to people I know, I thought why not share my gratitude with everyone I can possibly reach? Today I have a ton of BIG things I’m so grateful for, but sometimes the list is full of much smaller observations. The point is there is always something to feel grateful for – you just need to stop and allow yourself the time to be aware of them. My list today is:
1). My favorite person on the planet, my daughter Tatjana, is here visiting me for another week.
2). My parents just arrived, so I get to enjoy three generations of my family together, and I am so grateful for the relationship I enjoy with my parents today.
3). My friend Jimmy put a smile on my face when he sent me a simple post card from his journey back east to let me know he was thinking of me. Who else would do that in this digital day and age??? There is something to be said for Jimmy’s style and the power of tangible thought!
Now, I’m in a really happy place in my life right now, so it’s really easy to make gratitude lists, but I know that finding gratitude can be harder when life is rough. I first started this practice when my marriage had broken up, I had to leave my daughter in England, I lost my home, and someone very dear to me took his own life. Nothing in my world was familiar. I was grieving so deeply I became physically ill. So, my list back then went something like:
1). I brushed my teeth today.
2). I took my dog for a walk and felt the sunshine on my skin.
3). I wrote a letter to my daughter, and sent her a leaf I found on my walk. I hope that makes her feel connected to my day as well.
I know my life has changed exponentially for the better since I started practicing gratitude. I definitely pull myself out of the occasional funk much faster, it helps me free myself of any fears that hold me back, and makes it possible to take that leap of faith to reach for my dreams. That doesn’t mean I don’t still get stressed out, or feel gripped by fear and worry, but I quickly take stock of all that is right in my world to refocus my persecutive on the positive, so I can move forward again.
I refuse to challenge anyone into doing a grateful list, because I believe strongly in the law of attraction. I’m confident you’ll be inspired to try this practice on for size, if you don’t already do it every day in your own way. You may not want to today, and that’s okay. Start when you feel ready to start, but do give it a go for at least a week to really start feeling the results. I hope you have the same sense of peace from tuning into what makes you feel grateful, that being grateful has given me.