As the festivities wrap up from Thanksgiving which includes: cleaning up, leftovers eaten (mostly), family has all gone home (hopefully), kids are back in school, and we are back to work and/or our daily busy lives, I find myself reflecting on my life. At least for another month before Christmas is here.
So much has happened in the past couple of years. Some of us have been impacted harder than others while others have lived a fairly normal (to them) life.
However, if there is one lesson I learned from these recent times, it is the importance of gratitude. I recently had the honor of attending an incredible event with my boyfriend as well as business partner. Yes, my boyfriend is my business partner. It was life changing and we both went in with an open mind to absorb as much as we possibly could. There was no better time than now. Wow! I mean...Wow! I knew I would get something out of it, but I didn’t realize what it would be or to what extent. I left feeling grateful for my life, driven to build something big, and the power to take an already amazing personal relationship to an even more incredible level.
Now, don’t get me wrong, it WAS only 3 weeks ago I was jumping up and down, yelling, and smiling ear to ear throughout the event. Yet, 3 weeks have gone by and with daily practice, I still feel that energy that moved through an entire crowd of 10K people in the matter of 4 days.
This brings me back to GRATITUDE. Yes, that is the key to feeling good. Every day I find myself focusing on one to five things I am grateful for at that moment. Sometimes it’s something big, such as life. Other times it’s for the short line at the grocery store.
LET ME TELL YOU....This has changed my life! My stress level dropped tremendously. I am not as short with people when I am busy. I find myself more successful at thinking through hurdles in everyday life. Who knew? Who knew that feeling grateful could transform me so much? Sure, there are breathing exercises, daily meditation, daily exercise, surrounding ourselves with kind and happy people that can all help boost our endorphins, but focusing on being grateful is the icing on the cake. Without that, all those other things are a temporary fix.
Sure, there are days that I wake up, don't sleep the greatest, go straight to work, have to take care of kids who don’t always listen, and I know my day isn’t going great. I even forget some mornings to take 10 minutes and fully focus on things that I am grateful for. BUT....I am building that habit to find that 10 minutes every day to do this.
Full disclosure, the day before Thanksgiving, I found myself crying in the bathroom, feeling overwhelmed with the idea of hosting 20 people on Thanksgiving in my home. I’m sure every woman has had at least one of these moments in their life. About 15 minutes into it, I realized the kids were entertained downstairs and I had a quiet room (yes, my bathroom) all to myself. I took a deep breath, found meditation music, and started to think about what I DID have in my life. In the midst of feeling awful, I took those “awful” things and turned them into WHAT I was grateful for. Within a matter of minutes, my body relaxed, my tears stopped, I found my strength to get up, smiled, called my boyfriend and laughed with him, and finished prepping for the next day.
To break down into further details of that exercise, my first feeling of gratitude was being able to host a Thanksgiving dinner. I pictured the food, the smiling faces, people laughing, the music, the cocktails, etc. Then I put that all into energy. I breathed in that energy and let it fill my body, then I felt it push out all the bad thoughts away from me. I did that exercise about 10 times.
Try it! I dare you!
As the year comes to an end and we start focusing on our goals for next year, why not build a habit during the month of December that can transform your life for years to come? We live in a world with a lot of unnecessary stress. We should be taking care of ourselves. Plus, it feels amazing to feel happy!
Who doesn’t want to feel happy and grateful?!?! I know I do! So, yes, it is that time of year that reminds us to remember what is important. Make a list if you can’t think of something immediately. Then pull it from your list and focus on that one or multiple things and how you are grateful for them. If you don’t have 10 minutes in your day to do this, you do not have a life. Do it while you are in the shower, drinking your coffee, driving to work, eating your lunch, driving home, or laying in bed and falling asleep. JUST DO IT. Yes! It is that easy! See how you start feeling. At first, it is only in the moment that you will feel good. Then, as you continue the exercise, that incredible feeling starts to last longer. Next thing you will know is you will start feeling grateful naturally.
I used to be that person who couldn’t stand when Christmas music played in November or people put their Christmas tree up on Black Friday. This year, my tree went up the day before Thanksgiving and I started listening to Christmas music the day after Thanksgiving. It is that time of year again. With everything going on in the world, why not make this year YOUR year to feel good? Or if you already feel good, take it to the next level!
It’s that time of year….again. Let’s make it AMAZING!