Thoughts on Gratitude

Ahh the end of a holiday weekend!  This weekend I found myself being more grateful and mindful of the experiences we had and decided that it would be the topic of my first official blog post.  The 4th of July is always a big event at my parents lake house, complete with my dad putting on his own fireworks show.  The house is up for sale as my parents prepare to retire in one place, making this holiday weekend bittersweet.  Everything seemed to be more in focus and I completely let go of work, just letting the weekend take its course. My dad is one of my coaching clients, proving that you are never too old to try new things!  As I asked him about his gratitude journal and how it was coming along, he sheepishly said not so good.  He finds it difficult to write in it every day since some days he is grateful for the same things as yesterday.  We talked a little about this and I could see his point of how it could become a little overwhelming to do each day, trying to “come up with something new”.  I suggested that he write in his journal weekly, and to try different approaches such as:

  • think about what you would be upset if you lost
  • focus more on people than things
  • try writing in the morning about the previous day
  • keep your journal where you can see it
  • journal in way that is comfortable for you, think outside the box!  It doesn’t always have to be the written word
  • when you feel negative or want to vent, pick up your journal instead
  • tell the people that they made your list, express thanks for them in your life!

As humans, we tend to focus on the negatives in our life, what’s missing or what is broken, making it a struggle to find the good things that just don’t seem to be visible to us in a busy world.  Practicing gratitude has many benefits, however, it’s important to dig a little deeper in your heart and understand what it means to you.  Just because one person may be able to fill a page a day, doesn’t mean you have to.  Do what is right for you and what makes it your own, unique practice.  Soon, you’ll begin to see the benefits of “changing the internal tape” to a more positive, appreciative attitude, giving yourself the chance to see life as an opportunity and a blessing.  Changing that tape allows us to focus on what we have, rather than what we don’t have.  Gratitude provides balance in our life and provides a sense of hope and optimism as we push through our day. So to close this out, I think it’s only fitting that I do as I say!  Here are a few things I am grateful for this weekend:

  • taking our waverunner for a spin and beaching it while my mom, friend and I looked for rocks and driftwood
  • spending time with my younger son and his friends
  • spending an evening alone with my parents before everyone came to the lake
  • an ice cream sundae!
  • listening to Jake and his friends laugh on the tubes and waverunner in the still lake air
  • bonfires and smores dip
  • an awesome fireworks display that rivals any professional!
  • french fries and gravy and corn fritters with bourbon maple syrup
  • fun with our best friends
  • delicious libations from our master mixologist, Dennis
  • my family all returned home safely from our weekend adventures

I could go on and on!  It makes me smile and lighthearted as I write it!  I hope that you will take the opportunity to create your own gratitude journal and make a habit of enjoying all of the wonderful things this life has to offer us!

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