The Most Underused Tool We Have and It’s Free.
I am almost 38 years old and it has taken me this many years to really figure this out.
No, I don't have life figured out but I do have ONE thing figured out and I like the way my life feels with it leading the way.
What is that? Gratitude. A grateful heart.
A consistent practice of looking for the good, filling a sheet of paper with all the reasons I can smile today.
A few years ago, I was gifted a journal from a dear friend. I was really stuck in my head and heart.
Everything that once was easy was hard, some things that I loved didn't fill me up anymore, and many things that that excited me now turned me off.
What in the heck was happening? I knew I had a great life but I didn't spend anytime seeing it, honoring it or believing just how good things were.
I moved through the days fast, always striving for the next thing in hopes that would bring me ultimate joy and happiness.
I will always be as transparent as ever...during this time I began seeing a therapist as well. I like to call her my life helper. She is everything. She is calm and focused and exactly what I have needed to really move forward.
She really helped me work on shifting my heart and mind.
One of the key habits that I told myself I would develop during this journey was a true grateful heart.
I always used the excuse "I don't have time." At that time I was a morning TV news anchor with an alarm clock that rang at 2:30 A.M., 5 days a week. Like I really wanted to spend any extra time "journaling." NOPE.
But I was tired of feeling the way I felt and knew that I had the power to change it but it was going to require me to put forth the effort, even if that meant getting up 15 minutes earlier.
That first morning, I did just that. Instead of scrolling IG or Facebook while I sipped coffee, I sat alone in my kitchen with one simple question staring back at me.... "What am I grateful for today?" That started it all.
So simple. So straightforward. I like to complicate a lot in life. I bet you do too. Gratitude shouldn't be complicated.
However, we often, or maybe it's just me, spend too long waiting for things in life to be "perfect." By doing this, I missed days of joy and happiness.
What I realized is gratitude is completely in my control. I have the power to choose it. I have the power to ground myself in it.
Your circumstances will constantly change in life. One year you may have a big fat paycheck coming in and the next year you are facing unemployment or some sort of loss of income.
One year you could be as healthy as ever and the next you could be battling disease or illness.
The death of someone close to us can hit us. A tragedy can hit home.
My point is our list of control is quite short but the tippy top of that list is how we choose to center our hearts and what we choose to see.
Gratitude is that for me. I can control that every single day.
It is the most underused super power and tool we have. It is literally free.
You don't have to buy some fancy course, or hire someone to show you, or carve out hours of the day to ground yourself in this place.
It's simply a choice. A choice to show up everyday with a mind that will move towards seeing the good.
The choice is simple but building the habit is where your grit is going to come in.
Why? Because the world does not sit on this side. The world by nature tells us another narrative.
Right now especially. Every where you turn you see negativity, doom and gloom or stories of hardships and terrible circumstances.
The world is collectively walking this unknown path right now but if this wasn't happening, tragedy and hard stuff would still be happening.
Circumstances will always change and life will change too.
This is why gratitude is so very important. This is why heart work, as I call it, is and will be the most important work we ever do.
Heart work will change your life. Gratitude will change your heart and mind. Gratitude will move you in a direction of hope and faith.
When we see everyday as a gift no matter the struggle we are enduring we gain confidence.
Grateful people are more pleasant to be around.
Grateful people have stronger relationships.
Grateful people see the good in others.
Grateful people have contagious energy.
I don't know about you but I want to be that kind of person. I want to be a light in the dark. I want to see hope everyday.
I want to look at everything in my life and see it as a gift. It is the kind of person I want to be and it is why gratitude is so important to me.
The simplest things are what ground us everyday.
Today, it was my soft and ugly robe from Costco, a hot cup of coffee in the quiet outside, the birds singing, a good night's sleep, 2 episodes of Ozark last night with my hubby and my 9 year old boy snuggled in my bed because he couldn't sleep last night.
It will always be the little things that make my gratitude list grand. Like compound interest, little by little it adds up to a grand life account.
One day, when my earthly life ends, I hope the legacy I leave is one of a grateful heart.
Grateful that God has taken me on a heart transforming journey and that my life here was lived well because I saw everything He gave me as a gift.
Forever walking this journey with you.
Start today. Simply don't overthink it.
Get your pen and paper and start listing all the good.
If you search for it, it is there. I promise you.
Starting Each Day With Gratitude
This is my very own 90-day gratitude journal I use every morning. Would you care to join me and thousands of other women who start each day with gratitude?
My You Do You Journal™ is a 90-day guided journal, with love and support from me throughout your first 3 months through daily motivation and a community of like-minded women choosing to live in gratitude!