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I want you to be completely honest with yourself for a moment.
Do you spend more time appreciating your life or complaining about it?
I'd say a lot of us, even if we don't like to admit it, are complainers. We focus on what we think needs to change for us to finally accept ourselves. We set our sights on what we think we need to do to one day be happy. But as the saying goes, happiness is an inside job. It doesn't come from out there, we have to create it for ourselves.
It's American Thanksgiving and all across the States, families are gathering to carve turkey, smother their food in gravy (yum) and spend quality time together. I love this holiday because it isn't focused on material things, it's all about giving thanks for what you already have. So whether you're celebrating today or you've already fully recovered from Turkey overload in Canada a few weeks ago, I want you to embrace today as another reminder to appreciate what you have because I believe we can never be reminded enough. Research shows that gratitude is strongly and consistently connected to greater happiness, so let's use today as an opportunity to train our brains to see the good in ourselves, our lives and the world. Even the most mundane tasks can seem brighter when we look at them with appreciation.
I can complain that finding classes in London is taking longer than I expected or I can be grateful for this opportunity and freedom to work on my writing and explore a new city.
You can complain about taking the garbage out or be grateful that you have access to fresh food that eventually turns into the garbage that you get to take out.
You can complain about going to work or you can be grateful that you get to go to a job that gives you the means to put a roof over your head.
You can complain about having to drive a long way to visit family or you can be grateful that you have such a deeply rooted support system and connection to them.
I think you get my point, yes?
Gratitude shifts your perspective. It stops you from seeing life as something you 'have' to do and reminds you that it's something you 'get' to do. It fills you with the realization that being here is a privilege and even when your days get tough, you can always be grateful for the smallest little things. It's a way of appreciating yourself for who you are already, without needing to do better or be more. A way of seeing the world with the understanding that life is precious and you're lucky to be here.
Today, whether it's just a minute of thinking after you read this or you actually put pen to paper, I want you to reflect on all that you have to be grateful for.
Who are you lucky to have in your life and why do you appreciate them?
What are you grateful for in your surroundings?
What do you take for granted that some don't even have access to?
A lot of us rarely take the time to reflect on what we have and if we do, we keep it to ourselves, locked away in a private gratitude journal or circling around in our minds. I want you to join me in taking things one step further by taking the time to appreciate and then adding acknowledgement onto that. Instead of just thinking of the people you're lucky to have in your life, I want you to pick up the phone and tell them exactly what they mean to you. Instead of hoarding those feelings of love, I want you to spread them out in to the world for others to feel too. The world needs more of that. So stop waiting for the right moment to say what you need to say.