The time of Thanksgiving always brings about this aura of appreciation. We get intentional about gratitude when the leaves start changing and the temperature drops. It’s written right in the name of the holiday, so I guess that makes sense right?
Wrong sis! I mean, not wrong in the sense that we shouldn’t do it, but we are all so wrong if we are operating in a space where we only prioritize it around the holidays or the major events of our lives.
Gratitude has become one of those fluffy words that sounds like something we should do, but we get so wrapped up in what’s happening around us that we don’t sit still long enough to actually do it (and let’s be honest, it doesn’t take that long girl lol). We’ve heard of a mustard seed of faith, but what does it look like to have a mustard seed of gratitude? I think of them as one in the same, with gratitude fostering the conditions for your faith to grow stronger.
It’s such a small gesture that you can grant to yourself and the effects of it are priceless. Gratitude heals anxiety by calming your nervous system. It helps you express contentment even when you have the desire for something else. It grounds you in the present while allowing you to hope for the future. It rids your feelings of insecurity so you can press on to reach your goals, dreams, and aspirations.
It’s not a cure all, but if gratitude has been proven to have such a positive impact on you and those around you, it makes me wonder why it doesn’t shine so brightly at every other point in the year? Maybe it’s because we’re waiting for the big things--the promotions, the new cars, the marriages, the births of new babies, the opening of businesses. And all of that is well and fine. But what about the small things that make up your day to day?
The mustard seed of gratitude is about taking even the teeniest, tiniest things and just saying thank you through your senses, actions, and thoughts. My favorite ways are so simple and my hope in sharing some with you is that you find ways to fit some of them into your daily routine.
In your senses, gratitude is…
Recognizing that every breath you take is a gift.
Feeling the crisp breeze and hearing the leaves rustle.
Noticing how cozy your favorite blanket or socks feel against your body
Smelling the love that’s baked into something homemade
In your actions, gratitude is...
Treating a sweet friend to a meal as a surprise because their presence fills you up so much
Offering your time and energy to something important to you
Handwriting a note to someone who’s done something that made you smile
Keep a gratitude journal, writing 3 things daily, even if it’s the same 3 things over and over until you find something else
In your thoughts, gratitude is...
Silently reciting affirmations in the present tense starting with “I’m grateful that…”
Remembering an unpleasant situation and asking yourself, “What can I learn from that?” or “How did that benefit me?”
Being in the moment, fully present and stopping to take a look around you to just take it all in
Thinking about someone else and showing thankfulness for something wonderful that’s happening in their life (I could write a whole thing about this, but here’s a quick example--Seeing a friend get engaged or get a new job when that’s what you’ve been wanting for yourself and being so thankful of it for her because she’s so deserving. When it’s real and genuine from you to her, it attracts a new level of happiness in your own life...whew!)
And the expectation is not that you do all of this everyday, but to find something, the small something...the mustard seed sized something that you can show joy for.
So you ready for a challenge sis?! Don’t only use this season to share your gratitude and don’t only express it for the big things. Carry it day after day for all the things. Yes, the big things, but more important the small things. Find the moments, DateYourselfGirl, and show some appreciation for the beautiful things and people that are part of your life.