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Sunday, October 15, 2017

The Importance and Power of Practicing Gratitude

One of my goals for 2017 has been to do an ongoing daily gratitude "challenge."

I say "challenge," because the challenge is to make a daily post (on Instagram which you can follow me on by clicking here.) about something I am grateful for, but really it has been such a gift - a gift to take time every day to be consciously aware and express gratitude for the gifts that life gives.

It can also be "challenging" to focus on gratitude when "life" happens.

Our default tendency seems to be to focus on the few things that go wrong (small or big) vs all the things that are going right. The "bad stuff," of life often happens over a series of moments. Much in the same that the "good stuff," is occurring from moment to moment too.

Where we miss out in life is when we define an entire day by what happens in a series of moments.

Perhaps this is just me being naive, but I have yet to meet a human being who has experienced 24 hours (1,440 moments) and within that time there was not one moment that could be classified as "good," or one thing that could not be found to be grateful for.

Gratitude is always there, sometimes you have to look a hell of a lot harder to see it, but it will be there.

Today I am sharing my most recent gratitude post with you. The reason being because it illustrates, in my opinion, about the power of gratitude and our ability to find and focus on it in the midst of challenging times. I'll let you read on...

365 Days Of Gratitude Day 286

Today I am grateful for choice (there's a message in this one I hope you'll take to heart❤️).    
I had an absolutely amazing first part of the day and a not so good last couple hours of the day, let me explain...

You've likely heard me say before that each and every day we have a choice in how we experience life. That ability to choose also empowers us to find and focus on things to be grateful for no matter what life may through at us. 

Today is a perfect example: the majority of my day was amazing... it started early (about 3:45am) with some work, then I competed in the 3rd round of a public speaking competition which I won 1st place in! I'm excited and now I get the opportunity to go onto the finals and compete against some extremely talented professional speakers! (Yes in the speaking world we use terms like "compete" "tough" and "competition" lol).

Next I got to spend a couple hours wine tasting  and enjoying lunch with a few special people. 

At the end of the day I received word of a family emergency. The outcome does not look good. Lots of emotions came up. 

How the day ended was shitty and sad, but how the day was lived and experienced before then was amazing. 

If the focus is only on the shitty/sad part then I rob myself of the joy, the love, the sense of accomplishment etc... I experienced earlier in the day. I feel sadness in this moment, but I did not feel sadness for most of this day. In fact I felt the exact opposite of sadness. Enter in choice: define the day by my sadness? Or acknowledge the sadness, but also acknowledge there were a lot of great things about today. 

Life will be hard, sometimes. Bad things will happen to good people, sometimes. Tragedies will occur, sometimes. Loved ones will leave us, sometimes. Life will seem unfair, sometimes. 

Sometimes. Not ALL the time. 

No matter what life gives you, you, and I, have a choice. 

That's me for today. Now it is your turn. What are you grateful for?

Carpe Diem,

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