Introducing Thankful Thursday. As November approaches, I have begun my personal practice of thinking about the blessings of my year. For many years, I didn’t express gratitude beyond a general thank you that was only expressed if someone did a good deed. It wasn’t until I was betrayed in college that I gained a deeper understanding of gratitude. After the betrayal, I cut ties with everyone I knew, besides my family and I told myself I would never trust anyone again. Six months later I met my best friend E at work. Overtime, I realized that he broke down the wall that I built. He made it safe for me to trust again. During my one year anniversary from my betrayal, I found myself in a new life, surrounded by good, genuine people that I trusted. I could not help but express gratitude for everything that was in my life, because I remember what my old life was like. As a result I felt compelled, to express gratitude for the people who made an impact on my year of healing. Since then, expressing gratitude has been a part of my personal tradition.
When we think about gratitude we typically think about the big things, births, weddings, promotions i.e. the things that we wanted and obtained. Rarely, do we think about the little things within our everyday life that we often over look, because we have grown accustom to them. We have become blinded by our blessings in the mundane, in the days where we don’t get what we want or don’t have anything to celebrate i.e. the days in between the celebrations. Nothing is guaranteed in life, it is important to express gratitude for not only the big things, but the small things too. Studies have shown that you can increase you happiness just by simply expressing gratitude for the blessings within your life. Six years ago, prior to the current gratitude/ mindfulness movement, each night my sister and I would share three things that we were thankful for. In the process, I discovered that I had a lot that I was thankful for that I never fully acknowledged and I got into the habit of expressing gratitude more often. Now I can count my blessings as I experience them. I have become more present as a result too.
Starting next week, for the month of Thanks i.e the month of November, please join me, each week in expressing gratitude for our blessings. If you have never expressed gratitude before, the best place to start any new goal or habit is now. You are right where you need to be. Together we can shed light for each other on the blessings within our life that sometimes we cannot see.
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