By a show of hands, how many of us have ever caught ourselves alone with our thoughts, whether it’s when you’re driving to work, enjoying coffee on the porch, walking your dogs on a gorgeous day or standing in your kitchen cooking dinner, and you’ve become so overwhelmed with a sense of gratitude for everything in your life that you get a little emotional about it (okay, so maybe you cry about it)?
Good, and just so you know, I raised my hand, too.
Of all of the Brigaders, I’m definitely not the first to start crying in the group. But, every once in a while I’ll find myself counting my blessings, in the middle of beautiful day or a not-so-perfect day, and I can’t control the overwhelming emotions when I think of all the #goodgood that I have been given in this life.
I still remember all of the time that I spent praying and I never want to take the relationships or my talents or the opportunities I have in my life for granted or not give appropriate credit and gratitude to everything that fills my cup. Which, can be easy to do, without realizing that you’re even doing it.
The act of being #grateful helps keep me focused and keeps my heart in check. It helps me to appreciate people in my life even more and realize everything that they bring to the table. It encourages me to use the talents and resources I have to be successful. And it reminds me that at the end of the day, I have the necessities that I need to have a really good life; amazing friends and family, a safe places to call home, food in my fridge and clothes in my closet.
So, each day, I make it a point to practice being grateful, because it’s something I think you have to work on each and every day.
If you come into my house on a normal day, there’s a good chance your gonna see a hot pink flamingo notebook sitting in my kitchen, where every morning I drink my coffee and write down things that I’m thankful for. I’m sure you’ve heard Heather Yurko talk about this a million times, but I promise you it works and it makes such a huge difference in how the rest of your day goes!
Sometimes I write down things that have happened, different people and relationships, sometimes I’m thankful for things that I’m working on or that I want to happen in the future and other times I write down conversations that I’ve had or advice that people have given me that I want to remember. Regardless if it’s one thing or ten, the act of physically writing what I’m thankful for helps keep the rest of the day in perspective.
Did you get stuck in terrible traffic on the way to work this morning? Oh, that’s okay, because you get to go home to a super fluffy, funny puppy who just loves you so much!
This is my favvvve-orite! First of all, snail mail is so underrated these days. I absolutely love when people send me mail! And even more, I love sending snail mail!
I always keep blank cards and stamps at home. That way, whenever I feel the need to, I can write up a little love note and send it to someone special! Now, these love notes aren’t always to say “THANKS FOR DOING SOMETHING FOR ME!” but sometimes it’s to say “You’re such a good friend” or “Hey, I know you’re going through some stuff but I really love you and think you’re awesome” or “Hi, thank you for inspiring me by cultivating a killer lifestyle”.
You never know what these love notes might mean to someone. For example, a faraway friend received a diagnosis with a terrible disease that she would have to manage for the rest of her life. Rather than sending her a text or an email, I wrote her a note letting her know that she inspires every day as I watch her overcome adversity and continue being a boss, running her own business. After receiving my note, she emailed me the next day and said “Thank you so much for taking time out of your day to let me know how much I’ve inspired you. I don’t know that anyone has ever done that for me! I’m going to frame your letter and put it in my office as a reminder that everything I do is inspiring someone else whether I see it first hand or not. Thank you!”
I might have cried a little when I got her response….
Remembering to Say Thank You (and giving real hugs)
Okay, so that sounds super easy and you’re probably like “well, duh, you’re supposed to do that anyway…”
But how often do we accidentally forget to thank people for something that they’ve done for us? Whether it’s thanking your best friend for reminding you what true loyalty is or your co-worker for making you laugh so hard you cried or your boss for taking time to talk one on one with you and give you some really good feedback or your momma for reminding you to use your Kroger points before the end of the month…all things that sometimes we forget to tell people we’re really thankful for.
And real hugs. Okay, so for a really long time, I wasn’t a hugger; hugs were weird, uncomfortable and had the potential to be super awkward. That was until, I can’t remember exactly what had happened that day but it was really hard day for me, and one of my friends (not a super close friend either, just someone the I’d chat with at the gym, when we saw each other) came up to me that day and wrapped me up in the biggest most sincere hug and told me she was sorry for whatever was going on with my day. I turned into a puddle. A little, baby puddle of tears. Who knew that a big two armed hug held so much power.
Now, it’s nothing for me to run up to a friend or someone I hadn’t seen in forever or even someone that I meeting for the first time and give them a huge hug. Just because I want them to know how happy I am to see them and have the time to spend with them!
Because at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what things we have, how much money is in our bank account or what title we have at our job. What matters are the people we roll, the company we keep and relationships that we nurture.
Try adding some of these practices to your life. I promise, you won’t be disappointed :)