I met nine strangers and walked away feeling like I have nine sisters. To say I’m grateful to my mentor and friend Susan Hyatt is an understatement. This is how I kicked off my month! It’s hard to top that…
When I got back I started a group to discuss gratitude and how it impacts our lives. I had no idea how powerful setting up that free weekly call could be!
First, we discussed showing gratitude towards others. Whether it’s a written note or a post it note left in the grocery store. The impact is the same – it makes people happier to read that they are amazing and you appreciate their efforts. Even if they don’t know who left the note.
The big surprise for me was that I felt so good by showing my appreciation and expressing my gratitude. I felt like I was walking on air all week. It doesn’t take much to show gratitude and it doesn’t cost any money. It does require awareness and effort on your part.
Gratitude for others led us to random acts of kindness. I have participated in random acts of kindness before, but it was never as focused as it has been this month. We discussed buying coffee for someone, paying for the order behind you at a drive thru, paying off someone’s layaway, stopping at the airport to help a struggling traveler or leaving an anonymous note on someone’s car. Again, the feeling was the same – pure elation!
Not all random acts required money, but they required action. I had to make a choice to stop what I was doing to help the lady in the airport. I had to give myself permission to be a few minutes late, to where I needed to be, so I could help her. I decided that I wanted to behave in a way that felt good to me. I could have continued to walk past her, as so many others did, but that didn’t feel right. I wasn’t able to help her fix her bag, but she was so happy that I tried. I was too!
Then we started practicing gratitude towards ourselves! So many of us talk about practicing gratitude and that practice usually involves other people. What about ourselves? When do we show appreciation for ourselves? I would say almost never. My guess is that most people don’t do it because they may appear to be conceited or full of themselves. We’re taught to not think too highly of ourselves – or not to brag. Or perhaps we just don’t think we’re worthy of the love and appreciation.
You’re wrong. You couldn’t be more wrong. We all deserve love and appreciation and I would venture to say that we can’t give it to others unless we start with ourselves. I know – I hear you saying, “That’s not true!” I think it is.
So show yourself a little love today (and everyday) it’s easier than you think! I’m grateful for my strong legs that take me everywhere I want to go, my eyes that see the world, my kindness and generosity.
That brings to me to the big show tomorrow – Thanksgiving – it’s not the only day when we can be grateful. But here’s my list for tomorrow and every day.
I’m so thankful for: my family – husband, parents, siblings, in-laws, nieces & nephews, aunts & uncles, cousins, grandparents and my friends; my sweet baby girl dog, spending the day with my loved ones, sharing memories of those who are no longer with us, great food and laughing until my sides hurt.
My challenge for you is to practice gratitude every day. Write down 3 things you’re grateful for. Don’t forget to include yourself in your list of things. Try this for 30 days and I think you’ll be amazed!
I wish you and your family a very Happy Thanksgiving!
p.s. If you’ve ever wondered how gratitude can change your life, I’m offering a free 4-week program starting Monday, November 5th called The Month of Gratitude. Each week, we will focus on a different aspect of how practicing gratitude can change our lives. Click here for more details.