The holidays can be a challenging time of year for many of us. Not only is there pressure to find the perfect gift for everyone on your list, but the sheer pace of life can speed up to an almost frantic pace. And dare I mention the unrealistic expectations we put on ourselves? There’s so much pressure to be commercially perfect that we forget the core feelings of the season. However, one of the best things you can do for your heart and peace of mind is to also commit to cultivating gratitude.
And I get it. It’s hard not to get caught up in the festive frenzy. It’s a kind of energy that can be contagious, and we aren’t entirely safe from it even at home. It’s grabbing at us from endless emails, television ads, and our friends’ social media feeds.
The best solution I’ve found to counteracting the frenzy is a gratitude practice. Yes, I know that you hear a lot about gratitude. And the reason you do is that gratitude works. Now, I won’t bore you with the scientific or philosophical thoughts on gratitude (though you can read them here). Yep, it can be just what you need to be and feel more positive.
When served daily, choosing to cultivate gratitude can fuel your joy, rewire your brain, and shift your entire way of being.
Another challenge this time of year is the earlier nights thanks to the shift to daylight savings time. Though some folks may enjoy the opportunity to go to bed earlier. Or love the coziness of curling up by the fire to read and enjoy a hot cup of cocoa. For many people, the lack of sunshine can lead them right smack into having a case of the winter blues.
And even if you aren’t a full-blown victim of the winter blues, it can still lead to feeling dissatisfied, grumpy, and just not like your best self. I mean, who loves having to go to the grocery store when it’s damp, gloomy, and gray?
I want to offer you the gentle reminder that cultivating gratitude – especially if you can create a practice around it – is a way to armor your soul against all yuck this time of year can bring.
This isn’t to say that a gratitude practice doesn’t come with mental and emotional barriers.
The pressure to find the silver thread can sometimes be daunting, and even though I am very much aware that we have to feel all of our feelings in order to move through the dark and into the light, I also know that gratitude helps us to do so. It carries us through the crappy days, and beyond. Darling, when you make the decision that you are going to be cultivating gratitude, the big picture view of your life will begin to feel (and look) a whole lot better.
Know, too, that while gratitude is a process of acknowledgement, the flip side of that is receiving is the action of taking in and experiencing the things you are grateful for.
And that’s, frankly, something hard for many of us. Yes, cultivating gratitude means you also have to allow yourself to receive the goodness in your life. Now that’s a doozy!
You aren’t alone if you idea of receiving feels uncomfortable. We look upon the good things in our lives, and the little voice in our head says “you don’t deserve this,” or “you are so selfish,” or “you are so egotistical.”
Darling, you are worthy of being loved and being accepted. You deserve to have good things in your life – whether they are material or spiritual. You deserve to have your desires become reality. Receiving and appreciating is not selfish. Having something good in your world isn’t stealing it from another.
Cultivating gratitude and expressing appreciation for your blessings and achievements is not egotistical.
When you dive into gratitude, celebrate the victories and allow yourself to receive, your life – and the lives of every person you come in contact with – will benefit. When I talk about the contagiousness of energy, it’s important to remember that hope and love are also contagious.
Fear and lack beget fear and lack. But gratitude, joy and love only beget more love and more joy.
Allow yourself to take this Thanksgiving week as your turning point. Dive into your hopes and desires as you carry the spirit of giving to others. Allow yourself to receive the blessings before you and celebrate your gifts. Invite love and peace into your world.
Armor your soul from the frenzy by cultivating gratitude. It will allow you to usher in a deeper sense of joy and peace for you and everyone you love.
When I am needing help for my own gratitude practice, I turn to my word of the year. Would you like a guide to help you choose your own word of the year for 2020?
I know that this is a “busy” time of year…yet I also know that if you are here, you desire to have a nourishing daily life. This eBook / workbook is designed to help you with that.
- In Part One, you’ll review a list of more than 1000 words and begin pondering what Word (or words) is right for YOU in 2020.
- Take a look back in Part Two, as you Bid Farewell to 2019.
- Look ahead to 2019 in Part Three and begin to breathe life into your desires.
- Part Four provides you with a series of tools to help you gain clarity around the best Word to nourish and guide you for your journey through 2020.
- In Part Five, you’ll Declare Your Word (or Words) of 2020.
I’ve also added a Bonus: Ways to Work with Your Word of the Year. This section suggests a dozen ways to help seal your Word…and more than a dozen journal prompts to continue to check-in with your Word throughout 2020.
Get your FREE Copy of this powerful workbook: A Beacon for Your Journey Through 2020: The In-depth Guide to Discovering Your Word of the Year.
Never forget that you deserve to create a life you love. I can’t wait to hear your Word of the Year for 2020 to guide you on your journey of creating your best year yet.