In your day to day life, how often do you stop and think about all the things you have in abundance.
Not just as part of a gratitude practice but actually acknowledging that in many aspects of life your cup runs over.
However, the acknowledgement will often lead to gratitude because it’s easy to forget what you have. Once you give it some thought you can’t help but be grateful that you have so much more than you need.
It could be products, clothes or even food.
The goal is never to feel bad for what you have but to instead to appreciate it.
I think it’s fair to say that more often than not, a daily blog is for the writer.
The reason behind this is almost nobody reads a daily blog every single day.
There are occasional readers and regular readers but it’s rare to find someone who doesn’t miss a post.
Posting so often allows me to not put so much pressure on each thing I share, it also forces me to challenge myself.
I have posts that have never been read, perhaps the title wasn’t interesting enough or maybe you just weren’t interested. But from a totally different perspective, I posted another day and kept up my writing practice.
That matters to me more than trying to please the reader.
One of the biggest reasons to open up is that it helps you realise that you aren’t alone.
So often we live our lives as if we are the only one who has faced a difficulty, felt lonely, been rejected, felt lost or was unhappy with the way they looked. We end up holding it in because we think we’re alone or perhaps we don’t want to burden others with our troubles.
I’ve taught myself to open up more. It was a mix of practice, knowing who to trust and letting go of fear.
And so when I encourage you to do the same, it’s not because I find it easy. It’s because I’ve done it and it worked wonders.
We often go around with this idea in our heads of the way that things should be, in some ways it’s a good thing. When you know what you want you’re much less likely to let life pass you by.
On the other hand when you’re so fixated on the way that things should be you don’t give room for organic growth and development.
Lets say you applied for what you think will be your dream job but when you get there it’s not quite what you thought it would be. If you’re dead set on your ‘dream job’ you might end up leaving after a few months or staying put but hating it because it’s not what you wanted.
But if you take your foot off the gas and let go of the rigid plan created you might find that in this job you’re able to discover something that you’re actually interested in. It might be be even better than what you thought you wanted.
Letting go of expectations and letting things be isn’t always easy to put into practice. It requires patience and the ability to trust that things will turn out okay.
Good things take time.
When you start something new you’re likely to be unpolished to begin with, you’re still learning afterall.
But that initial stage is what puts many people off. They get caught up in the idea that they’re not good enough. They play the comparison game, often looking at people with much more practice and experience.
The reality is that it takes time to find your rhythm. After a couple of weeks you can’t expect to be perfectly polished. That’s not even reasonable.
It’s so helpful and a much more enjoyable process, when you put the focus on doing the work instead of the end result.
Perhaps when you were young, someone taught you that when you feel overwhelmed, step away and give yourself a moment.
Maybe you grew up practising that and maybe you didn’t. If you didn’t you might find that as an adult when you feel overwhelmed you don’t quite know how to handle it.
The feeling might end up growing and growing to the point where it’s now unbearable. Then all of a sudden you remember that in the past it helped to give yourself a moment.
Even though you know it could help, you don’t do it straight away because you’re almost skeptical. It might not work, you might end up feeling exactly the same.
But then you do it, you step away, get some fresh air and take a few deep breaths.
You feel calmer afterwards.
In that moment you remember that (even though you forget time and time again), you’re capable of supporting yourself in difficult or uncomfortable situations.
Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither were helpful habits.
If you want to start reading more, getting up at 6am every morning, eating more nourishing food or committing to your creative projects, one day won’t make a difference on it’s own.
It’s a series of days, one by one, bit by bit that make the real difference.
One day isn’t enough to build a habit but that’s where things start. That one day will become 30 days and then 90 until that thing you’ve been doing each day is now part of your daily routine.
When you’re getting started, it’s worth remembering that change takes time. Don’t be disappointed after 3 days if you don’t feel like it, your brain is still getting used to your new way of doing things. Instead focus on it one day at a time and remember that you’re working towards something long-term.
And on days when you don’t feel like practicing your new habit, it won’t matter in the short-run but in the long run you’ll probably be glad you committed to it.
When someone comes to you, asking some thing of you, how do you respond?
Do you simply think about whether or not you want to do it?
Do you worry about how the other person will react if you say no?
So often we grow up inadvertently being taught to people please and unless we later unlearn it, it stays with us.
Then you find yourself saying yes to something you don’t want to do because you’re worried about hurting someones feelings, to the point where you place that above doing what feels right for you.
If that’s something you can relate to, you might want to start learning to say no.
It gets easier over time, practice makes perfect after all.
This is the way of the optimist.
It’s also worth remembering that even if things don’t turn out in the way that you consider to be ‘the best’, it doesn’t mean all hope is lost.
That way no matter what life throws at you, you’ll be able to roll with it with a little less resistance or resentment.
However, all of this means nothing unless you put it into practice.
The next time thing don’t turn out as you planned pay attention to your thoughts. Is your inner monologue deflated, is it going 101mph complaining about how life is unfair and nothing goes your way or is their acceptance of your current situation and thoughts on how to move forward?
It’s easy to be grateful when things are going your way.
But when times are uncertain and life has thrown a spanner in the works gratitude often becomes a little more challenging.
Suddenly the most prominent things are the bad stuff and you’re not thankful for your life being turned upside down.
In these times it’s even more important to practice gratitude.
The real benefits of the practice come when you’re able to make it a part of your lifestyle, independent of your circumstances.
And so maybe it used to be I’m grateful for getting to be apart of this exciting project or some other major thing that you feel like shouting from the rooftops. But now it’s more like I’m grateful for these cosy socks, the flowers in my garden and running water.