With the holiday season upon us, it's easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of rushing around town to get all of your shopping done, anxiously waiting in line at the post office to send off those final few gifts, preparing for holiday entertaining and setting time aside to make sure you've paid all of your bills.
Rather than getting caught up in the "I have so much left to do" attitude, this December, I invite you to choose and spread the attitude of gratitude and allow this to be your conscious choice leading into the new year. Whether it's for your day-to-day schedule, your favorite local coffee shop, your inspiring & loving friends and family or simply how much you've achieved this year, similar to Santa's "nice" list, the gratitude list is endless.
Here are a few ways to spread the gratitude cheer well into the new year:
1. CELEBRATE SMALL WINS. As the end of the year approaches, it's easy to get down on ourselves about not having achieved as much as we had hoped this year. Remembering that life unfolds exactly as it should, allow yourself to trust in exactly that. Rather than focus on what hasn't yet been tackled, reflect on small wins this year. One of Mother Teresa's famous quotes is "We cannot all do great things, but we can do small things with great love". As we choose the path of love, kindness and intentionality in our acts and conversations, unbelievable things begin to happen in our lives. Love. Act. Celebrate. Repeat.
2. EXPRESS YOUR GRATITUDE. In whichever way feels best suited for you, make it a point to be thankful - today and everyday. Expressing our emotions allows us to break through our fears and settle into our hearts. As we have all experienced, living in the heart is equivalent to living in the present which means - we are actively living in our gratitude swagger! Created by Zack Prager who has a masters degree in positive psychology, GratitudeBucket.com allows us to do just that. The app encourages visitors to leave comments about how amazing people are and then they do the rest by sharing it with the individual. Personalized with a photo, this gratitude sharing app is surely worthy of a try!
3. SAY A PRAYER BEFORE YOU EAT. In whichever language, method and length works for you, I invite you to try giving thanks before you eat. Whether it is just in the morning or for an entire day, this is a quick and easy way to immediately dive into the gratitude attiude for something we all need and are rarely conscious of how much we rely on it - food! Having the funds and mindfulness to wholesomely nourish our bodies is integral in our stress-filled, busy lives. Written by the Huffington Post, below are 14 habits of people with a healthy relationship to food have: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/17/healthy-relationship-to-food-habits_n_5107037.html
4. MAKE SOMEONE'S DAY. Waking up on the wrong side of the bed is never fun, but let's be honest - it happens from time to time to nearly all of us. If we take a moment to reflect on how we were able to bounce back that particular day, it most commonly directs back to someone (a little elf, perhaps) appearing out of nowhere and making our day. Whether it was a compliment on our new pair of shoes, a genuinely shared smile at a time of need, or the sharing of a hilarious joke when the laughter helped heal; reach out to make someone's day and be the little elf that is there to spread joy in their day.
5. BE GRATEFUL FOR YOURSELF. Yes, you! Next time you look into the mirror, give yourself a little "Hey, there, good lookin'! You're looking quite radiant today!" Our bodies are our vehicles to not only transform ourselves into our deepest desires, but our primary vehicle to help transform the world. Self-crticism, especially about our bodies, only leads us to further dissapointments. Mind Body Green lists a few body-shaming habits we should aim to eliminate from our daily behaviors. http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-15240/9-body-shaming-behaviors-we-all-need-to-stop.html The deeper in love we fall with our bodies, the deeper in love we fall with our surroundings and our lives - exactly as they are today.
Wishing everyone a healthy and happy holiday season with an abundance of gratitude!