Part of my morning ritual each day is writing down five things I am grateful for. I train my brain to search for small things I’m thankful for.. It’s easy to be grateful for the big stuff, like my home and family… but when I look for and find joy in the little things, like my morning protein shake or a new favorite song, each day is full of sweet little joys and surprises. I’ve found this morning ritual to be something I really look forward to! It creates a beautiful emotion in my body that starts my day off right.
Anyone who knows me well know that I LOVE Fall. It’s hands down my favorite time of year! Fall is when I feel most like myself, like I’ve come HOME. I love everything about it, the change in weather, the leaves, the smells, the sweaters and boots and EVERYTHING pumpkin! AND I love Halloween! -not the scary, creepy, gory Halloween, but the kids and costumes, festivals and caramel apples! It feels like a glorious celebration and the earth is decorated to the hilt for the party.
I love feeling grateful. Next to love, it’s my second favorite emotion and I make a plan to feel as much gratitude as possible. Seriously, it goes on my calendar! I can’t tell you how fun it has been this week to look at my calendar and see several hours on Saturday blocked off: “LEAF DAY!” I know how it makes me feel to be in nature and appreciate the gorgeous changing of the seasons. I plan to do it as much as possible, and it goes on my calendar.
What makes you feel gratitude? Is it a good workout? A healthy meal? Time with friends or alone time with a good book? Are you intentionally feeling grateful in those moments? Our brains tend to wander when we are in an anticipated moment, and sometimes we even forget how much we were looking forward to it, or feel wistful that it isn’t different in one way or another.
For instance, do you look forward to Sunday dinner with the kids, but then ruin the moment feeling bad about the ones that couldn’t make it? Do you look forward to Fall but then feel bad knowing how quickly it will end? Being present in the moment and actively choosing thoughts of all the reasons you are grateful for it, can be a game changer for you.
As I spent time with my hubby driving through our incredible mountains on Saturday, I was constantly scanning for and feeling gratitude for each and every little thing. The miracle of having a car, the warmth of his hand, the Diet Coke with fresh limes in my console, each and every new scene and color. I was completely present and grateful and filled with exquisite joy.
Feeling gratitude makes us feel full. Our hearts swell as we recognize our blessings. It gives us the ability to serve and give to others, because we acknowledge the EXTRA that we have.
Do you plan for gratitude? Why not give it a try? Plan for more of it! Be intentional. Be present, be grateful. Give thanks to God in all things. It can absolutely change your life.