We live in an age where it is so easy to get swept away with the daily demands of life. Staying present in the moment takes great effort. It takes just as much energy to be grateful for these moments. Our brains are hardwired to look out for challenges and threats in our environment. It’s a survival technique that is part of our being. The challenge with this is that it is extremely easy to get caught up in challenges and negativity and miss the special moments. When this happens, life is harder. We spend more time ‘surviving’ then we do ‘thriving.’
Many of us have an attitude of gratitude. We go through our days being thankful for what we have. However, having an active practice of gratitude is even more powerful than an attitude of gratitude. Making your practice central in your daily routine has great benefits. Active practices of gratitude have been found to have a positive effect on our health, happiness, energy and longevity. Who doesn’t want that? Strong physical and mental health are to be cherished and are seen by many as the ‘new wealth.’
As a teen I remember when Oprah began to talk about gratitude journals. She shared with her viewers how life changing writing 5 items of gratitude daily had been for her. In true Oprah style, I believe she may have even given out gratitude journals regularly. Fast forward to my early thirties, I needed a practice that would help to re-shift my thinking. Daily challenges of living on a small island, being an entrepreneur and managing and day to day life was feeling quite overwhelming, and for me to be at my best for my family, friends, students and clients, I knew that I needed to add something to my day to help me ‘reset.’ I began a practice of gratitude approximately 3 years ago. I took a few months break during one of life’s inevitable plot twists, but other than that I have been consistent. It is at the core of my morning routine and keeps me grounded. Each morning I write a list of 10 items of gratitude. They range from being as simple as a good glass of wine, to a non-kid interrupted conversation with my husband, to developmental milestones being reached by my children.
Like other gratitude lovers, I want to share this magic. I first suggested it in one of Learn and Lead’s groups on Facebook – Inspirations Turks and Caicos. As this 2-year-old video showed up on my feed on Friday, I thought…Yes! Let’s do this again!
So, I encourage you to get a journal if you do not have one and start with us this week. Everyday I will post a new reflection question here and on my social media accounts to get you going. This is to set the stage for your own self-directed path of gratitude. For those of you in Providenciales that do not have journals, we now sell journals at Learn and Lead. Feel free to swing by.
An active practice of gratitude sets us up for success. It can have a tremendous impact on your wellbeing and your overall quality of life. It encourages you to look out for the ‘good’ and the ‘positive’ in life. When we begin by doing this intentionally, it takes on a life of its own and before you know it, looking out for the positive moments becomes your way of being.
Don't forget to visit again for days 4-7!
Shifting Perspectives is a weekly conversation with Yolande. Yolande, a Canadian of Caribbean descent, now calls the Turks and Caicos Islands home and in this podcast challenges Caribbean woman worldwide to fuel themselves with diversity in the way they think, the way they work, the way they parent and the way they live.