As we enter into this holiday season, my thoughts immediately go to what I am thankful for. I think we all feel overwhelmed at some point during this busy season with have to’s and want to’s. Amidst the frenzy, stopping to count our blessings, no matter how small, is always a grounding force. We all go through different trials and tribulations, in varying degrees at different times in our lives. Some of us may face times when we feel we don’t have much to be thankful for. I offer a gentle challenge. Write down on a piece paper 60 things you are thankful for. Take those 60 things and put them on little slips of paper. Fold them up and put them in a jar or bowl. For the next 60 days, pull out one of those pieces of papers, preferably first thing in the morning, and read it to yourself. This little practice helps in taking the edge off of life. As you do this, you may begin to settle some of the overwhelm and feel more steadiness. You may feel the urge to help someone less fortunate, or find yourself more forgiving of your loved ones. You are likely to have more patience when you’re out shopping in the craziness, and you just may find yourself being a little kinder to yourself.
This profound idea came from my then 12 year old daughter on my Birthday. Avery made a jar that shared over 50 sentiments that she loves about me. It was so thoughtful and beautiful, and most of all it reminded me of my value. It filled my cup so that I could give more. That’s the amazing thing about love and gratitude, it really pays it forward. I keep it by my bed and reach in when in when I need some reinforcements…
When we can show gratitude and be thankful, life is less overwhelming. Less overwhelm=more peace, more peace=more love. After doing this for 60 days you may want to continue moving forward as a daily practice.
My hope and prayer for you is that this holiday season will a time rooted in the blessings that life offers, no matter how small.