Gratitude changes everything.
Happy Tuesday, lovelies. We hope your stomachs and your hearts are full after the long weekend.
I think Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. For me, it is such a reflective time where we are encouraged to stop and really understand the power of gratefulness. In keeping with this theme I thought I would share one of my favorite reads in quite some time. I don’t know about you, but I don’t leave much space for reading during the summer months. Late night visiting under the stars and a few extra glasses of wine might have something to do with it, but regardless once the leaves start to fall I find myself more apt to crawl into bed a bit earlier with my favorite book (and a glass of wine, so I suppose not that much changes).
The Gratitude Diaries by Janice Kaplan is an amazing read wherein the author dedicates a year of her life to living more gratefully. During this year she selects a different aspect of her life each month as she embarks to transform her health, marriage, family and work life by living using principles that are simple and authentic. What I found most interesting is the research based approach that she took, particularly where she looks at how living gratefully can have an actual physiological impact on your brain.
While it all seems quite second nature, living in such a manner on a daily basis takes a real sense of presence, and can be dulled so easily by the mundane day-to-day routines of life. She gives compelling reason to enjoy those mundane moments since quite frankly the day to day routines are what make up our lives. Rather than focus on the destination or waiting for the next weekend, the next vacation or the next big event, she reminds us the importance of enjoying the simpler moments of life. After her year long journey, gratitude, she concludes, is “lodged deeper and deeper into my heart and soul…. Gratitude affected how I looked at every event that happened. Being positive and looking for the good had become second nature – and that made me much happier.”
The chapter of her book where she spoke about raising grateful children really resonated with my heart. There are so many skills and morals that we attempt to instill in our children. There is a large part of me that feels that raising happy and grateful children may cause a ripple effect which will allow the other aspects to fall more easily into place. Don’t get me wrong – I am not suggesting that by simply laying back and being thankful it will ensure that my children will live happy and productive lives. What I am suggesting, however, is by teaching our kids to re-frame their experiences and encouraging them to pay it forward, it may promote the mindset that by expressing gratitude and remaining positive it can help them get down those bumpy roads…and heaven knows, there are lots of bumpy roads.
I leave you with a quote that I read to myself often:
“Gratitude is the healthiest of all emotions. The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more likely you will have even more to express gratitude for.” Zig Ziglar