When you’re grateful for what is good and here, you are less likely to lament over what’s missing, gone or yet to come. It keeps you in a positive mindset.
I’m a little old-fashioned, or at least still practice the daily ritual that my aunt taught me at a young age: when I lay down to sleep, I make the sign of the cross and give thanks for another day of life, and for the wonderful people in it.
But my gratitude extends beyond bedtime. First order of daily business is saying, “Thank you for waking me up this morning!” aloud, as I stretch to embrace life. This is done even if I wake up “on the wrong side” (everyone does from time to time).
Throughout the day I take brief moments to reflect and give thanks for the simplest, smallest and biggest things. Oftentimes, I text a family member, a friend, a colleague or a member of the Proud To Be Latina (PTBL) community to thank them for their presence.
I also engage in the daily practice of what I call, The Power of 3:
- Text someone you’ve not connected with in a while;
- Call someone you often keep in touch with via text but rarely speak to (sometimes people need to hear your voice); and
- Connect with someone new either through LinkedIn or email.
This practice keeps my network fresh and alive, and cultivates genuine relationships.
I see The Power of 3, as a mechanism to appreciate people while they are HERE. Motivational speaker Les Brown often says, “I’d rather be seen than viewed!” Who do you need to reach out to today?
Many people use Thanksgiving as a time to be “extra” grateful, and we’ve seen these gratitude challenges on Instagram, or through many of the self-care apps we subscribe to. Why can’t we give thanks at every meal, and at every gathering? We’re often led to the elusive belief that gratitude is a seasonal discipline, but in fact, it is something we need to practice daily, especially when we are going through tough times.
When you’re grateful for what is good and here, you are less likely to lament over what’s missing, gone or yet to come. It keeps you in a positive mindset, and far from scarcity thinking.
You don’t express gratitude with the expectation of getting anything back, but naturally, when you make others feel good, they will make you feel good too
Gratitude also leads to abundance, stronger relationships and promotes joy, which for me, is at the root of self-love, and comes naturally, robustly and has nothing to do with titles, material things or people. It is a deep feeling that all is well inside, and outside of you. Joy is born and bred deep in your soul and feeds your creativity, success, health and every aspect of your life.
And… joy leads to absolute happiness – not the fluff happiness we often embrace when we get lots of likes on social media, but the type of happiness that has you walking down the street smiling, just because. The happiness that that keeps you positive and present through life’s beatdowns. Happiness leads to more gratitude, and gratitude leads to more joy. See the positive cylcle?
Genuine gratitude is reciprocal – I send out texts and emails, and I get them back. I stay in good vibes, and good vibes come my way. You don’t express gratitude with the expectation of getting anything back, but naturally, when you make others feel good, they will make you feel good too. Think of a time you were feeling low or challenged, and it was that loving text, call or gesture that completely shifted and uplifted you!
Think about the joy that can be spread if I texted three people every morning (as I do), and those three people texted another three, and so on. This reciprocity makes life so sweet, and with simple gestures we can sprinkle peace with little effort, but with lasting impact.
Consider how you can practice gratitude, and how it can add to your well-being and that of others. We don’t need a national holiday, a label or a meal to express appreciation for the opportunity to live.
The mere simplicity of waking up every day with the chance to continue to grow as individuals, make a difference for others, and effect change in our communities and organizations is precious enough. Embrace that gift daily.