Once upon a time, I stopped being grateful. I was so focused on what was going wrong that I refused to see all that was good and right.
It didn't feel very great. The less grateful I became, the more reasons I found not to be thankful and the more reasons I found to believe things would never improve.
Have you ever found yourself in that place? Where seemingly nothing is going according to plan, things aren't moving fast enough, and everyone else's agendas in the house seem to take precedence?
It was a powerful victim mindset that left me feeling powerless and defeated. Eventually, it felt so awful that I made a decision: come hell or high water, I was going to find reasons to be grateful again. I knew to change reality I had to start with consistently being thankful.
So I pulled out a piece of paper, numbered it to five, and stared at it. For a while. Finally, I scrawled out the basics. My husband, kids, the roof that was still over our heads...
There was no apparent emotion behind it. Those feelings of thankfulness were absent. This wasn't enough. It was too forced. It still felt icky and fake.
I found myself in meditation and prayer. Clearing my head, I sat for a while. Thoughts came and went. It felt good. At least, it didn't feel bad.
The breakthrough came when I jumped in the shower. The kids were in bed. I had space to breathe. No one was around to witness my crazy when I started whispering, "Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you..."
I didn't know what I was thankful for in my life. There was nothing specific tied to it. Just "thank you."
A beautiful thing happened after about 15 seconds: the weight lifted. The more I issued non-descript thanks, the better it felt. After a bit more time, the fog dissipated enough that I started listing, with genuine emotion, the wonderful things in my life.
Feeling gratitude didn't have to start with knowing why I was giving thanks. It started with simply expressing the word.
Every morning I do this. It starts the day in a positive space. I live each day in a stronger place of joy. Beautiful, wonderful things began moving into my life when I started feeling and looking for the good. When we feel good, see good, and expect good, we get more of it. The ability to create those spaces in our lives gets easier and snowballs with time. It's that simple. Admittedly, it isn't always easy getting there.
If you're looking around your life resenting it and feeling blocked to gratitude, you can choose to step into a better place. If you're slipping out of that good place and struggling to get back, you can get back there. If you make lists of things you're grateful for every day but it's an emotionless exercise in futility, you can step it up.
Just say "thank you." Find a quiet place and repeat it until a glimmer of good begins to bloom. Let in that glimmer and watch it grow. See how different you start to feel when life is about more than the yuck.
Are you struggling to be grateful? Standing somewhere in the gap? Are you ready for CHANGE? Do you have something in your life you want to do, but haven't found the courage to do it? Maybe you start but never follow through? Are there situations to clean up? Things in your life that need adjusted or flat out removed? If you're a bit stuck or want to make changes in your life, I'm here and ready to help you! You can sign up for a month of life coaching or email me with a special request here. You deserve to feel good and do the things you want to do.