We’re half way through November. The “Month ‘O Gratitude”. While we rapidly scroll through everyone’s “daily thankful for” status updates on Facebook, I want to challenge all of us to go inside, deeper than our ego, and take it a step further. It’s easy to sit down and have a few fleeting thoughts about what we are grateful for. Most of us have become accustomed to feeling generally “blessed” that our fundamental needs are met. However, maybe to really demonstrate gratitude, the thought should be accompanied by action. For instance, when acknowledging my good health, and physical ability, I should make an effort to exercise more, because not everyone has that privilege. I’m thankful to have two healthy, amazing children. Maybe Grayson and I need more afternoons just coloring and talking about the life and times of Kindergarten. Perhaps I could put my phone down a little more and make more eye contact with my sweet baby girl. Get my drift?
I plan to really focus more on the mental list of the things I am grateful for. I truly want to act with intention in an effort to fully absorb the life I have. If I am thankful for family, I should take the time to make more phone calls and enjoy conversation with people I love. If I feel grateful for access to clean water and healthy food, I will challenge myself not to buy the junk. It needs to go beyond the thought.
Gratitude should be a verb.
Maybe you are reading this and you are thinking that you have very little to be grateful for and this blog post is annoying and pretentious. I challenge you to start simply. Are you breathing? Can you walk? Do you get to look around at the beauty of the seasons changing? Do you have a job (even if it sucks), while others can’t find employment to feed their family? Do you live in a country where you have freedom of speech, religion, and choice? Do you have children (even if they are total screw ups), while some people would give anything to have had their own? Find SOMETHING to be grateful for in your own life and ACT. Take a walk. Eat slowly. Make friends. Go outside. Slow down and practice gratitude.