Stuck in a “Gratitude Rut” because sometimes life is hard?
Years ago, through a series of health issues that seemed to come out of no where, I was left with lots of pain. Darkness began to saturate my thoughts. Pain really does lead to fear…fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate and hate leads to suffering. Yes, Yoda is a wise one. But so was the Buddha who also spoke of suffering. Anyway, through a series of steps, hard steps, I began to turn my thoughts back to what was best for me. That meant getting rid of dead weight. People who did not support my new habits and ways of life. That part was really hard, but necessary. As necessary as breathing because you have to surround yourself with what you are trying to become. That is one of my top shared quotes as said by me, Aimee Halpin. So let’s look at some prompts to help you create new habits of the mind.
- What does it mean to be grateful? Write a few words about what it means to you.
Who do I appreciate? Think long and hard about this one if necessary.
What abilities do I have that I’m grateful for or what am I proud of that I recently accomplished? It can be going to the store. It’s that easy.
What experiences have I had that I am grateful for? Have you ever thought about thanking your body? Weird, I know. But just ponder that for a minute.
What opportunities do I have that I am thankful for that others might not have? If you are unsure, write down 3 synonyms for gratitude and see what comes up in your mind.
What am I taking for granted that, if I stop to think about it, I am grateful for that perhaps others don’t have? Reflect on something that perhaps even made you stronger than you were before it happened.
What is different today than it was a year ago that has really helped me be grateful? Maybe even something that you learned to grow in a way you never thought possible.
- Write down ways that you find balance in your life that you can be grateful for…and if you don’t have self-care practices in place, write ways to add them to your life.
These few suggestions can help change your mindset if you even do one a week. Don’t wait for the right time to think of being grateful…practice it daily. If you can elaborate on the things that are going right in your life, you start to focus energy on the good and more good will be seen…therefore, more good will appear to really come your way. Don’t forget to give it a real chance. It takes time to change your thoughts and methods.
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I had a different blog post planned until I read several things on my social media page. I am sad about most of what I see and my mom thinks I need to stay off of it…I do try, but it’s difficult when you run a few pages…so here is my post for today.
I have an amazing friend. She is super smart, funny, talented and has a wonderful story to go along with it all. I do so love a wonderful story, but it’s hers to tell. She is inspiring in so many ways, mostly due to her public battle with cancer. She is not afraid to put herself out there, and her help with homeless and recovering addicts inspires me as well. If you have a moment to put her in your thoughts or prayers, please do so as this was part of her message today “about 10 or so my heart stopped for 11 minutes and 18 seconds”. When I read that, I didn’t know what to say…except she was in a happy place during that time with her grandparents, and I understand that feeling of wanting to stay. But she has work yet to do here, so God sent her back.
I want you to think about what you have left here on this earth to do. I want you to think about all the people who inspire you and all the people you inspire without maybe even knowing it. Seriously. Journal about it if you would like. Write down the qualities of these people and then turn it inward. Are there things you can be doing to help others? Are there ways you might like to be more like them? Can you turn your negative thoughts into positives? For example, I wish I had more money. I think that in my head. I know I do. I am working on changing it to, I am glad I had enough money for that unexpected bill. I will work on saving more. Or how about this one, I need to lose weight and I don’t eat right. Turn it into, I am losing weight by eating better. I am doing great. It takes time.
The thing about this friend is that if she has had a bad day or a bad experience, she always turns it into a positive one for her support team. She knows we worry, are afraid, might be depressed, and suffer the same kind of negative thoughts as everyone else, but she self-talks us into feeling better. And it works. Self-talk is great. At the end of her posts, if she has had a hard day, I still believe she is happy and knows she is loved. That is the number one thing to turning your mood around. Come from a place of love and seek your joy. In all things, you can find your joy. I love you friend if you are reading this. I know you can do the hard things.
When we last left off with the puppy story, I could hardly contain my excitement. It was like waiting for a new baby to come home. On Friday night, we drove to the little town in North Carolina right across the state line where the breeder lived. There were about 11 dachshunds in her back yard having a great time barking at my family. Upon entering the “pup” area of the home, I looked down in her kennel and noticed a few things.
- The pups were much smaller than the photos led me to believe. Wow.
- There was so much cuteness in one area I wanted to pass out.
- I was in trouble. I wanted them all.
- I thought they were all sold, but as it turns out, they were not.
Okay, so the last one happened as we bent to pick up the little girl…the owner mentioned she was back on the market for sale as the deal had fallen through. My girls loved the boy and the girl. Of course, we were already in love with Jameson, the boy. But then we saw this:
Don’t be fooled by that look in her eye. She is the sweetest thing ever and she is smaller than my slipper. And no, I don’t have feet as big as that woman in the movie Deuce Bigalow. Anyway, an internal struggle was going on inside and I wanted to cry. How could I rip this little family apart? I couldn’t. I took one look at my husband’s face and he said get her. Quite simply, that man knows my heart. I melted. After 15 years, he can read me like a book.
Soooo, on the way home with not one, but two puppies, we discussed her new name. I like what the owner called her, but then, out of the mouths of babes came the most perfect name. Juliet, for my heart was hers, and parting would have been such sweet sorrow. I’ll hand you a tissue now…or a vomit bag. Whichever you prefer. Ha.
“Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read.”
Tonight’s random topic is brought to you by WordPress. After my last post, a series of random topics came up for me to use and I decided that this was a great topic. I have lived in Virginia my whole life. Each season, I am reminded of how beautiful it is here. Summer always brings a sound that I love to hear at night. Cicadas. In the south, the summer nights cocoon you with their humidity and surround you with the song of a thousand cicadas. As a child, I always knew it was time to hear their song when I would find their empty husks attached to the trees. They look like a cross between some alien and a fly. If you didn’t know what they were, you would probably find them a bit creepy.
If I had the time to make a video, it probably would have come out like this:
But, I spent one of my last summer days at the pool, watching my girls jump off the diving board repeatedly and with the joyfulness of children. So dear readers, what sound reminds you of summer?
“In summer, the song sings itself.” ~William Carlos Williams