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Practicing Gratitude

I am so lucky that I have some exceptional models of gratitude in my life! One of my dear long-time friends was amazing at thank you cards! Every time I gave her anything I received a thank you card in the mail. And she was such a good example of this that every time I gave any member of her family anything, I received a thank you card in the mail. It is something that has stayed with me all of this time.

Another of my friends had a daily gratitude practice that she has shared on social media over the past year. Every day she writes three things that she is thankful for in her journal, takes a picture, and posts it to her social media pages. I have learned so much about being grateful for the ordinary things through her example.

One of my other friends teaches the idea of remembering Thankful Thursday and Grati-tuesday. I love the idea to make a ritual or a routine around being more grateful! It also reminds me that we can find something every day that we are thankful for!

While I'm not the best at continuing a gratitude practice through the whole year, I have developed some traditions around gratitude during November.

The first part of my November gratitude practice is to daily write at least 2 or 3 things I am grateful for. Some years I keep this list in my journal, but the past few years I have posted them in my social media. Some years my list is very traditional... I'm thankful for my family, friends, home, and so on. But this past year I have tried to think of something about that specific day that I am grateful for. So... when my kids came home unexpectedly from school, I was grateful that I have the flexibility in my schedule to drop everything and go get them. After a weekend of coaching and training, I was grateful for the things I had learned.

By thinking about the positive aspects of my situations, I was able to feel more peace. When things didn't work out as I had hoped, I found the good in the situation and it lifted me and brought me peace.

The second part of my November gratitude practice included writing thank you cards to people who have made a difference in my life. I picked teachers and coaches and relatives and sent words of appreciation. This was one of the highlights of my month! As I was writing notes to these significant people in my life, it gave me an amazing chance to really think about how these individuals have changed my story for the better! I felt the gratitude I have for them on a deeper level because of the way I was trying to capture the feelings into words. It was amazing! It was also amazing to send the cards off in the mail and to get little bits of feedback when the cards arrived. I was able to build and strengthen my relationships through gratitude!

I have experienced so much joy this month as the result of focusing on gratitude. My next challenge is going to be to look for small ways to incorporate more gratitude into my life from December until we make it back to November again! I encourage all of you to start with ONE! Start a list and start with one thing that you're grateful for. Add to it as often as you remember. Or pick just ONE person and share with them the impact they have had in your life. I know that you will be deeply blessed as you remember and give thanks for all of the wonderful things in your life!!!

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