A Season for Gratitude
November often brings about the topic of gratitude. As the holidays are quickly approaching and the year is coming to an end, there is often much to be thankful for, and for good reason! Decades of research have found that gratitude has overwhelming benefits on our mind, body, and spirit. I talked about some of these last year in The Gift of Gratitude. However, at the time, little did I know just how essential gratitude would become one year later!
As we are now 11 months into 2020, we have had to navigate the weight of stress and uncertainty while still carrying on with our everyday lives. I can certainly agree that this year has not been easy, but it has encouraged me to live, connect, and act more intentionally, giving gratitude a whole new meaning.
During this past summer, I was talking to a friend about how we were living through some incredibly historical times. In a lot of ways, we were feeling disheartened. We were having one of those ‘2020 moments’ that you may be able to relate to. We joked about how we should be documenting our experiences, and the next week a package arrived at my door. She sent me The Five Minute Journal as a way to record, process, and reflect on everything happening.
Each morning, the journal prompts me to write down three things I am grateful for and then three amazing things that happened at the end the day. I cannot tell you how much this has helped flip my perspective. More often than not, I find myself writing more than three things! Even in the midst of a pandemic and a divided nation, there is still so much to be grateful for. By choosing to practice gratitude, we are reminded of all that is good, and when we start looking, we see that there is no shortage!
I’ve also come to realize that gratitude is best when shared. It naturally encourages us to think beyond ourselves, and when we share what we are grateful for, we encourage others to do the same. In the spirit of the season, we asked our staff to share some things they are grateful for. You may even recognize some of the names of your favorite coaches!
As our Operations Assistant, Kylie said, “I’m grateful for technology because it’s keeping me connected with the world and the people I care about!” We have found new ways to safely communicate with one another. In the process, many of us have gained an even deeper appreciation for our systems of support.
Dominique, one of our coaches, agreed by saying, “I am grateful for great friendships, supportive family, and the opportunities I have in my life.” Kait, another coach, similarly said, “I am grateful for friendships that can survive anything, even pandemics. I feel so lucky to have a good support group from LI to make this pandemic bearable.” Even if the way we interact with one another looks a little different, it does not mean it’s any less valuable. If anything, it has made us appreciate each other and the time we spend together a little more.
Our Operations Manager, Caelan, attested to the beauty of nature. She said, “I am grateful for hiking trails – it has been so rejuvenating to be able to get outside.” Another one of our coaches, Siena, said, “I’m grateful for my dogs and being able to cuddle them as a stress reliever.” Perhaps this year has prompted us to truly appreciate and enjoy some of the things and places we normally take for granted.
Kim, our Executive Director, touched on the bright side as she said, “I am grateful for the time to slow down, to connect more intentionally with loved ones, and for the support, understanding, and adaptability of those around me.” Another one of our coaches, Alexis, offered us hope of what is to come by saying, “I’m grateful for my supportive friends and family as well as the holiday season because we could all use some holiday cheer this year!”
Certainly, our lives may not look exactly as we had planned or hoped, but that does not mean that we cannot find good in them. Practicing gratitude, especially in difficult times, can ground us and remind us just how much there is to be grateful for!
Take some time to answer these statements and then share them with your family, friends, or team!
- Something that has made me smile in the last week is…
- Something that has made me laugh in the last week is…
- Something that gives me hope is…
*Meet the Author*
Caroline has been with Leadership Inspirations for 3 years. She is currently pursuing a Masters in Leadership Development and holds B.A.’s in Psychology and Integrated Educational Studies.
Favorite Quote: “You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make” – Jane Goodall
Fun Facts: 1) I’m from Seattle 2) I LOVE Golden Retrievers 3) I have celebrated Holi in India